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MAARTECH | Tuesday August 20, 2019

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Fujifilm X-H1

| On 28, May 2019

August 2018 (revised May 2019)

Fujifilm Canada knew I loved the X-T2 – they extended the loan after I reviewed it so I could continue to shoot with it. When they called and asked me to sign an NDA for a new video-centric camera – I rushed over in a snowstorm to see it.

While I was very excited by the promise of the Fujifilm X-H1, the initial firmware release had some issues, so when Fujifilm promised an upgrade I put down the camera and waited.

This review is based on firmware 1.11 (the current version is 2.01) – and it fixed the lockups and resets I experienced with the initial release. For the most part this post is a cleaned up version of the script used for the video. I’ve provided links to jump to the appropriate section of the video if you’d like a visual reference.

Overview

The X-H1 is a 24 megapixel APS-C camera supporting 4K video in both cinema and video aspects with Flog for extended dynamic range. It uses X-mount lenses, has an electronic viewfinder, dual card slots and an optional battery grip, which provides additional flexibility for video and portrait mode shooting.

In the preview video, created using a pre-production model, I provided an overview of the functional details.

Preview

The X-H1  is larger in every dimension than the X-T2. The magnesium alloy body is deeper and designed to withstand the kind of handling it might encounter in heavy duty shooting. It’s weather and waterproof and designed for temperatures down to -10C (14F). The body weighs 673 grams (22 ounces) with battery and memory card.

With the battery grip, the total weight is 1700 grams (61 ounces).

The X-mount lens mount is sturdier and has improved weather proofing.

This is the first Fujifilm model to include in-body stabilization. It’s a full 5 axis in-body gyro stabilization, providing over 5 stops of added range.

This kit includes the battery grip – a new version for the X-H1 and three batteries.

Here are my affiliate links to check the prices – note that I earn a small commission from these links if you purchase a product, and that helps to support this blog and my YouTube channel.

B&H Photo

Fujfilm X-H1 body

Fujifilm X-H1 kit with body and grip

Amazon

Fujifilm X-H1 body

Fujifilm X-H1 kit with body and grip

Included Accessories

Fujifilm includes a cable clamp to prevent HDMI, audio and USB cables from becoming accidentally disconnected. And while there are full brick battery chargers for both the grip and the internal battery – there’s no USB cable, which considering the USB-3 connector and the ability for tethered shooting enabled here, seems a miss. The EF-X8 flash is included.

Lenses

For most of my shooting, I used the XF 16-55 lens. It matches the camera nicely, and looks and feels substantial, with Fuji’s nice attention to both design and manufacturing detail.

Fujifilm has also released two MK cinema lenses for X-mount, an 18-55 T2.9 and a 50-135 T2.9. They feature a seamless iris and are fully parfocal for smooth zooms.

Physical Details

The grip is nice and deep, and with lots of clearance beside the lens. The shutter release is slanted forward and has a nice smooth action. It’s almost too smooth, as it triggers a little too easily. Although I haven’t yet taken advantage, there is a warranty repair available to make it stiffer.

The physical controls, ISO and shutter speed dials – with collars for drive and meter mode, are the same as the X-T2 – I like the physical controls, and that meter collar makes meter selection a setting I actually use. The back panel has a lot of empty space – and the buttons are larger, more rounded and sit higher than the X-T2.

There’s no exposure compensation dial, that’s set using the front or rear dial. My thumb lands perfectly on the AF-On back focus button.

Settings are also displayed in an LCD panel on top – shutter speed, aperture, meter and ISO. And icons for mode, quality, white balance and film simulation.

When you turn the X-H1 off, the screen still displays the battery levels and remaining card capacity, that’s useful. In video mode – the remaining time for video is displayed. The screen illuminates with a button press.

While the defaults are fine, using the menu, the LCD status panel is fully customizable. The background colour and text can be reversed, and all of the options can be selected and modified – the kind of thoughtful touch that makes Fujifilm a favourite of many photographers.

The focus joystick is nicely positioned for my thumb, but this is also a touch screen, with touchpad operation while shooting with the viewfinder.

The position of the exposure compensation key is slightly awkward compared to other Fujifilm models where there’s a dedicated dial.

The battery grip replicates the buttons for shooting while holding the camera sideways in portrait mode.

Setup

When you turn the X-H1 on the first time, after selecting the language, it asks to pair with your smartphone. That’s done with the free Fujifilm camera remote app and uses bluetooth.

