There is no shortage of cameras you can buy today in the range between $2500 – $3000 (body only). Canon and Nikon of course immediately spring to mind, and Panasonic and Sony are in there too with their mirrorless offerings. The diehards for the first two brands will no doubt stay in their respective camps, not the least due to the fact of a huge investment in lenses and other things.
And fair enough too.
But if you are looking at moving up to high end mirrorless camera, have a look at the models available from Fujinon too.
For years, Fujinon has been famed for its lenses, and with good reason as many a TV station will attest, but the company also makes damn fine cameras too, and the one we are playing with at the moment is the XT-4.
(We reviewed the X-T200 back in July you may remember).
So what do you get for your $2899 (body only)? Let’s have a brief look at the major technical specifications first.
The heart of any camera body is the sensor, and the XT-4 has a 23.5mm x 15.6mm APC-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor giving an effective 26.1 megapixels. There is in-body stabilisation, a battery rated at 500 shots per charge (which can be done vie the integrated USB-C)
Stills up to 6240 x 4160 pixels are possible as is 4K video at 60p. 14 bit RAW is possible for stills. You can also shoot in super slo-mo at 240 fps (HD only) and you hav12 film simulation modes at your fingertips.
Storage is to dual SD – ideally SDXC for the optimum – cards up to 32GB, and the XT-4 uses the ubiquitous Fujifilm X Mount as you’d expect.
You can shoot sequentially from one card to the other or to both simultaneously, effectively giving you a backup. Or you can shoot stills to one card and video to the other.
The viewfinder is 0.5 inches with approx. 3.69 million pixels and the LCD monitor is a 3.0 inch touch screen hinged at the edge and rotatable.
There is a lot more of course, but I see little point in retyping something that is available in-depth here. Of more import is how this stuff all comes together in my opinion.
Being a Videocamera publication, I am going to sway more to this aspect of the XT-4 than its still shooting capability.
Of course, if you can shoot in 4K you mostly will, and the Xt-4 will let you shoot up to 30 minutes (20 minutes for 50 / 60p shooting). I found the quality is excellent indeed (and expected no less it has to be said) and the 5b axis image stabilisation worked a treat. If you need a bit more, you can add digital stabilisation as well, but will suffer a 10% crop accordingly.
Two extra modes are available, Boost IS (giving maximum possible correction and assuming the camera is locked off) and Fix Movie Crop Magnification, letting you shoot everything from high-speed 1080 and stabilized 4K/60p through to 4K/24p with consistent framing with a 1.29 crop.
One thing we did like is a dedicated switch to instantly flick from video to still mode and back again.
Like the X-T200 we reviewed back in July, the X-T4 has a dedicated Q menu, and the video mode gets its very own one distinct from the stills Q menu. This allows you to customise the menu / interface structure to your heart’s content up to 16 settings over either a grey or transparent background.
Settings in movie made (and therefore keeping them totally separate from any stills settings you have) can be split between a combo of on-screen controls and the dials. An example would be having aperture on screen but shutter speed on the front dial and say ISO on the rear.
For audio, which by now you all know we insist is as important as the video, the Xt-4 has a line-level audio input. This hugely increases the possibilities for audio gathering. We tried the X-T4 with Sennheiser’s new MKE200 mic and got superb results by the way.
There is no headphone socket by the way, which is a little baffling, but you can get an adaptor to convert the USB-C to a 3.5” socket at Jaycar. The USB-C port is also used for charging – there is no separate charging port.
Our X-T4 is paired to a Fujinon 16-55mm zoom lens and feels nicely balanced in the hand, with the physical controls all easily accessible. As always though we do not subscribe to using this camera form for handheld sport shooting unless you want severe muscles cramps and spasms. The ergonomics as we have stated many times are just not suited for this type of video work in our opinion, unless you are tripod mounted or have some fancy (and expensive) cage rig to mimic the dedicated camcorder form.
And no image stabilisation system will adapt to the rapid movements sport shooting needs. There is no AF tracking in video mode either in the X-T4 adding to the difficulty in this particular discipline.
Having said that, the X-T4 makes for a superb video camera in this body style for every other type of shooting, and one we can recommend over many other brands and models without hesitation.
If you are looking in this range at models from say Sony or Panasonic, take the time to look at the X-T4 as well. You will be more than pleasantly surprised I suspect.