X-H2 – The best of what APS-C can be (Part II)

4 months later, here comes the second flagship camera from Fujifilm, the X-H2. Every camera manufacturer usually releases one flagship camera to showcase the state-of-the-art technologies that they offer. But this is not the case for Fujifilm, they have a different approach, instead of releasing one flagship camera, they release two flagship cameras.


Come to think of this, we have this conception that the flagship camera has to be the one and only one on the top of the lineup. But it is totally common in the mobile phone industry, many manufacturers announced dual, trio or quartet flagship models. Think Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi. I have nothing against this strategy. Instead, I feel that this is a good move to allow photographers to choose the right option for their needs (speed, resolution, or both) and budgets for their investments.

Fuji X-H2 . XF27mm f2.8 WR @ 27mm . f2.8 . 1/40″ . ISO 160 . Nostalgic Negative

Before I continue with the review, I would like to thank Ms Carmen, Marketing Manager of Fujifilm Singapore, for arranging and loaning the X-H2 for review. By the time this review is online, the camera unit had returned back to Fujifilm Singapore.

Fuji X-H2 . XF35mm f1.4 @ 35mm . f1.4 . 1/2700″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative

In this hands-on review, I will do the same approach as I did with the X-H2S; to use various lenses to see how the lenses perform with this new 40 megapixels camera.

Here is the list of lenses I used:

1. XF 16mm f1.4
2. XF 18mm f1.4
3. XF 23mm f2
4. XF 23mm f1.4 WR
5. XF 27mm f2.8 WR
6. XF 35mm f1.4
7. XF 50mm f1
8. XF 50mm f2
9. XF 18-55mm f2.8 – f4
10. XF 70-300mm f4 – f5.6
11. TTArtisan 23mm f1.4
12. TTArtisan 50mm f2
13. TTArtisan 50mm f0.95

To note: As I am not a videography expert, I will not highlight any videography-related content in this post.

Design, Build Quality, Handling & The Shutter…

Everything about its design, build quality, handling, shutter, and EVF are exactly the same as the X-H2S. Since it is totally the same experience so I will not repeat them over here. If you are interested, you can read it in my X-H2S post.

Fuji X-H2 . XF23mm f1.4 WR @ 23mm . f1.4 . 1/105″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative

Sensor and Processor

Over here, Fujifilm uses the X-Trans CMOS sensor 5 HR (not the HS, and since the Resolution is the key thing and hence the “R”). The X-Processor 5 is the same as the one equipped with the X-H2S. Similarly, it has the Nostalgic Negative film simulation too, the second APS-C camera to come with this film simulation. Again, I just want to highlight it because I like this film simulation.

Not everything is exactly identical to the X-H2S. Fujifilm has something up its sleeve with this camera. In fact, there are 2 exciting improvements over the X-H2S (at least in my opinion).

The first exciting improvement is that it has the lowest base ISO since X-T3 was introduced with base ISO 160. It is now at ISO 125, which technically speaking will gives a cleaner and higher quality photo.

The second one is even more attention-grabbing, it has a maximum electronic shutter speed of 1/180,000, an increase of approximately 2.5 stops compared to other X-Series cameras (maximum at 1/32,000). In practical usage, I can shoot wide open without the help of using a Neutral-density filter. But I have no idea when I will need this blazing fast shutter speed but it is always good to have this functionality ready.

Image Quality

When rumours are flying around the internet sharing about 40 megapixels sensors, I am sure everyone who reads it is excited but what worried the most to the majority of the photographers including myself is whether the older lenses cannot resolve the sensor well. I am also sure that I am not the only pessimistic person here.

According to the Fujifilm website, they have listed what lenses at wide open can achieve edge-to-edge, high-resolution performance, allowing the photographers to fully experience the 40 megapixels sensor has to offer. They also highlight that lenses that are not listed will allow photographers to experience improved resolution performance of 40 megapixels.

Extract from

Okay… Although the message here seems to be a little bit grey area but it sounds not too bad or so it seems to be. It still makes me wonder how good can the old lenses (and 3rd party manual lenses) resolve this high-resolution megapixels?

Truth be told, the images from those lenses turn out to be just fine or slightly better (depending on the individual perspective). They are not as bad as I thought they would be. My personal conclusion is that the old lenses and other manual lenses can resolve newer sensors. But the clarity level might not be as great as the newer lenses or the lenses that Fujifilm listed out there.

Undoubtedly, the number “40” is a new achievement in the APS-C camera category. The previous largest resolution I know is 33 megapixels from Canon. Although getting larger megapixels is always a good thing to have, retaining a decent amount of quality details is more important in my opinion. I’m glad X-H2 delivered it quite well.

There are 2 ways to make full use of the 40 megapixels. The first one is to print out at a whopping 8 meters x 6 meters print but unfortunately, not everyone has the space to hang it. So we talk about the second way and that is having the luxury to crop. While it cannot compare against the GFX cameras that come with 50 megapixels or 100 megapixels, it still has quite a good resolution to crop. Having said that, I am not a person who loves to crop photos. But with this amount of resolution, it does help to do some slight adjustments or creative crop to the photos for me.

Fuji X-H2 . XF23mm f1.4 WR @ 23mm . f5 . 2″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative
One of my favourite crop ratio – 65:24


The autofocus performance for this camera is blazing fast with newer lenses. As for older lenses (especially without Linear Motor), the camera is still able to perform faster and snappier than equipping them on my X-T3. So I can say that the X-H2’s AF performance is kind of subject to what lenses you are using but the experience is not too far off.

What about comparing both X-H2S and X-H2? Well, the X-H2S indeed performs faster but just narrowly faster. You can only tell the difference when you test both cameras side by side.

Under decent street light situations, the AF performance is decently fast. That said, it is also depending on what lenses you are using to shoot as some older lenses might affect the AF performance by a little.

The eye-AF performance is sufficiently better than the previous generation processor and image sensor. It is much stickier than before and can detect the eye even if the person is putting on a mask. Similar to X-H2S, if there is more than one person in the frame, you may experience the eye-AF jumping back and forth.


Consistent with X-H2S, the X-H2 also achieve up to 7 stops compensation with some lenses up to 5 stops. I test with the legendary XF 35mm f1.4 and with some luck, I can manage to snap 0.7-second exposure handheld. For XF18-55mm, I am able to accomplish a 1/2 second result at a higher success rate with my shaky hands.

Fuji X-H2 . XF18-55mm f2.8-4 @ 19.6mm . f4 . 0.7″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative
Fuji X-H2 . XF18-55mm f2.8-4 @ 55mm . f4 . 0.5″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative
Fuji X-H2 . XF35mm f1.4 @ 35mm . f5 . 0.77″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative

Battery life

For my usage in the past 2 weeks, I took about 700 shots in one of the days and it is left with approximately 25%. So 1 battery can definitely last me for a day. If I going to overseas travelling, I think bringing 2 extra batteries is more than enough. I probably will not even need to change the battery as often as I did with my X-T3 (which I need to change every half day).

To my surprise, according to CIPA standards, the battery life is rated as 680 shots. So I think they might have tested the battery with maximum performance while I using the normal performance.


40 Megapixels is a lot and I believe not every photographer wants to have that full resolution, especially in RAW. At least a friend of mine who is a full-time photographer told me that. He explains that the nature of his work does not require such a big resolution as it will take up more of his processing time.

He hopes to see Fujifilm will take into consideration updating the firmware and implement the option to select the RAW size (i.e. M size RAW and S size RAW). The current setting only allows having M size JPEG and S size JPEG while keeping full resolution RAW.

In my own words

After my 2 weeks of testing, I believe the X-H2 will be the popular option among the dual flagships. Putting the price aside, both cameras’ performances are very identical. Given that the X-H2 has more functionalities improvements like lower base ISO, faster electronic shutter speed and 8K video, I do see why it is more popular than the X-H2S.

Fuji X-H2 . XF70-300mm f4-5.6 @ 122.5mm . f5 . 1/450″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative

Now, what excited me is the X-T5. While no one knows when it will be announced and arrive on our shores, but what X-H2 has internally might shed some light on how X-T5 might have. I hope it will keep most functionalities minus the 8K video and some of the videography functions. Sorry, I wish the X-T5 to be a photographer’s camera again and not a hybrid camera like the X-T4.

Who is this for?

This is a great, heavy-duty workhorse camera and I highly recommend it to professionals and pro-consumers who can take advantage of the high resolution it has to offer. If you are struggling between the dual flagships, head down to the camera store and try it out and compare both of them. However, if the photographer wants to own both the speed and resolution, buy both and you can have the best of both worlds.

As for me, it is not for me. As I mentioned before, I am still waiting for the X-T5 arrival and I hope it will have the X-T3 flip and tilt screen. My piggy bank is waiting to get smashed.

Fuji X-H2 . XF50mm f1 WR @ 50mm . f1 . 1/750″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative

Fuji X-H2 . XF50mm f1 WR @ 50mm . f2 . 1/220″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative
65:24 Cropped

Thank you for reading.

If you like my works, please follows me on either one of the 2 Instagram accounts:

1. All the shots taken here are shot by me.
2. All of the shots
 are straight out of the camera with some edited via In-Camera Raw Processing.
3. The photos are resized to 30% of the original size except for cropped ones. If you wish to see the original file, contact me and I am happy to share it with you.
4. I reserve ownership of these images, if you wish to use my images, please notify me.
5. The camera firmware is 1.00.
6. The opinions are based on my experience. If there is any mistake, please kindly drop me a message and I will gladly make the amendment.

If you like my content and you want to show some support, you can buy me a coffee here.


X-H2S – The best of what APS-C can be

Before all else, I would like to thank Ms Carmen, Marketing Manager of Fujifilm Singapore, for loaning the X-H2S for review. By the time this review is online, the camera unit had returned back to Fujifilm Singapore.


Get started

After months of waiting and numerous rumours flying over the internet, the X-H2S was finally announced in X-Summit OMIYA 2022, together with XF150-160mm and XF18-120mm. Fujifilm categorised it as a flagship model, which means the best of the best technologies Fujifilm can offer is in this camera body (or maybe together with the upcoming X-H2). If I remember correctly, The “H” in X-H stands for “Heavy-duty”.


If you have watched the X-summit, you will know this flagship model addresses three groups of categories: sports photography, wildlife photography and videography.

While I do not belong to any of the three categories and I do street photography most of the time, my perspective of using this camera will be more on people on the streets and things revolving around the streets.

Fuji X-H2S . XF27mm f2.8 WR @ 27mm . f2.8 . 1/5400″ . ISO 160 . Nostalgic Negative
Fuji X-H2S . XF27mm f2.8 WR @ 27mm . f2.8 . 1/80″ . ISO 160 . Nostalgic Negative

Also in this hands-on sharing, it is based on a photographer’s point of view as I am not a videographer trained. To test with people on the streets, I have also used various lenses of mine to see how well this camera can perform.

Here is the list of lenses I used:

  1. XF 16mm f1.4
  2. XF 23mm f2
  3. XF 23mm f1.4 WR
  4. XF 27mm f2.8 WR
  5. XF 35mm f1.4
  6. XF 50mm f2
  7. XF 80mm f2.8
  8. XF 18-55mm f2.8 – f4
  9. XF 70-300mm f4 – f5.6

Let’s begin…

Fuji X-H2S . XF23mm f2 WR @ 23mm . f4 . 1/600″ . ISO 640 . Nostalgic Negative

Sensor and Processor

Fujifilm has come thus far when comes to image sensors and processors. Now, Fujifilm has come out with its first-ever Stacked-Back Side Illuminated (BSI) X-Trans CMOS sensor 5 HS and X-Processor 5. With this new processor, Fujifilm has also introduced Nostalgic Negative film simulation to the APS-C camera. Nostalgic Negative was only made available to GFX (first with GFX 100S) series only. I know not many people actually talk about this film simulation but I just want to highlight how much I like this film simulation after I tested out the GFX 50S II.

Fuji X-H2S . XF35mm f1.4 @ 35mm . f2 . 1/80″ . ISO 640 . Nostalgic Negative

More on the Image quality and performance below.

Design & Build Quality 

When I first saw the camera, it was resemblant very much to the GFX100S/50S II. It is also a totally different design from its predecessor, X-H1. This is a good way to distinguish between models. The new X-H2S can be distinguished easily at a glance too, especially since there is a label “S” on the front of the camera body.

Fuji X-H2S . XF23mm f1.4 WR @ 23mm . f1.4 . 1/80″ . ISO 640 . Nostalgic Negative

The magnesium build camera is sturdy, durable and solid to hold. Something I am expecting from a flagship camera. The weight of the camera is 660 grams but personally, I do not feel it is heavy to hold and I think that because the weight is well distributed across the camera body.

For a note, it is just 53 grams heavier than X-T4 and 13 grams lighter than X-H1.


X-H2S has an ergonomic handgrip design but some photographers might think it is too large to hold, particularly photographers who have smaller hands. As for me, probably because I have large hands, it is very comfortable to grip. The feeling reminds me much of the good grip I had with my DSLRs back in those days.

Overall buttons are comfortable to press with good tactile feedback. The Focus stick is large and good to navigate focus points and between menus. Nothing to complain about here.

The Shutter

The newly developed shutter button is very sensitive and I have to learn to adapt to it. For most Fuji cameras, I depress half the shutter button for focus and then depress it fully for taking the shots. But then, the shutter button of the X-H2S is probably set it up higher than the other Fuji cameras. I basically snap the shot when I depress “half” the shutter button. It took me a few shots to find the sweet spot. Sometimes I do forget and history repeats itself. It is not something difficult to familiar with, it just takes a while for my muscle memory to familiarise itself.

On a side note, I love the shutter sound. A gentle and very satisfying “tid” sound.

The Viewfinder, The LCD Screen & the Sub-Display

I have to say the viewfinder is really a pleasure to use. The 5.76M dot OLED with a 120fps refresh rate is one of the best improvements Fujifilm has made. It makes the viewing experience so smooth as if I am shooting through an optical viewfinder. (Remember to set to EVF frame rate priority to enjoy the 120fps, otherwise, it is default at 60fps.)

Fuji X-H2S . XF18-55mm @ 18mm . f5 . 1/1600″ . ISO 320 . Nostalgic Negative
Fuji X-H2S . XF18-55mm @ 18mm . f2.8 . 1/120″ . ISO 320 . Nostalgic Negative

However, the LCD screen keeps the same 1.62M dot resolution as the X-T4 but is still better than my X-T3. The display is indeed sharper and it is a good screen to meet my needs.

The “always-on” sub-display reminds me of the DSLR’s sub-display but better. As a sub-display, it provides all the necessary current settings and information to allow one to have a quick view.

Image Quality

The image quality is great and that is across all ISO ranges that I used in this test. Honest speaking, I cannot find anything to fault it. Personally, I feel that the image quality has some improvement at the high ISO range, especially on the ISO 3200. Not a dramatically huge difference but you can tell. Other than that, it is hard to tell the difference between X-H2s and X-T3.

Fuji X-H2S . XF70-300mm @ 300mm . f5.6 . 1/20″ . ISO 1600 . Nostalgic Negative
Fuji X-H2S . XF70-300mm @ 101.6mm . f4.5 . 1/17″ . ISO 3200 . Nostalgic Negative
Fuji X-H2S . XF23mm f1.4 WR @ 23mm . f1.4 . 1/160″ . ISO 3200 . Nostalgic Negative


The autofocus performance of the camera is kind of limited by the lenses. Because the performance of this X-H2S is really fast, it does push the limit of the older lenses to work faster. If the lens is on the slower side (for example a lens without Linear Motor), you can feel that it works slightly slower and also missing out on some focus tracking (but it picks up pretty fast). That said, the newer lenses (such as XF 23mm f1.4 WR) are really designed to optimise with X-H2S than the older ones. All in all, the autofocus is really snappy and accurate. The older lenses do feel snappier too than having them on my X-T3.

Fuji X-H2S . XF23mm f1.4 WR @ 23mm . f1.4 . 1/80″ . ISO 1000 . Nostalgic Negative

The focus tracking is a real improvement here. The eye-AF together with the Subject Detection such as “Animal”, “Bird”, “Automobile”, etc does pick up well and is quite sticky to the respective subject, especially a moving one. But if there is more than one subject in the frame, then that is another story altogether.


On paper, it states that it can achieve up to 7 stops of compensation with some lenses can only go up to 5 stops. In the real world, how stable is it with my shaky hands is more matters to me. The results show everything. I have tested with 4 lenses and it turns out that the IBIS is impressive. Whether it is combined with an OIS lens or not, my handheld results are pretty consistent and terrific.

Fuji X-H2S . XF18-55mm @ 30.2mm . f7.1 . 0.5882″ . ISO 160 . Nostalgic Negative

Battery life

I notice there are some people who commented about the battery life that does not last for the whole day. But in my 2 weeks of testing, it lasts me for the whole day with 35% remaining the least, that is about 500 shots taken.

Based on the CIPA standard, the battery life is rated as 720 shots. And based on my calculation, it is about there. So I think the rating from CIPA is quite consistent with my experience.

Although battery consumption is subjective to individual usage and many other external factors to be considered, all I can say is that this NP-W235 battery is definitely better than the NP-W126S on my X-T3. If your photography consumes more battery power, then just bring another one. If bringing two batteries is insufficient, then make it three.