One click on the phone, one on the camera, and we’re done. Now no need to set the time.

The SD UHS-II card type is supported in both slots, you’ll see why in a minute. On Save Data Setup, dual recording is an option for stills, but not for video – at least there’s auto switching from one card to the other while recording.

Video settings

The menu provides four screens of video settings, with a selector for resolution, frame and data rate. In the first column 4K – 16×9 – or UHD – and 17×9 , for the full 4096 cinema width – also both aspect ratios in 1080,  in 720 only 16×9.

Frame rates up to 30 in UHD 4K,  only 24 in cinema4K – but settings to select either drop frame for video or non-drop for theatrical projection.

The data rates are higher than most of the competition. 200 Mbps for all 4K resolutions and frame rates. That will be good, and you’ll need UHS-II.

The 1080 setting maxes to 100 Mbps, not as nice, but still above average. The high speed menu settings record only in HD only, and are silent. They provide five time slow for 24 frame, four time for 25 and 30 and two time for 50 and 60.

The X-H1’s silent control disables the dials which may create clicking sounds on audio, and also locks your settings to prevent accidental adjustment. The additional capability enabled when this feature is active is that exposure settings (aperture, shutter, ISO) become independent from the stills settings.

The video menu screen settings provide further independence from the stills settings. This enables you to select film simulation, white balance and other settings for video and have them switch automatically as you switch from stills to video.

For a hybrid camera, that makes switching modes much simpler.

Film simulations include a new cinema style – Eterna. It’s designed to provide subdued colour and better shadow detail – and works best with a 400% dynamic range, promising the equivalent of 12 stops of range. Setting the dynamic range to 400% also forces the ISO to a minimum of 800.

The full review video includes a XYLA chart and compares Eterna to my preferred Chrome simulation.

A custom white balance can be captured in video mode, an improvement over prior Fujifilm models where custom white balance could be captured only in stills mode. It’s nice to have this aggravation addressed. Thanks to the Fujifilm engineers.

The X-H1 supports F-Log for expanded dynamic range recordings. F-Log can be recorded on the SD card as well as exported via HDMI to an external recorder. Fujifilm says that F-Log is compliant with the BT 2020 standard. With F-Log on, the film simulations are disabled, and the minimum ISO is 800. Fujifilm provides a free LUT to decode F-Log footage.

Those features really signify a dramatic upgrade from the X-T2, and it’s no surprise that they’ve re-branded this camera into a new line.

Focus

In addition to the single, zone and wide focus modes, the All setting enables the front dial to select all sizes and all modes in a carousel. In video mode, the focus area size is less flexible than stills, with a single fixed size.

There are five AFC presets, and a sixth to fine-tune the three AFC parameters.

Focus tracking sensitivity has a video setting, adjustable from quick to locked on in 5 steps

AF Speed, can be set to 11 levels from fast to slow.

Focus speeds have improved – acquisition is rated at .06 seconds, the minimum aperture is reduced from F11 to F8. Shutter lag is .045 second.

Face and eye detect in stills includes the ability to select a previous eye (left or right). Face detect is available in video – but eye detect isn’t.

Internal and External recording

The HDMI selections for dual recording include 4K on SD and 1080 on HDMI or the reverse, or 4K only to HDMI. 4K outputs to HDMI only when the info display is off. With 1080, both or just HDMI recordings. The X-H1 has time limits for video recording – 15 minutes body only, 30 minutes with the grip. There are no limits on HDMI recording – the countdown timer which appears for SD recordings doesn’t even display.

Audio

The audio sub menu sets levels in decibels with independent settings for internal and external mics – that’s nice to have. The limiter can be disabled, there are wind and low cut filters and the headphone volume control is here – a convenience I appreciate.

A combination of tally light options are available to show you’re recording both in front and in back.

LCD Screen

The X-H1’s LCD is a full touch screen. Touch to focus and shoot, just focus or select focus area.

Touch works to makes selections using the Q menu, but not the main menu.

Touch options can also be selected from the menu, seems easier to do it on screen.

There’s an over-riding setting to turn touch on, or off in setup button dial setting screen three. There are also settings to choose which area of the screen functions as a touch pad, to select the focus point while shooting with the viewfinder – an interesting feature, but I much prefer the joystick.

The LCD screen flips up and down, and has the Omar Robles portrait mode for shooting low to the ground.

