In a world that’s becoming increasingly into the full-frame life, I was curious. Where exactly does Fujifilm’s X-T4 fit in? Sandwiched between micro four-thirds and full-frame formats, Fuji’s APS-C format is one that’s familiar, yet some are beginning to question its future.
While the format wars continue to wage on, Fuji has made it clear — it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And the X-T4 is the perfect example of that. Offering a compact form factor with some amazing camera technologies, the X-T4 will make any Fuji shooter happy — whether you’re using it for street, portraiture, travel … you name it.
I’ve had a couple weeks to play around with Fuji’s latest offering, and I have to say, I’m impressed.
First, let me say that outside of a trade show, I’ve never picked up a Fuji camera. So I’m not going into this review with an in-depth knowledge of how the camera system works. It took me a little bit to get used to things — those dials on the top still throw me a bit.
But once I did, I was pleasantly surprised with how the camera performed. One of the things that Fuji shooters have always told me is that the colors are beautiful. And I have to say — they’re more than beautiful. They’re gorgeous. Fuji by far has the best color profiles of any camera I’ve ever used.
In terms of design, the camera has that old-school film look that you would expect from Fuji. It just looks great, and the ergonomics are as good as its styling. It’s comfortable to hold and walk around with, unlike some full-frame options.
The back of the camera features a button layout that’s pretty straightforward. The dial pad isn’t labeled, so it did take me a little bit to figure out what each one did when I was capturing photos. On the top you see dials for ISO and shutter speed, as well as a switch to change between different drive modes (thank you, Fuji, for making bracketing accessible!).
In terms of aperture, that’s controlled on the lens, as there’s an aperture ring on every Fuji lens.
If you’re getting the idea that the X-T4 is styled to be like the cameras of old … it is. Film shooters and other nostalgics will absolutely love the design of this camera.
For my tests with the X-T4, I went downtown and photographed various parts of the city. I focused on shooting both details and wider, yet abstract, shots. I also used the camera on a few portraits. Finally, I took the camera out to the countryside and photographed some farm life.
Going downtown is where I first discovered how to truly use the camera. Once I got setup, I found it was a breeze to use. The colors came in beautifully and the depth of field — even on the 16-80mm f/4 lens I was provided — was stunning. Utilizing Auto ISO, I realized that I should have set the limit a little lower, but any noise that was presented was super fine and not distracting.
Due to having dials on the top of the camera to change ISO and shutter speed settings, shooting from the hip is easier than ever. Street photographers will absolutely love this camera.
In terms of portraits, this camera provides a sort of look that I don’t know how to describe. Other than to say that people shots really shine. If you’re looking for that artistic, film-like vibe, the X-T4 definitely provides that.
I used the X-T4 for some portraits by the pool, with my friend, Alex, and his family. Autofocus was superb, holding up to Preston jumping up and down behind his dad. Capturing the kids in the pool was super easy too, despite splashing around and having some fast movements. I was also pleasantly surprised at the amount of background separation at f/4 with the shot of Alex’s brother-in-law rocking kids’ sunglasses.
Out in the country, I really got to see the benefit of Fuji’s color system. All of these photographs were taken with Cloudy white balance to warm them up a bit. But compared to files from other cameras, the colors here are certainly nostalgic. Any edits I did were to basic items — exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows — in Capture One.
The photo below was the one that truly showed me the power of the Fuji system, for two reasons. One, despite having several green and yellow colors in the scene, it latched on to the grasshopper with no issue at all. With other cameras, this might have been a problem due to lack of contrast, but not with the X-T4.
And two, this image really sold me on Fuji’s image quality. Cropping in back at home — about 50% — provided no loss of detail. The photo was tack sharp.
A few minor qualms with the menu system
As someone who’s never used a Fuji, I did find a few things I wish that Fuji would change or fix. Nothing major — but things that would improve the workflow.
For one, while the menus are laid out simply, I did find them to be somewhat complex. Having “Format” buried inside a User Settings sub-menu really doesn’t make sense to me. Luckily, Fuji offers a My Menu option with the X-T4, meaning I could create my own custom menu for quick access.
Two, whenever I left the menu (or formatted my card) and went back in, it wouldn’t take me to where I left off. This can be frustrating when you’re trying to figure out a setting, and having to remember where it is. Most camera menus I’ve used save the place you left off at until you turn off the camera.
Third, when I’m in the menus and half-press the shutter button on other cameras, it takes me out of the menus. But not with the X-T4 — it keeps me in the menus. Meaning that if I’m fuddling through trying to change a setting and see a scene in the corner of my eye I want to shoot quickly, I have to back out of the menus before I do so.
Perfect for street shooters … what about others?
Fuji has been known for being the choice for street photographers for years. And it’s easy to see why. The X-T4 is a compact, stylish camera with function that fits the street photography experience. It’s also perfect for a unique look if you’re a portrait or travel photographer.
For event or sports photographers, it really depends on how you shoot. For me personally, with fast-moving events, I found it difficult to get used to the top dials. I like to have quick thumb access to every setting I need, and the X-T4 doesn’t give me the opportunity to really do that.
Despite that, the X-T4 is quite an amazing camera. It performs strong with accurate, fast autofocus, and creates a vibe you simply will not find anywhere else. I can see why people absolutely love the Fuji system — this is one I’m going to miss using.
For the latest pricing on the Fujifilm X-T4, visit B&H Photo.