The Fujifilm X-T4: The Best Camera I Won't Be Buying (Probably)

Fujifilm has officially announced the X-T4 and to me it looks like a brilliant camera. Fuji has implemented most of the major requests made by many within the community. My initial reaction in London was extremely positive towards the camera. Unfortunately, there are still a few reasons that hold me back from upgrading. 

The biggest issue is the fact that the Fujifilm X-T3 is an option. In my opinion, this was the best APS-C camera on the market and has only recently been superseded by the X-T4. Sure, the latest model is a better camera in most areas, however, the improvements aren't overwhelming for me.

To see what's new, here is a link to an article that covers the announcement

The Same Sensor

I actually don't mind the fact that the new camera is sporting the same sensor. If anything, this was probably a smart move from Fuji and I honestly have no feelings against it. Nonetheless, it's still the same sensor. 

When weighing up potential new purchases and upgrades, image and video quality are almost always part of the equation. We may tell ourselves that we're not the pixel peeping type for our work, but it's not really about that. What it is, is that most people don't want to pay more for the same thing. 

For my uses, I was looking predominantly at the video quality and features. These remain mostly untouched and for that reason, I'm not sure it's a good decision for me to upgrade. What I will say is that having the option to shoot 1080p at 240 fps is a brilliant feature, although I doubt it's something I'd use anytime soon. 

For people who don't necessarily need or want many of the new features in the X-T4, the T3 is still a brilliant option. The APS-C sensor in the X-T4 is fantastic and one of the best on the market; it's just that it's available to buy at a lower price. 

IBIS is Overrated

I should mention, I am very pleased Fujifilm have implemented such a brilliant form of IBIS in the X-T4. I am not against IBIS in any way, shape, or form, and I'm definitely for it in most discussions. That being said, I still think it's overrated. It's useful and can make all the difference in certain scenarios, but it's definitely valued beyond its benefits. 

IBIS in the X-T4 performs incredibly well and really does make a difference. In the video linked above, I compare its performance to a couple of cameras and even a gimbal. The issue, is that in real world shooting environments, IBIS isn't vital for me. 

For photography, there are certain occasions where I will be shooting an event for a cigar company. These events generally don't have the best lighting and I would consider them to be low light environments. There's no way that I would shoot these events with a slow shutter speed because the camera has IBIS. People move and IBIS can't fix that. This is obviously not a point against IBIS itself, instead, I'm simply pointing out that it's not as valuable as many people make it out to be. 

For video, I would much rather film using a gimbal or a slider to get some proper smooth looking footage. Currently, there aren't many cameras that offer gimbal like performance and the cameras that do, are mostly impractical for the kind of filming we do. There's no way I could film architecture using a GoPro. 

In essence, there are very few scenarios where IBIS is genuinely useful. Once again, This is not a point specifically against IBIS or a point against Fujifilm for implementing it. This is a point specifically against how much value IBIS seems to hold. 

Fujifilm has done something brilliant by offering this feature in the X-T4. I just don't consider it to be a deal breaker if a camera doesn't have it. For that reason, the X-T3 is still one of the best and most reasonably priced options on the market. 

Lenses

The X-T4 is now leaning further towards videography than any camera they've previously released. The flip-out touchscreen, improvements to the autofocus and the addition of IBIS make this a really compelling camera for video shooters. The problem, is that many lenses for the mount are somewhat outdated and not primed for filming. 

I discussed this point in a previous article too but I'll briefly cover the points again. The core lenses Fujifilm currently have for the X-Mount are in dire need of an update. For photography the lenses are great and offer good quality images. Some of them could do with an update to keep up with the performance from competing options, but for the most part, they're very good. 

Unfortunately, this is not quite the case when it comes to video. The autofocus in several key lenses are just not up to par. The XF 56mm f/1.2 for example, is pretty poor when it comes to video AF. The same applies for the XF 35mm f/1.4 and the XF 16mm f/1.4.

Fujifilm themselves have been pushing their video features recently. I think an update for these key lenses would go a long way in helping their video industry aspirations. Currently, it's a little difficult for me to invest further into a system when the lenses really need an update. 

Price

The X-T4 is not exactly a bargain. It's a great camera and I think it's worth the price it's currently retailing for; unfortunately, it's just a little more than I'd like to pay. This is especially the case when you consider how great of a deal the X-T3 is. The price point of the X-T3 makes it the most reasonable option for people who are looking at a brilliant APS-C camera. The X-T4 however, is pushing into full-frame territory. 

For not much more than the X-T4, you can purchase a full-frame Sony a7 III which offers some incredible features too. Certain video features may be lacking, however, it offers better image quality in certain scenarios and its autofocus is noticeably better. Not only that, you can purchase lenses which are not only better in terms of performance, they also sit at a lower price point.The FE 85mm f/1.8 is a perfect example of this. It's almost half the price of the XF 56mm f/1.2 and overall a much sharper, lighter, and better lens. 

The price of the X-T4 just puts it slightly out of range for many, including myself. 

Final Thoughts

I'm a huge fan of what Fujifilm is currently doing within the industry. They offer some of the best cameras right now and I think it's simply brilliant. With just a few adjustments and updates, I think Fuji could become a more compelling option over some notable full-frame cameras.

As a company, Fuji really does listen to their customers and this is why we're seeing new releases like the X-T4. I do think this is a wonderful update to the X-T line because Fuji has implemented so much of what was requested. I also think that the X-T3 is a better deal right now. Things can change because most cameras tend to drop in price further into their lifecycle. There's a good chance I'll consider one in a years time if I find a good deal on the second hand market. 

What are your thoughts on the X-T4, are you planning on upgrading? 

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25 Comments

IBIS seems only a curiosity for those who haven't grown accustomed to it. But give yourself 5 years or so of using cameras with good IBIS and nothing else, then try going back. You eventually forget that shooting hand-held normal-lens shots a few seconds long, or supertelephoto at 1/50, isn't a normal thing you can do with an old-fashioned camera.

You also own 4 different Systems. Obviously getting a 5th would be exaggerated.

Thanks for the clickbait

Usman Dawood's picture

I don’t own a Phase One remember.

Are you trolling lol.

Paul Parkinson's picture

"It's a great camera but I don't need it"

There, fixed it for you.

Usman Dawood's picture

Aw you’re so helpful aren’t you. What would anyone do without you.

Penny Fan's picture

I'm not upgrading because I am a photographer, not a videographer.
IBIS is overrated as you said, nice to have, but not a needed.
Bigger battery is a plus, but with heavier camera and that video-centric flippy screen are deal breaker for me.

I'm not a videographer, either. I shoot Olympus for various reasons but as much as any reason the fact that Olympus has IBIS second to none. If you've never shot with an IBIS-enabled camera I suggest you borrow a friend's kit and take it for a spin. Unless you shoot mostly on a tripod, I suspect you'll be quite impressed.

For me one of the better articles in a while on Fstoppers. Whether I agree with it or not it had well argued points. I think the basic point is something that will come up again and again. An improved camera over the previous version but is it worth the upgrade. This is going to be a common problem. OMD- EM-1 III upgrade over version II - its an improvement but its not much better at the basic level of the sensor.

If you are an existing X-T3 user and into stills you are very unlikely going to find enough reason to upgrade, if you require the IBIS and tilt screen (mostly for video) it might be a different story. I actually prefer the tilt-screen on the X-T3, it is great for when you want to take low vertical shots.

I'm pondering whether it will always be best for me to remain invested in a second camera system, since Fuji lacks 500-600mm in their lens lineup and they will take a really long time to refresh the current lens line-up - as pointed out by a well known Youtuber... I wish Nikon will step up to the plate with the Z8, but not holding thumbs.

One can only hope that the new Fuji lens announcements are going to be as exciting as the X-T4 and X100V.

Rohan Gillett's picture

I skipped the X-T3 because I didn't think it offered enough for me. But with the X-T4 I see IBIS, the bigger battery and flip screen as a enough of upgrade to make me want it, once my X-T2 completely dies.

Usman Dawood's picture

Are you going to misread this title and make up lots of random claims against me again lol.

I think people like me that are on an older camera xt1 are the most likely to go for the x-t4. That said lenses are always my priority as I'm on a very limited budget.

x-t3 is for the photographers and x-t4 is for the hybrid shooters, there you go. We all can be happy now :-)

The X-T4 looks great, a significant improvement over its predecessor. However, for about the same price, I'd personally rather get another full-frame camera.

Personally I also feel that changes from XT3 to XT4 are not much so if you are happy with XT3, then there is no need to upgrade. Now having used Fuji and Sony for a while, I would say Fuji are definitely much easier to use for me. I have Sony 85mm f1.8 and had 56mm f1.2 for long time. Both are very good, we splitting hairs if we say Sony is sharper. Everyone says Sony Batis 85mm f1.8 is better for portraits and in my tests with Batis and 56mm f1.2 I didn't see any differences except much more detail from the Sony due to higher MPs. Cost wise Sony 85mmf 1.8 is $600. Fuji is $1000 but there is always some debate going on, making it more like $800 lens so not twice the price IMHO.

Usman Dawood's picture

Every manufacturer seems to put offers up at some point or another so we can't really use that as a way to judge the price. The standard prices are quite easy to see and the Sony is significantly cheaper.

Also, the difference in performance is very noticeable, it's not a minor difference.

Your point about the lenses is a good one. Historically, I'm not sure if there is a precedent for a company to refresh a lens more than once a decade but, given Fuji's emphasis on video performance in their bodies, it would make sense for them to do so. While they're at it, I wish Fuji would settle on a design language for their entire lens line up. Some lenses have focus clutches; others don't. Fixed-aperture lenses have marked aperture rings—except for the one that doesn't. Some lenses have decorative silver rings; others don't.

The X-T4 looks like it's going to be the perfect body for a lot of people but, like you, I will be sticking with my X-T3 with its superior (for me) 3-way tilt screen and trusting that the X-T4's software-based improvements will find their way to it via a firmware update.

Good overview! One criticism is that I just wish that folks would not "ding" a new camera for not being "upgrade worthy" from the previous generation. Do keep in mind that many of us maybe coming to Fuiji for the first time. This is a bit like saying the iPhone 11 is not a great phone. Compared to the 10 there is probably not a lot of difference, but if I come from Android, I sure want to know about the 11 in detail. Thanks again for the review!

I started shooting with SR (IBIS) in my camera used them for 10 years, recently, I bought a camera without the IBIS. With the release of the X-T4, it really looks a great camera, but like you said, the pricing is almost full frame territory. Moreover for video, sticking with the X-T3 and a gimbal seems better economically.

I'm not going for it because I don't like the flipout screen. I shoot video with a GH5 and really dislike that type of screen. One of the reasons I went with Fuji is because if the 3 way tilt screen. Much more appropriate for shooting stills.

I like how you’re trolling T&C who didn’t recommend the XT-3 because it didn’t have a flippy screen 😂

Such silly details proves how great of a camera it is. So are others btw

Clickbaity title it worked here: https://reviewedstore.com/best-wifi-cards-for-pc/. I guess this is an improved camera specs over the previous version but is it worth the upgrade with that price segment?

I think there's a fine chance that these days, most photographers are likely to wait a couple of model revisions before an upgrade is justified across the board. These aren/t smartphones -- they're good for a decade or more of use, unless the new hotness has some must-have new feature, rather than just a steady evolution.

Celso Mollo's picture

Usman, you don’t have to back talk everyone that disagrees with you, just take the high road and let people express their opinion, you have the platform to write your article, good for you, but we, the readers, have our chance to express our opinion.
The article isn’t bad, you are!