The new Fujifilm X-T4 camera is both WorldCam and CinemaCam! This means that it can record formats for worldwide television and even for digital theaters (DCI). Its features for video/cinema/audio go almost all the way. In its price range, it greatly surpasses Sony’s cameras for several of my pet peeves, and go almost as far (with video/cinema) as the Panasonic GH5(s). There is even one detail where the Fujifilm X-T4 beats the GH5(s) with its audio. Ahead in this article I’ll point out all of that and more. I’ll also embedded a Fujifilm X-T4 video review from colleagues Chris Nichols and Jordan Drake, plus another from Renee Ritchie where he demonstrates how and why he delivers the wider aspect ratio of 4K DCI for smartphones and the web, 256∶135 aka ≈1.90∶1, although Rene further rounds it to 2:1.
Above, Chris Nichols begins with the general and still photography features and improvements. Then Jordan Drake starts his video feature coverage at 8:12.
IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization)
Video/film aspect ratios
Both the Fujifilm X-T4 and the GH5(s) currently support popular video/film aspect ratios:
- 16:9 (used with 4K UHD, HD, and even some SD video distributions)
- 256∶135 aka ≈1.90∶1 (required for 4K DCI in digital theaters, and sometimes used in the above distribution formats, with letterbox. This is Rene Ritchie’s preferred aspect ratio for esthetic reasons—without any letterbox or pillarbox in modern smartphones, although he further rounds this aspect ratio by calling it “2:1” as you’ll see in the below video.)
As you’ll see in the above video, at least when he published it, Rene didn’t shoot in this aspect ratio, but in 16:9 and then crops it in FCP X. But when the goal is to deliver this aspect ratio, it’s better to shoot it that way (or shoot in higher resolution than the final deliverable, so the crop won’t damage the horizontal resolution) originally if your camera supports it.
On the other hand, Sony cameras in this price range don’t offer 4K DCI. To my knowledge, the lowest price Sony camera with 4K DCI is the US$3498 A7R IV and even in this case, it doesn’t record 4K DCI internally: It’s only available for external recording.
Framerates for video and DCI film projection
The Fujifilm X-T4, the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5s offer complete freedom to record at all desired final delivery framerates to digital cinema, mobile devices, web or conventional televisión:
- ≈23.976 (often rounded to “23.98” or even as “24” by Sony). This rate is friendly for standard television in ex-NTSC regions and also works on the web and for mobile devices.
- 24 (exact). This is required for DCI theatrical distribution, and also works for the web and mobile devices, but not directly with conventional television.
- 25 (exact). This is ideal for PAL and ex-PAL standard television and also works on the web and for mobile devices.
- ≈29.97 (sadly rounded to “30” in many Sony cameras under US$6000). This is ideal for NTSC and ex-NTSC standard television, and also works on the web and for mobile devices.
- 50 (exact). This is ideal for 720p ex-PAL standard television and also works on the web, but is a problem since most mobile devices will skip half of the frames and therefore deliver a different cadence.
- ≈59.94 (often rounded t0 “60” in Sony cameras under US$6000). This is ideal for 720p ex-NTSC standard television, and also works on the web, but is a problem since mobile devices will skip half of the frames and therefore deliver a different cadence.
I am excluding higher rates not appropriate for final distribution, which are useful only for organic slow motion acquisition.
Sony cameras don’t offer exact 24p in this price range, although it does offer ≈23.976 misrepresented as “24” in many cameras.
4:2:2 10 bit internal recordings?
Both the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and Panasonic Lumix GH5s offer 4:2:2 10 bit internal recordings at certain framerates. On the other hand, the the Fujifilm X-T4’s internal recordings are limited to 10-bit 4:2:0.
Both the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5s offer a waveform monitor to facilitate exposure and camera matching. The Fujifilm X-T4 currently does not offer this feature. I hope they add it via a firmware update.
Capability to set shutter angle, rather than shutter speed
Both the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5s offer the option to set shutter angle, rather than shutter speed. On the other hand, the Fujifilm X-T4 does not currently have this feature. I hope they add it via a firmware update.
Recording time limit
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5s can record continually as long as the electrical power and memory allows. On the other hand, the Fujifilm X-T4 has a 30-minute limit per clip. This may —or may not— make any difference depending upon the type of productions you do.
Audio recording at 48 kHz/24-bit?
Although the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5s can record 48 kHz/24-bit audio, to do so with 24-bit, they require the optional DMW-XLR1 (covered here with video from Curtis Judd, ≈US$398, Amazon — B&H). Without the DMW-XLR1, these cameras will record audio at 48 kHz/16-bit.
On the other hand, per Heath McKnight’s article in RedShark, the the Fujifilm X-T4 can record 48-kHz/24-bit via its analog TRS microphone input, something that the Panasonic can only do at 48 kHz/16-bit via the analog TRS microphone input.
Live audio monitoring?
Both the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and Lumix GH5s offer a TRS 3.5 mm jack to connect your headphones.
On the other hand, the Fujifilm X-T4 only allows you to monitor the audio via the USB-C port. This means that you must use a headphone with a digital USB-C input, or use a DAC (digital to analog converter) to connect your conventional analog headphones.
However, according to Jordan Drake, if you use the optional VG-XT4 battery grip (shown above), there is an analog TRS 3.5 mm available.
I am glad to see some serious competition to the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5s, and yet another camera manufacturer putting more pressure on Sony to stop confusing users by rounding framerates to the closest integer. This is something that Panasonic addressed first in this price range, followed by Canon. I also hope Fujifilm will consider adding the options of video waveform and shutter angle, via a firmware update.
I hope the details in this article help you make a better decision, where your options can include the Fujifilm X-T4 (Amazon — B&H), the Panasonic Lumix GH5 (Amazon — B&H) and the GH5s (Amazon — B&H).
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