The viewfinder’s resolution is upped to 3690 kdot OLED, and is visibly brighter than the X-T2.

Shutter

The shutter options include mechanical and electronic and include specific control over the front curtain – some combinations enable shutter speeds up to 1 over 32 thousand.

The mechanical shutter sound is subtle – the electronic shutter can be completely silent, or with three sound effects selected on the setup menu.

A few more new things …

The burst mode tops to eight frames with mechanical shutter and without the grip up to fourteen with electronic shutter and the grip.

In the setup menu, in addition to the preview in manual mode selection – essentially to emulate an optical viewfinder when in manual mode – there’s also Natural Live View – off shows all the settings, including film sim and white balance, on doesn’t.

A setting select the aperture unit when shooting with a cinema lens – this displays T-stops for MKX lenses.

Dual display – a nice focus feature that’s mostly overlooked can now be set with the larger frame as framing or focus.

Tethered shooting, using Fuji’s free X Acquire app is supported – with both wireless and USB connections. And of course, remote shooting with the smartphone app.

Detailed Review

There were many viewer questions posted about the preview notes above – I’ll include my answers as we proceed with more detail.

The firmware upgrade fixed some issues, but others remain. When an external monitor is connected, switching to playback is not tolerated. Luckily it recovers when powered off and on – previously it required battery removal to reset.

Large Display

In the video you’ll see a new setting which provides larger on-screen displays – an option that’s available for both viewfinder and LCD. However, while using the larger version, there’s no manual focus distance meter. While some items like histogram and level are shared, there’s also a new customization panel for the larger display settings. The PASM indicator doesn’t appear in large display, and if a setting, like shutter speed is missing, that means it’s in auto mode – change to manual and it appears.

Focus Bracket

The X-H1 has a focus bracket setting. In the video you’ll see a set of nesting dolls which are about 30 centimeters (12 inches) front to back. Using the 50-140 at F2.8 fully zoomed in, the closest doll is at the closest focus distance. One thing about focus bracket is that it requires some trial and error to determine the right number of images (about 70 images here) with 10 units.

A shutter press starts a focus burst changing focus and taking images. If needed, inter-image delays of up to ten seconds can be selected. I used manual in the demo in the video.

In playback of the bracket images, there’s no in-camera selection -where you touch the image to select the focus point – but these are full resolution images, not 8 megapixel captures from a video file. There’s no in-camera stacking – but that’s easily done in Photoshop to create a composite of the in-focus images, to create an image with all the dolls in focus. Macro photographers everywhere rejoicing.

Exposure Settings

Physical exposure dials for aperture – on the lens; shutter speed – top right and ISO – top left make it simple to take control. And all have an A position – when you want to take advantage of the camera’s ability for auto exposure for any or all three of the exposure parameters.

There’s no mode dial – but in the standard screen display, the bottom left shows P A S or M depending on which settings are in Auto.

The settings are also displayed on the top panel’s info display. Fujifilm calls this the sub monitor.

When it’s off, the displays shows the remaining card space – images in stills mode, time in video mode – as well as battery status.

There are both black on white and white on black display options – and like other screens, an extensive customization of the displayed items, set independently for stills and video.

I’m still using the defaults.

There is one real advantage to the sub monitor – when shooting with a lens, like the 18-135 that has an aperture ring but no markings – the screen displays the aperture.

I like the meter collar under the shutter dial – and not having to dive into the menu to change the meter means now I’m actually using settings other than matrix.

In the menu, there’s an option to interlock the focus with the spot meter – it’s on by default.

The left side meter scale is very useful in manual mode.

In other modes it’s exposure value, by default press the EV button and simultaneously turning the dial.

If you find that awkward, there is a menu option to change it to a toggle instead of hold to adjust. There’s also an option to switch the function of the rear dial. Then just turn to adjust.

But wait, there’s another setting for the back dial.

By default, press and it engages the focus magnifier.

Then turn to change the magnification.

My preference, in manual focus, is to have the magnifier engage automatically when I turn the focus ring – set that up by turning focus check on.

The dial’s shutter speed settings are in 1 stop increments. For the intermediate adjustments, use the back dial which selects 1 and 2 thirds up and down from any setting. The dial is also used for settings faster than 8000.

If the control seems not to be working, remember that  you just set the EV to toggle, so press it once to return to shutter adjustment.

And for fussy video shooters, in video mode, 1/48 is available – so you can shoot 24 frame with an exact 180 degree shutter.

