Fujifilm X-T4 Review
|Full model name:||Fujifilm X-T4|
(23.5mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Native ISO:||160 - 12,800|
|Extended ISO:||80 - 51,200|
|Shutter:||1/32000 - 900 sec|
|Max Aperture:||2.8 (kit lens)|
5.3 x 3.7 x 2.5 in.
(135 x 93 x 64 mm)
|Full specs:||Fujifilm X-T4 specifications|
Fuji X-T4 Review -- First Impressions
by William Brawley
Preview posted: 02/26/2020
Raise your hand if you'd like a Fuji X-T3 with in-body image stabilization?
Congratulations! The fine folks over at Fujifilm did precisely that. Say hello to the Fuji X-T4.
The just-announced Fujifilm X-T4 essentially blends an X-T3 with the X-H1, offering a more compact yet still SLR-shaped mirrorless camera but now with built-in 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization. We don't yet know what the future holds for Fuji's X-H-series and whether or not an "X-H2" is on the horizon. However, at this point, the new X-T4 looks and feels like Fujifilm's most feature-packed, highest performance X-Series mirrorless model to date.
For the most part, the X-T4 shares a lot of similarities with the predecessor, including using the same image sensor and processor. The photo and video features are largely unchanged, too, but there have been some performance improvements to the AF system, new shooting features and usability improvements, and an additional Film Simulation added in for good measure as well. On the physical side of things, the body design has been updated with tweaked ergonomics, a new LCD design, an all-new battery, a quieter shutter mechanism, and a smaller, lighter IBIS unit than what's used inside the X-H1. Wow.
All in all, the X-T4 looks to take the already-excellent X-T3 and make it even better. Let's dive in to see all the new features and improvements to Fuji's latest X-Series camera...
Key Features & Specs
- 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS IV BSI image sensor
- Quad-core X Processor 4 imaging processor
- 425-point hybrid AF system with phase-detect
- Improved low-light AF down to -6EV
- ISO range: 80-51200 (Native: 160-12800)
- New Compressed RAW image quality option
- 5-axis Image Stabilization system rated up to 6.5 stops
- Faster 15fps burst shooting with mechanical shutter
- New shutter mechanism rated to 300,000 actuations
- 4Kp60 video recording at both DCI 4K and UHD resolutions
- New Enterna Bleach Bypass Film Simulation
- Larger battery; CIPA-rated to 600 shots per charge
- Articulated, tilt-swivel LCD touchscreen
- 3.69M-dot/100fps OLED EVF
- $1699.95 body-only
For the most part, the Fuji X-T4 looks extremely similar to its predecessor, sporting the same retro-inspired SLR-esque design with central EVF, large exposure control dials, front and rear control dials, and a slim-profile contoured handgrip (with rear thumb notch). Despite offering in-body image stabilization (IBIS) like the larger X-H1, the X-T4 remains lighter and more compact without that sizable, deep handgrip. Though we've yet to see the X-T4 in-person, we imagine the handling characteristics will be very similar to the previous model in typical shooting scenarios.
Perhaps the most visible design change is to the camera's rear screen. Gone is the clever three-way tilting LCD panel, and in its place is a more traditional -- and more video-friendly -- articulated tilt/swivel LCD design. The previous X-T3's LCD was more conducive for still photography, offering easy tilting for shooting at low and high angles in both horizontal and portrait/vertical orientations. For video creators, that screen design was less user-friendly, particularly for those recording videos of themselves. With the X-T4, you can now keep the screen flush against the back of the camera, with the screen facing outwards or completely hidden, or flip it out for low- or high-angle shooting or for video shoots. In other words: versatile.
The screen itself remains a 3.0-inch 3:2 aspect-ratio touchscreen, with customizable on-screen touch/swipe function "buttons." However, the screen resolution gets a slight upgrade, going from a 1.04-million dots on the X-T3 to 1.62-million dots with this new model.
The EVF, meanwhile, remains largely unchanged, offering the same high-resolution 0.5-inch, 3.69-million dot OLED electronic viewfinder display with a fast 100fps refresh rate and a 0.75x magnification ratio. The EVF offers approximately 100% frame coverage. Fujifilm has, however, tweaked the eyecup design compared to the previous model; it's now more rigid than the X-T3's and is designed to lock onto the viewfinder housing better.
