The Fujifilm XH2 is now past its first birthday. But, as one of the company’s X Mount flagships, Fujifilm is keeping the camera at the top with regular firmware updates. The latest round of firmware updates, in fact, relieves some of our biggest complaints about the camera by improving the autofocus and making ISO adjustments much faster. Firmware has also brought the previously promised frame.io compatibility, which allows the camera to wirelessly send files straight to the cloud.
Firmware updates are often fairly basic, but after the latest round, the Fujifilm XH2 ranks slightly higher in my book thanks to autofocus and usability tweaks. We’ve updated the Fujifilm XH2 review to reflect those software tweaks made between firmware versions 2.00 and 3.03. Here’s what we added to the review.
Ease of Use
One of my biggest complaints about the XH2 is that the ISO was annoying to adjust quickly. Rather than the dedicated ISO dial like in the XT5, the XH2 required tapping the ISO button first, then using the front command dial to adjust. But, if you want to adjust the ISO as fast as possible, you can now do that.
The controls menu will now allow you to assign the front control dial to ISO, bypassing the ISO button completely. This is a much faster way to adjust the ISO. This is hugely important to me, as I typically dial in the aperture I want for bokeh or sharpness and the shutter speed I need to prevent or encourage blur. As the lighting changes, I simply keep a finger on the ISO dial to quickly adjust the exposure. The firmware update makes this possible, as before, the front command dial couldn’t be customized to control ISO without also using that ISO button. This also makes sense because most of Fujifilm’s lenses have their own aperture dial, so between that and the two command dials, you can have the entire exposure triangle at your fingertips. You don’t need an aperture set to the front dial unless using a third-party lens without an aperture ring. I still miss the dials of my own XT4, but I hate the ergonomics a lot less now that I can quickly adjust ISO.
Fujifilm’s promised camera-to-cloud compatibility arrived on the XH2 with firmware version 2.00. Fujifilm is the first still camera supporting camera-to-cloud using frame.io software, and automatically sending images to the cloud will help a handful of photographers. But, the young technology has some growing up to do before it becomes something that almost every photographer will want to try out.
Using frame.io with the Fujifilm XH2 requires the FT-XH battery grip accessory and firmware 2.0 or later. And, for most users, that initial connection is going to require a set of instructions, as the process is a bit more complex than something like connecting to Bluetooth. The first step is to connect using the camera’s frame.io menu and walk through the on-screen instructions to connect to a nearby Wi-Fi router. Photographers can also choose which file types to send, just JPEGs or RAW, the latter of which is going to require fast internet speeds.
The second half of the process connects the camera to a project inside frame.io. Photographers need to pair the camera with the project inside the C2C Connections tab and type in a pairing code generated by the camera. A frame.io subscription is required.
Using the camera-to-cloud via a Wi-Fi router, once set up, was a great feature but one that’s dependent on two conditions. One, you need to have great internet speeds. You are uploading everything, mistakes and all, pre-cull, so those on slow rural Wi-Fi networks may not really fall in love with the feature, though that’s a fault of the internet connection and not Fujifilm’s.
Second, the camera needs to be fairly close to the Wi-Fi router to work. I needed to be in the same room or the next room over for a seamless upload process. When I took the camera to the opposite end of my house—where other devices like my laptop and smart TV have no issues connecting—the connection dropped.
The XH2 is also supposed to support camera-to-cloud with a wired smartphone connection. However, I kept getting error messages, and despite troubleshooting with Fujifilm, I couldn’t determine the issue.
The Fujifilm XH2’s camera-to-cloud connection is a unique feature. But, like when Bluetooth on cameras was still a new feature, there are some glitches to work out. Photographers working in a studio with a fast Wi-Fi network that need to quickly send photos to team members will love the feature. But the smartphone connection wasn’t functional for me, and the feature isn’t yet one that I would recommend for on-site cloud backups just yet. For more on how frame.io works and the details on the software itself, read the full frame.io review.
Firmware versions 3.00 and 3.03 both have a few updates to the Fujifilm XH2’s autofocus system. Subject detection has improved, particularly when working with subjects that only take up a small part of the frame. The bird detection mode will also now detect the eyes of insects, while the airplane mode is now also capable of detecting drones.
Firmware 3.03 also tweaks the autofocus, but only under specific circumstances, those circumstances are when using single-point AF mode on a wide-angle lens and with low contrast or high-frequency subjects like animals with fine hair. I used the XH2 with the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 on a sparkler exit during an outdoor wedding after dark. While there were some occasional dropped frames, the XH2 actually did fairly decent and grabbed several keepers in those challenging conditions. While I still think the XH2s do a bit better at focusing, and the body is behind competitors like Canon, the autofocus is slowly improving with firmware, which is great to see.