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USB-C to audiojack adapters are not just the bane of smartphones. How is it possible that this trend hit the cameras?

Removing the minijack socket on smartphones somehow got over. The same step in a professional filming camera sounds frivolous, but it has become a fact. The latest Fujifilm X-T4 has a USB-C audiojack adapter in the box.

The war on who gives more camera video functions goes on. Five years ago, hardly anyone thought about flat image profiles, 10-bit color depth or 4: 2: 2 color sampling. Today these functions are already available not only in professional cameras, but also in high-end cameras, which are generally much cheaper than cameras.

Fujifilm is a company known for listening to the needs of its users. The producer has come a long way in recent years, also in the field of video. The Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera was one of the best filming cameras. His successor, the X-T4 just presented is even better. It has a side-swiveling screen, stabilized matrix, 4K / 30p video at 400 Mbps or 4K / 60p at 200 Mbps, all with a 4: 2: 0, 10-bit recording. A lot of numbers and abbreviations that I explained in another entry , but take it a word, it's one of the best video specifications available on the camera right now.

Dozens of video features and no 3.5mm audio output. Instead, a USB-C output and an adapter in a box.

This detail of the Fujifilm X-T4 specification may have escaped the attention of many, and yet the presence of two minijack ports in this class of camera is not so much a nice addition as it is a necessity. One port (audio input) is for connecting a microphone, and the other (output) is for connecting headphones.

Ultra Accessory Connector - iphone 7 minijack lightning adapter

Meanwhile, Fujifilm X-T4 follows the path that we know too well in the smartphone market. The 3.5mm audio output has been removed in favor of the USB-C port, and an adapter is added to the camera box.

This unreasonable and simply stupid trend has just hit the cameras, and not just any, because the strictly specialized, professional construction costing almost 8 thousand. PLN for the body itself.

Paradoxically, the camera's audio output is one of the most important features for me.

If someone does not record with the camera, or does it only casual, it may seem to him that the audio output in such equipment is unnecessary. That it's just one of those weird ports you'll never connect to.

Everything changes when recording becomes your job. I will give my example because every week I change into a (usually one-person) video production division. This means that I have to control the frame, lighting, sound, and watch the content so that the recorded video makes sense and is substantive.

In my mode of operation, i.e. run and gun , what counts is light, fast, but also a good quality set. I use the Sony A7III full-frame camera and the DJI Ronin SC gimbal, but that's all half the story. The other half is sound. Therefore, always, but always during recording, I monitor audio in headphones. Anyone who has broken audio in an important film at least once will do everything to avoid a mishap a second time.

We operate - like the vast majority of production - on wireless audio, i.e. on Rode microports. They are incredibly comfortable, but I can't imagine working with them without monitoring audio on a regular basis, especially at important events, such as at the premieres of smartphones or at trade fairs.

I remember a project in which 5/8 the frequency of transmissions of my transmitters was unusable due to the number of wireless networks in the place where we recorded. If I did not have headphones on my ears, I would notice interrupting audio only during assembly. On the sound chart on the camera screen the whole did not raise any objections.

Another problem is rubbing the tie microphone on the T-shirt material or accidentally touching the microphone. If something like this happens, you need to retake the shot. For all this, doubles are not always possible. If we record ourselves, we have time for corrections, but during conferences and interviews, an error in recording audio would result in a lack of sound or crackling, i.e. completely broken material.

I hope you already understand why monitoring audio for filming is so important.

The case will be resolved, but why complicate the life of filmmakers?

Indeed, the last thing the filmmaker wants in his work set is the audio adapter. It does not bring any benefits, it only complicates the work. It's small so it can get lost. Is an additional element that can break (e.g. break through, break at the nest, etc.). And finally: it is an additional vulnerability potentially causing problems. It is, after all, one more socket that can disconnect and break the record.

It's all in the name ... what? Modernity? I don't think so, because the possibility of wirelessly connecting headphones via Bluetooth with the greatest latency limitation would be a real modernity. Fujifilm does not go this way, however. Instead, it gives a multi-functional USB-C port.

Strangely, a separate HDMI output was saved, but who knows what the engineers at X-T5 will come across. After all, USB-C can also absorb the HDMI port. I hope that this is only a temporary blindness on the smartphone market and that other camera manufacturers will not pick up on this idea.

USB-C to audiojack adapters are not just the bane of smartphones. How is it possible that this trend hit cameras?


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