This is the Fuji X-T4 (link goes to Amazon), and on paper, it’s probably the perfect camera. But today we’re gonna evaluate its execution to see if that impeccable spec sheet pays off.
Let’s get Undone.
What’s happening everybody? I’m Gerald Undone, and when nothing goes right, go left. So I’ve had this camera for about two weeks now, which was lent to me by Fuji. This is a pre-production model, and they obviously expect to have it back. I’ve not been compensated for this video and Fuji does not get to review it before I publish it.
So I really liked the X-T3, but I don’t use one on my regular workflow, because as good as it was, it was missing a couple of things that made it less than ideal for my needs. And I’m not someone who will just accept the lackluster battery for example, because of Fuji colors.
But when I heard about all the improvements they made to the X-T4, I was convinced they made the perfect camera. Now, when I say the perfect camera, I don’t actually mean “perfect”, because some things are subjective, and other aspects will always be prone to limitations. Like, how do you define perfect resolution, for example?
So I think instead we should evaluate the features with three designations in mind: it can be worse than the competition; as good as the competition; or better than the competition. And for me, the perfect camera would have all of the key features be as good, or better, than the competition where it counts.
And we’re launching off here from the X-T3 and assuming that you have some knowledge of previous Fuji cameras, I can save you some time and tell you that if you didn’t like the X-T3 for more reasons than the lack of front-facing screen, or IBIS, you’re probably not gonna like the X-T4, either. And if you dislike Fuji in general because of the images they produce, the lenses, where the vintage looks, and top dials, again this camera probably isn’t gonna win you over.
But if instead, you liked the idea of the previous offerings, but just wanted a little bit more, then this might be the camera for you.
So let’s begin with the ergonomics and menus.
First off, I don’t like the top dials or the vintage looks, but thankfully, that doesn’t preclude me from being able to use this camera successfully. I usually just set them all to their respective control modes and then just adjust my exposure with the more modern thumb, and command dials.
That was the same with the X-T3, but this version is better because they’ve given us a better placed and correctly assigned AF-ON button and better access to the quick menu. And the grip is deeper and more useful for large hands compared to the X-T3.
It has a flip-out screen, which is obviously infinitely better for seeing yourself than not having one. There’s enough assignable function buttons to get by.
For this section, I’d say the Fuji X-T4 is as good as the competition. It’s not the best or better than the competition because the top dials are waste time of real estate, in my opinion, which could be better used for some more function buttons or a third command dial. And the grip isn’t the best in the business when compared to Panasonic, Nikon, or some Canons.
And to be honest, I don’t think the flip-out screen is the best way to go. I think you either need some super multi version like the Panasonic SH1 where it can 3-way tilt and flip-out or just do what Sony’s doing and have a flip-up screen.
I actually like the flip-up screens better, because you can keep your view directly behind the lens while getting high and low angles, and then when self-filming, you aren’t looking off to the side.
So, everything Fuji’s done here is great and an improvement for sure, but it’s not the best I’ve seen. But that won’t hurt it from being the perfect camera; because remember, it only has to be as good, or better, not the best in everything.
But this brings me to the first area where it’s worse than the competition. In fact, it’s worse than even the X-T3, which is the input and output ports. First, they did away with the X-T3’s removable port door, which I thought was an awesome feature, and instead went the flap methods.
Flaps suck. You don’t want things dangling, blocking your access. And they also ditch the headphone jack while keeping micro-HDMI, which is unfortunate.
Now they did include the dongle that lets you use your USB-C port as a headphone jack, which is appreciated, because it really bothered me on the X-T30 that they wanted to do the same thing, but then they didn’t include one in the box. And the one for my Google Pixel didn’t work. So, I appreciate this inclusion, but that means you can’t use USB power delivery and headphones at the same time, which is silly, and not quite as good as the competition, unless you buy the grip.
Now, I wasn’t a fan of the X-H1’s reliance on the grip, and thankfully this camera doesn’t require the grip to fully function. But it does give you a headphone jack and frees up the USB-C port to allow you to charge all three batteries, in that case, at once: the one in the camera, and the two in the grip. And this grip does offer better value than previous Fuji grips, because this one actually includes the two extra batteries when you buy it, making it a decent investment because these new batteries are great.
They’ve nearly doubled their capacity, and are now pretty much on par with Sony’s FS100 batteries, which for me is the most important improvement on the list. I hated the old Fuji batteries. And while these new ones aren’t the best in the business, they’re definitely as good as the competition, and good enough to keep me happy.
Speaking of that removable door, though, on the port side, they’ve put that removable door on the memory card side now, which doesn’t make much sense to me, but there are some improvements in general on the memory card side. You’re still getting dual UHS-II SD card slots. But now you can open the door and hot swap them without the camera turning off and stopping recording. And you can also do backup recording and video, so you can write your video file simultaneously to both slots if you’re worried about data loss. This now puts Fuji on par with the competition in this regard.
But there’s one perplexing element to this: you can hot swap cards, yes; but it still has the same record limits on the camera, so what’s the point? You can still only record thirty minutes in 24 25 or 30 frames per second and 20 minutes in 4k 50 or 60. So unless you’re using really small SD cards, I don’t see hot swapping being necessary.
And this is a notable area where for me, the Fuji is not as good as the competition. Sony’s recently made the move to no record limits and Panasonic’s been doing it for quite a while now. However credit where credit’s due, that’s pretty much the only limitation in terms of settings and recording control.
I can’t speak to whether you’ll personally like the navigation of Fuji’s menus, but what I can say is that everything is there. I heavily praised the X-T3 for being able to customize so much about your recording. You can separate your profiles, so you can send F-log to the SD card; and a film simulation to the external recorder, or vice versa. You can set 1 to 4k and 1 to 1080p; you’ve got All-I, Long GOP, H264, H265, Multiple-bitrate options, 10-bit color separate settings for photo and video, separate settings for the internal mic or the external link; multiple tally light controls.
It’s just outstanding. And now, they’ve included a dedicated selector switch to get you quickly between photo and video modes with customized menus for each interface.
They’ve also added F-log view assist and a new thing called Fix Movie Crop Magnification, which lets you apply the same crop to all your recordings, so it doesn’t change when you jump from 4k 60 to 4k 24 or to the slow motion modes or when using Digital IS. This way you can keep the same framing throughout.
And I also like how when you activate a mode that has a different crop, it displays it for you in the top corner of the LCD, so you don’t have to guess at it. It makes my job easier too, when I want to share the different crop specs with you guys, which I might as well do now.
So up to 4k 30, which is regular IBIS, you get your standard 1.5 times APS-C Fuji crop. If you enable Digital IS, you’ll get an additional 1.1x crop. If you’re shooting 4k 50 or 60, you’ll get a 1.18x crop. And if you shoot in 4k 50 or 60 with Digital IS, the crops combined into an additional 1.29x. You’ll also get the additional 1.29x if you use the 120p or 240p slow motion modes.
And something else I like about this camera is when using any of those different frame rate options, you can set your shutter speed to exactly double for the 180 degree rule. So, rather than 1/50th of a second, you can use 1/40th; and rather than 1/250th, you can set it to 1/240th etc. That’s a much appreciated inclusion.
I also like all the information that’s displayed when reviewing a video clip that you recorded in camera. It shows you the exposure settings, white balance, profile, resolution, and frame rate of the clip that you captured, which is really handy when you wanna recreate a similar shot and not a lot of other cameras do this for video.
So, overall, when it comes to the menus and customization, Fuji gets the nod for being better than most of the competition. Things are pretty easy to find, and pretty much everything that you’d want to find, is in there.
I do have a couple notes for improvement though. First, it’d be nice to see some more video monitoring tools like waveforms; and second, there’s the strange behavior where the menu will remember your position if you exit it and return to it. Unless you’re in the setup page, it seems to forget your position when you exit from the setup tab, which feels like an incorrect behavior.
Anyway, that pretty much covers my experience physically using the camera. And so far, nothing that would stop it from being the perfect camera, save for maybe the record time limits. But those can be bypassed by using an external recorder, which works wonderfully on the X-T4, thanks again to all those excellent menu and output optimizations.
But now, let’s talk about the actual results you get. And for this, I’m gonna enlist the help of someone whose entire existence is dedicated to this perfect camera pursuit.
[Camera Conspiracies] “Oh, hey Joe, is that the X-T4?”
[Gerald Undone] “Alright, so we’re here with Camera Conspiracies and you had a chance to play a little bit with the Fuji X-T4. And we did a couple things based on your needs is for the perfect camera, which are what, IBIS?”
[Camera Conspiracies] “Autofocus?”
[Gerald Undone] “Shouldn’t you point that out, you?”
[Camera Conspiracies] “Autofocus, super slow motion, so I can cross the street, inspiring people across the nation; and color science matters because I suck at color grading. I don’t wanna fiddle around.”
[Gerald Undone] “So let’s talk about the IBIS. We did so many a6400 on a gimbal, that would be I guess, maybe our control, that’s a camera with no IBIS and it’s stable. And we did the a6600, which has IBIS built-in, and you were just holding it on like a little Manfrotto Pixi. And then, we did the Fuji X-T4, with. It has two IBIS settings: it’s got regular IBIS, if you will, and the digital image stabilization. And we did both of those, and then you also did your G85. Which you think is like, that’s your best?”
[Camera Conspiracies] “That’s the best I’ve seen in a camera. It’s comparable to a gimbal. Better, sometimes.”
[Gerald Undone] “And what are your findings?”
[Camera Conspiracies] “Basically we found the gimbal was the best; a6400 with a gimbal. Smoothest footage you could get.
“Second place, very close, was the Panasonic G85, which cost like $200 now.
“Then came, we kind of—we didn’t butt heads on this but, Fuji IBIS plus digital looked the most pleasing. So there was things happening sometimes, the face would just like, jump. And you were saying there was like some blowfish face that I was—“
[Gerald Undone] “Blowfish face, that it was like squeezing in and out a little bit. I mean, I’m gonna put the clips up over time with this, so they might be able to see it but—“
[Camera Conspiracies] “I couldn’t see that, but it was not free of like artifacts, and weird [censored word].”
[Gerald Undone] “And then when we take the digital off, the weirdness was gone, but we had a lot more bounces. Digital off felt more natural, but it was more shaky.”
[Camera Conspiracies] “And to be fair, we didn’t test any Fuji lens with stabilization in the lens, which might have just fixed everything. But I doubt it, though. I think—“
[Gerald Undone] “The lenses that we did test, we used the, we got the 16, the 55mm, f/2.8 and we have the 23mm f/2. And there’s a chart with the lenses, and these ones are getting like five and a half or six tops according to that chart. So they should be, as good as what Panasonic is saying in terms of stops. But the stops thing is more relative for photography. And, I imagine the IBIS works great, for getting a low shutter speed photos. But in terms of street walk and stabilization, it’s not the kind of six stops you get over there. It’s—“
[Camera Conspiracies] “It’s the walking that Fuji just can’t handle. Like, if you’re just holding it, it looks pretty good until you start moving; which all cameras suffer with, they struggle with. But Panasonic somehow, and Olympus is even better than Panasonic.”
[Gerald Undone] “But it is better than the Sony. It’s tough to watch; like it’s really, really shaky and really bad. It’s better than when it’s off.”
[Camera Conspiracies] “Is it though?
“From what I’ve tested, I’m not impressed, and that’s what I was waiting for. Can Fuji do it? The XH1 wasn’t good enough.
[Gerald Undone] “I can say that it’s better than the XH1, if you’re just doing this, like if you were handheld, shooting something and you’re kind of making like slow movements like that, it is better than the XH1. So that’s not, but for vlogging; I guess would, be the question here, your perfect vlogging camera. The IBIS isn’t a huge improvement and it’s not Panasonic level.
“There’s a mode, the IS boost, just like Panasonic has, the IS boost right? And when you put the IS boost on Panasonic, it all of a sudden looks like you’re on a tripod. You know what I’m talking about? It just locks it right off.
“Fuji has that as well. And I don’t know if it is just because this is a pre-production model, but it doesn’t do anything. Let’s move on.
“So IBIS is an improvement, but it’s not Panasonic level. Autofocus!”
[Camera Conspiracies] It locks on well. If you want to jump in and out of frame like a jackass, which you would never do, it skips, it pulses. I feel like it’s a mix between Panasonic and Sony. It was nowhere near the Sony autofocus. In here, it performed pretty well. It’s not great.
[Gerald Undone] If you just need it to point at yourself and keep your face and focus I think it’ll do that no problem. And pretty much every mode has AE/AF in video. We put it up to—I think, we even had it to the 240 frames per second thing. My problem is that the focus is too fast in every other application. We were doing some tests where, like, you said the jump in and jump out test. That one, if you watch the trees in the background, they like, freak out; they like, flash from in and out of focus, and it makes it jarring. It doesn’t have a way to transition smoothly.
“And then, just before we shot this, we were messing around here. We were just pointing it at things and we were changing all the settings: speed, fast, and slow, and the responsive faster like locked on and it’s the same thing. You pointed that one thing and it kind of like blinks to it. And then you pointed something else, that’s like you were pointing over here, and you were like that’s four jumps and two jumps.”
[Camera Conspiracies] “I pointed at the mouse and it jumped four times before it got the focus and I think the main problem with Fuji is the lenses. They just—that’s their problem. It’s like the stepping autofocus. They haven’t fixed it; they have a couple like I think the new 16 mil, at 2.8, is like okay, we make video now. Let’s make some video lenses that are smooth.”
[Gerald Undone] “Yeah, cause Sony has their whatever they call XD Linears and they like basically, like, they slide the motor, like slides forward and back. And you can see that when we compared it to the same jump-in, jump-out with the Sony. The trees do go in and out of focus, but they kind of like slide in and out of focus and it doesn’t make you look at them in a way that would be displeasing. Because this is supposed to have a more improved autofocus system, and I think what that means is it’s just so fast now. Like it’s the craziest, fastest thing I’ve ever seen.
“But that’s not great for video transitions. But for photography, sure, if you need to like snap focus as like somebody’s running at you. But if you want video transitions, I don’t think this is on for that.”
“But it is fast, so if that’s what you’re looking for, where you want it this like if you jump. If you do this, and jump in the frame you want to just like to snap to your face, it does that. So again, I think for vlogging it’s good.”
[Camera Conspiracies] “It was doing some weird things when we were both in the shot. It would focus on you even though I’m closer to the camera. It was doing some weird things, and in the slow-motion test, when I turned my head away from the camera, it lost me for a second.”
[Gerald Undone] “It was interesting. It almost looked like it was trying to show what you were looking at.”
[Camera Conspiracies] “It’s cinematic.”
[Gerald Undone] “It worked out well, but it was weird that it did that.”
[Camera Conspiracies] “But yeah, on paper, it’s the best. In practice it’s not that impressive. Sony autofocus is much better. Panasonic has much better stabilization. It’s a jack-of-all-trades, master of nothing, but color science. They mastered that, and exposure is nice. It’s not the perfect camera. I was hoping to disappear, to disintegrate. It didn’t happen. I’m still here.”
Something the Fuji really has going for it though that makes those handheld camera movements and vlogging shots easier to look at than using APS-C Sony’s, is its excellent rolling shutter performance. So, while it might be quite as good as the competition in terms of autofocus or image stabilization, it does have probably the best sensor readout at its price point. You’re not gonna see much jello here.
And that sensor also scores well in terms of color accuracy and dynamic range. It’s obviously not as good as some of the full-frame competition from Sony, but it definitely keeps up with the latest APS-C offerings from the competition.
There’s nothing stopping you from producing high-quality photos and videos with this camera. And we didn’t really talk about photography at all. That’s because for the most part, it shares the same capabilities as the last few Fuji cameras. The X-T3, X-T30, X-Pro3, X100V are all using the same sensor and processor, and are all capable of taking essentially the same images.
Yeah, there’s a couple new film simulations and the X-T4 is the fastest of the lot. It can fire off to 15 frames per second using the mechanical shutter, and it’s even quieter than the previous version.
So if you like the previous Fujis for photography, you’ll probably like this one 5 to 10 percent more. Although the new battery is very handy to have and so is the IBIS if you could take advantage of slow shutter handheld shots.
But in conclusion, is it the perfect camera? No. It doesn’t quite have the IBIS or the autofocus performance to get that title, but the camera is definitely better off having those features in the state they’re in, versus not having them at all.
And maybe they’ll be improved in the future with firmware. But their inclusions, mixed with the great new battery, the excellent menu, and customization options, the articulating screen, and the other quality of life improvements, make this the closest Fuji has come to being the perfect camera. In fact, it might be the closes anyone has come in this price range, because in almost every other category, it’s either as good as the competition, or better.
So if we can revise what Kasey said in his conclusion, and instead say the Fuji X-T4 (link goes to Amazon) is more of Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of Some.
[Camera Conspiracies] “Oh, hey, Gerald, is that the X-T4?”
“Oh, hey Gerald, is that it—is this, the—?”
“Is that the X-T4? Why—?”
“Is that the X-T4?”
“Oh, hey Gerald, is that the X-T4? Oh my God—“
But that’s gonna be it for me. I hope you found this video entertaining or at least helpful. And if you did, make sure leave it the old thumbs up and consider subscribing, if you haven’t already. But if you did not find this video helpful or entertaining, then your life is probably a film simulation. Yeah. Alright, I’m done.