XT4 update

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Fuji Maine Senior Member • Posts: 1,120
XT4 update

I was holding on hope for this mornings Fuji event to announce anything with regards to the XT4.  Unfortunately, nothing.  It's been 11 months since the release of the XT4 and there's been no meaningful FW update with regards to performance or features.  Part of me was hesitant to even post this knowing that one of the first three replies will be, "you know what it was when you bought it". To that point, you're right.  100%.  I've consumed the Kaizen Koolaid when I should have known better.  After buying the XH1 I should known.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  All that said I'm just disappointed, that's all.  I guess the crux of my frustration lies with what seems like every three months Fuji releases a new camera and most of them are the same thing besides form factor and +/- a couple features here and there that are held back.  There's something to be said for having "something for everyone".  There's also something to be said about using time and resources to get the most out of a more limited lineup.  It would just be nice to have a the lines separated a bit more with different hardware.  As of today, the XT4 turned out to be what I had feared it might only be which is nothing more than an XT3 with IBIS, a flip screen no one wanted and a new battery.  A reminder that the XT3 came out in September of 2018.  Two and a half years later with that sensor and processor and they haven't gotten any more out of it than how the XT4 sits today.  It's the XH1 all over again.  Maybe we'll see some sort of effort put in when they are ready to launch the next generation of cameras and need to move the XT4's.  It just feels like a half hearted effort to actually advance things forward.  I'm just venting I guess but I can't be the only one who finds this frustrating.

As of this morning, the follow is the list of cameras Fuji has released since September of 2018:

XT3, XT30, Xpro3, X100V, XA7, XT200, XT4, XS10, XE4. I might have even missed one but even that is nine cameras or one just about every three months.  Seven of them use the same sensor and processor.  Not sure if the XT200 and XA7 use the same processor with the different sensor. Regardless, that's a whole heck of a lot of bodies in that time period without much performance increase.

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Jerry-astro
Jerry-astro Forum Pro • Posts: 16,764
Re: XT4 update
9

I guess it all depends on your expectations when buying a camera.  While I really appreciate the Kaizen updates and the added functionality, when I buy a camera, I assess it on its features, value, handling, and other criteria.  If it serves my needs and is a good value, then I will purchase it and get the most out of it over its life.  I don’t purchase it for future, undefined features that might or might not be delivered over its lifetime.  I prefer to think of the Kaizen updates as a nice bonus rather than something I’m banking on or feel cheated about if they don’t meet my hopes and expectations.  I try to use a similiar philosophy in purchasing most anything... assessing whether the product meets my current and future needs as is, rather than hoping it might become something different.

I realize that you see this very differently, and we all have our own viewpoints.  However, given the fact that Kaizen updates are not necessarily common or standard practice in the industry, I try not to take them for granted.  Obviously YMMV, but I frankly have a really hard time sympathizing with your concerns here.  If you feel other vendors are doing a better job of updating their products, then you may find that direction to be more compelling.

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Foxjet Contributing Member • Posts: 937
Re: XT4 update
1

Jerry-astro wrote:

I guess it all depends on your expectations when buying a camera. While I really appreciate the Kaizen updates and the added functionality, when I buy a camera, I assess it on its features, value, handling, and other criteria. If it serves my needs and is a good value, then I will purchase it and get the most out of it over its life. I don’t purchase it for future, undefined features that might or might not be delivered over its lifetime. I prefer to think of the Kaizen updates as a nice bonus rather than something I’m banking on or feel cheated about if they don’t meet my hopes and expectations. I try to use a similiar philosophy in purchasing most anything... assessing whether the product meets my current and future needs as is, rather than hoping it might become something different.

I realize that you see this very differently, and we all have our own viewpoints. However, given the fact that Kaizen updates are not necessarily common or standard practice in the industry, I try not to take them for granted. Obviously YMMV, but I frankly have a really hard time sympathizing with your concerns here. If you feel other vendors are doing a better job of updating their products, then you may find that direction to be more compelling.

