Should You Buy a Fujifilm X-H2?

You might have noticed that, while seemingly everyone else was eager to share the news of Fujifilm’s latest camera—the X-H2—and give their opinions and praise, I have been quiet about it. Not that I’ve been quiet about the X-H2 (and X-H2s), but I haven’t said a word about it since it was announced last Thursday. I wasn’t planning to say anything about it today, either, but I’ve received a lot of messages asking for my opinion if they should preorder this camera or not. I’m not really sure what I can add to this conversation that’s unique, but I will try. Also, I’m feeling lighthearted, and I hope that somehow comes across in this article—if the words seem serious, I don’t mean them that way at all. Sometimes critical nonverbal queues aren’t conveyed in written text, so keep that in your mind as you read further down. With that said, let’s dive into this!

I definitely don’t like to state that anyone should or shouldn’t buy any specific camera model. That’s a personal decision, and I cannot know if something is “right” for you—only you can determine that. I can offer my two cents, which might not be worth even two pennies, but it’s not for me to decide what you should do. Because so many have asked, I’m going to offer my advice; however, take it with a grain of salt, and if you are really unsure, seek all sorts of opinions and decide which one resonates with you the most.

A lot of people seem to be surprised that Fujifilm didn’t send me an X-H2 to try. While Fujifilm has loaned me a few cameras to try out for a time (namely, an X-T200, X-Pro3, and GFX-50S), I’m definitely not on their short list to send new gear to. I’m not an X-Photographer or Fujifilm Creator or anything like that, and I have no official or formal connection with the company—I’m just a guy who shoots with Fujifilm cameras, creates Film Simulation Recipes, and shares my opinions and experiences on this blog. I think Fujifilm appreciates that I help to bring them a lot of sales, and that I help to foster excitement among their customers, but I also use competitor names (such as “Kodak”) and I’m not afraid to speak critically of them, so they’re not always happy about this website (I know this because they told me so during one of the handful of times that I’ve spoken with someone within the company). Funny (and completely true) story: Ken Rockwell (after he tried The Rockwell recipe) was kind enough to attempt to get Fujifilm to put me on their press list, but apparently his (unofficial) endorsement wasn’t enough because I’m not on that list (I hear about new gear the same way that you do). And don’t even get Fujifilm started on Fujirumors …within Fujifilm, you don’t talk about Bruno and you don’t talk about that rumor website—ever. I do think that Fujifilm should do more to meet the community where they’re at, and not be so standoffish to it just because they didn’t create the community and have no control over it. I don’t think they fully realize the unique position they’re in, and they don’t really know what to do with it. To capitalize on it, they need to embrace it.

A lot of people also seem to be surprised that I didn’t order an X-H2 to make Film Simulation Recipes on. I do hope to make X-Trans V recipes. It’s my understanding from the reports I’ve received that the X-Trans IV recipes (for the X-Pro3 and newer cameras) are 100% compatible with X-Trans V cameras, and the rendering is essentially identical to X-Trans IV. What the X-H2 does have that X-Trans IV cameras don’t is Nostalgic Negative, and I do hope to someday try that new film simulation. The reasons why I didn’t order an X-H2 (or X-H2s) are 1) it’s not in my budget, 2) I don’t think I’d like the shooting experience (big bulky body with PASM), 3) I don’t have any need for 8K, and 4) I find my current gear to be sufficiently quick already with more than enough resolution. It’s just not a camera for me; however, that doesn’t mean it isn’t for you.

I’ve received messages from people who ordered the X-H2s, and some told me that they really love the new camera and it’s the best camera they’ve ever used, and others have told me that they hated it and it is the worst Fujifilm user experience they’ve ever encountered, so they returned it. How can one camera have such strong yet completely opposite reactions? I went down a couple of rabbit holes, and I think I found some commonalities that might help you determine if the X-H2 is a camera you’ll love or hate. Below I have two checklists: one for buying the X-H2 and one against buying the X-H2. Check as many that apply to you in each checklist, and whichever side has the most, that’s the direction to lean. You still have to make a decision yourself on what’s right for you, but if you are stuck, maybe this will help a little.

