FUJIFILM X-E4 OVERVIEW
Fujifilm seems to be in an unstoppable rampage right now. A couple of days ago, we were all mind-blasted with the new GFX 100S. A camera so powerful and innovative, that made a lot of photographers turn their heads around. And even when not actually buying it, the same camera is perceived as a finally-affordable medium format camera. Meaning that a lot of professionals are seriously considering the investment. In fact, Fujifilm has had such a massive acceptance, that they've announced some shipping delays due to a lack of supply. But enough about that sweet medium format unicorn. Let's talk about another release made by Fuji in the aforementioned days, the Fuji X-E4!
As you have already noticed, we love coupling cameras together in romantic-like analogies. Therefore, it won't surprise you to see another reference to a sweet photographic blend. The X-E4 is truly like having a range-finder and point & shoot camera with us, with lens interchangeable capabilities in a compact mirrorless body. This is also the fourth release of the X-E camera system, but with some wicked upgrades.
In general and broad terms, this camera comes with the same 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor and X-Processor 4 from the more sophisticated Fuji camera systems. This offers a beautiful color rendition, a generous dynamic range, and has an impressive sensibility range for working with complex lighting situations.
Speedwise, the X-E4 is capable of recording DCI/UHD 4K and slow-motion Full HD capturing is supported. And for still photos, fast continuous shooting up to 8 fps is also available. Additionally, the sensor's design houses a hybrid AF system that combines 425 phase-detection points with a contrast-detection drive for quick and accurate AF performance.
As logically expected, the X-E4 is the successor of the former X-E3 presented in 2017 by Fujifilm. And there are some clear design takes on this camera, like getting rid of the small grip found in the X-E3, resulting in an almost X100 camera with the capacity of lens interchangeability. And as rumored prior to its announcement, the rear screen is finally foldable, which is great not only for vlogs and street photography, but also for selfies since it can turn upwards up to 180°.
Thanks to its distinctly sleek and minimal rangefinder-like design, the X-E system, happens to be a quite beloved camera in Fuji's lineup. And with an electronic viewfinder at the very top corner, the rangefinder experience is quite real. So, beyond the official announcement made by Fuji, what can we mention about this fantastic and accessible camera? Well, let's Take a Closer Look!
That Sweet Design
Let's start with the outermost part of the camera, its timeless and classic design. It features a high- res 2.36m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.62x magnification (which is not that impressive, but for the price, we can't ask for more really) for clear and comfortable eye-level viewing. Also, the aforementioned tilting back-screen which has a dimension of 3.0" and comes with a 1.62m-dot LCD touchscreen design for intuitive operation and playback. The 180° upward tilting design definitely benefits working from high and front-facing shooting angles.
About connectivity, Integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity allows for wireless images sharing to mobile devices, or for using the same device as a remote control for the camera. The single SD memory card slot supports the UHS-I standard, and the included NP-W126S battery allows us to shoot approximately 380 frames per charge when working only with the EVF, which is the best way of shooting of course.
The top plate features a series of physical controls for fast, intuitive tuning exposure settings which includes a dedicated shutter speed and exposure compensation dials that offer direct adjustment, even when the camera is off. The exposure compensation dial also has a C position to afford an expanded ±5 EV range when working with the command dials. The rear disposed joystick is there for more intuitive selections and AF points switching, as well as menu navigation and imaging playback.
Physical note: The X-E4 dimensions' are 121.3x72.9x32.7mm (WxHxD), and it weighs 364g (Body with Battery and Memory).
On That Sensor
The overall design found in the sensor comes with an expanded phase detection autofocus system with 425 selectable points, which cover nearly the entire sensor area (we couldn't find a specific percentage, but with 425 points on an APS-C we could expect it to be something between 95 and 97%). Thanks to which sensor, the X-E4 is capable of achieving smooth tonal rendering, and an improved low-light performance thanks to a wide native sensitivity range of ISO 160-12,800.
And as you've already guessed it by now, the X-Trans sensor uses a randomized pixel array, providing a high degree of image quality and sharpness due to the omission of an optical low-pass filter. Versus conventional pixel patterns, the X-Trans design more closely mimics the organic nature of film in order to produce nuanced colors and tonal transitions, while also reducing aliasing and moiré.
It's autofocus system delivers faster, more accurate focusing performance in a variety of lighting conditions down to -7 EV*, yes, 7 STOPS in a $849.00 body! Complementing the imaging and focusing capabilities, the camera comes with an updated X-Processor 4, same which has a quad- core CPU, and delivers faster, more responsive performance throughout the camera system, including a full-resolution 8 fps shooting rate with the mechanical shutter, 20 fps rate with an electronic shutter, or a 30 fps rate with an electronic shutter and a 1.25x crop.
* Although,the minimum AF luminance of -7.0EV is achieved when the camera is mounted with the FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR Lens, which is not cheap, but not that expensive either, the retail on this bad boy lens is $1,499.00. Therefore, you can have an extremely low-light suited imagery set- up for a bit less than $3K.
