We first covered rumors of the X-H1 in this piece here, then followed up with news on the actual release, confirming the early specifications. Now, we’re pleased to bring first images of the actual camera from the CP+ exhibition in Yokohama Japan. Meanwhile, head over here for price and availability details.
In the hands, the X-H1 feels slightly heavier than the X-T2, though you do get better weather sealing in return. The new material is also more resistant to scratches. As you can see though, the lens you pair with the body plays a bigger factor in determining the overall size of the camera. Given that the X-H1 integrates a new IBIS system, better heat sinks, and a top LED display, we must say Fujifilm has done a good job keeping the size down.
The EVF is also improved, and it's been moved 3mm back so your nose won't be touching the rear LCD when using it. This has a higher resolution of 3.69 million dots as opposed to the 2.36 million dots on the X-T2, and is actually brighter at 800cd/m2 (compared to 500cd/m2). Looking through it gives you a nice bright view, and we didn't feel EVF blackout at all, even at the maximum burst of 8fps (mechanical shutter).
There’s also a new feather-touch shutter button, and it’s supposed to minimize shutter shake to perfectly match the new 5-axis IBIS system. It gives a nice tactile response and certainly makes it easier to do continuous shooting, as just a light touch will trigger the shutter.
AF speed is also noticeably faster than that of the X-T2, thanks to a brand new AF algorithm that further subdivides each AF point to 20 areas for each point. The camera was able to get focus quickly and accurately even in the low light of the convention center, and we’re told the system will work down to -1EV, with apertures as small as F11.
Another reason why the X-H1 focuses so much faster than the X-T2 is that the camera now does AF processing in parallel, producing faster and more accurate results.
The X-H1 boasts a much-improved feature set for video. It will record 4K videos at up to 15-minute durations, offers a higher maximum bitrate of 200Mbps and the option to shoot F-log internally. Slow motion videos in Full HD are also new options, as you can see here.
There’s also the Eterna film simulation option, which gives you softer tones for both shadows and highlights, and moderate saturation. This is meant to give you easily gradeable footage with wider dynamic range. When combined with the DR expansion settings, the footage should deliver about 12 stops of dynamic range (at DR400%) when used below ISO 800.
Like the X-T2, the X-H1’s rear LCD also does three-way tilt, and now you get enhanced touch controls, but these only apply in the Q menu and while shooting. Still, this definitely aids the silent movie shooting function as you don’t have to use any mechanical click dials or buttons.
Overall, we’d say the X-H1's feature set and improved handling should definitely appeal to photographers who also dabble in video. We're told it's possible the AF improvements will make it to the X-T2 in a future firmware update, but there's no way to simulate IBIS or get the longer 4K recording duration, so that's definitely a differentiation factor. On our part, we’re looking forward to when we can get a full production unit in for testing!