Fuji X-T1 - 16-50mm zoom lens - Video

Shot on a Fuji X-T1 with 16-50mm OIS zoom lens. 

Before I talk about it, I must take issue with the 'mauling'  Dpreview have given X-T1 video.

'Manual exposure control is also rather limited; you can set the aperture before you start, and change exposure compensation while you're recording, but you have no control over the shutter speed or ISO.'

There is no video option to select. To start recording you just press the red button. However before doing this you can set everything up as you want. Manual Focus, manual exposure etc. So I don't see what their problem is.

'It's painfully obvious that the X-T1 isn't doing very well here - resolution is low, and false color very prevalent indeed.'

Again it seems they see things that us mere mortals don't see. True the bit rate seems low, however, as you will see from my footage at the top of the page the footage is  seriously sharp. Crisper than anything I've got from any other video enabled stills camera.

'Movie recording can be started at any time by simply pressing the top-plate 'red button'. This nestles in between the exposure compensation dial and the power switch, meaning you're unlikely to start recording by accident. But this sheltered location, combined with the button's short travel, does have an impact when you stop recording; a lot of our hand-held movies signed off with obvious downwards camera movement from pressing the button at the end.'

Every camera does this. The video button on the A7 is on the side, is very inconvenient and causes much more vibration. It is also almost impossible to start it with the camera held up to your eye with a loupe attached. The Fuji is much better in this respect. Plus if they were getting downward movement at the end of their movies, firstly they need to improve their skills because I don't get that and secondly does it matter? Just edit it out. An invalid criticism.

'Manual exposure control is limited; you can set the aperture before you start, but once the camera has started recording it will ignore any further adjustment of the aperture ring. It will also dynamically adjust the exposure to deal with changes in the scene's brightness, and you can't override this behavior by pressing AE-L before you start.'

The second part of this simply isn't true. If as I said above you set the whole thing up manually before you press the red button the camera DOES NOT adjust the exposure. It remains locked on what is set.

There are also lots of other inaccuracies and false impressions in their 'review'. In fact the X-T1 does work very well in manual mode, which is what anybody serious about shooting video would use anyway. Plus their hand held sample is questionable. I've heard nothing like what they get even in a very high wind. Plus the 'shimmering' they get is because they have the picture quality set too contrasty and / or with sharpness added. Select neutral and the footage is really smooth.

This is like a lot of reviews of video which criticise cameras if they don't perform like cheap camcorders with micro sensors that AF easily because everything is all in focus most of the time anyway. They also seem to assume that people actually want focus hunting, which you will always get. The best way to shoot good looking footage is to lock the focus and exposure for each take and to do that manually.

All in all another poor review from Dpreview. (Rather too many of those lately) Plus if you don't believe what I write, look at the video I shot above and examine it all you want. I think its excellent quality and I stand by that. Plus the following uses X100s footage, so you can see what Fuji is capable of in terms of video.

Just a couple of other things. When video mode is selected on the A7 you can't take stills. With the X-T1 you can. Because there is no movie mode to select. And when you use focus peaking on the A7 and press record the peaking highlight colours are still visible. I can't work out how to turn them off unless I go into the menu and deselect peaking altogether. With the Fuji once the camera starts recording the peaking highlights disappear. 

I like the Fuji footage and using the X-T1 to shoot it is actually easier and simpler than the Sony A7 I was using before. I wrote this in a previous post 'Even though I think the Fuji 'X-T1 and X100s are underrated when it comes to video and the Dpreview review of the X-T1 is another example of that, there is no doubt that the Sony A7 is a much better camera for shooting footage.' But now I'm not so sure. There may be all sorts of technical reasons why one codec is supposedly 'better' than another, but everything I've shot on the X-T1 just looks so good. Sharper and punchier than the Sony A7 and A7r and I also prefer the look of it to anything I've shot on m4/3.

Finally something interesting on this. Since I'm preparing all of this for a reason, i.e. A business in which I'll be shooting footage for clients who pay for it. I've been showing various samples to people who know little or nothing about the technicalities of cameras, photography and video. People who think Codec is probably a Czech midfielder. And in every case (EVERY case) they all prefer the Fuji footage and think it's the best quality. Now I'm not going to argue with that.

Dpreview wrote this 'So if video capability is really important to you, the X-T1 is probably not the best camera to buy.' I think this is simply wrong. I believe that I've shown that you can get good quality results from Fuji video using the X-T1 and that those results aren't particularly difficult to get either. Yet again, it's a question of believe what you see and not what you read. And of course the best way to make any assessment is to try something out for yourself if you can.

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