Fujifilm X-T4 Review: A Completely Balanced Digital camera

Fujifilm X-T4 review: Completely balanced

MSRP $1,700.00

“It could be priced alongside full-frame cameras, however the X-T4 delivers an unmatched capturing expertise.”

Professionals

  • 5-axis stabilization
  • Absolutely articulating display screen
  • Spectacular low-light AF
  • 600-shot battery
  • 15-fps mechanical shutter

Cons

  • One nagging management situation
  • Small, low-res LCD display screen

When the Fujifilm X-T4 was unveiled in February, I believed we would lastly have the right camera. It regarded to treatment each situation I raised with earlier X-T flagships by including in-body picture stabilization, a totally articulating display screen, and (lastly!) a higher-capacity battery. Would there be nothing left to listing underneath the cons part?

Not so quick. The enhancements are glorious, however a couple of small quirks stay, one in every of which brought about my camera to easily cease working at a vital second throughout a marriage shoot. At $1,700, the X-T4 can be a dearer camera than any earlier X-T flagship — if cheaper than the Fujifilm X-H1 — placing it nearer to full-frame territory.

All of that is to say, the “good camera” stays elusive. However don’t despair, Fujifilm followers. The X-T4 remains to be a class-defining mannequin and one of the vital refined and feature-complete cameras at any value.

Design and dealing with

Regardless of including a gimbaled sensor and a bigger battery, the X-T4 beneficial properties lower than 3 ounces over the X-T3 and remains to be a light-weight at 21.4 ounces with reminiscence card and battery loaded. I shot the camera aspect by aspect with my private X-T2, and whereas it felt extra strong, the additional weight didn’t compromise the basic Fujifilm capturing expertise. That’s excellent news for Fujifilm’s core demographic of avenue photographers, though upgrading to the X-T4 isn’t expressly vital for such clients.

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Moreover, the small inconsistencies within the match and end I seen in my preliminary hands-on with a pre-production camera have utterly vanished from this manufacturing mannequin. The supplies and controls all really feel glorious, with simply the correct amount of resistance within the dials. Fujifilm continues to ship probably the most satisfying tactile suggestions within the camera trade, and it’s a giant cause its cameras are so beloved — even when they’ve some usability quirks.

The drive mode dial has at all times been the purpose of confusion within the X-T line, with icons organized in an virtually nonsensical sequence. The X-T4 affords one large enchancment: The film mode place has been faraway from the drive dial. As a substitute, you’ll discover a new film/nonetheless change nested underneath the shutter pace dial. This can be a nice change, however the outdated drive mode dial remains to be imperfect.

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For no matter cause, the primary place on the dial will not be the anticipated single-shot mode. As a substitute, it’s the place you’ll discover excessive dynamic vary (HDR). On a number of events, I by accident switched to HDR mode, which I’d frustratingly solely discover after snapping a photograph, questioning why it took so lengthy to course of. I missed a number of pictures due to this.

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Am I nitpicking? Sure, however this was an actual downside throughout a marriage shoot the place I didn’t have time to note the drive mode had been modified till it was too late — and it occurred a number of occasions (For the lifetime of me, I can’t work out precisely the way it stored occurring, until I used to be by accident rotating it whereas adjusting the ISO dial, which is on high of the drive dial).

The LCD display screen additionally leaves a lot to be desired. Whereas I respect that it now totally articulates, it’s nonetheless the identical 3-inch, 1.62 million-dot panel because the X-T3. It’s behind the occasions, and noticeably lesser in comparison with the attractive, 3.5-inch, 2.78 million-dot display screen of the less expensive Fujifilm X-T200. Certain, there are some constraints on how a lot bigger it may very well be given the quantity of actual property the X-T sequence dedicates to bodily controls, however there may be undoubtedly room to shrink the bezels and enhance pixel density.

