Fujifilm X-H2S

      Photo Review 9.0

      In summary

      The X-H2S presents a nice balance between stills and video functionality and performance. In a class-leading position in both areas, it benefits from its stacked sensor design, which provides quantifiable improvements in speed – for both image processing and autofocusing.

      These improvements are most apparent with the X-H2S’s electronic shutter, which is capable of bursts at up to 40 fps, albeit with a few limitations. The mechanical shutter is also no slouch, offering burst speeds of 15 fps with an almost unlimited buffer. The X-H2S’s video specs are equally impressive.

      Full review

      When we published our First Look at the new Fujifilm X-H2S camera in early June, we only had the camera for a short period (24 hours). In that time, we were able to capture a selection of sample images and a short video clip but were unable to carry out our regular tests. This report has been prepared to complement the initial review, adding the results of our standard tests. Links have been provided to enable readers to jump between the two reports.

      Angled view of the X-H2S camera fitted with the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      We received the camera with the XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR lens, which was reviewed in early April and found to be a very good performer. It was, therefore, an excellent partner for the flagship camera in our tests.

      We received the camera in the ‘Premium Video box’, a solidly-constructed cardboard presentation box in Fujifilm green livery with a video screen in its lid that delivers a spiel by Fujifilm X Photographer, Andrew Hall, who specialises in high speed, motorsport photography. It outlines key features of the camera and provides a friendly introduction for purchasers of the camera.

      We were also more able to explore some of the advanced features the camera offers.  Having more time with the camera, along with the faster, higher-capacity CFexpress card, enabled us to explore more of the movie options. The CFexpress card is necessary for recording ProRes movies and movies with bit-rates of 720 Mbps or higher. Movies with bit-rates of 720 Mbps can also be recorded to an SD card, provided is has a speed class of V90 or higher.

      There are plenty of accessories available to fit out the X-H2S for recording video as well as a number of compatible flashguns and related devices. We weren’t able to test the camera with either an external microphone or an external flashgun. Nor could we try the VG-XH vertical grip, which accepts a second NP-W235 battery and provides additional camera controls for vertical shooting.

      Other optional accessories include the FT-XH file transmitter for connecting the camera to wireless LAN or Ethernet networks to enable files to be transmitted via the internet or support tethered shooting. There’s also an optional FAN-001 cooling fan, which attaches to the back of the camera and is powered from the camera’s battery. It would be handy for extended video recordings in warm ambient temperatures.

      Fujifilm claims this fan can extend 4K recording times by up to 51 minutes in temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius, when otherwise the camera would have shut down after 17 minutes due to over-heating. Fujifilm has also announced a future File Transmitter Grip, which adds Ethernet connectivity, improved Wi-Fi and more advanced wireless to the existing capabilities of the VG-XH grip.

      One feature we didn’t note in our original ‘First Look’ was the fact that the 6K video mode with a 3:2 aspect ratio is ideal for use with anamorphic lenses. With the availability of these lenses being boosted regularly by Chinese manufacturers, this is likely to become a sought-after feature by videographers.

      All test shots and video recordings were made with the XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR lens and RAF.RAW  files from the camera were converted into editable formats with Adobe Camera Raw, our preferred raw file converter. Subjective assessments of test shots and movie clips showed them to have natural-looking colours, pleasing dynamic ranges and well-controlled colour rendition. Both were confirmed by Imatest testing

      Imatest showed the review camera to be capable of slightly exceeding expectations with JPEG files across the lowest ISO settings before declining slowly but steadily as sensitivity was increased. As expected, RAF.RAW files, which were converted into 16-bit TIFF format with Adobe Camera Raw, delivered higher resolutions across the available ISO settings, as shown in the graph below.

      Long exposures at night were effectively noise-free up to ISO 6400, after which noise became increasingly noticeable. With exposures of less than one second, little noise was visible across the camera’s sensitivity range, right up to ISO 51200. This is impressive for a cropped-sensor camera.

      Imatest showed colour accuracy was generally very good, and any shifts revealed were relatively slight. Saturation in JPEGs was slightly below average, and a little lower still with raw files, as expected.

      The auto white balance setting produced close-to-neutral colours with fluorescent lighting but, as expected, failed to eliminate the orange casts from incandescent and warm-toned LED lighting. Like most current cameras, the X-H2S provides three auto white balance settings, one of them designed to suppress reddish casts (White Priority), another that keeps warm tones (Ambience Priority) and a general-purpose setting (the default).

      As usual, all three auto white balance settings delivered close-to-neutral colours under fluorescent lighting. The White Priority setting removed almost all of the warm tones from shots taken under incandescent and warm-toned LED lights but the auto and Ambience Priority settings provided no significant corrections.

