Yesterday I made an important purchase and aquired a new Fujifilm X-H1 digital camera. I use Fujifilm cameras as a professional and my X-T2 cameras with battery grips are usually my go-to choice. However, the price of the X-H1 with vertical battery grip has now become nothing short of a bargain and the camera, with built-in image stabilisation, was just too good to miss.
More on the camera in a moment, at this point I would like to say if you don't mind purchasing camera gear towards the end of its product cycle then you may be able to get a superb deal. The X-H1 has only been around for 18 months and yet the price, with the grip, has almost halved. There's still time to get this highly robust and versatile camera at a knock down price and with the release of the X-H2 likely next year, there's a chance that the price may reduce a little more in the months to come.
The X-H1 is currently marketed as Fujifilm's flagship APSC camera. It is built for professional use and has several features that I think make it an excellent choice. Firstly, it has a shutter release button that works like a 'hair trigger', requiring very little activation pressure, it also has in-body stabilisation and a shutter mechanism that is 'shock mounted'. All these features combine to reduce 'camera shake' at slow shutter speeds. There are many photographers who feel they do not need image stabilisation; my own opinion is that anyone who values a very high percentage of hand held 'keeper' shots at slower speed (perhaps up to 1/160th sec) will be very pleased with the results from this device. I enjoy my coffee and whilst I'd like to think I can hold a camera steady for a sharp image at around 1/60th sec (or more), the truth is that in some situations this is simply not the case. Whether drinking coffee is associated with an increased likelyhood of inducing camera shake remains a mystery to me; however, I do know that there are occasions where I am taking images with nothing to brace against and my posture may, by necessity, be far from ideal. Therefore, any technological advantage is most appreciated, it means I am confident I'll get better image quality and at the same time I can perhaps use a lower ISO (ISO = the camera's electronic exposure gain - less is preferable).
Fujifilm just happens to be my manufacturer of choice, I appreciate the image quality and have become very familiar with the system menus and ergonomics. Here's a promotional video:
And another video looking at the IBIS mechanism:
Whether you take images for a hobby or to earn money as a pro I think this camera at the moment represents incredible value. My advice is to buy it with the battery grip, yes it becomes larger and heavier but it means not having to concern yourself about a battery swap and it increases the camera's performance. This is taken from Fujifilm's website:
Fujifilm VPB-XH1 Battery Grip with 2 NP-W126S batteries included Dust-resistant and water-resistant, the grip operates at temperatures of down to -10°C. Two batteries may be attached, with a third battery in the body of the camera increasing the maximum number of available shots in normal mode to approximately 900. In boost mode, multiple batteries can be used simultaneously, improving performance for burst shots and reducing the interval between shots, shutter time lag, and the blackout period. In addition, the accessory also increases the maximum period for shooting movies in 4K to about 30 minutes, making the VPB-XH1 an essential accessory for maximizing the performance of the X-H1. Controls include the shutter-release button, focus lever, AE-L button, AF-ON button, command dial, Q button, and Fn button, providing the same easy operation when using the camera in both the vertical and horizontal positions. The VPB-XH1 is equipped with a headphone socket, allowing the operator to monitor sound while recording video. The grip also includes recharging capability. The included AC adapter (AC-9VS) can be used to recharge the two batteries which are included, simultaneously over approximately 2 hours.
I'm very pleased to have this camera and I'm looking forward to putting it to good use very soon...