Video with the XT2

To set the record straight — the main reason I got the FUJI XT2 was for video. I spoke to Kholi Hicks a DP & Colorist, check out his IMDB page — he told me that he could not understand why more individuals were not using the camera and that the color was amazing. At first, I didn’t know what he meant because one of the 1st videos I remember seeing looked as though the color was pushed up in post (over saturated). It turns out I didn’t know what SOOC (Straight out of Camera) meant and that my perspective of color was skewed.

XT2 Video Research

The 1st XT2 video I remember seeing was this one –

Although I wasn’t too big on the color, the picture was clear, and sharp. However at the time, I had my mind fixed on the Panasonic Gh5, mainly because I owned a few Panasonic cameras also the sharpness, and features in such a small camera made it worthwhile. What did it for me in the end though was that while I wanted to replace my Canon 5D Mark II with a still camera the FUJI X-T2 gave me the best of both.

Here’s another video review on the X-T2 that helped me make my decision shot by Zed Pro Media:

What I will recommend to anyone looking to buy a new camera is always look at footage shot in different locations and by different individuals. WIth the different styles and locations, you get to see the camera in different environments and also see how the sensor response to those locations. I will also recommend finding someone who’s style is similar to yours this will help give you an idea of what you would do with this tool because at the end of the day I’ve seen great shots with the X-T2 and I’ve seen terrible shots but at the end of the day the camera does nothing without an operator. The following links helped me make my decision to buy this camera:

Caveira Photography

Excellent Pictures Details and clarity 
I loved the color grading done by him and his eye for capturing is amazing lots of storytelling, this is what I intend to use my XT2 for.

FUJI X Passion

Good resource on X-Series cameras —

Fujifilm Mirrorless, why switch?

This particular post ^ actually gave me the insight that the XT2 can handle lens adapters and can be used for professional work (weddings, corporate jobs, etc). Now while these 2 are photo sites and that I primary was interested in the XT2 for video I can confidently say now that 80% of what you get in photos you can get with video. When I say that I mean the following:

  • Film Simulations
  • Contrast & shadow details
  • Color (excellent)
  • Details and clarity
  • Dynamic range (not as much but about 12 stops)
  • Noise handling

Video details and compression

Image below is shot with the XT2 & the FUJI 35mm 1.4

Normally when I grab frames from my 5d Mark II & Gh4 they are clean but not this clean. I mean I knew HD to 4k was a transformation but the color information holds up as well as does the detail whatever FUJI uses to calculate their color compression is amazing.

Image below is shot with the XT2 & the Leica R Summicron 50mm

To go into details as to why the Gh4 might not be as clean as the X-T2 I believe that has to do with the sensor size & Panasonic’s math when it comes to color compression. The Gh4 uses a Mico 4 thirds sensor which is smaller than that of the APS-C cameras like the X-T2. Now to be clear it’s not just sensor size but also the quality of that sensor and the compression that is used. A good example of that would be the Gh4 vs. the G7 / Gh5 this chart below will give you an idea of the different sensor sizes so you can compare.

Courtesy of Phil Holland from phfx.com

As far as the 5D Mark II it has a larger sensor than the XT2 (Full frame or 35mm) but its compression and frame size are totally different. First, it shoots 1080p and it only records about 38 megabits per second — this is according to Wikipedia and Nofilm School, by the way, there is a hack to get up to 78 megabits but normally 38 is the limit. In short, the more data you have to work with the more you can manipulate and adjust in post so those 2 factors and FUJI’s amazing color is why I believe the FUJIFILM X-T2 produces such amazing color and details.

Though all these are important good story, lighting and lenses can make an older camera shine. Here are a couple of videos I shot with all 3 cameras Just to give you a comparison of the 3 cameras (Canon 5D Mark II, Panasonic GH4 & FujiFilm X-T2) –

Shot on the 5d Mark II (HD)

Shot on the Gh4 (4k)

Shot on the X-T2 (4k)

I choose the FUJI FILM X-T2 not because it’s perfect (would love longer battery life & a stronger body) but because for my needs it suits quite well. I believe I was able to get 2 cameras for the price of one. Although I feel this way a 2nd camera is still essential and I won’t ignore that fact but I realize for the price the XT2 can cover both my photography video needs and I’d strongly recommend it.

My latest review on the XT2 video

Creating a Documentary with Final Cut Pro X

Over the last 2 years I’ve worked on two documentaries: Frustrated 2 which deals with the broken child support system here in the United States. As well as Unethical Practice which deals with the fire at will policy that many companies have and which provides no job security for the working class. While these 2 projects were created on a shoe string budget the process from start to finish was anything but short and sweet.

