Need to monitor audio whereas taking pictures video on the Fujifilm X-T4? You will want a dongle.

Only a fast warning: I’m going to clobber Fujifilm a bit on this column. However not till I reward Fujifilm.

A number of brief years in the past, Fujifilm was the final digital camera firm I related to nice video. At a time when opponents’ cameras had been capturing serviceable 1080p footage, Fujifilm’s fashions slotted in someplace between the Fisher Value Elmo video digital camera and the iPhone four when it comes to video high quality.

A ‘worst to first’ story?

My, how instances have modified.

At this time, Fujifilm is a shining instance of what’s doable when a conventional digital camera firm decides to sort out the problem of video. There’s no complacency right here, and lately the corporate has not solely caught up with, however surpassed, lots of its opponents in key areas. Latest fashions ship stunning 4K video, 10-bit shade and help the H.265 codec as much as 400 Mbps. F-Log gamma offers post-processing flexibility, and the attractive Eterna movie simulation delivers stunning cinematic footage.

Fujifilm’s early efforts at video had been lower than spectacular. In recent times, nevertheless, the corporate stepped up its sport and is a prime contender within the mirrorless area.

With the X-T4, Fujifilm dials it up a couple of extra notches. In-body picture stabilization, separate menus for stills and video, F-Log view help for visualizing a LUT in-camera, 240 fps recording, a devoted Q-menu for video and far more present that Fujifilm is critical about interesting to video shooters.

That’s why its resolution to omit a headphone jack from the X-T4 is solely thoughts boggling, particularly contemplating that the X-T3 consists of one. Right here’s the issue: being critical about including options that individuals need and recognizing how prospects truly use your product are two various things.

Being critical about including options that individuals need and recognizing how prospects truly use your product are two various things

For all the nice enhancements – and they’re nice – the X-T4’s design overlooks one of the primary ideas a video shooter cares about within the area: a dependable workflow with as few factors of failure as doable. Each time you introduce one thing like an adapter between connectors you improve the chance of one thing going fallacious. Some issues will at all times go fallacious within the area, however there are particular key issues that simply can’t go fallacious, and the flexibility to watch audio is certainly one of them.

I have been right here earlier than

I used to be an early adopter of mirrorless cameras for video work and embraced fashions just like the Panasonic GH2. There was a LOT of room for enchancment in that digital camera, however I discovered cheap workarounds for many issues.

Nevertheless, it had an enormous Achilles heel, and it’s virtually the identical one because the X-T4: it used a non-standard 2.5mm microphone jack that was incompatible with the usual 3.5mm plug on most sizzling shoe microphones (just like the Rode VideoMic sequence).

I ordered a pair adapters and threw them into my bag, however adapters and dongles have a behavior of disappearing or failing with out warning. Because of this, I subsequently bumped into a number of conditions the place I could not join a microphone as a consequence of a lacking or, in a minimum of one case, a faulty adapter. Was it the tip of the world? No, but it surely was very disruptive and irritating, notably because the digital camera included a jack – only a non-standard one.

Requiring an adapter to watch audio on the X-T4 is paying homage to Panasonic’s resolution to make use of a non-standard 2.5mm microphone jack on the GH1 (above) and GH2 – one thing that wasn’t widespread amongst videographers.

When this occurred, it didn’t matter how succesful the GH2 was when it got here to video high quality. The truth that it launched a degree of failure to one of the basic components of my workflow did. The place will you be whenever you uncover you’re lacking the USB adapter for the X-T4? I don’t know, however the issues I do know are 1) it will be exactly whenever you most want it, and a couple of) USB to three.5mm adapters aren’t the best factor to exchange shortly, until you are fortunate sufficient to be near an enormous field or electronics retailer.

If equity to Fujifilm, there’s one strategy to get a headphone jack on the X-T4: you should use the battery grip. This will enchantment to some individuals, however until you want the grip it is principally a extremely large dongle. The headphone jack ought to actually be an integral a part of the digital camera.

Why Fujifilm must get this proper

Some might argue that the X-T4 isn’t a ‘actual’ video digital camera, and subsequently omitting a headphone jack isn’t an enormous deal. You’re proper: it’s not a C200 or an FS7 or the rest in that class. It doesn’t have XLR inputs, SDI connectors or any variety of different issues. Additionally, one might pretty argue that the Fujifilm X-H1—a digital camera we praised for its video capabilities—had the identical limitation, so why complain?

As a result of the essential definition of what a video digital camera is has advanced, notably within the prosumer market; whether or not for dimension, funds or simply familiarity, many creators—together with lovers exploring the world of video—at the moment are utilizing mirrorless cameras to provide content material that might have required a professional video digital camera up to now.

Fujifilm, if you wish to enchantment to videographers please do not introduce a possible level of failure to a essential a part of the workflow.

I’m satisfied that Fujifilm is attempting to enchantment to those customers, and it is definitely getting their consideration with a product just like the X-T4. Not solely can it shoot stunning video, but it surely’s a reasonably self-contained, stand-alone answer due to all of the tech packed into it.

Which is why eradicating a characteristic that’s so essential to the video manufacturing workflow, and which was included on the digital camera’s predecessor, is solely baffling. It means that whereas Fujifilm has accomplished an incredible job of including options that videographers will love, it nonetheless doesn’t fairly perceive how they work.

Regardless of what I’ve written right here, I’m actually trying ahead to utilizing the Fujifilm X-T4 to shoot video. It’s an thrilling digital camera and I already know I’m going to adore it, however I will have a number of USB to three.5mm adapters in my possession earlier than I decide to utilizing it for something critical.


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