The Fujifilm X-T4 Review... Just Might Be The Best Hybrid Camera?
This camera feels familiar yet evolutionary. The analog styling continues to be the defining aesthetic for Fujifjilm's X-Series cameras.
There are cameras for work and cameras for pleasure. The Fujifilm X-T4 is a camera for work that's a pleasure to use. Although it's not something you'd buy as a luxury, it lets its total versatility shine through pleasantly. After two years of using this primarily as a video production tool and as a secondary photography camera, the most prominent specialty that sticks out to me was its reliability. The buttons and dials have held incredibly well, and throughout unpredictable situations, the camera seems unfazed.
As a Fujifilm shooter, picking up an X-T4 feels familiar yet evolutionary. The analog styling continues to be the defining aesthetic for this series, with the dials providing a very tangible way to control how you capture an image. However, what's interesting about the X-T4 is the handful of refinements that make for a more comfortable shooting experience. The grip is more pronounced, the viewfinder sits further out from the back of the camera, and the two command dials have a smoother flow to them. It all leads to a better feel in the hands. This camera incorporates the DSLR shape that has defined the pro imaging space, but it doesn't feel intimidating.
The Fujifilm X-T4 features the oh-so-capable, fourth-generation X-sensor that promises to be twice as durable and 30% quieter. While it isn't as quiet as the leaf shutter on the X100V, it's pretty damn hushed. I never felt like the camera was noticeably loud throughout my shooting environments. The new shutter module increases the burst rate to 15 FPS in automatic mode, which is staggering. Unlike the X-H1 before it, though, this one uses magnetic springs to make it smaller and lighter. In practice, it works very well. I could get as low as 1/4 of a second and still capture usable images will lead to varying results.
What We Love:
Flip-Out Screen: A screen that quite literally orientates itself to wherever you need it to be.
Better Battery Life: A long-lasting battery life for photos, including two different modes that enable more control.
The Colors: The log-profile screen grabs from video seem almost too good to be true; they boast natural colors and realistic detail. Beautiful straight out of the camera.
Hi-Tech Meets Vintage Feel: Although it looks and feels like an old-school camera, it’s impressively high-tech and shines with top-tier specs.
Auto Focus: The X-T4’s improved AF tracking performance works brilliantly, perfect for those who rely on automatic settings.
Camera Type: Mirrorless Camera
Best For: JPGs straight out of camera, actually good at photos and video, street photography, great built-in film emulation, vlogging, landscapes, easy transfer to phone, auto focus face/ eye tracking
X-T4 APS-C Mirrorless Camera
You're a creator looking for the do-everything camera? Chase your creativity with the Fujifilm X-T4 digital camera the ultimate camera for hybrid image makers!Buy for $1,699.00
This camera is for those that want to create great moments in camera as much as possible. The color science and various film simulations Fujifilm provides are named some of the best in the business. "Acros" explicitly gives a black and white rendering that is beyond exceptional. Beyond this, the unique sensor makes noise and grain feel pleasing in many instances, not patterned or intrusive, which culminates in those "Fuji Tones" that users love.
There's a high degree of customization here — if you'd like to learn the custom recipes I use, you can find that video here. The X-T4 has new Boost modes to customize the performance of the camera based on your needs.
Inside the X-T4, you'll find a newer, bigger battery, and during my tests, I found this to be noticeably better than my X-T3, significantly outlasting it in almost every measure. You can prioritize autofocus to catch focus as fast as 0.02 seconds or put more of an emphasis on battery life. The Fujifilm X-T4 looks at the opportunities from the model before it and addresses nearly every single one.
Another significant change is the shift to a fully articulating display. The higher resolution LCD can now be pulled out, rotated, and flipped inward if you so desire. It may not be for everyone, but I'd argue that more people will appreciate this than not, especially if you plan to vlog on the go.
If you plan to vlog with an external microphone, the I/O doors and connected cables will obstruct the LCD. The metering sub-dial now contains a Still-Movie switch, which may bother some but benefit most. With a quick flick, you can drop into Movie mode, which will, in turn, will change your menu settings and quick menu options to reflect your setup dedicated to video capture. Further, you can customize the X-T4 to disregard the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO dials in video mode and only respond to the command dials. Such features are a huge benefit for users who wish to switch settings for photos and video seamlessly. What a vast improvement that makes a hybrid workflow much better!
Now, let's talk about video capture. You can record up to 4K at 60P internal with a high bit rate. One can go even further with an external recorder for even more depth. At 1080P, you can now go as high as 240FPS, but it's worth noting that this mode will be of slightly less quality than 120FPS. Depending on your selected settings, there may be a crop up to almost 30%, should you use the new digital stabilization. You can alleviate the guesswork by forcing a fixed yield of 1.29 across all video modes you want to keep things simple. If that wasn't enough — when shooting in F-Log, you can now preview your exposure, hot-swap SD cards for longer recordings, or even record to both card slots simultaneously.
The X-T4 offers more than enough to satisfy any enthusiast creator and even enough for some severe filmmakers regarding video functionality. Rigging this camera into a full-on video monster was a tremendous creative joy. Capturing a 10-bit 4:2:2 video in a cinema-Esque package feels excellent in the field and also lets your clients know you mean business. There are times for a Red Gemini, and there are many projects below that, but in those situations, rolling up with an X-T4 rig will put clients at ease.
