I recently made the switch from Sony to Fuji. From Full frame to Apsc. Its crazy, but in reality, I have been loving it. My main camera is the Fuji X-T3 and I picked up the X-t30 as a backup/vlog camera. Now, I have used plenty of other “Vlog” cameras extensively (GoPro, Sony Rx100 V, Sony A7III, Dji Osmo Pocket) But I feel like the setup I have with the X-t30 is the closest I have gotten to my ultimate vlog camera. With this setup it ticks off most of the boxes, Its smallish, great audio, amazing image, and its fairly east to operate. What I love about the fuji system is the ETERNA profile. This allows me to get a flat image allowing me to make the image even better with color grading.
The lens I used was the Fuji 15-45 f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. Now I love how this lens is small, has image stabilization and auto focus but there is just one weird quirk I have with the lens. And that quirk is the power zoom, its just too slow. I like to use punch zooms for my vlog but I guess I will have to change that style since this lens cant do that? And then while zooming, since the lens is variable aperture, you can see the aperture close down and its kind of distracting. For a vlog, I feel something like that can slide since the traditional vlog is very informal. Also with the power zoom, sometimes it doesn’t work. For example, I will turn the zoom ring in the direction that I know is to zoom in, but it doesn’t zoom. So then I second guess myself and turn the ring the other way. But it still doesn’t zoom. So then I go back to the side I had it first and then it starts to zoom again. It the same weirdness you get while trying to insert a USB into a slot. And on top of all of that, I sometimes accidentally touch the zoom ring without me knowing and then the frame is not as wide as I would like it.
MICROPHONE I used the Rode Videomicro. I chose this over the video mic pro because I wanted a smaller mic, and the videomicro’s audio quality is good enough for me. The issue with this is specific to the Fuji Xt-30, the mic input is not a standard 3.5mm input, its actually smaller at 2.5mm. So that means that I had to buy a 3.5 to 2.5mm adapter so that I can plug the microphone into the camera. Its not that huge of a deal, but if I loose that adapter, it will be hard to find while I am out traveling the world. I had to order the adapter off of ebay.
For support, I used the FeiyuTech G6 Plus gimbal. I am pretty sure this is the smallest gimbal that can hold a decent amount of weight. With the Fuji x-t30, Rode video micro, and 15-45mm lens, It may have just been slightly overweight. I had the balatnce maxed all the way out and the balance still leans towards one side. I was thinking of attaching a counter balance somehow, but I never did that because the gimbal itself if finicky. The main thing I didnt like is that it takes a bit of time to turn on and off properly. This is huge for me, I want to be able to turn everything on and start vlogging as quickly as possible. This mess just reminds me of the dji osmo pocket. I just couldn’t turn it on right away and start filming. A new product will be coming out soon and that is the switch pod. The switch pod looks to be the perfect vlogging support solution. Unfortunately, they will be released after I am on this trip, so it might be a pain to receive one of these while I am out and about. I have tried contacting them to see if I can pay for an early release model, but I have yet to hear a response. So then that means I am going with the Joby gorilla pod. I will just have to make sure to walk slowly or stand still while vlogging so the footage is not as jittery.
I was also using a Tiffen Variable ND filter. I do not like this filter at all because it doesn’t have a hard stop, so I will have weird color shifts in the image due to the filter being able to go past its limit. As seen in the image BELOW……….
AUDIO SETTINGS : I decided to put the camera on auto audio because I will sometimes film other people that are farther than the normal vlogging distance, so I want the camera to automatically turn the gain up. And I am pleased with the results so far, so I do not see a reason to put it on manual audio, unless I am filming a talking head of myself.
EXPOSURE : I have been playing around with auto vs manual settings and I think I will go with auto settings to a certain extent. What is hard is the auto aperture. When set to auto, the camera does not smoothly open or close the aperture. You can see the hard stops as its trying to adjust for exposure. Sometimes its not that noticeable, and other times its very distracting. I would preferably have it set to auto just for the ease of things like if I am walking around and exposure drastically changes, then the camera can adjust. I will be playing around with this on the trip. I have yet to know specifically what I want. For indoors, I will set the iso to Auto and aperture to manual because the camera can smoothly change the ISO. Typically shooting indoors I need more light, so I would have to bring my ISO up. But I can let the camera adjust for this since it does a good job with it.
WHITE BALANCE: I will have it set up manual unless I will be in a situation to where it will be changing. Like sunrise/sunset. Other than that, I will set my own white balance because I want it to be consistent throughout.
ETERNA : I am not shooting FLOG because I feel that I can achieve a better color grade using ETERNA with this camera. Since it is 8 bit, it doesnt have as much information as the Fuji X-T3, so the flat profile needs a little more baked into the image. But then I also bring down the highlights and shadows to -2 and color is set to -3. This flattens out the image a little more and I feel that I can play more in the color grade, but it is not as flat as FLog to where I am having problems pushing my image in the grade.
Dynamic Range 400 : I saw some other youtubers tests and they have found that they get the best dynamic range at 400, so I just followed.
60 FPS: I just watched corridor digital shoot all of their content in 60fps, so I am trying it out. Its nice because the camera is already setup for slow motion. If I am in a low light environment, I will switch to 24fps.
2048×1080 : I shot at this resolution because this was the largest resolution I can shoot with the X-T30 while shooting at 60fps. And then I shot it at 2048 and not 1920 is just because it is different it makes the image slightly wider since it is cutting off the top and bottom.