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Tracking Birds with Fujifilm X-H2S vs Sony Stacked Cameras (Best Test I Have Seen so Far)


The German Youtube channel AmazingNature Alpha (who shoots a lot with Sony cameras)tested the Fujifilm X-H2s autofocus with the XF200mmF2 and the XF150-600mmF5.6-8.

Now, there are lots of autofocus tests for wildlife out there. But what sets this one apart from all the others? Well, I’ll tell you below.

Before we dive into it, here are few considerations he makes.

NOTE: it’s in German, so you get it “Patrick-translated” below.

Gear Used

General Considerations:

  • ISO performance is fantastic for an APS-C camera
  • the XF200mmF2 is crazy sharp already at f/2

Autofocus Surprise:

  • he was able to track all kind of insects with the X-H2s, even though they are not on the official list of supported animals.
  • [note: we already reported here how by setting the camera to “bird autofocus” other people were able to track frogs, dragonflies and more. Japanese Fujifilm managers commented here that this is a “happy accident, coincidence”]
  • it worked astonishing well also on beetles, butterflies and more

Birds on Trees – on Sony Level

He tested it all at f/2 with the 200mm, so he had extremely shallow DOF.

  • in backlight situation, just as other brands, also Fujifilm can sometimes struggle to perfectly nail the focus on birds. But most are in focus
  • often, even when the bird turned his head, the camera nailed the focus on what it was still recognising of the eye. Depth of field was extremely shallow due to f/2 at 200mm
  • for birds sitting/standing on trees and just moving their head around, the Fujifilm X-H2S is at Sony level (even stacked camera Sony level)

Fast moving/flying brids – on Sony/Canon Level?

And this what sets this test apart from all the others.

The guy at AmazingNature Alpha created a dedicate “flying bird test track“. This allows him to create tough (bird flying fast towards camera) but controlled conditions. So, no matter which camera he tests, they all have to deal with the same condition, giving us as reliable and comparable tests results as possible.

Is it perfect? Certainly not. But it’s the closest thing I have seen in trying to create comparable test conditions for bird photography.

And what are his findings?

He used the X-H2s with XF150-600mm for this test.

  • he shot at 40fps
  • These are the results he got with other cameras:
    Sony A9: 20fps with 17/18 sharp images
    Sony A1: 30fps with 27 sharp images
    Sony A7IV & other mid-range FF cameras: 4/5 images out of 10 are sharp
  • Can the Fujifilm X-H2s beat the mid-range FF and even catch up with the $5,000 high end FF cameras?
  • he made a few runs, and got these results with the X-H2s
    – 30 sharp images out of 49
    – 33 sharp images out of 47
    even the images that are very slightly out of focus he counted them as misfocused. With the slightly out of focus he would have gotten 38 out of 47 usable images

I can understand why people shoot the X-H2s at 40fps. But I think in order to get even more comparable results, the X-H2s should have been shot at 30fps to compare it to the 30fps of the Sony A1 and 20fps to compare it to the 20fps of the Sony A9. This way we could see how well the AF works when the camera is given the same time between shots to make its calculations. My guess is that this would have given an even higher hit rate for the X-H2s.

And yet, it’s a 40fps camera, so it is legit to test it at 40fps.


  • the X-H2s is definitely a high performance camera and is more in line with the performance of Sony A9 and Sony A1
  • but while it is close, the X-H2s is just a little bit less good than the stacked Sony cameras
  • but very high performance for such a low price when compared to its stacked competitors
  • if you are looking for the best autofocus performance in the X-H2s price segment, then the X-H2s is the best camera

My Conclusion

I think we often forget this:

It’s only a bit more than half a year now that Fujifilm is offering animal/subject detection autofocus system. So this is Fujifilm’s first implementation and personally I think Fujifilm should be given a little bit more time to fine tune it and bring it to Sony and Canon level.

And I also think that just because the Fujifilm X-H2s is half the price of its stacked competitors, Fujifilm should not think that they don’t really need to match Sony and Canon AF. Fujifilm advertises the X-H2s as “flagship”, so the X-H2s needs to perform like the best flagship cameras out there, even if those cameras cost twice as much.

So while the test today shows that you get a stunning performer for a great price, I am personally not completely happy until it performs equal or even better than the best Sony camera out there.

Firmware, Fujifilm… keep working on the firmware in 2023!