In Use...

Here, rather than trying to assess the camera for general, all-round use, we see how well it performs and what features it offers and lacks for specific types of shooting.

Travel

18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR @ 26.6mm
Provia/Standard | 1/100th | F16 | ISO 200
Photo by Carey Rose

The Fujifilm JPEG engine and ability to re-process Raw files in the camera are distinct advantages for being able to get good-looking final images when you're away from your computer. The always-connected Bluetooth also means it's possible to fairly quickly send images to your smartphone or auto transfer them each time you turn the camera off.

However, while the image stabilization also helps in terms of being able to shoot while out-and-about, the camera's larger size counts against it as a travel companion. Given the choice, one of the X-T cameras or the X-E3 would fit more readily in a bag, and there's no battery life cost to moving to those smaller models. That said, the X-H1 does offer USB charging, which is always handy when you're away from home for an extended period.

Sports and Action

The X-H1's autofocus has got to the stage where it's pretty effective for a range of shooting situations. The performance significantly improves once you've learned to fine-tune the continuous autofocus behavior to match your subject's movements. Equally, most of the long zooms that lend themselves to sports and action are among the faster-to-focus options to mount on the camera.

However, while the X-H1 will happily turn its hand to sports and action shooting, its price puts it up against the hugely impressive Nikon D500, which is probably the safer choice if sports shooting is your primary style of shooting. The X-H1 is a highly capable all-rounder (especially if your needs include some video shooting), but the D500, with its wide AF coverage and highly consistent AF performance is a better dedicated sports camera.

Landscape

23mm F1.4 R
Provia/Standard | 1/250th | F11 | ISO 200
Photo by Carey Rose

For tripod-based landscape shooting, the X-H1 doesn't offer much beyond the lighter X-T2. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since the X-T2 is a very capable camera, and the image stabilization could still come in useful in situations that you don't want to lug your three-legged support with you.

Again, though, for this money there are better cameras for the dedicated landscape shooter. The Pentax K-1, with its pixel shift resolution mode, for instance, is available for a similar amount of money. Alternatively, the larger sensor of the Sony a7 III is likely to mean better image quality in a similar form factor (albeit with larger, heavier lenses in many cases), with better options for ultra-wide zooms.

Social

23mm F1.4 R
Astia/Soft | 1/1600th | F1.4 | ISO 200
Photo by Carey Rose

The X-H1's size counts against it as a camera for casual social occasions. The always-connected Bluetooth and Wi-Fi communication mean that images can be automatically delivered to your phone at the end of every shoot, though.

Face Detection seems improved in this generation of camera and the X-H1 promises improved performance in low light, but even paired with the compact F2 primes, it's still not the easiest camera to carry around with you.

Video

Where the X-H1 really shines is for video. Its feature set can't match that of the Panasonic GH series, but nor can those of most of its rivals. The quality is extremely good, with 4K captured by oversampling, which gives excellent levels of detail, while the decision to use a slightly smaller cropped region of the sensor means either less rolling shutter (at 24p) or less aliasing (at 30p) than the comparable Sony a6500

The camera's ability to remember separate parameters for stills and movie shooting makes it easy to jump back and forth between the two and, if you engage the touchscreen-based Movie Silent Shooting mode, there's no need to change exposure settings, either since this mode overrides the camera's control dials. Little details, such as the linear response option for focus-by-wire lenses shows that Fujifilm is taking movies seriously.

The provision of internal F-Log recording (albeit in 8-bit) will add flexibility for committed videographers while the ability to shoot in any of the camera's Film Simulation modes means that it's easier to get great-looking results without the need for significant post-processing. It's enough to make the X-H1 well worth considering if you have any interest in video and especially if you want this in addition to shooting stills.

Weddings and Events

Wedding and event shooting requires a balance of the capabilities needed for action photography and those needed for social shooting, with good quality video being an added bonus. From the assessments above you should be able to deduce that the X-H1 is a competent but not outstanding camera in this regard.

23mm F2 R WR
Astia/Soft | 1/35th | F16 | ISO 320
Photo by Richard Butler

The very quiet mechanical shutter will be a definite advantage for some events shooting. Face Detection performance is good but its variability based on lens choice and the significant drop in performance if your subject strays outside the phase-detection region means it's simply not as dependable as the best of its rivals.

The client-ready JPEGs are a definite advantage but the Fujifilm flash system isn't as extensive as some of the competing systems. The ability to easily switch from stills to video shooting and back is a definite plus, though the visible 'stepping' of exposure changes limits the ability to use autoexposure in video.

Overall, as is the case with the more specific use-cases describes above, the X-H1 can turn its hand to some Wedding and Event shooting but wouldn't be our first choice if this is your primary intention.