People have been asking me what my opinions are on the upcoming Fujifilm X-H2S, which is the unannounced upcoming X-Trans V camera that Fujifilm will reveal before the end of the month. The only reason why we know about this camera is because of Fujirumors.com, which is the best place to find information on upcoming gear. Fujirumors has shared many details about the X-H2S, so we have a pretty good idea of what is about to be announced.
I have this impression that the Fujifilm corporation doesn’t like Fujirumors very much—it’s a thorn in Fujifilm’s side when it comes to new releases, although they also seem to use Fujirumors to gauge the pulse of the Fujifilm community. So they use ’em when they need ’em and otherwise don’t like ’em. I think that Fujifilm might feel similarly about Fuji X Weekly: they like how it builds excitement within the community, converts photographers to the X system, and generates plenty of sales—yet I use competing brand names (Kodak, for example) and occasionally speak critically of the company, which they don’t appreciate.
I want to circle back around to a word: community. Patrick, the guy who runs Fujirumors, pretty much single-handedly built the Fujifilm community. This wonderful kinship is unique in the photography realm. Yes, there are fans and fan sites for every brand, but none compare to the Fujifilm community, particularly when it comes to things like energy, commitment, kindness, generosity, and probably many other nice words that I didn’t write. Really, there should be some sort of annual Fujifilm convention… actually several throughout the world—I think people would love the opportunity to meet those in-person whom they’ve seen and spoken to online. People love their Fujifilm cameras, and that enthusiasm percolates to those within their sphere of influence. With today’s technology, one’s sphere of influence can easily be worldwide.
Fujifilm needs to do more to embrace this great global community that’s built around their brand. I think because they didn’t create it themselves and have no control over it, they shy away from it. They enjoy the benefits of it from a safe distance, and then deride it behind closed doors when something happens within it that they don’t like. What can Fujifilm do? First, they need to drop the negative attitude towards Fujirumors and other people and websites that are the heartbeat of the community. Next, they need to find ways to engage the community, using already existing channels (find where the community gathers online), as well as double-down on their own efforts (10 Years of X Mount is a great example). Third, they need to bring back Kaizen, and realize just how important this is to the community—by ignoring Kaizen, Fujifilm is ignoring the community.
Now that I’ve said all of that, what about the X-H2S? What are my opinions?
The Fujifilm X-H2S is the long-awaited successor to the X-H1, which was a wonderful yet overlooked X-Trans III camera. The X-H2S will introduce the X-Trans V sensor and processor. It would seem the improvements that X-Trans V will bring over X-Trans IV is speed: faster processing, faster autofocus, etc.. There will likely be some new JPEG options, too, such as the Nostalgic Negative film simulation.
I have no doubts that the X-H2S will be a great camera: fast and eager—a true workhorse in the Fujifilm system; however, there are two things that concern me about it: heat and PASM.
Apparently, the X-H2S will overheat if used for video for too long (which is a common problem), and apparently Fujifilm’s solution is an external cooling accessory that can be purchased separately. If you plan to use the X-H2S for video, this accessory will be essential. I want to remind people that the X-H1 does not have an overheating problem.
If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you likely already know my feelings on it, but for those who don’t: I passionately dislike PASM. It’s clear to me that the Fujifilm X-H2S is not for those already within the Fujifilm system, but is intended to attract those from other systems, such as Sony and Canon, and bring them into the Fujifilm fold. It’s for people who are used to PASM, and are intimidated by the classic controls that most Fujifilm cameras have. I would definitely prefer the camera to not have PASM.
I have no intentions of pre-ordering the X-H2S when it is announced in the coming 10 days. It’s not for me. It will be a great camera for some of you, though, and if you think it’s the right model for you, don’t let my opinions influence you to not get it. I’m more excited for whatever the second X-Trans V camera will be—I’m hoping for an X80, the even-longer-awaited successor to the X70. I have no idea if this is in the works or not, but it certainly should be if it’s not.
Are you excited for the Fujifilm X-H2S? What X-Trans V camera do you think Fujifilm should release next? Let me know!