Absolutely agree, way too much negativity going around. Fuji has to make smart business decisions to stay in the camera business in these trying times.

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Threaded Veteran Member • Posts: 3,477
Re: XT4 update
1

11 months is a bit of an exaggeration - it was announced in February last year, but (according to Wikipedia at least) wasn’t released till April.  Since then, the people really playing the waiting game for updates were the X-T3 owners, who didn’t get the latest AF updates from that camera until just before Christmas.  Prior to that they didn’t even have the latest updates from the X-Pro3 released a full year before.

I’d personally say it’s a little soon to be griping about the XT4’s lack of updates, particularly since there hasn’t really been anything released since that improves on it, up to and including the latest XE4.  That said, yes there is plenty of evidence that what we previously knew as “kaizen” is now a much slower moving and less predictable beast, and it’s also a fact that yes - just like the XH1 - the XT4 came relatively late in the current sensor/processor cycle.

History tells us that Fuji pretty much always stop feature development on firmware for the existing processor when they release a new one, and it’s almost inevitable that - with the XE4 now out of the way and the entire current lineup on X-Trans IV - they will turn their attention to a new sensor and processor for future products.  I’m sure the XT4 will get some new toys thrown at it at some point, but I wouldn’t expect much more than one reasonable update.

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Mike B USA Regular Member • Posts: 105
What update were you hoping for?
1

What were you hoping to see in an XT4 update?   What do you think needs updating?

biza43 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,313
Re: XT4 update
1

So, what update are you asking for? A X-T5 or a FW update for the X-T4? Your post is mostly about things that are independent of FW updates.

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ikaika777
ikaika777 Senior Member • Posts: 2,611
Re: XT4 update
2

Think of it this way, “The X-T4 is an X-T3 with IBIS!’ “Whoo-Hoo!!!” 🎁🥳🍺🍷 🎉 🎈
I’m still totally happy with my X-T4 and it’s because of the IBIS. Would it be nice if Fuji’s AF and face/eye detect was on the exact same level as Sony or if they had awesome animal eye AF like Canon? Sure but I think once we come to terms and accept the fact that Fuji will never be the leader in camera technology then we can just enjoy what we have and what we already have is pretty great.

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OP Fuji Maine Senior Member • Posts: 1,120
Re: XT4 update

Jerry you correct. As I preemptively stated my issue is only due to my expectations. Although I had hoped for some small improvements to come I was also very realistic when I bought the XH1, especially because at the time I bought it the XT3 was rumored to be around the corner. I was VERY happy with my XH1. It was obviously an end of cycle release but was a very polished camera that offered several elements above the XT2 at the time. Beyond form factor was IBIS, a really great EVF, tough as nails construction, a brilliantly silent shutter etc. I knew that with the XT3 coming that they wouldn't be working to further develop the previous generation. There was also a pretty massive level of improvement via firmware from the time that the XT2 was launched to when the XT3 came out which the XH1 was also the beneficiary of. After all, it was that generation that really cemented all the praise of Fuji's Kaizen. It wouldn't be unreasonable to think that this generation of processor could also see some valuable improvement over the cycle like the previous generation had enjoyed. And that's the crux of what I'm getting at. That same level of engineering focus on improvement just doesn't seem to be there.

So what am I looking for?

It would be nice to see sensor shift photos realized at some point this cycle. Now I'm very realistic that especially with the new IBIS construction this isn't something that would come quick. It took a year and a half to release it for the GFX100, but it was announced that it was coming about seven months after release.

