(If you want to watch the video look for it on YouTube @TheSlantedLens)
Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. I’ve got Anaya here with me today. Anaya’s going to help me take a look at an APS-C sensor which is the Fujifilm X-H2 versus Panasonic’s new S5 II. One is a crop sensor, the other a full frame sensor. They’re the same price. Why would you buy one over the other? What are the advantages? Let’s take a look at these two cameras head to head and see which one would be your choice. So let’s get started and see what we can do.
Today’s video is sponsored by SKB cases. If you’ve got stuff worth protecting, SKB case!
All right, let’s break these cameras down. The Panasonic S5 II has a full-frame sensor whereas the X-H2 from Fujifilm has an APS-C sensor. That means it has a 1.5 crop factor. Having a crop factor and being an APS-C sensor means there are some disadvantages. When you put lenses on this camera it’s going to give you a different millimeter, unless the lens is made for that crop factor. Whereas with the Panasonic it has the mode to be able to go in to do Super 35 or APS-C. So in any advantages you gain with that crop factor as in making your lenses longer you can go into that in the Panasonic. I’m not sure I ever understand the reason that seems like an advantage. It’s just cropping. You can crop in on an image and so going to a Super 35 or an APS-C on this camera doesn’t really give you that much. But you have that ability. So when I look at these two cameras and I think about a full frame sensor versus an APS-C, obviously, to me the advantage goes to the full frame sensor.
Both these cameras come slightly under two thousand dollars. And I say slightly as in a couple of dollars. So it’s a tie.
Now let’s talk about resolution. This is the area that I think is really interesting to look at between these two cameras because you have an APS-C sensor, 40 megapixel sensor, and you’ve got a full frame 24 megapixel sensor. So you would automatically say, well the APS-C won. But we should take a look at the image quality test over at the computer.
All right, let’s take a look at the picture quality with these two cameras. Now we are comparing a full frame sensor to an APS-C sensor. But a 40 megapixel APS-C sensor compared to 24 megapixel full frame sensor. So first off let’s just look at color. I’ve always loved the color of these two cameras. The manufacturers, I love Fuji, I love Panasonic. I think both of them have really beautiful colors. As I look at this I feel like the Fuji is very neutral, very pretty. The color is just a little bit not warm enough for me. But when I look at the Panasonic I feel like it’s almost too warm. It’s a little too red, just a little bit too red. Although I do love more of that warm kind of warmth in the skin tone. So it’s a little more magenta. The other is a little more greenish. The Fuji is a little more greenish. Whereas the Panasonic is a little more magenta. These were both shot at f/2.8. Look at the background on that Panasonic. It’s falling beautifully out of focus with that full frame sensor. Whereas on the Fuji at f/2.8 that background is pretty sharp. So if you want an isolated portrait where you use focus to isolate your portrait, that sensor being the APS-C sensor just gives you so much more depth of field and makes it more difficult to be able to give yourself a shallow depth of field.
Now when it comes to sharpness I think they are both very sharp. When you look at a 24 megapixels versus 40 on an APS-C sensor I think the Panasonic is a little bit sharper. I think it’s a little more detailed there. But I think the Fuji is right there. In some ways I think Fuji has kind of bridged that gap to be able to compete with a 24 megapixel full frame sensor. But I don’t think it’s quite there. But when I say that I’m really splitting hairs.
This is the test that I think really shows us where these two cameras are at. Unless you’re just really pixel peeping, you got to blow this thing up to see the difference. And maybe when you do that you see a little bit of advantage to the Panasonic. But I think generally speaking these two cameras are head to head. So that 40 megapixel APS-C sensor is holding its own against a 24 megapixel full frame. I can’t really say one is better than the other. Maybe the Panasonic is slightly better. I did love the picture color with each of these. I think that, I think the Panasonic color is a little warm which I like. And I think the Fujifilm is very, very neutral. Beautiful color on both these cameras. So it’s a tie for image quality.
When it comes to weight these two cameras are almost identical. This one is two grams heavier and that’s really not very much. It’s a tie.
So let’s take a look at the media on the S5 II. We’ve got two SD card slots. On the Fujifilm X-H2 we’ve got an SD card slot and a CFexpress type B. That’s a clear advantage for that Fujifilm.
