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Cameras

With the X-H1, Fujifilm at long last adds in-body IS

In its new flagship APS-C model, Fujifilm's the last of the mainstream mirrorless camera makers to drift from optical stabilization to sensor shift.

Essentially an update of the 2-year-old X-T2 -- the body's been refined and the feature set expanded for the cinema-shooting crowd -- the X-H1 has the distinction of being Fujifilm's first camera to incorporate sensor-shift image stabilization. It's more than late to a party where Sony, Olympus and Panasonic have already fallen asleep on the couch. But better late than never, and its five-axis, five-stop system is certainly a welcome upgrade to one of Fujifilm's best.

The X-H1 is slated to ship in March for $1,900; that's a few hundred more than the current X-T2 prices in the US. (I don't have UK or Australia prices, but it converts to about £1,360 and AU$2,400.) 

Fujifilm bumped up the top video resolution from 4K UHD to DCI 4K (though at a relatively low 200Mbps) and added verbal time codes. Plus, it wouldn't be Fujifilm without adding another film simulation: This time, it's Eterna for a cinema filmlike look. And now you can record F-log to an internal card rather than just to an external recorder. Not quite the GH5/GH5s, but those have a smaller sensor.

Most noticeably for the design, there's now a status LCD on top of the camera replacing the exposure compensation dial. Fujifilm also added an AF-On button and increased the grip size, because manufacturers unfailingly leave these off and then unfailingly add them after everyone complains. And then repeat a few years later on another model. It gives me griplash.

Not as visible, the body is built from a thicker magnesium alloy than the X-T2, and it's now rated coldproof down to 14° F/-10° C. It's got a new shutter mechanism and release button with quieter operation and less vibration, and Fujifilm tweaked the autofocus for better low-light and small-aperture performance, as well as increased the resolution of the viewfinder a bit. Also, flicker reduction. Welcome to 2018.

But the battery life is still miserable -- possibly worse, at a rating of 310 shots per charge. Don't worry, though, you can buy a battery grip and add two more batteries for 900 shots, as well as faster continuous shooting (like the X-T2, 14fps with the grip).

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