Video

Key Takeaways:

  • Extensive video specification with image quality that lives up to that spec
  • Image stabilization makes the X-T4 a capable run-and-gun shooter
  • Autofocus can be effective but only for some types of shooting (there's no generic subject tracking)
  • Operation and handling are well thought out, making it one of the best options, especially if you expect to switch back and forth between stills and video
  • The stabilizer can't always correctly identify intention movement so will try to fight against you, particularly on slow pans.

Video overview

The X-T4's video specs are essentially the same as those of the X-T3, which is to say: the best of any APS-C camera and some of the best this side of Panasonic's video-centric GH and S1H models.

It can shoot oversampled 4K footage in either the UHD or DCI aspect ratio from the full width of its sensor at up to 30p, and 60p footage from a cropped region. There's a choice of 8 or 10-bit 4:2:0 capture with a variety of color modes including F-Log, Hybrid Log Gamma and the cinematic 'Eterna' mode, depending on whether you plan to post-process, display on HDR TVs or just want a subtle and forgiving color response.

The main drawback, depending on how you shoot, is that it can only record 4K 50 or 60p for around 20 minutes and 30p or slower for around 30 minutes. The precise time depends on the ambient temperature, but may be restrictive for you.

Operation

The biggest change to the X-T4's movie shooting operation is the provision of a dedicated Stills/Movie switch under the shutter speed dial, which allows rapid switching back and forth and provides distinct menus in each mode.

Video mode maintains separate settings for image parameters such as film simulation mode, white balance, DR mode, tone curve and sharpening. Custom banks of these settings can also be saved, to make it easy to switch between different video 'looks.'

Distinct exposure settings are also maintained for video and stills mode, but this will only be apparent if you either, a) set ISO, aperture and shutter speed to be controlled using the command dials, b) engage the touchscreen/command dial driven 'Movie Optimized Control' mode in the menus. In any other circumstances, the dedicated dials will dictate the settings for both.

We find the slightly redesigned 'Movie Optimized Control' interface pretty quick and easy to use, so we'd recommend using it to remove any risk of accidentally carrying exposure settings across if you're quickly switching to and from video mode.

Autofocus

Autofocus is broadly unchanged, compared with the X-T3, so you can control the speed at which the focus is driven and how quickly the camera responds to a change in subject distance. A bit like stills mode you have the choice of a 'Wide' area mode, that refocuses on something nearby and central in the frame, or a single point, which will refocus on whatever's under it, meaning you can tap to refocus as you shoot.

However, like the X-T3, there's no subject tracking option in video mode. While it can track a face as it moves around the frame, everything else demands that you manually keep the AF point on your subject. We wouldn't recommend Face Detection AF unless you're shooting something like an interview, where you're confident that your subject will continue to face the camera: if the camera 'loses' the face it's focusing on, it can flutter focus unpredictably.

For circumstances in which you can manually focus, the X-T4 offers focus peaking and magnification, with the option to maintain magnification when you start recording.

Image stabilization

The X-T4's stabilization is particularly valuable in video, but it's worth understanding the options and their limitations. The basic mode uses in-body stabilization and uses in-lens stabilization where it's available. If you are trying to correct for more significant movement, you can add digital IS to this, which crops in to let the camera use different regions of the sensor to correct for movement.

In addition there's an IS Boost mode, for when you want the camera to correct all movement (think of it as a virtual tripod mode). The change in performance isn't always noticeable as you shoot but we've got good results when shooting essentially static shots.

This whole project was shot hand-held, with Boost IS mode used to keep the 'static' shots steady.

A Mac OS bug resulted in the blacks being crushed in this video. Click here to download a re-graded version (~800Mb).

However, in circumstances where you don't want to correct all motion (and you've turned Boost mode off), the X-T4 isn't especially good at distinguishing between intentional camera movements and the shake that it's supposed to be correcting for. It's much improved compared to the X-H1 but is not as seemingly psychic as the latest Panasonic system. It's most noticeable if you're good at panning slowly and smoothly: the camera doesn't recognize your subtle movement as intentional and tries to correct for it, causing the footage to grab and release as it tries to correct, hits the limit of what it can correct and shifts the sensor back to its central location.

It's not clear how well Fujifilm will be able to address this issue. In use, you may not find it too much of a problem if you pan fairly quickly, since this gives the camera a more overt indication that the movement is intentional. To a degree you can work around the issue by initiating your pans outside the range you intend to use, so that the initial grabbiness has been overcome by the time you cut to that clip. It's worth being aware of, though.

Performance

Overall we've been very impressed with the X-T4's footage. The Film Simulation modes make it easy to shoot footage that needs very little color grading and 10-bit internal Log footage means you can get nicely malleable results if you do plan to do significant color editing. The View Assist mode that provides a corrected preview when shooting Log makes this easier, too.

60p 30p / 24p / 23.98p
DCI 4K
(4096 x 2160)
14.5ms 18.2ms
UHD 4K
(3840 x 2160)
15.6ms 19.9ms
Full HD
(1920 x 1080)

12.2ms

12.2ms

Rolling shutter numbers are all reasonably low. Around 20ms is comparable to the results of the video-centric Panasonic S1H, which suggests they won't be a problem for many types shooting. That said, the S1H also has an APS-C mode that exhibits much less rolling shutter (though also less detail, since it's not oversampling, like the X-T4 is).

However, there are a number of issues to be aware of while shooting. The camera is pretty smooth at adjusting its ISO in response to changes in brightness, but if you let it adjust aperture the transitions are slower and the changes more obviously 'stepped.' There's also a slight flickering brightness change if you try zooming a lens while recording, and this persists even if you turn off 'peripheral light correction' on the camera. Depending on how you shoot, you may never encounter either issue but, like the IS fighting against panning, it's worth knowing about as you choose how you're going to shoot.

Overall, and particularly when shooting this project, we found the X-T4 to be a very capable self-contained video camera that can adapt to a variety of shooting circumstances.