“My Impression? Fujifilm X-H2S High ISO Performance is 1.5 Stops Better than X-T4 thanks to Four Analog to Digital Converters” – REPORT

ISO Boost?

So far we know (and it has been well documented) that the Fujifilm X-H2S has a vastly improved dynamic range performance in video over the the previous generation sensor, with 14+ stops compared to the previous 12 stops).

But so far we don’t have any word about the dynamic range or ISO performance for stills. And that makes sense, as it is pre-production and we better wait for the final thing before we make any judgments.

With this disclaimer printed clearly on top of the article, I’d like to share a video overview of the X-H2s plus new lenses shared by Ringfoto.

It’s in German, so let me translate the part I’d like you to hear.

Martin at Ringfoto shows samples he took with the Fujinon XF150-600mmF5.6-8 of his cute dogs running around. He talks very positively about the autofocus.

Then he addresses the concern that f/8 at 600mm (900 equiv.) might be perceived as too slow by some, as you will have to shoot at higher ISO. But here is what he says:

Opposite to other X-Trans cameras, the X-H2S has four analogue-to-digital converters [admin note: X-T4 & Co have two A-D-C]

Thanks to the new sensor and new technology inside the camera and the four analogue-to-digital converters, my feeling with this pre-production X-H2S at this point is that ISO performance on X-H2S is 1.5 stops better than on the X-T4, which would be sensational.

I want to be careful for now, but it looks very promising.

So what is Ringfoto talking about when they mention the analog-to-digital converter (ADC)?

We know the Fujifilm X-T3 and X-T4 (and all other ISOless or ISO invariant Fuji cameras) have two analogue-to-digital converters. On the X-T3 it works like this: every image recorded under ISO 640 “travels” through one ADC, and every image above ISO 640 goes through another ADC. This helps to improve noise performance.

This can have the paradoxical effect that an image taken in camera at ISO500 can be more noisy than an image taken in camera at ISO800 or even ISO1200, because after ISO640 the other ADC kicks in to improve performance, as you can see at the photonstophotos technical chart here.

What the real life implications of this are has been explained by Rico in several articles, such as the GFX 50 Series is an ISO-less Classic

What’s important for us to know in this article, is that those analog-to-digital converters are a good thing when it comes to noise performance.

And now that we know thanks to Martin that the Fujifilm X-H2S has four AD-converters as opposed to two ADC in the previous X-Trans cameras, then this could indeed explain what Martin observed: a sensational improvement in ISO performance.

Now, to my knowledge Fujifilm has not made any public statement about the increased number of ADC or about the improved ISO performance in stills.

All we could observe until now is that in video the noise performance is shockingly good, as documented also by Gerald Undone and we reported here.

My final word?

Well, there is no final world.

I will wait for final production samples to be tested side by side with other Fujifilm cameras. And this is what also Martin at Ringfoto said, that he wants to validate (or not) his impression with a final production camera.

And once he did that, I will do my job, report and translate his findings for you.

Fujifilm X-H2S vs Canon R6 vs Nikon Z9 Autofocus Comparison – Canon R6 is BEATEN and Nikon is CAUGHT

We should keep in mind one thing:

The Fujifilm X-H2S is still in pre-production.

Fujifilm engineers are constantly and restlessly fine tuning, adjusting, tweaking, correcting, improving the firmware until almost the last day before it will ship to customers in mid-July.

This means: whoever tested the camera in the last few weeks, was actually playing around with a potentially buggy camera, and indeed some reviewers notices some bugs here and there (and reported them to Fujifilm).

But this also means, we can’t really make any conclusions about this camera in regards to IBIS, autofocus, image quality and what not.

The fact that it is just pre-production was highlighted also by Taylor Jackson in his Fujifilm X-H2S coverage, and yet, he seems to be impressed already by its autofocus, so much so that he says it is noticeably better than on his Canon EOS R6 and very likely on par with his Nikon Z9.

So why do I share this review in a dedicated article?

Well, because so far it is the only review I have found where a guy actually tests the X-H2S side by side with other cameras, meaning under the same conditions, same light, same subject, same everything. And we can actually see the different cameras tracking stuff side by side.

So what are his findings? Let’s find out in the summary and videos down below

  • The Fujifilm X-H2S picked up subjects at significantly further distances than his Canon EOS R6
  • he was not expecting it, but autofocus is fast, sticky and confident
  • you can see the eye AF picking up the eye even through dark sunglasses
  • a quick test with a person running towards the camera at 40fps – all images were in focus
  • Canon R6 vs Fujifilm X-H2S
  • he is impressed by how far eye and in general human detection works on the X-H2S
  • at far distances the Canon goes around focusing on various stuff. Fujifilm sticks on the person
  • Fujifilm camera more accurate autofocus than Canon R6
  • then he went to Island to photograph Puffins, and the camera detects their face
  • he shows 2 people very very far away on an endless beach, and the X-H2S picks up their faces (which is really just a few pixels on the screen)
  • Canon R6 vs Fujifilm X-H2 Indoors AF tracking
  • in short: the X-H2S wins

He also shared a Fujifilm X-H2s wedding photography Behind the Scenes video, which I will also share down below.

In the wedding video he compares it to the Nikon Z9 (which he has used really a lot) for indoors wedding photography. Here are his findings:

  • the Fujifilm X-H2S gets very very close if not on par with the Nikon Z9
  • it’s crazy to say it’s on par considering the Fujifilm camera is half the price of the Nikon Z9
  • Reasons to get it for wedding: physical size of Fuji kits, costs a lot less than other stacked sensor cameras, great color sciences (but this one is subjective)
  • he will compare it to the Canon R3 in a later video (and FujiRumors will report about it)

But again, it’s pre-production. So don’t take anything here as the final verdict.


