Photography / News

WPPI 2018: Fujifilm Launches Stabilized X-H1 Camera and MKX Series Cine Lenses


Creating a new top tier in the X Series, Fujifilm has just unveiled details of the X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera, and alongside it come the Fujinon MKX18-55mm T2.9 and MKX50-135mm T2.9 lenses. This camera release builds on and improves upon its predecessor in almost every aspect of operation, making it the flagship model in the company's APS-C line, and it has notably become the first X Series camera to feature 5-axis in-body stabilization. Still targeted at photographers with a capable 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor and the X-Processor Pro Engine, Fujifilm has taken care to make dramatic leaps in the video department with the implementation of DCI 4K recording at 24.00 fps and with a higher bit rate of 200 Mbps, as well as F-Log being able to be saved directly to an SD card. On top of this, Fujifilm has taken the recently released line of cinema zooms and updated them for X mount, enabling professional film shoots to take advantage of these phenomenal optics.

Leading the feature list of the X-H1 is five-axis in-body image stabilization, a first for Fujifilm's X Series. This system is extremely effective, with a maximum rating of 5.5 stops when used with compatible lenses. As the goal is to reduce the impact of camera shake, Fujifilm has also taken care to offer electronic front curtain and fully electronic shutter options, which will further minimize the potential for vibrations during your imaging process. The addition of an internal stabilizer will also be a boon for filmmakers, because run-and-gun handheld shooting is now more feasible, with smoother movements and less distracting shake in your footage.

Speaking of video, the X-H1 is the most capable video-shooting mirrorless camera Fujifilm has ever released, marked heavily by its appeal to cinema formats like DCI 4K at a true 24 fps. Other improvements in this category include high-speed video of Full HD 1080p at up to 120 fps, allowing for 1/5 speed slow-motion capture and high-bit-rate recording up to 200 Mbps for retaining maximum detail and minimizing aberrations in your footage. Also, a 400% dynamic range setting, which is equivalent to about 12 stops, is available, along with F-Log Gamma for professional workflows. Users can record externally via a micro-HDMI port where the footage is output at 8-bit 4:2:2, improving on the internal limit of 8-bit 4:2:0. Sound even got a boost, with a better internal mic recording at 48kHz and 24-bit and verbal time codes. And finally, ETERNA makes its return as a film-simulation mode, providing shooters with access to the color and tones of the classic movie film.

Let's not forget about stills—this model offers numerous improvements in this arena, beyond the implementation of IBIS. One new feature of the X-H1 is a flicker-reduction mode, which helps maintain consistent exposure levels under difficult fluorescent and mercury lighting fixtures. For capturing sharp imagery, the 325-point Intelligent Hybrid AF System returns, though with improved processing that ensures faster and more accurate continuous focusing and better low-light operation with the ability to use phase-detect points down to f/11.

Overall operability of the camera has been enhanced, most noticeably with a larger, more ergonomic grip and more solid construction using magnesium alloy that is 25% thicker than previous models. This model is dust- and water resistant and can operate in cold environments at temperatures as low as 14°F. Also, the body offers users a 3.0" 1.04m-dot three-direction tilting touchscreen for intuitive operation of many camera settings. For eye-level viewing, there is a high-res 0.75x 3.69m-dot electronic viewfinder with a lag time of 0.005 seconds and a refresh rate of 100 fps. A 1.28" sub LCD makes an appearance on the top of the camera, much like the GFX, and makes it easier to check camera settings. Additionally, various other improvements were made, including a leaf-spring switch for the shutter release, a tweaked mechanical shutter that is nearly silent, a new AF-ON button, and larger rear buttons.

With a revamped body design, Fujifilm has released a dedicated VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster Grip, which is just as weather resistant as the body and holds two batteries in addition to the one in the camera. This allows you to shoot up to 900 shots before changing the battery. This power booster can also improve overall performance during burst shooting for faster responses, reduced shutter lag, and minimized blackout. Video shooters will benefit greatly from this addition, due to an improvement in maximum recording time for 4K video, to 30 minutes, and the headphone socket for monitoring audio. Since it is a vertical grip, the VPG-XH1 features its own shutter release, focus lever, command dial, and more, all positioned for ergonomic portrait-orientation shooting. It can even simultaneously recharge batteries using the included AC-9VS AC Adapter. You can also get the X-H1 and the Grip bundled in a dedicated kit. Another accessory released today is the EC-XH W Wide Eyecup, which is compatible with various X-Series cameras and the GFX. Its larger size helps limit light from disrupting your vision and it can be rotated in 90-degree increments for use with the left or right eye, as well as in horizontal or vertical shooting positions. Additionally, it features an anti-static coating to reduce dust buildup.

