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Posts posted by brianwahl

  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.

    1 hour ago, TwoScoops said:

    Maybe I'm just being facetious but the colours/skintones in Northrup's vedeos look terrible.

    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. 2 minutes ago, Inazuma said:

    Nice review and footage. Great to hear from someone who has used both systems.

    Earlier, webrunner commented that Fuji is "too pretty" and that its stupid to pick a camera just based on image. But I will say its much easier to make a pretty image look grungy than it is to make a grungy image look pretty. That's why the SOOC fuji image is such a draw. 



    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. 39 minutes ago, Robin Billingham said:

    Ill add i can see why people would pick sony over the Xh1 and i see lots of talk about auto focus etc. However i move the same canon fd lenses from camera to camera (sometimes with a new speedbooster) and only use manuel focus for all my stills and video. I forget at times that people use auto as im so used to manuel. 

    Upside with using manuel for stills too and using the same lenses for years (GH1 onwards) is that im a focus ninja with them :)

    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.


    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. 4 hours ago, m43forme said:

    Actually, if you upload in 4k, you get into a higher 1080p bitrate tier as well. I can confirm this to be the case with a number of my videos.

    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.

  6. 12 hours ago, kye said:

    Nice footage.

    If you get a chance it would be interesting to see the quality if you exported and uploaded this in 4K/UHD to YouTube.  I've done tests and found that YT compression is far less brutal on 4K.

    I see lots of compression artefacts but it's hard to know what is the camera and what is YT.

    If you don't have time then no worries - thanks for sharing!

    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:


  7. 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.


  8. 15 hours ago, kidzrevil said:

    @brianwahl I’ve been using it as an A cam because I really like the look the focal reducers add to the a6500 image. That and the 6K to 4K image was a big win for me. I was hoping the fuji would blow the a6500 out the water in image quality but it looks like sony is still on top

    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.

    28 minutes ago, kidzrevil said:

    Fuji just dropped an Eterna lut for FLOG. Wow. Safe to say they are kinda serious about this video thing ? I smell a gh5 like major firmware update if this thing keeps up the pace in sales

    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.

  9. 11 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

    Wow you have a lot of toys. Can I adopt you? Also you need to trim your beard if that happens LoL. Well done. Been nice to had a A, B comparison with the X-H1. I wonder if F Log is up to par with the S log on the Sony.

    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.

  10. Also as a comparison to the X-H1 footage, here's something I did recently with the Sony a9, which is great for video, despite it's lack of picture profiles. No skin tones in here, though, and this is much more heavily graded. Also - ignore the random bits of Mavic Pro footage :)


  11. 9 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

    I did not take this, my son seems to have commandeered my A7s LoL. But this is the color and look I like. I know it is not a Fuji, it is a A7s. That is the reason I bought one. My different strokes.

    I used an a7S ii as my main camera for a long time. For me, any shot that didn't have people in it looked great, but I could never get the skin tones to look how I wanted them. That camera is pretty incredible when it comes to low light, though. It can see in the dark.

  12. Since I'm trying to evaluate whether I want to sell all my Sony gear for a Fuji setup, I've been taking a lot of photo/video over the past two weeks (I rented the X-H1 first, then just bought one with the idea that I'd have 30 days to return it).

    So here are a few clips at various settings and conditions. I'll try to remember what I did for each of these. Sorry the subject matter is almost exclusively my son, but he makes for a good test subject. I'll note the appropriate settings above each video. All these videos are using autofocus. Also, everything here is hand-held using IBIS as the 16-55 does not have IS.

    The main work I do is in a much more controlled setting, so I can make most any camera with decent image quality work for that (you can see what I do here - YouTube). I also take a ton of candid home-video type stuff, and I don't have the time really to grade each piece of footage I take. A big factor for me is having a camera that looks very good with minimal effort.

    Astia Film Simulation, AWB, Light grade
    This is pretty much how Astia looks right out of the camera. I used auto ISO here to see how it would do. Also tried zooming a bit here and there with the 16-55. It actually keeps focus if you don't go crazy with zooms. Nothing at all like the a9 with the 24-70 f/2.8 GM. That thing locks focus and keeps it through the entire zoom range.


    Eterna Film Simulation, AWB
    I graded this to add contrast & saturation, but didn't change color much. It's a tough scene with bright back light (from the door), and I wanted to see how the camera would handle it. The very last shot in this video was with the Sony a9 using the Natural picture setting, and I graded it to match the Fuji footage. There is some 60fps footage in here as well.


