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