Hello everyone, this article is all about sharing my unconditional love for the X-E3 and my Wishlist for its successor. If you are like me who love the compactness of this little camera and the power of delivering amazing results, please continue to read this article and share with me your Wishlist for the successor.
The X-E3 was on my hand as a result of an unexpected purchase during my holiday 18 months ago. It was my first rangefinder-style camera and I fell in love with it from the moment I picked it up. It is really small and compact but unfortunately not nice to hold on with my big hands. Despite that, I have no problem with one-hand operation and I always love to pair it with the XF35mm F/1.4 and do my street shoots.
For your information, I also own an X-T3 and an X100V and I must say that the experience of using an X-E3 is different from them. Like it’s brother, X100V, the X-E3 is a compact camera, but one of the major differences is that the X-E3 has the capability of changing lenses. However, it comes with a small grip and so it’s also “suggested” that it is more suitable for small and lightweight lenses, for example, XF23mm F/2 and XF50mm F/2. You can try pairing it with larger lenses, but I am sure you won’t be happy with the shooting experience.
I have three main reasons why I like the X-E3. The first one is that it is easily my first choice of camera if I want to travel for a short casual holiday trip. I will bring 1 or 2 lenses together with this camera in a small camera bag to run around. The second reason is that there are times when I just want to carry a featherlight gear with an XF35mm lens while doing some grocery shopping or over a dinner session. The third reason is that when I get “tired” of bringing my X-T3 and wish to have a change of “mood”, this little buddy really helps to refresh my mind and re-think on my shoots.
What are the drawbacks? Not many. But these are my Wishlist for the X-E4, and I hope Fujifilm will address most of them (let’s assume X-E4 will be the name of the successor):
The ergonomic design of this camera has a minor flaw, and that is the handgrip. I do hope Fujifilm will continue to keep its current design but with improved handgrip. Addition metal grip does improve the handgrip handling, but it too makes the overall size bigger. So Fujifilm, let’s not do this.
The resolution of the EVF needs to be improved with a higher refresh rate (at least somewhere on-par with X-Pro3’s EVF) and include a larger viewing panel. The current resolution and refresh rate are not terrible to use in broad daylight and well-lit indoor environment. But it is absolutely terrible when using in low light environments. It’s sometimes laggy, colour deems to be washed and introducing lots of noise while framing through the EVF. I have no idea if it is due to any of my configuration setting, but it makes my photographing experience less enjoyable. And also, higher magnification is most welcome, 0.62x is really small.
3. Rear Screen
Talking about rear articulated screens, from vlogging style flipping screen to much-debated hidden screen, Fujifilm has basically come out with all sort of articulated screens. So what kind of screen should the X-E4 implement from the latest iteration of each category?
1. X-Pro3 hidden screen design
2. X-T4 flip screen design
3. X100V tilt screen design
I think X-Pro3’s hidden screen design is a unique design generating lots of discussions. I believe everyone is familiar with the pros and cons of this screen design. And I also think we should leave the uniqueness of the hidden screen design to X-Pro3 and its successor. As for selfie/vlogging screen, Fujifilm has provided a wonderful line-up, i.e.: X-T4, X-T200 and X-A7, for users to choose from. Hence, I think we can also skip this screen design.
And that’s left with the last option, and I must say I love how X100V’s rear screen is tilted and flush nicely to the camera body when closed. The tilt screen is really helpful when you want to do a hip-level shooting. I also presume that a rangefinder camera is always more suitable for photography rather than videography, and the X100V’s style of tilting screen is definitely a nice touch. I hope the X-E4 will adopt this idea from the X100V. And as one would expect, the screen resolution should be better than the current 1.04 million dots.
4. X-Trans “X”
The sensor is one of the most important components in the camera and the X-E3 houses an X-Trans CMOS III sensor. The X-Trans CMOS III was first introduced with the X-Pro2 in 2016. In my opinion, it is still a very capable sensor and still produces wonderful images. Surely, we all know that the X-E4 shouldn’t be using X-Trans III anymore.
So here is the question: should it be using X-Trans 4 (introduced in 2018) or the next generation X-Trans processor?
If the X-E4 uses an X-Trans 4, I think it is fine. The X-Trans 4 is a good sensor, and it is powering Fujifilm’s newest flagship models, X-T4 and X-Pro3, which I deem that this sensor will still have a few more years to run in its lifespan. On top of that, this helps Fujifilm to optimize their R&D and manufacturing cost. In this perspective, it is beneficial for the company.
Then what are the benefits if Fujifilm decided to use the next-gen X-Trans sensor?
First, if Fujifilm does not intend to refresh the X-E line-up frequently, I think using a newer image sensor will help to extend the longevity of the X-E4. Does it mean that the X-Trans 4 is outdated? I don’t think so. There are many other hardware and software to be considered besides the sensor.
Second, the X-E4 users will feel that they have made their investments worthy by not getting a dated sensor.
Last, it should catch everyone by surprise with this approach (probably good for marketing launch), but it might spark some discussion.
With these opinions, should Fujifilm use X-Trans 4 or the next generation X-Trans sensor on the X-E4? Either one, I have no complaints, but I hope for the latter.
Besides all the above mentioned, I am expecting Fujifilm to include USB-C charging, same NP-W126S battery, improved autofocusing speed and improved build quality. Still, I am not expecting to have weather sealing.
That’s all for what I think the X-E4 can be better in many ways. Fujifilm has a good record of listening to its consumers, and I also hope Fujifilm will listen to my opinions on the X-E4 and make many minor improvements over the X-E3. All in all, this is my Wishlist for the X-E4. What’s yours? Do you wish to see this line-up to be continued?
Alwin is a 37 years old engineer, husband and Fujifilm fanboy from Singapore. His first encounter with Fujifilm was the launch of the X10 in 2012. It was love at first sight. It was a joyful compact camera and it also introduced film simulations to him. But what brought him deep into Fujifilm was the X-T2 and the love grows further. He loves to experience and discover many genres.