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Fujifilm X-H1 – The Lost Musketeer

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Sebastian Boatca

"My name is Sebastian Boatca, a photographer based in Brussels, Belgium and I embrace life through my experiences as a man, husband, father, traveler and photographer. The artistic expression is one of the ways we can blend into nature strings and communicate with the people around the world."

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Behind all metaphors, Fujifilm X-H1 is getting the least of love, attention and publicity among the rest of the models from the Fujifilm range of mirrorless digital cameras. In addition, it is not so easy to explain why. Let me try to understand what could be behind the decision to buy (or refuse considering) a Fujifilm X-H1 as the camera to have in your photo bag.

At first, it was evolutionary (but not necessarily revolutionary, as IBIS is present among all other major players in the industry of mirrorless cameras). The presence of IBIS into a Fujifilm camera that is very eligible for professional demands is still something both useful and remarkable. X-H1 was the first mirrorless Fujifilm X camera to incorporate this feature. The second camera with IBIS arrived much later and costs towards 10.000 dollars.

So, why X-H1 is not getting the deserved attention? For me, the easiest way to answer this question is to look at my attitude towards this model. I remember the moment when Fujifilm announced and launched the X-H1, then I clearly remember when I went to the biggest photography fair in Brussels, Belgium, in 2018, called “Photo Days”. Fujifilm had quite an impressive, large stand for exhibiting their products and among the things that triggered my curiosity, was the X-H1. A Belgium Fujifilm X Photographer was there to show me the camera, presenting its strong points. I took the X-H1 in my hands and wanted to test it without the Vertical Hand-Grip. A beautiful young woman was there as a model, sitting in the ad-hoc portrait-shooting studio and she knew very well how to pose and smile.

The camera had a wireless trigger connected to a set of Profoto lights wrapped in professional soft-boxes. I took the camera and fired a few shots with the never-disappointing, reliable workhorse XF 50-140mm F2.8 OIS WR (which I did not have at that time, but added later to my photo bag).

It was a very short experience and the first, quick impressions where summarized in a few lines, like an inner monologue: “It’s nice, it definitely feels like a typical Fujifilm camera. It is a bit bigger than the X-T series, keeping the same DSLRish style with its design and the central viewfinder. Great ergonomics, especially with big lenses! Hey, the viewfinder is big and comfortable! Too bad, there is no Exposure Compensation metallic dial, as I am used to have, but the top screen could be great for professionals work. Very silent and sexy sound from the mechanical shutter. At last, but not the least, IBIS could be great with longer focal lengths, or in low light situations. This camera body is somewhat nice, but not so attractive. The materials seem rugged, lacking the finesse of my X-Pro2. I cannot say I truly like this camera; definitely it’s not for me”.

That was it! I have handed back the X-H1, grabbed my beloved X-Pro2 and left the Fujifilm stand to meet my friends and visit other interesting stuff at “Photo Days”. That was my short and only encounter with the Fujifilm X-H1 and it almost completely went away from my mind. This was happening during the cold days of spring of the last year.

CONTINUE READING…

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