Fuji Introduced New Camera Bodies This Year: How I Chose the One to Purchase!

It was a great problem to have this year: Updated cameras, and a few great choices in the X-T5 and the H2/H2s

Before I let you know what I bought, and why, let’s rewind to why I went with Fuji to begin with:

After a lifetime of being a Nikon photographer, starting with a Nikkormat, I have used Nikon on assignments and when it was film, it was a F3, FM, and always a back-up totally mechanical classic F in the bag (as insurance, cashed that policy only once, and worth it!)

Then I went into the digital realm all the way up to Nikon D810.

There was a point that having 2-3 camera bodies, the holy trinity of lenses (14-24, 24-70, 70-200, all f/2.8 plus a 20mm), speedlight, batteries for all, etc., etc. my backpack was getting heavy!
Sure, the ThinkTank Airport Roller was/is a great carrier, but many events I would photograph made a roller a non-option. Some places even went so far as to ban roller bags!
Time to lighten the load.

I researched mirrorless, and tried the Sony NEX. Added a Leica lens, and it was fine. But not as practical as I wanted. And the available lens range at that time wasn’t robust.
A documentary photographer I respect recommended the Fuji line -up.
Started with the X-T1, and I was all in. The ergonomic design and the analog feel to the Shutter Speed/ISO/and f/stop spoke volumes to me as I didn’t have to dig into digital menus to set my camera.

Plus, Fuji was the first company I saw that would do firmware updates to the bodies and lenses on a fairly regular basis, eliminating the need to upgrade the camera, and simply update the firmware. Other camera companies did start to follow suit later. Smart move.
Plus, I got back into shooting primes, which was a great discipline to re-discover.The Fuji glass is high quality and love em.

Fast forward to my going with Fuji all the way up to the X-T4.

Yes, I earlier picked up the H1 as the IBIS in the body was a great upgrade. Although the analog controls were eliminated.

So, when the H2/H2s bodies were announced, myself, like all fuji shooters, were asking “Where is the X-T5, and will it have some of the same features?”

Some points-

Yes, and no on the features. Yes, to the 40MP sensor as in the H2, (updated as well)
No, different video capabilities. No battery grip possible on the X-T5. That alone started me thinking about the audience for the X-T series.
Tilt screen on X-T5, Fully Articulated on H series
Good news is that the battery for the last X-T4 is the same for either of these
H2 series, def a little heavier, with a deeper grip as well.

Another main difference are the media cards. Remember when we went from CF to SD? the SD UHS-I, and UHS-II?
Well now that you are asking a camera to shoot large files, Stills and Video, you need a card that can keep up with it, and that is a CF Express card.

I know: who wants to start investing into new media cards? You have to evolve.
I was shooting the US Open in Aug/Sept and the speed I needed to fire off the camera to nail the shot was def hampered by the speed of my cards.

OK, this is where I started to peel off from the X series for the next purchase.

The H2 has much more versatile options for stills and video, as in what kind of files you can save, like RAW and ProRes.
You can record to and external unit, like an Atomos V, with 12-bit files
If you are shooting for long takes or continuous, like an interview, you can get a fan that screws into the H2 body.
One hot tip is if you move the LCD screen away from that back of the camera body, you are removing n big heat source
Full size HDMI port as well.
You can pixel shift on the H2 with an ability to create a file 4 times the sensor pixel size.

And one the biggest point for me, was future proofing. There is a grip available for either the H2 or H2s, that will be incorporating a new feature called Cam-to-Cloud
Currently on the timeline as on the H2s first.
What is it?
Basically, with the grip added, the higher end wi-fi will be able to transfer one camera or multiple cameras images to a folder in the cloud as they are shot. This grip is called the FT-XH File Transmitter Grip


Even if you run out of battery, or turn the camera off, the upload will continue once you get power and turn the camera on again
Imagine you are shooting an event, get back to your studio or hotel, and have to ingest all of your media cars to even begin to edit.
With this system, you can start your edit immediately.
Or perhaps you have 5 photogs covering the same event. If they all have this system, all of their images/video are uploaded to a folder and whomever is doing the edit can begin while photogs are packing up. Actually, way before that.

A system developed between Adobe and Frame IO, I have seen it in action, and it works.
They are still tweaking it, and not supposed to launch till Spring 2023 and only for the H2s to begin with, although the same higher end wi-fi grip will also fit the H2.

Now the Fuji system taught me the best ways to assign functions to buttons on the camera based on how I shoot, and where my fingers sit.

And didn’t love a couple of button placements on the H2, so assigned those a different function based on my use.

Onto the image quality: The X-T5 and the H2 have the same sensor so not a big diff.

The mechanical shutter on the H2 can shoot up to 1000 raw files in continuous mode as opposed to about 20 in the X-T5
This is a huge diff for me, and also where the CFExpress B card comes in. If you want the speed, you need media cards that can handle it.

This year, I shout the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with the H2, Last year it was the X-T4
Def saw the difference, especially when I wanted to crop.

Straight RAW files out of the cameras had more depth than the X-T4, and made a difference.

So, you can guess which camera I went by now.

The Fujifilm H2. May add the H2s, and the grip.

Very happy with the purchase, and if you are looking for your year-end gear purchase
I highly recommend this camera.

BTW, there are some lenses out, and I’m working a bit with the 30mm Macro, as we all need a macro, right?

In case you are wondering, I do still have the D810, and all of the NIKKOR lenses, which I sometimes add to the mix with a Fringer adaptor. But rare.

 

A couple of closing notes: There are a few top level camera systems available to you.

I went with Fuji based on my needs and the way I shoot. To shift systems is a huge expense, and I considered it all carefully. Very carefully.

I imagine you will as well.

 

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