ISO

Fuji offers three AutoISO settings – each with a default, a maximum and a minimum shutter speed.

The dial selects from 200 to 12,800 as well as L and H, which are configured in the menu – somehow that’s with the button dial settings.

There are three low settings and two high – up to 51,200.

The trick here is to set the ISO Dial to Command.

Now if the ISO dial is at A, turning the front dial covers the entire range from 100 to 51.2 and then the three auto settings.

When exposure preview is off you won’t see the actual exposure of the image you’re about to take. When its on (the default), you’ll see the exposure change in the image as well as the meter.

What’s odd is that when the preview is off, the histogram doesn’t work.

With some cameras offering stratospheric ISOs, the X-H1’s 51,2000 seems limited – and grain starts to appear at 12.8. However, even at 51.2, it remains free of extraneous colour noise. So maybe better to have less.

Touch

Touch functionality – displayed in the top right, includes tap and snap,

tap to focus and focus area selection.

The screen can be used as a focus selection touch pad when shooting with the viewfinder

And the touch function works even when an external monitor is connected – that’s unexpected.

There are four touch swipe modes to activate various functions, however, I’ve not been able to figure out the secret to make this work consistently.

Touch also works for the Q menu, but not the main menu.

As long as we’re here – as noted above, the shutter button on the X-H1 is very sensitive. I often use the shutter button to close the menu – at first I was regularly starting video recording or snapping a picture. I’ve learned to be more light fingered.

The sound of the shutter is also fairly quiet, much quieter than the X-T2.

There are multiple shutter options in addition to the default mechanical shutter – which supports shutter speeds up to 1/8000.

The electronic shutter goes up to 1/32000, and it is silent.

There is electronic with a front curtain – also very quiet.

The electronic front mode reduces the shutter lag slightly.

A combined mode shoots mechanical up to 1/8000 then switches to electronic for higher speeds

Another combination shoots electronic up to 1/2000 then mechanical to 1/8000.

One final adds electronic for shooting up to 1/32000 to the previous.

Stabilization

The X-H1 has in-body stabilization – a new feature for Fuji.

You can see it working when using the expanded view in manual focus – in the video you’ll see that it’s clearly much more stable.

There are lots of way to evaluate stabilization. I like to see how long a shutter I can handhold.

With stabilization off, I’m losing it at 1/8th. Then with it on, I can get down to a second, for one of my favourite shots, blurred traffic.

Customization

If you’re starting to be overwhelmed by all the menu options, rest assured that most of what I’ve just covered is a one time configuration to get the dials working the way you need.

What I’m not showing you is the aggravation of the Fujifilm menu system, which resets to screen one each time – making fine-tuning or testing settings overly cumbersome.

The solution here is to use the my menu configurations.

Which is handy, but many of the items we’ve been adjusting and I’d like to add – like button dial settings – are not available.

Format, which I use just about daily, is also not available, but there’s a two button shortcut – hold down the delete garbage can and press the rear command dial.

Flash

The small EF-X8 flash is included, slide it on and raise it.

The menu includes an extensive capability to control the F8 and other external flash units.

TTL, manual and commander modes are available.

Focus

Focus options are selected using a switch on the front side.

Before selecting the focus area, set AF mode to ALL.

Then press the focus joystick to select the area.

With ALL, turning the front dial cycles through all six sizes of single point, three sizes of zone and whole screen,

in single, or tracking, in continuous.

This is the 91 point screen – the larger inside points are phase detect, the smaller outer are contrast.

Or switch to the 325 point selection screen.

There are some focus limitations. I wish Fujifilm would document these restrictions in the manual. Finding them while you’re shooting can be frustrating.

In stills, single focus mode face detection works, identifying faces, switch to face plus eye  to detect an eye – or if it identifies the right eye and you want the left, that can be forced.

In continuous focus mode, face, but not eye, is available.

In video mode, turning face detection on forces continuous.

Face detect for video has its own menu position, and the eye detect settings are dimmed out.

But switch to 4K, and although it isn’t dimmed out, face detect no longer works.

In operation, with my index finger on the shutter, my thumb falls nicely on the AF-On key and like other focus operations, it’s speedy and confident.

Manual Focus

For manual focus, in addition to expanded view, press and hold the rear dial to switch to digital split image, and the focus peak mode.