      No pre-sets are provided for LED lights but there are three for fluorescent lighting, covering ‘daylight’, ‘warm white’ and ‘cool white’ lights. In each case we found they had a tendency to over-correct. Interestingly, the tungsten pre-set did a much better job than most cameras we’ve tested when correcting the warm colour casts of incandescent and LED lighting.  Manual measurement generally produced neutral colours and the camera provides plenty of adjustments for fine-tuning colours as well as white balance bracketing.

      With only a 33mm prime lens, our ability to explore the camera’s video potential was limited. However, thanks to the provision of a CFexpress card, we were able to compare the Eterna/Cinema Film Simulation mode with the standard (default) Provia setting and the new F-Log2 setting with the existing F-Log mode. Sample frame grabs are shown below.

      The upper frame shows the Provia Film Simulation mode while below it is a frame from a clip shot with the Eterna/Cinema Film Simulation mode.

      The upper frame shows the original F-Log profile, while the lower frame shows the ‘flatter; profile, which claims a dynamic range of 14 stops. Both profiles make life easier for colour graders.

      There wasn’t much difference in colour reproduction between clips shot with the ProRes 422 profile (a sample of which is included in the Samples section below) and those with the regular Provia setting. However, the ProRes 422 setting supported 10-bit recording, a step up from the 8-bit setting with the standard Provia profile.

      Unfortunately, we couldn’t record RAW footage as it has to be saved to an external recording device, which we don’t have. Nonetheless, with regular recordings at the 50 fps and 25 fps frame rates we found the review camera capable of excellent performance and, because of its larger sensor, marginally better than the Panasonic GH6, which is the current video price/performance leader.

      Although the weather (and being in mid-winter) meant subject brightness ranges were less challenging than they would have been in high summer, the dynamic range in clips was very good. We noticed some lag in readjusting exposure levels when panning across a scene containing areas in bright sunlight and deep shadow but the camera readjusted very smoothly and relatively quickly, given the wide differences in light levels. Colour rendition in clips was similar to the stills performance.

      Autofocusing during video recording was quick and usually accurate and the camera seemed able to track moving subjects – within the limitations of the lens. Stabilisation performance was competent, but not spectacularly good as there were times when we noticed a slight jitter in hand-held recordings.

      Soundtracks were good for recordings made with the camera’s internal microphone but not as good as you would get from an external mic. As usual with internal mics, we noticed a tendency to record all environmental sounds. The wind filter was competent at reducing wind noise and the low-cut filter suppressed some (but not all) of the low-frequency noise in the shooting environment but for the best soundtracks you really need an external mic.

      We didn’t notice any rolling shutter effects in our recorded footage but, again, the lens would make the chance of this unlikely. When shooting video and recording long continuous bursts of high-resolution stills, the camera became a little warm to the touch.

      For our timing tests we used the 64GB SanDisk Extreme PRO CFexpress Type B card, which was supplied with the camera and is rated for a write speed of 1500 MB/second and a read speed of 800 MB/second plus a 64GB SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC card with a speed of 300MB/s in the second slot. The review camera took slightly less than a second to power up and allow the first shot to be captured.

      We measured an average capture lag of 0.7 seconds when moving from severely out-of-focus to sharp focus. This delay was reduced to 0.3 seconds for subsequent shots requiring less adjustment and eliminated by pre-focusing the lens.

      Single files were processed instantaneously, regardless of which file format was used. Shot-to-shot times averaged 0.35 seconds, which was about as fast as we could keep pressing the shutter button.

      With buffer depths of over 100 frames for all file formats, we didn’t attempt to check buffer capacity. However, we did test frame rates with both the electronic and mechanical shutter.  In the high-speed continuous shooting mode with the electronic shutter, we recorded 196 Large/Fine JPEGs in 5.4 seconds, which equates to just over 36 frames/second and is just below the specified frame rate. It took 5.4 seconds to process this burst. The same frame rates applied with HEIF files, which took virtually the same time to process.

      On swapping to lossless raw file capture, we recorded 216 RAF.RAW files in 5.4 seconds, which is exactly 40 fps. It took 16.6 seconds to clear the buffer memory. When we swapped to recording uncompressed RAF.RAW files, the camera paused after three seconds, with 115 frames recorded, a frame rate of just over 38 fps. It took 26.8 seconds to process this burst.

      With the mechanical shutter, the maximum frame rate is listed at 15 fps. In our tests, we recorded 100 Large/Fine JPEGs frames in 5.8 seconds, which is a little faster than the specified maximum rate. This burst was processed within a second of the last frame captured.

      When we swapped to recording uncompressed raw files, the camera was able to record 127 frames in 7.7 seconds, which was also a little faster than the specified 15 fps rate. It took almost 25 seconds to process this burst.

