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Fujifilm X-H2S Autofocus Tracking vs X-T4, for Wildlife and Performance on Older XF Lenses (XF56mmF1.2 Included)


The French channel Les Guides Fujifilm has published a video about the Fujifilm X-H2S autofocus performance under many different scenarios.

It’s a 40 minutes video where he tests:

  • X-H2S vs X-T4 eye/face tracking
  • X-H2S tracking a running dog
  • X-H2S tracking kids (running and on bicycle)
  • X-H2S for Wildlife
  • X-H2S at 40fps and 30fps tracking (dog and kids)
  • how good several Fujinon lenses work on X-H2S
  • low light stills tracking in a circus
  • low light video tracking in a circus

Lots of stuff, right?

You don’t have time right now to watch it all?

Well, for your convenience I’ve made a summary down below and I’ll also give you time stamps so that you can jump to the section that interests you most.

NOTE 1: when he scrolls very quickly through the images you see them unsharp. This happens because his computer is not rendering at full res. When he stops on an image it gets rendered and it becomes sharp.

NOTE 2: I speak four languages, but sadly French is not one of them (although I understand it a bit). In case any French FR-reader notices an error or wants to add something, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Video Summary

  • 3:45 to 6:51 – face/eye autofocus walking away and towards the camera
    – X-T4 does not really a good job
    – X-H2S sticks like a champ
  • 6:65 to 7:48 – dog eye detection and eye detection on kids (static subjects)
    – No problem for X-H2S
  • 7:48 to 8:28 – tracking kid running far away and then coming towards camera again with bicycle
    – No problem for X-H2S
  • 8:28 to 8:36 – dog running fast towards camera
    – X-H2S does an great job. I can spot 2 short hesitations, but rapidly focuses again on the dog
  • 8:36 to 9:09 – again tracking kid on bicycle and running
    – X-H2S has no problem with that
  • 9:09 to 12:24 – Wildlife tracking includes: antelope/gazelles/gnu/lion/rhino/ostrich/monkey/birds
    – X-H2s recognizes the animals. Sometimes the full body, sometimes the face
    – in case of the lion, rhino, monkey and ostrich it detects the eye
  • 12:53 to 14:27 – 40 fps tracking very fast running dog
    only 16% of the images are not good. “The Fujifilm X-T4 was totally incapable of tracking like this. Now it’s a child game to make action tracking
  • 14:58 to 16:07 – bird tracking
    he says 40fps is almost too much, he preferred 30fps
  • 16:08 to 16:55 – tracking kid running and on bicycle
    – even during zooming it keeps tracking
  • 17:37 to 19:15 – issues with tracking a lion and monkey

At this point he makes clear that he does not want us to believe that it was always everything perfect. There were times it hesitated. For example in an occasion when photographing a lion standing still for some reason he got a lot of misses. He also shows samples of tracking a monkey, where it got confused.

Keep in mind that it’s pre-production firmware. Fujifilm pretty much delivers daily updates these days that do nothing else than improving the camera performance. I don’t know how often he was able to update the firmware while on Safari in Africa.

Let’s move on.

At min. 19:53 he says which lenses performed best.

He makes clear that lenses might not have yet full firmware compatibility with X-H2S.

Test Condition: 30 and 40 fps with kid running towards camera.

  1. XF50-140 and XF16-55
    – XF50-140: 187 images and only 1 was out of focus
    – XF16-55: 221 pictures, all images clear
  2. XF33mmF1.4
    7% out of focus
  3. XF90mmF2
    25% of images out of focus (including slightly out of focus). He thought it would have done a better job
  4. XF56mmF1.2
    35% of blurry images [if you ask me, as an 56 owner myself, that’s surprisingly good. I’d never have thought it can get 65% images 100% in focus at 30 fps on a fast moving subject]

Overall he was amazed by the performance even with older lenses.

  • 26:15 to 26:54 – kid jumping into a pool, easy-peasy for the X-H2S
  • 27:35 to 31:49 – Circus Stills
    – tested in low light (circus). No loss in performance. It tracks like it would be in good light
    – when the artists made their tricks and their face was towards the camera the X-H2S tracked with face/eye tracking, and when they turned it kept tracking their heads
    – it nailed all the images and was not distracted by the lights all around the artist
    – using the 56mmF1.2 in the circus, 25% are not perfectly in focus. But with 30/40 fps you get so many images, that you’ll still have enough sharp photos to pick from
    – smoke and lights did not disturb the AF tracking
  • 33:46 to 35:50 – Circus Video + kid on bicycle
    – also video AF tracking worked well
    – also here there can be short hesitations though
    – hesitations in stills are easier to forgive, as you have hundreds to pick from
    – he shot 28 minutes of video (low light circus) and there were maybe 30 seconds of hesitations [this would be 1,7% of the 28 minutes video show hesitations and 98,3% are solid and in focus] – he did not notice any pumping
    – a small percentage of videos he took had the camera focus shortly away from subject and then back again

The reviewers says that it’s not final firmware and he is sure there will be further improvements. Autofocus is superb, but further firmware can make it perfect.

He says that he was using Fujifilm less and less because other brands had superior autofocus and it’s hard to go back once you had that kind of AF performance. But now in his opinion autofocus is very close to the Nikon Z9, with the Nikon having still less hesitations in video.

Now Fujifilm joins Sony, Canon and Nikon with its AF performance.

My current GAS Condition

I guess the part that shows how the XF56mmF1.2 got new life thanks to the new autofocus system did trigger my GAS most of all. Now that my son is starting to run around, I’d love to have such a reliability and accuracy at f/1.2 with my 56mm, which until now I mostly use only for static or not fast moving people.

But I will try to resist and I ask you guys not to trigger my GAS further in the comments.