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3 hours ago, raagamuffin said:

VJC, 

the X-H1 is just like the X-T1, half baked (IMO). The T2 IMO was what the T1 should've been, in terms of both video (even if you don't shoot it) and in terms of AF. 

Wait for the X-H2, you won't regret it, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a monster, but you can defeat it :) 

 

what do you think are the reasons why the XH1 is "half baked"?

(just curious as previously you were encouraging me to buy it!)

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On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 10:23 AM, pzaleon said:

Is it just me or is this XH-1 model lacking the very essence of size and ergonomic simplicity which has been the hallmark of the X-series? While a slight size/wt. increase might be necessary for the stabilization mechanism, the entire beauty of the X-system has been the minimalist approach. Simple uncluttered controls and thoughtful electronic interfaces brought me to this series.

I will write the XH-1 off as a video camera and await a XT-3 with stabilization & increased resolution, but with the minimalist approach intact.

No, it's not just you. It's me too, and quite a few others as they have also posted on sites. I'm still loving my XT-1 and it will serve my needs for a while. I'm not against technological advancement at all, but just because a new camera model come out today, that fact doesn't make the previous model any less capable of a platform than it was just yesterday.

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On 3/16/2018 at 2:06 PM, artuk said:

what do you think are the reasons why the XH1 is "half baked"?

(just curious as previously you were encouraging me to buy it!)

artuk, 

I only said, in jest of course, you should buy it because you said in a previous conversation thread somewhere that you'd seriously reconsider Fuji if it had IBIS. Just trying to encourage you in that regard. 

But in all seriousness, I think the X-H1, which was initially being positioned as a video centric camera, was reviewed as not meeting certain functions for video professionals (when compared to the Panasonic offering). To me it seems like a beefier iteration of the X-T2 line, with IBIS. Given that this is version 1 of their IBIS, I think there may be issues that need to be resolved. I have learned in my many years of owning gadgets that v.1 of anything has issues (remember the Sticky aperture blades on the original X100, etc.). 

Another issue for an apparently video centric camera is battery life. My X-T2 can run through a good chunk of the battery's life if I'm recording (with interspersed photos, reviewing photos/footage etc.) a 60 minute event. I don't know if they have tweaked this for the XH1, to prolong it, but if the T2 is anything to go by, then I wouldn't think it has improved substantially. 

There is not enough with respect to  the sensor and processing (IMO) to consider the XH1 if one already has a T2 or Pro 2. And personally, I don't think technology improves significantly in 1 year (unless the company is trickling and staggering their previous R&D over many years to maximize profit). 

I don't mean to dissuade anyone from purchasing the H1, just stating my reasons for skepticism in upgrading to an H1, which I consider a beta version 1 product of IBIS. I'd argue that the XT1 (I own an XT10) was a similar beta-like product (even if it was a success due to marketing), where their competitors had surpassed them in AF and other features. In my mind, the XT2 was the polished camera that the XT1 should've been. 

 

My 0.02 $. 

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9 hours ago, raagamuffin said:

artuk, 

I only said, in jest of course, you should buy it because you said in a previous conversation thread somewhere that you'd seriously reconsider Fuji if it had IBIS. Just trying to encourage you in that regard. 

But in all seriousness, I think the X-H1, which was initially being positioned as a video centric camera, was reviewed as not meeting certain functions for video professionals (when compared to the Panasonic offering). To me it seems like a beefier iteration of the X-T2 line, with IBIS. Given that this is version 1 of their IBIS, I think there may be issues that need to be resolved. I have learned in my many years of owning gadgets that v.1 of anything has issues (remember the Sticky aperture blades on the original X100, etc.). 

Another issue for an apparently video centric camera is battery life. My X-T2 can run through a good chunk of the battery's life if I'm recording (with interspersed photos, reviewing photos/footage etc.) a 60 minute event. I don't know if they have tweaked this for the XH1, to prolong it, but if the T2 is anything to go by, then I wouldn't think it has improved substantially. 

There is not enough with respect to  the sensor and processing (IMO) to consider the XH1 if one already has a T2 or Pro 2. And personally, I don't think technology improves significantly in 1 year (unless the company is trickling and staggering their previous R&D over many years to maximize profit). 

I don't mean to dissuade anyone from purchasing the H1, just stating my reasons for skepticism in upgrading to an H1, which I consider a beta version 1 product of IBIS. I'd argue that the XT1 (I own an XT10) was a similar beta-like product (even if it was a success due to marketing), where their competitors had surpassed them in AF and other features. In my mind, the XT2 was the polished camera that the XT1 should've been. 

 

My 0.02 $. 

I am sure some members will become very annoyed with what I am about to say, but its the "truth" from my perspective.

I agree.

When The X-T1 was released, I still had my X Pro 1and lenses, but had mostly given up on it as it was so slow and frustrating to use, with too many limitations and issues (aperture dance, shutter lag, slow af, control issues / bugs etc).  I looked at the XT1, but like the XPro had been, it was very expensive, only 16mp again when other makers had moved to 24mp, and the sensor limited the pdaf focusing to the centre of the frame, not a wide area like new rivals.  Comparisons seemed to show the af still wasn't as good as its latest rivals, and it still had some of the issues of previous cameras (aperture dance, shutter lag, control issues etc).

The competition seemed more capable, and was cheaper, and seemed to offer "more" capability and features.

I'm glad I didn't get an XT1 as I think I would have remained frustrated and disappointed. It seems like the XT2 was a significant improvement.  History seems to show that every first generation model has issues and became better on a second or third attempt.  My X Pro 1 ownership (£1500 for a "professional" apsc camera with so many issues , when I could have got a new FF slr for the same money) created such a bad feeling and the XT1 wasn't enough to overcome it.

Fuji are generally conservative and bring models and features late to the market, but often this doesn't seem to reflect in a greater operational maturity. I've used IBIS cameras since 2005. It is a valuable feature for high resolution stills, particularly in less than ideal light. I don't think I would pay nearly £2000 for an aps camera, nor a m43rds model.  I don't know much about the new cameras video quality; I think the current generation of apsc sensors have issues with data throughput which limits quality, but I think that will be resolved in the next generation. Fuji make it hard for themselves due to the processing demands of the sensor layout, which must make the data pipeline for video feed even more technically problematic.

 

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artuk, 

After having exclusively used Fuji for a while, I went back to my 'old' D7000 and I noticed that for the same picture, the Fuji XTrans tends to increase the 'green' tint in the pictures for color. Interestingly, the Fuji 'green tint' seems to work better for B&W conversion. I don't claim to understand the dynamics of sensor layouts and color spaces, but this makes it worthwhile as I like using B&W more often than not. This can be a burden for people who tend to want color accuracy, I presume, but for most uses it is not that evident, for my amateur eyes anyway. 

Personally I would speculate that Fuji may want to move towards a Bayer layout in the future if power/processor demands (as mentioned in your comment) consistently stay high while their battery sizes remain the same. They are doing this with the GFX anyway, so there is not a lot of new technology to master since they could presumably reuse what they learned for the X series of the future. 

 

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4 hours ago, raagamuffin said:

artuk, 

After having exclusively used Fuji for a while, I went back to my 'old' D7000 and I noticed that for the same picture, the Fuji XTrans tends to increase the 'green' tint in the pictures for color. Interestingly, the Fuji 'green tint' seems to work better for B&W conversion. I don't claim to understand the dynamics of sensor layouts and color spaces, but this makes it worthwhile as I like using B&W more often than not. This can be a burden for people who tend to want color accuracy, I presume, but for most uses it is not that evident, for my amateur eyes anyway. 

Personally I would speculate that Fuji may want to move towards a Bayer layout in the future if power/processor demands (as mentioned in your comment) consistently stay high while their battery sizes remain the same. They are doing this with the GFX anyway, so there is not a lot of new technology to master since they could presumably reuse what they learned for the X series of the future. 

 

Fuji colours may be attractive, but they are not accurate.  Lab tests of some of the earlier cameras showed a significant skew in colour responses for some colours.  Accuracy and attractiveness are not the same thing.

Personally, I don't understand the benefit of X-Trans.  It was originally marketed as a solution to moire in sensors without a low pass filter, and lower noise.  There are now many Bayer cameras with weak or no low pass filter that don't suffer from moire.  Side by side comparison shows at the same ISO settings, X cameras expose about +2/3ev more than other brands, which makes it look that the ISO values are being exaggerated, so I remain unconvinced about noise claims.  The downsides are greater processing demands to do the demosaicing, problems with organic fine detail, and in my experience noise reduction and smoothing that cannot be turned off due to the nature of the demosaicing process.  As some others have commented, the cure seems worse than the illness.

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artuk, 

Ok, so it sounds like you'll buy a Fuji if it has IBIS and a Bayer Sensor, essentially, you'd buy the GFX if it had IBIS. :) 

I'm going to hold you to your statement that you'll buy a Fuji ;) 

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On ‎29‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 3:35 PM, raagamuffin said:

artuk, 

Ok, so it sounds like you'll buy a Fuji if it has IBIS and a Bayer Sensor, essentially, you'd buy the GFX if it had IBIS. :) 

I'm going to hold you to your statement that you'll buy a Fuji ;) 

I wouldn't buy a GFX, or it's peers, because it's not actually a medium format camera - the sensors used are not THAT much bigger than full frame, but the cameras and lenses are large, and they certainly cannot shoot sports, or do TTL off camera flash, or continuous shooting, or face / eye detection, or many of the other things that make them unsuitable for certain applications.  Good for tripod and studio work, maybe less so for other things.

