The Fujifilm X-H2 has been rumored for over two years now, but the long-awaited mirrorless camera is starting to take shape – with the latest rumors predicting it will definitely be the first Fujifilm camera to rock an exciting new sensor and processor combo.
Traditionally, other Fujifilm camera lines have been the chosen ones for debuting next-generation X-Trans silicon. The X-Pro series, Fujifilm’s line of compact rangefinders, has twice introduced new sensor-processor combos (in 2013 and 2016), while the latest X-Trans CMOS 4 tech arrived in 2018 with the Fujifilm X-T3.
But Fuji Rumors has responded to speculation that this means a Fujifilm X-Pro 4 might instead deliver Fuji’s next-gen silicon in 2022. In a post, the reliable site confirmed that “the Fujifilm X-H2 will be Fujifilm’s first X series camera to introduce the new sensor and processor platform, and not the X-Pro4.”
Why is this significant? Firstly, the rumored new sensor is expected to be a new ‘stacked’ CMOS design and this lends credence to that theory. This is because stacked sensors, like the one we saw recently in the Sony A1, deliver the read-out speeds needed to achieve high burst shooting speeds (for things like wildlife photography) and reduce rolling shutter in video.
Both of those areas, wildlife and video, are key ones for Fujifilm’s X-H series and its fans. So it would certainly make sense for the Fujifilm X-H2 to be the first camera to debut that new stacked sensor and processor combo.
If true, this news also points towards the Fujifilm X-H2 being a landmark launch for Fujifilm and its X-series range, which are aimed at both hobbyists and pros. Fuji Rumors claims that ‘Fujifilm is crafting a monstrous camera”, which suggests that the X-H2 will be its attempt to make a strong alternative to the full-frame offerings that are dominated by Sony, Canon, Nikon and Panasonic.
The long view
The rumored development of the Fujifilm X-H2 as a powerful flagship, plus recent speculation that Fujifilm now won’t release any more new cameras in 2021 after the Fujifilm X-E4, does also hint at the road ahead for Fuji cameras.
Fuji’s hobbyist cameras, like the excellent Fujifilm X-S10 and Fujifilm X100V, are now firmly established, while the Fujifilm X-T4 remains top of our best cameras guide due to its mix of all-round performance and value.
But it’s been a tough year for camera companies whose primary audience is hobbyist shooters who’ve been unable to travel or justify splashing out on a new camera body. And the competition from the best full-frame cameras, which have larger sensors than those in the APS-C X-series, has become increasingly hot, with rivals like the Nikon Z5 and Sony A7C offering great value at the more affordable end.
So it makes sense for Fujifilm to go all-out on a high-performing model that can mix it with the best full-frame cameras when it comes to autofocus, video and burst shooting. That said, a rumored 2022 launch for the Fujifilm X-H2 is quite a long wait, and it remains to be seen whether or not Fuji will be able to deliver the lenses needed to tempt experienced wildlife and sports shooters away from some tempting full-frame alternatives.