We’ve been hearing rumors about the Fujifilm X-H2 almost since the X-H1 was released, which feels like another lifetime ago. In fact, it arrived back in February 2018, which in camera years is about a decade.
But we’re now getting an increasingly clear picture of how the X-H1’s successor is likely to shape up, and it’s very exciting for fans of Fuji and for those with a penchant for video shooting.
The original X-H1 offered an intriguing blend of mirrorless power mixed with DSLR-style handling, and included state-of-the-art features such as in-body image stabilization (IBIS).
While at the time these were cutting-edge specs, the X-H1 has been somewhat left behind in the intervening time by models like the Fujifilm X-T4 and Fujifilm X-S10, with some rumors suggesting the X-H line could even be a thing of the past. There’s been enough solid rumors in recent months, though, to suggest than an X-H2 is definitely on the cards, and it could be the flagship camera to introduce a brand new next-generation sensor and processor.
Many hybrid shooters will be keen to know when the X-H2 is likely to arrive and what features it might bring. So we’ve rounded up the latest rumors and analyzed where we might expect the X-H2 to appear in the ever-growing and increasingly competitive world of the best mirrorless cameras.
Fujifilm X-H2 release date and price
The latest rumors suggest that the Fujifilm X-H2 will be released sometime in 2022. This speculation comes from the pretty reliable Fuji Rumors, which says that the information has come from “multiple trusted sources”.
On one hand, it’s great to hear that the Fujifilm X-H2 is almost certainly en route – despite Fujifilm consistently saying that the X-H series has a future, some doubts had crept in due to the considerable hybrid power of the Fujifilm X-T4.
It means that there will have been a big gap between the X-H1 and the X-H2, but with multiple global problems, not least the chip shortage, this comes as no surprise.
Still, according to Fuji Rumors, one “top trusted Japanese source” also claimed that the new mirrorless camera will be “well worth the wait”. And as we’ll see below, there are good reasons to believe that will be the case.
In terms of pricing, the latest speculation from Fuji Rumors suggests it’ll “cost less than $2,500”. This suggests it’ll be pricier than the Fujifilm X-H1, which arrived for $1,899 / £1,699 / AU$2,700 (body only) back in 2018.
But a sub-$2,500 price tag (which likely works out to around £2,400 / AU$4,500 in real terms) would also put the X-H2 below full-frame rivals with similar powers, such as 8K video. The full-frame Canon EOS R5, for example, costs $3,899 / £4,199 / AU$6,899.
A higher price tag than the Fujifilm X-T4 ($1,699 / £1,549 / AU$2,999) also makes sense, although it seems likely that the X-H2 will be closer to that rumored sub-$2,500 figure.
Fujifilm X-H2 rumors and leaks
According to recent rumors, the Fujifilm X-H2 is shaping up to be a landmark camera that takes the X-series into a new generation of sensors and processors.
On August 26, Fuji Rumors confidently predicted that the X-H2 will have an X-Trans sensor rather than a Bayer design. Fuji’s X-Trans sensors have a different ‘color filter array’ to the more common Bayer design, which produces some apparently unique characteristics.
Many Fujifilm fans claim that X-Trans sensors produce improved sharpness and better high ISO performance, but it’s also true that X-Trans demosaicing (the process by which a color image is constructed from the sensor output) is more processor-intensive and can hit battery life.
Still, perhaps more important is the fact that the Fujifilm X-H2 could be the first camera to showcase a new stacked APS-C sensor. The company’s latest 26.1MP BSI X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, which we first saw on the Fujifilm X-T3 in 2018, has likely hit its limits. It’s time for another leap forward if Fujifilm is to compete with full-frame cameras from Sony, Canon and Nikon. On September 8, a report in Fuji Rumors suggested that the camera will be housing a 40MP sensor. Fujifilm also revealed at its latest X Summit that a ‘stacked’ sensor design was on its way for the X-series.
As we’ve seen on cameras like the Sony A1, a ‘stacked’ design (which allows the sensor to have multiple layers of circuitry behind the photodiodes) can bring big potential benefits in areas like burst shooting, autofocus and video.
Also, in an Imaging Resource interview in 2020, Shin Udono (Fujifim’s Senior Manager of Sales and Marketing), said that “we need some sort of breakthrough, probably” in order to separate the X-T line from the X-H series. He also agreed with a statement that the X-H series is where “new technology enters the product line”.
While that could also refer to other features, like the X-H1’s introduction of in-body image stabilization (IBIS) in Fujifilm cameras for the first time, there’s a good chance that it’s referring to a new sensor. Another reason to believe this is the apparent leak, picked up by EOSHD , of a new stacked APS-C Sony sensor that has a 43MP resolution and can shoot 8K video with 12-bit color depth – that puts it close to the 40MP rumor, too.