      On 7 July, Fujifilm announced Fiurmware Version 1.01 for the X-H2S providing two ‘bug’ fixes. The first fix was for a hang-up when the followign three conditions collide:
      •“ON” or “ON HDMI ONLY” is selected at the “HIGH SPEED REC” menu.

      • ”360Mbps” or “720Mbps” is selected in the “MEDIA REC SETTING” menu.
      • ”Blackmagic” or “ATMOS” is selected in the “RAW OUTPUT SETTING” menu.

      The second fix was for a bug that caused that the shutter remains closed after taking a picture when using the “E-FRONT CURTAIN SHUTTER” with the slow shutter speed more than 2 minutes. Click here to visit the Global website and download the new firmware.


      Please Login or Register to access the Conclusion.



      Image sensor: 23.5 x 15.6 mm X-Trans CMOS 5 HS sensor with 26.16 million effective pixels
      Image processor: X-Processor 5
      Lens mount:  Fujifilm X mount
      Focal length crop factor: 1.5x
      Image formats: Stills: JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.32),  RAF.RAW (14-bit), (HEIF 4:2:2 10-bit), TIFF (via in-camera raw conversion) RAW+JPEG; Movies: MOV – (Apple ProRes 422, ProRes 422 HQ/LT, HEVC/H.265, MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC;
      Audio: Linear PCM Stereo/AAC
      Image Sizes: Stills: [L] 6240 x 4160, 6240 x 3512,  4160 x 4160; [M]  4416 x 2944, 4416 x 2488,  2944 x 2944; [S] 3120 x 2080, 3120 x 1760, 2080 x 2080; panorama: vertical – 9600 x 2160, 6400 x 2160; horizontal- 9600 x 1440 Movies: 6.2K(3:2) 6240 x 4160 at 30/25/24p, DCI4K(17:9) 4096 x 2160 and 4K(16:9) 3840 x 2160 at 60/50/30/25/24p, Full HD(17:9) 2048 x 1080 and Full HD(16:9) 1920 x 1080 at 60/50/30/25/24p; All Intra / Long GOP compression available; High speed recording at 120p/100p (4K) or 240p/200p/120p/100p (FHD)
      Aspect ratios: 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
      Image Stabilisation: Image sensor shift mechanism with 5-axis compensation; 7 stops pitch/yaw compensation; digital stabilisation (for movie mode only)
      Dust removal:  Ultra Sonic Vibration
      Shutter (speed range): Focal plane shutter (Mechanical: 30-1/8000 seconds [S/M modes to 15 minutes] plus Bulb to 60 minutes; Electronic shutter: max. 1/32,000 second; flash sync at 1/250 sec (mechanical shutter), 1.125 sec (electronic shutter)
      Exposure Compensation: +/- 5EV in 1/3EV steps (+/-2EV for movies)
      Exposure bracketing:  2 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 9 frames in 1/3EV steps, up to +/-3EV
      Other bracketing options: Film simulation, Dynamic Range, ISO, WB, Focus
      Self-timer: 2 or 10 seconds delay
      Interval recording: Yes, for time-lapse (Setting : Interval, Number of shots, Starting time, Interval timer shooting exposure smoothing)
      Focus system: Intelligent Hybrid AF (TTL contrast AF / TTL phase detection AF)
      AF  selection: Single point AF: 13×9 / 25×17 (Changeable size of AF frame), Zone AF: 3×3 / 5×5 / 7×7 from 117 areas on 13×9 grid; Wide/Tracking AF: Yes (AF-S: Wide / AF-C: Tracking); face/eye detection plus Animal, Bird, Automobile, Motorcycle & Bike, Airplane and Train detection
      Focus modes: AFS (Single) / AFC (Continuous) / MF
      Exposure metering: TTL 256-zone metering with Multi, Centre-weighted, Average and Spot metering patterns
      Shooting modes: Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual Exposure
      Film Simulation modes: 19 modes (PROVIA/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, ASTIA/Soft, Classic Chrome, PRO Neg.Hi, PRO Neg.Std, Classic Neg., Nostalgic Neg., ETERNA/Cinema, ETERNA BLEACH BYPASS, ACROS, ACROS + Ye Filter, ACROS + R Filter, ACROS + G Filter, Black & White, Black & White + Ye Filter, Black & White + R Filter, Black & White + G Filter, Sepia)
      Filter modes: Toy camera, Miniature, Pop colour, High-key, Low-key,  Dynamic tone, Soft focus,  Partial colour (Red / Orange / Yellow / Green / Blue / Purple)
      Other internal processing modes: Monochromatic Colour, Grain Effect, Colour Chrome Effect, Colour chrome Blue, Smooth Skin Effect, Dynamic range settings (AUTO / 100% / 200% / 400%), Clarity (+/- 5 steps)
      Colour space options: sRGB and Adobe RGB
      ISO range: Auto, ISO 160-12800 plus extensions to ISO 80, 100, 125, 25600 and 51200; For movies – ISO 160-12800 plus extension to ISO 25600
      White balance: AWB (auto/ ambience/white priority), Daylight, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent (x3), Custom (x3), Colour temperature (2500K – 10000K)
      Flash: External flashguns only (EF-X8 recommended)
      Flash modes: TTL (TTL Auto / Standard / Slow Sync. ) / Manual / Commander / Off
      Flash exposure adjustment: not specified
      Sequence shooting: Max.40 shots/sec. with electronic shutter, 15 fps with mechanical shutter
      Buffer capacity: Max. 184 frames JPEGs, Compressed RAW: 175 frames, Lossless compressed RAW: 170 frames, Uncompressed RAW: 140 frames
      Storage Media: Dual slots for SD, SDHC, SDXC cards (UHS-I / UHS-II, V90 compatible) and CFexpress Type B cards
      Viewfinder: 0.5 inch OLED EVF with approx. 5,760,000 dots, 100% frame coverage, 24mm eyepoint, -5 to +3m-1 dpt adjustment, 0.80x magnification, eye sensor
      LCD monitor: 3.0 inch vari-angle touch screen colour LCD with 1,620,000 dots plus 1.28 inch monochrome LCD data display
      Interface terminals: USB Type-C (USB3.2 Gen 2×1), HDMI (Type A), 3.5 mm jacks for microphone and headphone, 2.5 mm Remote Release Connector, Hot shoe, Synchronised terminal
      Wi-Fi function: Built-in Wi-Fi IEEE802.11a/b/g/n/ac (standard wireless protocol); Bluetooth v4.2 (Bluetooth Low Energy)
      Power supply: NP-W235 rechargeable Li-ion battery; CIPA rated for approx. 720  shots/charge with economy mode,  90 min for 6.2K movie recording
      Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx. 136.3 x 92.9  x 84.6 mm
      Weight: Approx. 660 grams with battery and card

