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Fujifilm X-H2S review: The most powerful APS-C camera yet

Strong video capabilities and quick filming, although the AF and stabilization may be improved.

Four years after the X-debut, H1’s Fujifilm has finally released not just one, but two models in its place. One of them is the 40-megapixel X-H2, which has the highest APS-C camera resolution to date. The high-speed X-H2S, built for sports, wildlife shooting, and other uses, is the other, which is what we’re looking at today.

A new stacked, backside-illuminated 26.2-megapixel sensor is the X-standout H2S’s feature. Due to its high speed, it can shoot bursts of up to 40 frames per second with quicker autofocus and less rolling shutter. Together with in-body stabilization, a high-resolution viewfinder, dual card slots, and other features, it also claims increased image quality.

However these enhancements and features are not free. The X-H2S is now one of the priciest APS-C cameras available, costing $2,500, the same as equivalent full-frame versions like the Canon EOS R6 and the Sony A7 IV. Is that much money spent on a tiny sensor worth it?

The Fujifilm X-H2S isn’t your normal camera. It is somewhat lighter than the X-H1, but is 660 grimes heavier and bigger than the X-T4. It also features a considerably larger grip, which gives you a sense of solidity and is perfect if you’re connecting large lenses for photographing sports or wildlife.

The layout resembles rival mirrorless cameras from Canon and Sony more than other Fuji models, as was already observed. It has standard front and rear dials rather than dials that show shutter speed, exposure compensation, and ISO like the X-T4. Only a mode selector is located on top, and a joystick and D-Pad control are located at the back. It has a minimum of 12 buttons, the majority of which may be reprogrammed for multiple uses. It has a top LCD that displays the basic settings, just like the X-H1.

The layout makes sense given that it is intended for sports and wildlife shooting, which necessitates adjusting settings quickly while keeping an eye on the subject. Even so, if shooting on the fly, you can at least see settings on the top LCD display, which I know many Fujifilm lovers like. The record button was the only control I didn’t like because of how small and awkwardly situated it was. The X-H2S employs the same logical menu layout as the X-T4, making settings accessible.

Fujifilm X-H2S review

The electronic viewfinder (EVF), which offers blackout-free burst shooting and greater quality (5.76 million dots) than either the Sony A7 IV or Canon EOS R6, is also beneficial for action photographers (3.68 million dots each). Also, it has a high-resolution touch screen with full articulation that you may use to manipulate focus, the quick menu, and other features.

You get WIFI and Bluetooth for controlling or transferring cameras, a high-speed USB-C connector with power delivery, and other I/O options. Sadly, Fujifilm’s camera app for live view shooting or image importing is somewhat basic (the low 1.7 Play Store rating is a clue), lacking features like showing exposure and audio levels for video and allowing burst photo shooting.

Video users receive a great full-sized HDMI jack for external recorders, as well as microphone and headphone jacks. It includes two card slots that can accommodate the additional speed and video capabilities, including UHS-II and high-speed Express. Last but not least, the battery (which is the same as the X-T4 but updated) supports up to 720 shots and well over two hours of 4K 30p video recording on a single charge.


The X-H2S is faster than any other APS-C camera with burst shooting speeds of up to 40 fps at full resolution, however there are some restrictions. Only in release mode can it reach those top speeds; in focus priority mode, the photo is still taken even if it is out of focus. It’s not a realistic mode for action photography because a lot of your pictures will be fuzzy as a result. Nevertheless, by slowing down to 30 fps, I was able to focus on a lot more shots, and at 20 fps, the hit rate was almost flawless.

I observed 15 fps burst speeds when using the mechanical shutter, which is quite commendable and competitive with Canon’s EOS R7. Also, the mechanical shutter is incredibly silent (and pleasant to the ear), especially when contrasted to the clattery shutter on the EOS R7. I was able to record over 300 shots at a time to a quick Express card in that mode or the 20 fps quiet mode, which equates to over 10 seconds of shooting. That is comparable to sporting-oriented cameras like the Canon EOS R3.

The X-H2S is Fujifilm’s first camera featuring tracking for birds and other animals, as well as for following automobiles, motorbikes, bikes, planes, and trains. Although depending on the filming angle and other conditions, it would lose tracking, it performed reasonably well for a first attempt.

But, the face and eye tracking on this Fujifilm camera is the finest I’ve seen. It tracks patiently and effortlessly, giving you more sharp photos. Also, it did a fantastic job of focusing on a subject’s eye rather than their eyelashes or nose. Overall, the X-autofocus H2S’s is significantly better than it was, but it still falls short of Sony and Canon’s standards.

It does, however, outperform all of its competitors when it comes to photographing covertly. Because of the stacked sensor’s quick speed and low rolling shutter in silent mode, you may use it with confidence to capture moving subjects like birds, wildlife, sports, and other fast-moving objects.

The in-body stabilization, which promised seven stops with supported lenses, worked well for images as well, enabling me to take clear pictures at quite slow shutter speeds. As I’ll explain in a moment, it doesn’t work as well for video.

