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Jared Polin (Not so Positive) Fujifilm X-H1 Review Vs. Sony A7III

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Fujifilm X-H1 Review

Jared Polin reviewed the Fujifilm X-H1 and compared it with the Sony A7III. The review is 33:19 minutes long. He uses firmware ver 1.10 (and not the latest ver 1.11, which fixes some bugs).

If you notice horizontal flashing lines in the review, it’s not Fuji’s fault. The review was filmed with a Sony A9 camera.

Here is a summary:

WHAT’S BAD (and Sony A7III is better)

  • not a camera for super low light shooting, because phase detection works down only at -1 EV and crop sensor gives more grain
  • touch screen not very responsive
  • he experienced camera lock-ups
  • in CH, the focusing area is limited to the center where the phase detection pixels are. Sony A7III has larger phase detection coverage and he misses that
  • battery life sucks. Sony A7III is superior battery life
  • he does not like the manual controls on camera and lenses (ISO dial, Shutter dial, Aperture Ring and focus mode selector dial)
  • he prefers to turn ISO using the command dial, because it’s faster
  • he complaints that he can not properly move the focusing point
  • Fuji menu system is even more confusing than the Sony menu. Too much customization
  • face detection works well but eye detection not so (Sony is better)
  • Shooting CH, the buffer fills too quickly
  • Sony AF is better
  • Sony let’s you shoot redunant video to both SD-card slots, the Fujifilm only stills
  • price of the Fujifilm X-H1 and Sony A7III is similar
  • he found that tracking subjects coming towards him wasn’t the best
  • in portraits backlit situation, the AF wasn’t the best

WHATS’ GOOD (and Sony A7III is worst)

  • Fuji has two UHS-II slots, whereas Sony has one UHS-II and another UHS-I slot
  • he loves the EVF resolution, eye-cup and 100fps refresh rate (better than Sony A7III)
  • lenses on the Sony side are much more expensive than on the Fuji side
  • Jared seems very happy with the sharpness and colors coming out of the Fuji camera and lenses (he used the XF16-55, XF50-140 and XF90)

The Problem

Very often on youtube, I have seen reviewers grabbing a Fuji, test it out, and then complain that the camera does not work as they want. And sadly, often it’s the case that the reviewer just didn’t read the manual or did not know how to operate the camera properly.

But these negative reviews remain on the web, and certainly don’t help Fujifilm.

Jared is Honest

Now, I’ve read comments which I strongly disagree with, that Jared Polin is a Sony fanboy, because Sony invites him (and basically all other big youtube camera reviewers) to their launch events, pays them a hotel room, fly with hot air baloons over the Grand Canyon, and let’s them have such a great time, that the reviewers might be influenced to review Sony cameras more positively.

I disagree, because I think these guys have a reputation to preserve, and they can’t make up some stuff (or ignore quirks) just because they are fanboys. The worst case I can imagine, is that maybe a few of these reviewers might still express all their critics to Sony cameras, just in a bit “softer” or “kind” way.

I believe Jared shared his honest opinion.

But I also believe that Jared is not really familiar with the Fujifilm X system, and in order to properly review a camera, you must be familiar with the system and know how to operate it.

5 quick Examples

Let me make a few examples on why I consider Jared is in some points simply not familiar with the X-system:

That ISO dial and Shutter dial

Jared stresses multiple times that the old style controls just don’t suit his style of shooting. For example, he prefers to change ISO via command dial rather than dedicated ISO dial. Hence, the classic controls of Fujifilm cameras slow him down.

Well, except for the fact that I am not sure if an ISO dial really slows you down, since you can set the ISO with one turn even before you switch on the camera (look at the fantastic X-Pro2 dials failure by Palle Schulz), Fujifilm cameras are so customizable, that you can actually control ISO via command dial, too. A feature we got thanks to Fujifilm’s well-known firmware updates ;)

Set the ISO “A” position to “Command” to adjust ISO sensitivity across the full range, including extended ISOs, with the Front Command Dial.”

Problem solved… next :)

Moving the Focus Point

Another point that Jared stresses throughout the entire video, is that he has issues moving the focus point.

But the video shows that he often has face detection enabled when trying to move focus points, and as X-shooter Omar said in the comments to Jared’s video:

Looks like you had face detection on when trying to move focus points. If you turn off face and eye detection, it will help you choose your focus point. Your camera was always looking for a face.”

Autofocus

This is where many reviewers often make errors, simply because they are not familiar with the system, and setting the camera for best AF can be not super-easy as it seems.

I remember for example when Tony Northrup compared the autofocus of the Fujifilm X-T1 with the Olympus EM-1, and the X-T1 performed terribly. But the X-shooter community quickly noticed some not proper camera settings and invited Tony to re-test the X-T1 with correct settings. Tony was fair enough to do it here and the X-T1 performed so much better.

Also, I remember some disappointment after Fujifilm X-T1 firmware 4.00 release, and I wrote a quick 10 tips guide for best autofocus performance that many people not familiar with Fujifilm found very useful.

Of course since then Fujifilm has improved the autofocus, and if you want, they made it even more complex, by making it even more customizable. So if you are going to review the AF tracking of Fujifilm cameras, it definitely does not hurt to check out the dedicated Fujifilm autofocus page here.

Know you camera never hurts to get best AF-performance.

The Lock Ups

Jared is using ProGrade SD-cards, which Fujifilm does not include into the recommended SD-cards list for best performance. I’d be interested to see if he experience lock-ups also with recommended SD-cards.

Also I hear that the latest firmware version 1.11 (and not 1.10, which Jared was using), fixed the freezes. But let us know in the comments what’s your experience.

The Menu

That’s a tough one, because if you are used to Sony menu system (like Jared), you will find the Fuji system (that you almost never use) a bit disorienting.

But I wonder: what would happen if we give a Fuji and a Sony camera to a professional photographer, who never shot neither Fuji nor Sony in his entire life? Which camera would he set up quicker to his taste? Which menu system would he find more intuitive?

I leave the answer to you.

& More

I am now over my time limit, and must leave. Otherwise I could extend the list. But make sure to check out Jared’s full review at Jared Polin Youtube and form your own opinion.

And feel free to join our Fujifilm X-H facebook group

Fujifilm X-H1
body only (save $250): BHphoto, AmazonUS, Adorama, Focuscamera
body with vertical grip (save $250): BHphoto, AmazonUS, Adorama, Focuscamera

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