That Fujifilm and Sony at the moment are direct rivals for flagship APS-C mirrorless cameras is a bit unusual.

A couple of years in the past, you picked Sony should you favored high-tech devices with quick efficiency, and Fujifilm should you had been a extra conventional photographer who most well-liked a slower, methodical method to picture making however nonetheless needed high-quality outcomes. The businesses focused completely different clients, and their merchandise had been positive dwelling of their respective bubbles.

That is now not the case. Greater than ever earlier than, Fujifilm’s new X-T4 takes Sony head-on, placing the highly effective A6600 to the take a look at. Each are wonderful cameras, however the Fujifilm has a number of benefits for skilled lovers, from a higher shutter pace vary to higher-quality video. Sony’s autofocus stays unbeatable, nonetheless, and the A6600 is now promoting for fairly a bit lower than the X-T4, making it a terrific purchase.

Right here’s what you must know should you’re deciding between these two cameras — however fact be informed, you’ll be able to’t actually go mistaken.

At a look:

Fujifilm X-T4

  • 26MP BSI X-Trans APS-C sensor
  • 3.69-million-dot digital viewfinder
  • 15 fps steady taking pictures
  • 4K/60 10-bit video
  • 600-shot battery life
  • 21.Four ounces

Sony A6600

  • 24MP APS-C sensor
  • 2.36-million-dot digital viewfinder
  • 11 fps steady taking pictures
  • 4K/30 8-bit video
  • 810-shot battery life
  • 17.7 ounces

Sensor and picture high quality

Each of those cameras use APS-C sensors with a 1.5X crop issue in comparison with full-frame, and whereas the X-T4 has a slight edge in decision, no person goes to note these further 2 megapixels.

That’s not say that these sensors are equal, nonetheless. The X-T4’s is of a more recent, backside-illuminated (BSI) design which will increase gentle sensitivity. It additionally contains a quicker readout pace which results in enhancements when utilizing the digital shutter (extra on that within the video part).

Shot on Sony A6600 David Elrich / Digital Traits

Moreover, the X-T4 makes use of Fujifilm’s extra advanced X-Trans filter array, which might improve sharpness by foregoing an anti-aliasing filter with out the same old elevated threat of moiré (the rainbow-like false colours that may seem when photographing very positive patterns, like these in some materials). The A6600 makes use of a standard Bayer array.

Nonetheless, don’t suppose the X-T4 is miles forward of the A6600. Regardless of the obvious technical benefits of its sensor, actual world benefits are fairly slim. It does a greater job of suppressing moiré than the Sony, however until you’re taking pictures take a look at charts, you might by no means discover it.

Excessive-ISO efficiency can be remarkably comparable, with the 2 cameras neck-and-neck by means of ISO 6,400. Previous that, the Sony truly has a slight edge — though you’ll be straining your eyes to see the distinction in any real-world setting. The A6600 may attain a 1-stop larger expanded ISO of 102,400 in comparison with the X-T4’s most of 51,200.  (Naturally, each fall behind full-frame sensors; should you shoot so much in low gentle, you must take into account wanting on the finest full-frame cameras).

What this all boils all the way down to is that should you plan to shoot RAW, don’t anticipate a giant distinction between these two sensors. For JPEG, nonetheless, the story is a bit more attention-grabbing. We’re followers of Fujifilm’s movie simulations (shade profiles by another title), and the X-T4 introduces a brand new one: Eterna Bleach Bypass. This creates a high-contrast, low-saturation look that provides photographs a moody vibe. It’s a cool new impact, even should you most likely received’t use it fairly often.

Shot on Fujifilm X-T4 utilizing Eterna Bleach Bypass simulation Daven Mathies/Digital Traits

Sony is probably not identified for its in-camera JPEG shade fairly like Fujifilm is, however the A6600 does characteristic up to date shade science and the outcomes are fairly good. On the finish of the day, all of it comes down to non-public choice, so this can be a exhausting one to evaluate objectively.

Capturing efficiency

That is the place the X-T4 begins to distinguish itself as a higher-end digital camera. Its shutter pace vary extends from a excessive of 1/8000 second to a low of 15 minutes. The A6600 can’t sustain at both finish, starting from 1/4000 to 30 seconds. (Bulb mode on each cameras can maintain the shutter open longer than these timed maximums). This offers the X-T4 an edge for each fast-moving topics (athletes, animals) and really slow-moving ones (like stars within the evening sky).

