NAB 2023 is one of the biggest tech trade shows on the planet, especially if you’re in the market for video, audio, or broadcast tools. Covering such a show is like sprinting a marathon. 

Our goal for 2023 was to get as many interviews as possible, edit the videos, and get them out on the same day. All while staying on budget and not losing our minds.

Did we succeed? Yes, yes, we did, but it was a journey filled with obstacles. Even so, it has forever changed the way No Film School will cover trade shows.

The Camera Kit

Our goal for 2023 might not seem that daunting. Get enough manpower, and you can accomplish anything. But like previous years, we didn’t want to have runners shuffling cards back and forth. We also didn’t want to have our editors on site.

The dream was to record a clip and have it appear on our editor’s workstation. We also wanted our editors to be in the comfort of their own editing suite, not tucked away in the corner of the Las Vegas Convention Center press room. 

We spoke about our dreams to Fujifilm, and the team said, “No problem,” and loaned us a pair of Fujifilm X-H2s with WiFi battery grips. This simple combo allowed us to do what we could only dream of the year prior.

Sounds easy, right? Before we get there, let’s talk about our kit.

Fujifilm X-H2s camera kitThe quality you get from such a small footprint is insane

What Was in Our Kit?

Our team had two Fujifilm X-H2s, two WiFi grips to connect to, a account, two monopods, and a set of XF lenses for each camera. For audio, we had Rode Reporter Mic running through an XLR cable and into the X-H2s via an adapter. 

Getting sound was a whole different kind of journey that you can read about here.

But that was it! For most of the show, we shot on one camera, with the second as a backup. Not only did our cameraman George Mentchoukov appreciate the reduced weight and small footprint, but the compact kit allowed him to be efficient with his coverage and stay on his feet all day (thanks again, George!).

When I was on the show floor, I saw so many cinema cameras rigged out for shoulder use. Some folks were even running an EasyRig to support the weight of their cameras. Then, there was George zipping around with a tiny X-H2s. The weight benefits alone were enough. 

Fujifilm X-H2s on MonopodThis camera setup was stable, compact, and quick to move

The Workflow And Obstacles

We can’t talk about workflow without talking about the obstacles we faced, but we’re happy to say that none of our issues came from the cameras. 

Let me set the scene: the NAB show floor is massive. Central Hall alone is 260,000 square feet, and that’s just one of three locations used for the show. In Central Hall (where we spent most of our time), you can find practically every company that makes cameras, camera accessories, audio, and beyond like DJI, Aputure, Sennheiser, Hollyland, Creamsource, Atomos, Aputure, Canon, and Fujifilm.

NAB 2023 Show FloorThis one corner of the show floor had more transmitters than a teen pop music concert

This first problem was keeping a connection to anything. ​Nearly every single one of these manufacturers had some sort of wireless transmitter. That’s a massive amount of interference to deal with. 

To put that into perspective, I can maintain a solid connection with my AirPods from another room (over a dozen feet away). In Central Hall, they can barely stay connected when my phone is more than 4 feet away. If I put my phone in my pocket, there’s barely a connection to speak of.

We needed to connect to the convention center WiFi and keep that connection. Thankfully there was a dedicated WiFi network specifically for Camera to Cloud. But even then, the connection was spotty. 

To combat this, we devised the following game plan: we would record ProRes LT to the CFexpress card as a backup and have H.264 Proxy files uploaded to The editors would then use the Proxy files to edit and upload to YouTube in HD, as we didn’t need anything more. Throughout the show, this came to about 50 to 60GB of footage for 28 interviews in total. 

Fujifilm X-H2s shooting B-RollShooting B-Roll was super quick

The X-H2s handled this upload to like a dream. When we had a connection, we were golden. In Central Hall, it was hit or miss at best, but when it connected, video clips that were several gigabytes in size were up in the cloud in under a minute.

Best of all was that anything we recorded was added to a queue if we lost our connection and would upload once the connection was restored. When our team had issues in Central Hall, we swapped cameras, took the camera that was mid-upload outside of the hall, and allowed it to finish the job without interruption. That may seem like a tedious way to work, but when we shot interviews in West Hall, there wasn’t that much interference, and clips when up to the cloud without issue.

