The cost of a second-hand Fujifilm X-E4 is completely out of hand!
Before we get to that, let’s rewind this all a bit. Fujifilm released the X-E4 in late-February 2021. I preordered my copy, which arrived in early March. The X-E4 was the fifth in the X-E line, which began in 2012 with the X-E1, Fujifilm’s second interchangeable-lens X-series model (the X-Pro1 was the first). The X-E2 came out only one year later, and the nearly identical X-E2s was released three years after that. The X-E3 was released in 2017, and rumors floated around that it might be the last X-E camera.
The X-E line is much beloved by those who own them. It’s a combination of beautiful rangefinder styling, diminutive size, simplicity, and affordability, while producing images that are equally as good as the bigger and more expensive models. But sales have always been so-so. The X-E3, in particular, was a slow-mover, and it was possible to buy a brand-new copy for less than MSRP as recently as last year. Two years ago the X-E3 was on sale for $560. This is to say that the X-E line is niche, even within Fujifilm, which is itself sort of a niche brand; however, it’s a much loved series by many who have had the pleasure to use them. The X-E1 was my gateway into Fujifilm; today the X-E4 is my second-favorite camera, only behind the X100V.
With the X-E3 not moving particularly quickly, Fujifilm seriously considered discontinuing the X-E line. But with the discontinuation of the low-budget X-A and X-T000 cameras, plus a vocal outcry from their customers, I believe Fujifilm had a change of heart, so the X-E4, with its minimalistic design, was born. However, between the global parts shortage and the expected so-so sales, Fujifilm didn’t produce as many copies as other cameras. My guess is that they were concerned that unsold boxes of the X-E4 would be sitting around for years like with the X-E3 (and, to an extent, the X-E2s before that, and the X-E2 before that, and the X-E1 before that), so Fujifilm made the decision to discontinue the X-E4, and divert manufacturing resources to other cameras, like the X100V, X-T5, and X-S20.
What Fujifilm did not anticipate is that the sudden success of the X100V—thanks to social media and Film Simulation Recipes (to a degree)—would spill over to the X-E4. Since it became so hard to get a copy of the X100V, and new orders were being placed faster than Fujifilm could manufacture the camera—with backorder lists six months long—people began to look for alternatives. The X-E4, especially paired with the 27mm pancake, was a top alternative suggested for those who wanted an X100V but couldn’t get one. The X-E4, which was already hit-or-miss to find, was now sold out everywhere, and Fujifilm couldn’t manufacture new copies nearly fast enough.
Even though the X-E4 was suddenly super successful, Fujifilm inexplicably discontinued it back in March of this year, just two years after it was initially released. I believe that Fujifilm had already decided to discontinue it, and cease manufacturing at a certain point—not secure the necessary parts to make more copies—and they followed through with their plan despite the increased demand. In my opinion, this was a big mistake. Apparently, Fujifilm may have also planned to quietly discontinue the X-E line with the X-E4. My hope is that they change their minds and create an X-E5, but I’m not holding my breath, because it probably won’t happen. Maybe articles like this will convince them otherwise.
Since the X-E4 was discontinued while demand was high, the prices of used copies has skyrocketed, as reported by Fujirumors. I began this article prior to Patrick publishing his, but got busy with other things before finishing it, then I saw his post on the subject. I questioned if it was even worth publishing, but, after thinking about it, I decided to finish this article. I believe that I have a divergent-enough take on this topic that it’s worthwhile to publish anyway.
Used copies of the X-E4 are being listed for sale for 50% to 100% more (and sometimes higher!) than the camera cost when brand new. Crazy! It’s simple supply and demand. There’s a lot of demand, and Fujifilm didn’t manufacture nearly enough supply. So now, if you want an X-E4 you’re going to pay through the teeth. Even the X-E3 is selling for more than it was, although it still seems pretty affordable—if you can’t find an X-E4, buy an X-E3 instead. I love my X-E4, but I wouldn’t recommend buying one for these prices. What it really shows is that Fujifilm should make an X-E5, or start manufacturing more X-E4 bodies. It’s a wasted opportunity.
Below are some screenshot examples I found of the insanely inflated X-E4 prices. If you are trying to buy one, I sincerely wish you the best of luck finding one for a reasonable cost.
See also: The Current Fujifilm X-Series Lineup