Is This The New King of APS-C Video?
The FujiFilm XT4 released earlier this year and is the latest high end APS-C Mirrolress camera to come from Fujifilm, coming in at a cool $1699 in lands itself in a competitive price point of the market, but what does that sub 2 grand spend get you.
Specs wise, it features a 26MP BSI CMOS APSC sized sensor with X-Processor 4, that can shoot 4K 60p in DCI or UHD at up to 400Mbps. For those after the, running through treacle look to their videos 1080p is available at up to 240 FPS. We have a phenomenal 5 axis sensor shifting IBIS system in the XT4 offering a rock solid level of stabilisation. The classic Fuji designed body is incredibly ergonomically laid out, featuring some key video friendly additions such as the fully articulating front facing touch screen and dual UHS 2 SD Cards, to help capture those large bit rates of the 10-bit 4:2:0 4k Video.
4:2:2 10bit 4k is available when recording out via the micro HMDI. We also have the ability to film in F-LOG for the full dynamic range and all the post production flatness you could hope for. For those wanting a more run n gun set up, we also have all the classic Fuji film simulation looks available too, include the really special Eterna profile.
But enough of the specs, lets get to using the XT4 and taking a look at the good bits of this mirrorless APSC camera.
The Good Points
The very first thing that jumped out to me, that I instantly fell for, is how good the Image stabilisation is on the XT4. It makes shooting handheld not just easy, but a totally plausible way to film video even with old manual lenses. As any longer term viewers will know, I’ve been hunting for a body to marry up to some of these vintage lenses for handheld shooting and the rock solid IBIS on the XT4 may just be it!!
Ease of use isn’t often something you can attribute to using a totally foreign camera system. As a long time Canon & Panasonic shooter it’s often very hard for the first few hours with something not from their stables. But, the XT4 was anything but hard to use. Firstly the layout of all the controls, buttons and dials on the body itself are as close to perfect as you can get. Then when you dive into the shooting options and the camera menus there’s very little to daunt you. It all felt very intuitive and comfortable and most importantly once out in the field, there was nothing that held us up. Which for a camera that feels built for faster paced, run n gun filming is imperative and sadly not always the case.
It would be crazy to go any further with the good bits of the this camera without commenting on how the image itself looks. And it is gorgeous. I’m totally in love with it and best of all for lazy filmmakers like me, it’s great straight out of the camera. The Eterna profile, which most of the test footage you see was shot in is simply gorgeous. The detail and colour reproduction is spot on and no matter what glass we threw at it, from the vintage Super Takumar 55 F/1.8 to the sublime MKX 50-135mm it always held up. Its image is right up their with the best new cameras currently available, and gives my favourite, the Panasonic Lumix S1H, a real run for its money.
Truly the XT4 is a proper run n gun camera. For those, like me, that love to shoot handheld and often in faster paced or documentary styled environments, this camera is really the perfect choice. The APS-C crop I never felt hindered our ability to capture enough light or with our focal length choices. Actually after spending the last few months shooting exclusively on M4/3 cameras, this APSC sensor felt really liberating. It seems kind of my sweet spot for video, especially with these gorgeous manual lenses.
But anyway lets dig a little deeper and look at the bits I didn’t like about the Fuji XT4.
The Bad Points
The IBIS… yeah it’s so good it’s get mentioned twice! But in all seriousness it does on occasion suffer with the similar stuttering as seen on the Olympus OM-D EM-1 iii. When any panned camera movements or changes in direction are too sudden there is a noticeable stutter. Now, this isn’t nearly as distracting as it sounds or as bad some other new cameras currently on the market and in truth is only something we noticed once or twice, but it is worth noting. In all likelihood it’s possible that this is something FujiFilm could fix with a future firmware update.
Beyond this, for me there’s only really some tiny niggles. We still the 29:59 video time limits applied to this camera, that we’re used to seeing in the past. It was never a major issue before, but for anyone filming the likes of podcasts this may be a deal breaker.
And finally it’s the ports. There’s no dedicated headphone port, instead you have a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter and the HDMI output is a micro sized one, from experience these always tend to be a little on the irritating side and are just less rugged and reliable than the full sized options. Obviously these niggles are just that and are far, far from distracting to the overall love I have for this camera!
If you got this far into this video I’m sure you’ll be asking why we haven’t yet discussed the auto focus of the XT4 yet, after all we are painting this a true shoot from the hip, run n gun vlog friendly body. From the tests I’ve seen online, the XT4’s AF does seem very capable, However, we didn’t get to use it as we only got to use the camera with Fuji’s manual MKX lenses and our own adapted vintage manual glass.
£1700 (or $ if you’re in the US), on first blush seems pretty keen for a mirrorless APSC hybrid camera. And at first I thought the same, but actually when you get to using this camera and seeing it’s capabilities and results it suddenly feels not just a fair price point, but actually really good value.
The XT4 is truly one of the most complete hybrid’s I’ve seen for video, especially for those that like to shoot video from the hip, in that documentary, handheld or blog style. If you fit within those camps, then this camera has to be on your list of future upgrades.
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