Fujifilm has launched its new flagship APS-C mirrorless camera, the $2,500 X-H2S, with an all-new 26.2-megapixel (MP) stacked BSI CMOS sensor and a raft of impressive features. Some of the key highlights include 40 fps blackout-free burst shooting, 6.2K 30fps video and 7-stop in-body stabilization.
The X-H2S is the long-rumored successor to the X-H1, released over four years ago. However, it bears little resemblance to that model (apart from the top LCD display) with a substantially different grip and button layout. It's also lighter at 660 grams compared to 673 grams. Unlike the tilt-only display on the X-H1, the X-H2S has a fully articulating 1.62-million dot rear display, making it far better for vloggers and solo video shooters. The 5.76-million-dot 120Hz EVF outclasses other APS-C cameras and hopefully addresses EVF performance issues on the X-T4.
It's the first Fujifilm camera with a stacked, backside illuminated sensor (the X-Trans 5HS) and new X-Processor image processor — though the 26.2-MP resolution sensor is the same we've seen on models as far back as the X-T3. By contrast, Canon's new EOS R7 APS-C camera has a 32-megapixel sensor, but it's neither backside illuminated nor stacked.
The stacked sensor allows for some impressive shooting speeds. It can hit up to 40 fps in silent electronic shutter mode with no blackout, or 15fps in mechanical shutter mode (at 1/8000th maximum), both with autofocus and auto-exposure enabled. It comes with a high-capacity buffer, allowing you to capture 175 compressed RAW frames in 40fps ES mode (4.4 seconds worth) and 400 compressed RAW frames in mechanical shutter mode.
Fujifilm promises much-improved phase-detect autofocus (AF) performance over the X-T4, with three times the speed and improved accuracy. Meanwhile, the AF algorithms can do prediction for moving subjects, while allowing for zone AF subject detection and low-contrast situations. On top of recognizing humans (face/eye), it can also detect animals, birds, cars, bikes, airplanes and trains.
Also enabled by the faster sensor/processor is a big jump in video specs over the X-T4. The X-H2S supports 6.2K video at 30 fps, DCI 4K (4,096 x 2,160 pixels) at 120 fps and Full HD at 240 fps, with no cropping or sub-sampling on all video modes up to 60 fps. 4K at 120p is mildly cropped at 1.29x, but it's still oversampled with no pixel binning or line skipping.
It's also the first Fujifilm APS-C camera to support ProRes (ProRes422, ProResHQ, ProResLT and ProResProxy), along with H.264 and H.265 video. All of those resolutions can be recorded at 4:2:2 10-bit quality, and Fujifilm has introduced F-Log2 recording that allows for 14+ stops of dynamic range below 30 fps and 13+ stops at higher frame rates (with settings at or above ISO1250) — impressive, if accurate.
External recording via the full-sized HDMI 2.1 port is equally impressive. On top of all of the above settings (6.2K/29.97P, 4K/120P 4:2:2 10bit), you can record ProRes RAW at 6.2K/29.97P and 4.8K/59.94P, both at 4:2:2 12bit with 13 stops of dynamic range. External recording with ProRes RAW means that Fujifilm won't need to deal with RED RAW patent lawsuits, like the one recently slapped on Nikon's Z9.
Like other stacked sensor cameras, the X-H2S promises well-controlled rolling shutter at 1/90th of a second (11 ms) for video under 30fps and 1/180th of a second (5.6 ms) for higher framerates. That's right up there with other stacked sensor cameras like Sony's A1 or the Canon R3, meaning you should see minimal jello or wobble in video, particularly at higher framerates.
Overheating doesn't appear to be much of an issue at normal temperatures, with a promised four hours of 4K60p shooting at 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). That drops to 20 minutes at 40 C (104 F), but you can boost that to 50 minutes with an optional $199 cooling fan.
The X-H2S has improved in-body stabilization over past Fujifilm cameras, as well. It delivers 7 stops of shake reduction compared to 6.5 stops on the X-T4, which should help smooth videos and reduce blur on photos.
Other key features include both CFexpress and SD UHS II card slots, a USB 3.1 gen 2 (10Gbps) port with a handy cable lock screw, 3.5mm microphone/headphone jacks, 10-bit HEIF photo support and an optional $400 vertical grip. It also supports wireless and wired functions like live streaming, tethered shooting, webcam functions (no app required) and cloud storage uploads. CIPA battery life is 610 shots max with the EVF, or 1,580 shots with the vertical grip.
On top of the X-H2S, Fujifilm announced that it was developing the X-H2, a 40-megapixel X-Trans sensor version — the highest resolution yet on an APS-C camera. It's likely to be nearly identical to the X-H2S apart from the extra megapixels and marks the first time that Fujifilm has split a camera model into high-resolution and regular versions. We'll learn more about that model at Fujifilm's next X-Summit event in September 2022.
Along with the camera and accessories, Fujifilm has launched two new lenses, the XF150-600mm f/5.6-8 R LM OIS WR zoom telephoto (left), arriving on July 7, 2022 for $2,000. It's also introduced the XF18-120mm f/4 LM PZ WR (right), a versatile wide-telephoto zoom coming in September 2022 for $900. Meanwhile, the X-H2S will be Fujifilm's most expensive APS-C camera to date, arriving on July 7th for $2,500 — the same price as Canon's full-frame EOS R6.
Update 5/31/2022 2:07 PM ET: The post has been updated to note that the X-H2S will be the same price as Canon's EOS R6, not the EOS R5 as originally stated (thanks, Phillip!).
Update 6/1/2022 4:00 AM ET: Updated with information about the development of the 40-megapixel X-H2 version.