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Why Fuji should release a video based camera


keylight
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First off the context I'm coming from is as a fashion, and commercial photographer who shoots with Nikon. I've been playing with Fujis for the last couple of years, and been following developments very closely, but haven't invested yet. I'd also like to add that I'm looking for camera systems that have strong options for photo and video. I'm not interested in buying a dedicated video camera as I'd just rent out a RED or similar when budget allows. 

 

Anyone who works in the commercial photography scene will know that video is creeping in to the field quite fast. It's becoming a necessity to expand your skill base, and photographers are expected to direct video, and stills on one day. 

 

Now after a long history of a single-minded focus on stills (which I fully appreciate), with the X T2 Fuji has proven that it can develop a camera with strong video capabilities. 4k from oversampled footage, and F-LOG. This is important because as photographer have to take on extra responsibilities, so does their gear. 

 

Currently Nikon video game is lacking. Sony has the A7r range for photos and the A7s range for video. Micro 4/3 has Olympus for photos, and Panasonic for video. Canon has DSLRs for photos, and a whole other video department (their DSLRs are about equal for video as Nikon)

Part of the reason Sony, and Panasonic are doing so well for video is Price, and Weight. If you're using a Gimbal, or a lot of other equipment, weight becomes very important.  

 

I'm currently not interested in investing in Sony as it provides no benifits over Nikon in my opinion. I've shot with top end Olympus before and I'm not really a fan. 

 

This is what Fuji would need to create a very strong mirrorless that could compliment their photo based lineup, and strongly compete with other video centric cameras.

 

  • HDMI out, while recording to SD card (for external monitor)
  • In camera features like focus peaking, LUTs, etc
  • Fully articulating screen
  • Good sound input & Headphone port
  • A zoom lens with great continuous video autofocus (maybe this is for firmware or in camera autofocus) 
  • 4k, 60fps (2k 60fps would be fine)
  • High bit rate recording
  • A phone app that can be used as external monitor with controls, focus peaking, LUTs, etc would be amazing. (this saving costs of external monitor would be instant buy for me)
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Even though the semi-obligatory 4K feature is included in the X-T2, Fujifilm's attitude has consistently been that X-cameras are primarily for stills. I would not infer that 4K is indicative of a growing interest in meeting your needs. Any camera with LiveView automatically has a video feed. The new cameras have 24MP sensors and a more powerful processing engine and video is simply a side benefit. Realise that bridge cameras in the very beginning offered video. It is a "free" feature that will not be going away, but will not necessarily be receiving the attention you need—and I fully understand your need. Cheap clients have no interest in understanding how awkward it is for one to shoot both at the same time. They expect a top "professional" product for barely a "good enough" price.

 

Red is lovely and Arri is even more so. However, there is a new generation of quite affordable equipment that is not your Daddy's vacation camcorder. These are designed with the same specialised vision as the X-cameras, except they shoot video instead of stills, but in the most efficient way. Eight years ago, the dual purpose camera was the hot idea. Now, not so much. Realise that video is not going away with still cameras, but the new has worn off. Evolution will be incremental following the growth of technology. Occasionally someone will do a bit of a push in the video line (Sony Alpha 7S), but for the most part, no. Clients need educating—photographer + videographer. No help for you at the moment, sorry.

 

Fuji has a huge presence on the industrial-level of video production, however. B&H in New York City lists 81 video Fujinons ranging from an entry level  $3,900.00 all the way to a stratospheric $233,490.00 for a 101× zoom. Fuji is clearly into video in a big way, but not with their prosumer mirrorless cameras. Who knows what the future may bring. They certainly have the expertise to build a dual purpose camera, but I expect the demand is low—you and the guy beside you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I´m with the first writer on this thread. At work I use Canon and Sony for stills and video and for personal photography i use Fuji. The thing is that I love using Fuji cameras probably more than any other brand I´ve used and want to start shooting video with them. I would definately want to see improvement on the Fuji video side and I´m looking forward to see real world samples of the XT-2.

 

I understand that Arri, Red, etc are in a different league compared to the "dual purpose" cameras on video but everyone doesn´t need that quality. The same goes for Hasselblad, Mamiya, etc medium format still cameras. Not everyone need that. There has been a huge leap in last 5-10 years on "dual purpose" cameras and as technology advances progressively, I´m looking forward for better still/videocamera combos. If you don´t have a crew, having one camera that can do both is better than carrying an Arri rig and Hasselblad medium format. But this of course depends on the work you´re doing.