So the card slots lead us right into frames per second which is a really interesting comparison between these two cameras. With the Panasonic you get nine frames per second in mechanical. Whereas with the Fujifilm you get 15 frames per second in the mechanical. But you can shoot up to a thousand raw images continuously. That CFexpress type B card can buffer forever. It’ll just keep letting you shoot and letting you shoot. So that camera just keeps shooting and shooting and shooting. Whereas with the Panasonic you can do 200 raw before it has to buffer or 300 jpeg.
Now in electronic shutter you go to 30 frames per second and that same 200 buffer on the Panasonic. You get 20 frames a second with the Fujifilm but you can buffer up to a thousand images. That is a sports type application. You can use that for sports photography, for birds. All right, this is pretty tough. You get more frames per second in mechanical with the Fujifilm at 15. But you get more frames a second in electronic with the Panasonic. So it’s so close. But in the end the Fujifilm gives you up to a thousand images you can buffer and shoot and shoot and shoot forever. I think we absolutely have to give it to the Fujifilm. I think they win this round.
So many people look at the back of their cameras and they use that monitor all the time. So with the Panasonic you get 1,840,000 dots. Whereas with the Fujifilm you get 1,620,000 dots. Can you see the difference in those two? As I look at them it’s pretty close. I mean, I think the monitor is slightly better on the Panasonic. But they are so very close. We’re going to give it to the Panasonic. It has a few more dots.
The EVF on these two cameras are quite different. The Panasonic has a 3,680,000 dot resolution. Whereas the Fujifilm has a 5,760,000 dot resolution. And when you look through the EVF on that Fujifilm you can definitely see a difference when you compare those two side by side. So when it comes to the EVF the Fujifilm wins.
Now it’s time to talk about autofocus. First off, let’s talk about autofocus points. The Panasonic has 779 autofocus points. Whereas the Fujifilm has 425 autofocus points. So we definitely have to say the Panasonic wins when it comes to autofocus points.
So the Panasonic may have more autofocus points, but let’s get over to the computer and let’s see how in the real world the autofocus works on these two cameras. Let’s see how they compare with one another. Let’s get over to the computer.
So here’s the autofocus test as a Fuji. As she walks towards me it’s really interesting. I’m getting, most of them are sharp. I get maybe three or four that are like near misses. It may not be right on her eye but her nose is in a little bit. When it comes to Panasonic, same kind of a thing. As she’s walking towards me I’m getting most of them are right on. And occasionally I’ll get one that’s kind of a near miss. It’s not out of focus. It’s just very close. So wow, these two cameras are really head to head. I feel like the eye detect on the Panasonic seems to be working just a little better to me. It is fascinating that when they’re further away and you’re using eye detect on the Fuji you really are just in eye detect. So it’s going to have to hit the eye. Whereas with the Panasonic it’s going to start out with, if it can’t give you a really good eye detect, then it’s going to start with the human form or the face or the head. And then as soon as it gets close enough it’s going to go to the eye. So in doing that, the hierarchy of the Panasonic does mean that sometimes it’s giving you more of the face and not necessarily directly on the eye. Whereas, but with the Fuji if it misses the eye it’s missing the whole body pretty much. So I think these two are very head-to-head, yeah, very head to head with regards to the number of images that I’ve lost. Both are looking very good.
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All right let’s wrap that autofocus test up. Man, they were so close. I saw a few misses here and there on both of the cameras. But very, very few. I’m going to call this a tie. They both had great autofocus in that test and performed extremely well. So it’s a tie.
Let’s talk about in-camera pixel shifting. That’s become a big thing if you want to have a large file to make a huge print. And both of these cameras have a version of that. The Panasonic has a 96 megapixel, pixel shifting, stacking images to give you a 96 megapixel image. Whereas the Fujifilm gives you, 20 shots that are going to combine together to give you a 160 megapixel image. But you have to do it in post in a special software that Fujifilm has given you. Whereas the Panasonic is done in camera. So 96 megapixels on a full frame sensor versus 160 megapixels on an APS-C sensor. What’s the winner? Well, ease of use, larger, you decide. It’s a tie.
All right, let’s talk about the internal recording modes on these two cameras. Because there’s some great advantages both ways on these. So let’s talk about them. First off, with the Panasonic we’ve got a good H.264, 4.2.2, 8-bit. It gives you a 4.2.0, 10 bit. You’ve got 6K open gate recording. Which means you’re recording on the entire frame. So you can reposition this up and down. You also have a 6K, 24 and 30 frame recording rates. That 6K is wonderful because you can reposition. I find 6K kind of the nice spot to be. When you go to 8K it’s a lot of information to move around.But when you’re at 6K you get enough information that you can reposition. You can punch in and out and it gives you the ability to just rework the frame. When it comes to going to frames per second it’s faster than 30 at say 60. Now you’re going to a crop factor on the Panasonic.
So I may have said I like 6K over 8K, but the reality is 8k is incredible. The X-H2 gives you raw 8K, 30 frames a second. That is an incredible amount of information. And it does give you the ability to crop in. And it gives you the sense of having two cameras. It also does Pro-res 4.2.2 internally. Which is an incredible codec to be able to have internally on this camera. So I think when you look at these two cameras, video wise they are so close to one another. It’s really interesting to me. But I’m going to give the advantage to the Fujifilm.
Now let’s look at the external recording capabilities of these two cameras. The S5 II is going to give you 12 bit, 6K, 24 and 30 frames. Whereas the X-H2 is going to give you raw 12-bit, 8K up to 60 frames. That’s a pretty incredible difference between those two. I think the Fujifilm wins when it comes to external recording capabilities.
So do they both have a full HDMI port? Yes, they do, it’s a tie.
Both of these cameras do log. You have V-log and you got F-log 2, tie.
So in video autofocus here, as I look at these clips, I’m looking at them. I’m running them through kind of slow to kind of see what’s strobing as far as they’re moving up and down. versus just the autofocus. And the focus stays very on her on the Fuji. It stays right with her. There’s a couple of places where it kind of moves. It loses it just for a brief, I mean, it’s not a second. We’re talking about just a brief, a few frames. And then it comes right back on. I think I saw two of those in the Fuji. And I thought, I think I saw one of those in a Panasonic. So the autofocus is working very well on these. Because of her movements in towards the camera there is, you get a little bit of strobing with regards to her movement up and down. It starts to look like it’s out of focus when it’s not. But I think it’s lost the focus a couple of times on the Fuji, but once about once on the Panasonic. So there you have the autofocus test in video mode. I’m going to have to say the Panasonic won. But it was so incredibly close. Those two cameras were very, very good in that auto focus mode. That person walking there and back, quite frankly, both those cameras are better than any Focus Puller could ever be as a person walks towards you. Really good stuff for both of them. But I’m going to give it to the Panasonic.
One thing that’s very interesting is about overheating. The Panasonic has got a built-in fan in the top here. A very quiet fan that moves the air and it does not overheat. It’s interesting that the X-H2 has a spot on the back where you can mount a small fan. And that allows you to cool a camera with that small fan. So both these cameras can overcome their heating issues. The Fujifilm requires that you purchase a fan to attach to it. And it is a piece that comes on and off the camera. Where it’s built internally in the Panasonic. So I think the Panasonic wins when it comes to keeping it cool.
The one thing the Panasonic has that the Fujifilm does not is something called a Real Time Lut. I wasn’t sure I was a huge fan of this when we first started using it when it was introduced to us. It seemed a little bit gimmicky to me. But we started to use it quite a bit. We have a very fast workflow here and we want to get things through this process and into editing. So we don’t shoot on log very often. But this gave us the ability to shoot on log and the Real Time Lut allowed us to put a Rec 709 or any other codec you want to put onto and bake into the footage when you shoot it on the Panasonic. That was, it’s been a huge advantage. And I think that’s something that is really worthwhile. It gives you the ability to increase that workflow but still have the depth and the look of that log. Which is really beautiful when it’s graded right and then baked into the image. So when it comes to that kind of log to workflow process, that Real Time Lut is an advantage. We’re going to give that to the Panasonic.
When it comes to image stabilization these two cameras both have five axis image stabilization. So it’s a tie.
But now let’s look at what that image stabilization looks like in a real life situation. So let’s go over to the computer and see how we got. So I built my special rig for my image stabilization test and to be able to hold two cameras. And to be able to walk with them at once. And Panasonic has incredible stabilization and we’ve seen it in all the tests that we’ve done. The Fuji didn’t hold up as well in this test. Fuji really kind of fell behind. It’s a little bit jerky. It just does not have the same kind of smooth quality that you get with that Panasonic. You see it here as the two of them are walking. You just kind of see a little bit of jumping with that. The Panasonic floats a little better. Yeah, definitely the Panasonic is doing much better in this test. Wow, so there you have it. The S5 II is much smoother than the X-H2. It really is just beautiful as it kind of smoothly walks through the scene. Whereas the X-H2 is a little bit jumpy. So we’re going to give that to the Panasonic.
It’s time for ISO. Let’s see how these two cameras go head-to-head when it comes to ISO. You know, they have a very similar range. The Fujifilm does go slightly higher in the native ISO than the Panasonic. But let’s get over and take a look at the test. Off to the computer.
So let’s look at the iso test between these two cameras. This has been a little difficult to get a good comparison here that we can really understand what’s going on. Partly because we can’t take the Panasonic into Adobe Raw yet. It has not been updated and doesn’t include the Panasonic yet. So I’ve been taking the Panasonic through Silkypics. Now in Silkypics I’ve made sure that all noise reduction has been turned off. Someone said, “Well maybe Silkypics is giving you a noise reduction.” It’s not. In fact I looked at the jpegs comparatively on these two cameras and the jpegs give me the same information. The jpegs I know have noise reduction on each of them. But the comparison was still the same.
So if we start at 400 ISO you see just clean, clean in this out of focus area in the background. But already with the Fuji you’re seeing some noise.
By the time we get to 800 ISO I would comfortably work with the Lumix at 800 ISO. But on the Fujifilm you’re going to have to know, you’re going to have to get some noise reduction going to be able to give you a really clean image at 800 ISO.
At 1600 ISO the Fuji has a tremendous amount of noise in the background. I mean it is starting to really pixelate back there. Whereas we’re still looking really clean on the Panasonic. The Panasonic color is holding clean. You get this sharp kind of transition in the shadows when the image starts to fall apart. I’m not seeing any of that.
So when we go from 1600 to 3200 ISO the Lumix is really clean in the background. But the Fuji is starting to look extremely noisy in the background. I mean it’s just a really sharp pattern. I’m seeing that kind of fall off in the transition from the highlights to the shadows. You just see that sharp kind of transition now. You’re not getting that nice roundness that kind of moves from highlight to shadow. I’m still retaining a lot of that roundness in the Panasonic. But it’s starting to fall off as well. You just see that sharp kind of drop from highlight to shadow.
When we go up to 6400 ISO it’s super grainy in the background. Still very soft with the Panasonic. But the Panasonic is starting to get that drop off. We’re starting to see very high contrast build. I’d rather not shoot either of these cameras at 6400 ISO. That’s just a little crazy to me. But it’s certainly the Panasonic is holding up much better than the Fuji.
When we go up to 12,800 ISO, and who would do that? I mean I don’t even have to blow it up. I can see it just from looking in her face. I can see it in in the background. The low light capability of this Panasonic I think is absolutely incredible. Fuji X-H2 is not competing. It’s not holding up.
When we go to 25,600 ISO I see the digital noise everywhere. It’s just the whole image in the Fuji. Whereas with the Panasonic it still has kind of a beautiful soft look. And we’re not seeing that digital noise. I see artifacting in the background. Look at the way the color has started to shift. You get these kinds of Pinks and reds and everything start to show up on the Lumix. Whereas you really aren’t seeing the color shift as much with the Fujifilm. But you are certainly seeing it with the Lumix. You don’t get the pronounced noise, but you’re getting some color shift.
Then of course on the S5 II we can go up to 51,200 ISO and it’s just noise color everywhere. It’s interesting, the Panasonic doesn’t break down with regards to noise, with regards to that grainy kind of look. It breaks down when it comes to color shifting. You start seeing kind of these blocks of pink and yellow and that start to show up. Panasonic is really clean in low light situations. Wow, I’m just blown away by the Panasonic. The S5 II has just beautiful low light application. It just looks so good through all the ISOs. It’s a clear winner in my mind.
So let’s talk about ergonomics. Both these cameras have an articulating screen. They’re exactly the same. Pop out, yep. So love that about them. Great for vlogging and those kinds of things. They both got that flip out screen.
Now when it comes to the actual camera itself they are very similar in size. Sometimes I feel like my little finger gets lost on the bottom of this, of the Panasonic. But with the Fuji it’s about the same.
I do love the top visual screen on the X-H2. It gives you a readout screen on the top which I think is nice to be able to do some of the different things you need to in the menus and what have you. And see exactly what the camera is set on without having to turn it and change it to one of the other settings on the back to be able to see what your camera settings are. So I do love that top screen.
Another thing that I think is really, I love the d-pad on the back of the Panasonic. And of course the Fujifilm has a very similar kind of thing. It’s not, I do I just love the wheel on the back of the Panasonic because it doesn’t matter where I hit it, if I’m generally on the right side it goes. Whereas on the Fujifilm I’ve got to hit the spots, the exact spots. But I love the fact that it’s there.
I feel like the menus though on the Panasonic are much easier to figure out. There’s some things in the menus here that are a little difficult to kind of track down. I’m getting more used to each of them as I’m using them. But I think the menus are a little easier to navigate on the Panasonic. The one thing I did find interesting is there’s some button things, like if I want to change my drive it’s the trash can. There’s just something in my mind that gives me a hard time to push the trash can anytime I’m doing anything with a camera.
I know that the trash can on the Panasonic gives you a going back button. I don’t use that as often as when I’m trying to change the drive speed.
There are some interesting things as far as buttons go. It is the three buttons across the top. Very similar to the three buttons across the front on the Panasonic. It has the three buttons across the front and the Fujifilm has the three buttons on the side. They do very similar things. You’ve got white balance, ISO, we do have the ability to change back and forth on the wheel from video to Stills. Which gives us the ability to have ourselves set up for video mode or still mode.
You do have, on the Panasonic, that the ability to run sound through the hot shoe. So you’ve got that electronic hot shoe that you do not have on the Fujifilm. And that I think is a huge advantage if you’re doing any kind of sound application for doing sound. When it comes to video that is a huge advantage. The one nice thing about the Panasonic is that you’d have a great sound preamps and that inside the camera are excellent. I think that is a place that they do beat out most any other camera on the market including the X-H2.
So there you have it. There’s a quick look at the ergonomics of these two cameras. Two great cameras, small form factor, small lenses and that really means that you know for me I’m going to say these two as ergonomics are pretty much a tie. I don’t see any distinct winners here. I think they both have great ergonomics, great button placement. It’s that kind of old time style, old feel where you can hit the buttons and find the things you want. And it’s very easy to identify. I do think menu wise though, I think the Panasonic is a little better. And I think the Fuji is that nice up screen on the top to be able to see your settings and that, which is an advantage. So I think they’re very much a tie when it comes to ergonomics.
All right, let’s wrap this up. Who would buy these cameras? I think these cameras really are going after the very same or similar market. Even though the Panasonic has really great video features, the X-H2 has incredible video features. Even though the Panasonic has incredible stabilization and it has great autofocus. You know, the Fujifilm has an incredible export or out external recording modes, incredible. I just think these two cameras go head to head and they’re really looking for hybrid shooters that are doing weddings and video. They’re looking for people who want to shoot images, you know high-end images where you’re going to composite or stack them, I think these two cameras are head to head. You make this decision based on, “What lens system am I in already?” If you’re already in a lens system I would stick with it. If you’re just entering into the market these two cameras are great places to enter into the market. They’re the same price. They give you great capabilities both for stills. I think it’s just really an interesting head-to-head, they kind of go back and forth with regards to different features. Which really makes it a difficult decision. For me, I generally lean towards a full-frame camera, full frame sensor. And purchasing lenses in that ecosystem, that’s probably how I would make that decision. But for you, there’s a lot of people who love shooting on Fuji cameras and there’s some incredible Fuji cameras out there. And the X-H2 is certainly one of them. I would make that decision based on what lens system you’re in and what you want to do in the future. I think these two cameras give you great options. You decide which one’s right for you. Leave us a comment about which one you think is right and best and we’ll hear from you. And keep those cameras rollin’ keep on clickin’!
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