FUJIFILM X-T3 Review – Mirrorless with 10-Bit, All Intra, 400Mbps Video

September 6th, 2018

Hot on the heels of Canon’s EOS R announcement, FUJIFILM have just announced their new camera, the X-T3. If I’m not mistaken, it is the first APS-C sensor size mirrorless camera that records in 10-Bit internally. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a production model to check its video capabilities. If you are short of time, let me start with my conclusion. The X-T3 is the BEST camera FUJIFILM have ever presented, when it comes to video performance. Interested in finding out more? 

FUJIFILM X-T3

A bit of History

If you’ve been following the development of FUJIFILM’s cameras, I’m sure you have noticed that something very interesting is happening. From the moment the company has noticed that shooting video with large sensor mirrorless cameras is much in demand, they responded by fulfilling that demand and since then haven’t stopped refining their products. The X-T2 was their first camera to include 4K recording and F-Log picture profile (Externally first and then internally via a firmware update). Then, the X-H1 came and brought even more possibilities for the creative video shooter: In-Body Stabilisation System, Internal F-Log recording and the ETERNA film simulation picture profile, just to name a few. (See my Fujifilm X-H1 review here).

An easy way to identify what codec you are using by looking at the LCD

 

FUJIFILM X-T3 at ISO 8000. On top and bottom of the picture, an ungraded parts

FUJIFILM X-T3, What is new (in no particular order)

Now, there is a new kid in the block, one that – in my humble opinion – surpasses both, the X-T2 and X-H1 in terms of video performance. FUJIFILM have listened carefully to feedback given by filmmakers and created their best ever video orientated mirrorless camera. Including a completely new sensor and the processor behind it, led to some fundamental progress. So what is there to be so excited about? Here is a complete list of enhancements – some to be found for the first time inside any of FUJIFILM’s cameras:

  • (Besides the H264 codec), the camera is now equipped with a new H265 codec (When a manufacturer decides on implementing 10-Bit internal recording and yet at the same time stick to a modestly priced recording media, H265 is the obvious choice)
  • A choice between two different types of compressions. Long GOP/ALL Inter
  • 4K, 10-Bit, ALL Intra, 4:2:0, 400Mbps internal recording (Up to 30p)
  • 4K/60p (in H264 mode), up to 200Mbps
  • External 4:2:2 10-Bit recording via HDMI
  • Excellent autofocus system (Working well in lowlight conditions and slow-motion too). In addition, “Eye detection/Face detection” focusing method is functioning in video mode too
  • Zebra pattern
  • Simultaneous support for 4K/60P 4:2:2 10-Bit HDMI output and 4K/60P 4:2:0 10-Bit internal SD card recording
  • The headphone jack is now built into the camera body itself, no need to purchase the camera grip for that purpose
  • Good Rolling Shutter performance. We have measured 9ms in 4K/25p recording mode, placing the camera above FUJIFILM’s own X-T2
  • Good Dynamic Range. With 11.2 stops of DR, this little camera is doing rather well against its competitors.
  • High Frame Rate Recording. The camera can do up to 120 frames per second in Full HD mode. Due to some internal changes made by FUJIFILM, the result when shooting slow-motion is better than what can be found in the X-T2 or X-H1. Mind you that the only downside when comparing that feature to the other two cameras is the greater crop factor . (1.29X vs 1.17X  )
  • Improved lowlight capabilities. FUJIFILM worked their magic on that front too and one can shoot comfortably up to ISO 8000. In some conditions, ISO 12,800 can be used too. 
  • Full HD now supports double the data rate of the X-T2 and X-H1 (200Mbps vs 100Mbps)
  • No sensor crop factor when shooting in 4K mode up to 30p. When Shooting 4K/50/60p the crop factor is 1.18X
  • New and improved noise reduction processing
  • Future firmware update will bring HLG HDR picture profile (BT2100)
  • New EVF diopter lock. Small thing but very useful…
  • Not new but worth mentioning, as so many other manufacturers are struggling to get it right: In video mode, all the related photo functions in the menu are greyed out, making it easy to concentrate on the video menu items
  • Front tally light (A useful feature that can be found with the X-H1. Nice to see that it migrated to the X-T3).

Dynamic Range Comparison

 

Rolling shutter chart. The X-T3 is doing well!

