[•] Fujifilm X-H1 with Battery Grip
Fujifilm X-H1 with MK X 18-55mm T2.9 Lens (Fuji X-Mount) Review.
Fujifilm have released an interesting hybrid camera capable of producing a cinematic look in 4K video recording and have helped bridge the gap between photography and professional video. Packing a whopping 24.3 millions pixels in a APSC sized sensor the X-H1 is a competitive mirrorless camera.
The new MK-X 18-55mm T2.9 plays a pivotal role in Fujifilm’s direction for professionals adding a cine lens into the mix which compliments the X-H1.
Some limitations to 30 minute record times but don’t let some of the restrictions prevent you from producing very capable content.
Important note to address when using this camera use a decent SD card capable of recording a high bit rate over 200mb as the camera performs better with the right card. SanDisk is my choice.
The X-H1 is the first camera in the X Series to include ETERNA, a new film simulation ideal for shooting movies. This mode simulates cinematic film, creating understated colours and rich shadow tones, greatly enhancing creative freedom during post-processing. Very suitable for video recording, simulating the output of cinematographic films. Characterised by subdued colour presentations and rich shadow tones, this mode can be used at 400% Dynamic Range (equivalent to approximately 12 stops) to attain video recording with a high degree of perfection while substantially reducing colour-grading workload in post processing.
On top of the different picture profiles offered by Fuji the “F-Log” log-gamma in an advanced option to record in a flat profile to allow for professional colour grading. In body recording and externally via HDMI out to Atomos recorder allows for further recording freedom.
Ergonomics play a vital role in the new mirrorless system sharing its backbone to the popular GFX50s. The contour and shape of the grip is pleasing on the eye and does allow any photographer to feel extremely comfortable and confident but there is a problem. When holding tightly for an extended length of time fatigue develops with the middle finger and this is attributed to the grip being too thin and deep. Surely the X-Photographers that used this camera could of mentioned this in the development stage.
Battery life not great but due to the features jamb packed into the camera one would expect the outcome. Only solution extra batteries.
The professional layout of the shutter, ISO and access to aperture control on the lenses are fantastic. The human connection to the camera brings the creative process together like its supposed to be. X-H1 allows a photographer or videographer to use both hands while operating the camera out in the field and in doing so will win the hearts and minds with every new adoption. I believe this new format in camera design has set the stage for higher sales for Fuji and overwhelming support for the brand.
Lightweight is the skeleton of the camera fully in cnc construction as one physical piece and brilliantly put together with high end engineering and stylish durable plastics. Fujifilm were not joking when they stated professional. Water resistant just like you would find in a high end DSLR mirrorless has jumped to the start of the queue with the right direction of camera design. As a side note never intentionally leave your camera out in a thunder storm and brave continuous rain. I never let any camera to be punished with excess water that’s why underwater cases are designed for cameras.
IBIS – internal in-body image stabilization allows greater control on image taking reaping the benefits of photographing as slow shutter speeds in low light. Those few extra stops in gain can definitely set you apart from a DSLR photographer.
X- Mount is Fuji’s lens fitting so be prepared to either use their signature lenses or opt for a Metabones adaptor you open the doors for many vintage lenses. Mirror-less open’s the door for opportunities to use vintage glass by attaching an adaptor. In my case Canon FD with Metabones FD to X mount. If your a Nikon or Pentax or Leica Lens photographer there are adaptors for you too.
You are now seeing many photographers break away from the everyday norm of photography because vintage lenses allow you to present your photography in a different look to what a new lens would produce. You would be amazed at the differences.
Fujifilm X-H1 with Metabones FD – X mount Canon FD 70-210mm F4
LUT for F-Log (Look Up Table) – This LUT file is to edit the movie data below when the data is edited by a movie editor on your PC or Mac.
*4K movie data of X-T2 recorded in external HDMI devices with the mode of the “HDMI F-Log” under the “4K MOVIE OUTPUT” in the “MOVIE SETTING”
*4K and Full HD movie data of X-H1 recorded on SD cards or in external HDMI devices with the mode of the “F-Log RECORDING” in the “MOVIE SETTING”
After download add the LUT to your Atomos Recorder as a preset.
The more I use this camera the more I enjoy it. Now I really prefer a full frame sensor but in all honesty the megapixels are enough to compete with any full frame camera on the market. It all comes down to selecting the right lens for the project you want to put together. This is a rare combination as many will not be photographing with a Canon FD 24mm 1.4L and this was done purely on my part looking for a specific look to an image. Now I shoot in RAW and wanted to spend the time just using the Eterna Picture Profile developed by Fujifilm and wanted to see the results with a vintage lens as the warm tones I believe work well with Eterna.
Now as you can see the result is not over processed and the goal is too not to “over cook” an image with heavy filters in Photoshop or software. As the old saying goes keep is simple stupid – KISS – most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated and this applies to my photography and key advice I offer to people learning photography.
Skin tone speak for themselves off the sensor design and combination with Canon FD. I will admit it is Leica “Like” and Canon really did produce nice lenses from the 80’s. They are a testament to time and fantastic to use on any of Fujifilm’s mirrorless camera’s.
