With its long his­tory in

Camera - - ON TRIAL -

cin­e­matog­ra­phy – mak­ing both film (which is how the com­pany started) and lenses, it’s a bit of a sur­prise that Fujifilm has taken a while to get into gear with video in its X mount mirrorless cam­eras. But it re­ally steps up to the plate with the X-T3 which is eas­ily as ac­com­plished a ‘hy­brid’ video/ still cam­era as the best from Pana­sonic or Sony.

It looks a bit like Fujifilm went through the specs of the Lu­mix GH5 and de­cided to give the X-T3 the full works too. Soooo… the X-T3 shoots 4K Ul­tra HD (3840x2160 pix­els) or Cin­ema 4K (4096x2160 pix­els) at 60, 50, 30, 25 or 24 fps, us­ing a 1.18x crop on the ‘APS-C’ sen­sor. Sig­nif­i­cantly, at 60 or 50 fps, there’s the op­tion of cap­tur­ing 10-bit 4:2:0 colour in­ter­nally or 10-bit 4:2:2 colour ex­ter­nally via the HDMI out­put us­ing the higher com­pres­sion ef­fi­ciency HEVC H.265 codec with a bit rate of up to 200 Mbps. The AVC H.264 com­pres­sion codec is avail­able with UHD/60p, but in­ter­nal record­ing is at 8-bit 4:2:0 colour. Use­fully, 4K/60p at 10-bit 4:2:2 colour to the HDMI out­put can be recorded si­mul­ta­ne­ously with 40/60p 10-bit 4:2:0 colour to the mem­ory card, giv­ing a more prac­ti­cal back-up so­lu­tion than if the lat­ter is re­stricted to 2K with 8-bit colour. In­ci­den­tally, the X-T3 is the first ‘APS-C’ for­mat mirrorless cam­era able to record 10-bit video in­ter­nally.

At the 30 and 25 fps frame rates, the full width of the sen­sor is em­ployed (so there’s no fo­cal length mag­ni­fi­ca­tion fac­tor) with over­sam­pling. Here’s there’s the choice of ALL-I All-In­tra in­tra-frame or Long GOP in­ter-frame com­pres­sion with a bit rate of up to 400 Mbps. Long GOP is short for Long Group Of Pic­tures and is a ver­sion of IPB in­ter-frame cod­ing which only man­ages the changes be­tween key frames. Fur­ther­more, there’s a flat­ter F-Log gamma pro­file for an ex­tended dy­namic range and eas­ier colour grad­ing in post­pro­duc­tion, plus the Eterna ‘Film Sim­u­la­tion’ pro­file which repli­cates the look of Fujifilm’s colour neg­a­tive movie stock, giv­ing a more muted look via lower con­trast and lower sat­u­ra­tion. A firmware up­grade will add the Hy­brid Gamma Log (HGL) pro­file that’s based on the BT.2100 colour space for 4K HDR dis­plays. The max­i­mum clip du­ra­tion for 4K/50-60p is 20 min­utes, but ex­tends to the full 29 min­utes and 59 sec­onds at the slower frame rates.

Full HD footage can be recorded at all the stan­dard speeds, plus 120 or 100 fps for slow-mo­tion ef­fects of up to 5.0x at 24 fps with a 200 Mbps bit rate, but the clip length is lim­ited to six min­utes. When shoot­ing video, the high­light warn­ing is re­placed by ze­bra pat­terns with an ad­justable bright­ness thresh­old and, of course, there’s the fo­cus peak­ing dis­play to as­sist with man­ual fo­cus­ing. Time-cod­ing is avail­able with a drop frame op­tion.

On the au­dio side, the GH5 has built-in stereo mi­cro­phones with auto/man­ual level con­trol, a wind-cut fil­ter, a low-cut fil­ter and an at­ten­u­a­tor. Both a stereo au­dio in­put and out­put are now on-cam­era and are the stan­dard 3.5 mm mini­jack con­nec­tions. While most se­ri­ous video shoot­ers are go­ing to use an ex­ter­nal mic, the sound qual­ity de­liv­ered by the cam­era’s mics was very im­pres­sive in­deed, in terms of both the dy­namic range and the def­i­ni­tion (yep, both are au­dio terms as well as vis­ual).

The up­graded aut­o­fo­cus­ing sys­tem re­ally comes into its own with video, par­tic­u­larly the faster and more re­li­able sub­ject track­ing with its near-full-frame cov­er­age. Plus there’s the con­ve­nience of the touch con­trols for quickly es­tab­lish­ing fo­cus or mov­ing the fo­cus­ing points or zones. Also avail­able for video shoot­ing are the rest of the ‘Film Sim­u­la­tion’ pro­files, the ad­justable pic­ture pa­ram­e­ters (in­clud­ing the new warm-to-cool B&W Ad­just­ment), noise re­duc­tion, dy­namic range ex­pan­sion and cor­rec­tion for lens vi­gnetting.

The X-T3 is un­doubt­edly the best thing Fujifilm has yet done with a mirrorless cam­era for videog­ra­phy and it’s eas­ily up there with the best in this class. The im­age qual­ity is ex­cep­tional, es­pe­cially if you’re us­ing footage straight out of the cam­era with­out very much post-cam­era tweak­ing. In par­tic­u­lar, the new sen­sor and pro­ces­sor are de­signed to min­imise any rolling shut­ter dis­tor­tion… and it looks to be pretty ef­fec­tive here.

A neat touch is that the cover for the cam­era’s con­nec­tion bay can be com­pletely re­moved which makes life a lot eas­ier when the X-T3 is in a rig and hooked up to de­vices such as an ex­ter­nal recorder and head­phones for mon­i­tor­ing au­dio. With this cam­era Fujifilm has cov­ered both the big pic­ture and the lit­tle de­tails.

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