By Day 2, our editors were actively editing an interview that we were shooting. First, our team would knock out our intro segment and most of our B-Roll, giving our editors some nice clips to start building the timeline while we shot the interview. Once the interview was with our editors, we would pick up any additional B-Roll needed to support the interview. As the camera team moved the second interview, our editors already had a rough edit ready for review (unless it was a pretty B-Roll-intensive video).

NAB 2023 Interview with DulensInterview with Dulens on Day 3

The interview above was shot on Day 3 (our last day) and went live on our YouTube channel about 2 hours after it was done. Our final (non-embargoed) video went up before our flight later that day. For comparison, most of the other videos covering NAB ended up on YouTube the following week. However, some other teams were using the same setup and were just as quick.

Connection Issues

Now let’s talk about the biggest, and, frankly, the only issue we had: the WiFi connection.

The interference was bad, but the show floor during NAB is also the worst place to try and get a Wifi connection. 

If our team managed to get the X-H2s working with at NAB, it’ll work anywhere. So, was it really an issue?

Depending on where your production is, you might have issues getting your clips to upload. If your final delivery doesn’t require 4K, you can get away with using the HD H.264 Proxy files we used.

For YouTube, there were more than enough, and Fujifilm X-H2s produces a gorgeous image, even with Proxy files. This will limit how much data is being transferred. Here's our favorite interview from the show:

But what if you do need high-resolution files but don’t have a connection that can upload them to the cloud? Simply upload your Proxy files, and when your editor is done with the edit, you can reconnect the high-quality files from the cards. This is a workflow every editor should be familiar with. 

If you don’t have a Wifi connection, a hotspot is a great alternative to keep you connected, although that may come with extra fees. We had one as a backup but only ended up using it for a few interviews while the initial WiFi issues were being worked on during Day 1

A Budget Camera-to-Cloud

Tech like this is nothing new. High-end productions have been using camera-to-cloud for years. But having these kinds of tools on a budget that even students can afford is game-changing. 

An X-H2s costs $2,499. With the X-mount, you could adapt cheap vintage lenses or dive into Fujifilm’s XF range or MKX cine zoom line. Both are killer lenses that won’t break the bank. 

FUJIFILM X-H2S Mirrorless Camera

  • 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans Sensor
  • Stacked BSI Design
  • 4K 120p, 6.2K 30p, FHD 240p
  • Internal 10-Bit Video
  • Internal ProRes 422 HQ and F-Log 2
  • 7-Stop In-Body Image Stabilization
  • 5.76m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3" 1.62m-Dot Touchscreen LCD
  • 40 fps E. Shutter, 15 fps Mech. Shutter
  • 425-Pt. Hybrid AF, AI Subject Detection
  • ProRes & Blackmagic RAW via HDMI
  • CFexpress Type B & SD UHS-II Card Slots
Body Only

If you edit on Premiere Pro, you probably already have access to Add in some useful accessories like a tripod, gimbal, and/or a RAW monitor/recorder, and you’re still under $10K. With that, you get internal ProRes, external RAW, 14 stops of useable dynamic, and some of the best IBIS we’ve used. That kind of setup will tackle any production you throw at it. 

But the best part for our team was the battery life. The X-H2s WiFi grip gave our team two extra batteries. When we shot our coverage of NAB, we shot from 9 AM to 5 PM without swapping. I kind of felt bad for asking Fujifilm for two sets of three for backups. We never ended up using them, and we had the camera on all day so it could upload.

A True Production Camera?

I’ve always wanted Fujifilm to make a dedicated cinema camera. Its sensors are incredible, and the feature set that each camera has is usable in practically any scenario I can think of. After using the X-H2s for our coverage, I think Fuji already has. It’s just housed in a mirrorless body. 

Fujifilm X-H2sThis tiny camera did more for us than dedicated broadcast or cinema cameras.

If you have a production that’s on a tight budget but you need a high dynamic range, camera-to-cloud, and the ability to record ProRes and RAW, the Fujifilm X-H2s should be on the top of your list.

Sure, there are other cameras out there that may provide more (or better features), but not at this price point and not with built in. Form factor aside, this is one of the best cameras I’ve ever used, and I’ve shot on RED, Blackmagic Design, Sony, and Canon. The X-H2s also takes killer photos. 

But we want to hear from you. Have you used the X-H2s? Do you agree with our thoughts? Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments!