When Fujifilm announced the X-E3 in 2017, it quickly became a cult favorite among the company’s fans thanks to its compact rangefinder-style body, comfortable ergonomics and more than capable X-Trans 3 sensor. However, despite rave reviews from people like Ted forbes and a devoted audience, it looked like the X-E3 was destined to be the last in its lineup with reports as recently as last year suggesting the company had abandoned work on its successor due to poor sales. But here we are in 2021, and not only did Fujifilm announce the X-E4 at its last X-Summit event (where we also got to see the GFX 100S), but it also seeks to address most of the shortcomings of the X-E3.
We’ll get to its new X-Trans 4 sensor in a moment, but coming from the X-E3, the biggest usability improvement of the X-E4 is that it has a tilting 3-inch LCD touchscreen. You can reposition it 180 degrees so you can easily frame yourself whether you’re shooting a vlog or selfies. It also has a resolution of 1.62 million dots higher, compared to 1.04 million dots on the X-E3.
As for that 26.1-megapixel X-Trans 4 CMOS sensor, it’s the same that has found its way into all of Fujifilm’s latest cameras, including the X-Pro3 and X-T4. So expect a blackout-free shot of 30 frames per second when using the electronic shutter and eight frames per second with the mechanical shutter. With nearly 100% coverage of the phase detection autofocus system, Fujifilm claims the X-E4 can acquire focus in 0.2 seconds, even when there is limited light. It also comes with the company’s latest automatic face and eye detection features, as well as 18 movie simulations, up from 15 on the previous model.
But stills are only half the story of Fujifilm’s latest sensor, and most of the biggest improvements are in video. The X-E4 can capture 8-bit 4K images at 30 frames per second internally and 10-bit 4: 2: 2 through its HDMI port, with support for F-Log recording there too. For slow motion, it can shoot up to 240 frames per second at 1080p. Compare that to the X-E3, which limited you to 4K at 30 fps and 1080p at 60 fps, and the X-E4 is a much more capable camera of capturing video than its predecessor. Equally important is that the X-E4 has modern connectivity. On the side of the camera you have mini HDMI and USB-C ports, as well as a 3.5mm jack. So, no need this time for a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter if you want to capture audio with an external mic.
All of these improvements are wrapped up in a new bodywork that removes the front and rear grip of its predecessor, giving the X-E4 the appearance of a cross between the X-100V and Leica Q2. It also wouldn’t be a refresh of a Fujifilm camera if the company didn’t fine-tune its existing button layout. By removing the rear thumb grip, Fuji also combined the autofocus and automatic exposure lock switches into one button and moved the Quick Menu button to the top plate of the camera, nesting it. between the shutter speed and exposure compensation dials. Simultaneously, it removed the lever that allowed you to switch the camera to fully automatic mode. Instead, you now do this by turning the shutter dial to the “P” setting. It all seems to have been done in the service of a $ 70 thumb rest that Fujifilm plans to release alongside the X-E4. The new layout ensures that the accessory – or any other thumb rest, for that matter – doesn’t obstruct any part of the interface.
From a functionality standpoint, all that the X-E4 lacks is in-body image stabilization. But when you consider that the company plans to sell the X-E4 on its own for $ 849.95, which is about $ 150 less than the equipped X-E4. X-S10, this is an understandable omission.
Along with the X-E3, Fujifilm announced two new XF lenses, the XF70-300 f / 4-5.6 at $ 800 and the XF27mm f / 2.8 at $ 399.95. The latter is interesting because it is an update to Fuji’s pancake lens. Without making the lens much larger, the company added weatherproofing and an aperture ring. In addition to selling the lens alone, Fujifilm will bundle it with the X-E4 for $ 1,049.95. This should make a compact and capable street photography kit out of the box. Fujifilm expects the X-E4 and XF27mm to be available in March.