As we’ve seen with other high-end cameras from the past few years, a Stacked CMOS sensor makes the camera’s readout much faster.
In this case, it lets the camera take full-resolution pictures at up to 40 frames per second and increases how often the sensor can send data for AF calculations.
Fujifilm says that the stacked version of the 26MP X-Trans sensor is 3.6 times faster than the single-layered BSI design in the X-T3 and 4 and that the new X-Processor 5 is 65 percent faster than the previous generation of processor.
Together, these two things let you shoot faster, do AF faster and better, and shoot video at higher frame rates with less rolling shutter (even when reading the sensor with greater bit-depth).
There is also a new shutter made of metal. This still has a maximum burst rate of 15fps and a top speed of 1/8000th, but it is now rated to last for 500,000 shots.
You can set the camera to switch between fully mechanical, electronic first curtain, and fully electronic at the right times, or you can choose your shutter type yourself.
There’s also a buffer that’s big enough to handle this speed. At 40 fps, the camera can take 184 JPEGs or 175 Raws, and at 30 fps or 15 fps, it can take over 1,000 JPEGs or 400 Raws.
The X-H2S can now take 10-bit HEIF files instead of just 8-bit JPEG files. But, unlike most cameras, there is no way to combine this mode with an HDR gamma mode like the HLG profile that the X-H2S offers in video mode.
This means you can only take standard dynamic range (DR) photos.
You can’t take HDR photos that can be played back on wider dynamic range (10-bit) displays, which would be a better way to use the ability to take 10-bit photos.
You can make HEIF files from Raw files with the in-camera Raw reprocessing option, but there’s no way to make a file that really takes advantage of the extra bit-depth (or that of modern displays).
There is also the option to convert from HEIF to JPEG if you need the extra compatibility that JPEG gives you.
The X-H2S makes Fujifilm’s AF system even better, and it now works a lot more like the newest cameras from Canon, Sony, and Nikon.
Subject tracking has been greatly improved and now follows your subject much more closely.
Just as important, the camera now uses your chosen AF point or the AF tracking box to choose which faces to track if you have face/eye detection on.
This is a quick and easy way to work, and it means you don’t have to think about whether or not to use face/eye detection. If your subject is recognized as a face, the camera will use it.
When it finds faces in the scene, the camera will draw a grey box around them and light them up in yellow if they are close enough to your AF point that the camera will focus on them if you tell it to.
You can’t change how close a face needs to be to your chosen AF point for the camera to prioritize it, but you can assign a button to turn face/eye detection on and off if it jumps to nearby faces too often.
With the current firmware, we found that the X-H2S was still a little prone to false positives. For example, when I pointed the camera at my feet, it thought my shoes were faces.
However, this usually doesn’t last long and shouldn’t get in the way of focusing on your subject.
Subject recognition autofocus
Like most other brands, the latest generation of X-series cameras has a set of modes that can recognize the subject.
Face and eye recognition modes are kept separate from the other subject recognition modes, as we’ve seen on several cameras recently.
Face/eye detection can’t be used with any of the subject recognition modes, so they could have been made into a single function.
Since they are different, you’ll need to assign two buttons if you want to be able to switch between face/eye detection and subject recognition modes quickly.
Subject detection can be turned on and off by assigning a button to it.
You’ll have to go into the menus to change what kind of subject the camera is looking for.
The first X-H1 was a big step forward for video in the X-series, in part because it had image stabilization built into the body.
This trend kept going, and now the X-T4 has stabilization and can record in 10-bit 4K at up to 60p. The X-H2S is a big step forward from here.
It has internal ProRes capture options and lets you shoot 10-bit 4:2:2 or 4:0:0 in All-I or LongGOP at any resolution or framerate.
The X-H2S also adds the ability to record 4-channel audio and the ability to shoot in “open gate” mode with a full-sensor 3:2 aspect ratio.
But perhaps the most telling sign that it’s made for both photographers and videographers is that you can screw a cooling fan module onto the back of the camera to extend the amount of time you can record.
The full width of the sensor is used for 4K up to 60p (oversampled from 6.2K). The 4K/120p mode uses a 1.29x crop and a 4.8K pixel width, but it is still slightly oversampled. For the 1080/240p and 200p modes, there is a 1.38x crop.
Fujifilm says that at 25°C (77°F), the camera can shoot 4K/60p for about four hours (if the card has enough space), but at 40°C (104°F), it can only do so for 20 minutes.
When you add the fan, the recording time goes back to 50 minutes. The main benefit, then, is being sure that your camera won’t overheat when you’re shooting in warm weather.
The shutter speed on the X-H2S can now be changed in small steps so that it doesn’t interfere with the flickering of artificial lights.