Are you in search of a mirrorless camera that offers exceptional performance and versatility without breaking the bank? Look no further than the Fujifilm X-H1, a camera that has truly stood the test of time. Now, four years since its initial release and just two weeks after the announcement of its successor, the X-H2S, the X-H1 has become an incredible deal that is hard to resist. In this blog post, we will explore why the Fujifilm X-H1 remains a top choice for both amateur and professional photographers, and why it is an irresistible option in terms of value for money.
Fujifilm X-H1 Four Years Later (Two Weeks After X-H2S Announcement): An INCREDIBLE Deal!
Hey everybody, I’m Hugh Brownstone for Three Blind Men and an Elephant and I will make this short. In the midst of rapidly rising prices for full-frame cameras and lenses, a resurgence of interest in the APS-C camera segment, and global supply chain issues which have further exacerbated upward pricing pressure on new and used gear, Fujifilm’s four-year-old X-H1 has become a used camera steal.
When Fujifilm announced their new, well, hold that thought, do-it-all IBIS-equipped, 3.7 million dot EVF, top play sub-panel, 4K recording, built-like-a-brick-house APS-C flagship X-H1 in 2018, they had the misfortune of doing so just as other better, more keenly-priced cameras had hit the market. I’m talking about Sony’s revelatory thousand-dollar A7III, Panasonic’s beautiful and thoroughly executed seventeen hundred dollar micro four thirds G9, and then just months after that, right, Fujifilm’s own $1500 XT3. Together, these three cameras just sank the X-H1, a little bit like the Neptune missiles that sank the Russian flagship Moskva, although, of course, not the same thing. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. It’s just that life is bigger than cameras. And yeah, okay, hold that thought for another video.
The A7III had a full-frame sensor, but more importantly, better video specs where it mattered, like 4K recording back then, even up to 30 minutes, and mic and headphone jacks, all without the need to pony up for an optional $300 battery grip. Never mind the Sony’s superior autofocus, wider lens selection, better high ISO performance, shallower depth of field at the margin, yada yada. The G9 had, as good or better, video specs than the X-H1 and the Sony, including 4K 60p, way better IBIS, better ergos, and had the flippy screen and HDMI A port, yay. Both the A7III and X-H1 did not. Interestingly enough, while the G9’s autofocus system was contrast detect only and not nearly as good as the Sony’s phase detect hybrid system, the G9’s actual autofocus performance was closer than one would have imagined to the hybrid autofocus-equipped X-H1, basically matching it for stills in all but the most extreme circumstances, like birding. Fair enough. And actually smoother, if not as sure, for video, with dynamic range, by the way, that matched the X-H1 up to ISO 800, trailing it by half a stop through ISO 12800. Although what most people didn’t realize then or now, is that equalized for depth of field, the G9’s ISO performance was about on par with the Fujifilm and the Sony. Then again, keeping it real, there was a difference, to my eye anyway, most likely due to the G9’s limitation of 12-bit stills.
When the XT3 came along months after that, it sported a brand new, modestly higher resolution sensor, accompanied by a brand new processor. The end result of which proved to be things like 4K 60p, now that, as I just said, the X-H1 and A7III did not have, better autofocus than the X-H1, still not as good as the A7III, mic and headphone jacks in the body itself, although for headphones, it did require a USB-C to 3.5-millimeter thingamabob, which, as it turns out, was almost always the first thing you’d lose like a homing pigeon immediately leaving the vicinity of the box in which it came from parts unknown, and like the A7III and X-H1, the XT3 arrived with a fiddly micro HDMI port.
An Incredible Deal
But most importantly, at $1500, the XT3 was just under 75% of the price of a properly configured X-H1, that is, with the optional $300 grip one really needed. Even if the XT3 didn’t have the X-H1’s IBIS, the XT3 was so good and keenly priced, in fact, that it, in turn, along with the A7III, sank the G9.