What Could be Improved: 

While there is an overall improvement in regards to the camera specifications and performance, it suffers from the absence of the following:

  • No internal body stabilisation system. Obviously, a  smaller camera body has to accommodate a smaller IBIS mechanism which apparently was not available at the time of releasing the camera. (If I may guess, some extra functionality is needed to be reserved for the future X-H family of cameras).
  • As with all other FUJIFILM cameras in this category, the LCD screen cannot be swivelled. (Tilted only). If you think that this type of feature should be found at lower end cameras only, think twice. This is the age of mobility and “selfies”. With such a great autofocus system, a camera with a swivelled LCD screen could have appealed to a greater number of users.
  • Camera start time (In video mode) is too slow
  • Some of the menu quirks that were found in the X-T2 and X-H1 were inherited by the new camera. For example, by pressing an assigned button to digitally “zoom in” for easier focusing confirmation, when starting to record, the enlarged portion of the picture will NOT “jump” back in to the actual recording perspective. The result – especially when shooting “documentary style” – can be disturbing…
  • In long recording sessions, be prepared to have many short video clips. With such a high data rate, ALL intra, 10-Bit recording, a single video file will reach its 4GB FAT32 limit quickly
  • 20 minutes recording time limit when shooting in 4K/50-60p but the good news is, when shooting  4K/24/25/30p the actual recording time has been increased to 29:59 min WITHOUT the grip, as opposed to only 10 mins on the X-T2″

Man at work during lousy weather with the X-T3. Photo credit: Arturs Slosbergs

In the Field:

By now I can say that I’ve collected enough X-T3 hours in order to share that this is a well thought through camera that has one major limitation, the exclusion of an Internal Body Stabilization System.  Once you work with such a feature you actually don’t want to look back. Other than that, this is a very easy camera to work with. Please allow me to highlight some of my favourite features:

  • In manual focus mode, the ability to tap on the screen and instantly get an accurate focus
  • The autofocus is simply incredible. It is fast and accurate. I’ve challenged it with fast moving airplanes and 95% of the time it worked very well.
  • I love the ETERNA film simulation picture profile. If you need to deliver nice looking results fast, don’t hesitate using this profile. The only thing that prevented me from using it during the video above, is its reduced Dynamic Range. (We’ve measured 9 stops of DR vs. 11.2 stops when using F-Log). On such a cloudy day, I needed every extra stop so the decision was easy….
  • Sound quality. In the above video, I did not use the internal audio recording option as my system was wireless and suffered from some interferences, but overall, the sound quality coming out of this little camera is impressive.
  • There are enough buttons to assign different purposes to. On top, the LCD screen can serve as 4 “additional buttons”. Just assign a movement to it (Up, down, left, right) and there you go with additional functionality.
  • The current slow motion option is truly nice. (1080 up to 120fps). I was surprised to see how well it was upscaling into my 4K timeline.
  • The native camera ISO is 640. In case you are stuck outdoor with no ND filter around, there is a way to lower the ISO all the way down to 160 (at the expense of DR)

I’m sure that many of you are wondering if I had any overheating issues. Well, during my work I did not encounter such a problem, but saying that, only time can tell if this issue actually exists.

FUJIFILM X-T3. Photo credit:Arturs Slosbergs

Conclusion 

It is no secret that FUJIFILM is heavily invested in making affordable cinema lenses for E (Sony) and X (FUJIFILM) mounts (MK and MKX series of lenses). In my opinion, this is guaranteeing us that FUJIFILM will not stop here. Further more, by introducing the first ever APS-C sensor size camera that can shoot 10-Bit video internally, FUJIFILM is positioning itself at the forefront and becoming a serious candidate to consider when thinking of shooting video on a mirrorless camera. It is one of those companies that have no higher video market share to protect and as such, they are free to move forward as fast as their R&D capabilities and budget allows. This particular camera should get some love and attention from the filmmakers community. For the users who are heavily invested in lenses from other brands, I can only hope that some sort of a program can be established by FUJIFILM or alternatively, some other solution can be found in order to make people actually try it. We hear a lot about the love for a particular  “color science”. This camera can easily produce “analogue looking” images and further more, if you take photos with it, in my opinion, it is the one that looks less digital.

FUJIFILM X-T3 Movie Recording Modes (Updated)

About the Above Video

The shooting conditions at Radom airshow were FAR from being perfect. Rain, clouds and lots of noise made it challenging to execute, but all in all the camera performed well. On a few occasions, the camera froze and I had to turn it off and on again in order to revive it, but I could not isolate the problem. (It happened during shooting in different frame rates and resolutions). I want to believe that using a non-final firmware version was the issue. (It will be useful to hear about that from other users, in case they face a similar problem after getting the camera with the final firmware version installed). 

Camera Settings

F-Log picture profile. Sharpness and Noise Reduction turned down to -4, Mainly H265, ALL Intra 400Mbps DCI 4K/25p. (At times I’ve used H264 codec, 4K50p, 1080/100p). Grading is a very subjective thing… I chose FilmConvert for this job. (FJ Prov 100). Some shots were stabilized in post. You can Download an ungraded version of this video for you to explore and grade by clicking hereEdited on Adobe Premiere CC latest edition. 

