FUJIFILM Camera to Cloud Review – Is it Really Working? A CineD Documentary

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Reviews can be presented in different ways, and this time we are a bit “out of our skin” with this FUJIFILM Camera to Cloud review. We find the technology fascinating, yet we were not so sure how it could serve us in a useful way, especially during a “non-fancy” real-life production like NAB. We felt the best way might be to simply put it into practice and test it in a challenging environment at the exhibition. At the same time, we saw an opportunity to “spice up” the review and share our overall preparation and workflow during the show. So buckle up, and let us take you with us to Vegas and the NAB 2023 tradeshow.

We have covered trade shows since forever and wanted to believe that we had learned a thing or two about how to bring the latest and greatest filming industry news to our audience in an unconventional way. Throughout the years, “things” of course have changed, but not fundamentally. When I say “fundamentally,” I’m referring to the core aspects of our workflow during show coverage. It starts with capturing footage and then handing over the recorded memory cards to one of our colleagues. They quickly rush to the press room to offload the card. Meanwhile, we have a dedicated editor stationed at the location, working diligently under time constraints to assemble video pieces. They also handle the task of writing corresponding articles and packaging everything for publication on our CineD website and YouTube channel. But then, the opportunity to work in a different way arose, and this is what I would love to share with you today.

Doors are opening at the NAB Show 2023
Doors are opening at the NAB Show 2023. Image: CineD

Indeed, our team has been traveling to industry-related shows for years. Still, we never took the time to document ourselves on those costly long trips. For those who are interested in knowing how much effort goes into such excursions, here is a glimpse of our reality. After all, it is our duty to publish “polished” finished news pieces where videos need to be in focus, the audio needs to be clear, and maybe some engaging B-roll footage needs to be taken. Sounds easy, no?

Well, not so fast…What started years ago as a “stroll in the (show floor) park” became a demanding, structured task.

Getting the equipment from FUJIFILM's Victor Ha
Getting the equipment from FUJIFILM’s Victor Ha. Credit: CineD

FUJIFILM X-H2/S cameras

FUJIFILM’s latest batch of high-end cameras, the X-H2 (review here) and X-H2S (review here) can shoot “directly to the cloud” thanks to the collaboration with Adobe’s In fact, the X-H2 was our camera of the year 2022, and along with the many reasons for liking it back then, being able to execute a Camera to Cloud workflow is another good reason to look at this camera again. Speaking of which, in our databases, you can find a lot more information about how the X-H2 and X-H2S performed in our lab tests.

X-H2. Selecting the type of file to upload to the cloud
Selecting the type of file to upload to the cloud. Image: CineD

FUJIFILM Camera to Cloud option for video

There is a FUJIFILM / dedicated integrated Camera to Cloud option for photographers, but as the title says, I would like to concentrate on the Camera to Cloud option for video.

Let’s start by describing the basic idea and why it is so intriguing. Imagine the possibility of filming ANYTHING you want, and as soon as you press the stop button, files can be instantly uploaded to a “hub”. From there, your remote editor can actually start importing the footage directly to his/her timeline and start editing.

Rachael is editing after importing files from
Rachael is editing after importing files from Image: CineD

Well, we are still not entirely there as you will see later in this review, but the direction is certainly promising!

So we have the 2 FUJIFILM cameras, and in addition, one needs need to have a File Transmitter Grip, the FUJIFILM FT-XH to be exact. This device will improve the networking capabilities of the cameras with fast Wi-Fi (speeds up to 600 Mb/s) and wired LAN connectivity. Needless to say that the FT-XH is also serving as a much-needed battery grip, and can accommodate two additional NP-W235 batteries. (Believe me, you will need this extra power when leaving your camera “ON” for a long period of time while uploading the files).

Connecting the FUJIFILM camera to
Connecting the FUJIFILM camera to Image: CineD

Connecting to the Cloud and workflow

So, the first recommendation is to download the App. Then, set up your file transmitter (through the camera) to “talk” to your account and, of course, recognize the wifi network you are riding on. I know that one of the first questions asked is: “Is it secure enough to use”, especially when considering that the original video files are being uploaded? In all honesty, it is beyond my technical knowledge to judge if this connection between the camera and cloud ( can be hacked, yet both Adobe and are TPN certified (Trusted Partner Network – more about it, here).

Camera to Cloud. When all is working well
When all is working well and the camera is connected to the cloud. Image: CineD

Now that the FUJIFILM camera is connected to the cloud through a process that takes a few minutes, from that point onward, there is not much to worry about if all goes well. The thing is, every time there is an interruption in the connection, you will have to reconnect the camera again, but at least you won’t have to go through the entire setup process.

FUJIFILM camera. Stop recording and the file is uploaded
Stop recording and the file is uploaded. Image: CineD

Seeing the “magic” happening is joyful. Stop recording, and the video will is displayed in your account almost instantly. This also means that anyone from your team, regardless of where he or she is, can see those files and immediately start working on them (watching, logging, or editing). One important thing to remember is that the uploaded video files are NOT full-resolution, in case you were filming in 4K resolution or above. Those will be recorded into the CFexpress card while what is being uploaded are 1080 proxy files. For some instant work, those will be enough in terms of quality to release on YouTube, but as we tend to upload 4K versions of our show coverage video, Rachael, our editor, re-linked the video files to the original 4K ones.