But with all of this said, that was then, this is now. With everything that I just mentioned, now the very real flaws of the X-H1 as a hybrid camera for many of us simply melt away when considered as a photography-only instrument, which is how I suggest you think about it, or as an exceptionally cost-effective and enjoyable introduction to the X System. As a hybrid system, it was, however, at launch, Fujifilm’s ambitions aside, and still is today, first and foremost, a special photographer’s tool, right down to the tilty-only rear screen that many photographers prefer, especially this particular implementation, which is also perfect for low-level vertical shots.
But the real kicker is today’s price. You can pick up a used X-H1 in like-new minus condition at KEH for under $800. In fact, I borrowed one from our friends at KEH and mated it to both my own XF 16-55 2.8 Grid Badge Zoom and the new 33 1.4, courtesy of Fujifilm, during our Streets of New York photography workshop just last week for images like this:
We’re talking one-third the price of an X-H2S, half the price of a new XT4, half the price of a used A7III, one grade lower (excellent plus), basically one-tenth the price of my Leica SL2. And I have to tell you, I’ve forgotten just how silky smooth the X-H1’s shutter release is. Truly one of the best in the business even today. And just how small, light, solid, and good the camera feels in hand. Especially with that 33 1.4, gorgeous if a little heavy on vignetting wide open, although I don’t mind. Then it’s easily corrected. I was also taken aback by how good the autofocus was for street work. Faster and sure than my SL2, a whole lot smaller and lighter too.
The only thing it’s really lacking, given what and how we shoot our personal work, is more resolution. Lots more resolution. But I think it’s fair to say that most of us will never crop the crap out of an image the way Claudia and I do, nor print as large as we do. We just unpacked our latest 60-inch print on the long side on aluminum, destined for a gallery. I think… Hold that thought for another video too.
Of course, you could pick up a used XT2 for even less, a camera that I loved when I got my hands on one in 2017. Still fabulous today for photographs, but with a superior EVF, IBIS that you can scoff out all day long, but won’t once you actually try it. And yes, I’m talking stills, better build quality, better grip. You get the idea. I’d find the extra $200 for the X-H1. That’s it, practically a public service announcement that I feel very comfortable making now that I see Fujifilm re-energizing its lens line, and on its way, according to Fujifilm at the latest X Summit, to a 40-megapixel upgrade path. Oh baby.
This video is brought to you by the good folks at KEH. Not only is KEH the oldest and biggest at what they do, buying and selling exclusively used camera gear of all sorts since 1979, but they do it well, with integrity and both a 180-day warranty and 21-day return policy. Free shipping on transactions over $49, which is why, because they make it as fuss-free a process as possible, they are our go-to whenever we are looking to fund new purchases by selling our own gear or buying that specially used piece of kit. Properly graded and checked when we want to go quirky or old-school. Check them out using the special links and 5% discount or bonus code in the video description below. Thank you, KEH.
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Fujifilm X-H1 Four Years Later (Two Weeks After X-H2S Announcement): An INCREDIBLE Deal!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Fujifilm X-H1?
A: The Fujifilm X-H1 is a mirrorless digital camera offering high-quality image capture, advanced video capabilities, and a robust feature set suitable for both professional and enthusiast photographers.
Q: How long has the Fujifilm X-H1 been on the market?
A: The Fujifilm X-H1 was released four years ago and has proven to be a reliable and popular choice among photographers in that time.
Q: What is the significance of the X-H2S announcement?
A: The X-H2S announcement refers to the newer model in the X-H series, which has recently been announced by Fujifilm. This announcement indicates a technological advancement and potential improvements over the X-H1.
Q: Why is the X-H1 considered an incredible deal two weeks after the X-H2S announcement?
A: Following the announcement of a newer model, the price of the X-H1 may drop significantly, making it an amazing bargain for those looking to purchase a high-quality camera with advanced features.
Q: What are the key features of the Fujifilm X-H1?
A: The X-H1 offers a 24.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor, in-body image stabilization, 4K video recording, a tilting touchscreen display, and a robust build for enhanced durability.
Q: Can I use my existing Fujifilm lenses with the X-H1?
A: Yes, the X-H1 is compatible with Fujifilm’s X-Mount lenses, allowing you to use your existing lenses or invest in new ones for your photography needs.
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