Fujifilm X-T2: a First Foray Into 4K Video Land
The Fujifilm X-T2 is the proverbial “dipping of the toe” by the manufacturer into the cold lagoon that is the 4K video market. This successor to the X-T1 mirrorless digital camera features significant under-the-hood improvements in areas such as processing and autofocus. The result? A responsive, weather-sealed, reasonably priced APS-C photo and video hybrid.
Fujifilm is a brand that doesn’t pop up too often in our posts, and was last mentioned in a March review of the X-Pro2 by Johnnie. But this new body is definitely worth a mention, so let’s get to it!
The Fujifilm X-T2 that was just announced is a mirrorless digital camera featuring a 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sized sensor. It comes as a successor to the X-T1 body, but unlike its predecessor, the X-T2 is capable of shooting 4K video, a first for Fujifilm. A little late to the party, some might say, but better late than never. You can see examples of the video capabilities in the video below.
4K capability is one of the many under-the-hood performance improvements that the X-T2 now boasts. Maybe the most important feature to be included with this camera is the addition of F-Log Gamma setting. That will allow capturing a flat picture, best used in serious grading applications. This feature alone, shows how Fuji is becoming serious about the video capabilities of that camera. And the list goes on, the autofocus system, for example, received a dramatic overhaul across the many modes: a centre area with 49 focusing points achieves increased responsiveness in AF mode, contrast detection AF is also improved in low light up to -3EV, and continuous AF is now more accurate across its Subject Retention Characteristic, Acceleration / Deceleration Tracking Characteristic and Focus Zone Characteristic modes.
Fujifilm also claims the camera is now faster at basic functions such as the EVF display time lag, startup time, shooting interval lag and shutter release time lag. These may be some nice improvements in photo world, but when talking about video, there are some things to consider. Buried towards the end of the Fujifilm press release, we find some of the limitations of the Fujifilm X-T2 out of the box:
- Full 4K 3840×2160 30P/25P/24P up to approximately 10 minutes.
- Full HD 1920×1080 60P/50P/30P/25P/24P up to approximately 15 minutes.
- HD 1280×720 60P/50P/30P/25P/24P, Continuous recording: up to approximately 29 minutes.
So, not ideal in terms of the recording length limitations. However, I say “out of the box” because Fujifilm have also developed the VPB-XT2, an optional grip that not only increases battery life by including 2 additional batteries (that’s right, “additional”, for a total of 3 including the one in the camera), but also enhances performance. The VPB-XT2 allows the use of a Boost mode, which engages all three batteries simultaneously, unlocking enhanced functionality such as EVF framerate increase from 60fps to 100fps, and, perhaps more importantly for us, 4K shooting time to approximately 30 minutes. It also adds battery charging functionality via a DC plug, as well as a headphone jack otherwise lacking from the main body. What it doesn’t do, however, is replace the micro HDMI connection found on the body with a full size one, which would have been a nice addition.
The body itself is made of magnesium alloy, and is not only weather-proof, but is also capable of operating in temperatures down to -10C, characteristics which are also repeated in the optional grip. In terms of monitoring, the camera features a 0.48-inch, 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder, as well as a 1.04 million dot 3/inch tilting LCD monitor made of tempered glass.
What do you think? Are you already a Fujifilm enthusiast and will give this a go? Or will you be passing on this one?