As Fujifilm angles to make its cameras more and more suitable for professional filmmakers, it only makes sense that the company has implemented the X mount on its line of cinema-class zooms. The MKX18-55mm T2.9 and MKX50-135mm T2.9 are the first in this series and were very well received during their initial release for Sony E-mount systems. Boasting color matching with other Fujinon lenses, standard 0.8 MOD gearing, and coverage of the Super35 format, these lenses will be easily implemented into existing movie-making setups and kits. They also manage to fill many roles with equivalent zoom ranges of 27-84mm and 76-206mm, respectively, making them a great pairing for the X-mount system.

Fujinon MKX18-55mm T2.9

Other cine-specific benefits include 200° focus rotation, a de-clicked 9-blade aperture, 82mm filter thread, and an 85mm front diameter for matte boxes or other accessories. There is a macro mode that reduces the minimum focus distance significantly, and the lenses feature optical designs that reduce focus breathing to an absolute minimum. Contributing to their performance is the use of electrical contacts, which permit communication with X-Series cameras and will enable automatic correction of distortion and vignetting, as well as more appropriate results with Film Simulation modes. One last advanced benefit of these optics is a Flange Focal Distance adjustment, which lets shooters dial-in the lens perfectly with their camera body for optimal performance.

What do you think about the X-H1's video skills and in-body stabilization? Let us know in the Comments section, below!


With the removal of the exposure compensation dial (something I used a lot on the X-T2) how do I change the exposure on this new camera? Is it still something I can do on the fly?

To adjust the exposure compensation, you would have to hold the Exposure Compensation button [+/-] located near the shutter button while simultaneously rotating the rear command dial until the desired value is displayed in the viewfinder or LCD monitor.

I found chance to use shortly. The IS works amazingly. During live view mode, IS OFF and frame is shaking normally on hands but when IS is ON, frame shaking was stopped and stabilized. PS; this test was carried out in door light condition. 

Body is getting bigger due to new functions but I liked grip which allows grab body. Also all buttons and wheels getting softer and less loud. this is for video I guess. Mechanical shutter is less loud too with same purpose. Body is hybrid of GFX and XT2. Only worry is battery life while IS ON. They need to improve battery life or new battery should come out. Other suggestion IS ON/OFF button should be on body like Pentax bodies. It is on the menu and I could not find short cut for assign FN buttons. It may come later with software update. As a result, Yes it is video camera but still photographers can use if they like to shot in low light with prime lens. Cause IS will be turbo function for Fuji prime lens which do not have IS on lens body. Rest of new functions are good but not enough to buy or renew for still photographers. 

I like Fujifilm approaches which they listen & respect consumer also they do not produce new bodies on the same line very randomly. 

this aspect allows to respect and connect photographers body.  

I can't see any compelling reason why a stills shooter would rush to buy this.  The IBIS is nice, but the fact that you need to buy the vertical grip to get just 900 shots before changing the battery worries me.  Other changes such as the tilting touchscreen, top LCD, etc. are incremental but not revolutionary, although the tweaks to the shutter mechanism are interesting.  On the whole however this camera appears to be squarely for the video market with not much to offer stills photographers over the existing top-line X series cameras.     

I just bought an XT-2 to use for equal parts video and photo. Should I return it and spring for an X-H1? Can't decide how important the IBIS will be for me, because I do like to shoot handheld video.

I would definitely return the XT-2 if you have any thoughts of using the camera for video.  I own the XT-2 and love it but I have an XH-1 on order.  The IBIS on/off video comparisons are astounding in just how smooth the IBIS makes handheld video.  As the XH-1 has the same photo taking abilities, if not better, than the XT-2 there is really little reason not to upgrade.  

The X-H1 is certainly better for video in many other ways besides IBIS. So if you have an option to switch it out I would say take that opportunity.

I watch the video . Fujifilm may have something here,Am I to understand that it used the same lens as the X-Pro2 use and is it lighter then the Canon 5D Mark 4.

Yup. The X-H1 takes all X Series lenses like the X-Pro2 and X-T2. It also is much smaller and lighter than a 5D Mark IV, though you must also remember the 5D is full-frame while the X-H1 is APS-C.

 When I first  saw this new camera  I really got excited.  I thought it was a upgrade over the X-T2.  The more I read about the camera it’s seen  like the emphasis is on the video characteristics of this new camera and not photography. Maybe I’ll have a change of heart  after I watch the video.

Hi Earl,

The X-H1 is in a sense an upgrade over the X-T2 with its in-body stabilization and more robust body and enhanced controls. Overshadowing this is the amount of work Fujifilm put into their video recording specs, but don't be worried, this is the best photo and video camera Fujifilm has produced in the X Series.