I'm not "pro" Bayer, I just need to be shown that alternatives are actually better.  Some theory says that Bayer layout is the mathematically best solution to the problem.  The individual single colour pixels are basically the same as the single colour pixels on the same sensor with a Bayer colour filter layout.  Each pixel has the same dynamic range and noise characteristics.  X Trans claims to lower noise by having a lot more green pixels, used for luminance (brightness) calculations during demosaicing, but far fewer red and blue, meaning that to recover a full colour pixel the demosaicing process has to look much further away to get the red and blue colour data.  Looking further away logically makes the result less accurate, as it's a red or blue reading from several pixels away.  Also, sampling larger areas during demosaicing means sampling a larger number of pixels (a bigger group), which is what makes the noise lower - sampling a bigger set is smoothing, which is effectively noise reduction.  It's the same as applying NR to a Bayer file.  I fail to see the benefit of noise smoothing that cannot be controlled or turned off by the user, when combined with what appear to be exaggerated ISO values, and problems caused by sparse colour data (water colour effects on random detail etc).  

By the same token, I'm not convinced by Foveon sensors.  At base ISO, the results are stunning, much better than Bayer or X Trans.  Unfortunately, above about ISO400, because the light has to pass through layers of the sensor to record each colour, the noise starts to become really bad.  If I was a tripod based landscape photographer, Foveon could be a great choice, but I shoot a lot of hand held available light work with sensors where ISO12800 is "normal" and gives an excellent print.

IBIS really has been a great feature during 10 years of shooting other brands, again because I do a lot of available light shooting and it's a great way to "drag the shutter" (use slower shutter speeds) and still get crisp results, whilst minimising ISO values.  The "1/focal length" rule just doesn't work well with 24Mp APS-C or even higher Full Frame resolution, which requires REALLY good technique without stabilisation.

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Six weeks or so on from the release and whilst I have friends who have succumbed to the X-H1 I must say I'm still pretty underwhelmed. Yes it has IBIS but to me that is not a must have feature. Yes it has better, faster focussing but it is not able to use that fully in sports or action situations. Yes its better with larger heavier lenses, I don't own any big heavy Fuji lenses.

The only real positive for me that I can see with the X-H1 is that Fuji have removed the exposure comp dial that always seems to be getting accidentally adjusted. I hope this change also happens in the next series of X bodies.

I'm still baffled by the timing of the release. Putting out a brand new top of the line camera with what is effectively an obsolete sensor just doesn't make sense to me. I'm wondering if Fuji were intending on holding this camera until Photokina but suddenly thought that that was just too far away and that the camera would be canned as "to late" if they did so.

The real interest to me is what features, if any from X-H1 will the X-T3 inherit and how long will it be before the X-H2 arrives, surely not the usual 2 years.

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On 3/30/2018 at 4:47 PM, artuk said:

I wouldn't buy a GFX, or it's peers, because it's not actually a medium format camera - the sensors used are not THAT much bigger than full frame, but the cameras and lenses are large, and they certainly cannot shoot sports, or do TTL off camera flash, or continuous shooting, or face / eye detection, or many of the other things that make them unsuitable for certain applications.  Good for tripod and studio work, maybe less so for other things.

I'm not "pro" Bayer, I just need to be shown that alternatives are actually better. 

artuk, it sounds like you are looking for a perfect camera, which I don't think exists yet. You mentioned you shoot a Sony, I'm not sure you'd fit in to the Fuji mentality of conservative steps in camera manufacturing. Fuji seem to release 'safe' technology, typically not cutting edge. I like that to some extent, especially in a somewhat mature area such as photography where real evolution (rather than gimmicks) takes longer cycles (even if in our hyped up social media world we want it to be instantaneous). 

I am a big fan of Sony though, most of their electronics that I own have had virtually no trouble over repeated heavy use, so I'm sure their cameras live up to that sort of metronomic quality. If one avoids their gimmicky offerings, I think they have a good core set of technologies (I mean the size of the A73 is itself a testimony to this). 

 

In any event, I hope you will still purchase the reliable technology that is a Fuji camera (my original X100 is still doing well, no complaints, except battery life, need some new batteries ). Otherwise I'll have to take your opinions on Fuji with the lens of historical context as the years distance you from the XPro1 you owned a while ago ;) 

 

 

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14 hours ago, K1W1_Mk2 said:

Six weeks or so on from the release and whilst I have friends who have succumbed to the X-H1 I must say I'm still pretty underwhelmed. Yes it has IBIS but to me that is not a must have feature. Yes it has better, faster focussing but it is not able to use that fully in sports or action situations. Yes its better with larger heavier lenses, I don't own any big heavy Fuji lenses.

K1W1, and rightly so to be underwhelmed. I have realized that Fuji's draw for me is not necessarily the bodies, rather their lenses. I look back at my XE1 pictures and then my XT2 pics and I see how the picture quality (without pixel peeing) is comparable, with a few pics taken on the XE1 being more appealing under similar (not exactly the same)  location and lighting conditions but the same lens.

14 hours ago, K1W1_Mk2 said:

I'm still baffled by the timing of the release. Putting out a brand new top of the line camera with what is effectively an obsolete sensor just doesn't make sense to me. I'm wondering if Fuji were intending on holding this camera until Photokina but suddenly thought that that was just too far away and that the camera would be canned as "to late" if they did so.

