Initially released in the spring of 2020, Fujifilm’s X-T4 is their fourth generation high-end mirrorless camera. On paper, it promises substantial improvements over the earlier models, now bringing 15 fps burst shooting, built-in stabilization, updated battery, and an articulating screen to the line. As such, it makes sense that some will claim that it’s a merger of the X-T and X-H lineups. But, Fuji assures it’s an evolution of the series. Even so, it promises to be the culmination of their best improvements to date.
It’s predecessor, the X-T3, was already a hallmark release. But this looks to be the best camera Fuji’s released to date. However, like it’s predecessor, it too faces some rather interesting competition. In price, it competes with several larger full-frame cameras, most notably Sony’s A7 III, Canon’s EOS R, and Nikon’s Z6. Simultaneously, it also fights against the Sony a6600, Olympus EM-1 Mark III, and Panasonic G9. As their flagship, it’s justifiably expensive. But it’s it a worthwhile trade over a full-frame camera or the considerably cheaper rivals? Let’s find out.
What are some of the goods, bads, and uglies of the Fujifilm X-T4?
It obtains its predecessor’s 4th generation 26.1MP X-trans BSI CMOS sensor and X-Processor 4. While unchanged, the image quality this combination delivers is a known strength. And the backside-illuminated structure’s performance still outpaces the flagship X-H1, with better resolution and low light performance. Thus, as expected, the images are sharp, with plenty of details. And as always, Fuji continues to shine in color rendering. Their color science remains outstanding with pleasing natural colors, with little need for processing.
It obtains all of the acclaimed film simulation modes of its predecessor. But Fuji’s also added the new ETERNA Bleach Bypass simulation, a unique option to this camera. This new profile creates more high-contrast images with low saturation. Additionally, it also inherits the Classic Chrome filter from the X-Pro3. And now, the camera offers a total of 12 film simulations, the largest to date. And combined with the Grain Effect, you can create authentic film-like images.
New for this camera is updated Auto White Balance (AWB), now including White and Ambiance Priority, for better accuracy.
Fuji’s also redesigned the shutter mechanism with this camera, now using a focal plane shutter. With that, the shutter now has greater longevity, less lag, and better dampening, making it more stable and 30% quieter than before. Overall, it’s a substantial improvement that rivals high-end flagship territory.
The new shutter has also increased the camera’s continuous shooting speeds. And it’s increased the mechanical shutter from 11 fps to 15 fps, a 36% improvement. And this change currently makes it the fastest camera of its class. However, shooting at 15 fps doesn’t provide a live preview, only the last frame taken in the burst. So, it’s slightly challenging to track erratically moving subjects at this frame rate. Dropping down to 8 fps provides a live preview and is more suitable for fast sports. The camera also obtains the 30 fps burst mode using the electronic shutter with a 1.25x crop as the predecessor. Otherwise, the buffer depth remains about the same, and it delivers 35 RAW images before slowing.
It obtains largely identical video capabilities as its predecessor. With that, it shoots DCI 4K video up to 60 fps, albeit with a 1.18x crop, and 1080p Full HD video now up to 240 fps, instead of 120. And the camera shoots both resolutions to either the MP4 or MOV formats with older H.264 or newer H.265 compression. Like the predecessor, it also offers data rates of 400 Mbps for 4K, which is quite competitive and leaves ample room for post-processing. Plus, it provides 10-bit 4:2:0 internal recording.
240 fps video is quite a rare option in today’s market. But, shooting in this mode does create in-camera videos that are 10x slower than normal. However, the camera doesn’t record sound, and it does have a 1.29x crop. It also slightly softens the footage. So to maintain quality, recording in 120 fps is best. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent option that works brilliantly.
But, as a whole, the footage this camera delivers is excellent and rivals several full-frame cameras. Videos are extraordinarily sharp with the same pleasing color rendering as stills. It also lends well to recording with the film simulations, particularly Eterna, to deliver results with little post-processing needed.