Elsewhere on the rear of the X-T4, we can see the other tweaks to the design, namely to the button function and controls. First and foremost, however, we're happy to see that the X-T4 keeps both the multi-directional joystick control and the four-way direction button cluster. Other recent Fujifilm cameras, such as the X-Pro3, X100V and even the GFX 100, did away with the useful four-way controls, but they happily remain here on the X-T4.
In terms of other changes, the X-T4 has a few buttons swapped around: the Q (Quick Menu) button is now up at the top-right corner, while the AE-L button is moved to the Q buttons former location right above the joystick. For the first time now, the X-T4 features a dedicated AF-ON button (in the AE-L button's former spot on the X-T3). The AF-ON button will be a handy feature for those who like to shoot with back-button focus.
Another change to the X-T4 controls, one that also makes the camera more user-friendly for video creators, is a toggle switch to go back and forth between Stills mode and Video mode. This shooting mode toggle switch replaces the metering mode sub-dial below the Shutter Speed dial on the X-T3. Further enhancing the video shooting functionality, the X-T4 will remember stills-specific and video-specific exposure modes and other settings, similar to the GFX 100, so you can more easily flip back and forth between shooting modes and not have to re-adjust exposure settings every time. Furthermore, the camera now offers two different Quick menu screens, one for photo-mode quick-access settings and another dedicated for video settings. Very user-friendly for hybrid shooters indeed.
As for the rest of the camera's design and control layout, as mentioned, the X-T4 is basically identical to the X-T3. The camera still sports the characteristic separate locking exposure dials -- one for ISO and one for shutter speed, while the aperture setting is typically handled by the lens' dedicated aperture ring. As before, there's a large (non-locking) exposure compensation dial, too. The only other tweak is that the top-deck Function (Fn) button is moved further forward, off to the right of the shutter release button.
As with the X-T3, the X-T4 does not have a built-in pop-up flash, but it does feature a hotshoe connection and features a small, portable EF-X8 external flash in the box.
When it comes to the imaging pipeline, much like the physical design, the X-T4 is very similar to its predecessor. The Fuji X-T4 uses the same 26.1-megapixel APS-C-sized X-Trans CMOS IV back-side illuminated sensor paired with the same quad-core X Processor 4 image processing chip.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
We've been extremely pleased with the image quality from previous 26MP Fujifilm X Series cameras, so we're not at all disappointed with the X-T4 continuing to use the same imaging pipeline. The X-T4 offers the same ISO range as its predecessor, with a native range of ISO 160 to ISO 12,800. This can be expanded with low ISOs of 80 and 100, and up at the high end all the way to ISO 51,200. Low ISO image quality on the X-T3 is fantastic, with images offerings lots of resolution and fine detail, particularly due to the lack of an optical low-pass filter (a usual feature for X-Trans sensors). As the ISO rises, we also expect to see excellent quality, much like we did with the previous model. Of course, we can't pass final judgement until we get a sample in the lab, but needless to say, we expect great things from the new X-T4 given its imaging system.
The metering system is also unchanged, using the same TTL 256-zone metering system with Multi, Spot, Average and Center-Weighted metering modes. The X-T4 keeps things simple, offering just four primary exposure modes, Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and full Manual exposure mode. Exposure compensation for stills ranges from +/-5EV, though the physical exposure compensation dial ranges from +/-3EV (flip it to the "C" position and control the full range of Exposure Comp. using the command dial). Movie Mode exposure compensation, meanwhile, ranges from +/-2EV.
The X-T4, as expected, offers both RAW and JPEG image recording, including both 14-bit uncompressed and lossless compressed RAW formats. Additionally, Fuji's introduced a new lossy compressed RAW recording option, allowing photographers more editing and post-production flexibility compared to typical compressed JPEG files.
