What’s the Difference? We Ask the Expert.
Following up the FUJIFILM X-H2S camera launch in May, Fujifilm just introduced X-H2. Externally, the twin flagship APS-C-format mirrorless cameras are indistinguishable. Inside, where the image making happens, it’s a different story. To find out what the differences are and the thinking that went into the development of the models, we spoke with Victor Ha, Vice President, Electronic Imaging Division & Optical Devices Division, FUJIFILM North America Corporation.
They look alike. What are the differences?
“In two words, the defining differentiators are performance and resolution,” Victor replied. “X-H2S is all about performance. It has the fastest autofocus and category-leading subject tracking—not only with stills but in video mode, too. It can do 6.2K Open Gate video—the entire diagonal of the sensor is recorded, not a cropped portion. X-H2S also creates in 4K 120p, and it records ProRes internally to a CFexpress card. These features are unprecedented in such a compact camera.
“Conversely, FUJIFILM X-H2 is indexed for resolution. It’s hard to believe a camera its size features a 40-megapixel sensor. Photographers who want to enjoy an exciting outdoor adventure don’t have to worry about size or weight and don’t have to take a gigantic camera or lens. X-H2 can be carried to new places. Can you imagine someone climbing Mt. Everest with several pounds of photo gear?
“On the video production side, X-H2 is still quite capable. It delivers 8K video and ProRes capture at a size and price unheard of.”
Performance and resolution. FUJIFILM X-H2S features a 26-megapixel stacked BSI sensor supported by Fujifilm’s X Processor 5. Based on scientific testing, X-H2S is capable of 13+ stops of dynamic range. The newly introduced X-H2 has a 40-megapixel BSI sensor and uses the same X Processor 5. It delivers tested and user-verified 14+ stops of dynamic range. Both cameras feature 7 stops of image stabilization.
Physical dimensions of X-H2S and X-H2 are the same. Both measure 5.4×3.7×3.3 inches and weigh 23.2 ounces.
To be clear, X-H2S and X-H2 are built on the same body fitted with different sensors. The performance-optimized X-H2S is priced at $2,499; the resolution-indexed X-H2 is $1,999.
How was it decided to develop two models?
“We listen carefully to customer feedback and try to produce products with features that satisfy users’ needs and solve their perceived issues,” Victor explained. “For example, both offer extended dynamic range; that’s important to users. Both can do ProRes internally. And our building an APS-C mirrorless with a 40-megapixel sensor is a huge win for photographers. We extend photographers’ abilities by producing tools they need.
“It made sense that we address the two predominate requests from photographers: the need for maximum speed and performance, and the need for extremely high resolution.”
What are the target markets?
“Photographers, ideally, should carry both cameras. They are identical cameras with different specification profiles. Physically, the cameras feel the same and have the same menu system, control layout and operation. So, there’s no confusion when switching from one to the other. No clumsy unlearning necessary. Gone are the days when serious photographers carried a lower spec body as a backup and shifted mental gears because they operated differently.
“For professional photographers who want cameras to meet specific needs, Fujifilm offers two choices: for maximum resolution choose XH2; for fastest performance and for filmmakers, XH2S.”
What’s the best way to sell Fujifilm cameras?
“You have to start with Fujifilm lenses,” Victor said. “We have the broadest range of lenses available. Their optical performance is second to none.”
Fujifilm is dominant in the broadcast optics arena. Some of the most expensive lenses in the world—lenses used by Hollywood studios, independent filmmakers, network news teams and other professionals—are Fujinon lenses. It speaks volumes that people who control multimillion dollar production budgets, who can choose literally any optics under the sun and for whom price doesn’t enter the equation, use Fujifilm lenses because of their superior performance.
“But it goes way beyond the glass,” Victor added. “Fujifilm cameras are legendary for delivering unbeatable colors. They also are supported by incredible customer service and an outstanding service/repair department. That’s what keeps Fujifilm customers coming back.”
The secret behind those famous “Fujifilm colors” users brag about?
“It’s no secret. We have an 85-year-plus history of accurately measuring and reproducing color. It goes beyond our famous roots in manufacturing superb color film. Our company is built on color. It’s the color that sets Fujifilm apart from every other manufacturer in this space.
“Color quality has two aspects. The first is accuracy based on correct rendering of the white point. The second is memory. Color memory creates the way we felt when we made the image. That’s what sets us apart. Color is about feeling and emotion, not just the ones and zeros that control digital cameras. This is reflected in the popularity of our film simulations. We believe the person who created an image felt something, and Fujifilm cameras can help bring that feeling to life.”
Anything to add?
“In addition to making great products, Fujifilm has an incredible community,” Victor added. “We have an amazing group of passionate people. XH2 and XH2S meet the needs of our users and give them the opportunity to tell their amazing stories.
“We enable storytelling, image making and communication with other humans—without words. Fujifilm is part of that conversation based on our dedication to make sure we don’t lose the craft. Image making is not easy. A new camera can make great pictures. But in the hands of a capable photographer, a camera can change the world.”