Fujifilm X-H2 tipped to be a strange double launch with two different sensors

Fujifilm X-H1
(Image credit: Fujifilm)

The Fujifilm X-H2 is one of the most highly-anticipated cameras of 2022, but fresh rumors suggest it's going to be an unusual and slightly confusing double launch –with one of the two models possibly having Fujifilm's current 26MP sensor.

Fuji Rumors says that "solid and reliable" sources have revealed that there will be two versions of the Fujifilm X-H2, one with a 40MP sensor and another with a 26MP sensor. It's the latter that's slightly confusing, because it's the same resolution as the current chip used in cameras like the Fujifilm X-T4 – and that sensor has been widely considered to be end-of-life.

So will one of the Fujifilm X-H2 models have the company's existing APS-C sensor? Fuji Rumors says that "at this point I can't answer this question", so for now it's very much up in the air. But the fact that it's a 26MP sensor suggests that it's certainly a possibility.

Launching two or even three versions of the same camera is, itself, not unheard of. Panasonic has been a big proponent of this strategy, releasing the Panasonic S1Panasonic S1R and Panasonic S1H in 2019. The S1 and S1H both have 24.2MP full-frame sensors, but the S1H is a much more video-focused model.

But these new rumors do suggest a change of tack for Fujifilm. One of the appeals of its current range is that most models are built around the same sensor and processor, which means you can pick the right design for your needs, without worrying that you're missing out on features.

Prior to these new rumors, we had expected that the two versions of the Fujifilm X-H2 would be based around the same sensor, with the differences coming in design, build and video features. Another reason for this assumption is that Fujifilm recently announced, at its X Summit in September, that it will be launching a new stacked, backside-illuminated X-Trans sensor in 2022.

Strangely, it now seems that only one of the upcoming Fujifilm X-H2 models will have this sensor, with the news of a 26MP model raising more questions than its answers. Which model will be the one with the new stacked sensor? Or could both X-H2s have new stacked sensors with different resolutions? 

It's an unusually complex scenario for Fujifilm, but with the latest speculation suggesting the X-H2 will launch in early 2022, we shouldn't have to wait long to get a clearer picture of one of next year's biggest camera launches.

Analysis: Double vision may cause confusion  

Fujifilm X-H1

(Image credit: Future)

The reason why the Fujifilm X-H2 is one of next year's most anticipated cameras is because it's expected to be one of the few to offer a stacked APS-C sensor, in contrast to the full-frame approach adopted by Canon, Sony and Nikon.

While full-frame sensors can gather more light than APS-C chips, the latter can bring advantages in terms camera size and price, along with a crop factor that can be useful for shooting sports or wildlife. 

But stacked sensors, whose higher readout speeds boost continuous shooting frame-rates as well as video performance, are also much more expensive than standard backside-illuminated chips. And this could be a possible reason for the rumored two versions of the X-H2, with one offering a more affordable route into its new features.

We don't yet know whether only one of the X-H2 models will have a stacked sensor and, if so, if that's likely to be the 40MP or 26MP version. It's also possible that both models will have new, stacked sensors. But either way, the new sensor will likely push the X-H2's price tag up towards full-frame levels, with previous speculation suggesting that the X-H2 will cost "less than $2,500".

The other looming factor is the current global chip shortage, which is having a serious impact on the availability on new cameras like the Canon EOS R3 and Sony ZV-E10. With these issues expected to continue well into 2022, it'll be interesting to see how this affects the launch of both versions of the X-H2.

Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.