      Distributor: Fujifilm Australia; 1800 226 355



      Based on JPEG files recorded with the XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR lens.

      Based on RAF.RAW files recorded simultaneously and converted into 16-bit TIFF format with Adobe Camera Raw.



      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.

      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting, ambience priority.

      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting, white priority.

      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.

      Auto white balance with warm-toned LED lighting.

      Auto white balance with warm-toned LED lighting, ambience priority.

      Auto white balance with warm-toned LED lighting, white priority.

      ISO 80, 60-second exposure at f/2.8.

      ISO 160, 30-second exposure at f/2.8.

      ISO 3200, 8-second exposure at f/8.

      ISO 6400, 4-second exposure at f/8.

      ISO 12800, 2-second exposure at f/8.

      ISO 25600, 2-second exposure at f/11.

      ISO 51200, 1.3-second exposure at f/16.

      ISO 320, 1/750 second exposure at f/11.

      ISO 320, 1/50 second exposure at f/6.4.

      ISO 320, 1/180 second exposure at f/7.1.

      ISO 320, 1/20 second exposure at f/5.6.

      The RAF.RAW version of the above image, converted into JPEG format with Adobe Camera Raw.

      ISO 2500, 1/50 second exposure at f/3.6.

      ISO 25600, 1/280 second exposure at f/5.

      ISO 500, 1/20 second exposure at f/5.6.

      ISO 320, 1/52 second exposure at f/7.1.

      ISO 640, 1/100 second exposure at f/10.

      ISO 160, 1/160 second exposure at f/9.

      ISO 200, 1/500 second exposure at f/8.

      ISO 320, 1/120 second exposure at f/11.

      ISO 320, 1/75 second exposure at f/5.6.

      Still frame from 4K 50p video clip recorded at 10-bit depth with the ProRes 422 profile.

      Still frame from 4K 50p video clip recorded with H.264 Long GOP compression, 100Mbps.

      Still frame from 4K 25p video clip recorded with H.264 Long GOP compression, 100Mbps.

      Still frame from C4K 250p video clip recorded with H.264 Long GOP compression, 200Mbps.

      Still frame from 4K 50p video clip recorded with ALL-I compression, 360Mbps.

      Still frame from Full HD 50p video clip recorded with H.264 Long GOP compression, 360Mbps.

      Still frame from 6.2K 3:2 25p video clip recorded with H.265 ALL-I compression, 10-bit 720Mbps.

      Still frame from 17:9 Full HD 50p video clip recorded with H.264 Long GOP compression, 200Mbps.



      RRP: AU$4449 (body only)

      • Build: 9.0
      • Features: 8.9
      • Ease of use: 8.8
      • Autofocusing: 8.8
      • Still image quality JPEG: 9.0
      • Still image quality RAW: 9.0
      • Video quality: 9.0