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I second the OP's feelings.

 

Despite there seems to be a consensus about using dedicated video cameras, I think the market is not clear at all yet.

There's a batch of users who can afford to spend only that much amount of money, and at the same time, the demand keeps growing.

It's a cycle which totally make sense as demanding more technology pushes the research and forces companies to come out with new solutions, otherwise we would all still talking about DSLRs only.

 

I too am considering to switch to Fuji for both stills and video. I'm not 100% happy with Sony, especially their firmware attitude.

Fuji seems to listen to its customers. I hope they will also listen to people who wants to have more video features.

 

On top of the OP's wish list, I hope someday we will have 10bit and FLOG to SD.

I guess FLOG is possible, 10bit is a different story, but never say never.

 

Just my 2 c.

Edited by verysame
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I agree with the OP on most points, but if they're going to build a "proper" video camera, it needs XLR inputs, ND filters, controls on the body for all functions - along with a histogram visible while recording, peaking, and other video-centric features. And put a stinking full size HDMI on it for external recorders.

 

Anything without 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording would be a wasted effort. With a log profile, 10-bit solves lots of issues Sony and Panasonic have - in many situations 8-bit log files are just too compressed. I hope Fuji is working hard to minimize those issues with flog out of the XT2 - but since its still 8-bit that probably won't be the case.

 

Black magic pocket and Micro Cinema cameras record Prores HQ and even raw to SD cards. That should be Fuji's goal.

 

4k60p and 1080p/120 or 240 fps would be needed to be a compelling alternative to others.

 

A parfocal cine version of the 16-55 would be nice too, no focus by wire. Fuji has been making broadcast lenses for decades, they know how to build them.

 

But all the above would be a $5000 camera, and then you're competing with the Canon C100 and Sony FS5 - so it had better be good.

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I agree with the OP on most points, but if they're going to build a "proper" video camera, it needs XLR inputs, ND filters, controls on the body for all functions - along with a histogram visible while recording, peaking, and other video-centric features. And put a stinking full size HDMI on it for external recorders.

 

Anything without 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording would be a wasted effort. With a log profile, 10-bit solves lots of issues Sony and Panasonic have - in many situations 8-bit log files are just too compressed. I hope Fuji is working hard to minimize those issues with flog out of the XT2 - but since its still 8-bit that probably won't be the case.

 

Black magic pocket and Micro Cinema cameras record Prores HQ and even raw to SD cards. That should be Fuji's goal.

 

4k60p and 1080p/120 or 240 fps would be needed to be a compelling alternative to others.

 

A parfocal cine version of the 16-55 would be nice too, no focus by wire. Fuji has been making broadcast lenses for decades, they know how to build them.

 

But all the above would be a $5000 camera, and then you're competing with the Canon C100 and Sony FS5 - so it had better be good.

 

Yes, that sounds like a great camera indeed.

 

I would easily sacrifice some of the features you mentioned if that would help to keep the price low, or it could be two cameras: one pro, like the one you suggested, another one semi-pro where I would easily give up on 4k60p, ND filter, XLR, but yes for histogram, peaking and so forth and possibly 10bit. And for this second semi-pro version I could spend 2-2,3k.

Edited by verysame
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Black magic pocket and Micro Cinema cameras record Prores HQ and even raw to SD cards. That should be Fuji's goal.

 

4k60p and 1080p/120 or 240 fps would be needed to be a compelling alternative to others.

 

A parfocal cine version of the 16-55 would be nice too, no focus by wire. Fuji has been making broadcast lenses for decades, they know how to build them.

 

But all the above would be a $5000 camera, and then you're competing with the Canon C100 and Sony FS5 - so it had better be good.

 

At this moment B&H is showing 81 different video broadcast and production Fujinon lenses compared to the 21 for the X-system. They range in price from $3,900 to $233,490.00US. If Fuji wanted to build a video camera, would this not be the better market? Since they don't have a camera in this marketplace by now, I expect they are happy just making Fujinons.

 

With quite a number of enthusiast-level camcorders on the market that were designed for comfortable movie-making, it seems like a bit of a waste to bring a still camera up to full video specifications. For just under $700US you get a 4K video camcorder with a 20× optical zoom ready to head into the field. B&H lists their highest priced enthusiast video camera for $2,698.00. There is a Sony that uses interchangeable lenses in Sony A and E mounts for $2,899.00. 