The real interest to me is what features, if any from X-H1 will the X-T3 inherit and how long will it be before the X-H2 arrives, surely not the usual 2 years.

I don't understand the accelerated release cycle either. Samsung (and Apple) do things in the smartphone space with yearly updates, perhaps Fuji is trying to emulate them. As with phones, the technology evolution is practically nil in one year, so IBIS is the only meaningful differentiator. Unless they come up with a much better sensor and significantly faster AF, I don't see the reason to upgrade to the T3. 

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3 hours ago, raagamuffin said:

artuk, it sounds like you are looking for a perfect camera, which I don't think exists yet. You mentioned you shoot a Sony, I'm not sure you'd fit in to the Fuji mentality of conservative steps in camera manufacturing. Fuji seem to release 'safe' technology, typically not cutting edge. I like that to some extent, especially in a somewhat mature area such as photography where real evolution (rather than gimmicks) takes longer cycles (even if in our hyped up social media world we want it to be instantaneous). 

I am a big fan of Sony though, most of their electronics that I own have had virtually no trouble over repeated heavy use, so I'm sure their cameras live up to that sort of metronomic quality. If one avoids their gimmicky offerings, I think they have a good core set of technologies (I mean the size of the A73 is itself a testimony to this). 

 

In any event, I hope you will still purchase the reliable technology that is a Fuji camera (my original X100 is still doing well, no complaints, except battery life, need some new batteries ). Otherwise I'll have to take your opinions on Fuji with the lens of historical context as the years distance you from the XPro1 you owned a while ago ;) 

 

 

I'm not looking for a "Perfect" camera, I'm just looking for tools that can do the things I need.

My narrative in the previous post was about what I perceive as issues with the X Trans sensor layout - I'm not convinced that it actually gives any true benefits, but seems to come with a number of issues.  At least Fovean sensors at base ISO has sumptuous colour and detail.

I wouldn't say I choose a camera for technology - but I expect it to work and be competitive.  I would say typically that X series cameras are a little late to market, as Fuji like us to believe they have a very conservative attitude (or perhaps the camera division just isn't big enough?).  I was totally baffled when the X-T1 has the very old 16Mp sensor when Sony had a much better 24Mp unit with PDAF across 80% of the surface.  However, I do appreciate that by pushing the shooting envelope one can achieve things not possible before, or make the process easier.  Technology as an enabler.  Many traditionalists declare some features "gimmicks" (face detection, eye focusing, 20-24fps etc) yes they actually make the photographic process easier and more reliable in some situations.  

I read reviews and user comments about all sorts of cameras.  The X Pro 1 was an over-priced dog, and Fuji knew it when a few years later it was selling at a quarter of it's original price with free lenses bundled in.  The new cameras are clearly better, but so are all the other brands, and I simply wouldn't pay a £1500-2000 price for an APS-C or m43rds body, as for me sensor size and the accompanying high ISO performance and resolution are valuable.  I use APS-C also, for events where I wanted more reach, or when I want to travel really light, but I accept that limits certain uses such as available light work.

3 hours ago, raagamuffin said:

I don't understand the accelerated release cycle either. Samsung (and Apple) do things in the smartphone space with yearly updates, perhaps Fuji is trying to emulate them. As with phones, the technology evolution is practically nil in one year, so IBIS is the only meaningful differentiator. Unless they come up with a much better sensor and significantly faster AF, I don't see the reason to upgrade to the T3. 

The smart phone market is increasingly saturated, a sign of maturity, with product cycles offering little innovation but mostly useless electronic fripperies (turning faces in a video feed into emoticons?) and fashion (curved screens, small bezels, notches).  Apple show absolutely no signs of innovation   Mirrorless cameras have already made their major leaps in performance and utility since the first Olympus Pen's, Sony NEX's and Samsung NX cameras, so now product cycles are slowing and improvements are getting smaller.  IBIS isn't an innovation, it's been around for 10 years.

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Well, I see this gang's overall sensibilities are the same as as ever; lots of negative comments from folks that have not even handled, or more importantly, actually used the camera for real-world applications. 

I bought an X-H1 for my motorsports racing photography, for which I already find it very well suited. 

Now: lets get down to reasons why Fuji built this camera: 

One of the things I've been posting about on various photo-fora is how much more robust the body on the X-H1 has been engineered to accomodate long, heavy, prime telephotos and the new MK-X Cine lenses. Fujifilm did considerable engineering to strengthen and, most importantly, stiffen the frame and lens mount to be able to mount long, heavy, prime telephotos and the new Cine MK zooms. These "devices", as Fuji refers to them, put a considerable tension load on the lens mount, and thus the lens mount needs to be designly sufficiently robustly to support these loads.

Here's an example: note how much thicker and "beefier" the "support/stiffening ring" around the lens mount is on the X-H1 compared to the X-T2.

The other thing I noted today is that Fuji moved the button for releasing the lens from the lens mount to further away to make it easier to disconnect larger (and wider in diameter) lenses. This little change is a big win for me, as it was difficult at times to actuate the lens release button on the 50-140 and 100-400.