Lenses/Filter used

FUJINON XF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6 R LM OIS, FUJIFNON XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ,  FUJINON XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR,  FUJINON XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS, FUJINON XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR, Heliopan 82mm Variable Gray ND Filter (This filter tends to soften the image a bit, but I like it as it kills the “video harshness”)

The music used in the video above is courtesy of Music Vine. Get 25% off with code C5D25 (valid for one use per customer). Music tracks: “a new tomorrow” by Clemens Ruh, “Blood and sand” by Monobox, “Discovery” by ak, “Fires on the horizon” by This patch of sky, “Skyride” by Josh Stewart

The Baltic Bees Jet team – Photo credit: Arturs Slosbergs

A special thanks to the entire Baltic Bees team (Pilots, technicians, Arturs and Laura). Without their support it wouldn’t have been possible to complete this project. Head to www.balticbees.com to learn about their activities. By the way, if you are a pilot and looking to join an aerobatic team, drop me a line and I’ll connect you to the guys.

What do you think about the new FUJIFILM X-T3 camera. Do you find it interesting enough for shooting video? Share with us your thoughts in the comment section below. 

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John
John
Guest
May 23rd, 2020

Hello,

I know this review was originally posted back in 2018, but I have to say thank you for resolving my indecision concerning a new camera purchase. I was looking at the Canon M6 MK II, the Canon RP, and this Fujifilm X-T3 (I know there is now the X-T4, but it is out of my budget). I’m a former pro photographer with a couple of Canon bodies and some lenses, but I was never fully satisfied with the Canon “look.” Your review helped pushed me to make the decision to switch to the X-T3 as I am looking to get back into photography as well as independent film making. The video and still image quality you have displayed here from the X-T3 is incredible and exactly what I’ve been looking for. Goodbye Canon, hello Fujifilm! Thank you so much for your work.

Peace,

John

Isaac Snowhite
Isaac Snowhite
Guest
April 9th, 2020

First, thank you for this review, but I have one request. The sample footage provided reads as 8 bit 4:2:0, which is fine, but I was wondering if you could provide a 10 bit 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 file and a paired 8-bit. I currently use an A6500 for photos but I’m interested in the theoretical flexibility of 10-bit video for color correction or potential dynamic range and codex durability in a log profile. Unfortunately, I don’t have access so I don’t really know the process of handling the higher bit rate files with larger data rate (>100 MBPS) in HEVC codec. I like the idea in theory but it would be helpful to have one file set to test before spending $1500 on a camera sight unseen.
Thank you for your time.

Hernando
Hernando
Guest
June 2nd, 2019

My X-T2 and X-T3 use a 1/125 shutter by default with the 120 fps, can’t figure how to set it to a proper 1/250th for the 120 fps. Any idea how todo this? Why does Fuji use 1/125 by default?

Thanks.

 Arsyl Villaroya
Member
April 10th, 2019

Thanks for this article Johnnie, very informative. I’ve always followed your articles since 5dmk2 days. I was sitting on the fence about buying one until I finally got one a few weeks back. As a former (ex-NHK) doc/news shooter, this camera ticked many boxes in the manual operation side of things. The dials and abundance of physical switches (some of them customizable) and iris rings on the lenses are really great. Getting to a particular function in one button click and being able to adjust exposure manually at the same time is priceless when shooting docs/reality. It’s comes close to operating a manual lens and an ENG camera where you have to think and anticipate while shooting knowing the buttons you assigned will do the rest, less fiddling with the menu system once you’re set.

 Naveed Akhtar
Naveed Akhtar
Member
March 6th, 2019

Hi Jonnie, to my eyes there is more dynamic range on GH5s than XT3…
Shadows look clearly brighter a stop or half more.
Thanks for the tests!

Member
January 15th, 2019

Thanks for the insightful and comprehensive review Johnnie (as usual!). One quick question as I’m weighing up this camera as my next B-cam. Am I right in thinking there is no adapter available to use Canon EF-mount glass on the Fuji X-mount? I’m an FS-7 owner with the E-mount MK lenses and a set of legacy Canon lenses from my 5D days, so would love to avoid buying another set of X-mount glass! Thanks, jason

Guest
December 17th, 2018

11 stops? Pass. This is already outdated and in the realm of the consumers.

Florian Gintenreiter
Member
October 3rd, 2018

In have been playing with recording 10Bit 4:2:2 via HDMI onto a Atomos Shogun Inferno recorder. While the image quality is stunning, I keep getting the “Skippy” dropped Frame symbol occasionally. I ruled out the cable and the SSD inside the recorder. I can recreate dropped frames by pressing the shutter button on the camera in one go, but I can avoid Skippy when I first half-pressing the shutter button, waiting for a second and then full-pressing it most of the time. I also had dropped frames in the middle of a shot, which the Atomos does not recognize as dropped frames, but are clearly visible in the clip on the recorder but not on the cameras card. Can anyone confirm this?

Florian Gintenreiter
Member
October 3rd, 2018
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Thanks Johnnie. It would be great, if you could pass that on to Fuji. My post above IS basically the Short summary. The only thing I’d add is that both devices are on the most recent firmware versions. I’m not a fan of ext recorders either, but since I use the Shogun to monitor the X-T3 on the Ronin-S, I figured I might as well record to it.

