My Opinions on the Upcoming Fujifilm X-H2S

Fujifilm X-H1

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.

Last Warm Light on Wasatch Front – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Negative Print

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!

44 comments

  1. LAURENT CLERY-MELIN · May 21

    Hey,
    I am more exited about lenses than cameras. Just got the XT4 + 16-55 in place of the XT3 and personally I don’t think I will need more than that (apart a vintage Minolta MD W.Rokkor 35mm that I just bought on Ebay :)). I am not a profesionnal and I don’t need these extra features. Plus 26 M pixels is plenty enough!
    By the way I was a winner of the Nitecore contest on FujiRumors, pretty much read it often, love it 🙂
    Thanks for your articles as usual, I am an avid user of your fuji app 😉

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 22

      I agree: the lenses are likely going to be more important than the camera, whatever it is that is announced at the X Summit. BTW, look for an app update in the coming weeks—some nice stuff coming.

      Like

      • David Fleetwood · May 22

        An app update would be amazing, I assume you mean for mobile devices.

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · May 22

        The Fuji X Weekly App. A couple of great new features….

        Liked by 1 person

      • David Fleetwood · May 22

        Lol my bad, sorry I misread that. That’s also good news, I have it installed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. David Fleetwood · May 21

    For some reason my comment isn’t showing up, not sure why?

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 21

      There must have been some error because I don’t see any other comments. Not sure what happened.

      Like

      • David Fleetwood · May 21

        Will try to repost it, may have got scrambled due to attempting to login to WordPress. Thanks!

        Like

  3. rederik75 · May 21

    What I really hope for is a firmware upgrade for my xt3, adding film simulations and, even more important, the capability to save the WB shift in Cx recipes!

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 22

      It’s long, long, long overdue. I hope it happens. Thank you for your input!

      Like

  4. David Fleetwood · May 21

    (hopefully this posts this time)

    I love most of this but I beg to differ on two points –

    1) Kaizen. They never abandoned it, and the idea that they have in my opinion relates to hardware cycles and what they enable. When Fuji moves to a new generation of hardware (typically the sensor/cpu combo) their first releases rarely unlock the full potential of the new hardware. As they release additional camera bodies, with more features and more performance, they release updates to the earlier models in that generation that bring their feature set and performance up to the level of the latest releases wherever possible. The perception then becomes that the newer models have less “Kaizen” because throughout the life of the generation in question, each camera gets fewer and fewer updates. In reality it’s the opposite, the newer cameras *start* with more features, while the first generation of cameras get updates to bring them up to the latest releases on the platform. As a result when you look at the X-T3 firmware updates you see a ton of game changing updates, but the X-T4 has only minor updates. That is not because they stopped doing Kaizen with the T4, it’s because it is itself a representation of Kaizen, a refined final version who’s refinements are backported to other cameras on the shared platform. I expect the X-H2 to receive many updates over it’s life, and as the platform trickles down to other lines they will each get fewer and fewer updates until the cycle begins again.

    2) PASM. I understand why traditional Fuji fans hate it, however Fuji has not been gaining any market share for years. Fuji experimented with modern features, an articulating screen on the T4 and then the full on modern controls on the X-S10 and GFX 100S/50S Mk II, and they sold extremely well. Many of the people buying them, myself included, came from other systems that did not offer similar cameras in the class. Going forward not every camera will be for every existing Fuji customer, some will be designed for people looking for a path from other systems, or people new to photography. That is a good thing, we already saw a gain in market share during the pandemic that was larger than any gain they’ve had in a very long time. And for those of us who came from other systems, it’s not that the traditional dials are intimidating, it’s that after trying them out (which I did for six months before snapping up a X-S10 instead) we didn’t find they offered anything that made our experience better, and instead seemed like an unnecessary hurdle after years of being used to PASM on other systems (Canon in my case). Given the overall contraction in the market, it’s a good thing Fuji is taking steps to appeal to a larger audience, at least if they wish to survive in a shrinking market. I’m certain they will continue with at least two lines with classic controls, likely X-T & X-E, plus X-Pro if they keep making those. It takes nothing away from existing users for them to add options for new users.

    Great article otherwise, really nice read. I’m excited for the brand and if they can modernize their autofocus I’ll probably take the plunge and upgrade my X-S10 with whatever body makes the most sense.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 22

      Glad that it worked this time. 😀

      To point 1: I have heard from literally hundreds of Fujifilm photographers who feel that Fujifilm should have given their camera a Kaizen update. Specifically, many of those who own the X-T30 and X-T3 (Fujifilm’s all-time best selling model) feel that Fujifilm left their cameras on an island. It’s X-Trans IV, but only sort of, because many of the X-Trans IV features were left off, and it feels like a model year behind the other X-Trans IV cameras. Those who spent money buying the premium X-Pro3 and X100V models wonder why the more entry-level X-E4 and X-T30 II models have more features. So these people—hundreds and hundreds for sure, because they have told me so—feel that they should have received a Kaizen update. Their perception is that Fujifilm stopped (or greatly reduced) Kaizen, and perception is reality.