Fujifilm X-H2S vs X-T4 & Co and New XF Lenses Size Comparisons

Camerasize has uploaded the latest and greatest Fujifilm gear on their database.

Here are a couple of comparisons with other X series cameras and lenses.

Of course feel free to make your own comparisons at camerasize.

Jason at TCSTV: “The IQ Difference between Fujifilm GFX and Sony A1/Canon R5 Tortured me, I couldn’t Unsee it, so I bought into GFX”

I don’t buy into the narrative that wants you to believe you can make professional work only with full frame gear.

And it’s not just a “feeling” of mine. It’s a hard core fact proven by the irrefutable reality that you can win the Pulitzer prize or the World Press Photo Award with images taken by Fujifilm APS-C cameras.

And I also don’t buy that “sensor size is everything” narrative.

Look, I’ve shot it all: from my loved Micro Four Thirds to APS-C and Medium Format, and yes, even quite some Sony Full Frame as I have easy access to that system thanks to the SonyAlphaRumors guy living not far away from my home.

So I can confidently say: every system has its Pros and Cons and every system, from M43 to MF, can be used for professional use, of course with some cameras being better suited for certain uses than others.

So if somebody tells you that you absolutely need a system with a 70% larger sensor than full frame (the GFX system) to really stand out with the quality of your images, then you better don’t trust that person.

And yet, as we said, every system has its Pros and Cons, and the advantage of the GFX system is undeniably that it offers the best image quality you can get for a more than reasonable price.

Then add to this that the Fujifilm GFX100S and GFX50SII have the size of the Canon R5, are even smaller than the Panasonic S1 cameras and cheaper than full frame cameras like the Sony A1, and you start to get a combination of advantages that might make the Fujifilm GFX perfect for your needs.

And it sounds like the combination of advantages the GFX system offers was perfect for Jason Eng, who, in a talk with Evelyn from TCSTV explains his move to the GFX system.

Here is a quick summary:

  • Jason’s assistant Aiden was looking to buy into a new system. He looked at Sony, Nikon and Canon and almost pulled the trigger on the Canon
  • Jason suggested him to try the GFX50SII which costs about the same what Aiden was about to spend for the Canon
  • Aiden put his hands on the GFX50S and it had “these magical files
  • then they also shot the GFX100 side by side with Sony A1 and Canon R5
  • even by just comparing the images on the laptop sized screen, they noticed the detail in shadows and the way that the camera handled gradation from highlight to shadow was just… “I could not unsee it, it tortured me until I inevitably bought the system
  • he bought the GFX100 with a classic pro body with integrated grip and fully usable autofocus
  • he often shoots vertical, so having the integrated grip is important
  • he was and still is a Sony shooter, enjoying a smaller and lighter body
  • then Fujifilm offered the GFX100S with its smaller and lighter body and it reached a larger target audience than what the GFX100 could do
  • both options, GFX100 and GFX100S, are great
  • he often shoots tethered and loves that the film simulation he uses goes right into Capture One
  • as a long time Sony user for 10 years, color was always hard. The standard was Canon
  • when Fuji released their APS-C mirrorless cameras he loved the colors, but he could not commit to a smaller sensor than FF
  • but now they have exceeded his expectations and gone larger than full frame
  • skin tones are great, reds are beautiful, rich and deep
  • he uses also legacy glass adapted to the GFX system
  • Fujifilm offering GFX cameras from $4,000 to $6,000 is a game changer for medium format
  • color and shadow tonality range, you can’t unsee it once you see it side by side

Get Yours (now that it’s finally in stock ;)):

Would it be Madness? Selling X-T4 and X-E3 to get the Fujifilm X-E4?

There is this weird idea that keeps hammering my head.

It says: sell the X-T4 and X-E3 and get the Fujifilm X-E4.

Why?

Because the X-E4 would be the perfect fusion between the form factor I love (X-E3) and the power I sometimes need (X-T4). Plus it would have a two way tilt screen which I vastly prefer over the selfie screen on my X-T4 (even though in some radical composition necessities it can be very helpful).

So this weekend I will just make shameless private use of FujiRumors and ask what you think about this idea.

But let me be clear: this post is not to say the X-E3 is not a capable camera. I mean, I shot a wedding with it and it worked just fine. But the X-T4 is simply the more powerful tool and in some occasion this extra power can be useful.

So why am I still hesitating?

The reason is simple: I’d no longer have an X series camera with IBIS (only my GFX100S).

Now, I know some guys claim IBIS is for losers and it completely destroys the photographic purists experience. But trust me, when you hike for hours up a mountain (as I love to do), and maybe at some very narrow path you want to stop to grab a quick picture with a tired and shaking hand or you have your son on the your back moving around while you try to take a picture, then having the IBIS solution as an option is more then welcome. And if I don’t need it, I turn it off… easy ;).

So what should I do?

And yes, I know the 5th generation of Fujifilm cameras is coming. I will probably get one of those cameras, too. So maybe it would be better to wait and see what Fujifilm has to offer in 2022/early 2023, and based on that see which cameras sell, keep and buy.

I don’t know, I am confused. Maybe just sell everything and go for X-E4. Or wait a bit longer, see what the future brings, and then take decisions.

And since lately I am so absorbed by Fujifilm X-E4 reviews, trying to make up my mind, I will share a couple of reviews down below.

Reviews… or 5 Reasons why the Minimalist X-E4 is Perfect for Stree Photography

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