I did it. I bought another camera even though I didn’t technically “need” one.
As a photography teacher and camera guy, new gear is fun. But as a veteran, I also know that new gear is over-rated and getting hyped about the newest bits of gear is an easy way to go broke.
Yet there was a small gap in my kit: a small, go-everywhere camera with interchangeable lenses.
Previously I bought and absolutely adored the X100v. It certainly went everywhere with me for a while, but when the X-E4 camera out with the 27mm in a package that was (slightly) smaller than the X100v, I was intrigued. Combine that with the ability to switch lenses when needed that when a good deal popped up on an X-E4 and the 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens, I figured I’d give it a try.
I’m so glad I did, because the Fuji X-E4 is a keeper even though it’s not perfect.
It provides as much portability as the X100v, but this time it’s a little lighter and the ability to switch lenses is everything for me. I can throw the X-E4 in a bag with the three Fujicrons (23, 35, 50 f/2 lenses) and I’ve got a portable, professional kit that can go in a small bag.
And really, that’s mostly all there is to it. This is what I wanted to do: have a small and light system I could easily carry around while still giving me some options for lenses without compromising on quality. With the X-E4 packed with the same processing engine and sensor as the big brothers (X-Pro3, X-T4), you already know the image quality is going to be out-of-this-world.
And it is! This camera is a seriously amazing image-maker.
It’s also lighting fast to function and a match for the speed and autofocus of the bigger brothers in the lineup (the X-Pro3 and X-T4). While this Fuji X-E4 review doesn’t dive into the technical aspects of this camera, it does focus more on the feel and use in actual operation. You can find the tech stuff at this excellent page on Fuji’s website: https://fujifilm-x.com/global/products/cameras/x-e4/
.. so what’s not to like?
Well, a few things and two of them are annoying pain points for me that I’m willing to forgive (for now at least!).
First, I wish there were just a few more buttons. While I understand Fuji wanting to make this thing sleek and simple, I still wish it had at least one, probably two customizable buttons. Instead, they opted to give you the option to flick the touch screen in multiple directions, but I just hate doing that. One of the reasons I love Fuji so much is the tactile experience of the dials. You get most of that with the shutter dial and clickable lens apertures here, but there’s no dedicated focus dial here like on the X-Pro3 and X-T4 that I’m so used to.
Secondly, while I love having the joystick to change focus points, it’s just simply in the wrong spot. I have to shift my hand to get my thumb to easily adjust the focus point or to change menu options. It’s seriously annoying and confounding. I imagine they did this to give your thumb a place to go on such a small camera, but it still takes me a bit out of the experience of using the camera.
The third big mark in this Fuji X-E4 review against this camera is the lack of weather sealing. It’s not something I thought I would miss until it was raining out, and I decided against bringing the X-E4 with me. The X100v would have been perfect in that situation.
Finally, when you throw bigger lenses on the camera, it becomes unbalanced quickly. Honestly, this shouldn’t be a mark against the camera though. It’s just something to mention for those thinking of getting the X-E4 to be their main camera.
Overall, this camera is fun to use, lighting quick and is a go-everywhere beauty that doesn’t compromise on image quality. For me, that’s exactly why it’s so wonderful.
The following gallery of images is with a variety of lenses, settings and film simulations (all shot in jpeg and edited in Lightroom).
Fuji X-E4 Review Pros and Cons:
Small and Light (Especially with the 27mm)
Fantastic Image Quality
Speed of Operation
Take This Camera Everywhere!
No weather sealing
No easy access to focus mode selection
Focus point joystick too low for easy access
Unbalanced with bigger lenses