[IMG]

This diagram from the Fujifilm development white paper depicts the reinforcement of the camera frame. The bright white lines are steel (not magnesium) reinforcement ribs and pins to provide the requisite stiffness for supporting these tension loads while still maintaining the optical tolerances (which are at the micron level). These are not insignificant engineering challenges and accomplishments. 
[IMG]

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2 minutes ago, scharfsj said:

Well, I see this gang's overall sensibilities are the same as as ever; lots of negative comments from folks that have not even handled, or more importantly, actually used the camera for real-world applications. 

I bought an X-H1 for my motorsports racing photography, for which I already find it very well suited. 

Now: lets get down to reasons why Fuji built this camera: 

ne of the things I've been posting about on various photo-fora is how much more robust the body on the X-H1 has been engineered to accomodate long, heavy, prime telephotos and the new MK-X Cine lenses. Fujifilm did considerable engineering to strengthen and, most importantly, stiffen the frame and lens mount to be able to mount long, heavy, prime telephotos and the new Cine MK zooms. These "devices", as Fuji refers to them, put a considerable tension load on the lens mount, and thus the lens mount needs to be designly sufficiently robustly to support these loads.

Here's an example: note how much thicker and "beefier" the "support/stiffening ring" around the lens mount is on the X-H1 compared to the X-T2.

The other thing I noted today is that Fuji moved the button for releasing the lens from the lens mount to further away to make it easier to disconnect larger (and wider in diameter) lenses. This little change is a big win for me, as it was difficult at times to actuate the lens release button on the 50-140 and 100-400.

[IMG]

This diagram from the Fujifilm development white paper depicts the reinforcement of the camera frame. The bright white lines are steel (not magnesium) reinforcement ribs and pins to provide the requisite stiffness for supporting these tension loads while still maintaining the optical tolerances (which are at the micron level). These are not insignificant engineering challenges and accomplishments. 
[IMG]

I assume you are a Fuji ambassador or someone who gets free equipment from them ?

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Just now, artuk said:

I assume you are a Fuji ambassador or someone who gets free equipment from them ?

Nope. I buy my own equipment to meet my professional motorsports photojournalism requirements. 

More context about my post above:

Fujifilm from 2017, who said when they were asked if they were going to develop a 200 mm f/2.0 or f/2.8, replied, "A 200 mm f/2.0 would require an entirely new camera body". The engineering work documented in the white paper from Fujifilm on the development of the frame  fully supports that statement.
From the Fujifilm X-H1 development white paper: 
"Let's examine the X-H1. The product planner requested the developers to make the body more robust so that new devices could be installed and the expected camera performance could be realized. In order to make the body more robust, the frame, which is made of magnesium alloys, needed to be strengthened by adding extra thickness. 
The frame is 125% thicker for X-H1, meaning that the frame has almost doubled in volume (1.25 x 1.25 x 1.25 = 1.95). The strength of the frame is almost twice as strong. 
 
Portability and lightweight are the charm of the X Series. This should always be taken into account even when considering an exterior design that is more robust. The designer examined the frame closely and learned where the stress is most/least applied and where the extra strength is most/least needed. With the study, the following structure with pillars jointing the exterior part has been realized, which helped minimize the effect on body size.
 
The development continued. There are certain parts of camera body that needed extra consideration. For example, front body important in terms of ergonomics and operability, but the impact on weight is huge if the entire front body were simply 125% thicker. Another extra consideration was given to the mount. In near future there will be lenses that weigh more than 2kg. (that's 4.4 pounds, guys, that a big-assed, heavy lens)
 
200mm%20f_2.jpg
 
Considerable load would be applied to the mount. The mount needs to withstand the weight of the lens. Photographers move around when they are at work, so additional stress would be applied on top of the lens weight. To withstand the stress, the mount part is reinforced ribs as shown below. The mount itself is thickened (note: per my photograph above) and the ribs gives additional support."
 
Frame%202.jpg

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So, engineering requirements aside, what's the X-H1 like to use in the real world?  Well, personally, I find it to be much like an X-T2, which is truly an excellent camera, but functionally better in every way. 

Some data regarding the size: The X-H1 is WHOPPING 5% larger than the X-T2 in 2 of 3 dimensions, and 10% thicker at its minimum depth dimension, the extra thickness necessary to incorporate the IBIS subsystem. Here is a top view photo showing my Graphite Silver next to my X-H1.

X-H1%20vs%20X-T2%20comparo.jpg

So, while the size difference is "statistically significant", do I find it to be practically significant? 

No, with the exception that the grip is MUCH better than the X-T2's.

Regarding weight: The X-T2 with a RRS L-plate mounted is actually 17 grams heavier (I did the data analysis) than X-H1. Do I ever think about how heavy the X-T2 is when I am using it in the real world with its L-plate mounted? No. 

Do I think, OMG, this X-H1 is SO HEAVY when I am using it in the real world? No. 

