Fujifilm X-T4 vs Nikon D850
The Fujifilm X-T4 and the Nikon D850 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2020 and July 2017. The X-T4 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D850 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-T4) and a full frame (D850) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 26 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 45.4 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-T4 and the Nikon D850? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-T4 and the Nikon D850 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-T4 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D850 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D850 is considerably larger (44 percent) than the Fujifilm X-T4. Moreover, the D850 is substantially heavier (66 percent) than the X-T4. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-T4) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D850). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T4, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.
Concerning battery life, the X-T4 gets 500 shots out of its NP-W235 battery, while the D850 can take 1840 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15a power pack. The power pack in the X-T4 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Fujifilm X-T4||135 mm||93 mm||64 mm||607 g||500||Y||Feb 2020||1,699|
|2.||Nikon D850||146 mm||124 mm||79 mm||1005 g||1840||Y||Jul 2017||3,299|
|3.||Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Fujifilm X100V||128 mm||75 mm||53 mm||478 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-Pro3||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||497 g||440||Y||Oct 2019||1,799|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T3||133 mm||93 mm||59 mm||539 g||390||Y||Sep 2018||1,499|
|8.||Fujifilm X-H1||140 mm||97 mm||86 mm||673 g||310||Y||Feb 2018||1,899|
|9.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|10.||Fujifilm X-T2||133 mm||92 mm||49 mm||507 g||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|11.||Nikon Z5||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||470||Y||Jul 2020||1,399|
|12.||Nikon D5||160 mm||159 mm||92 mm||1415 g||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499|
|13.||Nikon D810||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299|
|14.||Nikon D610||141 mm||113 mm||82 mm||850 g||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999|
|15.||Panasonic S5||133 mm||98 mm||82 mm||714 g||440||Y||Sep 2020||1,999|
|16.||Sony A6600||120 mm||67 mm||69 mm||503 g||810||Y||Aug 2019||1,399|
|17.||Sony A77||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The X-T4 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 48 percent) than the D850, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-T4 features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D850 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D850 is 134 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.
With 45.4MP, the D850 offers a higher resolution than the X-T4 (26MP), but the D850 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.35μm versus 3.76μm for the X-T4) due to its larger sensor. However, the X-T4 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 7 months) than the D850, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon D850 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D850 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 27.5 inches or 104.9 x 69.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 22 inches or 83.9 x 55.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 18.3 inches or 69.9 x 46.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X-T4 are 31.2 x 20.8 inches or 79.2 x 52.8 cm for good quality, 25 x 16.6 inches or 63.4 x 42.3 cm for very good quality, and 20.8 x 13.9 inches or 52.8 x 35.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The X-T4 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X-T4 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D850 are ISO 64 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 32-102400.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Nikon D850||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.4||14.8||2660||100|
|3.||Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|11.||Nikon Z5||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
|13.||Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|14.||Nikon D610||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94|
|15.||Panasonic S5||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the X-T4 provides a higher frame rate than the D850. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the Nikon is limited to 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-T4 has an electronic viewfinder (3690k dots), while the D850 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), as well as the same magnification (0.75x). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-T4 and Nikon D850 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|4.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
One feature that differentiates the X-T4 and the D850 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The X-T4 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the D850 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.The X-T4 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the D850 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-T4 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-T4 and the Nikon D850 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The X-T4 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D850 uses SDHC or XQD cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. Both cameras support UHS-II cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X-T4 and Nikon D850 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the D850 has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The X-T4 lacks such a headphone port.
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the X-T4 and the D850 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The D850 replaced the earlier Nikon D810, while the X-T4 followed on from the Fujifilm X-T3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Nikon websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X-T4 and the Nikon D850? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-T4:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (15 vs 9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (135x93mm vs 146x124mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 398g or 40 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (48 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the D850 launch.
Advantages of the Nikon D850:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (45.4 vs 26MP), which boosts linear resolution by 32%.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 1620k dots).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1840 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2017).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-T4 comes out slightly ahead of the D850 (14 : 13 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-T4 and the Nikon D850 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-T4 or the D850. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm X-T4||5/5||+ +||..||5/5||5/5||Feb 2020||1,699|
|2.||Nikon D850||4.5/5||+ +||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2017||3,299|
|3.||Canon 5DS||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Fujifilm X100V||5/5||+ +||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2020||1,399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-Pro3||4/5||+||85/100||4/5||..||Oct 2019||1,799|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T3||5/5||+ +||88/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2018||1,499|
|8.||Fujifilm X-H1||..||+||86/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,899|
|9.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|10.||Fujifilm X-T2||5/5||+ +||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|11.||Nikon Z5||4/5||..||89/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jul 2020||1,399|
|12.||Nikon D5||..||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499|
|13.||Nikon D810||5/5||..||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299|
|14.||Nikon D610||4/5||+ +||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999|
|15.||Panasonic S5||4.5/5||+ +||88/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2020||1,999|
|16.||Sony A6600||4/5||+||83/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2019||1,399|
|17.||Sony A77||5/5||91/100||81/100||..||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Fujifilm X-T4 vs Nikon D850
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X-T4||Nikon D850|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2020||July 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 1,699||USD 3,299|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-T4||Nikon D850|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||35.9 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||858.01 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||43.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||26 Megapixels||45.4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6240 x 4160 pixels||8256 x 5504 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||4.35 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.08 MP/cm2||5.30 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||64 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 51,200 ISO||32 - 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||X-Processor 4||EXPEED 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||100|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||26.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||2660|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-T4||Nikon D850|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||1620k dots||2359k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-T4||Nikon D850|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||15 shutter flaps/s||9 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||300 000 actuations||200 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC or XQD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-T4||Nikon D850|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-T4||Nikon D850|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||1840 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
135 x 93 x 64 mm
(5.3 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
146 x 124 x 79 mm
(5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||607 g (21.4 oz)||1005 g (35.5 oz)|
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