TL:DR The Best Camera For Video Under £/$1000 in 2021
The world of camera updates, specs and huge budget bodies is so full of hype that sometimes there’s some real video shooting gems slip through the net. Top of that pile in the sub 1 grand price point is the Fujifilm X-S10, which is easily the best video shooter for under $1000 this year and I’m gonna tell you why.
We were recently lucky enough to get the X-S10 on loan from Fujifilm and quite simply the camera impressed us so much that I needed to share our experiences here for you too. Less than a grand for everything this small ASPC camera offers is insane value. Now I’m not going to bog down in the spec sheet dullness you tend to see elsewhere, as well, you can see that elsewhere, for this I’m just going to jump in to showing you what this camera is like to use, show you some footage and the talk about the good and bad bits. So without further waffle lets get to those good bits.
Now first I’m up it’s worth noting that Im a sucker for the Eterna Picture profile. Whenever we get to use a fuji camera it’s the first setting I switch to. For me I just love the look and versatility of it, so any test footage you see will be shot in that. You can of course use F-Log if you wanted the full post-production flatness, but I’m not sure that this is the kind of camera that it’s users will be wanting Log format footage. It in truth feels a little overkill, but it’s nice to know the camera could grow with you as a filmmaker.
And talking of adapting with you as you get more in-depth, the X-s10 does allow for a clean HDMi output if you want to use an external recorder like the Atoms Ninja V. Doing that will unlock the fullest capabilities of the X-S10 with a 4k 10bit 4.2.2. output, which for a camera of this size and price is insane.
One of things I loved the most about the X-S10 was it’s light weight and ease of use. The form factor and how easy it is to just to set up and fly with is incredible. It’s the type of camera that you’re happy to carry with you all the time and very quickly can clip to the top of a travel tripod and hit record, capturing a really beautiful shot with minimal effort. It really is a run n gun shooters dream. I’d go as far as to say that this really could be a perfect vlogging camera, for those reasons.
Normally when you call something vlog friendly that can in truth be at it’s expense, it’s almost like saying that it isn’t capable or good enough for more serious filmmaking, but truly with the X-S10 that isn’t the case. As highlighted earlier it’s more than technically capable of keeping up with demanding video shoots but beyond the spec sheets, it is aesthetically good enough too with the image it renders for you. In all honesty there’s very little to dislike about this camera.
Fujifilm’s IBIS system is next level, if anyone has used the big brother to this camera, the X-T4 or maybe their medium format GFX100S will know how good it is. It enable handheld shooting as a viable and almost encouraged format, which in a small APSC body isn’t the norm. However it is probably one of the key sticking points with the camera in general too. You will have to disable it if you want to film any tripod, gimbal or movement shots, as the IBIS jitters are ‘shot-ruining’ if not. It’s a setting I was so frequently reaching for that I actually wish there was a button or programmable shortcut for.
There’s other small points that niggled with the camera, but none enough to put me off it as an investment. The autofocus is snappy, but at times can be a little indecisive, especially if filming without a face in the frame. Also the lower light performance isn’t the best, with noticeable noise at higher ISO settings, but in truth we’re using a sub 1grand APSC camera, so really that is to be expected.
I know I’ve said it a few times, but less than 1 grand for this camera seems to good to be true. From my time with it, I’d comfortably recommend it to any newer video shooters or even those looking for a second camera in their set-up. It’s easy enough to use to make it good for vloggers, but capable enough to keep up with more demanding filmmakers. Truly a mini Fujifilm X-T4 that really punches anything else in it’s price point out of the water.
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