Five tips for using Fuji X-T2 4K F-LOG in 2019

Since its release in 2016, the Fuji X-T2 has become one of the most feature-complete, budget-friendly mirrorless cameras on the market. Fuji’s great lens offerings, image quality, and continued firmware updates have turned the X-T2 into an ultimate system for 4K filmmaking and still photography.

F-LOG (Fuji Log) is a great recording mode that makes the most of the camera’s hardware, and software. You will need to do post-production work to get the most out of the X-T2’s 4K video files, however the end results are often stunning, and worth the minimal post-production required.

Information contained in this blog is based on my own personal experience using the X-T2 for filmmaking with Fuji’s built-in 4K resolution internal ‘F-LOG’. I developed these concepts through experimenting and learning how to operate the camera’s hardware and software.


Camera Software and Hardware Settings

You will need the latest XT-2 firmware to record internal 4K resolution footage. I have configured my Fuji X-T2 to use 4K 29.97P resolution (3840 x 2160, 29.97P), recording to 80 MB/s Sandisk SD cards (you can use faster cards, but it’s not vital).

I have configured my X-T2’s button/dial settings (under the ‘Fn/AE-L/AF-L Button Setting’ menu) so that the directional pad controls focus modes, white balance, and microphone volume adjustment. You should set your camera up in a way that supports your work or technique/s.

A lot of content on the Photography Community Internet will recommend Fuji’s ‘Vertical Power Booster’ for the XT-2 – otherwise known as a grip – however this is not mandatory, and in the majority of use cases, it will not detract from your workflow.

Lens Choice and Aperture Selection

Fuji has engineered and created a number of highly regarded lenses for their X-Mount system. While I own both the Fuji 23 f/1.4, and the Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4.0, the latter is what I use for recording 4K footage on my camera; the built-in image stabilisation and zoom capabilities are great.

In my experience, this is the only lens you need to produce great looking footage. The lens is capable of shooting close-up interview footage, wide shots for landscapes/B-Roll, and can act as a versatile tool for many other shots.

I recommend using the Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4.0 stopped down to either f/5.6 or f/8.0, according to the needs of your exposure/histogram, situation, and focal length, as this is where the lens performs at its best, and provides the greatest image quality.

Exposure and White Balance

While Fuji’s F-LOG is very flexible in post-production, and has a great amount of dynamic range, I recommend using manual controls/settings, and not using automatic metering. I keep my camera on 4K 29.97P, 1/60 Exposure, and Custom White Balance (5,300 K for exterior shots).

With these settings effectively locked in, I rely on aperture controls to control my total exposure. As mentioned in the previous tip, the Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4.0’s peak sharpness/image quality is found at f/5.6, and f/8.0, which can make exterior shots difficult (I use a 3-Stop ND filter).

After experimenting with XT-2 F-LOG, I find that consistently over-exposing footage between +0.5 to +1.5 E.V. offers the greatest amount of flexibility in post-production, and I would consider +0.5 to +1.0 to be the sweet spot. Avoid under-exposing your footage by anything greater than -0.5.

Audio

I do not rely on the camera’s built-in microphone for audio recording (which likely goes without saying). I own a RODE VideoMic Pro shotgun microphone, which runs directly into my XT-2 via 3.5 mm jack. I have used this microphone to great effect on documentaries, and personal projects.

I leave the VideoMic Pro to operate on all default settings (powered, with no +20 or -10 gain, and the High Pass filter disabled). I can quickly control the X-T2’s microphone gain settings via D-Pad settings I recommended under the first ‘Tip’ in this blog.

Audio post-production is easily managed via freeware software such as Audacity, however video post-production software (I use Final Cut Pro) can also perform most functions, like high-pass filtering, as well as boosting or lowering the volume of your audio.

Post-Production

The payoff for using Fuji’s F-LOG functionality reveals itself during post-production. Your flat, dull-looking video footage will come to life, with beautiful, rich colours, and vibrant details being revealed. Personally, this final step is one of my favourites in the process of filmmaking.

I highly recommend using Fuji’s excellent Eterna LUT (Look-Up Table) to initially ‘grade’ your F-LOG footage. My typical post-production process for the X-T2’s F-LOG footage is to import it into the editing software of choice, apply the Eterna LUT, tweak colours, exposure, and sharpness to taste.

Post-production really is a subjective process, and your personal tastes, project requirements, and even quality of the video footage, will all come into play when deciding what is ‘right’. I have included some screenshots below of F-LOG footage at different stages.

Fuji XT-2 F-LOG Imported into Final Cut Pro
Fuji XT-2 F-LOG with Eterna LUT applied in Final Cut Pro
Fuji XT-2 F-LOG with Eterna LUT applied, and colour-corrected to taste in Final Cut Pro

Bryce Wilson is a photographer, filmmaker, and freelance photojournalist from Melbourne, Australia.

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Bryce Wilson

Photographer, filmmaker, and freelance photojournalist at bryce.photography
Bryce Wilson is a photographer, filmmaker, and freelance photojournalist from Melbourne, Australia. His work has been focused on providing coverage and reporting from the war in Ukraine's Donbas region since 2015.
Bryce Wilson
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