Gear Inspiration

Fujifilm and Video

· 21.September.2020

I moved from Canon to Fujifilm at the end of the year 2017 and used it mainly for studio an editorial work. I first started experimenting with filming at the beginning of 2018. Creating video clips was part of my business plan when I went full time photographer back in 2013. At that time, I researched a bit and concluded that I would need to invest into a complete separate gear setup only for filming. At that time, it was financially too much of a risk, so I put it on ice. 

I had the X-T2 for a couple of months when I started experimenting. I worked on a simple personal project, mainly out of curiosity to see if I was capable to create a video clip with the gear I had at hand. I liked the result and invested more time looking in it.


My first paid gig was a promotional video for a city that just finished a project to restructure a high traffic access to the city centre. When I read the requirements, I knew I had to use a mixture of drone and camera shots for this gig. I had to shoot the whole footage in two hours. This meant that I had to keep everything as simple as possible. I sat down and wrote a script that would work with using the drone and the camera only. The workers would not pose, they were on the clock In filming, preparation is even more important as for shooting stills. I was while filming this project that it got obvious to me that the camera has a huge potential for shooting film. Due to the time constrains I shot everything handheld at 120fps while hoping that camera movement would be held to a minimum and thus be easily remedied in post-production. After finishing the edit on this video I was sure that the X-T2 was able to capture footage in a quality such as to satisfy my customer needs. This is when I started promoting my services as a videographer. 


The next project I shot was a bit more complex in terms of planning and lighting, but I had more time to. This was the first time I would use the X-T2 with a Gimbal. I shot most of it in slow motion using a 35mm lens, a combination that worked like a charm. These sequences were all shot in 1080p.


A couple of month later I got hired to shoot an interview with three people. The customer wanted a neutral grey background with not much fuzz but good lighting and perfect sound. I decided to use a Rode Mike in combination with Rode transceiver/receiver for sound recording on the X-T2. I tested the setup a couple of days before the shoot and was happy with the results. When I set everything up and made the final test before filming the interview, I had terrible feedback in the mike for no apparent reason. After some incredibly stressful minutes I found out that my external screen was the reason for the feedback. I got rid of the screen and filmed without it. I was never able to reproduce the issue.


The next job was for a fire house that needed some videos to get people to join. This project was important to me as I am a volunteer fire fighter myself. There was no need for research as I knew the job. I decided to shoot the whole film handheld and create a short video that was very dynamic and reflect the job of an ambulance rig. 


Just after the pandemic I shot a video to promote a rental home on the beach at the Dutch coast. This was the first film I used a combination of Gimbals, Sliders, Drone and handheld footage. I think this was the first project where I pushed the X-T2 to its limits in terms of video capabilities. I shot during the day, into the sun, mornings and at dusk with high ISO. The X-T2 held its own at each time of the day. 


After using the X-T2 for film projects professionally for a year and a half I can say that what I like most about the X-T2 filming capabilities it’s the flexibility I get out of it. I can shoot 4K, it can shoot 120fps, it stores the footage in F-Log and it works fine in tough lighting conditions. Most of what I filmed was done in manual focus as I do not trust the autofocus a 100%, but that is on me and not on Fujifilm. The camera body is so small and light, it works on most of the gimbals out there. What I did not like is the battery life. I really needed to plan my scenes with battery life in mind. I could have used the battery grip to remedy this, but then the setup is too heavy. I also miss Ibis (in body stabilisation), but that was solved with the X-T4. An issue that is found on many other systems is the lack of recording more than 10 or 15 minutes (depending on the resolution) at a time. Depending on the project you get hired to do, this could become an issue. I used the 10-24mm F/4.0, the 35mm F/1.4 and the 16-55mm F/2.8 lenses, all of them worked fine for my projects. Most of my footage was shot at 1080p, some at 4K, both resulting in stunning image quality. 

Would I recommend the X-T2 for video projects even though it is outdated now with the X-T4 on the market? Absolutely! For the small-scale projects that I filmed the X-T2 was perfect, especially at the price at which you can get it nowadays. People ask me why I do not get the X-T4. The reason for that is that I read about rumours of a X-H2 and since I haven’t felt the need to upgrade yet I think it is wise to sit and wait a bit until rumours about the X-H2 turn into more than just that, or until I get a project that will make me hit a technical wall with the X-T2.

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