The only other thing I was hoping for is really the only issue I have with Fuji and that's with regards to AF. Adding the object tracking available in photo mode to video is a no brainer and honestly a head scratcher that it hasn't happened yet. Beyond that is continued work on the AF algorithm itself. The only AF worse in the industry is Panasonic. I'm not even talking about gimmicky stuff like animal AF. I mean just continuing to tune its accuracy. This current generation of sensor and processor really isn't much better than the last. One could make a reasonable argument that the algorithm actually isn't any better and that it's just the advancement in the processor that is responsible for making it any better at all. Sure some lenses pose some limitations due to dated focus motors but that's easier to swallow if the eye and face AF didn't randomly decide to stop tracking, or inexplicably grab shoulders instead of faces, or get completely confused by glasses, or not recognize childrens eyes too often.

That's what I'm saying when I'm looking for advancement. At 26mp I'm not clamoring for more resolution except for landscapes when sensor shift would be great to have. With 4K60 and 10 bit color I'm very happy with the video specs as well. So I really don't have a need for an XT5 or XH2 that only again gets marginally better AF ability because of a newer faster processor. I want them to fix the algorithm itself to catch up to what other manufacturers were capable of three years ago.

Editing to add this one last thing to the end.  I didn't think they would roll out a FW update today but what I was hoping to hear was that they had made significant progress on the AF and that it would be rolled out to the current generations cameras even throughout the next year.  Tell me that you're currently working on sensor shift and more details will come in the coming months.  Just give me some hope to hold on to.

ttusteveo Regular Member • Posts: 327
Re: XT4 update

I don't quite see why Fuji releases so many bodies either.  A spreadsheet probably explains it.

The biggest issue they have as far as innovation isn't really their fault.   Sony makes the sensor... Fuji is already buying the best sensor that Sony makes for APS-C.  They've got to wait for the next generation to come from Sony before they can offer it.

In the interim, they need to draw in as much profit and push the products forward as much as they can.  I don't think it was a small feat for them to engineer the IBIS unit, and we're seeing new lenses and lens updates - so they aren't sitting still.

Curious to see if the next gen sensor (32MP ?) is X-Trans or Bayer.

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Human Elements
Human Elements Contributing Member • Posts: 566
No sensor shift coming
2

Sensor shift has never been on the table because of the X-Trans color filter. That's a Bayer-filter only trick (which the GFX bodies have).

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ttusteveo Regular Member • Posts: 327
Re: XT4 update
2

I think that X-Trans makes high-res sensor shift pretty difficult to accomplish. I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Personally, I think X-Trans is doomed. Fuji have already stated that it's not necessary in higher resolution applications - the juice isn't worth the squeeze. Standardizing on Bayer will allow Fuji to consolidate programming efforts (same for X and GFX), enable pixel shift, allow for more efficient image processing as X-Trans is more processor intensive, and probably save them money on the sensor itself.

Even the software firms will save as they won't have to maintain and update X-Trans demosaicing algorithms.

It's not whether X-Trans was good or bad for the prior or current cameras, but whether it makes sense when the next sensors come out.

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OP Fuji Maine Senior Member • Posts: 1,120
Re: XT4 update

ttusteveo wrote:

I don't quite see why Fuji releases so many bodies either. A spreadsheet probably explains it.

The biggest issue they have as far as innovation isn't really their fault. Sony makes the sensor... Fuji is already buying the best sensor that Sony makes for APS-C. They've got to wait for the next generation to come from Sony before they can offer it.

In the interim, they need to draw in as much profit and push the products forward as much as they can. I don't think it was a small feat for them to engineer the IBIS unit, and we're seeing new lenses and lens updates - so they aren't sitting still.

Curious to see if the next gen sensor (32MP ?) is X-Trans or Bayer.

I'm quite happy with the current sensor. Honestly I think it's one of the best sensors on the market. If they're going to release that many bodies I'd actually like to see one with a lower resolution if anything.  That would cast a wide net of appeal to video and many photo shooters as well who value the low light noise performance over resolution.

Nick on the Baltic
Nick on the Baltic Regular Member • Posts: 255
Re: XT4 update
2

Fuji Maine wrote:

I

As of this morning, the follow is the list of cameras Fuji has released since September of 2018:

XT3, XT4

Significant updates of a top-of-the-range model. Would you rather have waited longer for the XT4?