Investing a good amount of dollars around your camera is a risky proposition because it means you're committing to it for the long run. However, the video quality you can pull from this camera is incredible. Shooting in F-Log gives you a file that I believe is easier to grade and color match than several other manufacturers. The built-in Eterna simulation is great for a faster workflow where one can control lighting.
All in all, this camera is a powerhouse on two fronts. Are there any things that hold this camera back after all this time? Yes.
Opportunities for Improvement
There are some rational problems with this camera and something that may be more irrational. Let's look at the practical side first.
The micro HDMI port is a terrible port to ship nowadays for a flagship mirrorless solution. My port has not failed on me, but it does wiggle, and in some instances, I've had the cables pop out during a production. It doesn't happen often, but the successor to this camera needs to have a full-size HDMI port. Next is the menu system. While it can be easier to navigate than others and the Still/Movie switch cleans up the selection process, I believe a better design would make for a more helpful onboarding experience.
Now, let's talk about something less rational. The X-T4 got a noticeable upgrade with the flip-out display, and this is great in times I want to record myself, but this is not a great user experience when you're working behind the camera. Having your attention down and to the left feels unnatural, especially with photography. I would love to see this change to something more like the Panasonic S1H, where it can tilt AND flip out to the side. I would argue that more people would like this than continuing with the traditional flip-out display.
Lastly, and I think this may happen regardless, I'd love to see the successor to this camera take a noticeable leap in autofocus and video functionality. While I firmly believe that this camera outperforms 90% of the people that will use it, I love the idea of raising the ceiling and Fujifilm making a bold offering for their enthusiasts and pros. I'd love to see the benchmark in a few key metrics and not just match what the competition is doing.
Against the Market
How does the Fujifilm X-T4 compare against the market and even against its predecessor? Well, I'd argue that this camera will not take a *better* picture than the Fujifilm X-T3, but the advancements may give you more opportunities and make the experience feel better. Being able to focus as low as -6EV, shoot at a slower shutter speed, and use up to 3 batteries with the optional grip, means that you can shoot longer and in more places. In short, the X-T3 will work for most people deciding between the two, but there is enough offered to warrant the price difference for the X-T4, especially if you plan to capture a good amount of video.
The X-T4 comes in at sub $2,000 putting it within striking distance of full-frame cameras like the Nikon Z6, Canon EOS R, and Sony A7 III. There are advantages to shooting with these full-frame cameras, but that shouldn't be the only deciding factor. The X-T4 has a much more robust suite of features and offers a rich collection of lenses that don't overpower the camera when you mount them. If you're wondering which camera is right for you, specify what you are looking to capture and work back from there. Go with your gut, and don't look back.
What It Has:
- 3 types of boost mode
- Low light priority
- Improved AF tracking performance
- Vari-angle LCD
- Still / Movie mode dial
- Fix Movie Crop Magnification
- New In-body stabilization unit
What It Captures:
- 240FPS at 1080P, 4K at 60 FPS, and 4K at 24FPS
- Long exposures
- Low light scenarios
- Detailed landscapes
- Street scenes
- Fast-action where autofocus is a priority
- Blackout time: X-T4:75msec, X-T3:96msec
- Doubled Durability: 150,000 (X-T3) vs 300,000 (X-T4)
- 30% more silent shutter sound and comfortable shutter feeling
- Dual Battery Modes: 1.) Economy Mode, 600 frames and 1700 w/ grip, and 2.) Normal Mode, 600 frames and 1450 w/grip
- DIS correct image blur between frames by shifting cropping position. *Requires 10% crop margin.
- 1.62 mil dots Vari-angle monitor
The Fujifilm X-T4 is a workhorse. You can shoot images up to 30 frames per second black-out free, capture 4K video up to 60P in F-Log, or get wild and make your crazy profiles off a solid library of film simulations.
Due to the success of the X-T3, the X-T4 didn't seem to get as much fanfare. However, there's still enough to prioritize for many enthusiasts and professionals, notably image stabilization. This camera promises up to 6.5 stops of image stabilization in the field, and during my time with it, it felt competent and valuable to have. There were plenty of times when I could drop the shutter speed down and get a sharp image. Couple this with a new battery and improved ergonomics — you'd have a brilliant camera that allows you to capture more and more often.
We're all looking for a feeling—the perfect camera for us, this metal and glass extension of our creativity. What impresses me most about the X-T4 is how much potential Fujifilm has implemented. Such as:
- More responsive object tracking
- Classic Negative, and Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulations
- Monochromatic color options
- Multi-exposure mode
- HDR+RAW capture
- Improvements in auto white balance
- In-camera TIFF options
- Autofocus range limiter
- Grain size
- Strength control
The Fujifilm X-T4 is not a revolutionary product — it's an evolution. The design team listened to all the feedback and looked to improve each aspect of an already fantastic product. Something that is by no means easy to accomplish. While it's unfortunate that its release came when most people are at home and unable to capture as much as they would, this camera has so much going for it. The X-T4 is an all-around camera that does many things well while being a joy. And therein lies a unique trait of many Fujifilm products—the marriage of powerful features and classic design. It's something that I can use to capture an epic portrait or produce an impactful video and find joy throughout the process. The Fujifilm X-T4 is a feature-rich camera with a purposeful design that is near perfect in execution.
For many creators out there, it's as close to the ideal as you're going to get.