      To point 2: I personally hate PASM. I believe the majority of people who shoot Fujifilm dislike it. I think it’s fine to offer models not intended for current Fujifilm photographers (the X-S10 is an example). I think, because this camera is called “X-H2” and not X-S1, there will be many current Fujifilm photographers who will be greatly disappointed, and won’t buy it. I think in some ways Fujifilm is creating a bit of an identity crisis, and if they don’t tread carefully they might lose current users while failing to gain enough new users. I think it would be better to double down on what makes them unique as opposed to morphing into what others are already doing. We’ll see if this works out, but my much-too-early prediction is that the X-H2S sales will be sluggish, and people will either look to the X-T4 or wait for the X-T5.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • David Fleetwood · May 22

        On the first point, I’m not sure what to say. I look at the list of enhancements to the X-T3 from launch and it’s extensive. Easily the most updated camera of the X-Trans IV generation. I worked for years as an embedded engineer (not on cameras) and just objectively speaking the number of improvements to that device are way beyond what I ever saw anyone doing for their customers in other fields.

        To the second, I think the key issue there is the naming. I don’t know why they didn’t just name the X-S10 the X-H10 and make it clear at that point the line was changing. I’m not seeing a huge difference in terms of design philosophy between the X-S series and X-H series now, both seem to be modern control hybrid cameras with ergonomic grips, which is the opposite of the design philosophy of the X-T, X-E and X-Pro series. I think if they’d just combined them, either letting the X-H line die off and moving it all to X-S, or launching the X-S as a lower tier X-H camera they would have managed expectations much better.

        And I just want to be clear: I have no disdain, dislike or anything else about the classic dials of Fuji. They just aren’t for me. I get annoyed when people think their way of doing something is the only legitimate way. I think Fuji did a neat thing creating a retro interface for modern cameras that works very well for many.

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · May 22

        The X-T3 may very well have received a lot of updates, but until Fujifilm adds Classic Negative, Clarity, Grain size, Color Chrome FX Blue, and maybe Eterna Bleach Bypass and .5 Highlight/Shadow, those who own the camera will feel gypped a bit by Fujifilm, especially those who bought it before the X-Pro3 came out. I don’t think Fujifilm should have left the X-T3 and X-T30 on a weird island: not X-Trans III, but not really X-Trans IV like the other X-Trans IV cameras.

        I think the mistake Fujifilm is making with the X-H2S is not in making the camera, but in changing the X-H line into something different. If they said, “We’re making a new line: X-S1. It’s like the X-S10 but more premium.” People would celebrate that, I think, because there isn’t preconceived notion’s of what an X-S1 should be. Because the X-H line has a history, people have an expectation of what an X-H model is, and for many PASM isn’t a part of it—there will be many who have been patiently waiting for it who will be greatly disappointed by it. However, there will be others who will love it. My speculation is that those who are current Fujifilm owners will by-and-large ignore the X-H2S, and its success will be determined by non-Fujifilm photographers, whether or not it attracts them to the system. So it’s definitely a risk by Fujifilm, and I hope I am wrong and it pays off well for them. I’ve certainly been wrong before.

        Thank you, again, for your thoughtful input!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Rae · May 21

    I just believe that Fuji should put DSLR features like PASM into a completely separate line of cameras. Don’t change up the interface like they have with the X-T4 (vlogger screen) and X-h2s (vlogger screen, PASM dial) in an already existing line. I love the X-h1 for the beefier grip and X-T2+ features, but I guess I’ll be going back to the X-T line. Or maybe not, if they put a vlogger screen on the X-T5.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 22

      I think that this camera should have been called X-S1 instead of X-H2S. That way it’s understood exactly what it is and who it’s intended for. Those hoping for a real X-H1 successor wouldn’t be left feeling disappointed.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Chris Bartlett · May 21

    Maybe I should wait for the xt5 which will probably use the V sensor and have traditional Fuji dials and NOT PASM

    Like

  7. Zach · May 22

    I’ve shot fuji since the xpro-1, I’m not sure the H2S is going to do it. We have third party lens manufacturers filling gaps in the lineup that Fuji should have filled by now and full frame pricing is competitive.
    As far as the x70 goes mine is literally in my pocket everyday with me, I have brought it with the wide angle adapter & filters with me for years. The x70 selfie screen flip works great and I’d love an x80. – I still use the xT2 daily for my professional work which is tripod based – I haven’t had a good reason to upgrade.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 22

      I think the Fujifilm community will be largely unenthusiastic about the X-H2S, and I think it will largely be marketed towards those who use other brands. My much-too-early prediction is that the X-H2S sales will be somewhat sluggish, and many people who were waiting for it will turn to the X-T4 or wait for the X-T5.

      An X80 would be amazing, and I hope Fujifilm is working on it. Thank you for comment!

      Like

      • gregbeale133@gmail.com · May 23

        Fuji community is tired of being in last as far as autofocus and tracking though…more than loving the dials? Who knows?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · May 24

        I’ve been ok with Fujifilm’s autofocus since the X-E1. I used manual focus only for over a decade. Many great photographers created wonderful pictures well before autofocus was even invented, or even in its early days. I think the so-called “autofocus problems” are more of an excuse than any sort of real issue. Fujifilm’s (and every other brand’s) autofocus is a true modern marvel. Is Sony’s a hair better? Probably. Does it actually matter? No, because it’s up to the photographer to get the most out of their gear, and if they don’t it’s on them and not the gear. It’s like complaining that the airliner has a max altitude of “only” 40,000′ and if it could only get to 41,000′ like the other company’s it would make all the difference. I appreciate the input!

        Like

  8. Onno · May 22

    Ritchie, I’m 100% in agreement with you. The famous Kaizen philosophy seems to have been abandoned somewhat. Pity. And yes, I dislike PASM too; after shooting for many years with Nikon, some Canon and, very briefly, Sony (God, I hated that camera), it was Fuji with the classic controls that gave me back my pleasure in photography. Now, with the XS10 and these new XH2’s, Fuji runs the risk of becoming “just another camera brand”. I understand that there will be people out there (maybe even many) who are very happy with these shift to “conventional controls” – and good for them, of course – but for me, personally, it’s a letdown. Sure won’t be buying the XH2. Then again, my XH1 still serves me perfectly :). And of course, there is still the XT line, in case the XH1 kicks the bucket.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 22

      I agree. I have no interest in an X-S10 or X-H2S. The X-H1 is great! Fujifilm really didn’t need to reinvent the wheel here. Maybe the marketing department got a little too much input on this one….

      Like

  9. Just sitting here with my X-T2, X-T3 and 100V waiting for the X-T5… could care less about video outside of a family event five min video.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 22

      The X-T4 is great (my wife has one), I can only imagine how wonderful the X-T5 will be!

      Like

  10. gregbeale133@gmail.com · May 23

    Hello! I love what you do first of all! As far as the PASM situation, I can see both sides. What brought me to Fuji was they are FUN! PASM dials are nott! Im a XT3 user and I want a 100f or V. HOWEVER…since Fuji seems to be making a 40 frame per second(Ill believe it when I see it) camera, with better autofocus and tracking(finally) and with a rumoured 300 -600 lense coming they are going after Sports/wildlife shooters. PSAM dials are more suited for that type of camera. I shoot in in T mode a lot and manually override a couple of functions sometimes but i think I could deal with PSAM if the autofocus and tracking was better. This is supposed to be their more “professional” body so the XT5 and other models can stick to the dials I guess. Also, I think they may be over $2000 which would price me out anyways. Kaisen is great but it would equal less profit so you are only going to get so many free updates. Their should be fuji summits all over the world! We are all still recovering from Covid so that aint happeneing soon.

    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 24

      The X-T5 better not have a PASM dial, lol. I think if Fujifilm had simply named the new camera the X-S1 and stated it’s the premium version of the X-S10, people would be ok with it. But because they changed the X-H line to PASM, those hoping for an X-H1 but with updated features and sensor will surely be disappointed. As far as Kaizen, I think Fujifilm has lost far more money in the long-run from not updating the X-T3 and X-T30 (from people frustrated by the lack of JPEG features which were given to other X-Trans IV cameras) than they have gotten from camera sales from those moving up from the X-T3 to X-T4 or X-T30 to X-T30 II. I hope that all makes sense. I appreciate your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Francis.R. · May 23

    I agree with you but I would not be that sure about the community, as it is truly an online community but it would be important to know how many of those enjoying and purposely using Fujifilm cameras are part of some of the different online communities of Fujifilm photographers. I am sure you are one of the persons that draws more visitors from those different communities, let’s say in Reddit, others in YouTube, on Flickr and so on, which somehow don’t always overlap. Other point is that somehow online communities in photography end being a bit like DPreview, which in no few cases they seem to focus in comparing specifications rather than photographing. Fujifilm fortunately avoids that by focusing in the experience of taking photographs, but is probable that a part of the online community that follows Fujifilm aren’t photographing with Fujifilm or even owning one, just part of that other hobby that is checking websites and get into digital tribes.
    So somehow I understand and maybe I would apply Fujifilm policies too, to follow what is the discussion in the online world, but not working like if it were a representative voice, not without real data anyway. I recall for example that Google reported that most of “users” of Google Plus, were people scrolling a few seconds per day, probably through notifications, and in Twitter they indicated that something like 80% of persons don’t click the links to read the articles, but they react and comment only about the visible headline. Without those admissions one could think that Google Plus indeed was a vibrant “community” and that the amount of likes on Twitter would amount to same as engaged and active readers, while in reality is only people getting emotionally engaged in the sensationalist headline.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 24