Frustrated Chapter 2

Frustrated as the title goes deals with the frustrations that many face in the United States. Chapter 2 deals with the Child Support System and how Fathers and even mothers are treated who don’t have custody of their children. The preparation process before starting to edit this film was broken down into 4 sections:

  1. Gather all the footage

    Getting all the clips together is vital as it helps you find the videos you will need for the final timeline. I am grateful that when I got the hard drive from the cinematographer all the footage was organized into folders by date, the audio and video were also stored in separate folders. I cannot stress enough how important organizing for any project is VITAL!

  2. Identifying the Useful sections

    After you have located all of the footage for your edit you then have to spend a large portion of your time listening and taking notes, this way you can begin to get familiar with the footage. Even if you shot the footage yourself, getting reacquainted is equally important to organizing your footage, this way you know who said what when and where.

  3. Syncing the Audio

    You may or may not know but a camera be it a motion picture camera, iPhone camera, consumer video camera is not meant to be an audio device! As a result audio is often recorded separately and synced in post. For the synchronization I used final cut x audio syncing feature. You simply choose your audio, then choose you video, right click and from the menu choose synchronize clips.

    screengrab-2

    However keep in mind that your camera needs to have some audio — which is often called scratch audio — this audio is used and analyzed for the synchronization. For syncing to work well the key is getting clean audio, once both your camera’s audio is clean and the audio coming into your audio recorder the process is usually seamless.

  4. Organizing the clips

    Final cut X helps editors keep organized by placing all the elements for their films into a library file.

    Final-Cut-X-Library-File
    This is a great way to keep your entire film organized because from my past experience, you don’t want to have your files everywhere and on different drives. Scattering your footage makes backing up or moving your project from drive to drive very difficult. It also slows down the editing process because your elements are coming from different locations which of course put more work on the processor, hard drives and ultimately your system.

Unethical Practice

This documentary which is approximately 15mins long had a totally different post production process than that of Frustrated 2. One of the challenges was the that there were no dedicated cinematographers, it all had to be shot as we built the timeline. This process was challenging to me because I could not envision the final edit. Whenever I’m lost with my edit I stop and think: what is the purpose of this film and how best can I present that?

With Unethical Practice I identified that we need present the problem and lead up to the solution. In the end it really wasn’t just my brain storming that solved the problem but a close collaboration with the director & producer of the film. I will create a separate post going over in depth my Unethical Practice workflow and the overall message behind the film.

Stay tuned!

What’s the best camera in 2015?

What camera do you use? or What’s the best camera?

When I hear these questions I simply want to point them to the newest camera, or the camera with the best ratings. The truth is though, the camera isn’t what creates those lovely images we see on our screens.

Can you tell me what you think about a canon EOS 6D and canon EOS 60d, with a 50mm, 80mm, and or 18-55 mm IS lens for both photography and videography ? or if theres another type of cameras you would recommend for a school?

First of all  it isn’t the camera it’s the shooter…

A good camera can make the process easier, however it is best to invest in glass (lenses).

Video or Photography

I think it is important to choose between video and photography because that will help steer you in a proper direction you can do both but what’s the emphasis.

Cheap Fast & Good

Also there is a triangle when measuring services offered (photo/video or work in general).
Cheap / Fast / Good pick 2 if you want great results now on a low budget it will take practice and learning. If you spend more up front you still need to practice and learn but you will see better results because the equipment will help. Here is – Cheap Fast & Good Pick Two

 

These are my Top 5 Cameras in 2015

Sony A7r II

  • Excellent System (fast, touch screen_
  • Great Low light can shoot with only moonlight
  • Mirrorless (options to use any lens)
  • Small lightweight yet weather sealed
  • 4k Video straight to SDcards

Price & details

 

Panasonic GH4

  • Excellent System (fast, touch screen, burst mode)
  • Color & color profiles
  • Mirrorless (options to use any lens)
  • Small lightweight yet weather sealed
  • 4k Video

Price & details

Fuji X-T1

Fuji X-T1

  • Excellent System (fast, touch screen, burst mode, speed)
  • Mirrorless (options to use any lens)

Price & details

Samsung Nx1

samsung-nx1

  • Auto focusing System
  • Mirrorless (options to use any lens)

Price & details

Canon 5Ds

5ds

  • 50 Mega Pixels
  • improved processor

Price & details