Today I had the opportunity to attend a terrific local concert by the U.S. Army Chorus, a group made up of amazingly talented singers. This was a chance to hear some beautiful music and also to test out the capabilities of the Fujifilm X10 camera to record video and audio.
I’ll be writing about the video features of the X10 in some detail in Photographer’s Guide to the Fujifilm X10, my next camera guide book, which should be coming out in April, if all goes well. For now, I’m just going to give some early impressions and provide a link to a short excerpt from the video I took at the concert.
Today I used only the highest-quality High Definition video setting, Full HD, or 1920 x 1080 pixels. With this and the other HD formats on this camera (as on many others), you are limited to recording just under 30 minutes of video in any one scene. In this case, because the concert lasted about 90 minutes, I stopped the recording after most songs, and then almost immediately started a new recording. In this way, I was able to record every song in the concert. The battery, which started out with a full charge, was just running down as the concert ended.
I used an SDXC (extended-capacity) memory card with a capacity of 64 GB. It worked well, and captured all of the footage with no hiccups or problems.
With the X10 camera, there is not a lot you can do to the camera’s settings for video purposes. For HD video, the camera sets the exposure and focus automatically. You can zoom the lens in and out, which is quite simple because, of course, the zoom function is mechanical rather than electronic.
Please note that my camera work here was not wonderful; I was seated in the audience and was trying to see over or around the heads of those who were seated between me and the singers; sometimes I fidgeted a bit too much and let the camera drift away from the scene.
Anyway, I am providing below a link to a very short excerpt from the U.S. Army Chorus’s performance earlier today of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” written by Julia Ward Howe during the U.S. Civil War in 1862. The link is to a short excerpt whose file size is still quite large — about 70 MB in size — because of the high quality of the video format.
Please click on the following link to view the video: Battle Hymn of the Republic – Short Excerpt You may have to right-click on the link and choose Save As, then save the file and play it in QuickTime Player or some other video player; if you try to play it directly from the link, it may be very choppy.
If you would like to see a longer excerpt from this song, I have uploaded it to YouTube; here is a link to that version.
I have also edited one other excerpt from the concert — a performance of “God Bless America,” led by a soloist and ending with an audience sing-along. The latter part of the video, when I panned the camera around the audience, gives some idea of how well the X10 keeps up with autofocus and autoexposure during video recording. (As with the other footage, my camera work was not the greatest, because I was back in the audience with no tripod, and did not always hold the camera as steady as I would have liked.) That song is fairly lengthy, so I have uploaded it at full quality to YouTube; here is a link to the performance by the U.S. Army Chorus of God Bless America.