Image quality

ISO 160 | 1/100 sec | F5.6 | Fujinon 16-55mm F2.8 lens @ 16mm
Photo: Richard Butler

The X-T4's image quality is essentially the same as that of the X-T3, with the exception of the new Color Chrome Effect Blue processing option, two extra Film Simulation modes and a 'clarity' processing parameter that applies large radius sharpening to give images more 'punch.'

Key takeaways:

  • Excellent image quality with a selection of attractive JPEG film simulation modes
  • Good DR at low ISOs and well-controlled noise at high ISO settings
  • Performance not significantly different from existing 24MP sensors

Studio scene

The X-T4 is something of a known quantity when it comes to image quality. It captures similar amounts of detail to its 24MP peers but falls behind the 32MP Canon EOS M6 Mark II. Noise levels are broadly comparable with its peers. Its sensor size means it falls behind most full frame rivals, when shot at the same F-number and shutter speed though. It's also possible that there's some noise reduction being applied in the Raws at high ISO, given how low the chroma noise appears to be in some parts of our scene.

JPEG color is the usual attractive, vibrant Fujifilm response. Yellows are pleasing, without a green tinge, greens are warm and saturated and blues have no magenta tinge. Reds aren’t quite as red as Canon’s or Sony’s, which means pinks (and caucasian skin tones) are a tiny bit more magenta than its peers in Standand/Provia. The camera offers a range of useful color modes, including Astia, which gives more flattering portraits. Less sophisticated sharpening means the JPEGs can't match the Sony a6600 for detail emphasis, though noise reduction at higher ISOs does a reasonable job of balancing noise suppression with detail retention.

Dynamic Range

There are no real surprises in terms of dynamic range, either. The sensor is a dual gain design that switches to its higher gain (less total DR but lower noise) setting at ISO 800. As we'd expect, this means the lower ISO settings are a touch noisier, when lightened, compared to this better-optimized mode. That said, the difference between ISO 160, lightened, isn't dramatically worse than the native ISO 3200 result.

This suggests that even in its low gain setting, the camera isn't adding much noise to the images. In turn, this means you can underexpose a low ISO to preserve highlight information, rather than using a higher ISO setting, without too much of a noise penalty, or you can shoot at ISO 800 mode instead of a higher ISO with essentially no noise cost.

This low amount of read noise means there's plenty of scope for reducing exposure and lightening shadows, when you're shooting high-contrast scenes at base ISO. The higher base ISO means the exposures aren't totally matched here (the Fujifilm was given 1/3EV more light) than the other cameras and is likely to clip highlights a fraction sooner. Overall, the message is that the X-T4 files should give plenty of processing latitude.

In-camera HDR

The X-T4 features the same multi-shot HDR mode first introduced on the X-Pro3, this shoots, aligns and combines three images and tries to cancel-out any movement that's occurred between them. To give itself leeway for alignment the images are slightly cropped-in and then upscaled back to 26MP, which results in a slight reduction in fine detail.

This HDR 800 image meant the image has detail in the cross at the top left, which would otherwise be blown out. Click here to see a default ACR rendering of a single-shot version.

ISO 160 | 1/240 sec | F7.1 | Fujinon 16-55mm F2.8 lens @ 16mm
Photo: Richard Butler

The HDR mode has five settings, specified in the menus under 'Shooting Settings | Drive Setting | HDR Mode.' These are 200%, 400%, 800% and 800%+, along with an 'Auto' setting that chooses from these options, based on how bright and contrasty the scene is.

Unlike many cameras' HDR modes, the Fujifilm lets you shoot Raw and, rather than either merging the data or only retaining a single image's data, the full Raw data for all three shots appears to be retained. We've not yet found any software that's able to exploit this additional data but the camera can re-process HDR images to reduce the tonal range included in the final image; so if you find your HDR 800% images are too low in contrast, you can reduce them back to HDR 200 images with a narrower range but more contrast.