The X-H1 is not the camera for this type of shooting. If I am remembering correctly. With the X-H1 you have to use the battery grip and run it with two batteries plus a battery in the camera to get the maximum performance from the auto focus and EVF. The later models are vastly improved. You would be much better off shooting with a X-T4 if you want to stay with Fuji. There is a night and day difference in the improved auto focus capabilities of the X-T3/T4. I recommended the X-T4 because it has IBIS to help with your hand holding. And it has the newer, longer lasting battery. Also, the X-T4 is improved in handling heat. The EVF is also much improved in both the X-T3 and T4 over the X-H1.Observations and ruminations from the airshow today.
I still really really love going to see mil aircraft, especially the old warbirds. I've missed it. I want to continue shooting if the tremors can be dealt with.
And tying into the first thought, I need to continue to work with the docs and do whatever treatments and therapy is needed to keep improving. The airshow today kicked my posterior, and I was in a "premium" area with seats and spent the airshow mostly seated - no roaming the show. I stopped shooting as I became tired. And left shortly thereafter as my back started having small spasms.
Even though I'm not in the shape I need to be, shooting was OK from my standpoint, until I tired. Even with the X-H1 + grip + 100-400.
Speaking of the 100-400. No complaints about the IQ and handling of the lens.
On to the X-H1. I'll have to address this in bullet points.
- This show was a mix of slow prop aircraft and very fast jets. Lots of very erratic movement. Very little announcement of where the aircraft was coming from, crowd left/ crowd right/ behind and overhead. Some of the arcs around the sightline I had were fast enough I couldn't react quick enough to grab a shot. Some of the jet flybys were just below the speed of sound.
- The camera did not like Arizona early fall heat. Direct sunlight and temps in the upper 80s (31-32°C) plus heavy use made the camera hot enough it was really uncomfortable to touch certain areas.
- Possibly related to the heat, there were several times the camera took several cycles of the power switch to power ON, after sitting OFF and in the shade of my body between aerial performances. There were also several times where the EVF went black and took multiple actuations of the back AF and shutter button to recover, almost like the shutter stuck closed. I've never previously had these issues. I'll see how the camera does after resting a day or two.
- EVF. Wow. Made shooting the show much more difficult. Fuji needs to seriously up their game in this regard. Blackout and lag were pretty bad IMHO.
- AF and AF tracking. I tried all of the AF Tracking modes, plus the custom mode I had input. After trying all 5, I ended up using the custom setting as it was staying on target much better than any of the others. And it still constantly delivered OOF images, and sometimes would break lock from the aircraft and relock and track blue sky. Other times where there was definite contract between a darker-toned aircraft and light blue sky, the AF system couldn't even lock focus on the aircraft. I don't recall this much of a problem at airshows with my old D700 a decade ago, most of my issues were my technique and lack of knowledge.
- The one area where the majority of the problem was me, was the slower shutter speed shots for the old warbirds. Just at a cursory glance, it seems that most of those OOF issues are due to deterioration of my handholding skill.
- edit to add note about battery life. Not too bad, but not great. I was used to shooting all show and changing a battery or two near the end of the show with DSLRs. Today I needed a full set and most of the other, and the third battery in the camera itself is over half drained. MILC, EVF, etc... quite a difference.