X-H2S: Wildlife x Emi Nakamura

Impression of 5th generation X series

As a wildlife photographer, I look for cameras that have the ability to focus to capture the moment, the ability to depict the beauty and power of the subject, and the durability to withstand the harsh environment. In addition, since the shooting location is in a natural environment, I place importance on making the equipment system as light as possible. This was my first opportunity to use a Fujifilm camera in the field.

The first thing I had in my mind was that it fit comfortably in my hand, that it was well compacted, and that it was lightweight. Intuitively, I felt that I wanted to shoot with this camera. The X-H2S has a subject detection AF setting that can detect the eyes of animals and birds, in addition to the faces and eyes of people, and I was driven to shoot as much wildlife as possible. I visited Nagano, where many births of life can be seen at this time of the year. When actually taking pictures of a monkey family, for example, I felt comfortable looking through the viewfinder and releasing the shutter because the autofocus was able to detect the eyes of both the parent and the child.

With the focus mode set to AF-C, single, zone, or wide/tracking, it was easy to focus on a white-tailed eagle in flight or monkeys in active motion.

What impressed me the most was that the camera’s in-body image stabilization function with up to 7 stops allows hand-held shooting even with the super-telephoto lens XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR (35mm film equivalent: 229-914mm). The combination of X-H2S and XF150-600mm is compact in addition to its image stabilization performance, and I realized that it would be a strong ally for women nature photographers. In addition to the XF150-600mm, I also used the XF70-300mm (35mm film equivalent: 107-457mm equivalent) with the X-H2S. This combination is so lightweight and cost-effective that I felt it was sufficient for most of my shooting.

In recent years, improvements in camera performance have made it relatively easy for anyone to take pictures of subjects, and the difference between professionals and amateurs is disappearing. In this sense, the X-H2S is certainly a camera that makes professionals cry, but its autofocus performance and blackout-free high-speed continuous shooting allow the camera to focus on the subject in question, allowing the photographer to concentrate on his or her intentions and how the finished product will look. This is a very useful camera for professionals who want to capture the intentions of the photographer or the subject as a work of art.

In this project, I used classic negatives for some of the film simulations that can reproduce colors in a way that only Fujifilm can, and the fun of using these 19 film simulations to create the work I wanted to express and create according to the subject matter is another appeal of this camera. The combination of X-H2S and XF150-600mm is small enough to take with me without hesitation to places and situations where equipment must be kept to a minimum, such as deserted islands and overseas.

As any wildlife photographer will tell you, there is an acceptable distance at which they will allow you to approach them. So far, I’ve been trying to figure out how close I can get to an animal. In the past, when I thought I could get close enough to an animal, I could not get any closer and had to give up photographing it. I felt that this camera and lens were the best combination to fill the gap between the animal and me. This camera and lens can be used for photographing polar bears in the Arctic Circle, wild animals in Africa, marine mammals at sea, and other subjects that require a certain distance to be maintained, without causing stress to the animals. I realized that this camera will expand the range of my future photography.