You SHOULD buy an X-H2 if…

☐ You don’t mind, or maybe even prefer, PASM.
☐ You don’t care if your gear is bulky.
☐ Your first Fujifilm camera was an X-S10.
☐ Your only Fujifilm camera is GFX.
☐ You own a full-frame camera by Canon, Sony, or Nikon.
☐ Your primary photo/video subjects constantly move quickly.
☐ You like to have the latest and greatest technology and gear.
☐ You have a bunch of money saved up and are eager to spend it.
☐ You own a professional production company and want to phase out your Sony gear for Fujifilm.

You should NOT buy an X-H2 if…

☐ You like the tactile classic controls that Fujifilm is known for.
☐ You don’t like bulky gear.
☐ You don’t own an X-S10 or Bayer model.
☐ You don’t own a GFX camera, or if you do it is a GFX50R.
☐ You sold all of your Canikony gear awhile ago.
☐ Your primary photo/video subjects don’t constantly move quickly.
☐ You don’t mind waiting for tech to go on sale or to buy things used sometimes.
☐ You prefer to spend money on experiences rather than gear.
☐ You are simply a photographer.

Definitely take those checklists with a grain of salt. I know that not every statement applies to everyone, or even everyone equally. But, generally speaking, if one side has a lot more boxes marked, then it probably resonates with you, and perhaps provides some clarity if you are not sure what to do. It matters not to me if you do or don’t order the camera; if you do, I have included an affiliate link below, which, if you use, helps me out a little.

In other news, according to Fujirumors, the X-T4, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras are apparently being discontinued. If you’ve been wanting to buy one, and if you can find it in stock, it might be a good time to put that order in. It also means that the X-T5 and probably X-T50 (I’m making the wild guess now that Fujifilm will skip the X-T40 name, for marketing reasons, and go straight for 50) aren’t that far out—I think X-T5 before the end of the year, and X-T50 first quarter of 2023. I don’t believe an X-E5 is in the works; if it does come, it will more likely be in 2025, closer to the end of the X-Trans V lifecycle, or perhaps never. I think an X-S20 will come shortly after the X-T50, probably less than a year from now. I don’t have any inside information, these are simply guesses.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-H2 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-H2s Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-T4 Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-E4   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-T30 II Amazon B&H

Interestingly, the Fujifilm X-E3 can still be purchased brand new. Amazon

31 comments

  1. franklin773e68316a · 16 Days Ago

    First of all, I just don’t understand all the negativity toward fuji pasm cameras from the traditionalists. You all should root for these new cameras so that they can build fantastic xt5s and so on. If you all love just being an underdog eternally with completely inferior equipment, I get that. Or because its not in your budget you find excuses to talk bad about the new cameras. For me, I always prefer fuji for the experience and underdog mentality, but I like to photo fast action instead of landscape or architecture. So for the best hit rates you definitely could not choose fuji. But because of the XH2S now, I am so happy to rid myself of the vaunted (really good A73), so THANK YOU FUJI!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

      I’m glad that the camera works well for you. That’s awesome. I think you probably checked a lot of the boxes in the left-hand column, correct?

      People say that Fujifilm’s direction should be celebrated because it will benefit everyone; however, I disagree, because I believe I see where it is all headed. What I predict is that, at 20 years of X mount, the only Fujifilm cameras left with traditional controls will be the X100 and X-Pro series, and that’s it (and I’m certainly not rooting for that to happen, and I hope you aren’t either, but I think it is the inevitable and logical conclusion of Fuji’s current path). Right now people say “Canikony” to refer to the seemingly similar Canon, Sony, and Nikon products, and 10 years from now it will be Canikonyfilm, because they’ll all basically be the same. Whether that’s the “right” move (I’m sure the shareholders think so) or the “wrong” move (many longtime Fujifilm customers seem to think so), it probably depends on your perspective, and time will tell. I totally see your perspective and understand it, and I hope you can see mine, too, and understand it. I do appreciate the input.

