Hands on FujiFilm XT 2 Video Features

I have started using FujiFilm X Photography evolutionary X-Pro 1 and XE1 and I was totally sold out to their craftsmanship of design, user experience & photographs quality.

Find my previous video test Satwa Street Photography , Dubai Creek Side

Fuji Film middle east like no other camera manufacturer presented in the region has been continuously supported photographers and videographers in the region which made me following their latest products and their vision while others continuously declining sales and missing the opportunity to build a true community around the product and brand.

However, in all previous experience with Fuji cameras, I had always complained about video capability and why fuji is not taking it seriously. With the change to the industry in past couple of years, most photographers asked to do video or there is always a requirement to film the story you cover in addition to photography. That lead us to look for the right camera to fulfill both needs.

Obviously, video requires different setup, stronger processor, sensor, handy designated buttons on the camera and more. What I was hoping, after all, to see on fuji series was to do all they offer in photography into the video. Same color simulation, same focus speed with the same design and fashionable products.

Experimenting FujiFilm XT2 on location. Photograph by Ammar Al Attar

Fuji took quiet a long time and now finally it’s here. FujiFilm XT2 is a new serious competitor for photographer with the need of the video. It’s one of close to perfect portable video camera in the market today.

I had a chance to play with it in past three weeks and some of the features really exciting. I have been Canon DSLR user, later Sony A7s Mark2 and my comparison were based on my previous camera experiences.

My first hands on were happening in summer 45-degree weather in UAE. A trip with other two artists and Photographers Ammar Al Attar and Leo James to Fujairah, UAE.

I used classichrome simulation which brought some unique color touch ups to the image. Later in the post, I have used, FilmConvert to bring more of film look and some noise level.


In above example, we used high ISO outside of mosque in a very dark scene with single one light source and the result is amazing!

List of camera features are available on their website but I’ll mention some pros & cons on my experience:

Video file records in raw .mov AVC coding, 100mbps with image dimension of 3840x2160 4K.
The output is very sharp especially with Fujinon lenses.
I loved three battery in camera with battery grip. The display of battery icon and percentage of life are beautifully placed on LCD screen. Inserting of two memory card is a great feature and help to save separate files for a different card, backup and more.

Buttons in the back of the camera and on top are very useful. I just wish I could take still photographs in the middle of video recording which it’s not possible right now since, at the time of recording video, we have to switch the camera to video mode.

Another improvement is that you can connect Mic directly to camera plus monitoring sound through battery grip headset jack. I should mention that battery grip with features built in is somehow must to have accessory after all.

One other challenge was that we could hear lens motor on some of my experiment. Anyhow, I believe Fuji should make specific video lenses which can bring high-speed autofocus, stabilization, better zoom and more in future.

Like before, yet, I wasn’t able to change ISO while filming which is no fun. 
I believe Fuji could fix this with the firmware update.
One of the major challenges I had was to see my LCD/viewfinder exposure level auto change which later was able to find an option in the menu to switch off. That a must to do setting before you hit the road.

I also couldn’t try F-Log due to the need of external monitor/recorded like Atomos. But also seems development of F-Log is ongoing. Perhaps once is completed will do another try.

Another friend of mine and photographer Ammar al attar have experienced with camera and here is his feedback:

“I’m an Fuji x user since the x100 camera, I like the x series because, with a small pancake lens, it can fit into my Kandora pocket. Honestly, I felt familiar when I first used the xt2 and didn’t take me much time to know how to use it. the ergonomics of the buttons is very easy to reach. I shot some video with the camera and found it very easy to access the video with basic settings. I think even photographers with little video experience can make nice videos with this 4k camera in addition to the stunning quality photographs this camera takes. Since I was taking lots of videos because it was easy to do so, I had a little issue that battery was drained quickly and that is sure because I’m not used to taking more video than photos. However, you will need battery grip and maybe a couple of extra batteries to not get into trouble of losing shots.”

Conclusion

With XT1, finally we got a digital camera with built-in camera simulation which is very close to the film look. Most of the Photos I have taken with XT1 did not require major post work. I was hoping same to happen with video and I think FujiFilm is close to make that a reality.
I hope some major firmware update brings better auto focus, fix some above issues and possibility of recording 4K F-Log built in.