The Fujifilm X-H1 was released in 2018 and it seems like its successor is right around the corner. Almost immediately after a new piece of gear is announced the speculation starts about what they left out and what features they might add in the next iteration. The X-H1 was no different. A wishlist of features was floating around not long after people were able to try it out. In this blog and YouTube video I join this conversation of what the X-H2 might be. I don’t dwell too much on specifications but instead present 3 approaches that Fujifilm might take with the X-H2, that in turn will influence the specifications of the camera. After you read what I have to say leave a comment and let me know what you think the X-H2 will be or what you would like it to be.
DISCLAIMER: This is all speculation and not based on any knowledge or any specific rumor. I’m having a fun conversation with you about what we want to see in this next release and nothing more.
It seems the X-H2 will be released this year. We don’t know the exact time frame. Fujifilm has 3 general paths it can take with this release.
OPTION 1: “NO SURPRISES”
This is the “obvious” upgrade path. With this option Fujifilm would add one of the newer BSI sensors (with possibly more resolution than in the X-T4), improve the IBIS, improve the autofocus, improve the video features among other things. In this option the body design would see little to no changes. It would be all about making the internals better all around. This would leave it as a solid hybrid camera but not attempting to gain too much ground in the world of budget cinema cameras.
OPTION 2: “VIDEO FIRST”
In the eyes of many, the X-H1 had some welcome features for videographers but even out of the gate it didn’t knock any specific video element out of the park. Option 2 for the X-H2 would be going all in with the video centric strategy. This could mean not upgrading the resolution of the sensor past the 26mp of the X-Trans IV. They could increase the processing power to be able to handle 6k video resolution and higher quality encoding options. Other welcome video features are higher frame rates in 4K (120fps or even 240fps). Compatibility with ProRES raw would also be a feature that would put it more in line with some competitors. A flip out screen would probably be added to a video centric version much like the one we see on the X-T4 and X-S10. The flip out screen came with a bit of controversy on the X-T4 as photographers usually prefer the traditional X-Series tilting screen.
OPTION 3: “NOT 1 BUT 2!”
How is Fujifilm going to give the photographers the improvements they want while also increasing their customer base with the indie filmmaker? That’s the question I’ve been asking for a while. Option 3 would mean not trying to make everyone happy with only one version of the X-H2. Instead they would release 2 models; an X-H2r and an X-H2s (I’m totally guessing on the model labels). We have seen this approach recently with cameras from Nikon, Canon, Panasonic and most recently Leica. Although not released at the same time, the Leica SL-2 and SL-2s are meant to entice 2 different users. The SL-2 is great for video but it’s a stills camera first with it’s high resolution stills. The SL-2s was released with features on the video side to appeal to videographers, cinematographers, as well as hybrid shooters. This is the model that I think Fujifilm will emulate. The photo version (X-H2r) would have the higher resolution sensor for stills, probably around 40mp. Although it would have improved video features it wouldn’t match what the X-H2s has to offer. The X-H1r would have a lot of what I described in option 1. The X-H2s would have unlimited recording (with certain settings), it would shoot 6K 10bit internal and output 6K to an external recorder with ProRES RAW options. The video version, X-H2s, could also have features like zebras, waveform displays and other details that we expect from cinema cameras. Option 3 is a bit of option 1 & 2 combined. If you’re a hybrid shooter and have a tough time deciding between the 2 versions than I think Fujifilm will see that as success.
Although I would happy with any of these paths that Fujifilm might choose, option 3 is the most exciting path for me.
What are your hopes for the X-H2? What is at the top of your wishlist? Let me know in the comments and when it’s finally announced we’ll come back and see which of our predictions were right.