The leaf-spring shutter button and 5-spring suspended shutter mech is an absolute joy, the smoothest, silkiest, quietest, best damped focal plane shutter I have ever used, hands down, bar none, from any manufacterer. There is absolutely no "breakover" in actuating the shutter, and it is designed so that no vibration or shock is transferred to the body to interfere with the IBIS system. Incredible and really, really nice. REALLY nice. 

The 3.7 million dot EVF is amazing, fast, clear, and gorgeous to look at  but more importantly, the camera has exceptionally accurate matrix metering, on par with the GFX, which is exemplary. See the photo of Putah Creek Pond below to see how accurately the X-H1 meters to render both shadow detail and capture the highlights in the sky without blowing out. This metering accuracy makes it a snap to edit images by just needing to set black/white points. That's it. By contrast, I found my first X-T2 in matrix metering mode seemed to consistently read the scene as darker than it actually was, thereby overexposing by 1/3 or 1/2 a stop. The X-H1 metering system seems to be much more accurate, and the higher resolution and clearer EVR makes it easier to gauge the exposure preview of the scene. 

40663806314_1bbf738945_o.jpgPutah-Creek-Pond by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr

A lot of folks in the internet "specs geeks" forums have been griping about the removal of the exp comp dial for the submonitor, but in actual use, this has not been a problem for me in any way whatsoever. I have my rear command dial to be able to actuate the exposure comp functionality by a simple press, and then a turn of the dial sets comp quickly and effectively. And the EVF now displays a full ± 5 stops of compensation. And, I don't find that I am inadvertantly bumping the exp comp dial as I often find happens on my X-T2 when I am running around from place to place shooting at the race track. And, having the submonitor has proven to be much more useful than I originally anticipated. It's really nice to be able to glance down at it with lenses like the 18-55 or 10-24 to see what aperture the lens is set at, as well as a panoply of other useful information. When the camera is switched off, its great to be able to see how many frames are left on the card, the available battery capacity, and the exp. comp setting. Bottom line: the more I use the camera, the more I like it. The rear touch screen is great also, and I really like being able to swipe to bring up the auto timer, the RGB histograms, or the roll/pitch gauge on the LCD. Its way cool and very useful.The fact that you can configure it to be only active on a specified part of the screen is a real boon, too, as is the increased eye relief of the new EVF, this lets you look through the viewfinder without getting grease from your nose on the LCD as well as letting you use the touch functions. The next post will show some real world use photographs, including high-speed continuous autofocus. 

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Of course, I had to take it to the race track to try it out. It performed very well and is very responsive. In particular, the back button for autofocus is much improved over the X-T2's. The silkly shutter makes it easy to take multiple frames without the shutter breakover impacting panning or holding the lens by hand. 

Chevrons with Cosworth BDA 2-liter motors are always fast at this track. Fuji X-H1 and 50-140 with 1.4X extender

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Formula Atlantic with Cosworth twin-cam BDA are very fast at Sonoma Raceway. _DSF1491.jpg

Big Aston Martin used as the pace car
Aston%20Martin%20CoA.jpg
 

Porsches! 

_DSF1883-Edit.jpg

_DSF1706.jpg

_DSF1978-Edit-Edit.jpg

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Lastly, just some snaps taken around the Northern California countryside. Nothing particularly special about these, but I was impressed once again with using the EVF to visualize the scene and how accurately the camera metered the exposure. 

These photos were taken along Pleasants Valley Road, between Vacaville and Winters, CA. 

40483743295_12c043b496_o.jpgPleasant-Valley-Rd-Ranch-Mat by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr

40483748805_f47503e984_o.jpgPleasants-Valley-Side-Road by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr

40664072494_2edf46619c_o.jpgPleasants Valley-2 by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr

The California state flower, the California Poppy, in bloom everywhere.

27507382278_3fac17efb0_o.jpgPleasants Valley-1 by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr

Cull Canyon Road, Alameda County

Cull-Canyon-II.jpg

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scharfsj,

I think you may have misunderstood my sentiment. I haven't handled the XH1, but I think having owned an X100 through XT2, I can speak from historical experience. The difference from XE1 to XT1 was incremental and not 'game changing'. Given that experience, I feel that the difference from XT2 to XH1 would be similar. I don't think I'm way off in my estimation, but you can beg to differ and say it ain't so. :)

Personally, for my photography, it is not worth the upgrade from an XT2 for the extra features in the XH1. The other point that I made is that, as the XT1 was, IMO, a beta autofocus camera (its AF was way behind its competitors at that time) , I am not keen on betting on the first iteration of Fuji's IBIS to be as good as its competitors (especially when they previously claimed that they will not be able to add IBIS to the X-mount).

While I want Fuji to succeed, because I love their IQ and handling, I don't feel that the XH1 is enough of a leap for me to invest in it. Pros such as yourself may find certain incremental features critical, but some enthusiasts like me have to make judgement calls.

