According to Fujirumors, some camera stores are beginning to mark the Fujifilm X-E4 as discontinued. It’s not uncommon for cameras to be marked as such prior to the announcement of its successor, but I don’t think that’s the case here.
I own and love my X-E4. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the X-E line because my very first Fujifilm camera was an X-E1, which was my gateway into the Fujifilm family. The X-E4 was my most-used camera body in 2022. It’s an especially great camera for travel photography due to its small size and minimalistic design, and I’m so glad that I preordered it when it was announced.
Of course, it wasn’t without controversy. Fujifilm probably went a step or two too far in their attempt at minimalism, removing a couple of things they probably shouldn’t have. No camera is perfect. Despite that, the X-E4 has been in-demand since its release, with sales often exceeding Fujifilm’s ability to manufacture new bodies. The camera has been on backorder for the majority of the time since its release a little over two years ago. If you are a camera maker, best case scenario is that a camera’s demand exceeds your ability to make them, and they are already sold before they even reach the end of assembly. The X-E4 was one such model.
So why, then, is it being discontinued?
The reason why Fujifilm couldn’t keep up with demand is the global parts shortage that affected so much within the industry. Fujifilm didn’t prioritize securing parts and manufacturing efforts for the X-E4 for two reasons, I believe: 1) other models were even more in-demand, and 2) other models have higher profit margins. I don’t have any proof of that, it’s just my assumptions. Cameras like the X100V and X-T5 are more in-demand than the X-E4, and more money is made per camera sold than the X-E4, so less of an effort was made to produce more X-E4 bodies. Instead of trying to fulfill the full demand, Fujifilm prioritized other models. It’s fine that they did that, because something had to give somewhere, and Fujifilm made their tough decisions.
My guess is that parts are running especially thin now for the X-E4, so Fujifilm is telling camera stores that they cannot fulfill more orders. I think more bodies have been made and are en route to the stores, and possibly more are on the assembly line right now, but after that there will be no more. Some of those who have it backordered will get their camera, and some won’t. That’s all just a guess and so take it with a large grain of salt. I have zero inside information.
Instead of trying to secure more parts and manufacture more copies of the X-E4, I think Fujifilm is trying to move onto X-Trans V as quickly as they can. I suspect that the X-Pro3 is no longer manufactured, and Fujifilm and camera stores are waiting for the current stock to dry up. I think the X-T30 II is on it’s last production run, and will soon be discontinued. My guess is that all of the X-S10’s that will be made have been already, and it’s a matter of the current stock running out. Same for the X-T4. The X100V is another story. I think Fujifilm will continue to manufacture it as long as demand remains sky-high, which will likely be until the day the X100Z (or whatever they will call it) is released; however, I do think they are giving manufacturing priority to the X-T5, X-H2, and X-H2S. Again, this is all speculation and nothing more.
Supposedly, the next Fujifilm camera to be announced will be the X-S20 sometime next month, but Fujifilm cancelled their April X Summit. Maybe they weren’t as ready for the X-S20 as they thought they would be. I think Fujifilm should prioritize the next X100-series camera, but my suspicion is that 2024 will be the year of the X-Pro4 and X100Z, and not 2023. I do think the plan is for one more X camera to be announced this year (aside from the X-S20, in or around September), but it will likely be an affordable (budget) model, such as the X-T40 (they might call it X-T50).
Fujifilm has three low-budget lines: X-S, X-E, and X-T00. They used to have other lower-budget lines, but that end of the camera market dried up so they discontinued them. I don’t believe that Fujifilm will continue with three models competing against each other. My guess is that either the X-T00 or X-E line is done for. Since Fujifilm has flirted in the past with discontinuing the X-E line, that series is likely on the chopping block, or at least being discussed as such within Fujifilm management. Don’t be surprised if there is no X-E5.
If the autumn camera isn’t the X-T40, what could it be? Fujifilm would be smart to prioritize the next X100-series model. That should be near the very top of their to-do list (after fixing the Cam Remote app). I wouldn’t be surprised if Fujifilm introduced a new mid-tier PASM line in-between the X-S20 and X-H2/X-H2S—I have no idea if that’s in their plans or not, but it does seem like a gap in the lineup. I’ve heard of plenty of demand for a non-PASM flagship model, but I don’t think that’s currently in the cards. Of course, I’d love to see an X80 or monochrome-only model—those are the only cameras that I’m personally interested in right now—but I’m not holding my breath. Most likely, 2023 is the year for the X-S20 and X-T40.
I hope the X-E line isn’t done for. I hope there is an X-E5. If they do make it, the series has historically been announced near the end of a sensor’s lifecycle, so perhaps we will see one in 2025, just before X-Trans VI is introduced. We’ll see.
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