    Eterna Film Simulation, AWB
    Again, a pretty tough lighting situation with a lot of back light. This is a very light grade - bit of contrast added back in. 


    Various Film Simulations, AWB
    Here I wanted to see how easily I could match different film simulations, and if they had different effects on overall color. I honestly can't remember which ones I used here, but I tried to make them all look roughly the same. I realize this is not something you'd typically do, but I was curious. I also stabilized some of these clips in Resolve to see how well it worked. I'd say in some it didn't work that well, ha.


  13. 7 minutes ago, Matthew Hartman said:

    You could have mitigated the blown out sky by not backlighting your subject matter. Had you simply turned 90° or 180° you  (or had a bounce board) could have brought down your overall exposure and you wouldn't have had such a high contrast ratio. You had golden hour working to your advantage but didn't utilize it. 

    You have to be more selective with your staging when working with cameras that have limited dynamic range. It's about knowing your tools and how best to use them, instead of trying to force them to do something they weren't designed to do and then blaming it. 

    Please note: I'm using you and this post as a springboard for a teachable moment. 

    Yeah I knew the highlights would be blown - this was just a casual test. Full sun in the background while the subject is in shadow is rough...

  14. 1 hour ago, kidzrevil said:

    Damn if I needed AF as bad as you guys do I’d be out of canera options ? is it too much to ask to see if the camera is any good when taking the traditional route and manual focusing ? Im still one of those oddballs that thinks AF is too early and too unreliable of a feature to be used in the field. What the computer wants to focus on and what I want to focus on in a shot...lets just say we don’t always agree...even in stills LOL. 

    I really want to know about the more critical things about the camera like is the image prone to macroblocking ? Is there heavy noise reduction like the NX1 ? How does it compare to the venerable gh5 or the sony a6500 ? What about that divine looking Eterna profile ? I want to know where this camera is on the food chain compared to the other bodies we have available today. Im seeing pages of AF talk and im over it. Do we need to make a seperate thread solely addressing image quality and usability ? 

    Here’s some (very slightly) graded Eterna footage shot at 120fps. 

    I have a Sony A9 and a6500. I’ve owned an a7S ii and a7R ii. I can get the Sony footage to look this good (color-wise), but it takes a LOT of work, granted I’m no colorist. With the Eterna footage, it’s effortless - literally just a bump in saturation and contrast. 

    The dynamic range may not net quite as good, and the slow motion footage may be slightly more prone to aliasing, but color is far more important to me than those things - I believe color has a much more emotional impact when viewing video. 

    EDIT: Sorry for the double post of that video. I posted it a few days ago but my post was under moderation (just signed up for this forum), and I see now that it’s just been approved (on the previous page).

  15. I find the focus works pretty well. Compared to my A9 it’s not as good, but it keeps up with my 5 year old, which is no simple feat. 

    I’ll also add that I owned an X-T2 briefly and the autofocus on that body did seem more reliable and accurate than my experience so far with the X-H1. 

  16. Here is some 120 fps footage I shot with the X-H1 tonight of my son and some of his friends from the neighborhood. Used 1/250 shutter speed, ISO 200, Eterna film simulation, auto white balance. Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8 lens.

    I boosted saturation in post by about 10% and adjusted exposure slightly (including adding a bit of contrast) in Resolve, but this is pretty much straight out of the camera with a contrast/saturation boost. The highlights are blown out in places, but they were in shadow with full sun in the background - that's a tough scene for any camera. There is some aliasing visible on some of the straight lines in the homes in the background (rooflines), but overall I think this footage looks pretty good - certainly good enough for me for the B-roll kind of footage I shoot.

    I'm actually a Sony shooter - I run a company/youtube channel called 'Worship Tutorials', and video is one of the main things I do. Currently my main camera is a Sony a9 and an a6500. The a9 is actually my favorite Sony body for video, even without the picture profiles. I've used the a7S ii and the a7R ii in the past as well, and the a9 just looks better, with far better colors, than either of those, picture profiles or not. The slow motion footage out of the a9 is cleaner than the X-H1, but not by much, and the colors and overall picture out of the Fuji is far better, in my opinion.

    I'm honestly just sick and tired of dealing with Sony colors. I can actually match the Sony footage to look a lot like the footage from the X-H1 (with various film simulations), but it's so much more work. With the volume of video work I do (I upload 4-6 times per week to youtube), workflow speed is important to me, and with the X-H1, it's just so fast and easy to get a very good looking image.

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