The X-T4 additionally boasts the next burst price of 15 frames per second in comparison with the A6600’s 11 when utilizing the mechanical shutter. Nonetheless, each cameras are restricted to “publish view” at these speeds (which solely shows a picture after it’s been taken) and each need to be decreased to eight fps for true reside view (which shows a real-time preview between exposures).

The X-T4 may shoot even quicker utilizing the digital shutter, at 20 fps for full-resolution recordsdata or 30 with a slight crop. There isn’t any viewfinder blackout in anyway on this mode.

Autofocus

Every digital camera options 425 phase-detection AF factors, however whereas the {hardware} is comparable, how info is analyzed and processed is completely different. We now have repeatedly discovered that Sony’s Actual-Time Monitoring and Actual-Time Eye AF applied sciences outperform the competitors, providing dependable, correct efficiency for each static and shifting topics.

However the X-T4 isn’t any slouch. We discovered AF efficiency was typically snappy, though Fujifilm’s eye monitoring feels a bit extra finicky and inconsistent. In high-speed steady taking pictures conditions, we’d nonetheless take the Sony, however Fujifilm has performed a commendable job right here.

Fujifilm X-T4

The X-T4’s autofocus can be rated for lower-light situations, all the way down to a formidable -6 EV in comparison with simply -2 EV for the A6600. As all the time, although, the hole in real-world efficiency is probably not that dramatic.

Stabilization

That is the one key characteristic that beforehand set Sony aside on this phase, however the X-T4 now matches — and maybe exceeds — Sony’s in-body picture stabilization (IBIS). (To be honest, Fujifilm additionally had IBIS within the X-H1, however that higher-end digital camera didn’t straight compete with the A6000 collection.)

Each the A6600 and X-T4 use 5-axis sensor-shift stabilization that compensates for pitch, yaw, roll, and horizontal and vertical shift. On paper, the X-T4 gives as much as 6.5 stops of shake discount — that means you’ll be able to shoot a shutter pace 6.5 stops slower than with out stabilization — whereas the A6600 is rated for five stops. In the true world, your outcomes might range, and efficiency depends upon the lens used.

Greater than the specifics of efficiency, merely having IBIS is what units these cameras other than a lot of the competitors. Stabilization isn’t only for low-light taking pictures once you want sluggish shutter speeds. It additionally helps you body your shot, particularly when utilizing telephoto lenses, by preserving your preview picture rock-steady, and may even help autofocus efficiency by ensuring the main focus level stays over your topic, slightly than bouncing round due to your shaky arms. It additionally gives big advantages for taking pictures handheld video.

Video

Sony has lengthy been a pacesetter in video, but it’s the Fujifilm that comes out forward right here.

Simply wanting on the fundamentals, the Sony A6600 tops out at 4K and 30 frames per second and a bitrate of 100 megabits per second, whereas the Fujifilm X-T4 can shoot 4K at 60 fps and 200Mbps. Sluggish the X-T4 all the way down to 30 fps (or 24), and the bitrate can double to 400Mbps.

Past the upper bitrate, the X-T4 may document 10-bit 4:2:zero shade internally or 10-bit 4:2:2 into an exterior HDMI recorder. The Sony is caught at 8-bit shade both method (see our 10-bit vs 8-bit explainer for why this issues).

Certain, informal video shooters might not care in regards to the distinction, however higher shade depth and the next bitrate give the X-T4 way more flexibility in publish. For anybody with an curiosity in video enhancing and coloring, it’s a major benefit.

Video can be the place the X-T4’s newer sensor comes into play. As a result of it reads pixels quicker, it causes much less rolling shutter distortion. Digital shutters result in a phenomenon typically referred to as “jello cam,” the place vertical traces begin to look slanted or wavy if the digital camera pans too rapidly (or, conversely, if the topic strikes too rapidly). The X-T4’s shorter readout time lessens this impact, though doesn’t erase it completely.

Design

There are numerous subjective variations between how these cameras deal with. Photographers are likely to both love or hate Fujifilm’s retro management structure, with its devoted bodily dials for ISO and shutter pace. Equally, Sony’s menu system has been the goal of rage for a lot of (Fujifilm’s isn’t precisely good, both).

Fujifilm X-T4
Daven Mathies/Digital Traits

The place the Sony clearly wins is on dimension and weight. It’s noticeably smaller and some ounces lighter, and with the digital viewfinder nested into the left nook as an alternative of sitting on prime just like the Fujifilm’s, it might probably slip right into a smaller bag.

Nonetheless, the X-T4 seems to be, feels, and behaves very very like a standard digital camera (and it’s definitely the prettier one). Its center-mounted EVF feels extra pure and is bigger and higher-resolution than the A6600’s. It additionally has a bit extra in the best way of direct-access management, and we admire the strong tactile suggestions of the dials. Having the ability to see the place your publicity settings are set even when the digital camera is off can be a pleasant contact.

Each cameras characteristic articulating screens that may flip 180-degrees into selfie or vlog mode. The Sony’s flips up, whereas the Fujifilm’s flips out to the aspect.

Sony A6600 front with flip screen raised in selfie position

Battery life was a serious improve level in each the A6600 and the X-T4, as every digital camera makes use of a higher-capacity battery than its predecessor. Whereas the X-T4 almost doubled the X-T3’s battery life to 600 exposures, it nonetheless isn’t sufficient to catch the class-leading 810 photographs of the A6600. Actual world efficiency may see numbers a lot better than this for each cameras, and each are enough for a full day of taking pictures for most individuals.

The cameras additionally deal with media in another way. The X-T4 options twin UHS-II reminiscence card slots, the place the A6600 makes use of a sole UHS-I slot. Whereas the need of a second card slot is debatable, it’s unusual for a contemporary digital camera to not assist high-speed UHS-II reminiscence. That is seemingly one purpose why the A6600 can’t shoot larger bitrates in video, and it additionally signifies that it’s going to take a very long time to put in writing pictures to the cardboard when taking pictures lengthy bursts. Though extra informal photographers are unlikely to note the distinction, that is positively one thing the X-T4 does higher.

Lenses

As an APS-C-only system, Fujifilm has a big assortment of lenses constructed particularly for the X-T4’s sensor dimension. This contains many compact, quick primes that assist the X collection stand out from different APS-C methods.

Sony makes tons of lenses, however its E-mount cameras span each APS-C and full-frame sensors. The drawback of that is that most of the finest lenses are constructed for full body, and placing a full-frame lens on the A6600 means paying for further glass you’re not utilizing and ending up with a bulkier-than-needed system.

Fujifilm XF 16mm F14 R WR review lens front
Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.Four lens Daven Mathies/Digital Traits

Nonetheless, this additionally creates a full-frame improve path, one thing that merely doesn’t exist on the Fujifilm aspect. Sony A6600 house owners can put money into good full-frame glass right this moment, and take it with them to a full-frame digital camera down the street.

The recognition of Sony’s E-mount has additionally attracted third-party producers. Sigma, for instance, makes some nice lenses for Sony cameras that aren’t accessible in Fujifilm X mount. (To be honest, different producers, like Zeiss, supply lenses for each mounts.)

Which is best for you?

With little distinction in picture high quality and efficiency being so shut within the majority of conditions, selecting certainly one of these cameras comes down largely to your private preferences and funds. The Fujifilm X-T4 does appear to focus on a barely higher-end buyer than the A6600, with skilled specs like a 1/8000-second shutter pace, 15 fps burst taking pictures, 10-bit video, and twin high-speed card slots. It’s numerous digital camera, and arguably essentially the most feature-complete mannequin beneath $2,000.

However whereas these could also be make-or-break options for a number of choose clients, most individuals are going to work throughout the vary of efficiency that each cameras cowl equally. It’s right here that the Sony’s easy autofocus, smaller bodily dimension, and considerably cheaper worth (a $500 distinction on the time of writing) make it look extra interesting.

Subjectively, we expect the Fujifilm makes for a extra satisfying person expertise, however that is a kind of issues that everybody has to evaluate for themselves.

Backside line

Purchase the Fujifilm X-T4 should you shoot numerous video, desire a digital camera with extra room to develop into, or just want its basic styling and performance. Purchase the Sony A6600 for the very best autofocus, or to avoid wasting cash to place towards a superb lens.

And, once more, you’ll be able to’t go mistaken with both one.

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