Remember when someone said, around 2009, that a digital motion picture camera was just a still camera that shoots at 24 fps? Now we’ve come to the point where those digital still cameras are shooting remarkable video for major motion pictures. The convergence continues.
Fujifilm is introducing their latest APS-C mirrorless digital still/video camera: X-T3. Michael Bulbenko, Professional Markets Training Manager at Fujifilm North America calls the new X-T3, “A camera with beautiful 4K 60p 422 10-bit video that’s helpful for high end productions.”
This summer, Matthew Libatique, ASC shot “A Different Beyond” using early models of the new Fujifilm X-T3 camera system. Matty was Cinematographer and Director of the short. It was produced by Chromista.
Matty is known for trying different formats, cameras and lenses. He shot Black Swan in Super16 film. Straight Outta Compton used a riot of anamorphic and spherical lenses. Money Monster mixed Alexa, RED and Panavision cameras with C-, E-, G-series and other lenses.
Matty explained, “I wanted to put the Fujifilm X-T3 camera to the test—to see how it acts in low light, bright light, as to color and saturation and put it through the same process I do to test any camera. I think that F-Log is one of the camera’s greatest achievements. Having this kind of dynamic range and latitude is something we need to make films. I like the X-T3’s film simulation and the choices of Eterna look, Velvia, Chrome, and so on. This is especially good for a filmmakers because that’s how we see things—like film.”
On “A Different Beyond,” the X-T3 worked on all kinds of setups: camera car with arm and stabilized remote head, tripod, dolly, gimbal, ladderpod, slider, handheld and mounted on a MoVi Pro.
A pre-production X-T3 system landed at FDTimes just in time for this edition and a couple of NDA days before Fujifilm’s major launch event on September 6.
This is the latest, top of the line APS-C mirrorless X Series Fujifilm digital still and video camera. The sensor measures 23.6 x 15.6mm. The X Mount has a 17.7mm flange focal depth (FFD). You can also use an X Mount to PL adapter.
There are more than 25 Fujifilm X Series X Mount prime and zoom lenses that fit the X-T3. If you buy one lens, please try the XF35mmF1.4 R (shown at left). The Fujifilm lens designers call it the “God lens” because it is so good.
For video as well as stills, the all-manual, extremely lightweight, compact Fujifilm MKX 18-55 T2.9 lens is a wonderful way to go. It is an affordable, par-focal lens (stays in focus throughout the zoom range) with an X Mount.
Many cinematographers have seen this lens before as an MK lens with a Sony E-mount (18mm FFD).
Pair the X-T3 and MKX 18-55 with an MKX 50-135mm T2.9 Zoom Lens and you pretty much have an entire camera truck that fits into your backpack. The experience is unique—an ergonomic joy. These cine lenses are lighter and better balanced than many still photography zooms. And the images are gorgeous.
The X-T3 can record simultaneously to the internal SD card and an external recorder via the HDMI connector. Internal 4K/UHD 60p and 30p recording to the SD card is 4:2:0 10-bit. External 4K 60p recording via HDMI is 4:2:2 10-bit. Video compression choices are H.264, H.265 and All-Intra Frame (up to 4K/30p).
Production stills on this and previous page by Michael Bulbenko, of course with an X-T3.
Product shots by Jon Fauer.