When I went to see Panasonic in London earlier this year, things were on the up after a long pandemic. I remember saying to folks – wouldn’t it be great if after the last few years the drama could began to settle down.
In August my sister was diagnosed with an aggressive form of colon cancer. It has spread to her liver.
I am having a big gear sale at the moment of nearly half my cameras and lenses. Some long held treasure is now up for sale such as Iscorama anamorphic lenses, my Panasonic GH5S, Samsung NX1, Blackmagic Pocket 4K, Olympus OM-1 (now sold), Panasonic S1 and Fuji X-T4, plus rarities like my Cooke cinema lenses, Leica M8, Leica Noctilux and more. All are now up on eBay for shipping within the UK. (You can also contact me about shipping in Europe and worldwide).
This blog began 12 years ago in Taiwan, 2010. I was living there and had just got the Panasonic GH1 from the local family run dealer on a street I called “Camera Avenue” because it had about 40 camera stores all independently run and all in one place in downtown Taipei. Learning about the fascinating history of the island from my girlfriend and her father, who served in the military under the rule Chiang Kai-shek, I shot the four pieces you see on this page. Make sure you have the sound on.
Had Chiang Kai-shek won the civil war in China, modern-day history would look very different. There would be no communist party of China.
A delicate truce exists today and close economic ties between the two warring sides. Taiwan is a flourishing democracy with one of the major parties wanting closer ties to Beijing and the other fiercely independent and rejecting any overtures to be assimilated into a communist system.
Taiwan is also an economic powerhouse vital to the world’s semiconductors industry. Home to companies such as AMD, Foxconn, Asus and TSMC, with numerous manufacturing facilities including ones owned by Canon and Sony. The island also has a thriving filmmaking scene.
With the wholesale shift to mirrorless cameras (Pentax?) the camera world probably thinks it has finally modernised and cosigned the old flappy mirror technology to history (although my Canon 1D C would like a word).
But now there is a new threat to the high end camera market and this time not from itself.
Sensors in smartphones are getting larger. Much larger.
The progress in the last 7 years is remarkable (as my chart above shows). Smartphones have caught up and surpassed Super 16mm. Is Super 35mm next?
Most mirrorless cameras aimed at filmmakers are so much alike these days, so does the X-H2S stand out?
The X-H2S assumes flagship status over the X-T4 for both stills and video users. It remains to be seen whether there will be an 8K resolution X-H2R later, for the high resolution stills and video crowd.
I’d love to see progress with the long list of features that matter more than higher numbers on a specs sheet, but the X-H2S floats my boat in many ways. Open Gate Anamorphic. 4K at 120fps. Internal ProRes. It is like a GH6 with a larger sensor (albeit $500 more expensive). Unfortunately there is no internal e-ND filter, and of course no compressed RAW video format for internal recording due to RED’s patent. The ergonomic concept is still rather stills-orientated too.
Let’s take a closer look at the X-H2S’s cinematic abilities.