      Liked by 1 person

      • franklin773e68316a · 16 Days Ago

        The camera works really well! I mean could you replace an A73 with a Fuji prior to the H2S? Its an unequivocal no, if you want the best hit rates that is with equal/same/better IQ in mind. Yes, I had more checkboxes on the left hand, but I also do believe being a photographer can fall in the left column too and not just the right since I mainly do stills. I feel your stance and the other traditionalists are really “get off my lawn” to be honest. I love your simulations, thats why I’m a patron, but strongly believe alot of the sentiment on the new fujis is get off my lawn dinosaurish thinking. I am definitely curious about the XH2 also, but hope that the T5 has the same specs/performance and will get that for sure instead so I can be “just a photographer” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

        I don’t think the angry old man saying “get off my lawn” is the right analogy. I think the more correct analogy is the longtime resident who’s front lawn just got eminent domianed to build an expressway. Will those using the expressway care about the person who lost their front lawn? Will the person who lost their front lawn be happy that he has an expressway literally at his front door? The answer to both is no, but it happens all the time in the name of “progress” in cities and towns everywhere. Your perspective depends on if you are the commuter or resident. In this analogy, Fujifilm is the planners/civil-engineers/construction-crew, you are the commuter, and those who have been waiting for an X-H2 for years (because their X-H1’s have a lot of clicks on the shutter), but never asked for or wanted PASM, are the residents. I’m the person living down the street, watching the progress, and noticing that my lawn might be next. Is it better for the “greater good” that the expressway be built? Maybe. Does it suck for the person who lost their lawn? Absolutely. Should those whose lawns are being taken away just shut up about it, grin and bear it, for the benefit of others? I don’t think so. Will those people stop “progress” from happening? Probably not. I hope this makes sense and sheds light on the perspective of mine and other Fujifilm “dinosaurs”. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • franklin773e68316a · 16 Days Ago

        I think its an appropriate analogy. Did the old man have a good life and was a good person, hopefully! Does an expressway being built help the population, transit, city progress, etc? Absolutely. Does the old man deserve to keep his lawn, for a while, yes. But does the old man not realize that the expressway or light rail being built raises his property value, most likely no, hes just too busy being grumpy about change and blind to how it could beneift him. Again, I love the dials and old experience and want the T5. But everyone hating on the new cameras really are just rooting for fuji to be underdog, underperforming forever.

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

        I’ve been the person enjoying the brand new freeway… and I know someone who got seriously hosed by that same freeway. So I guess the point is only that there are two sides to every coin.

        As a prediction, while I’m 100% confident that the X-T5 will have the classic dials, I’m only 50% confident that the X-T6 will (or that there will even be an X-T6). I think if the X-H2/X-H2s are wildly successful, that will only drive the direction of future models. So I think (my prediction is) it will happen probably no sooner than three years from now, but most likely before ten years has past, that the X-T0 line will morph into a PASM model with different ergonomics that will sit as an in-between model to the X-S line and X-H line; or a new line will be added to fill that role and the X-T0 will be quietly canceled. I suppose I’m supposed to be happy about that, but it’s really sad, should it happen (which I think it will… I’ve certainly been wrong before, though).

        Liked by 1 person

      • franklin773e68316a · 16 Days Ago

        I disagree. Canikony is entering its prime, and Fuji is joining it, strategically correctly (or die), and as they establish themselves as a solid member of Canikony, what will come of all the previous canikony users are a desire for something “fresh” or perhaps old in this case, and they will see the XT9 and be like, “wait a minute….this is something different, something that enhances my experience, something not so cold and mechanic” and the new age begins from the old age…Tesla is all the rage now, but in 7 years people are gonna THIRST for a Porsche 911 SC.

