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Fujifilm announces video-focused X-H1 with in-body image stabilization

Fujifilm announces video-focused X-H1 with in-body image stabilization

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Fujifilm has announced the X-H1, a new camera that goes straight to the top of the company’s lauded X-series lineup. It’s similar to the X-T2, with the same 24-megapixel APS-C X-Trans III sensor, but takes some design cues from the medium-format GFX 50S and sees Fujifilm explicitly target videographers for the first time.

The headline feature is a big deal for everyone, however: five-axis in-body image stabilization, or IBIS. This means that you can get optical image stabilization with any lens attached to the camera — much of Fujifilm’s best glass is unstabilized, relying instead on fast apertures to achieve strong low-light performance, but with IBIS you can get the best of both worlds.

While video has often seemed like an afterthought on Fujifilm cameras, the X-H1 goes all in. It supports DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) and Rec.2020 color gamut at a bitrate of 200Mbps, with slow-motion 1080p recording at 120fps, a microphone input jack, and an improved built-in mic. There's also a new film simulation mode called Eterna that produces muted colors to maximize flexibility in post-production. It’s outmatched on paper in some areas by cameras like the Panasonic GH5, but if you’re already in the Fujifilm system and want to get into video production, this is going to be of serious interest.

Of course, it should also be an excellent stills camera as well, and there have been some design tweaks to make the camera more usable for pros. The body shares a lot in common with the X-T2, but borrows the monochrome top display and the more substantial grip from the GFX 50S to make for the chunkiest X-series camera yet. (Unfortunately, the second display comes at the expense of the dedicated exposure compensation dial.) Buttons have been increased in size, and there’s now a touchscreen that can tilt in three directions. 

In keeping with the video focus, Fujifilm is also announcing two X-mount cinema lenses today. The Fujinon MKX 18-55mm f/2.9 and MKX 50-135mm f/2.9 are actually versions of lenses that Fujifilm has already released for Sony E-mount cameras, and are specifically intended for video use — this means design features like rings tuned for smooth focus adjustment, and the ability to zoom without focus shift. They’ll be out in spring or summer for $3,999.95 and $4,299.95 respectively.

The X-H1 itself will be available on March 1st for $1,899.95, $300 more than the X-T2’s sticker price. That sounds like a pretty reasonable increase considering the significant boost in capability, but we’ll have to get the X-H1 into our hands ourselves to find out for sure.