DPReview: Fujifilm X-T4 Review: Hands-on with Fujifilm’s newest flagship camera – Commentary

“Is the Fujifilm X-T4 the king of APS-C cameras? We have the answer!…”

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Fujifilm X-T4 with Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR zoom lens.

Commentary

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One design inspiration for Fujifilm’s X-T4? Leica Leicaflex SL with Summicron-R 50mm f/2.0, made in 1968. The SL2 is considered one of the best analog-era 35mm SLRs.

I missed out on seeing a pre-production Fujifilm X-4 at Fujifilm Australia’s event at Ted’s World of Imaging earlier this year when COVID-19 struck and I could not attend due to highly susceptible family members back home.

Such touch-and-try preview events can be useful but production versions are the real deal when it comes to assessing potential new hardware purchases.

DPReview is in prime position for obtaining early production releases and recently published its two-hander video review of the Fujifilm X-T4 alongside an in-depth text review plus image gallery.

A cursory skim through confirms my initial assessment of the desirability of the X-T4 for documentary stills photography and video production as an independent self-funded practitioner without the means to acquire every bit of hardware that comes down the turnpike, so I will be forgoing an X-T4 unless circumstances change.

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Should some of us wait for the X-H2? Fujifilm X-H1 with VPB-XH1 battery grip and Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR professional zoom lens.

Or we just might win the lottery. Ha!

COVID-19 and its worldwide economic havoc and consequent uncertainty for independent creatives means more belt-tightening and skipping over new models while trying to get the best out of past purchases.

There is plenty to like about the X-T4 for stills and video, especially video, and it is clearly one of the current best options for available light documentary work in either.

It is excellent to see that Fujifilm has now entered the small camera IBIS era (in-body image stabilization) and is reportedly approaching the IBIS in Panasonic’s Lumix DC-GH5, DC-G9 and S-Series 35mm cameras such as the Lumix DC-S1H, DC-S1 and DC-S1R.

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Cinematographer, director, producer, writer Emily Skye of She Wolf Films production company with Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 camera.

Some reviewers are speculating that Fujifilm may issue firmware updates to improve the X-T4’s IBIS, and that will be quite an achievement if they do so.

I have the most experience with the GH5’s stabilization in combination with non-stabilized autofocus lenses like those in Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro range as well as manual-focus vintage lenses of East German design and German or Japanese manufacture, and can testify to the camera’s excellent IBIS for stills and video.

My baptism into the joys of IBIS occurred with my still-beloved Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 during a vacation away from Fujifilm cameras when the company had yet to get its head round video.

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Australian photojournalist Daniel Berehulak using Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8’s fully articulated LCD monitor. Now we have full articulation in the X-T4!

The GX8 has an earlier, stills-only version of IBIS than the GH5, but I soon discovered how useful, essential even, stabilization is for available darkness documentary work and I cannot imagine ever going back to non-stabilized cameras or at least non-stabilized lenses on such cameras.

Subsequently I picked up a copy of the legendary though often overlooked Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS stabilized zoom lens and would have added the equally impressive Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm f/4-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS zoom, had I found a secondhand copy at a good price at the time.

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Panasonic DMW-XLR1 Microphone Adapter for Panasonic Lumix G and S-Series cameras. Fujifilm needs to make one of these for its more video-oriented cameras.

Without the pleasure of access to a production version of the Fujifilm X-T4, I am reluctant to express any opinions about it here so have added links to articles by well-qualified reviewers in the list of links below.

I do hope, though, that Fujifilm will come up with the all-in-one APS-C/Super 35 alternative to Panasonic’s excellent Lumix GH5, GH5S and G9 Micro Four Thirds cameras, whether in the coming Fujifilm X-H1 or in the successor to the X-T4, perhaps to be named the X-T5.

Time will tell.

Fujifilm X-T4

The Fujifilm X-T4 for moviemaking

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Fujifilm X-T4 rigged for video production. Image courtesy of Fujifilm-X.com.

Links

FUJIFILM X Series: X-T4: “Photography in Motion” Jack Picone, directed by Fujifilm X-Series Ambassador Megan Lewis

X-Photographer Jack Picone from Australia travels with the X-T4 and documents the life in Nepal and the beliefs that the Nepalese follow.

Fujifilm X-T4 with Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens. Not a bad combination for available light or available darkness documentary photography or photojournalism, if you don’t mind the DSLR form factor as opposed to the X-Pro3’s more unobtrusive rangefinder style.

