Fujifilm cameras are a bit special. You have a few more dials on top because Fuji wants to stay retro, which is actually a nice thing. But it can be a bit confusing when you get started shooting video on the Fujifilm X-T4.
I actually needed about 2-3 hours to learn how it works, so in this article, I try my best to save you this time.
Getting started shooting Video on the Fujifilm X-T4
The very first thing you want to do is to set the X-T4 to movie mode via the upper ring dial (stills/movie switch). After that, you open the camera menu, where you’re directly in the movie menu. There you find a setting called “Movie optimized control”. Set this setting to on. This changes the way you control the camera to make it easier for video shooting.
Basically what this means is that instead of using the upper- and lens dials to set your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, you can now use the wheels at the back and the front of it.
And there is a really important thing to know about these wheels (which took me some time to find out): You can actually press these wheels to switch the setting you change. So if you press the back wheel, you switch between aperture and ISO setting. You can also press a third time to set not to off, in case you don’t want to change any of that.
It indicates which setting you change with a wheel icon on the screen.
What you also need to know is that if you go beyond 8000 when raising the shutter speed, the X-T4 goes into automatic shutter speed mode. So if you don’t want that, just scroll back one step and you’re at 8000 again without automatic. – Another thing that I found a bit annoying in the beginning.
Setting up the top dials
To be safe that no top dial setting interferes, simply set the left dial (ISO) to C, the dial in the middle (shutter speed) to T, and the right dial (exposure compensation) to C.
These settings ensure that nothing is set statically, even if you quickly switch to photo mode to get a still shot. So you won’t have to switch between two different ways of controlling the camera when shooting either photo or video.
Movie Menu Settings on the X-T4
The first setting here is “Movie Mode”. I’ve always set it to 4K and depending on what I shoot and if I need slow motion or not, I set it either to 24p (23.98p) or 60p (59.94p). Of course, you’re free to choose here. If you prefer 25p in Europe/Asia or 30p instead of 24p is totally up to you. 24p is my preference as it gives more flexibility than it comes to slow motion (40% instead of 50%…).
My bitrate is set to 200mbps, but more about that under Movie Compression.
The file format depends a bit on your computer. I personally record in MOV, because I edit on Apple devices only. I also choose H.265 (HEVC) recording because that has better compression and therefore gives me the highest quality. The problem is that H265 is hard to edit on many computers. I recommend getting one of the new M1 MacBooks/Mac Minis or a 16inch MacBook Pro to edit those files. iPads and other MacBooks after 2017 also work great.
Note that in other formats as H.265 you might not be able to choose all other recording modes.
I also added these settings (resolution and frame rate) to my quick menu. That allows me to change these settings quickly. So I can switch between talking in a 24p shot and slow-motion b-roll in 60p quickly while I’m on the go.
I’ve set it to Long GOP (200mbps) because that’s the only option to record in 4K 60p. And so even if I shoot in 24p, I just leave it there. The quality is really good in this format. But if you want the very best quality and editing speed in 24-30p, you can also set it to All-I compression (400mbps).
All-I compression saves every single frame fully instead of the changes between certain keyframes. That makes editing quicker as less processing is required and it gives you better quality.
Full HD High-Speed Recording
I’ve set this up in my quick menu as well. So if I need an even slower slow motion shot, I can shoot in Full HD (1080p) with 120p, which gives me a 20% slow-motion effect. The 1080p from this camera looks pretty good and you can easily upscale it to 4K without anyone noticing it without pixel peeping. But I only recommend 120p and not 240p because in 240p the quality degrades a lot, which makes the footage unusable.
If you need a 10% slow motion, just film in 120p and then use optical flow in your video editor (work in Final Cut, Premiere, and Resolve) to slow it down to 10%. Because you already have a pretty high fps, it’s quite easy for the software to calculate the frames in between. So it actually looks pretty good.
I mostly shoot in Fujis Film Simulations. My favorites are Classic Chrome, Eterna and on cloudy/rainy days Eterna Bleach Bypass. But sometimes these profiles don’t give enough dynamic range to capture all the details I need.
In those situations, I use F-LOG, which gives a very flat image and therefore covers the most dynamic range possible on this camera. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to set F-LOG in the quick menu. So I added it to my menu tab at the very top. So when I access the menu, I directly have this option marked and can therefore switch between F-LOG and film simulation very fast.
I never used HLG, so I can’t say anything about it.
Tone Curve (Better Dynamic Range for Film Simulations)
Fujis film simulations are oftentimes a bit too contrasty, but you also don’t want to take the extra steps in post-production by color grading F-LOG. For that, there is a kinda in-between solution, which is called “Tone Curve” in the menu.
In the Tone Curve menu, just set both Highlights and Shadows to -2. This decreases the contrast of the chosen film simulation and therefore captures more dynamic range.
The advantage here is that it requires less color grading and you directly get the right colors of your favorite film simulation.
Note: There is also the dynamic range setting in the Movie Menu, which lets you capture a higher dynamic range as well. But I didn’t try it out by myself as I heard mixed stuff about the results from different users. (I will update this post if I do!)
Custom Settings for the Quick Menu
To have quick access to my favorite film simulations in the standard (contrasty) and flat (tone curve -2) formats, I created custom profiles for all of this and added the custom profile switcher to the quick menu.
Here are my custom profiles:
- CC-Standard (Classic Chrome)
- CC-Flat (Classic Chrome with tone curve -2)
- EC-Standard (Eterna)
- EC-Flat (Eterna with tone curve -2)
- EB-Standard (Eterna Blech Bypass)
- EB-Flat (Eterna Bleach Bypass with tone curve -2)
So depending on the situation and what colors I want, I can change everything within just a few seconds 🙂
More Quick Menu options
I’ve also set more options up in the quick menu, which I change quite often.
Most important here is the white balance and the custom Calvin setting as that changes constantly and automatic white balance is hard to fix in post.
And also the stabilization options found a place here as the digital stabilization (DIS) adds an additional crop. So if I want to film myself for example and I don’t need the very best stabilization, I can quickly turn DIS off to get a wider viewing angle. The normal IBIS + OIS option generally gives enough stabilization for vlogging for example and combined with 24, 25, or 30p, it doesn’t crop at all, which is great if the camera is close to you.
I hope this article was helpful. Also, have a look at the video on top of this article to see how these settings perform and to understand certain settings a bit better.
Also, make sure to subscribe to my channel for upcoming tutorials.