What a delight this X-H1 has turned out to be...

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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 20,585
What a delight this X-H1 has turned out to be...

In some ways I tend to be a late bloomer, and when it comes to cameras, I often wait until prices come down - and in some extreme cases, I'll buy cameras that I had overlooked years earlier for some odd reason, like I recently did with the Samsung NX Mini - a 20 MP, 1" sensor model (and I talked about on the Samsung forum).

And so it is with the X-H1.  Heck, I recently sold off a bunch of camera gear w/accessories and wanted to update my Fuji gear (well, to me it's updating).  So I managed to acquire the X-E3, X-T2, X-T20 - and now (even though it would imply no common sense), I picked up the X-H1 w/battery grip.

And even after I made the purchase (B&H), I kept wondering if I did the right thing, in particular with regards to the size of the camera (like in "DSLR-size").  So when the camera arrived, I was surprised to see that the camera and battery grip came in the same box and that there were 3 batteries inside the box.  OK - so that was the first surprise.

So after opening everything and attaching the battery grip to the X-H1, attaching a 18-55 lens, etc., I grabbed some already charged batteries.

Initial observations (not that you folks who already have had the X-T1 would care - but for those still pondering the purchase of this model, it might have some benefits):

1.  Although yes, the X-H1 is almost DSLR sized, it is still surprisingly light (at least in my hand).  Even with the battery grip and 3 batteries installed, I was surprised at how light it feels - not at all what I had expected.  And that extended right grip is a god-send.  I doubt if you'll ever drop this camera due to lack of a gripping area.

2.  Metering accuracy.  I don't know if it's just me, but I noticed far more accurate metering on the X-H1 than other Fuji cameras that I've used - even handling some very contrast intensive scenes with aplomb.  This came as a very pleasant surprise to me because I've criticized Fuji metering algorithms in the past because of their tendency to try to protect the shadows at the expense of hi-lights (i.e. skies completely blown out).

3.  Increased Dynamic Range (DR).  Here is another pleasant surprise (well, again - at least for me), and that's in the area of DR.  I'm noticing a half to almost one full stop of increased dynamic range in files that I heretofore would capture and certain areas would be blown out and couldn't be salvaged.  This is a huge plus in my book.

I could go on and on and on, but suffice it to say that if you've been pondering getting the X-H1, I'd say don't hesitate and get it while you still can - in particular, the camera and grip kit (as I said above, both the camera and grip are in the same box).  This indeed is a premium camera and for the prices it is selling for now, it's a no-brainer.  The best deal I've seen is the one on B&H where you get the camera body with battery grip (and remember, it comes with 3 batteries), along with a free SD card and a camera bag.

The two areas that I don't care for - but not a deal breaker are:

1.  The feel of the shutter button.  There's not much play and you will catch yourself accidentally taking a photo.  That play often present with just about every other camera is no longer there.  So you have to get a feel for this, which I'm doing.  I understand that you can send the camera into Fuji to get it adjusted, but I'll deal with it in the meantime since I have no desire of sending it in, only to have to wait a few weeks before it comes back.

2.  The shutter button also does NOT have the screw-in indent, so you cannot attach a manual shutter release cable or a soft shutter release.  I found this odd in that this is supposedly to be the flagship camera model for Fuji.  But hey, it is what it is and it certainly doesn't ruin my attitude about the X-H1.

3.  Because I've used a wealth of different digital cameras and currently shoot with the Fuji X, Canon EOS M, various Micro 43 cameras, and yes...even the now defunct (yet still very competent) Samsung NX system, I must add that I would have hoped that Fuji could have implemented the IBIS scenario better.  For example, using Olympus cameras within Micro 4/3, you have a menu option that allows you to select either the lens-based OIS option (lens-based priority), or the camera's IBIS priority.  With the newer ones both the lens and IBIS work in unison.  I do wish Fuji would have added that option in the menu structure, meaning if we want to just use the lens-based IS, or the IBIS, or both?  As it stands right now, with some IS lenses, the IS menu item is grayed out until you turn the IS switch on the lens to "on."

But as they say, there are different strokes for different folks.  All I know is that I feeling pretty good about this X-H1.

So despite the caveats we can list (what camera doesn't have issues), I must say that as far as a photographic instrument is concerned (and I've owned or used close to 200 digital cameras of all types since 1998), this X-H1 has me impressed in so many different ways.

OK, I'm done.... 

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Have a great day...
Bernd ("Ben") Herrmann
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina USA

 Ben Herrmann's gear list:Ben Herrmann's gear list
Fujifilm X30 Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Canon EOS M Olympus OM-D E-M5 +17 more
Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm X-T20 Samsung NX mini
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