Interestingly, Fuji’s added the Fix Movie Crop option, which applies the same 1.29x crop across all resolutions and frame rates. It’s a new addition to the market, but a smart option that makes it easier to select lenses or match framing without worrying about the angle of view.
It features zebras for exposure warning indication.
It has a built-in Time Code Display, and you adjust the settings via the menu.
Like the predecessor, it offers F-log and HLG, which supply a 10-bit 4:2:2 signal via HDMI output. Shooting in this mode also increases the camera’s dynamic range to 14 stops. And Fuji’s also added an F-Log View Assist, so you better gauge exposure. But, do know, shooting in F-log has a minimum ISO of 640 and 1000 for HLG. Otherwise, the camera can still record a clean 4K signal for live streaming.
Like the predecessor, video recordings limit at 30 minutes for 4K 30 fps or 20 minutes for 4K 60 fps.
Low Light Performance
Low light performance remains the same as the predecessor. It features a native ISO range from ISO 160 to 12,800, further expandable to a high setting of 51,200. And users can expect images up to ISO 6,400 to be mostly noise-free.
It obtains the same 425-point phase-detect AF system as the predecessor, with virtually edge-to-edge coverage. And it also inherits the latest AF tracking algorithms, along with updates to Face and Eye-detection. The camera now recognizes shape and color information in addition to distance, increasing accuracy. These updates make it the fastest autofocusing APS-C mirrorless camera with a 0.02 second acquisition time. Fuji’s also improved the camera tracking performance during burst shooting, which is even more reliable than before. Plus, they’ve doubled the camera’s low light focusing performance, moving from -3 to -6 EV, closely pushing to near darkness. Overall, the autofocusing system is much improved and their best to date.
Like the X-T3, you can also customize the Tracking Sensitivity and Speed via AF-C Custom Settings, which helps tailor the camera for the best results.
New for this camera is the Focus Check Lock, which locks an enlarged display while recording. And it’s quite helpful to check focus quickly.
It obtains Fuji’s full suite of manual focusing aids, including Focus Check, MF Assist, Digital Split Image, Digital Microprism, and Focus Peaking.
It features the brand new NP-W235 battery, which they now rate for 500 shots per charge during regular shooting and 100 minutes of video. And this new battery delivers a 28% improvement over the outgoing W126S battery. Fuji’s also designed a new vertical battery grip for this model, which adds two extra batteries. And this combination triples the camera’s lifespan to a whopping 1,450 shots per charge. Plus, crucially, you can charge all three batteries via USB in-camera, and it even supplies a headphone output. Overall, this camera is one of the longest-lasting APS-C mirrorless cameras to date.
Display & Viewfinder
It features an OLED electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 3.69M dots, 0.75x magnification, and a 100 Hz refresh rate. The EVF also has three Boost Modes, allowing you to enhance its responsiveness based on the shooting demands. You can choose between Luminance Priority for better low light, Resolution Priority, and Frame Rate Priority. These are excellent additions that greatly expand its usability. Overall, the viewing experience, while mostly unchanged, remains excellent for the class. The EVF is fast, sharp, and supplies accurate colors.
However, new for this release is a 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD with a resolution of 1.62M dots. Compared to the predecessor, Fuji’s improved on both the articulation and resolution here. While its predecessor used their clever three-axis tilting design, a fully articulating screen is ideal for the versatility it offers. And the camera’s now correctly oriented towards both still and video shooters. The display resolution has also increased by 35%, which is quite substantial. Overall, these two changes are perfect, and the screen is sharp, versatile, and bright enough to use outdoors. The screen also supports their full selection of touch capabilities. These include touch shutter, touch AF, AF area selection, swiping in playback, pinch to zoom, and full menu navigation.
Fuji’s also added the Movie Optimized Control, which disables the physical dials and uses on-screen controls instead. This is helpful if you want to avoid camera operation being picked up during audio recordings. Or if you want to eliminate vibrations caused when adjusting your grip.
It obtains classic Fujifilm menus and interfaces. But, Fuji’s made some improvements to separate settings, to make it easier to navigate. And now, different menu items are displayed for stills, videos, or playback. This allows for more seamless transitions between each mode, and it extends to the Quick Menu as well. Otherwise, the menus remain clear and well organized. And existing users and newcomers shouldn’t find them problematic to master.
It obtains the customizable Quick (Q) Menu, so you can access frequently-used settings.
It obtains My Menu, allowing you to add frequently-used menu options to a custom menu. And it’s separate for photos and videos.
You can assign flick gestures to the rear LCD, and they act similar to a function button. And flicking on the screen in any of four directions launches a programmable action.
It has two dedicated function buttons, Fn1 and Fn2.
Physical Layout & Ergonomics
Physically, the camera remains almost identical in styling and design to the predecessor. But, with the newly redesigned shutter mechanism, bigger battery, and IBIS, the camera is slightly larger and heavier. In this case, it weighs 607g, including battery, an 11% increase over the predecessor. But, the slight increase in weight has allowed improvements to ergonomics. Fuji capitalized by increasing both the front grip and rear thumb rest, both of which are more comfortable and far more reassuring. And the overall ergonomics are excellent, particularly for those with larger hands. Otherwise, a few buttons have moved slightly. But the camera is mostly identical. And it maintains the same extensive weather sealing down to 14ºF and attractive design.
Like the X-T3 and earlier models, it has dedicated dials for Shutter Speed, ISO, and Exposure Compensation. The formers have locks to prevent changes. And it also has dual command dials, which even press in to select menu tabs or options. And like the X-T3, it has a dedicated AF-On button for quick back-button focusing. Plus, it has a dedicated Focus Stick for AF point selection and menu navigation.
It features their latest 5-axis in-body image stabilization, a key updated over earlier models. And it officially marks the third Fujifilm camera outside of the X-H1 and GFX100 to obtain the feature. Fuji rates it for 6.5 EV with 18 of the 29 Fujinon lenses. While all other lenses receive 5 EV stops of stabilization. Unlike earlier models, they’ve even made the system smaller and lighter than before using magnets instead of springs. And overall, it works quite well and is currently their best installment to date. Users can use the optional Digital Image Stabilization (DIS), which adds electronic stabilization for added strength. However, it does add a small crop. The camera also obtains the IS Boost Mode from previous models, locking the stabilizers and creating a tripod-like effect.
It has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE. And you can remotely control the camera, geotag images, and automatically transfer images via the FUJIFILM Camera Remote app.
It has a microphone input. And you can adjust the levels, add a limiter, and specify the hardware between MIC or Line connections.
It has a USB-C port. And it supports charging via USB and power delivery with PD rated sources. But, unlike the predecessor, Fuji’s done away with the headphone output. Instead, they include a USB-C to headphone adapter with purchase, converting the USB-C port into a headphone output for monitoring. Interesting change.
It has dual card slots, both support UHS-II speeds. However, unlike the predecessor, the cards are now in line for easier access. And you can also record video redundantly in the same format. Plus, Fuji’s made the slot cover removable, making it easier to access them when using a rig or cage.
It obtains the Pre-Shot Mode, which captures images into a rolling buffer before fully depressing the shutter. It’s a helpful addition that ensures you capture decisive moments.
It obtains the Highlights and Shadows curve, which you can now adjust in 1/2 stop increments for greater precision.
The AF-assist illuminator doubles as a self-timer and a Tally light when shooting videos. And you can customize whether it blinks or remains steady. This is an excellent addition that ensures you don’t accidentally forget to hit record.
Like many Fuji cameras, you can print directly to their Instax Share printer lineup directly in-camera.
It has the Photobook Assist feature, allowing you to create a book containing up to 300 of your favorite images.
It has Mount Adapter Settings, which allows you to adjust Distortion Correction, Color Shading Correction, and Peripheral Illumination. These settings help reduce various lens anomalies when using vintage lenses.
It has several Bracketing options, including Auto-Exposure (AE), ISO, Film Simulation, White Balance, and Dynamic Range. But, crucially, the camera also offers Focus Bracketing, and it calculates the frames and steps automatically.
It has built-in HDR, and it combines the three images in-camera.
It has a built-in intervalometer for time-lapses, and it also has exposure smoothing.
It has Multi-Exposure, with four options, and the camera can combine them automatically.
It has Flicker Reduction, which reduces the flicker caused when shooting under fluorescent lights.
It has extensive in-camera editing, including RAW conversation, crop, resize, rotate, red-eye removal, and more.
It has the Voice Memo setting, which allows you to add a short voice recording to images.
It offers in-camera image rating, which translates to post-processing software.
Like many mirrorless cameras, it too suffers from rolling shutter when panning from side to side or using the electronic shutter. So take caution when filming or shooting sports and action.
While the autofocusing system is dramatically improved, it’s still behind rivals. The camera’s Face and Eye-detection only works when subjects face the camera directly. If they turn to profile, it quickly loses track and doesn’t default to general object detection. And like other recent releases, the camera does occasionally hunt and lose focus. It also doesn’t support the detection of animals. But, while it’s not as fully featured as rivals, it’s certainly their best implementation so far.
It uses a Micro HDMI Type-D port, which is known for flimsy connections. A Mini or full-sized HDMI port is preferred.
Unlike the predecessor the port covers are not removable, which is not ideal when using larger cage or rig set ups.
While converting the USB-C port into a headphone output is clever, it’s not ideal. This configuration means you cannot power the camera and monitor simultaneously. For this, you’d have to purchase the battery grip.
It lacks the high-resolution Pixel Shift Mode of higher-end Fujifilm cameras.
Is this a good beginner camera?
But, as their most recent flagship, it’s quite pricey at the moment. But, as a package, it’s arguably the strongest high-end APS-C camera released to date. It takes all of the proven successes from the X-T3, couples it with IBIS, an articulating screen, and superior battery life. As a package, it delivers plenty for long-term growth. And Fuji’s again proven this camera is competitive with several full-frame rivals. So, it’s quite an extraordinary camera if your budget allows.
Is this a good camera for you?
This camera is a strong option for high-end vloggers and content creators. With its articulating screen, 4K 60 fps video, stabilized sensor, and headphone and microphone ports, it’s quite the package.
Photographers, however, are still best suited getting the older generation X-T3. The most notable improvements are the updated White Balance, IBIS, and larger battery. And, while these are helpful, they alone don’t justify the price difference.
This camera is excellent for hybrid shooters and budding cinematographers. As a package, it’s Fuji’s best camera for video to date and the current benchmark in the APS-C segment.
Current Fujifilm owners should consider upgrading if they want the hybrid and video-centric updates. Otherwise, consider the X-T3.
In the end, Fujifilm’s X-T4 builds on the proven successes of its predecessor. Yet, it maintains a stylistic and attractive aesthetic, unique to the X series range. The improvements made here have created Fuji’s best camera to date. And not only have they managed to improve the battery life, but they also added IBIS and a fully articulated screen to boast with minimal weight. And even with all of the updates, the X-T4 maintains the compact charm of the earlier models. As a package, it offers exceptional value for money. And given its feature set and price, it’s in a unique segment of its market. Sure, it competes with full-frame, and yes, it’s one of the most expensive APS-C cameras. But it’s the complete camera. And a serious consideration.
The Fujifilm X-T4 is the complete package. Fuji’s packed an enormous feature set into this camera. And right now, it’s the current leader in the APS-C mirrorless segment and the one to beat.