Is the X-E Line Done? Fujifilm seems to think so….

“If we decided to stop entry-level products such as X-T200 or X-E4,” Franck Bernard, Fujifilm France Photo Division Director, stated in a recent Phototrend interview, “it is because it is not a promising market. Today, competitors are also deciding to abandon certain more accessible product lines.”

Wow. This seems to be confirmation that the X-E line is done. The X-T200 was discontinued back in 2020, and with that the X-T000 line was abandoned. The Fujifilm X-E4 was discontinued back in March. This appears to be an indication that, in 2023, the X-E series has succumbed to the same fate that the X-T000 line did three years ago.

Of course, in other interviews, Fujifilm has kind of tiptoed around this topic and even hinted that the X-E line hasn’t been axed. They never expressly communicated one way or the other with certainty, but now they have. Sort of. They used fuzzy language—“if we decided”—and Mr. Bernard isn’t a corporate manager (he’s regional), so perhaps he didn’t have the authority to state what he said and it might not be exactly what HQ wanted made public. In other words, this might not be the official position of Fujifilm.

I think that his comment is factual and simultaneously must be taken with a large grain of salt. He’s likely saying something that’s largely understood within the company, but also something that Fujifilm doesn’t want to outright state, because they want to reserve the right to change their mind in a quickly shifting market and with dynamic corporate directives. They don’t want to officially kill off the X-E line, only to discover that they should have made an X-E5; instead, if they quietly cancel it, then it’s a bit easier to bring back at a later date if market conditions allow.

Pacific Poppies – Montaña de Oro SP, CA – Fujifilm X-E4 – Pacific Blues Recipe

Franck Bernard goes on to provide a little context to his comment: “I believe that Fujifilm has made the industrial choice for more than 5 years now to turn to high-end products and we will not return to entry-level products.”

I’ve heard this said a few times from Fujifilm managers. They believe the future of the brand is not with low-end models, or even with what we once thought of as the mid-range bodies, but with the higher-tier cameras. The X-H line, the X-T0 line, the X100 series, X-S00 line (which was made slightly more higher-end with the X-S20), and X-Pro, along with GFX. That’s where Fujifilm wants to focus their efforts. That’s where Fujifilm sees the future of their digital camera brand. The X-E series just doesn’t fit in, no matter how in-demand the X-E4 was at the time of its discontinuance. Camera brands don’t axe a line that has a lot of demand and a waitlist to buy—unless it was simply impossible to secure the necessary parts to manufacture more, or the higher-ups shifted priorities to other things. I think the latter explains the X-E4’s sudden and inexplicable discontinuation. Fujifilm doesn’t want to offer models in the X-E class. It’s beneath them now. Or, perhaps, for whatever reason, they believe the market is about to dry up for it, despite the demand (which, by the way, still exists more than six months after its discontinuation).

“Logically,” Mr. Bernard continued, “there should be a successor to the X-T30. We would like to maintain older, affordable products that correspond to a certain purchasing power. But we have no visibility on future ranges.” This is a bit after he stated that, “…our flagship product remains the X-T5, the standard model of the range. Comes behind the X-T30 II, and then follows the X-S10/X-S20.”

I think he was saying that, in France, the X-T5 is Fujifilm’s top selling model, followed by the X-T30 II, then the X-S00 series. Because of the demand for the X-T30 II, there should logically be a successor. Fujifilm France wants to be able to offer products that those with a more limited budget can afford. But, Fujifilm Japan has not provided them with a timeline when such a camera will come, if at all. That’s my interpretation, but I don’t know if that’s what he really meant. It’s a bit confusing.

As best as I can tell from all of this, the X-E line is done (but Fujifilm wants to reserve the right to change their minds) and an X-T30 II successor is desired by certain people within Fujifilm (and they believe logically it should happen) but HQ hasn’t provided any information to them on when or if that will happen. This is because—beginning five years ago—Fujifilm began to shift away from lower-end gear and towards higher-end products. This is all a part of the long-term plan, more or less.

Evening Charge – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X-E4 – Kodak Portra 400 v2 Recipe

Will an X-T40 (perhaps it will be called X-T30 III or X-T50) happen? It sounds like eventually it will happen, but not necessarily soon. Don’t be surprised if it is given new features (IBIS? 40mp?) and a higher price tag. Will an X-E5 happen? Probably not. If a lot of people speak up and state that they’d buy one, maybe. But still probably not. There’s been a large vocal desire for an X80, but that hasn’t happened, nor will it—technically, though, it is still possible, just highly unlikely. I think that’s the unfortunate state of the X-E line.

In a seemingly-unrelated-but-at-closer-look-completely-related article, PetaPixel says that young people are finding digital cameras to be more difficult to use and more time-consuming than cellphone cameras (imagine that!). While it’s easy to dismiss this, I think there are a few points worth considering. First, it’s great that Fujifilm introduced the X App, which is better than their rather mediocre (being kind) Cam Remote App, but the new app is years late and not compatible with older models. If Fujifilm wants to sell cameras to younger folks (which, presumably, generally have a tighter budget and aren’t buying flagship models), having an intuitive and reliable way to transfer the images is a necessity. Unfortunately, Fujifilm has fantastically failed at this, which undoubtedly affects sales of lower-end models. Think about this: film simulations (and especially Film Simulation Recipes) are highly desirable among those who want great results without fuss and without spending a lot of time achieving it. But getting those pictures off the camera can be a pain.

What Fujifilm (and the other camera makers) should have done is create a way to upload directly from the camera to Instagram, X, Facebook, Flickr, text, email, cloud, etc.. Maybe have an Android-like operating system with apps. As it is now, the step in-between that’s time-consuming, frustrating, and unintuitive is one reason why the cellphone is constantly eating away the bottom end of the camera market. Instead of innovating, camera makers just throw their hands up and say “Oh, well.” They blame the cellphone, but really they just concede the fight without trying all that hard to compete with it. Oh, and why did Fujifilm abandon the concept of connecting the camera directly with their Instax printers? That’s another missed opportunity, in a similar vein.

So if Fujifilm were to release an X-E5, but with a whole new way to get the pictures off of the camera and shared wherever the photographer wishes—something that’s easy, fast, and intuitive—I have zero doubts that it would sell well. Yes, there’s the X App, which is a step in the right direction, but ideally there would be no need for an app. It should be a one-step process from the camera itself. As the PetaPixel article illustrates, the hassle of using a digital camera—hassles that don’t need to exist but do, and hassles that aren’t found on the cellphone—is notable enough to go viral. Don’t doubt that the opposite is also viral-worthy. For example, the reason why the X100V suddenly became popular is because it went viral on social media, and a big reason why it went viral is because it could produce analog-looking pictures that didn’t require editing (yes, Recipes!). It produced wonderful results easily, and that caught the attention of so many that the camera is historically long-backordered. Now imagine if those results could be more quickly and intuitively available for sharing. Yes, that’s notable enough to go viral.


  1. Don · October 17

    Well, This debate, question came up after the X-E3 was discontinued then we got the X-E4, then 98% of commentary fell in love with the X-E4. Although if they do discontinue the XE it will be because of a major change in the XPro-4. Meaning, smaller and all of the changes that enthusiasts require from the X-E5. Why present two alike cameras?

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 17

      Yeah, there was a lot of talk after the X-E3 that the X-E line was done, mainly due to so-so sales. The X-E line has always been much-loved by those who own one, but never a huge seller. For example, it was possible to buy a brand-new X-E3 as recently as last year, because there was still some unsold stock sitting around. On the other hand, the X-E4 sold out (and was backordered) months before it was officially discontinued.

      I don’t think the X-E and X-Pro cameras are very much alike or compete against each other. Someone who is going to buy an X-Pro is not going to buy an X-E instead, unless their budget never supported buying an X-Pro. Likewise, someone looking for a small and lightweight nearly-pocketable rangefinder-style model won’t buy an X-Pro because it’s not those things.

      I would be pretty shocked if there were any major changes to the design of the next X-Pro… probably a readdressing of the rear LCD will be the headliner.

      Thanks for the input!

  2. Mister · October 17

    Just make an interchangeable lens, non-WR version of the X100 models at a slightly lower price point and call it a day.

  3. Fathom · October 17

    Good write-up. TBH, the X-E4 (as well as the X-S10/20) would’ve been ideal for me if only it was weather sealed not for me to use it during harsh weather conditions (won’t be using my gears in such situations ever) but in cases where it would be “suddenly compromised” like when you’re walking in the beach and then suddenly, a gust of wind carried with it sand and went to your path making, say, those top and command dials, vulnerable to sand which may cause damages. With that said, I like how this Youtuber proposes regarding the next XPro variant which is also a cross with the X-E line and called it an X-E Pro (or for Fuji to at least consider the concept).

    I’d still go for crippling the camera to lower the cost and making it more accessible to old and even new users (just like what I mentioned, no OVF, no LCD, X-S20 sensor/processor, WR, brass top and bottom plates. If they do put Video and IBIS, they’re just bonuses but not necessities).

    Be appreciative of this Youtuber’s efforts as English is not his native language.

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 17

      The X100V is my smaller weather-sealed camera… would be nice if Fujifilm had a smaller interchangeable-lens weather-sealed option, too.

      The next X-Pro will be essentially the same as all the other X-Pro cameras have been in design, nothing drastic will change. I think the big headliner will be a readdressing of the rear LCD, and probably the sensor, and possibly the OVF. But it won’t be much different than the X-Pro3, which wasn’t much different than the X-Pro2, which wasn’t all that different from the X-Pro1. Anyone can dream anything, but the reality is that a merger between the X-E and X-Pro lines is not going to happen, as the two lines are very different from each other, and the merger of those two divergent philosophies will leave both X-E and X-Pro lovers disappointed.

      I appreciate the input!

  4. Sean Sullivan · October 17

    So not only does Fujifilm make cameras that look like Leica’s they want the premium price tag too?

  5. Chris Hanson · October 17

    The lack of rangefinders in the lineup is disappointing. I know the screen on the X-Pro3 was controversial, but I hope they don’t kill it off.

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 17

      I do believe there will be an X-Pro4. I suspect that it will be announced in late-spring/early-summer.

  6. Miroslav Stoev · October 17

    As always – very well said!
    I personally do no use Facebook and similar, but could be happy to send images via Viber! The cellphone can be used only for WIFI hotspot. Instead giving us bigger sensor – give us WWW connectivity directly from the camera! If this happen and a cheap camera with this capabilities is on the market, probably lot of people will get it in their hands and use it, instead their phones.
    At the moment I am still not convinced the XApp is better than the old one.

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 17

      I don’t use X App myself, mostly because it’s only compatible with some of my cameras and not all. I’m still using the old Cam Remote App, where all of my cameras are already set up.

      I think not making cameras more connective is a huge mistake by camera makers at large. I think if one of them—and Sony would probably have the easiest time—did this, it would have a significant impact. I think the future of photography will be built around simplicity and speed. The more quickly and easily it is, the more desirable it will be.

      Thanks for the comment!

  7. TheCameraEatsFirst · October 17

    They butchered the E4. (Thanks for saving me money, Fuji.)

    I still have and use my X100S, X20, X30, T-30ii and T5. Might get Pro4 and future X100x (if they make them, or if I can find them).

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 17

      I love the X-E4 personally. I do think they went a little too far in minimalism… an M/C/S switch and ISO ring around the shutter would have made the camera perfect. That’s my opinion, though—everyone’s wants and needs are different.

  8. Kenneth Lundgren · October 20

    I got tricked of the rumors some years ago telling the vill not be a x-e4 after 3 so I bought x-t30 after my loved x70. Never fell to my heart with that q-button who I constantly press and that fiddly card holder, so its collecting dust now. Was waiting for e5 but Fuji seems to slow down.
    Will probably look to something else small and light, maybe Pixii.

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 20

      The X-E3 didn’t sell particularly well, took a really long time to get through all of the stock. I think partially because it was too similar to the X-T20 (basically the same camera just in a different shape), and the X-T20 was quite successful. You could still buy a brand-new X-E3 (for a discounted price, no less) as recently as a year ago. Also, the X-E3 was competing against the X-A5 and X-A7 to a degree. With the X-E4, not only were the Bayer models discontinued (making the X-E line the new “entry-level” in a way), but Fujifilm took steps to differentiate the X-E4 from the X-T30/X-T30 II (more minimalistic and smaller), which I think helped the sales; however, what most helped the sell of the X-E4 was the X100V, which not only was hard to find due to insane demand, but the X-E4 with the 27mm pancake was the closest alternative in the Fujifilm lineup.

      When the X-E3 sales were sluggish, Fujifilm thought hard about discontinuing the line, and I think they more-or-less did discontinue it. Due to a lot of vocal outrage of this decision (which leaked out… probably wasn’t supposed to), plus the discontinuation of the low-end Bayer models, Fujifilm saw the opportunity to revive the line with the X-E4. My guess is that the decision to discontinue the X-E4 was made prior to the boost in sales from the X100V craze, and perhaps Fujifilm felt they could produce more X100V models if the X-E4 was shelved, anyway. My guess is also that Fujifilm has no current plans to make an X-E5, but that (like after the X-E3) they want to have the option to revive it someday still on the table if market conditions and manufacturing capabilities allow. So maybe an X-E5 will happen, and maybe it won’t—maybe it will be at some later date in a couple years, or maybe it won’t ever happen at all, and the X-E line is done. My best guess is that the X-E line is done, but I have zero inside information and it’s all speculation and should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

      The X-E4 is a great camera (I love it!), but unfortunately they are selling for ridiculous prices used; however, I have heard of some people getting a good deal, so keep an eye out for that.

      • Kenneth Lundgren · October 20

        Yes the X-E4 ticking all the boxes for me, tilt and minimalistic but it came 2-3 months after I bought X-T30. I was in to X100V to but I am a two lens guy 35mm and a portrait.
        The X70 and X-T30 was my first digital camera after my analog Olympus OM4 who I bought new in 1983. Still used it in 2010 decade with Portra, C-41 and Plustek scanning, but it is very expensive nowdays. There is no substitute for a older guy like me who wont get a PASM camera. There is still Leica for me, but a big step financialy.

      • Ritchie Roesch · October 21

        Yeah, Leica would be nice, but it’s definitely outside of my budget, too.

  9. Ryan Long · October 21

    I think one problem is the (American?) idea that smaller must be cheaper. It surely isn’t true for the R&D or the manufacturing; aside from discrete features that physically won’t fit in a smaller enclosure, or intentionally omitted to bring down the price because of the psychology that smaller products must be cheaper; the actual cost of the aluminum and plastic is incidental.

    As for connectivity – it sure seems like a cellular modem could fit in a camera larger than an iPhone, for seamless continuous uploads to your phones camera roll. It just isn’t a priority.

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 21

      Logically, you’d almost think smaller would be more expensive because so much must be packed into a tiny package. “Bigger is better” has been a (false) adage for awhile, so maybe the inverse (smaller is worse, hence should be cheaper) explains it. I disagree with the idea personally, as I typically believe that less is often more.

      • Barry Studd · October 21

        Just go out and enjoy your photography the gear don’t matter. The camera is your just your paintbrush. Old or new.

  10. winmaciek · October 23

    I agree that software is probably the main pain point when it comes to cameras. However I don’t think that photo sharing is the single greatest issue here. I wouldn’t want to have full Android with 3rd party apps on my camera. That wouldn’t age well, to put mildly for example. Easy photo sharing to phones would be sufficient here in my opinion. If the camera makers can’t make apps that can do that quickly enough then perhaps they should put an SD to USB-C adapter in the box.
    One aspect where software is severely lacking is the so called computational photography. Having upgraded my phone recently from iPhone XS to 15 Pro Max I am blown away by the ease of taking photos that look great. Night mode is one example that comes to mind. Yes, some creative decisions made by the Apple’s software team are a bit arguable here, but the main premise of the technology is mind-blowing. Taking a photo that is reasonably sharp (tiny sensor, tiny optics taken into account) is almost effortless in poor lighting conditions. The phone doesn’t need to be stabilised in some special way to get it. Feels like magic the first time you use it. Why has nobody brought it to the “big” cameras? It’s not even a matter of “knowing” how to take a great photo in poor lightning conditions. If the light sucks, then I have zero chance of taking a good photo with my X-T3 without a tripod.

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 23

      I agree that not implementing or “trickling up” the technological advances from cellphones to bigger cameras is in the long term a mistake. I hope they work hard to catch up. The ease and connivence of the cellphone camera is in a league of its own, and the image quality gap keeps shrinking each year (although, clearly, there is still a gap). Thanks for the input!

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