The MF assist setting in the menu offers multiple colour and sensitivity options

In the viewfinder, press DISP to switch to dual view, which displays a second window with the focus area, while the larger window shows the whole frame.

In the setup menu, dual display can switch these, so that the focus window is the larger frame. This display is not available in video mode.

One feature I’m enjoying – when the monitor screen is flipped up, the eye sensor stops working – which means that if you’re holding the camera close, it no longer turns off the LCD.

Back Focus

Daniele asked about back focus. In the setup button dial setting, function settings include the AF-On button.

By default, the AF-On button initiates focus..

It works in manual focus mode.

Use the button/dial menu to disable the shutter and focus interlock for either single or continuous auto focus modes.

White Balance, Colour Profiles and Film Simulations

By default the right control pad button selects the white balance. In addition auto and a selection of presents, Kelvin can be set and three custom settings can be captured and saved using a gray card.

A white balance shift can be created with adjustments across the blue and red axis.

Use the Q menu to adjust the highlight, shadow, colour and sharpness – sadly these settings are not interactive.

Use the menu to adjust the grain effect setting – off, weak and strong.

Of course, Fuji’s signature colour management feature is the film simulations – providing adjustments to emulate the look of analog film stocks like provia, velvia, and astia as well as the digital only classic chrome.

There are pro negative high and standard,

Eterna or cinema, which I’ll cover with video.

Then Acros – a black and white film with three filters as well as a standard mono with the same filters and then sepia.

It’s worth noting that if you’re shooting RAW plus JPEG, these settings are applied only to the JPEG file. Personally, I often shoot in mono, as I feel it enhances my creativity. It’s nice to have the colour data in the RAW file, just in case.

Dual Slot Settings

RAW settings include lossless compression and uncompressed.

Save Data Setup configures how files are saved using the dual slots.

Sequential fills one card before switching to the other

Backup records to both

RAW JPEG records each type on it’s own card.

Video can be assigned to either slot, but there is no backup option for video.

Peter asked about select folder, which can customize the last five characters following the assigned three digits. After the folder is created, it won’t appear on the card until an image is taken.

Once you have multiple folders on the card, select the folder where you wish to store images. Note that select is only available with the sequential setting.

While I frequently say that memory is inexpensive enough that I never use anything less than the maximum setting to save every possible bit of data – it’s worth noting that a 64GB SD card can hold 984 images of uncompressed RAW + JPEG fine. Switching to lossless compressed increases that by over 50% to 1607. Maybe …

Dynamic Range

Two settings control the dynamic range – with auto the  X-H1 uses 100 or 200 percent – higher values are used for scenes that have a wider contrast range.

There’s an interconnect with ISO – 200% is available with ISOs of 400 to 12.8; 400% fr om 800 to 12.8.

I find this most useful when shooting interiors with windows looking out onto sunlit scenes, where you will see a difference between 100 and 400% – both images at ISO 800.

A second way to manage high dynamic range is with D Range priority – weak, strong or auto. Weak works with ISO from 400 to 12.8, strong 800 to 12.8.

Note that engaging this setting over-rides the dynamic range setting.

Depending on the scene, I’m still using trial and error to find the right setting.

Custom Settings

To simplify the complexity of changing a selection of settings from one situation to another, up to seven custom settings can be created with specific white balance, dynamic range, grain and film sims.

These can be assigned to any of the custom buttons, including the four swipe motions.

Once assigned, press the button to select the custom setting.

Connectivity

Once paired, and with Bluetooth on, the camera can be set to sync time and GPS location data with the phone.

Both Bluetooth pairing and GPS icons appear on screen when they’re active. Worth noting that if it gets annoying, in spite of the extensive display customizations, there isn’t one to control the GPS icon.

Images can be set to auto transfer, although with an iPhone, you do have to manually select the camera’s WIFI network.

The LED on the right of the back panel flashes if there are pictures remaining to transfer.

The remote control is fairly robust – it can set aperture, shutter speed, ISO and select the film simulation. It can take stills or video.

Advanced Filters

I did play extensively with the advanced filters – a position on the drive dial – and wrote about that for Fujilove magazine. The individual settings are selected from the drive menu’s advanced filter setting. Or press the front fun2 button.

Although these are mostly gimmicky, I did find some useful capabilities. And they’re kind of fun to play with when you’re bored.

Panorama

One dial setting past advanced filters to panorama.

Use angle to select two sizes, M – 6400 pixels wide and L 9600 pixels.

