03.13.2020 FUJIFILM

Tales of the X-T4: Tale 1 - Versatile Performance

One of the things the X-H and X-T series have in common is that both are designed to be top of the line. They are the same in that both incorporate the best hardware of their time, but differ in that while the X-H Series design has been honed for a particular purpose, the X-T Series is designed for next-level all-round versatility.

If the X-H Series is a one-event specialist who trains only for the 100 meters or the shot put or so on, the X-T Series is a decathlete. This is not to say that versatility equates to being “a jack of all trades but master of none”: in fact, the world’s top decathletes are capable of record-level individual performances in one or more events.

Nevertheless, the decathlon wouldn’t be much of a competition if each athlete wasn’t also weak in one or two events. In fact, the decathlon can be described as challenging oneself to see how close one can come to true versatility (mastery of all ten events). Mind you, when it comes to decathletes who can beat the 1980s’ world records of over 8,500 points, all bets are off.

Here we find decathletes who can run the 100 meters in under 10.5 seconds, throw a 7.26-kilogram shot 15 meters, make long jumps of close to 8 meters, and run the 1500 meters in under 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Looking at the performance of Kevin Mayer, who as of March 5, 2020, is the current world record holder with 9,126 points, we can see that today’s top decathletes no longer strive merely to approach “versatility” in ten events: rather, their goal is now to reach the summit of “versatility”.

Back to the X-T4. The X-T4 is aiming for the world record in the photography decathlon. Not only does it have a full range of features, allowing it to participate in all “events”, but it has no “weak events”, no drawbacks to be found.

That it has IBIS goes without saying. Its newly-developed shutter unit offers unsurpassed responsiveness, feel, and durability. And to power its new components it is equipped with the new high-output, high-capacity NP-W235 battery, without which the new IBIS unit would be unable to reach its full potential.

How fully its design is committed to both still photography and movie recording is demonstrated by its variable-angle touch screen. Its magnesium chassis shows that it has learned from the specialist X-H1 how to stay hard and tough so that it can offer equivalent ruggedness in a more compact camera body. Not even weighty lenses such as the XF200mmF2 can budge it the slightest fraction of an inch. And this in a body that tips the scales at only 600 grams. One sees very few big, tall, and bulky macho men over 2 meters tall among the decathlon world-record holders mentioned above, either―perhaps the pursuit of versatility is premised on a body of balanced proportions.

With our next installment, we’ll examine each of the extremely versatile X-T4’s charms in turn.