Wondering how to capture video on your FUJIFILM camera? Look no further. Here are the best settings and key considerations to get you started.
If you’re ready to dip your toes into the world of moving pictures, the first priority is to gather a clear understanding of the most essential FUJIFILM video settings. Complexities like bit rates and codecs come later, when it’s time to fine-tune your workflow. Here, we’ll cover key elements you need to know before pressing the record button and getting the camera rolling.
Thankfully, FUJIFILM cameras are designed as real hybrids, so the only truly essential kit for impressive results is probably already in your bag. Take it out if you want to explore these settings as you read, then let’s get started.
FUJIFILM 4K video cameras
Resolution is first on our list. As it determines much of the visual quality of a video, you may be tempted to opt for the maximum without question. After all, you want the best-looking video, right?
Indeed, all recent FUJIFILM cameras support 4K recording – widely available in consumer cameras – but there are also options for lower resolution 1080p footage. Key considerations are storage space and the purpose of the film.
Generally, 4K files are larger than those of lower resolutions, so if you own a single memory card, capitalising on its capacity with longer, smaller clips might be wise.
Purpose is more of a case-to-case decision. For example, do you need a home movie to be pristine 4K? Perhaps not. If it isn’t going to be viewed on a 4K-capable monitor, the difference between 4K and 1080p footage will be very slight.
There’s a divide between the best cameras for vlogging and professional video – and a big part of that comes down to specs like this. In simple terms, some options will never be needed by certain users. To include them would be unnecessary.
Finally, many FUJIFILM cameras will offer both UHD 4K and DCI 4K. Both deliver a height of 2160 pixels, but the former maintains a consumer standard 16:9 aspect ratio with 3840 pixels in width, while the latter is a wider, more cinematic aspect ratio with 4096 pixels in width.
Choosing the correct frame rate
When you have the right quality setting for the job, you’ll need to select a recording speed. Frame rate is exactly what you’d assume – the rate at which frames are captured, measured in frames per second.
There are two aspects to consider: recording speed and playback speed. It’s the relationship between both that determines much of how your video will look. For the sake of ease, let’s assume playback speed will match our first set of frame rates. Once again, FUJIFILM video settings offer a range of options to meet different requirements.
24fps (truly 23.98) has been the cinematic choice for many decades. It’s said to complement the refresh rate of the human eye well, but beyond that, it’s what we’ve become accustomed to when viewing feature films.
30fps is common for television and web productions, as well as most videos recorded on a smartphone. Motion is captured slightly more smoothly, as more still images are taken per second with less time between. 60fps is a modern digital offering that pushes this idea further.
Much like resolution, which frame rate to opt for is situational. Another important factor is that frame rate can actually limit that resolution, or be limited by it. The FUJIFILM X-T3 can capture DCI 4K at 60p, for example, while the FUJIFILM X-T30 can manage a lesser, but still very respectable, DCI 4K at 30p performance.
Returning to playback speed, we can cover higher frame rate recording or slow motion. In practice, if you were to capture 120 frames in a second, then play all those frames back showing only 24 per second, the entire clip would be slowed to five seconds.
60fps footage offers potential for 2x slow motion when played back at 30fps, but recent FUJIFILM cameras allow for even more impressive results. 120fps recording is offered by many, enabling up to 5x slower playback. The newest bodies, like the FUJIFILM X-T4 and FUJIFILM X-S10, are capable of 240fps capture in 1080p resolution, for an astounding 10x slow motion.
Exposure settings for video
Achieving good exposure settings when filming is fairly straightforward. Just like stills photography, aperture is primarily about the desired depth-of-field, although there may have to be some compromise in low or bright lighting conditions.
Shutter speed is the most complex of the three settings. Conventions dictate following the 180° shutter rule. To ensure smooth motion, simply double the selected frame rate. For example, recording at 24fps would require a shutter speed of 1/50 sec.
The idea here is to ensure a natural degree of motion blur. Too fast a shutter speed and there would be gaps between action within frames, leading to a staccato effect; too short, and the shutter slows enough to capture every visible movement within each frame. There’s nothing to say you can’t experiment with this ‘rule’ on more creative videos, but for a nice, naturalistic home movie, it’s best followed.
Lastly, ISO can balance the exposure following the desired settings above. But some consideration of very high ISO should be made, to avoid capturing noisy footage.
Recording the best in-camera audio
Depending on what you’re recording, visuals may only be half the battle. In cases where diegetic sound is needed – as opposed to sound that’s added later and doesn’t match what’s on the screen, like a song played over clips – there are a few steps to get good results.
First, ensure recording levels are appropriate for whatever sound you’re capturing. This can be done manually or automatically using the INTERNAL MIC LEVEL ADJUSTMENT setting. A few other options are the MIC LEVEL LIMITER, WIND FILTER and LOW CUT FILTER. These reduce the distortion of louder sounds, combat wind interference and minimise low-frequency noise, respectively.
Even with these advanced FUJIFILM video settings, there’s only so far in-camera audio can go. You’ll do well to set and monitor audio carefully, minimise camera and lens handling and work in optimal conditions. But, if it’s the clearest results you’re after, consider an external option.
An accessory like the FUJIFILM MIC-ST1 microphone mounts to the camera’s shoe connects via the 2.5mm port and offers better sound quality, without impacting the weight or operability of the system too much.