And four directions – here’s my tip, use large and top to bottom, turn the camera to portrait and sweep the scene left to right for the best panorama results, with a vertical dimension of 2160 pixels, instead of 1440.

And did you notice that the display rotates to portrait mode when you turn the camera? Isn’t that nice? It happens in both LCD and viewfinder.

Continuous/Burst

On the other side of the drive dial, there are three burst modes – CL, CM and CH.

For burst test, I recorded Fine JPEGs to a UHS II card, with manual exposure and focus settings. I activated the performance boost, set the drive dial to CH – continuous high.

The highest available with the mechanical shutter is 8 frames – and that’s a fact, a solid and continuous 8 frames per second for as long as you hold down the shutter – 479 images in 60 seconds without stuttering. Impressive.

Switching to the silent shutter, 14 frames are available, and there’s no indication that you’re shooting, except that the on-screen settings have disappeared.

It does capture 14 frames for the first two seconds, but then slows quickly to about 8 per, and the 60 second total is actually slightly less – 475.

With the optional battery grip, and switching back to the mechanical shutter,

now 11 frames are available and recorded – for six seconds, then stuttering and slowing,

rather dramatically, to about 5 per second, a total of 147 in 20 seconds.

So, 11 and 14 not as useful as the 8 frame mode.

As you’ll see in the video, I set up my Playmobil train to combine continuous autofocus with burst, using wide tracking, with the spot set on the point where the train enters the focus area. Focus picks up and follows the train, the images are all in focus. While this is very good, there are cameras with a faster response and a larger coverage area.

Other drive options

Interval timer is available – but not as a drive mode.

From the camera tab, intervals can be set from one second to 24 hours, shooting from 1 to an infinite number of frames. The start can be delayed.

There’s no option to save the time lapse as a video file, nor is there a time lapse option on the movie menu.

Remember that if you are creating a movie, probably best to switch the resolution to 16×9, and even the medium setting will create files larger than needed for 4K.

Timer settings are also found in the menu, 2 and ten seconds are available, to take more than one image, switch to a burst mode, which takes five images.

Video

An extensive set of video features make the X-H1 a highly useful video camera.

There is a crop when video is selected using the mode dial.

The video menu runs over four screens. These settings are independent of the stills settings, so switching to video reconfigures the camera.

Settings at the top, including time available on one, or in this case, both cards for the current frame and data rate.

There is no video record button – after switching the drive dial to video, the shutter button stops and starts recording.

I did not find any option to assign this to another button – let me know if you did.

Both 4K and HD are supported, with both the video friendly 16×9 aspect and the cinema friendly 17×9 format.

Depending on the aspect and resolution setting, frame rates from 24 – both drop and non-drop – up to 60 frames are available.

At 4K cinema, only 24 is supported, and 60 frame is available only for HD 16×9.

The third column selects the recording bit rate, for HD up to 100 mbits, for 4K up to 200, substantially above the average for consumer cameras.

Note that those higher bit rates will require a UHS II type card, which is supported in both card slots.

Video recording times are limited – time available switches to the amount of time remaining.

4K recordings are limited to 15 minutes, HD to 20.

However, with the optional battery grip – which I highly recommend if you’re shooting video – the limit for both increases to 30 minutes.

The grip attaches easily, and holds two batteries.

The screen shows the battery status – and complains if you don’t use the new 126S batteries, displaying its status in yellow.

The grip comes with a charging cable – and when it’s connected, the camera is powered from the mains, effectively removing the battery as a limitation to recording. When it’s connected, the display reverts to a single battery.

The grip also adds a headphone jack – a most welcome addition.

Video can be recorded to SD or to an external recorder via HDMI – there are settings to manage that. There is no combination that supports 4K to both. Recording only to an external recorder removes the time limit.

There are settings to control the external recorder from the camera, and to configure time code to the HDMI out.

Several of you were wondering about seamless recording from one card to another.

The X-H1 can record video to both SD slots, but not simultaneously.

At the 200 mBit 4K data rate, a 64GB card holds about 35 minutes of video.

Clips are saved in seamless 4GB chunks, about 2 and a half minutes each.

(The most recent firmware saves recordings in a single file.)

When card one fills up, it seamlessly transitions to the second card.

The SD card icon switches from one to two – or vice-versa.

What you can’t do is insert or remove cards while recording.

If you do, the camera powers off.

Focus area is less capable in video mode – there’s only one size.