 

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20 hours ago, raagamuffin said:

scharfsj,

I think you may have misunderstood my sentiment. I haven't handled the XH1, but I think having owned an X100 through XT2, I can speak from historical experience. The difference from XE1 to XT1 was incremental and not 'game changing'. Given that experience, I feel that the difference from XT2 to XH1 would be similar. I don't think I'm way off in my estimation, but you can beg to differ and say it ain't so. :)

Personally, for my photography, it is not worth the upgrade from an XT2 for the extra features in the XH1. The other point that I made is that, as the XT1 was, IMO, a beta autofocus camera (its AF was way behind its competitors at that time) , I am not keen on betting on the first iteration of Fuji's IBIS to be as good as its competitors (especially when they previously claimed that they will not be able to add IBIS to the X-mount).

While I want Fuji to succeed, because I love their IQ and handling, I don't feel that the XH1 is enough of a leap for me to invest in it. Pros such as yourself may find certain incremental features critical, but some enthusiasts like me have to make judgement calls.

 

Well, from the perspective of someone who has spent his professional career in technical product development, let's consider some points regarding product development: 

Any given model of camera from any manufacturer will or will not represent a value proposition (or some degree of a value proposition) to a customer depending on that user's specific needs. From this perspective, you haven't defined (e.g. in the form of requirements, which are measurable, testable or verifiable) what features and functionality you would term as "game-changing", so I can't assess from this absence of context whether or not the the X-H1 would represent a value proposition for you. It may  or may not, I have no way of knowing. 

Regarding the IBIS functionality, in my experience one cannot use past technical development and achievements as a gauge for future technical or functionality development, because this assumes that the R&D team has the same capabilities they had in the past and have not learned anything from their prior product development with respect to being able to execute at a higher level with more sophistication in the future. Personally, I think this view of a company like Fujifilm, with its extensive focus on Voice of Customer, strong requirements management and discipline, extensive set of engineering core competencies, and an established track record of executing at a very high level, does them a disservice and is not the case.  

Now, for some data regarding the IBIS subsystem: I've personally consistently taken sharp photographs handheld at 1/10 and 1/15th of a second and have also seen other photographers (see the video by The Photography Team on YouTube) take sharp photos at shutter speeds as low as 1/4 of a second using the 90mm Fuji lens. Whether or not that meets your requirements, I don't know, because, once again, you have not stated what your requirements are. From what I can gather you've made assumptions in the complete absence of data that you don't think this IBIS will be "up to snuff" because the performance improvement for a completely different functional subsystem (autofocus) between an X-E1 and X-T1, products that were in development 5 years ago, was not a "game-changer". If for that reason you don't think the X-H1 will be sufficient to meet (whatever) your needs are with respect to that, then you should not buy one. 

Here's what I am observing: a lot of folks are looking at the X-H1 as a line extension to the X-T-series. It's not; its a completely NEW line of camera bodies intended for what I would classify as "hard-core" professionals, specifically those that will be working in tough and demanding environments, and will need to frequently use long, fast, heavy prime telephotos or cinema lenses. This is why it has the number "1" after it.  Its intended for sports, motorsports, combat photojournalists, wildlife photographers, studio photographers, and professional videographers, and in some use-cases, those end-users who need stabilize those lenses. If one was in the Canon system, this set of end-users would comprise the photographers that need a Canon 1D-class body. Based on my experience, my view is that that the majority of photographers do not need a Canon 1D-series body, but some, like me, for my professional motorsports photojournalism work do: we need a tough, durable, strong and stiff camera body that can safely mount long, heavy, fast prime teles and not break. 

IMO, the X-H1 is the analog in the Fuji X system to a Canon 1D-series camera. 

What I've found that has been a big added plus are the vastly improved shutter mech, the significantly better EVF, the improved continuous high-speed AF system using parallel processing, the increased matrix metering accuracy, and  improvements in operational efficiency from the addition of the sub-monitor and touchscreen LCD. 

For folks that are still curious if the X-H1 is a significant enough step up in quality and functionality over the X-T2 and therby represents a compelling value proposition, my suggestion would be to rent one and test both them in the real world rather than using conjecture based on spec sheets or photo forum chatter. 

 

 

 

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I thought folks would like to see some examples of the X-H1's IBIS. These are 100% crops of JPEGs. Virtually no editing, sharpening, clarity, dehaze, etc. performed on the photographs other than the crop to 100%. Images rendered at 144 ppi.  Both are photographed at f/9, ISO 800, Fuji 18-55 at 55mm (83 mm 35-e) at 1/10th of a second, handheld. If you click on these they wil open in Flickr, and you can zoom all the way in by clicking again. 

This is my EAR 324 phono stage. 

http://26548111537_963225e5d9_o.jpgEAR 324 Phono Stage by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr

Michell Gyro SE MkiI turntable

http://26548113957_e2e12e3e08_o.jpgTurntable by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr

I should point out that these photos look even sharper when viewed on my 15" Macbook Pro Retina at 220 ppi resolution. 

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Obviously a man who likes precision instruments.

I've followed this discussion for a few days and will now chime in with my 2 cents based on my having had all the Fuji bodies apart from the X-H1 about which I have read extensively and more importantly, seen the results.

