X-T4: Fujifilm has finally caught up

To say that I’ve been waiting a long time for this would have been an understatement. As a Fujifilm user, it was difficult to resist the temptation to switch to a system like Sony, especially when I’m someone who shoots both photos and video. But, there’s finally some good news. Finally, we have the Fujifilm X-T4, and for someone like me, it’s almost like a breath of fresh air.

I can already hear all the comments from the Fujifilm purists, especially those who own an X-T3. “Oh, I see no reason to upgrade!” “Oh, it’s actually just the same camera!” “Oh, the flippy screen makes it worse!”. And, while I think someone could make an argument for all of those if they really wanted to, the fact is that the X-T4 is a pretty big update—if not in specs, but in philosophy. It’s Fujifilm saying that they’re not just a “photo” camera, they’re here to play.

But, we’ll start with why some are unimpressed with the X-T4’s specs. For starters, the sensor is identical to that of the X-T3 it succeeds. It’s still a 26.1-megapixel X-Trans 4 APS-C sized sensor that’s paired with the same X-Processor 4 too. On top of that, the electronic viewfinder (EVF) from the X-T3 has also been brought over, so you’ve got the same 3.69M-dot screen here.

Then, everything changes. For starters, the camera now comes with Fujifilm’s new, reportedly better, and lighter in-body image stabilisation (IBIS). It’s a 5-axis stabilisation system that can offer up to 6.5-stops of stabilisation if you pair it with one of Fujifilm’s optically stabilised lenses. This new IBIS uses magnets and it allows the company to add it to the X-T4 without drastically increasing its size. As a result, it’s only a little bit bigger and slightly heavier.

That said, some might see this as an upside because the beefier body will often also mean a better grip which is always nice. What’s also nice is the fact that the X-T4 also comes with better battery life. A CIPA rating of 600 shots per battery is pretty good, but the sacrifice here is that the X-T4 now uses a brand new battery, so your old ones won’t work on this new camera.

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Next, we’ve got one of my favourite features, the fully-articulating 1.62M-dot touchscreen. Finally, a proper screen for videographers who also want to film themselves. I don’t care how many people defend the flip up (or down) screen, I’ve personally always preferred the fully-articulating display because it doesn’t get in the way of the mic or the tripod without needing to resort to a cage. Plus, there’s a lot more flexibility with a screen like this.

Of course, photo shooters might not enjoy this as much because shooting from the hip will be a bit more of a hassle. It’s also more vulnerable to being clipped by objects because it sticks out more, but I’d take that trade-off any day of the week.

Finally, on the hardware side of things, Fujifilm went ahead and updated the camera’s shutter mechanism too. The company says that it’s a newly designed unit and that it is the “fastest and most robust in the history of the X Series”, which is always promising. Apparently, it’s 30% quieter than its predecessor, but the truly impressive thing is that now the camera has a lifespan of 300,000 shutter actuations. For context, about 200,000 actuations would be the standard for most cameras.

For video, the camera is able to capture up to 4K 60fps video at 400Mbps, up to 1080p 240fps video at 200Mbps, and you can also shoot F-Log in 10 bit colour straight to one of the two SD card slots built into the camera.

I also like the fact that the X-T4 supports USB-C PD fast-charging, but it looks like in an effort to make space for the new IBIS system, Fujifilm had to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack for monitoring audio. However, the company will apparently include a 3.5mm to USB-C adapter in the box so you can monitor it with that. Yes, dongle life has officially arrived for cameras.

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Sony’s mirrorless options (full-frame or otherwise) have been at the forefront for hybrid shooters for the longest time because they’re scary good at both. And, even though many (myself included) swear by the photos of the Fujifilm X Series cameras, I won’t lie that I’ve been tempted to make the switch to a Sony camera. Especially when I saw the impossibly capable Sony a6600 launch.

With the X-T4, however, I’m finally getting the sense that the company is taking both video and photos seriously now. It feels like the “experimenting” they did with the X-H1 and the development of their X-T series has culminated in this incredibly capable camera that I simply cannot wait to give a go.

However, I would like to point out that the Fujifilm X-T4 is retailing for a jaw-dropping USD1,699 (~RM7,150) for the body only, and a jaw-dropping USD2,099 (~RM8,833) for the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit, and an eye-watering USD2,199 (~RM9,254) for the XF16-80mm f/4 kit. That’s a lot of money for a camera like this and I frankly don’t know how to feel about it. At this point, we don’t have the official numbers for the Malaysian pricing just yet, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll update you as soon as I find out.

[VIA, 2]