And it’s selectable only when AF Mode area is selected. Multi is full auto focus.

And there’s an odd effect in continuous auto. Even though the focus on a subject in the foreground doesn’t change in the background there is clearly some breathing visible.

Switch to manual focus and it stops.

There are settings to adjust the tracking sensitivity from quick to locked on and speed from slow to fast.

The same exposure controls apply to video, and I do reset the shutter speed to 1/60th after switching to video mode.

Frank asked about photometry – the meter’s measuring mode – for  video.

Photometry is set on the collar, and the current mode is displayed screen left, beside the exposure meter display.

Spot, centre-weighted, multi and full screen.

Switch to video and the icon disappears, and the setting defaults to multi.

Frank also wanted to know about false colour and zebras.

Although neither is supported, the display custom setting “Highlight Alert” will flash when highlights blow out.

Many of you, including Nicolas, asked about stepped exposure adjustment while shooting video.

With both shutter and aperture on manual, it would be nice to be able to rely on the camera to make smooth adjustments if there is a change in light, or when you move from a dark to a light environment.

Using AutoISO, the transition is reasonably smooth.

With auto aperture, it’s clearly stepped.

If you do need auto exposure adjustments – use AutoISO.

In video EV adjustment is limited to 2 stops up and down. ISOs up to 25.6 can be used.

And the slowest video shutter is 1/4 second, which creates a nice blur effect.

The video includes a low light sample – recorded by the light of a single candle.

I would never consider a camera’s stabilization – in-body, lens or combined – to provide a solution for video, certainly not one that’s equivalent to using a tripod or a gimbal.

That said, the X-H1’s in body stabilization does help – I found handheld shots usable, and handheld pans are reasonably smooth.

The Eterna film simulation,  designed for cinema, provide subdued colours and deep shadows.

Combine eterna with a dynamic range setting of 400% – and an ISO of 800 – to provide the equivalent of 12 stops of range.

That of course, sent me to DSC Labs to measure the dynamic range.

With ISO at 800 – eventually that’s the minimum with FLog, shutter at 1/60 – F11 triggers the highlight alert on the leftmost rectangle – each one to the right is one stop less. Eight, maybe nine chips are visible.

Switching to eterna, with the recommended dynamic range setting of 400%, about 11 stops are revealed.

Finally, F-Log, which also reveals 11 at a more uniform distribution from white to black.

Overheating

The manual references an overheating icon, but I’ve not seen it – even on warm days with lots of recording.

Video can be recorded in the high speed mode, which records silent videos at 120 or 100 frames into files that playback from 2 to 5 times slow.

These recordings are in HD1080 format, with a bandwidth of 40 Mbits – that makes sense.

Recordings are limited to 6 minutes – so that in playback no video exceeds 30 minutes.

There are recording lights front and back, along with a variety of options for which do or do not flash and blink while recording.

Lester asked about shooting video with the Fuji Camera Remote app. That remains a sore point – it’s recorded at 720, 30 frames, 23 mbit data rate regardless of the in camera settings. And there are no settings in the app to change that.

Menu

The menu isn’t as aggravating as some – but the reset to screen one can be annoying. My menu would be better if more settings were included. And the various parts of the setup screen could be better organized.

Why are the ISO settings with button/dials?

One nice touch in the menu – when the mode dial is in video position, the menu button defaults to the movie settings.

One of my complaints is the lack of information – both on screen or in the otherwise useful paper manual (which is available as a downloadable file) – when an item is not available.

For example, when the flicker reduction setting was not available – it took some experimenting to figure out  that it’s not available when an external monitor is connected. Frustrating. Sometimes I’m left resetting the camera to try to enable a dimmed setting.

Battery

Battery life is short – but that’s to be expected. Again, I recommend the battery grip – even if I go shooting without it, you’ve got two backup batteries.

I have recorded a detailed comparison of the X-H1 to the X-T2 For many stills purposes, the X-T2, particularly with the latest firmware, is equal to the X-H1. I’ve also done a detailed video comparison of the X-H1 to the X-T3.

Conclusion

Like all cameras, the X-H1 has some quirks. However, we can count on Fuji to address some in upcoming firmware releases. More than most manufacturers, Fuji does continue to support older models with new features – for example, the create folder feature has recently been added to the X-T2.

Hopefully this covers everything you need to know.

I don’t have all the answers, but will do my best with relevant questions and civil comments.

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