In-body stabilization is the big news, but there are a host of improvements that make the X-T4 one of the most capable stills/video cameras in its price range.

Key Takeaways

  • In-body stabilization gives up to a 6.5EV benefit
  • Improved AF tracking performance
  • New shutter mechanism promises 15 fps shooting and 300,000 shot lifespan
  • Processing and interface improvements from X-Pro3
  • New Raw compression mode and 8 or 16-bit TIFF output options

In-body image stabilization

Perhaps the biggest addition in the X-T4 compared to previous models is in-body stabilization. It's a newly-developed mechanism that's smaller, lighter and quieter than the one used in the X-H1, and is able to deliver up to a 6.5EV benefit, according to CIPA standard tests. We find we don't experience quite as large a benefit as CIPA figures suggest, but a 6.5EV rating represents impressive performance that we'd expect to equate to a major real-world advantage.

Fujifilm says this 6.5EV figure is maintained with 18 of its 29 X-series lenses and that 5EV of stabilization is the lowest figure for any of the remaining lenses.

Stabilization has an obvious benefit for stills photography, where it can help increase image sharpness and extend the range of shutter speeds over which the camera can produce steady images, but it also has a big impact on the camera's utility for video shooters, which we'll look into later in this article.

Improved autofocus

Fujifilm says its subject tracking system now considers color and shape as well as distance information, and the performance boost this brings is immediately noticeable. We're hoping it's possible to extend these capabilities to the X-T3 via firmware.

Click here to see how a pre-production X-T4 compares with an X-T3

The X-T4 also inherits the face/eye detection interface behavior from the X-Pro3. It's pretty effective, letting you override face detection by moving the joystick, meaning you can fairly confidently leave face/eye detection mode on all the time. There's also the Face Selection option, which uses the joystick to choose between multiple faces in a scene and can be over-ridden by pressing the joystick inwards. Like the X-Pro3, you need to assign a button to engage Face Selection mode.

New shutter unit

The X-T4 is built around a new shutter mechanism, which is one of the changes that allows it to shoot at 15 frames per second. The new mechanism features improved damping and is rated to last 300,000 cycles: twice the rating given the to X-T2 shutter and three times higher than the rating it gave the FinePix S5 Pro.

The X-T4 has a new mechanical shutter capable of shooting at 15 fps

As with previous models, the camera lets you choose whether to use the mechanical, electronic first curtain or fully electronic shutter. There's also a mode that switches between all three modes at appropriate shutter speeds, the only frustration being that you need to manually select electronic shutter mode to access the camera's fastest burst speeds.

Eterna Bleach Bypass filter

It wouldn't be a new high-end Fujifilm camera if it didn't have a new Film Simulation mode. The X-T4 gains 'Eterna Bleach Bypass', which, as the name suggests, is a color mode designed to look like the subtle Eterna film profile subjected to bleach bypass processing.

Fujifilm says it will also provide an F-Log-to-Eterna Bleach Bypass LUT so that F-Log footage can be intercut with footage shot with the new film simulation.

Updated tone controls

The X-T4 has an updated version of the tone controls added in the X-Pro3. This combines the highlight and shadow controls into a single menu option with a graphic showing the shape of the modified tone curve.

On the X-T4 this has been updated to allow more subtle half-step adjustments, rather than that whole increments. As usual, there's the option to retrospectively apply these changes using in-camera Raw conversion, meaning you can precisely adjust the tone curve to match each image.

Image options from X-Pro3

In addition to the combined tone controls, the X-T4 gains a handful of other processing options from the X-Pro3. These include the Color Chrome Effect Blue filter, which can be used to give richer blues and applied in conjunction with any Film Simulation mode.

There's also the addition of a 'Clarity' processing parameter, which emphasizes local contrast within the image to give it a bit more punch. The X-T4 also gets the Classic Neg film mode, introduced on the Pro3.

Lossy Raw Compression

The X-T4 offers three options for Raw shooting: uncompressed, lossless compression and now 'compressed' Raw, which is a lossy option. This may sound like an odd addition, but in many situations, it may be the smart choice.

Based on the amount of space it saves, we suspect it's exploiting the characteristics of light and linear encoding. The way photon shot noise (the randomness of light) behaves means that the magnitude of noise is greatest in bright regions of the image. These are also the tones that are encoded with the greatest precision by cameras (the brightest stop of light in your image accounts for half of your available raw numbers).

Fujifilm says the quality is 'about the same as uncompressed' but there may rarely be a quality difference in the shadow regions of the image

This means the bright part of the image are encoded with more precision than necessary (there's no point in retaining very detailed information about a signal that inherently has a large variance), which means you can combine highlight data without any meaningful loss of information. Fujifilm says the quality is 'about the same as "Uncompressed"' but that 'users may, on rare occasions, see a quality difference in the shadow regions of the image.'

Raw-to-TIFF output

In addition to its Raw or JPEG options, the X-T4 gains the ability to output 8 or 16-bit TIFF files via its in-camera Raw conversion interface. These are images demosaiced by the camera but saved as large, minimally compressed 16-bit files, rather than lossy 8-bit compressed JPEGs. This would give more files that are more malleable than JPEG output, but less manipulable than Raws. A 16-bit TIFF is around three times the size of a Raw file.

The TIFFs are created from the camera's 14-bit Raw data, which makes sense, give the marginal gain of running the sensor in 16-bit mode (there's a barely measurable difference between 14 and 16-bit output on the Fujifilm GFX 100, which uses the same pixel design). But if you want high-quality, ready-to-edit files that correctly reflect the camera's Film Simulation modes and detail reproduction, rather than trusting of a third-party Raw converter, it gives you options.

Interval timer exposure smoothing

Like many previous Fujifilm cameras, the X-T4 has an interval timer system but it now gains the system from the GFX 100 that ensures there aren't dramatic jumps in exposure, shot-to-shot.

Video capabilities

The X-T4's core video spec is very similar to that of the X-T3, offering 8 or 10-bit full-width oversampled UHD or DCI 4K at up to 30p, and 60p with a crop. It gains the ability to shoot 1080 at up to 240 frame per second, that can then be output at anywhere from 23.98 to 59.97p to give anywhere between a 1/10 and 1/4 slow-down.

But there are a host of changes to the camera's interface on the video side, as well as the significant benefit of the camera's stabilization. Again, we'll cover these in more depth later in the article.


Compared to...

Neither Canon nor Nikon offers image-stabilized APS-C cameras, and, given this is essentially a stabilized variant of the X-T3, we think it makes most sense to compare it to other models with built-in shake reduction.

Another option to consider in this part of the market it the recently-announced Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III. It stacks up pretty well in this company but we selected the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 ahead of it as the G9 comes closer to matching the X-T4's 4K 60p shooting.

Fujifilm
X-T4
Fujifilm
X-T3
Sony
a6600
Nikon Z6 Panasonic
Lumix DC-G9
MSRP $1699 $1499 $1400 $2000 $1699*
Sensor size
(square mm)
APS-C
(367)
APS-C
(367)
APS-C
(367)
Full-frame
(864)
Four Thirds (225)

Pixel count

26MP 26MP 24MP 24MP 20MP
Stabilization Up to 6.5EV In-lens only Up to 5.0EV Up to 5.0EV Up to 6.5EV
(Maintained at long FL on Dual IS lenses)

Max frame rate with AF (mech-shutter)

15 fps 11 fps 11 fps 9 fps (12 fps in
12-bit mode)
9 fps
Max frame rate with AF (e-shutter) 20 fps 20 fps 11 fps 8 fps (12 fps in 12-bit mode) 20 fps
Card slots Dual UHS-II Dual UHS-II Single UHS-I Single XQD Dual UHS-II
Viewfinder resolution 3.68M-dot OLED 3.68M-dot OLED 2.36M-dot OLED 3.69M-dot OLED 3.68M-dot OLED

Viewfinder
magnification

0.75x 0.75x 0.71x 0.8x 0.83x
Shutter life 300,000 Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified 200,000
Video UHD/DCI up to 60p UHD/DCI up to 60p UHD up to 30p UHD up to 30p UHD up to 60p
Max bit-depth 10 bit
F-Log / HLG
10 bit
F-Log / HLG
8-bit
S-Log 2/3
'HLG'
8-bit
(10-bit NLog over HDMI)
10 bit
HLG
Mic / Headphone Mic or Line-level input / Via dongle Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
Battery life (CIPA)
LCD/VF
500/500 390/- 810/720 310/- 400/380
Weight 607g 539g 503g 675g 658g

The Panasonic G9 was launched at $1699 in Nov 2017, its MSRP has subsequently been re-stated as $1499

As you can see, the X-T4 offers a competitive all-round spec. It promises the fastest shooting, a very durable shutter and video spec that tops even the updated G9 to the best-in-class title. The new battery gives it around a 25% advantage over most of its peers, with the notable exception being the Sony. The Olympus (not shown) is still the only camera in the class to offer a formal rating for its weather sealing.

A list price of $1699 puts it close to the likes of Nikon's Z6 and Sony's a7 III (not included here as the a6600 is a more direct competitor). Those two cameras have significantly larger sensors, which generally means there'll be situations in which they can capture more light and give better image quality. But to do so they'll tend to need larger lenses than the Fujifilm. Notably, neither of them can match the Fujifilm for its video spec.