Fujifilm X-T2 review from a filmmaker’s perspective

You can read the review below or watch the video review featuring a lot of sample footage and photos HERE!

The Fujifilm X-T2 is a mirrorless camera with a 24.3 megapixel APS-C sensor that can shoot up to 30 frames per second in Ultra HD and 60fps in Full HD.When I started using the X-T2 in summer 2017 I didn’t know much about Fujifilm except that they used to make actual film stock. Since then I travelled all over the world and used the camera to record video on a daily basis for commercial productions and YouTube content.

The X-T2 is a classic hybrid which means there is not a huge focus on the video mode. The 4K video quality is great but the camera doesn’t have a flat picture profile. This can be a deal breaker for some users but the provided picture styles are far better than most other camera manufacturers offer. If I have to shoot with a log picture profile because I need a certain kind of look or because it is required by a client I simply use an external recorder like the Atomos Ninja Inferno which enables F-Log, Fuji’s flat picture style.

https://www.fenchel-janisch.com/fujixt2-review

Internally the camera records Ultra HD with a bitrate of 100 Mbps which is not a lot but fine considering that the footage won’t be graded much or maybe not at all. The footage from the X-T2 looks so detailed and sharp because it’s downsampling 6K to 2160p. When recording 1080p the footage looks fine but can’t be compared to the 2160p video. So even if I only need to deliver HD I tend to film in the higher resolution.

The camera is not an obvious choice if your main focus is to record video. The camera needs a battery grip to record more than 10 minutes in one take but even with the extension the maximum it can record in one take is 30 minutes. If you want to listen to the audio you are recording you also need the grip because the camera itself doesn’t have a headphone jack but at least it has manual audio control and the audio quality is pretty good. The good thing about the grip though is that you don’t need to change batteries on a shoot. Besides these shortcomings the X-T2 has a setting for focus peaking to see what’s in and what’s out of focus as well as zebra to see overexposed areas in the frame.

The continouos auto focus in video mode works okay but is not really reliable so I wouldn’t use it on a paid job. The X-T2 also has a a dedicated face detection mode which actually works very well but unfortunately only in 1080p and not when capturing 4K.

Besides the regular video mode I often use the timelapse function which is easy to set up and can save raw or JPEG photos but not an internal video sequence which would have been a useful add-on to preview the timelapse. For me it’s not a big deal because I want to be able to edit the raw sequence in original 6K resolution but if you just want to capture a timelapse quickly without any post production it’s not very useable.

Even though I am not a professional photographer I couldn’t find much to complain about when it comes to capturing photographs with this camera. The dynamic range and high ISO performance is outstanding and I never ran into any issues. The high ISO performance is not just good in photo but also in video mode. The image still looks fine up to ISO 6400 and considering that this is an APC-S camera that’s not too bad.

The built quality of the camera body is very high and strong. On the right side are the two SD card slots and on the left is a remote, HDMI and 3.5mm microphone input. The camera has three dials on top. To control the ISO, shutter as well as exposure compensation. By rotating the wheels they can also be set to automatic. I really enjoy using manual wheels like these because I can always see my settings even when I’m not looking at the screen. The 3 inch LCD monitor has no touch function but is very bright and can be flipped out and moved to the right side. When filming hand-held I often look through the electronic viewfinder to get additional stability or if it’s just too bright outside. The viewfinder is good except that there’s a delay when the camera switches between the LCD monitor and the EVF.

The camera is weather sealed which means it can handle dust, rain and snow although not all Fuji lenses are weather sealed. I filmed in all of these conditions over the past nine months and never had any trouble even when using lenses that are not officially made for these kinds of shooting conditions.

What I realized after using the camera for a while was that the native X-mount lenses are a big reason to make the switch to the Fuji system. First of they are small because they are designed for mirrorless cameras and most importantly they are sharp and overall great optics. Of course it’s never fun to use adapters on any kind of system but with the X-T2 I actually believe it makes a difference. Fuji X-lenses always have an aperture ring which means you can’t change the aperture in the menu but only on the lens itself.

In case you ask yourself now – is this the ideal video camera at the moment? I wouldn’t say so even though I use the X-T2 pretty much every day and I really like using it but the truth is also that the camera has been around for a while already and other cameras with improved video features are already out or just around the corner. But I do think that this is a great combination of photo and video camera especially if you don’t need a log profile, IBIS or perfect continouos auto focus.

While Sony and Panasonic are probably the kings of mirrorless cameras right now it’s good to see Fujifilm joining the market with some strong competition like the X-T2 and the new X-H1 which is aimed at filmmakers and video professionals. One thing that most camera manufacturers don’t do is to improve cameras by releasing free updates. Luckily Fujifilm has a different philosophy. They constantly release firmware updates which do not only fix problems but also introduce new features.

You can also watch the video review below:

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You can purchase the camera from B&H Photo by clicking HERE!

Written by filmmaker Moritz Janisch on February 25, 2018

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