FUJIFILM X-H2. The joy of uploading video files in the background
The joy of uploading video files in the background. Image: CineD

Like us, I guess that one of the first questions you are asking is: If the transfer of video files is interrupted, then what? Well, as Victor Ha from FUJIFILM describes it, the system was designed to pick up from where the interruption occurred. In reality, it worked out flawlessly, and we gained confidence in the camera and file transmitter knowing that even if we were not uploading any more “live” files, when the connection resumed and the camera was “ON”, the process of uploading would continue without having to worry about it.

NAB 2023, Crowded wifi environment
Crowded wifi environment. Image: CineD

Hiccups on the show floor

While FUJIFILM did everything they could to supply us with a dedicated wireless connection (next to a dedicated account that could handle the amount of footage we were uploading without any limitations), the NAB show floor is simply “hard to bite” when it comes to a smooth “wifi ride”. With so many parallel wifi setups and DMX controllers working in such a small, crowded space, in no time we started to face issues with uploading the videos. The good thing is that in our own “show job description” we were prepared for this, and as a result, we made two fundamental decisions:

  • We were not competing with anyone but ourselves. So we took out the “competition” element.
  • As this was our first engagement with a Camera to Cloud workflow, we could not afford NOT having an on-site editor, so if it all fell apart, we could always go back to the “running with the recording card to the press room” option. This was a wise decision (of course…:) ), and Rachael, our editor, was still getting the video files from the Cloud (when the connection resumed) and was able to delegate the editing work between herself and two more colleagues of ours in Argentina and Italy.
Sclera-bonded LTE wifi device
Sclera-bonded LTE wifi device. Image: CineD

Any other options but a fixed Wifi network?

FUJIFILM was clever enough to bring to the show floor a few Sclera devices. This LTE “take it anywhere” bonded WiFi device uses multiple cellular carriers and custom high-gain antennas. This would have freed us up completely from the obstacles we encountered and described before, but even though it is relatively small, running around with another device (powered by a V-mount battery that adds weight) seemed like a less preferred option.

So we decided to use the Sclera outdoors. Together with the friendly people at DJI, we took out the newly announced Mavic 3 Pro drone for a test ride at the Seven Magic Mountains attraction on the outskirts of Vegas. And again, I couldn’t stop watching the clips mounting up on my App. Let’s face it, we were in the middle of “nowhere”, filming, and by the time we got back to the hotel, the news video was ready…

Michael Cioni, the person behind the C2C
Michael Cioni, the person behind the C2C. Image: CineD

The aftermath

Michael Cioni, the person behind’s C2C sees a very defined future when in the early 2030s cameras will NOT contain internal recording media anymore, but rather have an internal satellite SIM card that will upload the footage directly to the cloud. Until this happens, we are very much restricted by two things that might be the Achilles heel of that engaging technology.

  • Assuming you will not always be able to use fast wifi for uploading footage, the current actual LTE speed might be restrictive (not equal to all providers and countries).
  • Data plans. Again, depending on where you are, if wifi is not available and you need to rely on your phone, for example, as the bridge between the camera and the cloud, the cost can be painful. Footage is being uploaded
Footage is being uploaded to Image: CineD

So in other words, as with many other emerging technologies (electric cars anyone?), it is the infrastructure that limits us from unleashing the full potential of what can be done with Camera to Cloud. Nevertheless, if you are a veteran of this industry, you might remember those big satellite trucks serving Electronic News Gathering crews at some events. Those big trucks got much smaller and were at times obsolete when replaced by LiveU units. I can easily imagine this happening to us filmmakers in the future. It is not for nothing that companies like Sony with their Creators’ Cloud or even Alteon are racing to capture the attention of users with cloud based workflow solutions.

FUJIFILM X-H2/S cameras. Image: CineD

Back to FUJIFILM’s X-H2 or X-H2S cameras and – I hope the following will be considered:

  • The FUJIFILM FT-XH File Transmitter should find itself as a built-in inside of any (future) camera.
  • Currently when working with Adobe Premiere and, one needs to “import” the footage from the cloud to the timeline. Hopefully, editing from “within” the cloud can become a reality soon.
Clearer frame io indications on the FUJIFILM screen are needed
Clearer indications on the FUJIFILM screen are needed. Image CineD
  • A better “viewing status” of the connection/upload to is needed.
  • Currently, the white and grey indication on the LCD and EVF is very confusing. One really needs to look for it in order to know what’s going on.
  • All related “Status/upload” and such needs to be grouped together and colored for easy viewing.
  • There is a list (queue) of the files waiting to be uploaded in the camera menu. There was only an option to cancel (reset) all the uploading jobs, and I would like to be able to choose which ones I want to remove or which groups of files I want to remove from the uploading queue – for example only the RAW stills, etc.
  • It would be beneficial if it was possible to choose exactly in which folder the camera uploads to in I felt the camera was simply generating way too many subfolders.

Last words

A big thank you to the entire CineD team for making this documentary possible. Since NAB, we successfully covered Cine Gear but truly missed the Camera to Cloud workflow! Once you experience this, it is very hard to go back.

Do you have experience with working on Camera to Cloud workflow? If yes, how was your experience? Please share with us your comment in the section below.


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