There are tons of reviews out there for the Fuji XH-1, but in this one we will put a real life usage without getting into the very much technically detailed reviews as Dpreview, This is just the opinion of a photographer in real life.
After the announcement of new Fuji XH-1, which I consider Fuji’s new flag ship over the XT-2 and the Xpro-2, I was a little confused as where does this camera fits in the Fuji and mirrlorless in general. I’ve been a Fuji owner for 6 years since the release of X100 and two years later fully migrating from Nikon full frames, I’ve watched how Fuji have developed itself and matured with every camera release.
Vs the Xpro2
I've been using the the XPro2 for the last year and half but to be honest it was my least favorite Fuji camera. Don’t get me wrong it’s a very good camera but I just didn’t find myself in it. The lack of articulated LCD was my major disappointment after I got used to in the XT-1. Also I wasn’t very happy with the view finder, despite having the impressive hybrid optical and digital view finder, I still didn’t fall for i. The optical finder with zoom lenses is all but useless, and the digital finder is not as large as the old XT-1. The video was not as impressive even after the latest update which availed 4K. I will not jump into the technical details but other camera brands and even the XT-2 were far superior in that aspect. I didn’t get the XT-2 but I’ve used it on many occasions and it’s an impressive upgrade over the XT-1 and in the mirrorless segment in general.
Where does it fit in the food chain?
After the announcement of the XH-1 I was confused, is this a replacement for the new Xt-2? Why not an XT-2S? But after buying it I immediately knew everything. Being at a high price point same as the Sony A7III, the Fuji XH-1 should offer something new. At first when opening the box I was dazzled by the ruggedness, how solidly and uni-bodly it is. It is not a small camera but still in the range of 700g in weight. The Grip is fantastic and the overall feel is truly amazing. Makes the Sonys and others look much cheaper. Fuji Engineers thought of everything with no compromise, they threw lovely features in that body. It really is a camera with soul, not just many junk features, but really helpful customizations, button layout, touch screen, relatively easier menu and a joystick and scrolls and everything you'd expect in that aspect. If the Term H stands for anything then it should be Hybrid as the video capabilities is amazing and on par with the big players. And oh the stabilization IBIS works very well too. the camera realy is a full professional all rounder, maybe not the best for landscapes, not the best for video. But the best overall package anyone could Ask for.
So having a package of amazing photo quality, solid and rugged feeling, mature lens line up and a competitive video capability is an all in one solution to my needs. Some people argue with the size and the sensor, but being APS-C will still have the advantage in terms of lenses size compared to the full frame, so the overall package is still much less.
Real Life pictures
I've been using it for more than 3 months now and it is a joy to use. Not every thing about a camera can be converted to a number and a technical review, but there is something about this camera that makes you want to hold it and use it, I can't explain it in a blog but its a great feeling just holding it in your hands.
As expected from a 4th Generation Fuji camera, the image quality is fantastic. I think exactly the same as the XT-2. The Dynamic Range is brilliant but what blew my mind is the IBIS. It really works and gave me that extra shutter speed without camera shake, I could easily shoot at 1/6 sec and get super sharp images. all of the pictures below (except the milky way one) were shot handheld.
I've been a travel photographer for more than 20 years now, never really thought of giving the video mode on my previous DSLRs and then mirrorless a try. Don't know why exactly I refrained it, I love shooting videos but something always dragged me away from shooting videos on my previous cameras. but with the XH-1 things became different. They made it terribly easy to switch between videos and stills. And even better the settings for the stills are independant from that of video. I dont know if other cameras are like that but in a nutshell, the camera made me dive into video, something I haven't thought of for the past 15-20 years.
The built in film simulation camera profiles are very good. I never ever used them during my Nikon Times, but at Fuji you use them a lot in stills. This time it was my first time to use it in videos also. One film profile called "Eterna", Simulates the output of cinematographic films. It is Characterized by subdued color presentations and rich shadow tones. Ofcourse you have the option for the F-log and all the other things but this specific film simualtion mode gave eased my workflow a million times.
Below is a video, Shot handheld with the Eterna film simulation mode and minor tweaks on final cut. please don't criticise the video as I am still pushing my way in the video world.
So in conclusion
Pros: Incredible build quality – Fuji photos quality – very capable video camera – highly customizable and the second LCD is amazing – IBIS really works! in both videos and stills
Cons: with the battery grip becomes really big and heavy – the battery life is below normal when shooting videos (the grip solves the problem as it cycles through batteries) - shutter button is too buttery
100% recommended and I can't be happier with a hybrid camera that gives me an all features with soul!