Fujifilm X-T4 Review

Fujifilm X-T4 review
Review
Website: Fujifilm

Price when reviewed

£1549

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Our Verdict

It may have the same 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 processing engine as the X-T3, but the Fujifilm X-T4 also has 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, a quieter shutter, a bigger battery, a great new Film Simulation mode and a vari-angle touchscreen. All this combined with Fujifilm's image-quality knowhow makes the X-T4 the company's best X-series camera to date. It's not really an automatic upgrade choice for X-T3 users, but X-T1 and X-T2 photographers will love it. More significantly, it's very attractive to anyone contemplating their first serious Fuji camera.

For

  • In-body image stabilisation
  • Vari-angle touchscreen
  • Excellent viewfinder
What is the Fujifilm X-T4?

The Fujifilm X-T4 is an APS-C format mirrorless camera and the natural successor to the Fujifilm X-T3. However, the X-T3 is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Fujifilm has given the X-T4 the same 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 processing engine as the X-T3, but it has some highly desirable upgrades including 5-axis in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), a quieter mechanical shutter, faster continuous shooting, a vari-angle touchscreen and a larger capacity battery.

Although the image quality is essentially the same, these enhancements, and a few others, look set to make the Fuji X-T4 the best X-Series camera to date.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

Specification

  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 26th February 2020
  • Sensor: 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor
  • Processing engine: X-Processor 4
  • Lens mount: X-Mount
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 160-12,800 expandable to ISO 80-51200
  • Viewfinder: 3.69-million-dot high resolution EVF (100% coverage)
  • Screen: Vari-angle 3-inch 1.6 million dot touch screen LCD
  • Autofocus system: Intelligent hybrid with up to 425 selectable AF points
  • Continuous shooting: Mechanical Shutter: 15fps, Electronic Shutter: 20fps continuous shooting at full resolution with AF
  • Max video resolution: C4K (4096×2160) at 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 400Mbps/200Mbps/100Mbps, 4:2:0 10bit internal SD card recording; 1080/240p
  • Storage: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 134.6×92.8×63.8mm (37.9mm at the thinnest point)
  • Weight: 607g including battery and card, 526g body only
Fujifilm X-T4 review
Features

In many respects the Fuji X-T4 is the same as the X-T3. However, the new camera makes some significant upgrades. For many photographers the most significant of these is the addition of in-body image stabilisation (IBIS).

Image stabilisation was a notable omission from the X-T3 specification sheet. This came as a surprise to some who expected it to be present after Fujifilm included it in the X-H1. However, the X-H1 is significantly larger than the X-T3 and that is in part because of the size of the IBIS unit.

Two years down the line after the introduction of the X-H1, Fujifilm has managed to shrink the IBIS unit by 30%. It’s also 20% lighter. This was achieved by using magnets instead of springs in the system and it means that it’s now small enough to fit within an X-T Series camera shell.

The X-T4’s IBIS works over 5 axis and has a claimed shutter speed compensation value of 6.5Ev with 18 of Fuji’s XF and XC lenses. It works in tandem with the IS system in stabilised lenses, using the lens-based system first and making up any shortfall with the in-body system.

According to Fujifilm UK, it’s better than the X-H1’s IBIS. And helpfully, it functions with third party lenses over 3 axis.

The Fujifilm X-T4’s IBIS also operates in video mode, along with a new Digital Image Stabilisation (DIS) system and IS Mode Boost.

Mechanical Shutter Unit

Fujifilm has given the X-T4 a new mechanical shutter unit. This is dampened and 30% quieter than the X-T3’s mechanical shutter. Crucially, it also enables continuous shooting at up to 15fps (frames per second).

Using the mechanical shutter at high shooting rates avoids the risk of rolling shutter effects when photographing some moving subjects.

However, the X-T4 can also shoot at fast rates with its electronic shutter – just like the X-T3. That means it’s possible to shoot at up to 30fps with a 1.25x crop applied.

Battery

One of the criticisms often levelled at mirrorless cameras is that they are power-hungry. Fujifilm has attempted to compensate for this with the X-T4 by giving it a new higher-capacity battery.

The new NP-W235 has around 1.5X the capacity of the NP-W126S battery used in the X-T3. This extends the life on a single charge to around 500 images in Normal mode and 600 frames in Economy mode.

There’s also a new battery grip, VG-XT4 that can accept two additional NP-W235 batteries to enable up 1,700 images to be shot.

If the battery is charged using the charger supplied in the box with the X-T4, it will reach full capacity in around 3 hours. Alternatively, it can be charged in-camera via the USB-C port although a power-delivery type connection is recommended.

Read our Fujifilm X-T3 review

Film Simulation Modes

Fuji’s Film Simulation modes have proved very popular amongst photographers wishing to share images direct from their camera. They are also useful for anyone who wants their stills and videos to match.

The X-T4 introduces new variant of the Eterna Film Simulation mode introduced with the X-H1.

Called Eterna Bleach Bypass, the new Film Simulation mode has lower saturation and higher contrast than the Standard option. It’s a popular look for movies, but it can also be applied to stills.

New Autofocus Algorithm

As the X-T4 has the same sensor and processing engine as the X-T3, it also has the same Intelligent Hybrid AF system that uses both phase and contrast detection.

In Single point AF mode there are up to 425 selectable AF points arranged in a 25 x 17 grid. Alternatively, it can be set to 117 points in a 13 x 9 grid, and the size of the points can be varied.

In addition to Single point AF, there’s Zone AF which allows the AF points to be selected in 3 x 3, 5 x 5 or 7 x 7 groups, and
Wide/Tracking AF.

While the hardware is the same as the X-T3’s, Fujifilm has reworked the autofocus algorithm for the X-T4. This enables the camera’s continuous AF system to keep pace with the maximum (15fps) shooting rate of the mechanical shutter. As a knock-on effect, the Face & Eye AF and AF Tracking are also improved.

Video

Like the X-T3, the X-T4 can shoot C4K (4096 x 2160) MOV video at up to 60p. However, it can also record in MP4 format.

In addition, its possible to record Full HD video at up to 240p (with continuous focusing), twice the rate possible with the X-T3. That’s great news for those who like to see action in slow-motion.

And, as I’ve already mentioned, there’s Digital IS and IS Mode Boost for smoother footage.

Other improvements for videographers include F-Log View Assist (based on BT.709), back-up recording and the ability to fix the movie crop so that the framing stays the same even if you switch between different resolutions.

In addition, the 3.5mm mic jack can be set to Mic or Line (depending upon what you want to connect) and there’s control over the level.

The X-T4 doesn’t have headphone port, but there’s a USB-C to headphone adapter supplied in the box.

Fujifilm has also made a useful handling and control change for videographers. The main and Quick menu options and layout change depending upon whether the camera is set to stills or video mode. That means you don’t have to wade through lots of unnecessary menu options to find the ones you need.

Fujifilm X-T4 review
Build and Handling

While the Fuji X-T4 looks very similar to the X-T3, there are some important differences. For a start, the new battery and the addition of the IBIS unit mean that the X-T4 is a little bigger at 134.6×92.8×63.8mm (WxHxD) and 37.9mm at the thinnest point rather than 132.5 x 92.8 x 58.8mm and 35.4mm at the thinnest point.

It’s also heavier, 526g body only vs 489g.

Fujifilm has also taken the opportunity to give the front and rear grips a little more definition, which makes the camera that bit more comfortable and secure-feeling in your hand – even when it’s wet.

As soon as you trip the shutter it’s clear that the shutter is quieter and better dampened. It adds the high-quality feel of the camera overall.

Controls

Some purists may be unhappy to learn that the  metering mode is now selected via a preset-custom option – via the screen – rather than via a dial like on the X-T3. I’m fine with that because these days with a decent electronic viewfinder I rarely find the need to swap between metering modes.

That’s left the dial under the shutter speed dial free to set the camera to stills or movie mode.

I love the fact that the X-T4 shows different main and Quick menu options depending upon whether you’re shooting stills or video. It’s something I’ve been asking for for a while.

In another nice touch, the settings appear to work independently, so if you select Eterna Bleach Bypass in video mode, when you turn back to stills mode it will be on whatever it was last on in that mode. I had a quick look through the menu to see if it’s possible to set them to both be the same and I couldn’t spot the option, but I need to double-check.

Fujifilm has also rearranged the AF-L/AFON, AEL and Q buttons. This isn’t much a of drama unless you plan on using the X-T3 as a second camera to the X-T4, in which case you may find it frustrating that the X-T4’s Quick menu button is where the AF-L button is on the X-T3.

Vari-angle Screen

The X-T3’s screen has a dual-tilt mechanism that enables it to be angled for convenient viewing whether you’re shooting in upright or horizontal orientation. It’s robust and effective but a little more fiddly and less intuitive than a normal vari-angle screen.

Happily, Fuji has has give the X-T4 a vari-angle screen, which is good for both video and stills photographers.

It also solves another issue with the X-T3 when shooting with the camera below eye-level, the viewfinder blocks the view of part of the screen, even when it’s tilted. With the X-T4, you just need to swing the screen out the the side and angle it for a clear view.

The new hinge also means that the screen can be turned for viewing in front of the camera. That’s great for selfies and vlogging.

Viewfinder

Like the X-T3, the Fuji X-T4 has a 0.5-inch 3.69-million-dot electronic viewfinder. That’s a great resolution for an APS-C format camera and it enables plenty of detail to be seen. It also provides a nice natural view, but I prefer to use it with the camera settings applied. This lets you asses the exposure, white balance and colour by eye.

In the Boosted mode, movement looks nice and smooth in the viewfinder.

Never Mind the Weather

I’ve never had any reason to doubt the X-T3’s weatherproofing and it seems that the X-T4’s can be relied upon as well. It was pouring down with rain when I got my hands on a pre-production sample and although water was running all over it, it worked flawlessly. Well, apart from the occasion drip of water building up on the eye sensor of the viewfinder and activating it at the expense of the main screen. Not a huge issue!

Performance

As the Fuji X-T4’s sensor and processor are the same as the X-T3’s, Fujifilm isn’t talking about noise reduction algorithm changes or improvements. Essentially, their image quality is the same.

However, the addition of IBIS means that some hand-held images will be sharper than they would be when captured with the X-T3. In fact, we can anticipate sharp hand-held images when the shutter speed is a second long, possibly more. I’m looking forward to testing this more thoroughly soon.

The stabilisation also improves hand-held video. I’m not the best at shooting stable video while walking but the X-T4’s stabilisation improves things. That said, when you’re walking, the stabilisation is best when the camera is pointing back at you. I’d still be included to use a gimbal if I was filming something in front of me.

Autofocus Performance

The X-T3’s autofocus (AF) system is very good, only occasionally showing hesitancy in low light and low contrast situations. I tested the pre-production Fuji X-T4 on a very overcast day in heavy rain, so the light and contrast were both quite low yet it coped very well.

I instantly got a sense that the X-T4’s AF system is snappy, and just a shade quicker than the X-T3’s. It did a great job of keeping up with people as they scuttled along in the rain, and it kept most objects sharp as I moved towards them, even when shooting at 15fps.

The video AF system also performs well and although a few of the clips I recorded have a little flicker here and there, I’m happy with the results.

The Eye AF also seems pretty good, but again, I need to test it more carefully.

Eterna Bleach Bypass

I like the Bleach Bypass effect and Fujifilm’s new Eterna Bleach Bypass Film Simulation mode produces some very nice results. I can see myself using that a lot for stills and video. But where’s the Class Neg that I like so much on the X-Pro3?

When F-Log is selected the video looks suitably flat and with the F-Log View Assist seems to do its job pretty well. The image still looks a bit flat but you have a good idea of the exposure.

Fujifilm X-T4 (left) vs X-T3 (right)
Sample Images

Follow the link to browse and download full-resolution images.

Fujifilm X-T4 Image Gallery

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The images below were captured using a pre-production sample X-T4 running non-final firmware and they may not represent final image quality.

Follow the link to browse and download full-resolution images.

 

Sample Video

The C4K (4096 x 2160) 24p 400Mbps video below was shot in MOV format with Long-GOP compression and the in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), Digital Image Stabilisation (DIS) and IS Mode Boost all on.

The first section of audio was recorded using the onboard mic but a Rode Videomic Pro+ (set to -10dB) with a dead cat was used for the remainder. It was shot on a very windy day and there’s still some wind noise with the external mic.

The C4K (4096 x 2160) video below was shot on a pre-production Fujifilm X-T4 running non-final firmware. It was shot with in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), Digital Image Stabilisation (DIS) and IS Mode Boost all on. The audio was recorded using the internal mic. It was shot in MP4 format with Long-GOP compression.

 

 

Verdict

I like most of Fujifilm’s cameras and the X-T3 was my favourite X-series model but the X-T4 make takes its place.

The X-T4 is more of an all-rounder than the X-Pro3. Its design is better suited to use with long lenses yet it looks and feels great with a small lens too.

I’m a fan of vari-angle screens so Fujifilm’s decision to give the X-T4 one is great news as far as I’m concerned. It’s much more useful than a fixed or standard tilting screen and it’s easier to use than the X-T3’s dual-tilting screen.

In addition, there’s an excellent viewfinder. It makes details clear and appears to give a good preview of the final image.

My early tests of the autofocus system also indicate that its at least as fast and effective as the X-T3’s, probably faster.

I think the decision to give the X-T4 a switch to swap between stills and video shooting, is a great one. I also like the dual menu system, I wish other manufacturers would follow suit.

And then there’s the IBIS. That’s a great addition.

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