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brianwahl

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  1. Thanks for the responses! The Sony stuff in the song videos certainly has a different look than the Fuji, but in my testing I've found I could pretty easily get the Fuji footage to look like the Sony footage if I wanted (I used a Kodak LUT to get most of that look). However, I can't really get the Sony footage to look as natural as the Fuji footage, if that makes sense. Probably the biggest factor for me was more candid everyday type footage. In my studio setup (and with enough time in post), I feel like I can get either camera to give me what I want, but for my own personal stuff - taking video/photos of family and that kind of thing - the Fuji looks better with less work, which is important for me. Regarding Tony's '2x better' video - I do appreciate how he starts it off by saying "None of this really matters". I just saw another video he posted - shot on the X-H1 even - where he again drives home the point that gear matters very little these days, especially since so many camera makers are putting out great stuff. Yeah I've always thought their studio setup has strange/anaemic looking lighting, but that's all a personal preference thing. The stuff they do in natural lighting always looks great. I think they go for that high key fashion kind of look, which is a lot different than what we see these days from most talking head review channels. Their content is excellent in my opinion.
  2. Thanks! I must have missed that comment, but for most people, I'd think 'image' (whatever that means - it's different to different people) is the main factor in choosing a camera. Personally I've used workflows where I shot log almost all the time (Blackmagic at first, and then Sony), but I grew to hate that workflow, and in the work I did, I rarely saw it make a difference. I'd prefer an image straight from the camera that looks close to what my final delivery will be. I will say this, though - Blackmagic's log (they call it 'film') is so much easier to work with than S-log, but in my case that comes down to me not knowing how to work with S-log very well. But different people have different needs/wants from a camera system, so they should pick the system that suits their needs the best.
  3. If you're using manual focus, I think you'll prefer the Fuji over the Sony. The Fuji lets you change the focus system on their lenses to 'linear', which I've found makes a big difference when focussing manually. Plus the peaking on the Fuji is better and more reliable in my experience. The Sony G-Master lenses are actually really nice to use for manual focus - at least the 24-70 and the 70-200 that I have, but again, you pay big-time for them.
  4. Here's a bit of a review after using the X-H1 for about two weeks, both in a hobbyist/family setting and in my more professional workflow (video production is part of what I do for a living). As a caveat, I wouldn't consider myself a pro video guy, though. I'm a hobbyist who turned video into part of my full-time income. I started a company called 'Worship Tutorials', and a youtube channel is a big part of it - I do a lot of video work (probably 3-6 uploads a week to YouTube), so while I'm not doing work for clients, and I don't have a pro background, video quality is important to me. I also realize that the limitations I encounter are almost purely coming from me, not the gear. Background I've been using Sony bodies for about the past 2 years. Before that, I used Blackmagic stuff - Studio 4k bodies, and then an Ursa Mini 4.6k. That was overkill. My church used to use those, and I loved what they could do, but the workflow for me (working on my own pushing out that many videos) just wasn't good. So I sold all of it and jumped to Sony. First with an a7S ii, then the a7R ii (as a 2nd body), then I sold both of those and went with an a9 + a6500. The colors on the a9 are far, far better than the previous gen. a7 stuff. My frustration with Sony is color. And it's a huge deal to me - I believe color is one of the primary emotional pieces of video. And I hate the way Sony handles color. I do realize, though, that the IQ is there - plenty of people create beautiful work with Sony a7-series bodies, and I finally got good enough in post to make stuff that I thought looked great. But it's always a struggle for me - I feel like I'm always fighting for the colors I want. Then I started reading about the X-T2. So I rented (and then purchased) an X-T2, and honestly I loved it. I loved the handling, the physical controls, and especially the colors. Even still images in Lightroom were easier to get what I wanted (with the Sony raw images, I still felt like I was forever fiddling to get the colors I wanted). In video the image was just more pleasing to me. But it lacked things I really wanted - 120p slow motion, IBIS, smooth gradients from different light sources when ISO was set to auto, better auto-focus, etc. The Sony system was just better spec'd. Plus by this time I had invested in the 24-70 G-Master and the 70-200 G-Master lenses from Sony. These lenses are incredibly good. I returned the Fuji, but I've missed it. So another year of fighting with Sony footage, and then X-H1 is released. Again I rented one, and now I've purchased one (along with the 16-55 f/2.8). Several of the key features I wanted have been implemented - IBIS, high frame rate, etc. But to me, again, the killer feature is color, and with the introduction of Eterna, Fuji's color superiority is even better. Pros/Cons - Fuji vs Sony Over the past two weeks, I've shot a lot of video and stills side-by-side with my a9. Here are a list of thoughts... Auto-focus: The a9 (and presumably the a7 iii) is better with AF. Much better. But honestly the Fuji isn't bad, and it's good enough for what I do. This may be a make/break feature for some, though. High frame rate recording: Sony is better here again - the 120 and 60p footage is cleaner. But I've shot a lot of it with the X-H1, and it's certainly not bad. If you avoid things that you know are going to give you aliasing and moire problems, you'll be fine. For me, it will work. Dynamic range: Again, the nod goes to Sony, but it's very close. Especially if you use the 200 and 400% settings on the X-H1. Low Light: Sony wins here. Full frame, plus their magic with high ISO is hard to beat - honestly does anybody beat them? The X-H1 is acceptable, though. Honestly at 10,000 ISO it's a pretty useable image. We are spoiled with ISO performance. Five years ago (and especially 10 years ago), ISO 3200 was the top you could go, and many cameras looked like crap there. IBIS: Fuji is better in my opinion. Handling/ergonomics: I like the Fuji better - a lot. One thing I do like about the Sony cameras is the ability to set up custom presets for 4k 24p, 60p, and 120p (that's how I set mine up, anyway), and be able to instantly recall shutter speed, frame rate, and aperture in one move. On the X-H1, it's a 3 step process, although it's very fast after some practice. Lenses: Tie (but not if you consider how much they cost). The G-Master lenses I have are awesome. But they are very expensive, and big/heavy. Fuji lenses are very good and very affordable. And finally, the most important things - for me, personally... Image Quality: Fuji, by a lot. Now I agree with Tony Northrup's assessment of the 2x IQ thing, regarding stops. I get that technically, the Sony sensor is able to resolve more light, etc. I get that I can shoot at lower ISO's with the Sony, so from a noise-perspective it's cleaner. But when I look at footage shot side-by-side from both cameras, I pick the Fuji every single time. Especially when shooting with Eterna. It's not even close. Workflow: Fuji wins. Because the image is so much better out of the camera - for my tastes - the workflow is much faster. And at the rate that I make videos for my business (as well as candid home videos of family, etc), it makes an enormous difference for me. Even things like render times are way faster, because I'm doing much less manipulation to the image. Emotional impact: Fuji wins. I love using the Fuji system more. Because of my experience with the X-T2, I think I can say it's not a honeymoon thing, too. Although the a9 is a ridiculously awesome camera to use. I really do love it. The other emotional impact thing is the image quality - and I think the fuji wins here, too - because of color. Final thoughts The 'best camera' doesn't exist. Some are better technically than others, some produce a certain look that users may or may not want. Some lack features or have an abundance of features, but honestly the quality of work that is produced is going to lie with the person creating the work. These days cameras are so good that I don't think it matters what brand or model you use. The Sony stuff (especially the current gen stuff like the a9, a7R iii, a7 iii) is better on paper than the X-H1. There's no question. Is it better in actual use? Depends on who's using it. Personally, I think I could create the same quality work with either system, but I'm convinced the X-H1 will get me to the end goal faster. For you, it may be the other way around. Finally, I think the internet can be a toxic place for people who are looking to buy gear. People come into these discussion with biases, or they are far more concerned with spec's on paper than anything else. Personally, I'm actually kind of upset at myself for even considering switching from my Sony gear to Fuji - at some point I/we just need to ignore all the hype with new stuff and just make content - and get better at using the gear we have. Having said that, I'm probably going to sell all my Sony stuff and invest in Fuji, although I still have about two weeks where I can return the Fuji and keep my Sony gear. Sample Work Here's a video I just produced using the X-H1. I did about 6 takes of this song from different angles (which is why I need at least two cameras for what I do - three would be better). Edited/graded in Resolve. I shot it in Eterna, and honestly I did very little to the image. Just a tweak with white balance and contrast/saturation to taste. With my Sony cameras, this would have required 4-5 nodes using a LUT, color manipulation to lows/mids/highs, skin tone isolation/correction, etc. Another video I made with the X-H1, more heavily graded: Here's a very similar project (to the first one) using the Sony a9 and the a6500 together: It's a bit different look, and I like it. But it took a lot to get there. Here's a video I shot with the X-H1 - again using Eterna, and graded in Resolve: And another with the a9, also graded in Resolve: I know there are lots of people probably trying to decide between the X-H1 and the a7iii. I'm one of them, so hopefully my experience can help you make that decision.
  5. Here's a bit of a review after using the X-H1 for about two weeks, both in a hobbyist/family setting and in my more professional workflow (video production is part of what I do for a living). As a caveat, I wouldn't consider myself a pro video guy, though. I'm a hobbyist who turned video into part of my full-time income. I started a company called 'Worship Tutorials', and a youtube channel is a big part of it - I do a lot of video work (probably 3-6 uploads a week to YouTube), so while I'm not doing work for clients, and I don't have a pro background, video quality is important to me. I also realize that the limitations I encounter are almost purely coming from me, not the gear. Background I've been using Sony bodies for about the past 2 years. Before that, I used Blackmagic stuff - Studio 4k bodies, and then an Ursa Mini 4.6k. That was overkill. My church used to use those, and I loved what they could do, but the workflow for me (working on my own pushing out that many videos) just wasn't good. So I sold all of it and jumped to Sony. First with an a7S ii, then the a7R ii (as a 2nd body), then I sold both of those and went with an a9 + a6500. The colors on the a9 are far, far better than the previous gen. a7 stuff. My frustration with Sony is color. And it's a huge deal to me - I believe color is one of the primary emotional pieces of video. And I hate the way Sony handles color. I do realize, though, that the IQ is there - plenty of people create beautiful work with Sony a7-series bodies, and I finally got good enough in post to make stuff that I thought looked great. But it's always a struggle for me - I feel like I'm always fighting for the colors I want. Then I started reading about the X-T2. So I rented (and then purchased) an X-T2, and honestly I loved it. I loved the handling, the physical controls, and especially the colors. Even still images in Lightroom were easier to get what I wanted (with the Sony raw images, I still felt like I was forever fiddling to get the colors I wanted). In video the image was just more pleasing to me. But it lacked things I really wanted - 120p slow motion, IBIS, smooth gradients from different light sources when ISO was set to auto, better auto-focus, etc. The Sony system was just better spec'd. Plus by this time I had invested in the 24-70 G-Master and the 70-200 G-Master lenses from Sony. These lenses are incredibly good. I returned the Fuji, but I've missed it. So another year of fighting with Sony footage, and then X-H1 is released. Again I rented one, and now I've purchased one (along with the 16-55 f/2.8). Several of the key features I wanted have been implemented - IBIS, high frame rate, etc. But to me, again, the killer feature is color, and with the introduction of Eterna, Fuji's color superiority is even better. Pros/Cons - Fuji vs Sony Over the past two weeks, I've shot a lot of video and stills side-by-side with my a9. Here are a list of thoughts... Auto-focus: The a9 (and presumably the a7 iii) is better with AF. Much better. But honestly the Fuji isn't bad, and it's good enough for what I do. This may be a make/break feature for some, though. High frame rate recording: Sony is better here again - the 120 and 60p footage is cleaner. But I've shot a lot of it with the X-H1, and it's certainly not bad. If you avoid things that you know are going to give you aliasing and moire problems, you'll be fine. For me, it will work. Dynamic range: Again, the nod goes to Sony, but it's very close. Especially if you use the 200 and 400% settings on the X-H1. Low Light: Sony wins here. Full frame, plus their magic with high ISO is hard to beat - honestly does anybody beat them? The X-H1 is acceptable, though. Honestly at 10,000 ISO it's a pretty useable image. We are spoiled with ISO performance. Five years ago (and especially 10 years ago), ISO 3200 was the top you could go, and many cameras looked like crap there. IBIS: Fuji is better in my opinion. Handling/ergonomics: I like the Fuji better - a lot. One thing I do like about the Sony cameras is the ability to set up custom presets for 4k 24p, 60p, and 120p (that's how I set mine up, anyway), and be able to instantly recall shutter speed, frame rate, and aperture in one move. On the X-H1, it's a 3 step process, although it's very fast after some practice. Lenses: Tie (but not if you consider how much they cost). The G-Master lenses I have are awesome. But they are very expensive, and big/heavy. Fuji lenses are very good and very affordable. And finally, the most important things - for me, personally... Image Quality: Fuji, by a lot. Now I agree with Tony Northrup's assessment of the 2x IQ thing, regarding stops. I get that technically, the Sony sensor is able to resolve more light, etc. I get that I can shoot at lower ISO's with the Sony, so from a noise-perspective it's cleaner. But when I look at footage shot side-by-side from both cameras, I pick the Fuji every single time. Especially when shooting with Eterna. It's not even close. Workflow: Fuji wins. Because the image is so much better out of the camera - for my tastes - the workflow is much faster. And at the rate that I make videos for my business (as well as candid home videos of family, etc), it makes an enormous difference for me. Even things like render times are way faster, because I'm doing much less manipulation to the image. Emotional impact: Fuji wins. I love using the Fuji system more. Because of my experience with the X-T2, I think I can say it's not a honeymoon thing, too. Although the a9 is a ridiculously awesome camera to use. I really do love it. The other emotional impact thing is the image quality - and I think the fuji wins here, too - because of color. Final thoughts The 'best camera' doesn't exist. Some are better technically than others, some produce a certain look that users may or may not want. Some lack features or have an abundance of features, but honestly the quality of work that is produced is going to lie with the person creating the work. These days cameras are so good that I don't think it matters what brand or model you use. The Sony stuff (especially the current gen stuff like the a9, a7R iii, a7 iii) is better on paper than the X-H1. There's no question. Is it better in actual use? Depends on who's using it. Personally, I think I could create the same quality work with either system, but I'm convinced the X-H1 will get me to the end goal faster. For you, it may be the other way around. Finally, I think the internet can be a toxic place for people who are looking to buy gear. People come into these discussion with biases, or they are far more concerned with spec's on paper than anything else. Personally, I'm actually kind of upset at myself for even considering switching from my Sony gear to Fuji - at some point I/we just need to ignore all the hype with new stuff and just make content - and get better at using the gear we have. Having said that, I'm probably going to sell all my Sony stuff and invest in Fuji. Sample Work Here's a video I just produced using the X-H1. I did about 6 takes of this song from different angles (which is why I need at least two cameras for what I do - three would be better). Edited/graded in Resolve. I shot it in Eterna, and honestly I did very little to the image. Just a tweak with white balance and contrast/saturation to taste. With my Sony cameras, this would have required 4-5 nodes using a LUT, color manipulation to lows/mids/highs, skin tone isolation/correction, etc. Here's a very similar project using the Sony a9 and the a6500 together: It's a bit different look, and I like it. But it took a lot to get there. Here's a video I shot with the X-H1 - again using Eterna, and graded in Resolve: And another with the a9, also graded in Resolve: Sorry for the massively long post. I know there are lots of people reading here probably trying to decide between the X-H1 and the a7iii. I'm one of them, so hopefully my experience can help you make that decision.
  6. That's good to know - thanks! Looks like I'll be exporting everything in 4k now whether the source material is shot in it or not.
  7. That's an interesting question. The original file definitely looks better than the 1080 version on youtube, and I have heard that if you upload a video in 4k, YouTube will show a much higher bitrate version, but I think that's only if you watch the 4k resolution on YT. I did a 4k export and uploaded it - you can see it here:
  8. I would 100% agree with this statement. I haven’t used the GH5, but I have lots of experience with Sony, including full frame and APS-C bodies. Eterna alone is a massive factor in my opinion.
  9. Thanks! And that video is beautifully shot - wow. I sold my old a7S ii months ago, and I don’t miss it at all
  10. Another quick little clip using 60 and 120p footage and Eterna (graded in Resolve). So far the Fuji continues to impress while the Sony's sit on the desk...
  11. Went out and shot some more footage today with the X-H1 around 4pm, hoping to see what kind of dynamic range testing I could do. It was overcast, but the sun was still pretty bright in the sky. All of these shots were using the Eterna film simulation, and almost all at either 60p or 120p, slowed down to 24p in post. I graded this in Resolve and just added contrast and saturation, with slight white balance adjustments as I saw necessary. It wasn't this vibrant in real life (it was a gray day), but I wanted to see what it looked like when I pushed saturation. YouTube definitely makes this footage look mushier than it did when I was editing it.
  12. The X-H1 (and X-T2) also does the 6K to 4K thing, so you get the same type of resolution with their 4K video as you do with the Sony bodies that do that. For me if it's between an X-H1 and an a6500, I'd take the X-H1 all day long, but it's a lot more money. I'm trying to decide between using the Fuji system vs Sony full frame (a7 iii, a9, etc). At this point I think Fuji is winning, and it's 100% based on color. At this point the quality of the final product rests solely on the person behind the camera. Pick you brand - Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Nikon, etc - every single brand makes cameras and lenses that can produce incredible video (and stills). They all have their strengths and weaknesses, and they all will require you to adapt them to your workflow (or adapt your workflow to them). To me it's about picking what strengths and weaknesses are most/least important to me and what best fits the way I work. Color is such a huge factor for me - I'm discovering it may be the most important factor, actually - assuming a camera can do the basics right. And when it comes to color, nobody can beat Fuji, in my opinion. Yeah I think they released that along with the X-H1, and I've seen some people use it with great results. I haven't tested that yet, but I'd like to soon. I actually used to use Blackmagic cameras. I had some Studio 4k cameras and then the Ursa Mini 4.6k. I shot with the film/log profile, but lately I'd rather just get good colors out of the body - log is often more work than it's worth, personally.
  13. At this point I honestly have no idea. I don’t use the a6500 nearly as much as the A9 though. The 6500 is definitely a B-cam.
  14. Ha well his hair is more brown than red (depending on how the sun hits it I suppose), and it's identical to my wife's. The more he inherits from my wife the better :).
  15. Ha! Well I'm the guy without the huge beard :). The drone was a rental just for that trip where we did some video work with a few other companies. And I definitely can't keep both the X-H1 and the a9 - one of them has to go within a month. I do need two cameras for a lot of the work I do, so having two X-H1's would be a nice bonus rather than matching the a6500 and the a9 all the time.
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