Fujifilm X Camera Line & the Future – An Exclusive Interview at Fujifilm HQ

During my recent trip to Japan, I had a chance to visit FUJIFILM HQ and discuss the future of their X camera line, particularly the new X-T2. The talk was centred around the video capabilities of this new camera. Later this week, I will publish my review and a short video that I took with the X-T2. But first things first, and to anyone who is not familiar with the new camera, here is a short summary:

As reported by us during early July, Fujifilm announced their first 4K APS-C sensor size mirrorless camera, promising to shake the somehow crowded DSLR/mirrorless camera market with a new filming tool that includes their famous film simulation. In addition, they have added an F-log function for achieving greater dynamic range and maximum flexibility during the color correction stage for anyone who is willing to use and invest in an external recorder. The additional offered VPB-XT2 handgrip will let you enjoy longer recording times in 4K mode (approximately 30 min. instead of 10 min.) and increased continuous recording time with a total of 3 batteries (one in camera plus two in the grip). Last but not least, it allows you to monitor the recorded audio, as the headphone jack is located on that grip.

Jun (3 of 3)

Jun Watanabe presenting the new Fujifilm X-T2

I must say that the people at FUJIFILM were very humble yet confident about their new creation. If you take a moment to look at the interview we did with Jun Watanabe, a manager at FUJIFILM corporation, you will clearly understand that the X-T2 is just the beginning for FUJIFILM when it comes to video-enabled mirrorless cameras. Now that they have acknowledged the need for a video function in their cameras, they will continue to improve and perfect this filming tool.

Maybe the biggest news coming out of this interview is the likelihood of a firmware update that allows implementing Fuji’s F-log function in-camera, and not just through recording with an external device. In order to do so, FUJIFILM needs to be assured it is a highly requested feature. I truly urge anyone who watches this interview or reads this article to contribute by writing a short line and let FUJIFILM know it is indeed an important request. Please take into account that, while this implementation is certainly possible, it is still recommended to use the grip and record externally to achieve the highest recorded picture quality: uncompressed 4:2:2 8 bit externally, vs. compressed 4:2:0 8 bit internally.

Another matter to point out is the subject of lenses. Apparently, the XF optics are designed by the same team in charge of Fujinon’s professional line of lenses. It is worth pointing out that FUJIFILM will consider expanding their selection of video zoom lenses according to market demand.

Other topics discussed in the interview are FUJIFILM’s take on creating tools for professional filmmakers, and an answer to my question if we will ever see a full frame sensor size X camera.

Stay tuned for more fresh content about Fuji’s new X-T2 camera, and please don’t forget to raise your voice and ask for in-camera F-log.

Many thanks to Jun Watanabe, Kiyoshi Inoue and Fabian Chaundy for helping conducting and translating this interview. 

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Phil Weber August 1, 2016

Until the X-T2 details were announced, I was taking a look at switching to Sony. I primarily shoots stills, and I find the Fuji approach to be the most enjoyable for that, but I need video capabilities for work, too. Fuji was so far behind.

The X-T2 video features convinced me that I can stick with Fuji.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri August 2, 2016

Hi Phil.

As both companies has taken a different approach for implementing video in their mirrorless cameras, I strongly advice to “try before you buy” and see if the implementation of video done by Fuji works for you.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Steve MacDonald Reply
Steve MacDonald August 2, 2016

Of course, I’m not shooting the messenger, but I don’t understand why Fuji would need consumer input on what seems to be obvious. Yes, recording FLOG without having to spend an addtional grand on an external recording device would make the camera even more appealing. Having the option to either record that FLOG internally or externally only makes sense!

Reply
Johnnie Behiri August 2, 2016

Hi Steve.

Fuji’s approach is very simple and direct. They are currently offering us the best possible quality out of their device. Recording F-log internally will reduce quality and as such, they originally did not want to compromise. Now, If they see that users are OK with that compromise, internal F-log recording will be considered.

Thanks!

Johnnie

Reply
Peter Kent August 2, 2016

Thanks Johnnie, this was a great article with good questions and answers that are pushing me closer to the Fuji X system. About the XT2 however I think the omission of the rec button and the exclusive video mode is a mistake; for covering live events I need to be able to switch from taking video to photos as quickly as possible. With Canon I can shot photos during video recording and Sony lets me take photos or video while in video mode with separate physical buttons. If the XT2 requires me to choose a video only mode than it isn’t the best camera for me, which is unfortunate since the XT1 had it. It’s a work around that I may be willing to put up with but under pressure the easier the better. Keep up the good work guys.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri August 2, 2016

Hi Peter.

Thanks for the thumbs up!. The credit goes to Watanabe-san who was very direct and precise with his answers.

I hear you and promise to transfer your concern directly to the manufacturer.

Thank you.

Johnnie

David Peterson Reply
David Peterson August 2, 2016

Hope FujiFilm bring high bit rate 4K 10bit 422 to internal recording! As after all there are many many high speed SD cards that can handle it now.

Steve MacDonald Reply
Steve MacDonald August 2, 2016

Highly doubtful, as that camera would probably be an inferno within minutes at that record setting.

David Peterson Reply
David Peterson August 2, 2016

BMPCC can do 10bit 422, even raw! As can 5D cameras.

Steve MacDonald Reply
Steve MacDonald August 2, 2016

Although a good point, BMPCC is a much smaller sensor, which makes a huge difference. 5D camera that shoots 10bit 422 internally, which 5D is that? And, hacks, such as Magic lantern, aren’t considered.

 Yannick Derennes Reply
Yannick Derennes August 2, 2016

Love to see those new implements on the fuji X system. As Phil Weber I’m concerned by photo AND mainly video capabilities. With the Panasonic GH5 and 5DIV around the corner, cameras offers more and more features. This new generation of cameras need to answer to the filmmakers request but maybe Fuji need to develop a specific product for the video community like Sony did with the FS5 and FS7.

Reply
Peter Kent August 2, 2016

The choice to have F-Log only avaliable through HDMI for image quality reasons is odd to me. 4:2:2 vs 4:2:0 isn’t a huge difference for banding, which is the main concern in recording compressed log. If they wanted to reserve log for better quality then they should have offered a 10bit hdmi out like the GH4 and even the BMPCC. My point is Fuji might as well offer that internally too.

Steve MacDonald Reply
Steve MacDonald August 2, 2016

Exactly. Although Johnnie has pointed out, it’s the way Fuji is handling it, and it’s their product! As I posted, in my opinion having that option to record the FLOG internally 8bit-422, is a given, no need to ask, just do it! And, while you’re doing that, don’t forget your other flag-ship camera the XPro2, please, pretty please with a cherry on top, release the Highlight tone, Shadow tone, Color, Grain effect, and noise reduction to be video enabled! PLEASE! Did I mention, Please!

Reply
Vinnie Cartabiano August 3, 2016

I’m literally waiting to hear that they will allow FLOG to be recorded internally before I pull the trigger on purchasing an XT-2. I’d really like to be able to match XT-2 footage with my other cameras and a LOG profile makes my life that much easier. Please please please add this feature :)

Reply
Brian Williams August 3, 2016

I’m coming at it from the opposite end, but for the same reasons- I’m waiting to see if I should cancel my preorder, depends on any upcoming leaks about the GH5 and whether or not log does in deed get added internally via firmware. But the camera may just show up before either of those things happen.