Links

extrashot: Panasonic S1H – Amazing cinema camera or DSLM?

“Paul takes a first look at the Panasonic S1H. Is this simply a full frame GH5S or is there more to this DSLM? Perfect camera for vloggers or a real cinema competitor?”

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Shape camera cage and rigging for Panasonic Lumix DC-S1, DC-S1R and DC-S1H 35mm sensor mirrorless hybrid cameras.

Commentary

Things have been quiet over at Panasonic Australia it seems since the release of the Lumix DC-GH5 and I have not heard a sound from the company’s PR people, so have not had any extended hands-on time with the Lumix DC-GH5S, Lumix DC-G9, Lumix DC-GX9, Lumix DC-S1, Lumix DC-SiR or the recently released Lumix DC-S1H.

So I am grateful for Paul of extrashot for this first look at the S1H, especially in the light of Netflix certifying the camera for use in Netflix 4K Originals productions.

I look forward to more in-depth reviews of the camera for use in movie productions appearing soon.

Panasonic’s longtime weak point has been its depth-from-defocus (DFD) Contrast Detection Auto Focus (CDAF) system that many users would prefer was actually Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF), but is this a big problem given potential users of the Lumix DC-S1H are more likely to use manual focus with it, as illustrated in the product shot above?

Links

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Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions: FujiFilm X-Pro3 Hands-On: I’m Convinced. – video

“A technically modest upgrade yields big dividends….”

Links

Commentary

Worse eye relief in the X-Pro3 and an optical viewfinder that is not as good as the one in its predecessor, the X-Pro2, when it should have been radically improved upon?

I can see why so many online commentators are saying they may acquire a second X-Pro2 instead of an X-Pro3 when the prices drop or abandon rangefinder-style cameras altogether for the DLSR-style X-T3.

The proof is in the pudding, however, and such decisions are best made by trying out any new camera, just as Hugh Brownstone has done albeit all too briefly with the Fujifilm X-Pro3.

As for me, I am off to check the X-Pro3’s eye relief data, the OVF’s magnification factor and whether it still allows use of focal lengths from 18mm through to 56mm with full view and not cropped, as occurs when using a 16mm lens on the X-Pro2.

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Gerald Undone: FUJIFILM X-Pro3: 7 Things to Love About This Camera – video

“…Counting down my favourite aspects of FUJIFILM’s new X-Pro3 including film simulation, video capabilities, the new sub monitor & hybrid viewfinder, and more.

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Fujifilm X-Pro 3 Dura Black model with DuraTect coating and Fujinon XF 35mm f/2.0 R WR prime lens.

Commentary

Fast-talking Canadian Gerald Undone is currently one of the best and most knowledgeable cinematography and photography hardware reviewers of the moment and this video is one of the first I have encountered and it has  answered some questions for me.

One is just how scratch-resistant is the DuraTect coating on two versions of the X-Pro3 and Mr Undone has answered that by scraping a blade over his DuraTect Silver X-Pro3 without ill effect.

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Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions: FujiFilm X-Pro3: Dangerous!

“A modest dissertation on the X-Pro3 development announcement, clickbait and the diminution of language.”

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Image of pre-production Fujifilm X-Pro3 from video of Fujifilm X Summit Shibuya 2019 on September 20, 2019.

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bigheadtaco: First Look: Fujifilm XF16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR

“It’s been a while since Fujifilm released a wide to medium range zoom lens, especially with both OIS and WR. Previously, the only general range zoom lens that had both features was the big and bulky XF18-135mm lens. My hope was that Fujifilm would re-make the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens to be XF16-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS WR. Instead, Fujifilm decided to keep the original kit lens and create the new XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR. Who is this lens for? It really depends. If you own the X-T3 and you really want a mid-range zoom lens with both OIS and WR, this is the only option you have. However, if you own the X-H1, would you be better off with the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 and put up with the size and weight of a professional lens? “

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens.

Commentary

Good to see that photographers are receiving pre-production copies of Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR and, as usual, even more reviews will be appearing when production versions of the lens make their way into the world.

When I was photographing the climate strike rally in Sydney on September 20, I found myself wondering how the 16-80mm f/4.0 zoom lens might change and even improve the way I cover such subjects.

See my personal Instagram account for documentary photographs of the rally and other events, recently mostly using prime lenses on Fujifilm cameras as Panasonic Lumix camera and lens loaners have been in short supply.

