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1st thoughts on the Fujifilm XH2s

Feat. Fanny, Juliette, Isabelle & Manon

Not the camera I would turn to spec-wise for photography now… Back when I was shooting live events, live theater, concerts, dance performances and fast moving athletes, it would have been a great companion for me. But I was given the opportunity to test it for a few weeks, so let's forget for a moment that I usually work with the GFX100s, and let's make a couple sessions with only the Fujifilm XH2s!

Lets get the boring stuff out of the way. It can shoot stills at up to 40fps (15fps with mechanical shutter), and capture full-sensor 6.2K video or 4K at up to 120 frames per second.

Here are the Key specs of the XH2s

  • 26MP APS-C Stacked CMOS sensor with X-Trans color filter pattern

  • Continuous shooting at up to 40fps with no blackout (15 with mech shutter).

  • Improved AF tracking and subject recognition AF

  • Image stabilization rated at up to 7EV

  • 6.2K 'open-gate' video from sensor's full 3:2 region

  • DCI or UHD 4K video from full width, up to 60p

  • Slow-mo DCI or UHD 4K from up to 120fps capture (with crop)

  • Choice of codecs including ProRes HQ, Std and LT options

  • F-Log 2 from 14-bit readout gives additional dynamic range

  • 5.76M dot OLED viewfinder with 0.8x magnification and up to 120fps refresh

  • CFexpress Type B and UHS-II SD slots

Like always these are the specs that matter to me. I will talk about the video performance a bit more in a future dedicated video. The biggest improvement in my opinion is its autofocus. It received a major boost, with better subject-recognition capabilities, and improved tracking.

It’s fast, and accurate and I ended up rejecting fewer images in post. It took me a bit of time to get used to the size of the body and lenses. My GFX100s is much bigger, so it felt sometimes as if I was holding a tiny toy camera. This is great for street photography and travel as it takes less space in the bag, and allows you to be discreet.

Did I get used to the look and feel of the images I got from this camera? Did you even see the difference in my feed on Instagram? Given how instagram ruins your images, I do not think so. Here are a few images from 4 different sessions, 4 different environments and assignments:

Juliette Baud ( Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm XH2S + XF50mm f/1.0 R WR

1/250sec f/1.0 ISO 80

We used a small flash for the 1st image. An AD300pro placed camera right. The 2nd picture was shot without flash as we preferred the look of the light passing through the trees.

For the following image, I posted for Premium members a speed-edit and breakdown of the main steps of my retouching process in Photoshop:

Juliette Baud ( Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm XH2S + XF50mm f/1.0 R WR

1/250sec f/1.0 ISO 80

It took me a while to get used to the button placements. I don’t like where some of them are placed, especially when reviewing the images. The Grip feels good, and since I am used to Fuji menus, I wasn’t really lost here. Image wise it felt great to retouch smaller files with less resolution. A 100 megapixels can be too much at times.

Fanny George (Strasbourg - France)

Fujifilm XH2S + XF50mm f/1.0 R WR

1/1600sec f/1.0 ISO 80

UPDATE! The complete BTS of the following images (and complete gallery) is now available here: Ballerina photoshoot - Danse ma biche

Isabelle Ménard (Le showroom / Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm XH2S + XF50mm f/1.0 R WR

1/125sec f/1.0 ISO 80

Isabelle Ménard (Le showroom / Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm XH2S + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

1/125sec f/2.8 ISO 125 at 17mm

UPDATE! The complete behind the scenes video and gallery is now available on blog: Behind the scenes fitness photoshoot.

I had the chance to meet with Manon once again. We have worked together multiple times in the past. She is one of my favorite Fitness model, I really love working with her. Everytime we meet, I know we will make dope pictures, even when the weather and light is awful...

Manon Vergé (Strasbourg - France)

Fujifilm XH2S + XF50mm f/1.0 R WR

1/250sec f/1.0 ISO 250

Manon Vergé (Strasbourg - France)

Fujifilm XH2S + XF50mm f/1.0 R WR

1/400sec f/1.0 ISO 80

The Testimonial video I made for Fujifilm last summer, was almost entirely shot with the XH2s, this time in 4K and prores. This allowed us to work fast, we knew the footage wouldn’t require a heavy lifting.

Just in case you missed them, here are the links to the articles and extended videos:

I shot a dance video filmed in 6K open gate and prores not so long ago. It was published on my 2nd YouTube channel, and also on VIMEO. I worked solo, paired the XH2s with the DJI RS2, and everything was filmed in 6K Prores HQ recorded internally. I will dive further into this once I will have a bit more experience in video with this camera.

The fact that this camera has a full size HDMI port, and records prores HQ internally is a big plus. You have access to Prores RAW with a compatible recorder like the Ninja V. If my project isn’t too big I can edit the prores files directly on my 4 years old computer without proxies. I was impressed by the performance in both photography and video of the Canon R3. The XH2s is still a bit behind with its autofocus, it is still an APSc sensor, and doesn’t have internal RAW. But I believe it has a few appealing aspects that could make you think twice… Especially when you look at the price.

Like I said earlier in the video, my work and clients have changed through the years. When I started, I would have looked seriously at this camera. I was a Canon shooter for years, and don’t get me wrong, I loved working with the Canon 550D, the R, 5D mark II and IV and R5. I switched to full frame at the time because I thought it was the way to go as a professional. Now that I am much older, wiser, sensor size matters less for me.

As long as I love the image I get, as long as the system I am using makes it easy for me to create my images for me and my clients then I am good. If I can save a few bucks in the process, I can invest in lenses or accessories… then it’s definitely a plus!

Learn more about the Fujifilm XH2s:


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