Mika Puska
Mika Puska
Guest
October 29th, 2018

It seems that Eye Sensor mode affects HDMI output.
When camera is switching from LCD to Viewfinder output is black for a half second.
If I select viewfinder only mode, output freezes for a half second every time when Eye Sensor is reacting.
LCD only mode does not affect output.
When recording to SD-card this does not happen.
I have tested this with 4k television.

 Flavio Ferrari
Flavio Ferrari
Member
September 27th, 2018

Hi Johnnie.

You say the native ISO for video is 640.

“The native camera ISO is 640. In case you are stuck outdoor with no ND filter around, there is a way to lower the ISO all the way down to 160 (at the expense of DR)”

So is the native ISO 160 for photos and 640 for video?

 Matthew Swanson
Matthew Swanson
Member
September 20th, 2018

Really beautiful footage, and a different perspective on other reviews I’ve read – thanks so much!

Curious to see what SD cards you shot on, or if you shot externally? In doing research about jumping into this camera, UHS-II V-60 and V-90 cards are the only options (with the 10bit 400 meg files). Wondering if you have a recommendation, as there seem to be an awful lot of cards that don’t always work as advertised. Any light you can shed on this would be hugely helpful.

Thanks again!

Member
September 10th, 2018

Looks great, but then again well shot by johnny and an interesting short story.

Member
September 7th, 2018

Hi Johnnie – This looks very interesting – any thoughts on how this might stack up against a future Sony a6700? The rolling shutter performance alone looks like a real selling point for me

Matthew Hartman
Matthew Hartman
Member
September 7th, 2018

Meh. It’s a camera spec’d so amazingly similar to everything else on the market. Where the hell is the innovation? Sorry, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic and Fuji. It’s really splitting hairs at this point. The image coming out of these cameras is more the same than different. I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but I find all of this boring at best.

Now, the BMDPCC 4K, that’s innovation in terms of the IMAGE you get for the price. Innovation in the context of bringing a filmic image into such an affordable bracket that more and more people can participate in filmmaking and get a nice image. It may not have all the fancy features these 2018 cameras have, but the image is on the money.

I still own and yes operate my NX1 for filmmaking, it still holds up well the 4 years I’ve owned it. But like the other mirrorless hybrid systems, even in 2018, the image they produce is thin, too sharp (along with the new Canon and Nikon) and “digital”, like a proper digital broadcast video camera, even at 24fps. Something about the motion cadence is wrong. Hard to put into words but you see it when you see it. THAT is NOT the filmic look. Super if you’re a videographer. For me, as a narrative filmmaker, not so much.

All this noise about the advantage of 10bit as a feature itself is nullified as soon as you talk writing to a 4:2:0 h.264 internal container. You would have to shoot at 400Mbps to fully take advantage of that. Why not h.265, which can be written at half that rate and still walk away with a prores like codec? What is this cock hold on an old technology like h.264 when h.625 has received so much industry support by now and is so much better on storage?

Meh. I feel like these manufactures are all about the gimmicks and features and less about the quality of the image, and I’m not talking about megapixels and resolution. And you all fall for it every time. Keeping up with the Jones syndrome I suppose. I’m sure I’m probably talking out of my ass to most of you here. But there you have it anyway. Color me uninterested. Sorry Johnnie, no camera sale for me today buddy. Review the BMDPCC 4K and I’ll perk up.

Member
September 7th, 2018

Yes yes and yes ^ ^ ^

These are ultimately still DSLRs, not film cams.
And the innovation you speak of [outside the big brands] is in dire need. It’s a challenge, since they’ve all got such deep heritage and keep improving incrementally, but it’s coming.

Keep an eye out for Vision. And a revolutionary ergonomic upgrade that actually works with the human physique, not against it.

Best

 Derek Doublin
Derek Doublin
Member
September 10th, 2018

Yeah, but the BMPCC 4K is micro 4/3 and the sensor they’re using is the same sensor that’s in the Panasonic GH5. None of the recent demo footage released from the BMPCC 4k looks cinematic to me (like the old Blackmagic cameras did) and that micro 4/3 sensor kills it for narrative work in my opinion. I want an APS-C sensor at a minimum.

The GH5 and the new BMPCC 4K only achieve the specs they’re getting in such a small form factor is because of that reduced sensor size. Not because of “true innovation”. The REAL challenge is to make a 4k, 4:2:2, 10 Bit image that shoots 60FPS in an editing friendly codec, on an APS-C or Full Frame sensor, inside a small DSLR/mirrorless body without having the internal components catch on fire. Heat has been the primary roadblock for these small cameras all these years. Pushing and working with that much data off a large sensor has proven to be extremely difficult inside such tiny encolsures without implementing noisy fans (which there really isn’t any space for anyway). That is the reason that in all these cameras there is generally one part of every spec that has to give. It shoots 4k, but only up to 30p. It shoots 10 bit but only 4:2:0. It shoots 4k 60p but only in 8 bit. It shoots 10 bit, 4:2:2 but only on a micro 4/3 sensor. See a pattern? No one has been able to beat the thermal roadblock yet. The first company to solve the heat issue will rule the industry.

