Photography

Fujifilm X-T4 vs. Fujifilm X-T3: What to know before you upgrade

Whispers of the Fujifilm X-T4 have been heard for months, and now the wait is over. Following the official announcement, let’s take a look at how the latest flagship X-series compares to its predecessor, the Fujifilm X-T3.

The X-T4 had just 1.5 years of development time since the launch of the X-T3, shortening the usual 2-year product life cycle. Despite the early release, the X-T4 looks to be a powerful successor, and possibly the closest thing we’ve seen to the perfect camera. Here’s what you need to know about the X-T4 before you upgrade.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, we have not had hands-on experience with the Fujifilm X-T4. This comparison is based on the published specifications and will be updated once we review the camera. 

Finally, IBIS in an X-T camera

The biggest gripe from the Fuji faithful has long been that their X-series cameras lack image stabilization (well, except the upmarket Fujifilm X-H1). Finally, the cries have been answered, and we can now enjoy in-body image stabilization (IBIS) in the X-T4. We would have loved to have seen this feature in the X-T3, but it looks like Fujifilm needed some extra time to develop its new IBIS system, which is completely different from that used in the larger X-H1.

It now provides up to 6.5 stops of image stabilization with select XF lenses (the initial press materials did not clarify which ones). So you can use a telephoto lens with peace of mind, or shoot handheld video without worrying that little shakiness will spoil your image. This alone puts it well above the X-T3.

A new vari-angle LCD screen

The X-T3 continued the unwanted trend of having an LCD screen that could tilt up, down, or slightly to one side for shooting vertically when mounted on a tripod. We’re pleased to say the X-T4 has bucked that trend and finally introduced a fully-articulating screen.

With the new 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, videographers and vloggers can finally enjoy better viewing angles and easier framing. It’s a 1.6-million-dot display, not the highest-resolution we’ve seen, but an upgrade from 1.04 million dots on the X-T3.

On the topic of shooting video, there are some slight improvements in the X-T4. The X-T3 had already distanced itself from the rather underwhelming video performance of previous models. It shoots 4k at 60 frames per second, with professional features like F-Log and high-bitrate recording up to 400 megabits per second.

Naturally, the X-T4 keeps all of that, but it’s also added Full HD shooting at an impressive 240 frames per second, allowing for up to 10X slow-motion when playing back at 24 fps.

A battery that lasts

The X-T3’s battery was rated at 390 shots, and the battery itself was unchanged since first-generation X-series cameras.

The X-T4 promises almost double that, with up to 600 photos in economy mode from a new, higher-capacity battery. Compared to a DSLR like the Nikon D780, which gives you over 2000 stills per charge, that may not sound like much. But for a mirrorless camera, that’s actually very respectable; especially one as small as the X-T4. This brings the X-T4 closer to the Sony A6600, which still holds the lead at 810 shots per charge.

Likely because of the larger battery, as well as the the addition of IBIS, the X-T4 weighs a little more (21.5 ounces) than the X-T3 (17.3 ounces). It’s still a lightweight camera, and the 4-ounce difference shouldn’t be too noticeable.

A new film simulation

Fans of film photography that want the digital experience often move to the Fujifilm X-Series. The ergonomics of the camera pay homage to analog systems of a previous era, while the built-in film simulations bring back classic looks. With the X-T4, Fujifilm introduced a new simulation called Eterna Bleach Bypass. Based on the popular film developing technique that skipped the bleach process in order to preserve the monochromatic effect of silver in color film, it creates a high-contrast, desaturated look.

As always, film simulations really only affect in-camera JPEGs, but they remain one reason why photographers love shooting JPEG on Fujifilm cameras.

Updated controls and a new shutter

Physically, the two cameras appear all but identical, but the control layout has seen slight changes. The metering mode selector has been replaced with a still/movie switch, meaning the movie mode option has been removed from the drive mode dial on the left shoulder. That sounds like a smart change, unless you’re someone who constantly switches metering modes — something we doubt is very common.

The back buttons have been reshuffled. There’s now a dedicated AF-On button instead of AF-L, and the AEL and Q buttons have been repositioned.

The shutter is a new mechanism, and more robust, tested to 300,000 exposures. It also can shoot faster, allowing for continuous shooting at 15 frames per second, where the X-T3 topped out at 11. Actual shutter speed range remains the same, from 1/8000 second to 15 minutes, or up to 60 minutes in bulb mode.

What stays the same

Both the X-T4 and X-T3 have the same 26-megapixel APS-C sensor. It’s doubtful too many will have an issue with this as the X-T3 already had excellent image quality. Both cameras also make use of the same processor, Fujifilm’s X Processor 4, as well as the same 3.69-million-dot electronic viewfinder. This means you shouldn’t expect any gains to image quality, save for the potential for sharper shots thanks to the stabilization system.

The cameras also look nearly identical, save for the aforementioned button rearrangement and a slight change to the look of the viewfinder bump.

Should the Fuji faithful upgrade?

We’re basing our judgment off the specs right now, but there certainly seems to be enough in the latest model to warrant an upgrade. IBIS should come as a game-changer for many that already shoot with the X-Series, as should the improved battery life.

However, the Fujifilm X-T4 will cost $ 200 more than the launch price of the X-T3, $ 1700. If you’re currently debating between these two cameras, you can grab the X-T3 for just $ 1300 right now. If the major updates — IBIS, a vari-angle monitor, better battery life — don’t excite you, then the X-T4 may not be what you need right now. And if you choose to stick with the X-T3, you’re not left with a camera that’s out of touch — in fact, we see no reason it won’t continue to serve you well for years.

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Photography | Digital Trends

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