Fujifilm X-T4 - The "Kaizen" of the X

25th February, 2020


I was quite excited to haul myself over after a tiring journey back home from Indonesia to Fujifilm Bangladesh in anticipation of meeting Keitaro so san, Divisional head of Fujifilm Optical Devices and Electronic Imaging Division. Little did I know that I'll get a hands on to some pre-production cameras and lenses. Nice, right? Suddenly I wasn't exhausted anymore.

The surprise soon got real exciting, when I was told that I could have the pre-production camera for a 12-hour window, provided that I agree to an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). And then there I was, over the moon with a pre-production fully working, next iteration of Fujifilm high-end mirrorless camera.


Enter Fujifilm X-T4.


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Fujifilm X-T4 Pre-Production unit and the XC35mmF2


Fujifilm revamped their third generation high-end X-T line with a newer model. And this time, they ticked many of the right boxes. I'll mention some main specs here so you know what they are.


* 26.1 MP X-Trans 4 CMOS sensor

* High-speed X-Processor 4 image processing engine

* Further AF improvement over X-T3, significant improvement of Face / Eye detection

* Industry leading magnetically forced IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) of 6.5 stops

* Increased shutter durability by 200%, estimated 300,000 actuations

* Newer battery NP-W235 significantly increases the battery life

* 15 FPS continuous shooting thanks to new shutter design

* 1.62M dot vari-angle rear display

* New ETERNA Bleach Bypass and Classic Negative film simulation


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Negative Classic & ETERNA Bleach Bypass film simulation added.




This is not a review by any means. This is simply something I am writing to express my experience with the X-T4. When I first picked up the camera, I liked it. It felt good in my hand. I wanted one. Granted, I only had it for a number of hours, but we all loved it. Sometimes you don't know what you want, until you see it for yourself. Now that, my friends, is a testament of a great camera from one human, two cats and one sentient robotic being.


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Sharp looking camera, right?


IBIS:


Many of the new features will be very welcomed by the Fujifilm users. IBIS is possibly the most important feature that will set it apart on a higher-scale than on the X-T3. As it is now, the IBIS unit can offer 6.5 stops of image stabilization with 18 out of the 29 XF / XC Fujifilm lenses, and that is very impressive. According to some other camera manufacturer, 6.5 stops is the highest the gyro sensors can achieve before the earth's rotation interferes with them, but 6.5 is no joke. I was able to take photos at 1/12 at 53mm equiv. so it is very good indeed.

X-T4 IBIS also seems to be working well with a manual lens I tried: Voigtlander Nokton 75mm F1.5 Aspheric. The EVF frame was quite stable while manually trying to achieve focus.

Shot at 1/12 of a second, at 53mm equiv. focal length.

IBIS seemed to work well with manual focus lenses too!
Lens courtesy: Md. Zubaer



Auto Focus, System Responsiveness, Battery life:


The camera itself felt very smooth in operation, I didn't experience any lags or anything. The AF seems responsive, and although I couldn't do a portrait test in that short period of a time, it did seem to track subject better. Focusing seems snappy with both the XF 16-80mmF4 and the XC35mmF2 lens.

It was able to take full advantage of my UHS-II memory cards and cleared the buffer quite quick. It is so fast at continuous high speed, I had to change the drive settings to keep it firing at a lower speed.

The shutter sound felt more confident, suppressed and not as touch sensitive as the X-H1. For me that is a good thing, as I don't have to get used to a different type of shutter.

The new battery is another important factor. X-T4 uses the new NP-W235 battery which houses 2200mAh power. That is a big jump from the older NP-W126S batteries which only had 1260mAh. Also it seems that the USB-C now uses Power Delivery protocol, the battery charged up pretty quickly when using a PD charger. The battery life was always an Achilles' heel for Fujifilm, and this new battery significantly increased the number of shots possible in one charge: from 390 shots in X-T3 to 500 in normal mode, and 600 in economy mode.


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The new NP-W235 battery: 7.2v @ 2200mAh 16Wh

Given the amount of time I had the camera with me, and that too started in the evening, I didn't really get to shoot much with it. Surprisingly, Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 9.2 was able to open the raw files, even though it is not a supported camera according to Adobe. And even though LR could open the raw files, it is not detecting the Classic Negative and the ETERNA Bleach Bypass film simulations, hopefully the upcoming LR update will do.


Luckily, I did shoot some RAW + JPEG so here is an example of the difference between PROVIA/Standard and the ETERNA Bleach Bypass film simulation.


PROVIA/Standard vs. ETERNA Bleach Bypass


Even though it was a pre-production unit, the camera came with Firmware 1.0, so I think it was a final revision of the camera. There is something I noticed when I tried to access the firmware section of the system after I used the camera for about 10-15 minutes. It wouldn't let me access the firmware section until the camera is cooled down. It is nice to see Fujifilm employing nice safety features like this, it all points to a much sophisticated and refined system.


Notes: The photos were processed in Adobe Lightroom CC 9.2, which was able to work with the raw files, but officially does not support X-T4. Any updated LR version with proper support may change the look / color / film simulation effects of the images.



X-T4 just felt right. I enjoyed using the camera. This is what I love about Fujifilm cameras. They let you enjoy the photography and fall in love with it. X-T4 is no exception. With the addition of IBIS, newer battery, and better AF, X-T4 will steal the spotlight and dominate. X-T3 users will find the battery life and the inclusion of IBIS useful, and for the users of older generations, it will tick more than just the battery and the IBIS boxes. For me the hardest part will probably be to choose the lenses I want with it.


Many thanks to Fujifilm Bangladesh and Mr. Keitaro So for letting me try out the camera. It was great trying it out and I am still undecided on which lens I want to go with my Future X-T4.


Manzur Fahim

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