Film Simulations BAE
This is one of the best things about Fuji camera systems. Thanks to film simulations, one can achieve incredibly aesthetic results with minimum pos-processing efforts. And the X-E4 is no exception to the rule, it comes several Film Simulation modes that mimic the look and feel of some of FUJIFILM's classic film types:
Across: Based on the popular B&W film, this monochrome mode has a distinct tonality and graininess and can be used along with Yellow, Red, and Green contrast filter effects.
Astia: Subdued contrast and color saturation with a look that is ideal for portraits.
B&W: Straightforward and classic black and white effect with Yellow, Red, and Green contrast filters options.
Classic Chrome (and our very favorite: Delivers muted tones and deep color reproduction, similar to a dated slide film.
Classic Neg: Muted contrast but vibrant colors with a vintage filmic feel.
Eterna Bleach Bypass: Refines the standard Eterna look with a higher key, higher contrast feeling while maintaining the overall desaturated look.
Eterna: For a cinematic look, this delivers a neutral color, low saturation look well-suited to post-production color grading.
PRO Neg: Available with both Hi and Std. contrast options, this mimics the punchy-but-natural feeling of their professional-grade color negative film.
Provia: The standard contrast and normal saturation color transparency film.
Sepia: Everyone's favorite old-timey look mimicking the popular alternative process.
- Velvia: High contrast, high color saturation, and vivid color transparency film.
But Wait, There's More!
First, there are two new optics that happen to cope perfectly with this camera. One is the Fujinon XF 27mm F2.8 R WR (which is making us drool), and then there is the Fujinon XF 70-300mm F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR.
The first one looks like a very compact fixed lens that, and in fact, it is one. This upgraded 27mm is sealed against the elements, including an automatic position lock diaphragm ring (A), and it comes with a small dome-shaped lens hood. It has a very compact design, which has been achieved without sacrificing image quality. At 62mmx23mm and a weight of 84 grams, this is an ideal lens to carry around every single day. The 27mm focal length is equivalent to about 40mm, offering a similar angle of view to the human eye making it suitable for a wide range of uses from general everyday use, to portrait and street photography, and even landscapes.
And the second one, offers a broad range of focal lengths between 70 to 300 inside a lightweight, weather-sealed body with a linear AF motor that promises focus fast and quiet and optical image stabilization of up to 5.5 stops. Built with 17 optical elements distributed in 12 groups, it includes an aspherical lens and two ED elements and its diaphragm consists of nine blades. Its size is 132.5 mm long by 75 mm in diameter (in the most compact position), weighing 580 grams, and the minimum focus distance is 830mm, allowing a magnification ratio of 0.33x; and the filter diameter 67 mm.
And if you want a better grip, then Fuji has also released three different accessories, specifically designed for the X-E4. So, let's check em out!
- "BLC-XE4"Leather case: Which is a genuine leather case that provides protection to the camera body while accentuating its linear design. Its advanced features include the ability to change battery without having to remove the camera from the case. And even when it sounds good, we can do better ;).
- "MHG-XE4" Hand grip: A metal hand grip makes it substantially more comfortable to hold the camera. It helps reduce camera shake when shooting with large aperture lenses. Also, the camera's battery or SD card can be replaced without having to remove the hand grip.
- "TR-XE4" Thumb rest: This tiny metal thumb-resting grip makes the whole shooting experience truly wonderful. It gets installed at the top part of the camera body, providing a thumb rest for a firm grip. The part where the thumb comes in contact is coated with rubber non-slip strip to control camera shake even when shooting with one hand. Users can rotate camera dials without having to remove the TR-XE4, offering operating comfort and enhanced grip at the same time. It is available in black or silver to match color variations of the X-E4.
And Last but Not Least
We know that a lot of people will use this camera for video, so here are the official specs published by Fujifilm regarding this particular topic.
The compact Fuji X-E4 is capable of delivering 4K video from the amount of data equivalent to 6K to ensure the footage is in high resolution with low noise. It supports recording 4K/30P video at 8- bit 4:2:0 onto an SD card inserted in the camera, and outputting 4K/30P video at 10-bit 4:2:2, containing greater color information, via the HDMI port. And it is also capable of high-speed Full- HD recording at 240fps, producing up to 10x slow-motion footage of a split-second motion of a fast-moving subject.
Wrapping it Up
The Fujifilm X-E4 is the most compact and most lightweight of all mirrorless digital cameras built with the famous and iconic Fuji Series' fourth-generation image sensor and image processing engine. The beautiful camera body resembles the classical design that made street photography famous, and with an accurate and fast (0.02) autofocus, this camera is a really serious piece of optical engineering.
The X-E4 is a mirrorless digital camera that copes with a wide range of lifestyles and social situations, making it the perfect choice for those passionate photographers who always want to carry a camera around with them, anywhere and anytime. There are no more excuses for letting those moments flee by, the X-E4 is the camera made for capturing life as it passes through our eyes.