Today Fujifilm announced its most powerful X-series camera ever - the X-T4. When Fuji discontinued the X-H1, many Fuji users wondered what would happen to the successor to the X-T3 - would it gain more video features? Would it get IBIS from the X-H1? Is the the X-H# series dead? Well the answer is yes, yes, and it remains to be seen.
The new X-T4 features many improvements, both internally and externally, along with some controversial changes. We had the chance to get our hands on a pre-production model for a few days to test out - read on to see what we think.
Body Design / Changes
At first look, the X-T4 has a very similar look to the X-T3, but once you set the two side-by-side the differences become obvious. While not significantly larger, the X-T4 is bigger than the X-T4 in all dimensions. This is mostly due to the addition of IBIS, a larger battery, and the fully-articulating screen.
On the front of the body, the grip is larger, and has a deeper, more comfortable feel to it. While not quite as deep as the X-H1, which I personally loved, it’s an improvement over the X-T3, especially for those with larger hands. The X-T4 now features a USB-C connection as well. This has two uses - to charge the camera, and to act as a headphone jack (using the supplied USB-C adapter). It still has a mic jack (which can function as a LINE in port), a remote jack, and a micro-hdmi port. On the other side you get dual SD card slots with an easy to remove door.
On the back of the camera, the button layout is similar to the X-T3 for the most part, but now there is an AF ON button to the left of the real dial, where the AEL button used to be. While the button sticks out a bit more than the others, and is easy to find - the placement is a bit akward and can be a bit of a stretch. The Quick Menu button is located to the right of the dial, and the AEL button replaces where the Quick Menu button used to be on the X-T3. The rest of the buttons remain the same. The biggest change is the new fully-articulating LCD screen. While it is a hair larger and higher resolution (1.62K-dot vs 1040K-dot) than the X-T3, not all of our staff loved it. Some preferred the classic “Fuji flip” screen, and while I liked the addition of the fully-articulating screen - accessing it can be a pain. There is a cutout beside the D-Pad to pull it out - which was a challenge to use when shooting outdoors with gloves on. Even liner-gloves made it difficult. On the X-T3 you could pull the screen up/out from the bottom, where it was flush with the base of the camera. Now the screen fits inside of the base plate, so you can only access it with the cutout area.
Up top, the the Function button has been moved just to the right of the shutter button, and the metering switch has been replaced with a Still/Movie switch.
For photographers, the X-T4 features many improvements over the X-T3. Once you take a photo, you instantly notice how much quieter the shutter sound is. The IBIS system is a completely new design compared to the X-H1 and uses magnets instead of springs. It is 30% smaller, 20% lighter and offers up to 6.5 stops of stabilization compared to the 5.5 of the X-H1 (IBIS performance varies by lens - Fuji says 18 X-Mount lenses will offer 6.5 stops). The face/eye AF is considerably improved over the X-T3, and was able to easily keep up with and track both ice hockey and basketball players. For those who photograph sports/action, the buffer is slightly improved as well, and able to shoot up to 39 uncompressed Raw files, and 49 compressed Raw files. The shooting speed also sees a bump to up 15fps (vs 11fps on the X-T3). Having used the X-T3 for some sports shooting in the past, the success/hit rate of the X-T4 is much better, especially for action that is coming towards you. While the X-T3 was able to focus down to -3EV, the X-T4 is able to focus down to -6EV. The shutter on the X-T4 is now rated at 300,000 clicks, up from 150,000 clicks on the X-T3.
Some other additions that the X-T4 has include 2 new film simulations (Eterna Bleach Bypass and Classic Negative), as well as being able to adjust Monochrome/color chrome/grain effects and a curves adjustment.
There are multiple boost modes now as well. It now has Economy/Normal/Boost modes. You can get up to 500 photos in normal mode, and up to 600 in economy mode. One downside is that you do not get an external battery charger anymore, but Fujifilm does offer a dual-battery charger, and if you purchase the vertical grip you can charge the batteries through that as well. While being able to charge the battery in-camera is convenient, it does take longer than charging it on an external charger. The LCD/EVF also have 3 different boost modes. Low Light priority allows you to see subjects better in low light, Resolution Priority to improve the fine details, and Frame Rate Priority which minimizes the blur in the viewfinder when shooting moving subjects.
Videographers will also see some improvements as well. The X-T4 now features Full HD high-speed video at 240p (with autofocus), and electronic image stabilization to allow for even more stabilization while moving. There is also an Image Stabilization Boost mode that helps stabilize footage when shooting fixed-point video handheld. In addition to the new Still/Movie which, you also get separate quick menus for photo and video modes. For more serious videographers, you have the ability to record DCI 4K/60 as well as being able to record F-Log footage in 10-bit color right to an SD Card. Continuous tracking in video works quite well, even in lower light situations (Fuji claims AF-C subject tracking will work down to -6EV). With the new battery, you should be able to record over an hour of 4K/60 footage on one charge.
Real World Use & Sample Images
While we only had a short amount of time with the camera, we were able to test it in several situations. Overall, the claims of faster AF, more accurate face/eye tracking, and ability to keep fast moving subjects in focus hold true. The new body design is more comfortable than the X-T3, and while it may not be as comfortable as the X-H1 (some may disagree), it feels secure in the hand, even with gloves on. The new LCD is hit or miss with people, but will definitely be a selling point to vloggers. Normally I’m a big fan of using back button focusing, but even after using it for 2-3 days, I still found the placement of the AF ON button to be awkward.
- What we liked:
- Improved ergonomics on the overall body
- Multiple "boost" modes for the EVF/LCD for different shooting situations
- 1080/240p with autofocus
- Extremely quiet shutter w/ improved IBIS
- AF sensitivity is improved to -6EV, for better low light autofocus performance.
- Movie/Still Menu & Quick Menu are photo/video specific for more relevant menu's.
- Battery life is almost double now for video, and 50% more for photos (normal mode).
- What we didn't:
- Still a slight crop in 4K/60
- LCD access can be a pain
- Headphone jack dongle to USB-C instead of having a dedicated jack.
- Rubber covers over ports/jacks instead of a "door" like on the card slot cover.
- No charger included.
- No improvement to EVF (though Fuji says optics were tweaked a bit).
Overall, the X-T4 does a great job of appealing to both videographers and photographers. Is it worth upgrading from an X-T3 or X-H1? For some the answer is a clear yes, but for others it may have them holding on to their current Fujis. Either way, the X-T4 is bound to be a hit, just like every other X-T# camera from Fujifilm.
With the recent Coronavirus outbreak in Asia, Fuji is hinting that this camera will almost immediately be hard to get. The expected ship/sales date is late April. The X-T4 will be available in black and silver, and in 3 different kits - body only, with the XF18-55 f/2.8-4, and with the recently released XF16-80 f/4. You can pre-order yours here: