Conflict – A Short Film by Aidan Tanner & Martin Wojtunik
My name is Martin Wojtunik. I am a Toronto, Canada based Director/ Cinematographer. I sit on the board of directors at the Canadian Society of Cinematographers and am also the co-chair of the Education Committee. Mostly recently I have become an IATSE 667 Cinematographer albeit most of my work is commercials with a focus on tabletop.
The FUJFILM X-H2S is a 6.2K (3:2 Sensor) Camera that can shoot ProRes HQ. This sentence alone should be blowing your mind. Fujifilm has introduced a new mirrorless body to the market, and it is positioning itself rather competitively because it doesn’t have a cinema line to compete against. What makes this such an interesting camera is that it does not have the corporate restrictions to bottleneck certain features or minimize acquisition unlike its competitors. It not only carries all of the fun benefits of being in a 6-10k lineup of its peers (in a considerably modest price point) but it also has a full lineup of cinema glass to support its ecosystem. Fujifilm’s very own X-mount stills glass is great but the ability to go X mount to PL to dress the camera up or down is phenomenal. Often one must go to third parties to do this. But this camera definitely has cinema on its mind.
This camera is very sharp. I found that I had to switch to 4k DCI at some moments while filming to help soften the image a little bit. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is interesting factor that I was able to swap between 6.2k and 4k DCI effortlessly. There was no windowing or scaling. So, I had the confidence to bounce around formats to make sure I was getting the image quality I needed. So often I find that once one scales down the footage the integrity of the image gets obliterated cause cameras tend to only focus on the “best recording mode” of itself and drags along its 4k and 1080p cousins along for some weird charity case. 120fps is amazing and super clean. The first version I had of the camera the 240fps at 1080p was noisy (early pre-production firmware) but that has been solved with a recent update.
Always trying to squeeze more out of any bit of tech. My first instinct was to go Anamorphic. That and I really wanted to try shooting raw to an external Atomos Ninja V+ recorder. It was my goal to try and put it to an ultimate cinema test. Not just compare image for image sake but to throw on professional accessories and PL lenses to see how the camera would hold up to day in day out filmmaking rigor. Once fully accessorized I was quite impressed. It didn’t feel flimsy, the Body was well built. I didn’t experience any overheating issues. (We shot straight to card and to external recorder) We tried to push the recording limits and Fujifilm even offers a fan module, but we never needed it. It should be mentioned we filmed in the desert also, so it was pretty hot to begin with! It was sad to take off the cinema lenses but when we did, we put it on a DJI Ronin S2 handheld gimbal. This was actually pretty fun, since it’s smaller than its true competitors. It was also able to tackle gimbal weight better which meant I could put on heavier lenses without compromise! For example, I was able to fly the X-H2S with a Fujifilm MK-X lens without issue.
Image and recording were top tier. Believe it or not one of the more frustrating challenges was base ISO being 1250 (F-Log2). This actually made it a challenge to shoot in daylight. I never like adding more ND than I need, so to add another couple stops made me nervous for colour shift. GUI and menu layout was a little confusing in some places, that can definitely be streamlined better. But overall, still very quick to learn and most interestingly, for a cinema nut like myself, they have access to their old catalog of film stocks on the camera! This sold me. Being a “film guy” I used to love Fujifilm ETERNA film stocks. So, it was charming to see they put the grain/ colour profiles into this high-resolution camera. Even a ton of options for their still’s lineup! F-LOG was great to work with in Davinci Resolve. I find it’s here where Mirrorless cameras really breakdown. But the F-log is long established now so just going to dailies or just slapping on a F-Log to 709 lut was very easy! Obviously harder to cut on a laptop at 6.2k but if you’re using ProRes HQ then editing is extremely fast.
Again, the most impressive thing for me is that this camera is scalable. You can fully load this camera or shrink it right down to the body and a lens to be ready to film. The versatility, the rugged design, the great film nods, made it hard for me to give it back!