Member
September 11th, 2018
Reply to  Derek Doublin

Doesn’t really matter, because people will always find something to btch about. Webs already reached a level of quality that would have had our jaws on the floor a decade ago, and even when we arrived at the holy grail of camera tech [which we’ll always be chasing] we’ll still be unhappy.

 Larry Tee
Larry Tee
Member
September 19th, 2018

Your ranting is a little misinformed. The h.265 codec isn’t just software. It requires a compatible sensor (Samsung got that down, and appears to be the sensor provider for Fuji here.) It also requires custom processors, licensing, and making sure all the important edit suites will support your h.265 flavor when you release it. And that’s just your quibble about HVEC.

Rolling shutter performance on this camera is incredible. But you brush that off like it’s nothing.

Recording internally *and* to an external source is no given, but Fuji have done it. Same with integrating improved audio, film emulations, many more codec options than I can remember in a mirrorless camera. Having h.264 still available is really important. As is the 50mb/s broadcast compliant codec.

Sony won’t release anything in APS-C that’ll touch this— and they are pretty progressive with new tech. Canon? You lump Canon in here as if they’re one and the same, but they’re just pissing into the wind, to put it kindly.

Nikon had made great strides with their D850. And their Z6 looks quite promising for video. The EOS R looks like a total waste of time.

Blackmagic has always been an outlier in every way. I still own 3 BMPCC’s, and I still really enjoy them. But BMD also has it’s quirks that any longtime user will tell you are sometimes severe, and also rarely found in the bigger manufacturers’s cameras.

Not sure what this motion cadence is that you rest the remainder of your argument on. It sounds like one of those instangibles, like the “Leica glow” you get from their $11,000 50mm prime. Play with shutter speed and FPS, idk, but I’ve never heard this criticism from anyone else. There are also plenty of things in Resolve that can make video look more “filmic.”

Nothing is ever good enough in the Internet. Fuji delivered an unreal camera with specs that have no peer until you hit something like an FS5. The MFT cameras can be great, but to get all if this from Fuji with an S35 size sensor is amazing. Sorry to impinge on your cynical celebration of all that’s mediocre, bland and identical.

Matthew Hartman
Matthew Hartman
Member
September 19th, 2018
Reply to  Larry Tee

Well, Larry, buy the camera then. Have a great time, if it works for you go for it. That doesn’t affect me at all. I won’t be shooting with it. Nor a lot of other cameras. I put more stock into other aspects of filmmaking (narrative) than merely a camera and it’s specs. If 10 bit floats the proverbial boat than sail on into the sunset.

To me, the camera seems boring. That’s not to say its not a remarkable piece of kit in and of itself, but it’s unremarkable in the sense that it doesn’t seem or feel that revoluntionary in today’s current lineup of usual suspects. Regardless if it’s a Samsung sensor or not. This coming from a NX1 user since 2014 to present.

I’m one of the few individuals on the planet that have seen 16 bit RAW footage from that 6k sensor. Had Samsung not crippled that HDMI port out with 8bit 4:2:0, RED would have been quaking in their boots in 2014 and possibly today. But that isn’t the point. When the NX1 came out, that was an exciting prospect. It gave us things we didn’t see before at a certain price point. Things that still hold true in 2018. Things that all the other manufactures have adopted in their modern lineups. That’s revoluntionary. That’s a statement.

It’s not so much about the specs. It’s about a company making a bold statement and not purposely holding back the tech. This Fuji, to Fuji owners may be inspiring because it’s a evolution within the line, but compared to its competitors, it’s merely the same old incrementalism we’ve all just sort of accepted wholesale. Why are we doing this? Why are we accepting this and pretending mediocracy is good enough? I refuse to throw money at this. Throw your money at it if you want. That doesnt affect me in any way.

The new BDM Pocket 4k may or may not live up to it’s reputation and promises on paper. Which doesn’t seem to be the case so far. But thats not the exciting part. The exciting part is that BMD is saying a quality image doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, and we as a company are not going to hold our technology back and we’re not going to hold creativity back either. And now with BM RAW coming to a Pocket 4k near you, well, that just sweetens the deal, doesn’t it?

We can debate each other’s opinions all day long, eventually I’m going to get really bored of that. I’m not sure if opinions are even debatable?

Dude, seriously. Again, if you like this camera just buy the damn thing and go out and shoot some stuff.