The digital viewfinder (EVF) can be unchanged over the X-T3, however the 3.69 million-dot decision nonetheless outclasses the Sony A6600’s finder and even the full-frame A7 III’s, each of which have 2.36 million pixels. A number of totally different “enhance” modes alter efficiency to both enhance visibility in low gentle, enhance element, or change the refresh price, which ranges from 30 frames per second in economic system mode to 100 fps in body price enhance mode.

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This additionally impacts battery life. In economic system mode, the X-T4’s new battery is CIPA-rated for 600 exposures, a major bounce over the X-T3’s 390. Even in enhance modes, battery life doesn’t drop beneath 450 pictures. Nonetheless, over two batteries, I shot 1,800 images in enhance mode — and most of these have been on the primary battery. In order at all times, real-life efficiency can simply exceed official rankings.

Nonetheless, an exterior battery charger will not be included and the camera as an alternative costs over USB-C. This most likely gained’t have an effect on the informal photographer, nevertheless it’s a bit awkward for a camera that appeals to lovers and professionals who typically have to cost one battery whereas capturing with one other.

I can’t fault Fujifilm an excessive amount of for this one, although. It was seemingly a call made to maintain the price of the camera as little as attainable. The X-T4 launched at $300 lower than the Fujifilm X-H1, but is a greater camera in each approach apart from the shortage of a high LCD show. And for many who want it, an elective dual-battery wall charger is on the market for $70.

Nonetheless photograph expertise

Past IBIS and the brand new battery, there are a few different enhancements the X-T4 brings for the nonetheless photographer. The shutter is far more sturdy, rated for 300,000 exposures, double that of the X-T3. It could possibly additionally shoot in steady mode at 15 frames per second, a formidable feat for a mechanical shutter, matched solely by a lot costlier, skilled sports activities cameras (Digital shutter efficiency is unchanged at 20 fps or 30 in cropped Sports activities Finder mode).

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What actually struck me was simply how whisper-quiet the shutter is. When you can nonetheless use the digital shutter for a really silent expertise, it may not be vital anymore.

Because the X-T4 makes use of the identical 26-megapixel X-Trans sensor and X Processor 4 picture processor, there may be nothing new to say about RAW picture high quality. It’s superb, though excessive ISO pictures are definitely noisier than these from the most effective full-frame cameras.

Nonetheless, this wouldn’t be a brand new Fujifilm camera with no new movie simulation, and the X-T4 provides us Eterna Bleach Bypass. That is primarily based on the Eterna simulation launched with the X-H1 (which I actually favored), however mimics the movie improvement method referred to as bleach bypass. It makes a low-saturation, high-contrast picture that gained’t be a glance everybody enjoys, nevertheless it’s a singular in-camera impact that matches some topics and moods.

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The larger contributor to picture high quality, although, is the IBIS system. Rated for six.5 stops of shake discount, it permits for a lot slower shutter speeds for use whereas hand-holding the camera. Past guaranteeing sharper outcomes, in some instances, it could actually additionally cut back noise as you possibly can go for a slower shutter pace as an alternative of elevating the ISO. I used to be in a position to shoot right down to 1/8 second with a 50mm non-stabilized lens and nonetheless get sharp outcomes. In fact, in the event you’re photographing a shifting topic, you’ll have a restrict on the slowest shutter pace you should use to freeze movement.

As with the X-H1, I’d advocate setting stabilization to “steady” mode. This retains IBIS always lively, which stabilizes the picture preview and helps you get good framing. That is particularly necessary for telephoto and macro images. In any other case, IBIS solely prompts the second you are taking an image — this would possibly avoid wasting battery life, however you’ll get a shaky preview picture.

If there’s one factor I’d have liked to have seen from the X-T4’s IBIS, it’s a high-resolution mode. I’m not an engineer, however my guess is that the complicated pixel association of X-Trans sensors would make it tough to make use of the identical pixel-shift method utilized by cameras with commonplace Bayer sensors, like these from Olympus and Panasonic.

Autofocus efficiency is Fujifilm’s greatest but, and sometimes impressively quick, though this is dependent upon the lens getting used, with older lenses performing noticeably worse. I’m undecided why, however zone focusing appeared to be even sooner than single-point, and proved probably the most profitable mode for photographing a darkish dance flooring. In truth, I used to be genuinely impressed with how good the X-T4 was with regard to low gentle autofocus. Fujifilm claims sensitivity right down to -6 EV, which is fairly unbelievable, and I imagine it.

Face and eye monitoring is mostly correct however stays an space the place Fujifilm has room to enhance. It’s not fairly as delicate as Sony’s and Canon’s newest programs and requires the topic to be bigger within the body earlier than it kicks in. Face detection additionally struggles in decrease gentle, particularly when photographing individuals with darker pores and skin. Fujifilm additionally has no particular animal-detection autofocus mode.

Video expertise

The Fujifilm X-T4’s video mode is basically the identical because the X-T3, recording 10-bit 4K at 60 fps as much as 200 megabits per second, or at 30 or 24 fps as much as 400Mbps. The one new characteristic is that Full HD video can now be shot at 240 frames per second, albeit with a crop, for as much as 10X slow-motion playback. You’ll get higher high quality at decrease framerates, nevertheless it’s a enjoyable choice to have.

However the characteristic that basically provides to the video mode is, once more, the picture stabilization. In an impromptu however excessive check, I recorded a macro shot of a fly that landed on my leg, holding the lens mere inches from it, and the end result regarded extremely clean.

I used to be additionally fairly impressed with face and eye-tracking throughout video, much more so than when capturing stills. The X-T4 had no hassle staying locked to my face as I moved all through a room, and focus transitions have been clean and pure.

On the draw back, the removing of the headphone jack feels utterly at odds with a camera that has in any other case grown friendlier to videographers. That is one thing that the X-T3 and even older X-T2 each supplied. Past the USB adapter that comes within the field, you can even add an everyday headphone jack through the use of the vertical battery grip — however that may run you an additional $330.

Within the wake of the Canon EOS R5’s overheating scandal, it’s most likely necessary to level out that the X-T4 could be very a lot nonetheless a small, fan-less, hybrid mirrorless camera, not an expert video device. Video high quality is superb, however in the event you want a reliable machine that may maintain churning out 4K/60 footage in any atmosphere, this isn’t the camera for you.

In a fast indoor check, the camera simply hit the 20-minute restrict for 4K/60 video earlier than the warmth warning indicator turned on.  I used to be solely in a position to document about one minute into the following clip earlier than the camera shut down for overheating. I’ve seen different exams that put this time restrict a lot decrease, like when capturing underneath direct daylight.

In case you don’t want 60 fps, it’s best to get far more document time. Even after the camera shut down from overheating, I switched to 4K/24 and was in a position to instantly document one other 20 minutes. The camera remained heat to the contact throughout this time. (Observe: in each 4K/60 or any 400Mbps mode, clips are restricted to about 20 minutes as an obvious precaution towards overheating. At 30 fps and 200Mbps, clips are restricted to the usual 29 minutes, 59 seconds.)

So it will not be a cinema camera substitute, however the X-T4 remains to be one of many high mirrorless cameras you should purchase for video. High quality is spectacular, and there are quite a few superior options together with all-intra compression, Eterna and F-log profiles, true 24p and 180-degree-equivalent shutter speeds, and 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output (the interior 10-bit recording is 4:2:0).

Full body numbers

I’ve one other nitpicking concern to lift. In the midst of capturing the “first look” at a marriage, the X-T4 simply stopped. “Body quantity full,” it advised me. I believed it was a glitch. I turned the camera on and off, however the issue endured.

Thankfully, I had a second camera on me, in any other case, I’d have been lifeless within the water at a important second.

Seems, this isn’t a glitch — it’s merely the results of Fujifilm’s file-numbering system. The camera counts as much as 9,999 exposures earlier than it has to reset the counter. When it does so, it begins a brand new folder. The folders begin at quantity 100 and go up by one till maxing out at 999. This implies it’s best to get 899 folders of 9,999 pictures every earlier than encountering the “body quantity full” error. That’s 8,989,101 images. So, like, this shouldn’t be an issue. Ever.

Fujifilm X-T4Daven Mathies/Digital Developments

Nonetheless, as Fujifilm later defined to me, the camera might be tricked if a reminiscence card is inserted that already has a high-numbered folder on it. Seeing as this was a press camera handed round amongst a number of reviewers, all of whom would have been utilizing reminiscence playing cards that had been in different cameras, I can see how this occurred.

Most photographers won’t ever run into this situation, however a cursory google search revealed a number of discussion board posts and at the least one YouTube video on the subject; so it does occur. That is one thing that appears simply fixable, however the habits has been round since at the least the X-T1. Why doesn’t the camera simply examine the cardboard for which folders are current and mechanically create a brand new folder if a reputation is on the market? Provided that there really are 999 utterly full folders on a card ought to the camera cease capturing.

Whereas I hope Fujifilm addresses this, there may be at the least a fast approach to examine in case your camera is about to hit the body quantity restrict: Snap an image, play it again, and take a look at the quantity within the higher proper nook. If the prefix is 999, start panicking. (Or simply observe the steps within the handbook to reset it, however observe that this does contain formatting a card.)

And full-frame numbers

At $1,700, the Fujifilm X-T4 forces a comparability to full-frame cameras. The superb Nikon Z 6, which is underneath $1,800 on the time of writing, will supply higher low-light picture high quality and comparable 5-axis stabilization (as will the even cheaper new Nikon Z 5). The Sony A7 III brings an analogous spec sheet, plus the addition of Sony’s glorious Actual-Time Eye AF, for just below $2,000.

Nonetheless, neither of these cameras match X-T4’s pace nor its video capabilities. They’re additionally bigger and heavier, particularly as soon as you are taking bulkier full-frame lenses into consideration.

There’s a notion that exists in clients’ minds about full-frame. It’s seen because the true photographer’s format, whereas smaller sensors are someway lesser. I believe the fact is totally different from such perceptions, however the notion nonetheless exists. Spending near $2,000 on a camera that isn’t full-frame rubs some individuals the mistaken approach, and I believe that will relegate the X-T4 to area of interest standing.

I hope I’m mistaken about that. After spending a couple of weeks with this camera, together with a 10-hour marriage ceremony shoot, I haven’t as soon as been left wanting for a bigger sensor.

Our take

We’re nonetheless left with out the right camera, however I’ve no downside calling the Fujifilm X-T4 the most effective camera you should purchase, because of its balanced characteristic set and total commendable efficiency.

What I actually respect is that regardless of all of the tech, new options, and sooner efficiency, the X-T4 hasn’t forgotten its historical past. It’s nonetheless a category act, elegantly designed for the images fanatic with an consideration to element rivaled solely by Leica. You don’t simply shoot it for the outcomes, however for the enjoyment of the expertise.

Is there a greater different?

The Sony A6600 is one other nice APS-C camera, one which occurs to be cheaper at about $1,400 for the physique. It’s a whole lot of camera for the cash, however the X-T4 nonetheless comes out forward in a number of areas, together with burst capturing, video high quality, shutter pace vary, and EVF decision.

However the X-T4’s strongest competitor might come from its personal crew. Proper now, the Fujifilm X-T3 is simply $999 because of a producer rebate. It’s nonetheless a implausible camera, and a steal at that value, in the event you don’t want IBIS, 15-fps steady capturing, or a fully-articulating display screen.

How lengthy will it final?

The X-T4 is a finely crafted, weather-sealed machine that ought to simply final for years, particularly given the brand new shutter rated for 300,000 exposures. What I’m much less positive about is after we’ll see a substitute. The X-T3 is about to show 2 years outdated, which is mostly after we count on a brand new mannequin. With the X-T4 having been introduced simply six months in the past, it complicates issues. The X-H2 can be nonetheless rumored to be in improvement. It will not be too lengthy earlier than Fujifilm one-ups itself once more.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. Even with a pair remaining nagging imperfections, I’ve by no means loved capturing a camera greater than the Fujifilm X-T4.

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