Fuji X-H2S . XF18-55mm @ 30.2mm . f4 . 1/550″ . ISO 320 . Nostalgic Negative


PASM dial is something I familiar with for a long time, especially since I used DSLR before. I do not hate it nor I am happy to see it. It just reminded me of how I should operate the camera differs from the one with Fuji-style dials.

Fuji X-H2S . XF16mm f1.4 @ 16mm . f1.4 . 1/85″ . ISO 320 . Nostalgic Negative

I do miss the Fuji-style dials with this X-H2S but handling the PASM dial is not a show stopper for me.

Something else…

The focus mode selector switch has been replaced by the “fn3” button in X-H2S. By default, fn3 is set as the “focus mode selector” function. If you are a person who switches various modes a lot, this might be a little ignoring to you as it takes you to a screen to select the focus mode with your D-pad and the “OK” button to enter instead of instantaneously switching with the switch.

Fuji X-H2S . XF50mm f2 @ 50mm . f2 . 1/150″ . ISO 160 . Nostalgic Negative

Another thing that I do not mention is the memory card. It comes with 2 slots, one for CFexpress Type B card and another for UHS-II. Because I do not have a CFexpress Type B card which unable to verify the capability of read/write speed of the camera when shooting at 40 fps.

Probably some photographers might notice this. The front dial is now not clickable.

One last interesting thing to share, X-H2S is the first Fuji camera that comes with a variable shutter speed. It calls “Flickerless S.S. Setting”. You have to enable “Flicker Reduction” first before you can set the “Flickerless S.S. Setting” on. This helps to eliminate flickering lighting from indoor LED lighting, bulb and monitor screen, etc. Only Manual and Shutter priority modes can enjoy this functionality.


For the next generation of X-H series, I hope that the position of the Focus stick to be a little lower, probably beside the AEL button will be a better option. Whenever I want to change the focus point, I need to shift my thumb much higher to reach for the Focus stick and by doing so, I have to reorientate my hand placement on the handgrip.

Fuji X-H2S . XF80mm f2.8 @ 80mm . f2.8 . 1/680″ . ISO 320 . Nostalgic Negative

Another thing I hope Fujifilm can do is on the focus mode selector. Instead of the cumbersome control, you may consider making the fn3 button to toggle between the modes. I believe it will be easier for photographers who need to toggle often. Probably it can be added in a firmware update.

Above are some of the little feedback or more like my personal preference.

In my own words

The grip, the sub-display and the overall size of the camera pretty much reminded me of the good old DSLR era. Oftentimes it also reminded me of how far technology has come.

After 2 weeks of use, I believe Fujifilm has delivered the flagship model very well and beyond my expectation of what a flagship camera can be: a hybrid, heavy-duty camera for both worlds.

Fuji X-H2S . XF35mm f1.4 @ 35mm . f1.4 . 1/280″ . ISO 320 . Nostalgic Negative

For Fuji enthusiastic (who like dials, dials and dials) like me, I will not get it for my personal causal shooting. Yes, the stacked BSI sensor is very attractive to me. The focusing speed and the AF tracking are something my current X-T3 cannot do with. What I can hope is that the future X-T5 has most of what X-H2S or X-H2 has to offer together with the X-T3 flip and tilt screen and I will be ready to smash my piggy bank.

Who is this for?

This is a flagship camera and also a workhorse that is designed with professional photographers (and professional videographers) in mind. It has the best performance Fujifilm has to offer to date. But that does not mean non-professional photographers should not get it. If camera size is not a factor, this X-H2S will be a camera you can consider as it is the pinnacle of Fujifilm for years to come.

Fuji X-H2S . XF23mm f1.4 WR @ 23mm . f8 . 1/900″ . ISO 160 . Nostalgic Negative

Also, Fujifilm also confirmed they will be releasing X-H2 which comes with 40 megapixels in the X-Trans 5 HR. X-H2S focus on speed while X-H2 focus on fine details. Only the photographers themselves will know which camera can meet their demands in photography and the photography genres they are shooting.

Fujifilm just laid out them for you to choose from.

Fuji X-H2S . XF35mm f1.4 @ 35mm . f2.8 . 1/1900″ . ISO 160 . Nostalgic Negative

Thank you for reading.

If you like my works, please follows me on either one of the 2 Instagram accounts:

1. All the shots taken here are shot by me.
2. All of the shots
 are straight out of the camera with some edited via In-Camera Raw Processing.
3. I reserve ownership of these images, if you wish to use my images, please notify me.
4. The camera firmware is 1.01.
5. The opinions are based on my experience. If there is any mistake, please kindly drop me a message and I will gladly make the amendment.