For those that don't necessarily want or need to bring their images over to the a computer or tablet for editing, the X-T4, much like its predecessor, offers a host of in-camera raw processing options, filters and exposure tweaks. The camera has an adjustable clarity setting, grain effect, color chrome effect, and a range of Advanced Filter options, such as Toy Camera, Pop Color, Partial Color and more. There are also HDR shooting modes as well as in-camera Panorama.
And of course, there's a range of Fujifilm's classic Film Simulation options, including ACROS, Classic Chrome, Velvia and others for a total of 18 different options. The earlier X-H1 introduced the ETERNA film simulation, designed more for video shooters, offering a lower-saturation, flatter look with better post-production leeway. With the X-T4, there's a new ETERNA option: ETERNA Bleach Bypass. This new Film Simulation is said to offer more muted tones than the standard ETERNA setting, with low saturation yet a higher contrast look.
Of course, the major story with the X-T4 is its in-body image stabilization system. Prior to this camera, the only Fujifilm camera with IBIS was the larger X-H1, while other models had to make do with optically-stabilized lenses or none at all. The inclusion of IBIS will make the already-versatile X-T line even more enticing and useful in more shooting scenarios.
The X-T4 incorporates an all-new IBIS system, not one simply brought over from the X-H1. The X-T4's IBIS system is both 30% smaller and 20% lighter than the IBIS mechanism/assembly inside the X-H1. And despite the smaller, lighter design, the X-T4's IBIS is more powerful than that in the X-H1, offering up to 6.5 stops of stabilization, whereas the X-H1 was rated for "just" 5.5 stops. The 6.5 stops is just for the body alone, offering powerful shake correction with almost any lens you mount to the camera. It's not 6.5 stops across the board, and it's still unclear just how much communication or cooperation Fuji's existing OIS lenses bring into the stabilization equation (in other words, we're not sure at this time if or in what manner the OIS lenses work in tandem with the IBIS system as in similar setups like Olympus' Sync IS or Panasonic's Dual IS). For example, the Fuji XF 200mm f/2 OIS lens offers 5 stops of optical stabilization but will offer up to 5.5 stops when used with the X-T4.
For video shooters, the inclusion if IBIS is a big win for versatility, allowing for a much better shooting experience when handholding the camera. The X-T4 features a new digital image stabilization mode for movie shooting, allowing smoother, steadier footage. There's also an IS Boost Mode that's designed for handheld static shooting without panning or tilting.
For video creators, the Fuji X-T4 offers a vastly similar array of high-end and versatile video features and performance as in the previous camera. The X-T4 offers both 4K and Full HD video modes, with 4K offered at both Cinema 4K (DCI 4K, 4096 x 2160) and UHD (3840 x 2160) resolutions up to 60 frames per second. Full HD video, meanwhile, is now capable of being shot at up to a whopping 240 frames per second, making this a very enticing camera for filming sports, action or other fast-paced subjects and creating really smooth, dramatic slow-motion footage.
Quality-wise, the X-T4 offers a lot of versatility for bitrates, with 4K offered up to 400Mbps, as well as 200/100/50Mbps options. However, 400Mbps 4K is offered only for 30/25/24/23.98fps (not 60p). Full HD is offered at 200/100/50Mbps, while 1080p240 and 1080p120 is offered at 200Mbps. The camera also offers a choice of file format, MOV or MP4, as well as frame compression, the higher quality ALL-I or more compressed Long-GOP.
Like its predecessor, the X-T4 still can't record video continuously for an unlimited duration. 4Kp60 is limited to approximately 20 minutes, while lower frame rates can be shot for up to 30 minutes. Full HD at 240p is limited to just 3 minutes, while 120p is double up to 6 minutes.
As with the X-T3, there are also more advanced video options, such as F-Log recording, 4:2:2 10-bit recording in-camera, clean HDMI out, and more. For F-Log shooting, the X-T4 offers an F-Log View Assist option, which applies a BT709 gamma curve to the live view screen, allowing the filmmaker to better see exposure.
Autofocus & Performance
The autofocus system inside the X-T4 remains largely unchanged, utilizing the same 425-point hybrid AF system with on-sensor phase-detection. As before, the 425 points are just the user-selection AF points, but the phase-detection pixels span the entire area of the sensor for a total of 2.16 million phase-detection autofocus pixels.