        Like

      • Francis.R. · 15 Days Ago

        We live in a world where iPhones are more used, and more advanced, for photography and video than traditional cameras. The traditional cameras, even the mirrorless ones, are the dinosaurs, the old man. I think Samsung (the camera with Android, and the others with Tizen) and Leica in their aps-c mirrorless, where the only ones trying to do something really modern. My last Sony camera was a a5000, but I always desired Fujifilm for the colors. I don’t thought it as a downgrade because I can use manual focus, and no more hours editing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. David Fleetwood · 16 Days Ago

    I found a X-H2S under MSRP and against my better judgement, pounced. Will be here Friday. Justifying it due to having two X-S10’s I can sell and a couple lenses I don’t use so I can get it close to cost neutral. Per the list, the size is the largest part I’m not into, and when it comes to money my current rule is to only buy things I can sell other things to cover so it’s not having a bunch of disposable cash just consolidating into more capable gear for the same investment. I mostly wanted this because it’s the polar opposite of my GFX 100S in terms of it’s capabilities and uses and as such it will compliment it well.

    I agree with the thoughts on the discontinuations. I think Fuji is going to very rapidly make X-Trans V the standard across the line (CPU/sensor) due to how long IV lasted and how far behind it put them. By far the longest generation and it happened concurrently with the competition taking huge steps forward. It’s pretty critical for them to fix the perceptions that got the system stuck with (slow AF for instance). I also think you are right about the X-T50, I think they’ll keep it consistent with the name of the same generation X-Tx since it’s literally a lower end/more compact version of the larger version in each generation. I suspect a X-E5 will happen, but as you said at the end of the cycle.

    One other thought on the discontinuations/rapid platform shift: The parts shortage has not ended, rapidly changing over to the new platform permits them to consolidate their component orders and assembly lines at a time when both are at significantly reduced availability. This move helps in a lot of ways assuming they do follow through with new product launches on a compressed schedule. Otherwise it’s just sacrificing market share which is not a good idea.

    BTW nice thoughts on the community engagement issue. I feel Fuji has really missed the mark there, and it comes through in a lot of ways. Besides the fact that they do not work with sites like yours, they also don’t leverage the community to improve the brand. Opening up API’s to their cameras, especially on the software side, could enable tools like your custom profiles to be uploaded via an app to the cameras themselves. It could also permit apps like Cascable to negate the need for their terrible apps. There are a lot of benefits to opening up. Hoping the opening of their lens protocols is a harbinger of things to come…

    Random note: Till now the XF56mmF1.2 has been my fav Fuji X lens. However the Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 is making a strong case for itself. I can’t believe how fun that lens is to shoot with, and how detailed it’s resolution is. I took some shots last Saturday that I had to massively crop and was shocked at how detailed the remaining image appeared. Colors are fantastic too. Really surprised, I’d say it’s a top three lens on the system (for me the 56 & the 90 would be the other two).

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

      The Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 is one I’ve thought about getting. Now I guess I “need” to get it. 😀 The Fujinon 90mm is probably my second favorite lens, just behind the 27mm f/2.8. The 90 is I’m sure the optically superior of the two—just absolutely fantastic. Are you considering the Mark II of the 56mm?

      Liked by 1 person

      • David Fleetwood · 16 Days Ago

        You will not regret the Viltrox. If I couldn’t see the logo I’d assume it was Fuji made. Really good build quality, great optics, fantastic level of detail even zoomed way in.

        I’m…on the fence about the Mark II 56mm. If it had a linear motor AF it would have gone on my list (after I managed to acquire the new 33). But unlike many I never really had any issues with the 56mm AF, I don’t know if I just have a better copy or what, but it’s always worked great for me and I kept finding excuses to use it in non traditional ways like street. So unless the new one is a big leap forward I’m just not sure what it gains me vs keeping what I have and saving up for, say, that new Viltrox 75mm f/1.2 Pro given how good their last two X mount lenses have been (13 & 85 Mk II).