I cannot see how their have only been incremental increases in AF performance. Think about it - XP1/XE1 both of which I still have (the XE as IR conv and the XP because I still like the output and don't use it for anything faster than street). There was a a big jump to the AF of the XT1/XT10 especially after FW updates and an even bigger jump to XT2/XT20 and XP2/XE3. That is basically a jump of two models from first XP1 to latest iteration XT2 - surely you cannot say there is anything but a great improvement in those 2 bodies XP1 to XT2 and therefore the in-between step could not have been merely incremental. There are FW updates coming to XT2 in May which will bring it closer to the XH1 AF in some respects and new firmware was released yesterday for the XT20.

I will not be moving to the XH1 because I can't afford to. Neither do I welcome the 25% increase in weight for my older and slightly arthritic hands.10 years ago it wouldn't have concerned me - but 10 years ago I was able shoot FF Nikons. The loss of the ev dial on the XH1annoys me but I have to admit that it is the loss of one "retro" dial to become a previously disliked electronic display - a nail in the retro coffin which was just one reason I came to Fuji over 6 yrs ago. However, that new display shows the ev setting even with the camera switched off just the same. It's not as good as knowing all my settings without switching on but then again - those annoying Fuji lenses without aperture markings will show the aperture in the top display while switched - on which is a plus.

The larger handgrip might seem a backward step size-wise but I've had to buy an extra grip all my other Fujis. I would not buy the extra battery pack because I do not need it and could not carry it but having the option makes the camera better for pros or those who do shoot a lot of action. When I shot Nikon and my hands were becoming a problem, I swapped from D3S with built-in pack to the D700 with optional pack so the X-H1 offers a similar choice.

IBIS, about which I have been dismissive is still something I don't need. I can still shoot at less than the reciprocal of FL - but I am not blind to the fact that IBIS will allow me to handhold my 16-55 f2.8, my f1.4 primes, 60mm f2.4 and 90mm f2 either in lower light or at smaller apertures for the greater DoF I usually prefer from my WA lenses. It is not enough to sway me though. These days, if shooting circumstances are difficult I put my camera away - usually to my wife's relief.

The X-H1 should not be seen as a replacement for the XT/XP range which will continue nor as an offering to the average shooter but simply as another option for Fuji photographers - especially pros who have little if any brand loyalty beyond the cost of replacing lenses and for those enthusiasts who demand the ultimate performance from their chosen brand.

It's all good and improvements will filter down to other models in time.

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scharfsj,

You make a couple of interesting points, one is that a person shouldn't make any judgements about a product without using it. The second is that previous experience doesn't count as R&D would've made great strides. Both are valid as statements on their own. 

Taking the second statement, I feel that R&D couldn't have made such great strides in a year, unless they were lying when they said IBIS cannot be supported on the X-mount or were holding out on research. For the first statement, I agree to some extent. The only caveat I will offer is that having used the company's products in the past, and having understood its corporate culture (for example, Kaizen is one, their conservative approach is another), I don't think its a stretch to think that their products will have conservative elements. 

Another point you took exception to was my idea of 'game changer' for the X-T1 when compared to the XE1. I will explain it as a device that would've been up to par with the competing products in the market at that time, which the X-T1 clearly wasn't, even if many  Fuji X photographers were fawning over the AF at that time, which was mediocre at best. Either they didn't have the technology, or were holding back at that time. I feel that the XT2 has the AF that would be considered a 'game changer' (even if its slightly slower compared to similar cameras in its class today).

As I said earlier, I am not looking to say that the X-H1 is a bad product, just that given Fuji's previous history, I am not convinced that the X-H1 would be a significant departure from the XT2 given its release timeframe. I'd be curious as to your opinion on the IQ of the XT2 vs the XH1. I agree I should use the XH1, and I will take your advice and try it out and give you my feedback. I will have to take a trip to B&H soon. 

Cheers !

 

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Hi Ragamuffin,

Sorry for my delay in replying; I haven't stopped by here for a week or so.

I think the key way to think about the X-H1 is based on the needs of the user, and that is in fact, how Fujfilm approached its design and engineering. 

With respect to the terms "significant departure", it all depends on what one means by significant departure. I would posit that, on the whole, the X-H1 is not a significant departure from the X-T2 when it comes to sensor technology, image processing, out-and-out image quality, DR, noise performance, etc. It is a significant departure with respect to lens stabilizaton, video, and most importantly for me, robustness and ruggedness of construction. How important those things are, though, really depends on the needs of the end-user. As I mentioned previously, I think the main point of this camera has been missed by many reviewers, both review sites and video "YouTube"-types.

In my personal view, this camera was designed to be able to mount and (stably) use long, fast, heavy prime telephones and professional level zoom or prime cine lenses for professional photojournalism and videography/cinematography applications or use-cases.  The IBIS subsystem supports those applications and use-cases by adding stabilization when using these larger, faster, and heavier lenses. 

I'm still of the view that the X-H1 is a Canon 1D-series of body, and most folks do not need this level of engineering specification. But those that do, the kind of guys I predominantly shoot with, do.

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