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David Thorpe: A Look At The Panasonic G90 Micro Four Thirds Camera

“The Panasonic G90/95 sits between the smaller and cheaper GX9 and their top range G9 and GH5 models. Its predecessor, the (still available) 16Mp G80 met with many accolades. Does the 20Mp G90/95 render obsolete the G80? Or should you skip this one and wait for a G10?”

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Panasonic Lumix DC-G95 with Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens and Panasonic DMW-BGG1 Battery Grip.

Commentary

Former Fleet Street newspaper and magazine photographer David Thorpe is one of the best and most quietly-spoken video reviewers of Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses, lately supplemented with Panasonic’s L-Mount 35mm sensor-equipped mirrorless cameras and lenses, and I cannot recommend his sensible, down-to-earth video reviews highly enough.

I have yet to experience the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95 aka G91 and G90 depending on territory, and so greatly appreciate his thoughts on this value-for-money camera that appears to be an excellent lower-cost alternative to the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 or GH5.

In my experience, Micro Four Thirds cameras are ideal for immersive documentary and photojournalism work as well as Super 16-style documentary moviemaking, and Panasonic’s high-end and mid-level Lumix cameras are great solutions especially as they appear to be almost invisible to onlookers and subjects more accustomed to 35mm sensor DSLRs, especially if designed with the pro-quality Panasonic Lumix GX8’s size and form factor.

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TheSnapChick: IBIS, Dynamic Range and a Clever Coyote! Fujifilm X-H1 is an X Series Gem

“I ran around with the Fujifilm X-H1 for three weeks. I loved it. More detailed thoughts and photos/videos in the review!…

My channel is about photography as an art form and as a lifestyle, with a healthy dose of technology thrown in!”

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Fujifilm X-H1 with Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR professional zoom lens.

Commentary

Longtime Canon and Nikon DSLR user Brittany Leigh has published a series of video reviews of Fujifilm’s X-Mount APS-C/Super 35 mirrorless cameras and I hope she will review more Fujifilm cameras and Fujinon lenses including the company’s new three medium format G-Mount cameras.

Female reviewers of photography and cinematography gear are far too rare, and female reviewers working in documentary photography, photojournalism or documentary moviemaking are even more rare.

Ms Leigh appears to photograph mostly landscape and wildlife, neither of which are genres I practice, but her technical and usability insight is excellent especially given her DSLR and SLR background, very useful for those from the same background contemplating modernizing by joining the mirrorless revolution.

I have just discovered Brittany Leigh via her TheSnapChick Youtube channel, and so far her analyses of the Fujifilm X100F, X-H1, X-T3 and, I assume, the X-T30, are spot on.

I have yet to experience the X-T30 but given how remarkable its larger sibling the X-T3 has proven to be, the former is doubtless just as remarkable in its own way.

Fujifilm is rather unique in the way it produces cameras with not dissimilar internals to fill a range of usability niches, suiting a wide range of users across all genres.

Fujifilm is not a one-size-fits-all camera and lens maker, and I hope that the granularity of its current offerings becomes even more apparent in future cameras and lenses.

Using the X100 series is a pure photography rangefinder-style experience with all the benefits of a fixed lens in one of the most useful focal length equivalents, a Fujinon 23mm f/2.0 prime at the equivalent of 35mm in the 35mm sensor format.

I do not use the misleading “full frame”, “full format” and “crop sensor” terminology, product of the marketing department rather than designers and engineers, by the way.

The X-T3, and one assumes the X-T30, is a brilliant state of the art Super 35 video camera as well as an APS-C stills camera capable of producing image quality rivalling 35mm sensor-equipped cameras.

The X-H1, which I have been trying out thanks to the kindness of Fujifilm Australia and its PR agency, is a harbinger of pro-level things to come and had I the spare change for one of the current amazing deals comprising camera, vertical battery grip, lens and accessories, then I would snap one up immediately to fill the gaps between the X-Pro2 and the X-T3.

There being no one-size-fits-all camera in the Fujifilm X and GFX systems, each camera needs to be considered for its strengths and weaknesses.

When working professionally, one needs to carry a range of cameras and lenses, often with some degree of overlap should the worst occur on location, and the size, weight and relative affordability of Fujifilm’s APS-C/Super 35 X-Mount cameras and lenses makes it possible to transport it all in a backpack or hard case.

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  • Fujifilm Cameras B&H
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