XT30, XA7, XT200,

Updates of entry-level models with a choice of Bayer or X-Trans sensors, to stay relevant in a fast-moving consumer segment

Xpro3,

A significant update (after a long wait) of a top-of-the-range model.

X100V

An update of the only fixed lens X model, last updated in 2017

XS10

A new model to appeal to a new demographic

XE4.

An update to a unique mid-range model, last updated in 2017

I might have even missed one but even that is nine cameras or one just about every three months. Seven of them use the same sensor and processor. Not sure if the XT200 and XA7 use the same processor with the different sensor. Regardless, that's a whole heck of a lot of bodies in that time period without much performance increase.

But bodies in different segments, each providing much wanted improvements vs their previous models. Not saying anything regarding your complaints about what technologies any particular model doesn't have, but I think your complaint about the number of new bodies is missing the point.

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OP Fuji Maine Senior Member • Posts: 1,120
Re: No sensor shift coming

Human Elements wrote:

Sensor shift has never been on the table because of the X-Trans color filter. That's a Bayer-filter only trick (which the GFX bodies have).

I get how the filters are different and why making that not possible to do four times the resolution because of the layout of the grid preventing how things would line up but it would appear that it could shift it to a smaller degree to align things.  I guess I'm just one of those people who don't say it can't be done and just say that it hasn't been done yet.  I'm clearly not a software engineer so it might be impossible but I don't think I've actually seen any Fuji say that it was impossible...like they said about IBIS.

Doug MacMillan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,307
Re: XT4 update
2

Monty Python What have the romans ever done for us (Nl subs) - YouTube

"As of today, the XT4 turned out to be what I had feared it might only be which is nothing more than an XT3 with IBIS, a flip screen no one wanted and a new battery."

You forgot to mention a more detailed LCD, a completely different shutter,  improved AF and face/eye detection and for video a higher full HD frame rate and the ability to record video on both cards at the same time.

This comment made me think of "Life of Brian".  Each of the items you mention are significant differences IMO.

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Doug MacMillan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,307
My Miatas

Jerry-astro wrote:

when I buy a camera, I assess it on its features, value, handling, and other criteria. If it serves my needs and is a good value, then I will purchase it and get the most out of it over its life. I don’t purchase it for future, undefined features that might or might not be delivered over its lifetime. I prefer to think of the Kaizen updates as a nice bonus rather than something I’m banking on or feel cheated about if they don’t meet my hopes and expectations.

I have a 2002 and a 2015 Mazda Miata, the NB and NC.  They are completely different cars, with the NC a much more sophisticated car on a number of levels.  There are a few things that I could do to bring its performance closer of the NB to the NC, but I have chosen to let the NB remain as it was when I bought it.

Now the latest Miata is the ND, which is completely different from my NC. I don't begrudge my NC for not being able to be turned into the ND.

I also don't begrudge that I can't turn my X-H1 into the X-T4.  I look to firmware updates to fix bugs and if they can throw a few goodies in as well, then all the better.

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DarnGoodPhotos Forum Pro • Posts: 10,789
Re: XT4 update

ttusteveo wrote:

I don't quite see why Fuji releases so many bodies either. A spreadsheet probably explains it.

At the core of the issue there are two styles of bodies with two tiers each; X-E# / X-Pro# and X-T## / X-T#; so that's four cameras where other companies would have two. Beyond that they have the fixed lens X100, Entry level X-A# / X-T### which are actually made by a different company and may just be dropped, three medium format cameras, and the new PASM X-S10.

Beyond dropping the entry level cameras, I'm not sure what Fuji could cut, I sure wouldn't want it to be the X100 line. If the X-S10 proves popular it may replace the X-T##; considering how the XE4 has been simplified, fans of the X-T30 may not like what the Xt40 could become. Of course then Fuji may add another premium camera in the form of the X-S# which would replace the next X-H#.

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