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 In my opinion, this was the best APS-C camera on the market and has only recently been superseded by the X-T4.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.
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.
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.
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?