Fujifilm X-H2S review sample

The X-H2S is one of the greatest APS-C cameras for color rendition, having a sensor with a similar resolution as the 26.2-megapixel X-T4 (with the bonus of stacking technology). Whether you are photographing people, animals, or landscapes, everything appears to be natural. Because of the improved color science, JPEGs appear good right out of the camera with a bit better noise and sharpness balance than previously.

It employs a dual-gain sensor, just like the X-T4, with the best sensitivity at ISO 800 and 3200. The X-T4 almost matches the high ISO performance in terms of noise management and detail preservation up to ISO 6400. Beyond that, it does provide decent images, but exposure must be accurate or you’ll have too much noise when increasing blacks.

With a few exceptions, the 14-bit RAW files provide plenty of space for correction. It is preferable to shoot at higher ISOs than to try to shoot at the standard ISO 800 and then enhance the blacks due to the dual-gain sensor’s increased noise levels. Nonetheless, there are no problems when increasing the black levels in high-contrast images by multiple stops. This is where it falls short of the X-T4 in performance, most likely as a result of the stacking technology that can increase noise levels.

As usual, a variety of helpful JPEG film simulations are available, including Velia, black-and-white Across, and desaturated Eterna. They are well-designed, generate results that seem professional, and the RAW file preserves the original image data.


The X-H2S is an excellent illustration of how stacked sensors enhance a camera’s ability to capture video. With the ability to capture up to 6.2K 30p 3:2 video, super sampled 4K at up to 60 fps, ultra-slow-Mo 120 fps 4K, and 240 fps HD, the X-H2S is currently the most technologically sophisticated APS-C camera for that. The majority of those modes are also accessible in a variety of codecs. The list covers the strong Pores formats HQ, 422 and LT as well as H.264 and H.265 (All-I and Long-gap). And almost all modes support 10-bit capture for improved gradient smoothness and other benefits.

In order to maximize dynamic range, it also supports Fujifilm’s F-Log and new F-Log2 formats in both regular and Eterna cinema modes. Moreover, you can send RAW footage in the BRAW and Pores RAW formats to Blackmagic and Atomos recorders, respectively. I was unable to test those features because Fujifilm has not yet made them available.

Although the 6.2K 3:2 video mode may appear strange, it really allows for more imaginative cropping at the top and bottom of an image. In contrast, the down sampling makes the more common 30 fps and 60 fps 4K footage incredibly sharp. Although the ultra-slow-Mo 120 fps 4K video is cropped, it is considerably less blurry than I had anticipated. For many tasks, even the 1080p 240p is quite useful. But, keep in mind that neither of those settings allows you to record audio.

While shooting in F-Log2, the dynamic range is excellent, topping 13 stops. You will have ample of room for artistic color correction or to adjust over- or underexposed photos when combined with the 10-bit capture and powerful Pores codecs. Like in photographs, color reproduction favors accuracy, with pleasing but not quite as warm skin tones as Canon’s.

Because of the incredibly quick readout speeds, rolling shutter is barely noticeable in the standard and F-Log video modes. Even yet, rolling shutter is still less bothersome than on competing APS-C cameras like the Canon EOS R7 or Sony A6600. This is because F-Log2 mode performs a 14-bit readout (the other modes are 12-bit).

If you’re worried about overheating, it’s really only a problem with 4K 120p footage because, depending on the temperature, it tends to cease after 30–60 minutes of shooting. But, it is really an extreme instance, and if it bothers you, Fujifilm has an optional auxiliary fan that you can plug in beneath the display.

Although an improvement over the X-T4, video autofocus still falls short of the quality of those Canon and Sony devices. It was less accurate and occasionally capable of hunting. There is no way to touch or track random subjects, and it might behave erratically with pre-selected subjects like birds and animals. The good news is that tracking human faces and eyes was quite accurate.

The in-body stabilization has another drawback: You can get incredibly steady shots even if you’re just holding the camera still and not moving around much. But, whether you try to pan, tilt, or even walk, it tends to jolt abruptly from one position to another. It’s not the best vlogging camera for that reason, unless Fujifilm can somehow address the issue in a future update.


The X-H2S is unquestionably the most potent APS-C camera currently on the market, despite this shortcoming and AF that is still not quite on level with competitors. It easily outperforms other Canon, Nikon, and Sony models in terms of performance and video capabilities because it is the only model with a stacked sensor. Yet, at $2,500, it is also the most costly mainstream APS-C camera, costing even more than the X-H2 ($2,000), which has a better resolution.

Is the price justified? That is a challenging question despite all the strength. Some could choose a full-frame camera like the Canon EOS R6 or the Sony A7 IV for that amount of money. Yet, the less traditional control scheme may turn off many Fujifilm devotees.

Yet, it is a more adaptable camera than earlier Fuji models and is better suited to some applications than full-frame cameras. In comparison to full-frame models, it has a superior field of view for capturing animals thanks to the crop-sensor and smaller lenses. In terms of video capability, it surpasses both the A7 IV and the EOS R6, and once more, the smaller sensor makes focus less important. Last but not least, despite the loss of mechanical controls, you can still see the F-stop, shutter speed, ISO, etc. on the top LCD display, which is why I still enjoy it as a street photography camera. Therefore the X-H2S might be the ideal camera for you if you’re a hybrid shooter who does a variety of photo and video work.