Adam Fiorito
Adam Fiorito
Guest
June 18th, 2019

You work for Black magic lol, You just said WE AS A COMPANY ARE NOT GOING TO HOLD BACK TECHNOLOGY…wow Trolling other cameras huh? Real classy BM….as in Bowel movement camera 4k

 Matt Edwards-Davies
Member
October 29th, 2018

I know this was only one of your points, but the XT-3 *does* support h.265 internally…

Florian Gintenreiter
Member
September 7th, 2018

Hi, Johnnie! Great review, thanks for the good work. I’m very interested in the X-T3 as a gimbal camera. As I’m already heavily invested in Fuji glass. I was wondering how gradeable the footage really is. While 10 Bit is awesome, I’m a little worried about 4:2:0 chroma subsamplig. Would it be possible to post a shot or two straight out of camera?
Cheers.

Member
September 7th, 2018

Why is everyone so obsessed with the super wide aspect-ratio?

James Davis
Guest
September 7th, 2018

Wake up Canon. Still sleeping!

Oscar M
Member
October 2nd, 2018
Reply to  James Davis

Not really – Got the XH1 and the 1DXII…
FUji is in the bag :)

 Derek Doublin
Derek Doublin
Member
September 6th, 2018

EOS-R? What’s that?

Hello XT-3! I would love to see Fuji take more steps into the cinema space! They’ve got the lenses and they’ve got the color science from all their work in 35mm film. Let’s see them release a full, production cinema camera now! I’d love to invest in the Fuji ecosystem!

Member
September 6th, 2018

Great piece Johnnie! How on earth did you get such fantastic access? You should put together a tutorial on your “concept to creation” workflow, it’d make for a fantastic “How to” article (I’d pay for that too). BTW, your interviews are always superb, that’s serious skill most new to video have yet to master!

Cheers,
Chris

Santiago Rivero
Guest
September 6th, 2018

Wow! that sounds great! specially at that price point!

 Arvīds Barānovs
Member
September 6th, 2018

Glad to see fellow Latvian Baltic Bees featured!

 Chris Seerveld
Chris Seerveld
Member
September 6th, 2018

Definitely has my attention..

 Fausto Cantarella
Member
September 6th, 2018

this is an interesting car! for video rivals with GH5 but … GH5 does not 4K60p.

 theo antoniou
theo antoniou
Member
September 6th, 2018

I’m afraid the hole Canon are digging for themselves just got a whole lot bigger – and deeper. ‘Nuf said!

Matthew Hartman
Matthew Hartman
Member
September 11th, 2018
Reply to  theo antoniou

Canon and Nikon will never cannibalize their top line cinema cameras. Other companies like Sony, Panasonic, Fuji and BMD are clearly less afraid of that business model. When Samsung was in the game they just didn’t have a cinema camera to compete in their lineup so they just gave you everything they could cram into that small body. Canon and Nikon are holdouts. Their company philosophy is just more traditional to SLRs. There’s a ton of legacy there that other manufactures don’t have to answer to.

I do want to point out, unrelated to this comment, that Cinema cameras are mainly bigger because they house fans and large heatsinks and SDI/VMount connections. If you strip them down to the core components you basically end up with a DSLR/DSLM. We have to get away from the idea that small cameras can’t produce great work. In fact, we need to move in the smaller footprint direction in general and get these $80k cameras into a more competitive bracket. This promise offers incredible flexibility for creativity and productivity alike. I think once a lot of operators get over the starstruckness of an Alexa for example, they start to understand the real value of a smaller body, should the tech be at that level. And it will be, it’s only a matter of time.

 Andrew Sinclair
Andrew Sinclair
Member
September 6th, 2018

Dynamic range measurements between Cinema5D articles are often inconsistent with each other, let alone with measurements made by others with the same cameras and supposedly the same DR range chart.

Here the a7sII gets 10.6 stops in Slog2, in a Nov 2015 Cinema5D article it got “just under 12” in Slog2.

Here the X-T3 got 11.2 stops, while in a march 2017 article on the Gh5, the X-T2 was given 12 stops. So the X-T3 has less DR than the X-T2? That’s a little hard to believe.

I thought your testing methodology had some way of automatically judging the noise floor of each camera so results would be consistent over time and without human interference. But I’m starting to doubt that now.

 Markus Magnon
Markus Magnon
Member
September 6th, 2018

First time I see some DR test for the Gh5.
Which is great. many people think the RD of this thing is as good as the new pocket 4k. I always write that it is just around 10.
But no big “camera website” did test.

Problem is … A7SII was getting higher and higher results.
11.7 stops. Now 10.6 stops. 1.1 stop less. Interesting.
But I think the 10.6 is the correct number. It does not have
to be super correct.

ALl you have to know is that a Gh5, Sony, Canon will have
around 9.5-11 Stops. No matter if it is 8-bit or 10-bit
or S-log 2 or S-log 3. And if you want 13 and more you have
to go with Blackmagic. (Or Canon C200, EVA 1, etc)

Member
September 6th, 2018
Reply to  Markus Magnon

Dear Markus, please have a look at my reply to Andrew where I am explaining the results. And I am already very very curious to get my hands on the Blackmagic Pocket 4k cam for a DR test. I have the old BMPCC, so a comparison will be very interesting I think.