 

Within these parameters there is a wide variety of equipment with loads of features from which to choose. All are designed primarily for video. Basing a hybrid still/video cam on the chassis of a still camera could not help but come up a camel—horse designed by a committee. A substantial third-party industry has sprung up to rig and support dSLRs so they shoot somewhat like real video cameras. I just can not see Fuji coming up with a profitable solution.

 

 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ns=p_PRICE_2%7c1&ci=3926&setNs=p_PRICE_2%7c1&N=3907816577&srtclk=sort

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At this moment B&H is showing 81 different video broadcast and production Fujinon lenses compared to the 21 for the X-system. They range in price from $3,900 to $233,490.00US. If Fuji wanted to build a video camera, would this not be the better market? Since they don't have a camera in this marketplace by now, I expect they are happy just making Fujinons.

With quite a number of enthusiast-level camcorders on the market that were designed for comfortable movie-making, it seems like a bit of a waste to bring a still camera up to full video specifications. For just under $700US you get a 4K video camcorder with a 20× optical zoom ready to head into the field. B&H lists their highest priced enthusiast video camera for $2,698.00. There is a Sony that uses interchangeable lenses in Sony A and E mounts for $2,899.00.

 

Within these parameters there is a wide variety of equipment with loads of features from which to choose. All are designed primarily for video. Basing a hybrid still/video cam on the chassis of a still camera could not help but come up a camel—horse designed by a committee. A substantial third-party industry has sprung up to rig and support dSLRs so they shoot somewhat like real video cameras. I just can not see Fuji coming up with a profitable solution.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ns=p_PRICE_2|1&ci=3926&setNs=p_PRICE_2|1&N=3907816577&srtclk=sort

Just offering an opinion as a long time video shooter that's actually used a Fujinon lens on a beta-cam. I think it could be profitable if it didn't require extensive re-engineering the XT2's internals, kind of like the Sony VG10/20/30 is basically a rehoused Nex5.

 

Canon created a cinema line from nothing and it's been a huge hit, so it can be done. I don't think it'll ever happen either. Just fun to speculate.

 

Cheers

Edited by chris joy
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I am not an expert but thought that a dedicated video camera typically uses a charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor instead of a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor. The CCD may also require a themo-electric cooler and large heat sink to keep the naturally-higher noise-floor down. Rolling shutter is one of the main problems that can only be addressed with a very fast sensor (and sensor read-out) but increased noise is usually the result so camera design becomes... different. Perhaps Fujifilm is working on such a thing but a semi-professional video camera may cost quite a bit more than X-photographers are interested in spending. In any case, I may be mistaken or way behind the technology curve so please take these comments with a grain of salt.

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I haven't watched the video yet, but this sounds promising!

https://www.cinema5d.com/fujifilm-x-camera-line-the-future-an-exclusive-interview-at-fujifilm-hq/

 

 

 

If you take a moment to look at the interview we did with Jun Watanabe, a manager at FUJIFILM corporation, you will clearly understand that the X-T2 is just the beginning for FUJIFILM when it comes to video-enabled mirrorless cameras. Now that they have acknowledged the need for a video function in their cameras, they will continue to improve and perfect this filming tool.
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And now I watched the video, things sound promising indeed!

 

Fuji is doing the right moves. If X-T2 is only the beginning I'm excited about the next cameras they'll come up with.

This pays off my decision to hold on changing camera.

I'll keep squeezing my A6000 as long as I can and hopefully by then a new Fuji with improved video specs will be ready.

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  • 1 month later...

With quite a number of enthusiast-level camcorders on the market that were designed for comfortable movie-making, it seems like a bit of a waste to bring a still camera up to full video specifications. For just under $700US you get a 4K video camcorder with a 20× optical zoom ready to head into the field. B&H lists their highest priced enthusiast video camera for $2,698.00. There is a Sony that uses interchangeable lenses in Sony A and E mounts for $2,899.00. 

 

 

I'm sorry but I'm not looking for a shitty cam corder. Look back at the 5D2. That camera started a massive movement for canon, because it offered full HD video on a FF sensor. Then Canon and Sony expanded into video lines from the A6300 which has SLOG, 4k, etc to their more expensive film only cameras. 

 

And that's what Fuji (and Nikon) need to do. Expand into higher end video equipment, and bringing along their a6300 equivalent models with top end features as well. 

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Thanks for the video. Very interesting. I also heard a rumour floating around that Fuji were going to release a full on video camera under $8k. Which would show a definite dedication to video.

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