Have you adapted vintage glass to X mount? Definitely worth a try in combination with Eterna Picture Profile.
RAW EDITING X-H1 OPTIONS
There are two options to convert the RAW photograph out of the XH1.
First preference is the Adobe Digital Negative Converter which is a free download.
Link here: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/digital-negative.html
Very simple procedure back up RAW files to hard drive storage and second new folder where you keep your edited photographs. Select images to convert and the save location for the converted. Files start off as RAF file and will then become a readable .dng file which will be seen in Lightroom or in my case Adobe Bridge and from there I just select image and Open in Camera Raw and edit the image ready for Photoshop or save straight as a Jepg.
Second Preference is with the new Fujifilm X RAW Studio which will read the RAF file but be mindful you must connect the camera every time you want to convert the RAF file to a workable file.
Both options to convert the RAW are very good and will come down to what you prefer to use.
Sample RAW video https://youtu.be/D4zE3ZhNyCg
The Fujifilm X-H1 is a solid camera for street photography. Great dynamic range especially with settings set to DR200. The sensor is a keeper that’s for sure and you can see why Fuji put it into the X-H1 and X-T2.
RAF file 48.1MB and converted to .DNG 24.78MB and Edited as a PSD File 336MB and a special edit but it is not far from the original as I really love the output from this camera.
Jepg end result 11.7MB
Some photographers search their entire life for the ultimate photographers kit. Some times it can be found between heaven and earth and that’s the reason behind the title of the above photograph. There are a few photographer’s like myself that do this research and try the result’s when combined with mirrorless. I have used the Leica Summicron’s on Sony to find that the sensor worked with the lens but would also at times cause a colour shift issue resulting with a cast of magenta in sections of the image. A few reasons pertain to the sensor design in Sony and a white balance issue or the way light travelled through the lens creating that phenomenon. I will get around to further testing with this setup on the X-H1 but I’m quietly confident in what the results will be. I was fortunate to pick up the M mount adapter second hand online and probably wouldn’t of purchased it otherwise. Fuji did a clever thing enticing the Leica photographer to bring their lenses with them to use on any X mount and the interesting addition with the electronics allowing correction with them adapted is intriguing. More will come of this as I have been busy working with Canon FD mount lenses.
Fujifilm will need to address the micro HDMI port on the next camera if they want to get serious about video. As it is their first release i will not be over the top with this request but it is a fault Panasonic made right by listening to their user base.
Recording with an external monitor like the Atomos Assassin be careful of screen black out recording as the EVF sensor interferes with the output causing you to record the issue. A quick tip – tilt the LCD screen out to disable the EVF sensor during video recording.
Fuji have made it clear with their lens road map the direct is positive for film makers the setup above had evolved with a SmallRig cage, Atomos Ninja Assassin recorder and Movo VXR10 microphone. The follow focus is by Fotga DP500 which is excellent quality and work perfectly with the Fujinon MK-X lens. There’s plenty of room to adjust the zoom and utilise the lock knob which makes life a lot easier.
Fujifilm XH-1 with Leica 35mm ASPH
Shutter: 1/4000, Aperture: F2, ISO: 200
The one feature I truly love with this camera is checking focus for precision with manual lenses. Digital punch in is my terminology and having such control I feel confident in saying that the more you use this feature you will become just as fast as using an auto-focus lens. The joystick is great too for the extra precision in selecting the exact point of focus for improved composition. The camera performs exceptionally well with Leica M lenses.
The Leica M lenses work very well with the X-Trans CMOS III sensor just lovely. Any lens you put on multiply x 1.6 and can be a deterrent for some if you prefer full frame. The beach flowers example above equates to 80mm (50mm x 1.6 = 80mm) and if you love shooting portraits this is a great combination.
The pursuit for the perfect photograph happened when I combined the X-H1 and Pentax Takumar Lenses. I find there is so much joy in this setup the X-H1 is now a permanent part of my kit. Primarily I thought I would just have the camera to use for video but I can’t but stop raving about this combination.
The above photograph is an example of photography goodness. I want to break down a number of reasons why this is a sweet setup. Price, Functionality, Characteristics and Creativity
Price in a new camera and the X-H1 sits well balanced compared to the others i.e Full Frame, Crop Sensor and Micro Four Thirds, especially take into account the features and specifications. Fujifilm often offers a cash back deal and with some of the savings you are open to a range of lenses in the second hand market.
Functionality of the X-H1 is designed to work well with vintage glass let me just say that the combination is a match made in heaven.
Characteristics of the sensor and lenses produce a unique quality especially when you look at bokeh in older glass compared to what a new lens produces. The character is what its all about.
Creativity and the experimentation of trying different lenses with this camera has changed the kit I use and prefer. I have seen other photographers benefit from my experiences on Instagram with stunning results.
This setup will differentiate you from other photographers and believe me envy will occur. In my opinion a vintage glass collection as recommended on the other pages with the X-H1 surpasses using a new camera and new lens. Vintage glass is king with mirrorless.
Leave a message below if you would like to see the results from a Canon FD or Pentax Lens with the X-H1.
Review in progress more to come.
Got any questions leave feel free to ask away.
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