Do I need a full frame?

Or: did X-H1 stop making photo, because there are Nikon Z7/Z6, Canon EOS-R, Sony A7III i Fujifilm X-T3 on the market?

OK, the X-T3 is not a full frame, but it is new, so the X-H1 is old πŸ™‚ But why do we usually look at full frame with lust? Because of shallow depth of field, what is not interesting to me, or because of good image quality at high ISO. So – is the X-H1 so old that it cant do high ISO? Today is a very cloudy, dark and foggy day. I took my X-H1 with XF 800mm Macro and went to the backyard. In fact purposely – to check the high ISO, as I usually use ISO 200 – ISO 800. And there are effects:

X-H1 + XF 80mm Macro – ISO 2500, 1/125s, f2.8

The first shot was taken with just ISO 2500. But on the other hand, it is just fraction of the entire frame. Something like half of the frame. Not bad, isn’t it? Let’s try something more:

X-H1 + XF 80mm Macro – ISO 6400, 1/125s, f/5,6

This time entire frame, with no crop. Still not bad. What’s more, there is some noise, but… it looks like grain of the traditional color film – it doesn’t disturb. More – when I recall old days, this grain looks like what I had on the ISO 800 color negative film in the past πŸ™‚

So next step:

X-H1 + XF 80mm Macro – ISO 8000, 1/40s, f/8

ISO 8000 – I very rarely use such level of ISO. In the catalog of 30 000 shots, I have found just 117 shots I took at ISO 8000 or higher. And again – the noise is quite OK, visible as nice grain of the traditional film. This is also about half of the entire frame. In case of this shot I was not able to decide about color or B&W version, so there is also the B&W version πŸ™‚

X-H1 + XF 80mm Macro – ISO 8000, 1/40s, f/8

Answering my own question: I definitely don’t need the full frame. And the X-H1 definitely is still a capable camera – regardless the fact that so many new cameras are on the market. I like my X-H1 everyday more and more and I have more and more fun out of photographing with it. The only point is that one must remember that this is a very sophisticated tool with huge possibilities. No doubt one has to get known this camera very well and precisely configure it for one’s needs.

X-T2 / X-H1 – X-T3 / X-H2

Year 2014: X-T1 appears on the market. Year 2016: on the market appears the successor of the X-T1, the X-T2. Year 2018: X-T3 comes. Do you see the regularity? Every two years a new pro body.

But in 2018 something more has happened: the X-H1 hit the market. More solid, theoretically more for video than X-T2. And what’s the biggest difference, it has IBIS. And in comparison with X-T2, does NOT overheats during 4K recording.

But looking at X-H1 it is really hard not to think that it is nothing else than X-T2, repacked to more solid chassis with IBIS added. It is hard to find any other really important difference.

And now comes X-T3. New sensor, new CPU, new functions. In fact, if put aside the IBIS, X-T3 is better than X-H1 in every aspect. I would be so natural for X-H2 to appear in January, maybe in February 2019, having at least the same functions as X-T3 has,with added IBIS and more solid body. But there are no any rumors that it could happen. What’s more, there are some rumors with high probability, that there will be NO X-H2 in 2019.

And such situation would be in line with the just discovered regularity, with which Fujifilm introduces ne pro bodies: every two years. But does it make any sense?

As I mentioned above, X-H1 is in general the X-T2 technology, packed into a new body, with IBIS added. We can expect that X-H2 will be built the similar way: X-T3 packed into new, more solid body with IBIS added. Buy… in 2020. In 2020 the technology will go forward further, competitors (Sony, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Olympus) will race for a market. What’s more, knowing the regularity, will will be awaiting the X-T4! In such situation, will anybody really buy the X-H2, having the two-year old technology? I doubt. Personally I would buy either X-T3 or maybe Sony (A7 IV?).

In my opinion Fujifilm has just two options making any sense:

  1. Introduce X-H2 in the spring 2019, having X-T3 technology, with more solid body and IBIS. This would be the option making the most sense and the most awaited by us, Fujifilm users. Such X-H2 introduced this way would sell as hell. But to be honest, I don’t believe it will happen. X-H1 is to new on the market – it is less than a year old. And rumors, excluding such possibility.
  2. Introduce X-H2 in 2020, but with sensor and CPU newer than the ones in X-T3 and of course with IBIS. And the same year introduce X-T4, with the technology taken from X-H2, so newer that X-T3, except of IBIS. However this solution has a big drawback: X-H1 will not sell next two years as X-H2 could. In fact I think that X-H1 will not sell almost at all now, as there is no reason to chose it over X-T3, complemented by a gimbal. For the potential buyer the new X-T3 technology is more important than X-H1’s IBIS.

What Fujifilm will do? Let me pretend I’m an oracle: in my opinion Fujifilm will introduce X-H2 in 2020, with the technology of the X-T3, in better body and with IBIS and some less important features, missing in the X-T3.

Fujifilm X-T2 i X-H1 – video and power

Actualization – at the end I have added what I discovered the day after πŸ™‚

In the X-T2, and even more in the X-H1, we can find lots of features, allowing for use of these great cameras not only for stills, but also for video. Let’s name just a few: 4K or ability to use external recorder, recording through HDMI interface. And in case of X-H1 in addition F-log, touch screen, allowing for silent operation during recording or IBIS – image stabilization inside the body, what allows for use of plenty of lenses which have no stabilization built-in.

But both bodies have hidden issue, being a huge problem for many film makers: power.

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