It’s probably fair to say that the original XH1 turned out to be one of Fujifilm’s least popular X-series cameras, but that hasn’t stopped Fujifilm from updating it twice for 2022, d first with the video-centric X-H2S and now also with the brand new X-H2.
Yes, that’s right, Fuji chose to release not one but two successors to the original X-H1, so what exactly does the XH2 offer that the XH2S doesn’t, and vice versa?
We offer this in-depth comparison between Fujifilm X-H2 and X-H2S to help you decide between these two mirrorless cameras.
You can also read our in-depth Fujifilm X-H2S review to find out exactly what we think of this particular camera.
The image sensor is the biggest difference between these two cameras.
While the X-H2S offers the same number of megapixels – 26.1 – as the original X-H1 model, the new X-H2 ups the ante considerably with an all-new 40.2-megapixel sensor, delivering resolution much larger.
Also, the sensor technology inside the XH2 is completely different from that of the X-H2S.
The XHS2 uses the X-Trans CMOS 5 HS sensor, which debuted in Fuji’s X-series camera line, HS standing for High Speed.
It’s a stacked sensor design similar to those we’ve seen in other recent flagship cameras, like the Sony Alpha A1, Canon EOS R3, Nikon Z9 and OM Digital O-M1. and it gives a big boost to the camera’s burst shooting, autofocus and video capabilities.
In contrast, the XH2 uses an X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor, which is also making its debut in Fuji’s X-series camera range, with HS standing for High Resolution.
It’s a BSI (back-illuminated) sensor design that puts much more emphasis on detail and resolution than overall speed. It also allows the XH2 to record 8K video, surpassing the XH2S which can only record video up to 6K.
The X-H2 is the first-ever X-series camera to feature Pixel Shift Multi-Shot, which delivers 160-megapixel images for ultimate quality when details really matter.
Previously only seen on the company’s GFX-branded medium format cameras, in the Pixel Shift Multi-Shot the camera records 20 frames, shifting the sensor by 0.5 pixels between each frame.
The resulting images are automatically combined into a single RAW DNG file, which can be output in a desired file format using appropriate RAW processing software.
The X-H2S does not offer this functionality.
The native sensitivity range of the XH2S camera is ISO 160 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80 to ISO 51200.
The new XH2 has a base sensitivity below ISO 125, which can be extended up to ISO 64 (higher ISO values are the same as the X-H2S).
The X-H2S offers a better video mode than the X-H2 and is definitely the one to buy if you’re primarily a videographer, although this new model certainly gives it a run for its money mainly thanks to its 40-megapixel sensor.
The new camera offers the highest quality rate of 8K/30p without cropping recorded in 4:2:2 10-bit internally for approximately 160 minutes. The XH2S can’t record 8K at all due to its lower resolution 26-megapixel sensor, bumping out to 6K/30p.
Combined with a compatible HDMI recording device from Atomos or Blackmagic Design, the X-H2’s 12-bit RAW video output can be recorded in Apple ProRes RAW or Blackmagic RAW format at resolutions and frame rates up to at 8K and 29.97 frames per second.
The X-H2 also has a digital zoom feature that uses the camera’s 40.2 MP sensor to provide up to 2x digital zoom with little to no loss of resolution, when recording video. in 4K.
Thanks to its stacked sensor design, the XH2S offers faster rolling shutter than the X-H2 (1/180s vs. 1/88s in 4K), and also offers greater dynamic range (14+ stops vs. 13+ on the XH-2). For 8K recording, the rolling shutter on the X-H2 is even worse at 1/33 sec.
More importantly, the XH2S can record 4K at up to 120fps, while the X-H2 is limited to 4K/60p, which for many videographers will be more important than having 8K recording.
Both cameras can take advantage of a special fan attachment that screws onto the back of the camera and improves maximum recording time from 17 to 51 minutes at 40 degrees Celsius.
The new X-H2 has the same hybrid autofocus system with phase detection and contrast detection points as the X-H2S.
In Single AF mode, there are up to 425 selectable AF points arranged in a 25×17 grid. Alternatively, the camera can be set to 117 points in a 13×9 grid, and the point size can also be changed.