        Also it’s possible I have an addiction to portrait first lenses and need help.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

        Lol, I definitely have an addiction to lenses, especially vintage ones. I have way too many. 🤣 I don’t think you or I need help, except perhaps in attaining more….🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  3. David Fleetwood · 16 Days Ago

    I have only started on vintage lenses, my wife is pushing me to get into video so I’m looking at doing some IronGlass rebuilds on a Helios 44-2 and Mir-20B I acquired. Thinking of trying the anamorfake route for the time being to learn, and vintage lenses are cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • David Fleetwood · 16 Days Ago

      Well this went in the wrong place and it does not seem to let me delete it. Was a reply to above. Also I meant MIR-20M. Oops.

      Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

      They are indeed cheap… most of the time. If you want to do something really wild, try adapting Pentax-110 lenses 😮

      Liked by 1 person

      • David Fleetwood · 16 Days Ago

        I’ve always heard amazing things about Pentax. What are the challenges there?

        Like

      • David Fleetwood · 16 Days Ago

        Saving that for later, thanks! I did not get into Fuji until the X-S10 launched six months after that article.

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

        It’s definitely crazy, but I just love it, especially the 50mm. I also got the 70mm after the article, and it’s pretty good too, but more difficult to use due to narrow depth of field.

        Liked by 1 person

      • David Fleetwood · 16 Days Ago

        I was just glancing at it, that looks fascinating. I took the trouble of getting C mount lenses adapted to my Canon M50 previously and had some fun with that. I’ll read the article in depth when I have time.

        Do you do any video work? I’m a little intimidated by what all is going to be required there. My wife has been making some really nice videos but all with her iPhone. She wants me to help her take it up a notch.

        Here’s an example of her work, she’s Chinese so it’s on ColorV, a Chinese video platform. This was taken in a historic fishing village and the song is about returning to your hometown, but can you really ever go back?: https://api-web.colorv.com/play/bbf1103369eb54e774fae1e7049d61f8?u=6187ae15464ad1a5&c=2

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

        I don’t do video, but my wife does (a little professionally, but mostly just for fun). She started with the iPhone, then GoPro, then Fujifilm X-T20, then Fujifilm X-T4, now it’s probably 85-90% iPhone, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • wwells0401 · 15 Days Ago

        Jumping in here…sorry for the interruption. I’m a big fan of adapting vintage lenses on the x-mount system (Pentax Super-Takumar 50/1.4…wow!) and based on Ritchie’s Pentax-110 article referenced below, my adaptor for my Pentax-110 24mm and 50mm lenses just arrived yesterday. Can’t wait to try them out.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ritchie Roesch · 14 Days Ago

        Those Super-Takumars are wonderful lenses. I have a handful of them, including the 50mm f/1.4. So good! Thanks for the input!

        Like

  4. fujifil · 16 Days Ago

    Hi Ritchie

    Interesting article thank you. Just wondered if you had a view or possible timeline for an X-Pro4.

    Kind regards, Phil

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

      I definitely don’t have any inside information. Historically, the X-Pro line gets a new model roughly every four years, which means in 2023, perhaps in the fall, there should be a new version, based on past releases.

      Like

  5. Francis.R. · 15 Days Ago

    I always remember what Ken Rockwell wrote, that if you have to ask then the answer is “no.” Is like being in love, is something you already know. I was chatting with my brother and he asked me about getting a Sony A7 III for portraits of his family. I told him that he should check the photos made with that camera, although noticing that usually Sony if favored for those that use editing programs. In comparison I showed him portraits I made with my Fujifilm X100S, shot at f2, with the Ektar 100 recipe so no computer needed, he said they were like jumping out of the screen, lifelike. In cameras is usual that people chases specifications rather than photography, without mastering their already good equipment.
    About this camera I think it is a great choice for landscape photographers that require to print with the best equipment. For me, for what I want, it gets me excited the idea of Pixel Shift Multishot for the future. Who knows, maybe it could open the chance of future 12 megapixel cameras, that can use this function like cellphones cameras do today, many photos in fractions of a second being assembled for the final image. The result would be the promise of Sigma Merrill cameras, not reconstructed colors but deep colors. They look somehow different, like dense, but still they require much advancements in the processors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 14 Days Ago

      Several great points here!

