Video

In many respects, the X-H1's video is a match for that of the X-T2. It can shoot 4K for longer (15 minutes, rather than 10) and it now offers stabilization, but for the most part, the specs and the quality are the same.

Most of the differences, then, come in terms of how the camera is controlled when shooting video. There are two main methods for controlling the camera in video. Which one makes sense for depends on whether you want to change settings as you shoot but also on whether you're solely shooting video or jumping back and forth between video and stills.

Dedicated dials

You can set the camera's video exposure using all the dedicated control points and dials. This is an easy way to work, since you can easily see what each parameter is set to. However,it risks shaking the camera if you try to change settings during shooting and also means that you're likely to have to make multiple settings changes each time you switch between movie and stills shooting.

A menu option lets you transfer aperture control to the camera's command dials, if you prefer that way of working. Sadly, though you can lock the shutter speed dial, this doesn't prevent accidental operation, since one of the command dials will still allow +/- 2/3EV adjustment. And you may need this adjustment if you're trying to access 1/48th of a second shutter speed.

Movie Silent Control

The Movie Silent Control interface overrides all the camera's dedicated controls and lets you control the camera using the touchscreen or by a combination of screen, command dials and the joystick. This means you can simply move the mode dial switch to 'Movie' and not have to worry that you had the shutter dial set to 1/250th.

The interface provides an onscreen list of nine camera settings, from shutter speed to mic level, via white balance. The Silent Control list is relatively small on the screen, so we found the joystick let us specify the setting we wanted with greater precision than trying to tap the screen but with less risk of shaking the camera than we got from using the command dials.

The Movie Silent Control mode uses this touch-sensitive list to let you set various parameters, including exposure, for movie shooting.

The factor that's common to both methods is that recording is always initiated using the camera's shutter button. This creates two problems: firstly it means that, no matter how you've configured the camera, there's no way to quickly grab a still without switching out of movie drive mode. Secondly, the X-H1's soft-release shutter makes it very easy to accidentally initiate recording, occasionally meaning that when you finally try to start rolling, you end up stopping the camera.

Auto exposure control

As with stills shooting you can allow the camera to control any or all of: shutter speed, aperture and ISO. If any of these three parameters is camera controlled, you can also apply exposure compensation to define the target brightness. The camera's attempts to control brightness are not always especially smooth, with aperture changes being most abrupt, ISO adjustment being slightly finer-grained and changes in shutter speed seeming the smoothest of all three.

Video Autofocus

As is the case elsewhere on the camera, the X-H1 offers distinct settings for movie shooting, when it comes to AF. You can specify between 91 AF points and have two options to control how the AF behaves (with one setting to define how readily the system decides to focus to a different depth and another to dictate how fast or slow the motor is driven). Face detection is also available.

Here we demonstrate both standard, single point continuous AF and Face Detection. We then increased the Tracking Sensitivity setting (the responsiveness to changes in distance) and found it generally gave a better result, though still visibly 'stepped' result. Face Detection worked a little less well, especially if the subject started outside the central Phase Detection region.

Video Quality

The camera is able to offer a small step up in quality over the X-T2, since it's reading out the sensor in the same way but is able to record it at twice the bitrate (200 Mbps), which should mean better preservation of motion and fine detail in noisy situations.

This is exactly the sort of thing that our static studio shot can't show: we shoot it to assess how the scene is sampled and to look at the sharpening that's applied.

Sure enough, the higher bitrate lets the X-H1 outperform the X-T2, even in a static frame grab. The footage isn't quite as detailed as the a6500's footage (either in 24p or the cropped 30p mode). However, the Fujifilm's 1.17x crop allows it to offer less rolling shutter than the full-width readout of the Sony's 24p mode and, it appears, a little less aliasing than in the a6500's 30p mode.

The camera's '17:9' DCI 4K footage is essentially the same as the 16:9 UHD result but with the top and bottom of the sensor's capture being cropped a bit tighter. There's a very minor IQ cost to be paid for this but it's still significantly oversampled, so still looks very good. Full HD, 1080 quality is up with the best, though this isn't maintained across to the camera's high speed 120p mode.

We'll be shooting more video with the X-H1 in the coming weeks, as the weather gets better in Seattle, to take a closer look at the F-Log footage and how it compares to the 'cinematic' Eterna Film Simulation, shot with DR400% mode engaged.