But it’s important to remember that we’re firmly in the realm of rumors here – and even if that Sony sensor leak is true, it’s far from certain that Fujifilm would be able to use it in the X-H2 or other X-series cameras. As FujiAddict noted at the time of the leak, Sony could instead use this chip exclusively in its own APS-C Alpha cameras, which are also due an upgrade.
Still, the rumors that the X-H2 will introduce that now confirmed new sensor seem very likely. Fujifilm has admitted in its Fujicast podcast that the current 26MP sensor, seen in the recent Fujifilm X-E4, is likely reaching the end of its life, so we can expect to see a new chip in the X-H2. But what other features would we like to see the camera bring?
Another, perhaps slightly more outlandish suggestion is the idea that Fujifilm might introduce not one, but two variations of the X-H2, like Panasonic and its S series models. We’d expect both potential X-H2 models to be based around the same sensor and processor, but with variations for video to give different users more targeted options. There could also be design and build differences too between the two, again to help appeal to the widest number of people possible.
Fujifilm X-H2: what we want to see
1. A higher-res EVF
One of the Fujifilm X-H1’s strengths when it launched was its “brilliant viewfinder”, as our review called its 3.69 million-dot OLED EVF. That said, as Fuji’s expected flagship, we’d expect the X-H2 to take the EVF up a level again.
Viewfinders have now moved onto incredible 9.44-million dot monitors with 0.90x magnification, like the one seen in the Sony A1. But perhaps more realistically, we’d like to see the Fujifilm X-H2 get a viewfinder like the one seen on the Sony A7R IV, which is a 5.76-million dot affair with 120fps refresh rate, which is handy for getting a smooth preview of fast-moving scenes.
2. A new battery
One feature that’s almost guaranteed on the Fujifilm X-H2 is support for the new battery that Fuji introduced on the Fujifilm X-T4.
The Fujifilm NP-W235 is a larger-capacity battery than the older NP-W126S and on the X-T4 we found it was a significant step up, offering around 600-shots per charge.
Strong battery performance is particularly important on hybrid cameras that shoot a mix of video and stills, which is what we’re expecting from the X-H2 – and it’ll also likely get a battery grip, either in the form of compatibility with the VPB‑XH1 or a new grip that can house an extra two batteries.
3. Powerful 8K video skills
The Fujifilm X-T4 is already a pretty powerful video camera that can shoot 4K/60p video – so we’d expect to the X-H2 to take that up another notch.
Whether than means 8K video, a rumor that’s come from that potentially leaked 43MP Sony sensor, remains to be seen – but we’d certainly like to see a 6K video mode at least.
This would help provide some handy extra leeway, for example giving you the option of stabilizing a shaky video in post-production or creating over-sampled 4K footage that gets a lift in detail and sharpness.
But the latest rumors from April do suggest that a leap to 8K video is now looking the most likely, which would give videographers the option of cutting a single piece of footage into a few different 4K angles.
Perhaps even more important and helpful than a resolution boost would be a removal of video recording limits.
The Fujifilm X-H1 could only record continuously for 30 minutes at a time, so we’d like to see the X-H2 redesigned to manage heat better and allow the camera to match the impressive extended recording powers of cameras like the Sony A7S III.
This could be particularly challenging to achieve with the rumored X-Trans sensor, which tend to be more processor-intensive than a Bayer design, so we’ll be interested to see if and how Fujifilm manages to achieve this.
4. Better ports
A couple of slight gripes we had with the Fujifilm X-H1 were its micro HDMI port, which tends to be less reliable than the full-size HDMIs seen on cameras like the Panasonic GH5, and the fact that its headphone jack was only available on its battery grip.
We’d like to see both of these things fixed on the X-H2, along with support for on-the-go USB-C charging and possibly even a CFexpress card slot, as previous rumors have hinted at.
5. Next-gen autofocus
Fujifilm’s autofocus has improved a lot on recent cameras like the Fujifilm X-T4, which doubled the tracking success-rate of its predecessor and fine-tuned its Face / Eye AF performance. But it still lags behind the best AF performance we’ve seen from rivals like the Sony A6400 and Canon EOS R6.
Sony has, in particular, really nailed autofocus performance in mid-range cameras, with impressively ‘sticky’ tracking and advanced Animal Eye AF a real boon for wildlife snappers, too.
We’d like to see the Fujifilm X-H2 introduce some next-gen AF performance that helps it at least draw level with similarly-priced rivals, as this would be a real boon for everything from portrait shooting to video.