Kirk Picks His All Around Best Camera Value of the Year (2019).

In all of 2019 there was (and still is) no greater bargain; no greater offering of superior imaging potential, bulletproof build quality and video wonderful-ness than the Fuji X-H1. For some insane reason Fuji took a $2,000 camera (and worth every cent even at that price!) combined it with the wonderful battery grip, threw in two extra batteries and priced the whole assemblage for about $1,200. My jaw still drops. 

If I were the kind of photographer who buys cameras as long term tools, middle term "investments" and items that one uses until they fall apart in one's hands, the Fuji X-H1 Pro would be my first and only choice... if putting together a system from scratch.

Starting with specs: It's a 24 megapixel APS-C camera that inherit's Fuji's stellar reputation for wonderful/pleasing/virtuous color science. At 24 megapixels it's about as much resolution as even hardened professionals need for their daily work. It's 4K video is superb and made even better with a clean HDMI output. And one of the biggest pluses of the Fuji X-H1 is its access to tons of very good and well planned lens choices. The 56mm f1.1.2 is (both varieties) awesome. The 90mm f2.0 is stellar. The 16-55mm f2.8 might be all the lens most people need, and if they need more then there is the flawless 50-140mm f2.8 lens available at a reasonable price. Add to all of this the camera's beautifully tuned (audio) shutter and fully competent image stabilization and you have a package you could make money with and enjoy at the same time. 

Sure, the full frame cameras look better on paper but when it comes down to actually using the camera and making good work the X-H1 is fully competitive. 

Once I started using the X-H1 I began to mostly ignore the X-T3 and then I bought two more X-H1s just because the price was right and we had three projects that could use three video camera to good effect. It was almost as cost effective to buy the two extra cameras than it would have been to rent something comparable. 

In 2019 no better bargain existed than the sale price of the X-H1+battery grip+ two extra batteries. 

Why did I sell mine? I'd been waiting for the Lumix S1 series to drop into the market. It's something I wanted since the announcement and since my time with the Panasonic G9. In effect, the Fujis were placeholders. The nice thing is that they held their value well. 

That's my "bargain" camera of 2019. The Fuji X-H1. 


DaveW said...

I’m keeping my X-H1 until it falls apart in years to come. It really is a great all rounder.

Ken Bennett said...

I bought two of the kits when they dropped to $1200, and should have bought a third when B&H went to $999 for a couple of weeks. I expect these will last the rest of my career :)

Unknown said...

Aside from the value aspect of the X-H1 when it dropped to $999.00 with the grip and batteries is, to this old manual camera and film guy, the "fun" aspect of using the Fuji. It reminds me of using my old slr's. The image quality does not hurt either. Just a nice all around camera.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

My thoughts exactly.

Nigel Thompson said...

My Fuji sequence was X100S, XT1, XT2, XE2 and then with the price drop to $999 the XH1. Like others commented likely to be a keeper for a long time. Still got the XE2 too, nice camera with the 23mm F2 on the front. Image quality the same as the XT2 in the theatre (ballet) work that I do but more flexible with the IBIS and seems a better balance with the 50-140 (plus grip) too. Absolute bargain at the price!

PS. More studio dog posts please, we know who's really in charge at the VSL.