Philip Bloom – Shooting a Documentary with the Fuji GFX 100 Medium Format Camera

World-renowned filmmaker Philip Bloom did a talk for Cinema5D on the stage of “Photo+Adventure” Show in Vienna about his experiences of using the FUJIFILM medium format GFX 100 for two weeks, to film his new documentary on the Greek Island of Skiathos.

With impressive video specs, some even beyond full-frame cameras, he wanted to see if it was finally possible to shoot a project with a medium format camera – something he has wanted to do since he got his first digital medium format camera that shot video, badly, back in 2014. In his talk, he discusses the pros and cons of his experiences and whether it was the right choice or not.

Below a summary of what is covered in these videos:

  • Canon 5DII was the first magical camera for cinematography 11 years ago
  • Full-frame is now old news and medium format video is where we should be going
  • The Pentax 645 was first, but the video was very bad full of image artifacts and rolling shutter problems
  • The Fujifilm GFX50S was much better because it didn’t have artifacts, but the rolling shutter was still an issue
  • The Fujifilm GFX100 is the first usable medium format camera for video
  • GFX100 shouldn’t be good at shooting video, but it is good
  • GFX100 isn’t a large camera for videographers
  • You only need 8k for 4k
  • If you used all 102MP it’s about 12k of resolution
  • 1.7x more surface area of Full-Frame
  • 4k up to 30p without crop
  • 10-bit internally in 4:2:0 h.265 HVEC codec
  • You’re more mobile if you do not need an external recorder
  • IBIS which is important for filming
  • AF is solid for filming
  • Low light is good on GFX
  • Bigger sensors give you a different look and better low light
  • 8-bit has nasty banding
  • You can turn Log into Eterna with Fujifilm’s LUT
  • Manual focus in a nightmare with Fujifilm lenses, because their linear focus mode requires too many turns
  • AF isn’t perfect, but it works 80% of the time for his needs, but it does pulse some
  • IBIS was good enough for car shots on a tripod bungeed in the back seat to look good with the 110mm
  • 6400 ISO is great for video
  • It’s a great documentary camera
  • If you use the app for monitoring you lose control of AF so he had to work around it
  • ASCOON wifi transmitter was his solution for being able to see the frame without losing AF
  • Q&A he says that the GFX100 preamps are almost as good as Sony’s
  • The preamp is very strong
  • He used 400mbps ALL-I Log 10-bit

Below the documentaries he made.

More info on Cinema5D’s website.

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