Thursday, 11 April 2019

Thoughts on the X-H1

Still Hanging On 
X-T1, Nikkor 50-135/3.5 AI-S

There's been a lot of discussion over at Fred Miranda on the X-H1, especially with regards to its apparent recent discontinuation so shortly after it was released a little over a year ago.

The X-H1 sits uneasily at the top of the X Series line. It really doesn't fit either silo that the X series is split into, not the classic SLR style of the various X-T bodies or the RF-ish style of the other X bodies. That does limit its appeal to Fuji shooters, who in many cases were largely attracted by the classic UI and non-DSLR ergonomics of the lineup.

That said, it does bring a number of things to the lineup, the larger build allows better handling with the big Red Badge series zooms, it offers IBIS, heftier build and a better EVF and more powerful processor than the other 3rd gen bodies.

The caveat is that in being released only about 6 months before the X-T3 brought the 4th generation of the platform it really only had a short run before it was exceeded in terms of performance. Combine that with a somewhat high number of bugs on release and it's been a bit of a lackluster release that is to some extent undeserved.

I do think Fuji needs an X-H2, and to bring it out sooner rather than later. IMHO they need to give it clear performance advantages over the X-T3 as well. Keep the IBIS, give it a deeper buffer (100 RAW @20fps minimum), try and improve the readout speed and either add a second processor or clock the current one faster so that AF tracking can see an increase in performance (some of these will also benefit video, especially any improvements in readout speed).

As to me, I've been thinking where my kit will eventually evolve. I'd been thinking of the X-T1 as the high end of my usual high/low body mix, but it really does well with the uses that traditionally were the low side of my high/low mix. The X-H1's better large lens handling, overall performance improvement over a 2nd gen body like the X-t1 and IBIS to me make me think that it could readily be paired with the X-T1 as the high end of an X-H1/X-T1 mix, and also replace the D300 permanently. Not anything I'd buy soon, but maybe in the fall...

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