In addition to point AF, there’s Area AF which allows AF points to be selected in 3×3, 5×5 or 7×7 groups, and wide/tracking AF.
The X-H2 can automatically detect animals, birds, cars, bicycles, planes and trains using the X-Processor 5’s AI deep learning capabilities, a feature that no Fujifilm camera other than the XH2S had before.
Thanks to the 40 megapixel sensor, the XH2 offers a higher number of PDAF points (3.3 million) than the XH2S. Fujifilm says the new model isn’t as fast at tracking moving subjects as the X-H2S.
Thanks to its X-Processor 5 and stacked sensor, the XH2S can shoot at an incredible 40 fps when using the electronic shutter, with no cropping and no power failure. It also offers a fast continuous shooting speed of 15 fps when using the mechanical shutter.
With its higher-resolution sensor, the X-H2 can only take a 20fps burst when using the electronic shutter, although it matches the 15fps rate of the mechanical shutter.
Note that all of these impressive burst rates are with continuous autofocus and phase-detection autoexposure, rather than being locked to the first frame as on some cameras.
The new XH2 improves the fastest shutter speed for the electronic shutter by 2.5 stops, from 1/32000s on the XH2S to 1/180000s. This allows users to leave the aperture wide open in very bright conditions such as a sunny beach or ski slope, or to capture split-second motion.
Body and design
These two cameras are absolutely identical in terms of exterior design, size and weight – everything is the same except for their nameplates.
So they both differ quite significantly from the original X-H1 by removing many traditional dials and controls and adding a lot more function buttons and custom modes.
Most notably, the classic Fujifilm ISO and Shutter Speed dials on the XH1 have given way to a PASM dial on these new models.
Fujifilm has added a slew of custom modes to the shooting mode dial – 7 in fact – to help offset these changes, but it remains to be seen how fans react to what’s quite drastically different from the usual Fujifilm plan. .
The X-H1 was the very first Fuji mirrorless camera to feature In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS).
The new XH2 is the fifth Fujifilm camera to feature 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS), following the original X-H1, X-H2S, X-T4 and X-S10.
The X-H2 and X-H2S provide up to a maximum of 7 stops of compensation, the best of any current Fujifilm camera.
The X-H2 and X-H2S have the exact same detailed 5.76 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with a large 0.80x magnification and fast 120 fps refresh rate.
The X-H2 and X-H2S have the exact same 3-inch, fully articulating vari-angle LCD screen with 1.62M dot resolution.
You can flip the screen to the side, swing it forward for easier use when pointing the camera at you, and fold it flat against the back of the camera to prevent it from does not scratch.
This free-angle design proves to be a very versatile display for vlogging, filming, and general photography.
The X-H2 and X-H2S both have two memory card slots, just the X-H1, but unlike the X-H1 which has two UHS-II SD card slots, these two new models have one UHS SD slot -II and a CFexpress Type B slot.
So if you want to experience all the speed and video benefits that the XH2 and XH2S offer, you’ll need to invest in CFexpress Type B memory cards.
The Fujifilm X-H2 and X-H2S use the exact same NP-W235 batteries as the X-T4, rather than the smaller capacity NP-W126S battery used by the X-H1.
This provides CIPA-compliant battery life of up to 720 shots on a single charge in normal mode, with real-world use providing even longer battery life. The X-H1 was rated at just 310 shots.
The XH2 and XH2S can also be powered and charged via a USB-C connection, which is useful if you’re on the go and have a compatible power bank to plug the camera into.
The new Fujifilm X-H2 is priced at £1899 / $1999 in the UK and US respectively, making it the second most expensive X-series APS-C sensor camera ever released.
That title goes to the Fujifilm X-H2S, which is priced at £2499/$2499 only.
This makes the XH2S £600/$500 more expensive than the new XH2, a difference which is mainly down to the stacked sensor inside, which is much more expensive to manufacture than the BSI sensor found inside the X-H2 .
The X-H2 and X-H2S may look absolutely identical, but thanks to their sensor technologies they’re aimed at two quite different types of end-users, although the 8K mode of older models does muddy the waters a bit.
So what do you think? Would you choose the high resolution X-H2 or the high speed X-H2S? Leave a comment below!