A decent baseline for Fujifilm video recording (for video beginners)

Started Jul 17, 2020 | Discussions thread
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Rightsaidfred Senior Member • Posts: 1,634
A decent baseline for Fujifilm video recording (for video beginners)


This is to all who are not experienced in video recording but for some reason need or want to do video with a Fuji and have no time to prepare or practice thoroughly.

I am sharing my baseline settingsbecause there is a number of things you would maybe not immediately think of as a still shooter. My recommendation is certainly not professional - but IMO you at least have a chance to end up with a reasonable video! The video experts here are invited to disagree and to comment

So, 99.9 % of the time I am a still shooter who just occasionally does videos of the kids or so. All of a sudden, this week, I was asked in the company to do a short video for an internal platform since they know that I am into photography. Did not have much time to prepare myself.

I knew a bit from following the discussions here - thank you folks! - and I re-watched a few video tutorials I had watched months ago like Omar's. Also asked my Fuji friends. I have an X-T20 but most of the settings should apply to other models, too, at least to the X-T2 and the X-T3x.

These are my baseline settings

  • Video mode, full HD 1920 px * 1080 px at 29.97 fps (frames per second). In the Fujifilm menu, this is "1080/29.97P". A video of 6 min was about 1.7 GB. Why not 4k? - Number one, this will blow up the storage requirement, and number two, you have a stricter time limit with 4k.
  • Consequently, for a most natural impression of movements, shutter speed must be set at 1/60 s (this is very important - rule of thumb: ss = 2 fps).*
  • Focus mode "area" (you'll get a box in the viewfinder - however, at least with the X-T20, I cannot change its size).
  • Custom (= fixed) white balance (use a white paper or a white wall) - you may need to set that in single shot mode instead of video mode. I did a custom WB for two reasons, firstly, to exclude any possible WB stepping, and secondly, because I had mixed light which is quite demanding also for stills. I used the white wall next to the speaker and it was just perfect!
  • Full manual exposure (aperture, ss, ISO) if possible anyhow in the situation. I do this in order to exclude possible visible exposure stepping. If you cannot avoid auto exposure because of the scene, I would rather go for a fixed manual aperture and auto ISO (ss is fixed anyway). I used the XF 18-55 mm which has no constant aperture across the fl range; yes I did some zooming but I simply neglected the accompanying aperture change. Many manual lenses have a clickless aperture, I have such lenses, too, but I guess you really need to practice.
  • AF mode "AF-C" to follow the movement of your subject. You may need to change the position of the AF box in the LCD touch display during recording as your subject moves. Why AF-C? - I guess, with AF-M with a moving subject, you really need to practice. (If you have no motion of both subject and videographer, it's of course easy, you can use AF-S or AF-M)
  • With tripod: use LCD display (not EVF) for more relaxed viewfinder control and to ebable changing the position of the AF box by just touching the screen. I could not switch LDC/EVF during recording.

Depending on the situation

  • Select a film simulation. Provia is not necessarily the best choice. Today I did "Classic Chrome" which resulted in pretty realistic a skin tone, I am totally happy with the outcome! I did not additionally reduce shadows, highlights, color, sharpness.

Don't forget to...

  • Don't forget to set your microphone recording level before starting to record. Do it in a way that the yellow area is just reached in the peaks.
  • Don't forget to turn OIS off if a tripod is used.
  • Don't forget to set your exposure parameters (see above).
  • Don't forget to select MF assist in case you want to record w/ AF-M or with a manual lens.

Additional things to think of when getting ready

  • A remote cable release to avoid vibration
  • A white card or paper for custom white balance
  • A tripod
  • Charged batteries
  • Keep in mind the time limit (X-T20: 15 min w/ HD)
  • ND filter(s) if you're outside (keep in mind that ss = 2 fps)
  • A focus gear ring belt for smoother zooming (very cheap). I used it today for zooming.

My learnings

  • Audio quality was just "OK". A microphone would certainly be a good idea in case you do it a bit more often.
  • I did not manage really smooth zooming despite of the focus gear ring belt. This needs a lot of practice I guess. Neither did I manage really smooth panning. But I used zooming and panning very sparsely.

Comments welcome.



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*) Not a mathematically correct formula of course. It means, with 30 fps, use 1/60 s. With 60 fps, use 1/120 s.

 Rightsaidfred's gear list:Rightsaidfred's gear list
Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm X-T4 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS +6 more
Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm X-T30
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