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According to reports, Fujifilm’s X-H2S could make a significant leap forward to catch Sony and Canon

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The rumoured flagship could enhance autofocus significantly.

image credits: fujiflim

The Fujifilm X-H2S speculations are building ahead of the mirrorless camera’s scheduled debut later this month – and the latest leaks hint it could make a significant focusing leap to catch up to Sony and Canon.

Fuji Rumors has revealed some fresh data about Fuji’s next focusing system, which will be unveiled on the X-H2S. These include the ability to distinguish and track birds, animals, cars, trains, planes, and bikes, among other advanced subject-tracking abilities.

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The X-H2S will, of course, monitor human faces and eyes, though this is already feasible on previous Fujifilm cameras, according to Fuji Rumors. However, the company’s large list of other topics implies that it has improved its usual area of weakness.

Although the autofocus performance of current Fuji cameras like the Fujifilm X-S10 isn’t bad, it has fallen behind Sony and Canon’s recent advances. “Its AF performance is impressive in most situations,” we said in our X-S10 review, “but the subject-tracking isn’t quite as advanced as the Sony system seen on cameras like the Sony A6600.”

What remains to be seen is how effectively these new AF tracking modes perform in real-life situations. On paper, several camera autofocus systems may appear to be comparable, but their stickiness and accuracy can differ in practise due to unique software algorithms and processing power.

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However, there are reasons to be hopeful about the X-H2S’ autofocus performance. It’ll most likely feature a new stacked sensor that supports fast read-out speeds for both burst shooting and video. Fujifilm also talked about its plans to bring computational photography to the X-series last year. In an interview with DPReview, Fujifilm Senior Manager Shinichiro Udono said, “If the sensor speed and processing speed are both very quick, then you can do a lot of things.”

The proof will be in the success rate

Because autofocus is beneficial for both stills and video, it has become an increasingly crucial battleground for mirrorless cameras.

Both Sony and Canon have excelled in this area, with cameras like the Sony A1 and Canon EOS R3 taking autofocus to new heights. The Fujifilm X-series has traditionally been less expensive and less capable than other cameras, but the X-H2S is likely to be a powerful new flagship model with autofocus to match.

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The list of Fuji Rumors’ autofocus-tracked subjects looks intriguing, but we’ll have to wait and see how well they function in practise. Because Fujifilm cameras aren’t usually utilised by professional sports photographers, the ability to track subjects like cars and bikes is probably less crucial. However, if the X-H2S is to justify its predicted price tag, which will likely be considerably over the $1,899 / £1,699 / AU$2,700 commanded by the X-H1 when it launched back in 2018, a significant improvement in Face and Animal focusing is required.

It may also augur well for Fujifilm’s future series of cameras, including the speculated X-T5. If Fuji’s more budget cameras can inherit some of the X-H2S’ autofocus improvements, the X-series could maintain its place as a sweet spot for hobbyist photographers who don’t want the full-frame rivals’ system size or price tags.

The first Sigma lenses for Fujifilm cameras have arrived, but more intriguing ones are on the way.

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