MAK­ING MOVIES

Camera - - ON TRIAL -

Fu­ji­film made very sig­nif­i­cant

ad­vances in video ca­pa­bil­i­ties with the X-T2 – espe­cially with the op­tional Ver­ti­cal Power Booster Grip fit­ted – but the X-T20 isn’t de­signed to have nearly the same as­pi­ra­tions. In other words, this isn’t a cam­era that you’re likely to buy pri­mar­ily to make videos, but if you do want to record clips as an ad­junct to your pho­tog­ra­phy, it’s ac­tu­ally pretty ca­pa­ble. By the way, that ac­ces­sory grip can’t be fit­ted.

For starters, like the X-T2, the X-T20 can record in 4K at the Ul­tra HD res­o­lu­tion of 3840x2160 pix­els with the choice of 30, 25 or 24 fps, giv­ing a bit rate of 100 Mbps. In­ci­den­tally, un­like the X-T2, the X-T20 doesn’t crop the sen­sor when record­ing 4K video so it’s us­ing a tech­nique called pixel skip­ping which re­sults in a small loss of sharp­ness, but on the plus side, pre­serves the field-of-view so there’s no ad­di­tional in­crease in the ef­fec­tive fo­cal length. The X-T20 records video in the MOV for­mat us­ing MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 com­pres­sion, and the 4K clip length is lim­ited to ten min­utes (15 min­utes for Full HD video).

Stream­ing to the cam­era’s HDMI con­nec­tor is avail­able with both 4K and 2K video (8-bit, 4:2:2 colour), with the op­tion of si­mul­ta­ne­ously record­ing 4K in­ter­nally (4:2:0 colour) to a mem­ory card and stream­ing Full HD to an HDMI de­vice (but, as with the X-T2, not the other way around). A handy ‘HDMI Rec Con­trol’ sends start/ stop com­mands to the ex­ter­nal recorder when the shut­ter but­ton is pressed.

How­ever, the X-T20 doesn’t have the flat F-Log colour pro­file for stream­ing (which makes colour grad­ing eas­ier in post­pro­duc­tion), but you can still wind the colour sat­u­ra­tion back via the colour sat­u­ra­tion pa­ram­e­ter in the IQ Menu and all the ‘Film Sim­u­la­tion’ pre­sets are also avail­able when record­ing to the mem­ory card.

The touch fo­cus con­trols come into their own when shoot­ing video and the X-T20’s con­tin­u­ous AF works smoothly and re­li­ably. Mag­ni­fied im­age and fo­cus peak­ing dis­plays are pro­vided for man­ual fo­cus­ing (but not the ‘Dig­i­tal Split Im­age’ dis­play). For ex­po­sure con­trol, both aper­ture and shut­ter speed can be man­u­ally se­lected, and the full sen­si­tiv­ity range of ISO 200 to 12,800 is avail­able.

On the au­dio side, the X-T20 has built-in stereo mi­cro­phones sup­ple­mented by a stereo au­dio in­put, although it’s the smaller 2.5 mm con­nec­tor so you’ll need an adap­tor for third-party mics with the 3.5 mm plug. There isn’t a stereo au­dio out­put. Au­dio lev­els can be man­u­ally ad­justed over five steps, and stereo level me­ters are shown in the LCD mon­i­tor.

The X-T20 tops all this off with a very cred­itable video per­for­mance so Fu­ji­film is now mix­ing it with the other high­fliers in video here – Pana­sonic, Olym­pus and Sony – as far as a mid-range mir­ror­less cam­era is con­cerned. At the same price point in D-SLRs noth­ing comes close. Of course, Fu­ji­film does have a con­sid­er­able her­itage in mov­ing pic­tures with its Fu­ji­non lenses for both TV and cin­e­matog­ra­phy, so per­haps the cam­era end of the busi­ness is just catch­ing up. It’s a very wel­come de­vel­op­ment and makes the X-T20 just that lit­tle more well­rounded.

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