So there I was on my latest fashion shoot and I wanted to make a little video of the days goings on. I could have very easily picked up my canon 7D (backup/film camera) but then I remembered the Fuji X-Pro1 was just resting on the table having a day off. It occurred to me to use this wonderful little camera to capture video of the day and see if it can do this kind of backstage film work like the canon can. I think it’s safe to assume everyone who has bought one did so for its photographic prowess, it’s always nice to know if it’s good when in a different mode! Lets have a look at the film before I talk about the quality of the X-Pro1’s video.
The colour of this video is straight out of the camera, no grading. What I loved about using it was the ease with which you can hold it still or pan your shots, its so small and light things like this are easy! If you have it on auto focus the lens just dances around and you don’t really get a shot, if you practice enough with manual you can achieve good things.
My big issue is the lack of full manual control, it did like to do a light reading and constantly adjust its settings, pretty annoying in the field. We were lucky that we had an even daylight coming in through the glass ceiling so the camera didn’t need to adjust all that much! But if you were making a serious video and needed to control the camera this is not for you, stick to the DSLR’s. If you are making some nice home movies this is more than enough, I would say on jobs like this kind of backstage video where you are reacting to whats around you, it is useful as a 2nd or probably 3rd camera to get loads of pickup shots.
For a technical perspective I asked my friend and film editor Guto Piletti what he thought of the video files. He put this little film together and is very talented in the edit suite, specializing in Avid and Davinci Resolve. He said,
” It’s a stills camera, a great one, the fact that it does video is a bonus. An even bigger bonus is that the files are of a similar quality to the 5D, the codec is different but the files are in the same .mov format. I find the image is flat so it has a decent starting point to colour grade from, the canon files can be made a bit flatter giving it an advantage. The flatter the image the better when it comes to post production. What bothers me is the limitation of frame rate, to be stuck with 24fps is not great and this makes the camera a bit simple. To have the option of 25fps and 30fps would make it a lot more serious. Maybe this will be addressed with a firmware upgrade, who knows. As an additional feature on the camera the video is of very high quality, as a camera to buy primarily for video, this is not the camera you are looking for”.