Member
September 6th, 2018

Dear Andrew, this is Gunther here, I have restarted the dynamic range testing on behalf of the cinema5d team. You are right with your observation that we stated higher DR numbers in the past, but you have to be very very careful on the exact conditions: the X-T2 at the time of testing could not record F-Log internally, hence an external recorder with an appropriate codec was used, giving 12 stops. You are right with the Sony a7SII we stated “just under 12” in the past, but I think the actual measurement was done with a downscaled image (downscaled from 3840×2160 to 1920×1080) – I have retested the Sonya7SII recently and found the 10.6 stops in UHD with SLOG2, and 11.9 stops when downscaling from UHD to FHD (downscaling reduces noise hence (correctly) gives a higher DR rating with our IMATEST software).

Hence, all is fine with the measurements ;-)

Happy to answer further questions, best regards Gunther

 Markus Magnon
Markus Magnon
Member
September 6th, 2018
Reply to  Gunther Machu

If downscaling changes your DR Rating than you should change the test-setting. It is a myth that with higher K (4k, 6k, 8k) you will have less noise and you downscale and have a cleaner image. That is not true. And this is the first time I read that you will have more DR when you downscale an image. What about Noise Reduction software. Do I get also 1 stop more dynamaic range when I use Noise reduction?.

Please watch Part 1 (10 Minutes) and Part 2 (50 minuts) by
Steve Yedlin
Resolution Demo:
http://www.yedlin.net/ResDemo/index.html

Steve Yedlin is the DoP of films like Looper and Star Wars – The last Jedi. And in this “Resolution Demo” films he talks a lot about Pixels. Downscaling from a 4k image… down to even 2k and reupscale it again. He is also talking about grain. And the myth that more K means less grain. Which is not true. Really mindblowing stuff.

That is a very bold statement that downscaling reduces noise and so you have more DR. I am a bit speechless. My english is not good enough to tell you how wrong that statement is. Sorry.

Member
September 6th, 2018
Reply to  Markus Magnon

Dear Markus, I don’t want to highjack the X-T3 review here for a DR discussion, but let me briefly share my thoughts why there is no need to change the test setting and why dynamic range will improve by downscaling (as is very evident from our measurements):

– The deciding factor for a dynamic range measurement is the signal to noise ratio (our criterion is S/N = 2 or in other words root mean square of noise = 0.5 = 1/ SNR or basically, the signal still has to stick out from the noise floor).

Now, by downscaling (or averaging) four pixels of an 3840×2160 image to 1 pixel of an 1920×1080 image the signal value should stay the same (the patch of the Xyla chart will have the same luminance no matter with how many pixels you record it), but the noise value will change because noise is random (uncorrelated), hence averaging (or in mathematical terms the root mean square value of noise which is measured in the recorded image) scales with the square root of the number of samples.

Hence 4 pixels into 1 gives a factor of two (sqrt(4)=2) higher Signal to Noise ratio.

Higher signal to noise ratio for a given luminance = higher dynamic range.

Hence, yes, if you downscale the DR increases – a very good argument for 4k recording and 2k delivery.

And yes, I know Steve Yedlin’s tests – great ressource!

Hope that helps.

Matthew Hartman
Matthew Hartman
Member
September 7th, 2018

DR is somewhat subjective. Different sites measure it differently. Of course, the manufactures themselves always fudge the numbers in their favor, that’s to be expected.

Cinema 5D consistently has different rankings than a lot of other sites, often much more objectively less favorable. So either Cinema 5D’s methods are just far and above everyone else’s (which I strongly suspect isn’t the case) or they’re mainly trying to sell the cameras of their preferred vendors. Cinema 5D is more of a business than a personal buddy. Let’s get reality out of the way here.

ALWAYS take these types of tests with a grain of salt. The real test happens in the field and is determined by you and what you and your client is comfortable with. The rest of it is white noise designed to make you feel this never ending void as a consumer.

Also, don’t forget about ingenuity. IF you really like this camera but it suffers from less DR than say an Arri Alexa, first, remember it’s a fraction of the cost, and second there are methods and techniques to taming high contrast ratios OUTSIDE the camera itself used by the industry (and still is even with Alexa’s) for eons. They make and sell plenty of rolls of ND film to cover bright windows for a reason.

My criteria is always the image first, than the rest as follows. If I absolutely love the image, I’m willing to take the extra steps to mitigate it’s weaknesses. And let’s be clear, EVERY camera has a particular weakness or two, whether it’s $1,300 or $80k. As a filmmaker, (not a consumer) it’s very wise to adopt the mindset of being a proverbial MacGyver.

Preaching session now over.

 CHARLES FX
CHARLES FX
Member
September 11th, 2018
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Johnnie – Just came fresh off the Baltic Bee’s XT3 video. Just wanted to say really appreciate your work + the real world shooting and shorts you put together for the filmmaking community!

