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

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Rightsaidfred
Rightsaidfred Contributing Member • Posts: 767
A decent baseline for Fujifilm video recording (for video beginners)
8

Hi

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.

BR,

Martin

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https://500px.com/bachrocks

*) 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 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 Venus Laowa 15mm F4 Macro +5 more
Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm X-T30
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