Fujifilm X-H2

No, I don’t have the X-H2. But I have been waiting for it, and expect to see it on the market in 2020. I will buy it as soon as possible, but there is one “but”: it must be significantly better in any aspect than the X-H1 – in other case replacement of X-H1 with X-H2 would make no sense at all. So what is enough important to me to trigger the replacement?

Yes, power is on the first place. In the X-H1 we’ve got a standard NP-W126S battery, with capacity of 1260mAh (typical; the minimum is 1200mAh). We need to keep in mind that the camera needs to have quite powerful CPU, has electronic viewfinder, a screen (or two), and X-H1 and in the future X-H2 also IBIS. The body needs to power the AF motors in the lenses. All this counts to the conclusion that 1260mAh is dramatically low value. X-H1 has one battery inside and we can add next two in the power booster grip. Each battery can be charged from the external source and the body can be powered from the external source while working, but the grip requires separate source of power and the battery in the body requires separate source of power. And there is also an old problem, know still in the X-T2, where switching between batteries causes break of the video recording (web page). In the X-H2 I would expect:

  • Use of a new batteries, with much higher capacity.
  • The grip would have two battery options: one would be to use two the same batteries as in the body; the second to use a new, dedicated for the grip battery. The case is that when you have a look at the NP-W126S batteries in the grip you will notice, that they use just a fraction of the space, available in the grip. There is still a lot of unused space. Use of a new, dedicated to the grip battery, using all the space, would bring much more capacity – much more than provided by two batteries used in the body.
  • The battery in the body charged from the same source as the battery / batteries in the grip. Currently even if we connect the external power to the grip, we still can charge batteries in the grip, but not in the body.
  • The battery in the body would charged from the battery / batteries in the grip. Please keep in mind, that whenever you replace the batteries in the grip, the body switches to the battery inside the body. As a result, after several grip batteries replacements in the field, you end up with empty battery in the body and you need to replace it as well or the camera will switch off during  the grip batteries replacement.
  • The grip would be charged using any STANDARD voltage and STANDARD system – for example 12V and for example using Anton Bauer power accessories with D-TAP connectors. I have been searching Internet for almost a year and believe me – it is really hard to find anything I could connect to the X-H1 to provide power for long shootout on location. The only option is to have tens of NP-W126S batteries. While filming, we have to power several devices, like external screen, external recorder, audio interface, on-camera light – having the ability to use standardized power system would help a lot.

X-H1 is already a very good camera for video, but there ar still some things missing.

  • DCI 4K 60fps and 4K 60fps – both FULL FRAME. No, I’m not talking about size of the sensor being 36mm x 24mm, known also as format 35mm or format 135 and usually but mistakenly named “full frame”. I’m talking about data readout from the entire sensor – entire frame or… “full frame” πŸ™‚ Currently X-T3 offers 4k 60fps, but with some crop: switching from photographing to recording video you can see a change of the viewing angle of the lens without changing it’s focal length.
  • Video on the HDMI port to be in 10 bits and with 4:2:2 sub sampling. 10 bit is useful when you need to grade extensively in the lights, while the difference between 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 sub samplings in very short is a twice the vertical resolution for color changes provided by 4:2:2 in comparison with 4:2:0.
  • It would be also very nice to be able to record 10 bit / 4:2:2 internally.
  • Removing the video recording limit of 30 minutes.
  • Video recording as one file instead of a clip being split into a number of shorter files.
  • Zebra. Well, theoretically we can see the overexposed places with blinking black and white, but it is really
    tiresome. Zebra is much better, especially when you can configure the level, triggering stripes.
  • HDMI port of the full size. Well, eventually mini-HDMI, but definitely not a micro-HDMI. Don’t tell me that it is not possible – there is a full size HDMI port in the Panasonic  GH5 and this is a micro 4/3 format camera, so smaller format than X-H1 and H-H2.
  • In-body time-lapse. Currently we can take a number of interval shots, but time-lapse can’t be done in the camera, so we must take the shots home and then make the video. But there is an issue with time-lapse: it is quite hard to estimate all the parameters, like number of shots and the interval. So if we are in the field several days with no computer, we will know if we set everything properly a long time after the session, while back at home – far too late for any changes and improvements.
  • Headphones socket in the body and not in the grip. This is one of the biggest stupidities I have found in the X-H1 – to use headphones, you must use the power booster grip πŸ™‚
  • All the functions available in the body regardless if you have the grip or not. In the X-H1 for example clip length and camera performance depend on the grip and switching on the boost mode on the grip.

Software is important – it gives additional abilities and complements the hardware. We live in such times that majority of things are done using software and quality of the software determines the quality od the final product or at least the comfort of working on the final product.

  • Camera Remote: this software in current version should be killed at once and written anew. In my opinion (and I have been working with software, including some programmer experience, for many years), the current software is already so bad that it is impossible to make out of it something really working as needed. And needed is AT LEAST the ability to use ALL the features and option available in the camera. The most trivial example: while filming, I would like to be able to change the focus point. In the body I can, in the Camera Remote I can’t. In addition some functions obviously require to run the software in the foreground, but some, like geotagging, could work i the background: when I switch the camera on, it connects in the background with the phone and downloads the location, date and time info periodically.
  • External software (third party) – I will not hide that I mean Capture One Pro. Lately we received a new version with Fujifilm film simulations, what is a great feature and great news for all of us, using Fujifilm camera and Capture One Pro, but for instance tethering is still a nightmare. In case of X-H1 the controlling of the camera practically is nonexistent.

Here in fact I have almost all I need. In fact I would be happy with as low changes in X-H2 as possible – for example I don’t want a sensor with more than 24Mpx and I don’t need more fps. So what new I would like to see in the X-H2?

  • Exposing for lights. A metering and exposure logic allowing to move the histogram as far to the right as possible, but with no overexposure of any part of the frame. This is something Olympus OM-D E-M1 has and something Nikon D810 has as well, so nothing new.

Well, these are all the things I would like to see in the X-H2 and what would make me replacing my X-H1 πŸ™‚