Wanted to say – really looking forward to an article / explanation on the DR measurement, I still shoot with an A7S and have always found 1080P to be cleaner / have a bit more DR than UHD footage – the highlight rolloff is of course where DR really comes into play…

Would love to see the insights that you + Gunther are talking about – a bit more in-depth + especially regarding the downscalling of UHD – HD ( Something that a lot of us still do – and maybe particularly useful for those trying to squeeze more out of certain lighting situations ).

Going forward , with mirror-less cameras getting so good at video – Dynamic Range + colour science are definitely going to be the next focusing point- now that resolution + framerates are up to par.

Dynamic Range is arguably that intagible last spec that really makes good video feel filmic – which as we know – Arri Alexa/Amira absolutely nails. ( 16bit downscaled to 12bit 4:4:4 colour with 14+ dr )

Look forward to a full article / some video examples of your findings + how the testing is done – it’s something really lacking online – Zacuto did a bunch of tests 5+ years ago – but since then – only you guys have had various DR ratings that have been called into question over the science etc…
Would love to see you guys redo testing on the Canon 5D mk2 + Sony A7S originals just for reference :)

Keep up the awesome work!
cheers
Charles

Matthew Hartman
Matthew Hartman
Member
September 11th, 2018
Reply to  CHARLES FX

A lot of people would do well to NOT do the typical S-curve in grading. That actually crushes shadows and raises mids, and that’s the signature of contrasted broadcast video, not film. Film actually raises shadows and crushes the mids with smooth rolloff into the highlights. It’s almost an inverted S curve to what most ppl do with their flat video files. I would say you want adequate rolloff into all ratios. Crushing is for a very specific signature look in cinema.

Obviously, 20+ stops of DR are going to outperform 11-15. That’s just basic math. And 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 obviously gives you a lot more color data regardless of bit depth. But we shouldn’t go as far to empirically claim that in certain instances even 8bit 4:2:0 isn’t suitable for professional work. 99% of content streamed using this type of distribution at the end of the day. All the streaming services have their own compression algorithms irrespective to any one camera profile.

With good diffused, color contrasted lighting, that doesn’t push huge contrast ratios, and good DIT knowledge, one can produce exceptional work in any scenario.

Lost to many of these conversations is how each company calibrates their (mostly Sony) sensors to record motion cadence. It’s not just about recording in 24/25 fps. It’s how those frames are captured and played back too. This aspect almost always gets left out of these conversations.

The footage of the BDM Pocket 4K camera looks plenty good enough for most filming scenarios (besides practical vlogging)and would meet the technical requirements of any in-house film department of any big name streaming company.If it can do an acquisition codec, in 10bit or above it’s technically good to go.

 CHARLES FX
CHARLES FX
Member
September 11th, 2018
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

No worries at all Johnnie, always a pleasure checking out your stuff + Cinema5d !
Definitely understand with the IBC / Photokina madness – keep it in the waiting bay + add things in etc… then bring it out down the line once all the dust settles + things chill out a bit haha :)

Would be great having a nice log of various cameras Dynamic range in video, if possible even going back and re-tested some old classics ( canon 5Dmk2 + Sony A7s etc) just as a reference library going forward.

Be interesting to see how all these new mirrorless video-centric cameras go in your DR testing in the future :)

PS Matthew your also right on about company sensor calibration + motion cadence etc – there are many ingredients in the soup of video!
Often this stuff is overlooked by the easier to quantify specs , yet funnily enough these areas are often more important to overall imagery. Definitely looking fwd to seeing more from Blackmagic as well.

ElBreo
ElBreo
Member
September 6th, 2018

Great video. Footage tastes very good, but bad weather conditions can´t allow us feel all the sensor capabilities. Please go to the beach a sunny day next time. ;)
Thanks for the info. Affordable and attractive this “new kid”. Perhaps one of the best hybrid “still and video” choices I have ever seen.
It seems to be a good choice for low-budget documentaries, “guerrilla cinema”, microstock and freelance filmmakers. You can shoot in street achieving great images with small equipment.

nehemia
Guest
September 6th, 2018

@_souw

dangrafics
Guest
September 6th, 2018

2018 is really the miwarless year, thanks for all the players you’re realising some very good new gears. A… https://t.co/gy76TC4bzm

Member
September 6th, 2018

Dear Johnnie, It might start to get boring to hear, but regardless, I say it anyways! Thank you for your great, in-depth review / sample video! It is very pleasant to see a life-like product as a sample video of a camera where we can really get the idea of what it could do in everyday situation and this is what you have delivered once again!!! Very pleased with the camera myself, by reading your thoughts on it! Thank you Fujifilm! You are a great listener to us and you have made a camera which is just WOW! :) Personally I am due for an upgrade having a 4+ year old tech and this will be the one! Have a great day! Adrian

James Alexander Barnett
Guest
September 6th, 2018

Very good bit rate for a small mirrorless camera!

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