      You are right about the DPReview “community”! And the online world is often full of trolls and people who say awful things hiding behind anonymity. It would be interesting if “we” could meet face-to-face, I think things would be much different. The community would be stronger, and would in fact be more true to the meaning of the word. I appreciate your thoughtful input!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ed Seiz · May 27

    Thanks for your honesty. IMHO, the next camera should be the X-S20 to build on that line as it already has IBIS and follow its big brother the X-H2. I feel that the X-T5 and X-Pro4 should come later down the pike after converting the more popular XF lenses to WR such as the 14mm and maybe introduce a new 70mm f2. Being a former Nikon film camera user, I miss the 105mm focal length for portraits. Thanks for listening.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · May 28

      It will be interesting to see what the next camera will be after the X-H2S/X-H2. It could be an X-Pro4, but it seems too soon for the typical X-Pro schedule. The X100V follow up (whatever it will be called) is another potential, but it would surprise me if it came out before late-fall/winter. X-T5? I don’t think they’ll launch it too close to the X-H2. X-T40? They just released the X-T30 II. X-E5? Much too soon. So X-S20 is certainly a possibility.

      Like

  13. wolverineinnc · June 1

    I’m just thrilled to see Fuji bringing back the customizable dial on the back of the new X-H2. Their “minimalist” approach of stripping away dials and buttons for me has been a BIG disappointment as I use that dial and those buttons a lot on my X-E2, X-Pro2 and X-T3 bodies. After I sold my X100f to get the X100v for the better lens on the newer model I discovered just how much I missed not having the dial/buttons on the back of the new model. In fact, I disliked using it so much without the buttons, I sold the X100v and picked up the X-E2, X-Pro2, and X-T3 models BECAUSE they had those buttons on the back. Hopefully Fuji is starting to realize we photographers really LIKE having handy customizable buttons on our cameras. I now hope they announce a Fuji X-Pro4 with the dial back on it as well. So lame to get rid of it….

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 2

      I think it makes sense for a camera like the X-E4 to be minimalistic (although I think they went a little too far with it), but the premium models should not be going the minimalistic route, and it’s better to have one too many buttons than one too few. I appreciate the input!

      Like

      • wolverineinnc · June 3

        Totally agree!!! They’ve stripped many of their “minimalist” models down to too few features. I don’t LIKE using a touch screen. I like BUTTONS! It’s why I went to Fuji in the first place. And the goofy way they implemented their tilt screen on some of the new models to “prevent chirping” is just awkward and silly. No thanks! I’ll keep the old models I love way more….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · June 4

        I have the touch screen disabled on my touch screen cameras. I refuse to use them, as silly as that might sound….

        Liked by 1 person

  14. wolverineinnc · June 5

    Me, too, Richie!!! Too easy to bump it by mistake. Just give me my BUTTONS!!!!!! ; )

    Liked by 1 person

  15. wolverineinnc · June 9

    Well, in spite of my deep misgivings, yesterday I sold my X-T3 AND my X-E2 and ordered a new X-E3, for two reasons. I sold the X-T3 because I stopped using it in favor of my X-Pro2 which I like better and I sold the X-E2 to get the 24.5mp sensor in the X-M3. I’ll just have to get used to going without my beloved D-Pad custom dial on the back. I’ll figure it out eventually. I sure do love this “baby Leica” styled models…. wish me luck….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 11

      I enjoy the rangefinder style cameras, too! I bet that you like the camera, but it might take a little “getting used to”. Thanks for the input!

      Like

      • wolverineinnc · June 11

        It arrived last night and I’m thrilled with the image quality when paired with my Fuji 35mm f/2.0 lens. Wow! So far, so good. I even like the “swipe down” to access ISO. I think I’m going to like this camera a lot….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · June 13

        Awesome!

        Like

  16. wolverineinnc · June 9

    And this morning I sold my XF-90mm f/2.0 lens on eBay and am going to try a Viltrox 56mm f/1.4 lens to see how I like it. At $299 it’s worth considering before springing for the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 at wayyyyyyy more money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 11

      I don’t think I could sell my 90mm f/2. But I’d definitely try the Viltrox 56mm f/1.4 for only $300. I’m sure it’s a solid lens and a good bargain.

      Like

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