      Ken is right: I think if you’re not sure, the answer is no. If you know, you know. If you don’t know, then it’s likely not the camera for you.

      I think people forget the glowing reviews that these “older” cameras received. People loved and desired them. But now, that’s a nine-year-old camera; it’s no good because it’s old and outdated. Except it is just as good in 2022 as it was in 2013 when everybody wanted it.

      And it comes down to this: is the photographer good enough? The gear has been more than “good enough” for over 100 years. If someone finds a camera lacking, it’s not the camera. It was never the camera. It was always the one using it, myself included in this. It’s easy to blame the gear for one’s shortcomings—much easier than looking inwards—but photography equipment has been pretty fantastic for a long, long time.

      The processors aren’t quite there, I don’t think, for pixel-shift to be practical. It needs to be able to handle motion (currently, if the wind blows, your shot is ruined), and work handheld (today it has to be on a tripod). I think it’s possible and the technology currently exists, but it hasn’t migrated to the camera (yet). It will be incredible if/when it does.

      Thanks for your input!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Francis.R. · 15 Days Ago

    I have been thinking about your relationship with Fujifilm and in the present the trust from your readership in my opinion is higher than from normal reviewers. I hope they welcome you. Is true that what you do maybe represent chaos for them, but is better to have some say in that chaos and turn it into life, than let its potential to wane. In my opinion the apparent popularity of Lightroom Mobile presets show that a market is building from the desire of people to move to smartphones and publish what they see in an amazing way, which most people link to years of professionals saying that they process raws in Lightroom, and the fashion of using filters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 14 Days Ago

      I think a lot of photographers want to move away from Lightroom (or whichever software) to something quicker and easier, but they don’t know how, and especially if there’s a stigma attached to it (they’ll shy away). But more and more photographers (even the pros) are using mobile apps and preset filters and such, so it’s definitely moving in that direction.

      As far as Fujifilm goes… I think there are a couple aspects to it. First of all, there’s Fujifilm Global (in Japan), then there are the regional offices scattered across the world. The Japan office runs it; the regional offices can offer opinions and advice, which may or may not be listened to by those in Japan, but that’s all they can do. I’ve never spoken with anyone at the Japan office, but I have spoken with a few people at a few of the regional offices, and have had relayed to me how the Japan office feels about this website. That’s not necessarily the opinion of the regional offices, but their opinions don’t really matter if it contradicts that of the Japan office, because the Japan office is the one that controls everything. I think there are some within the regional offices that have gone “above-and-beyond” to portray this website to the Japan office in the best light practical, which I’m grateful for, but, again, the Japan office is the only one that really “matters” in their ecosystem. If they see this website as somehow “bad” or a “threat” to what they’re trying to do, then that’s what they believe—and I do believe that’s how they see it on one hand, but on the other hand they see it as a positive thing; photographers doing with Fujifilm cameras what Fujifilm always hoped they would: use film simulations to achieve quality results in-camera. I think even they are surprised how far people (such as myself) took it and what we do with it. So I think the relationship is this: they like what I’m doing, but they “have to” keep a distance because they don’t necessarily like how I’m doing it (such as naming recipes after competing brands and speaking negatively sometimes). Those who are X Photographers or those who have a formal relationship with the company have to agree to certain things, and have to be very careful with what they say publicly about the brand (and never mention that rumor site, ever…). I’m not bound by that, which I feel is a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Stan · 15 Days Ago

    In my opinion, you have done much more for Fujifilm in particular and digital photography in general than all those button-explaining box openers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 14 Days Ago

      🤣 “button-explaining box openers” 🤣

      I appreciate your kindness! (And humor….)

      Like

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