The camera offers a number of AF modes, including single-point, Zone and Wide/Tracking. Within each mode, the AF area size can be adjusted, depending on the type of subject you're shooting. Zone AF mode uses a smaller cluster within a 77 AF point area, while Wide/Tracking utilizes 77 AF points across the entire sensor. Furthermore, the camera features Face and Eye-Detection AF, with selectable face options and C-AF tracking.
For additional versatility, like with the X-T3, the new X-T4 offers various C-AF preset modes that fine-tune the tracking sensitivity, Speed tracking sensitivity and Zone area switching, depending on the type of subject being photographed. There is also a fully Customizable AF preset mode. The camera's autofocus system also gets a nice boost to low-light performance, which is now rated down to -6EV compared to the -3EV level of the previous model.
In terms of continuous burst shooting, the X-T4 offers a bit more oomph than the predecessor thanks to its new mechanical shutter mechanism. Not only is this new mechanical shutter assembly quieter than the predecessor, it also allows for up to 15fps continuous shooting -- whereas the X-T3 maxed out at 11fps with its mechanical shutter. (According to Fujifilm, the new X-T4 mechanical shutter is also rated for up to 300,000 actuations.)
With electronic shutter mode, however, the X-T4 offers similar specs to the predecessor, with up to 20fps at full-resolution or 30fps with a 1.25x crop mode.
Buffer depths are rated similar to that of the predecessor, though the numbers aren't exactly the same. At full-resolution, shooting at the maximum 15fps mechanical shutter mode, Fuji claims a buffer capacity of 110 JPEGs, 38 lossless compressed RAW/compressed RAW frames, and 35 uncompressed RAW frames. The X-T3, by comparison, at its 11fps max mechanical burst, tested at 187 best quality JPEGs in our lab. Meanwhile, the 20fps full-res electronic shutter mode is rated up to 79 JPEGs (slightly better than the X-T3), 36 lossless compressed RAW/compressed RAW frames, and 34 uncompressed RAW frames.
Prior to the X-T3, you needed the accessory battery grip in order to enable the camera's Boost Mode, which upped the AF performance, increased the EVF refresh rate and decreased the release time lag. The X-T3, and on the X-T4 as well, allowed for Boost Mode to be used without the batter grip. With or without the grip, though, the Boost Mode would use more power and therefore decrease overall battery life. With the X-T4, the camera offers more than just "Normal" and "Boost" modes. There's now a Boost Low Light, which adjusts the display brightness,; a Boost Resolution Priority, which increases the display resolution; and Boost Frame Rate Priority, which increases the screen refresh rate. Additionally, going the "other direction," the X-T4 offers an Economy mode, which extends battery life.
And speaking of battery life, the X-T4 uses an all-new, larger capacity rechargeable battery. In Normal shooting mode, the camera is CIPA-rated for 500 shots per charge, while Economy mode extends that out to 600 shots per charge. Adding the optional battery grip, which accepts two additional batteries, extends battery life out to about 1500 shots or nearly 2000 frames when combined with Economy mode. That's a lot of frames.
Storage & Connectivity
For media storage, the X-T4 offers the same dual UHS-II SD card slots as on the X-T3.
In terms of connectivity, the X-T4 features built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low-energy for wireless media sharing, traversing and remote control capabilities. As with the predecessor, the X-T4 offers in-camera battery charging via the USB Type C port, but now the camera can also charge batteries inside the add-on battery grip; the X-T3's grip required its own charging cable.
Additional ports include a Type D mini-HDMI connector and a 3.5mm microphone jack and a 2.5mm remote jack. Somewhat oddly, Fujifilm has done away with the built-in 3.5mm headphone jack on the camera body itself, and instead put the headphone jack back on the battery grip like they did with the X-T2.
Pricing & Availability
The Fujifilm X-T4 will be available in both black and silver and is expected to go on sale in Spring 2020 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,699.95 USD and $2,199.99 CAD for the body-only configuration. Two additional kit options will also be available: a kit with the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 priced at $2099 USD; a kit with the XF 16-80mm f/4 OIS priced at $2199 USD.