Fujifilm X-E4 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Positive Film

Approaching Storm at Last Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Positive Film”

I was attempting to create a film simulation recipe that mimicked the aesthetic of Saul Leiter. The problem with this task is that Saul used many different films over the years; while he had a unique and recognizable style, his exact aesthetic varied significantly. These settings can sometimes mimic his look, but sometimes not, so I wouldn’t call it a success, but I just love how this recipe looks—that’s why I’m sharing it. If you’re attempting to recreate Saul’s aesthetic, this recipe is a good starting point. Another one to try is “Old Kodak“—available (as of this writing) as a Patron early-access recipe on the Fuji X Weekly app.

I think this recipe is in the ballpark of the “Positive Film Effect” on Ricoh GR cameras—perhaps not an exact match, but definitely a similar feel, which is why I named this recipe “Positive Film.” There’s a likeness to Kodak Elite Chrome or maybe Ektachrome 100G, although (again) it’s more of a similar feel than an exact match. Whether this recipe is close to Saul Leiter’s look, Ricoh Positive Film, or a Kodak transparency is debatable; what’s not debatable is that this recipe looks really, really good!

Blacktop Lines – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Positive Film”

You might notice that I used a similar White Balance and White Balance Shift technique as my Fujicolor 100 Industrial recipe. Because it uses the Classic Negative film simulation, Color Chrome FX Blue, and Clarity, this recipe (as of this writing) is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-E4, X100V, X-Pro3, X-T4 and X-S10 cameras.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpeness: -2
Clarity: -4
Grain Effect: Weak, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: 2950K, +7 Red & -9 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Positive Film” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Sunset Behind Trees – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Mountain Ridge & Rainbow Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Dark Sky Behind Francis Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Blue Ridge Storm – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
White House – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
House in Last Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Low Sun Behind Pines – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Light on the Treetop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Suburb Home – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Turnstile – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Wristbands – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Wet Benches – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Red Rose – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Underground Mini – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Garage Pole – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sliced – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Empty Chairs – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
In Window Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Tiny Wet Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
T – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipe on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

Report: Last X-Trans IV is Fujifilm X-E4 — First X-Trans V is Fujifilm X-H2

According to Fujirumors, the Fujifilm X-E4 is the final camera that will have an X-Trans IV sensor. Also according to Fujirumors, the upcoming Fujifilm X-H2 will be the first to have an X-Trans V sensor, and will not be released until early 2022. There won’t be any new X-series camera between now and then. I’ve been asked to provide commentary on all this because people are apparently interested in my opinion for some reason.

First, I’m not surprised whatsoever that the Fujifilm X-E4 is the last X-Trans IV camera. In fact, before the X-E4 was even announced, I predicted that it would be the last camera model with that sensor, because Fujifilm has previously used the X-E line to close out sensor generations. The X-Trans IV sensor is excellent and doesn’t need to be replaced, but digital technology advances quickly, and Fujifilm will continue to incorporate new technology to not only stay relevant, but gain market share, so X-Trans IV has to come to an end at some point, and apparently we’ve reached that point.

Second, the Fujifilm X-H2 will be the first camera with a new sensor and processor, and while I assume that means X-Trans V, there’s a chance that it might not be X-Trans at all. I think it will be X-Trans, but it might not—it might not even be made by Sony. At this point, only Fujifilm knows for sure, but I can see a partnership with Samsung (it’s been quietly rumored for a few years now). Who knows, maybe it will even include pixel binning and ISOCELL, a technology that Samsung developed with the help of Fujifilm. We can wildly speculate, but we’ll have to wait to find out what exactly the new sensor is. My prediction is that it will be at least 32-megapixel, maybe more.

Third, Fujifilm is taking a break from releasing new cameras, which is great! I suggested that they should do this, and to not be in such a hurry to replace existing models. What Fujifilm should do over the next six-to-eight months is focus on kaizen firmware updates. This would make current Fujifilm users more happy and more likely to spend money on future Fujifilm gear, and it would also create new excitement for a camera like the X-T30, which, despite being a couple years old, can still be purchased brand-new and is the latest model of its type, but feels like a generation behind even though it has the same sensor and processor as the X-E4. The X-Pro3 is a premium model, but missing features included in the cheaper X-E4, which is a shame. Fujifilm should take some time to rectify this before moving on to the next sensor. I don’t know if they will, but they absolutely should.

Fourth, it’s probable that we’ll see another camera released by Fujifilm in 2021. It won’t be an X-series camera, or will it? Word on the street is that another GFX camera is in the works, which will replace the GFX-50S, but will be both better and cheaper. The GFX line is doing very well for Fujifilm, so it makes sense to keep the momentum going. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fujifilm release a Bayer camera later this year, maybe an X-A8 or (less likely) an X-T300 or (even less likely) an XF20. If it does happen, you heard it here first, but if it doesn’t happen, well, don’t be surprised, because it probably won’t. It might, though.

Fifth, I don’t really have a fifth point, but I didn’t want to end on fourth. Fujirumors is rarely wrong, so I believe what they say is true: the X-E4 is indeed the last X-Trans IV cameras and the X-H2, which we’ll see sometime in 2022, will be the first with a new sensor. I’m pretty excited for the X-H2, which will be video-centric (8K anyone? 4K 120 FPS anyone?), with improved IBIS and autofocus, and specs that will rival or exceed full-frame cameras. I’m just throwing out guesses, but that’s what I think the X-H2 will be, and you’ll see it proclaimed as the “full-frame killer” by some. I just hope that it’s more commercially successful than the X-H1, which was plagued by poor timing and a high price-tag at launch. I’m sure Fujifilm learned their lesson. Above that, I hope Fujifilm uses this break to release some great firmware updates, which is what they need to do because it’s long overdue.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H

Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Fujicolor C200

Blooming Pink – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 “Fujicolor C200”

I’ve been asked at least a dozen times—probably more—to create a Fujicolor C200 film simulation recipe. I’ve tried a few different times, but I never felt that I got close enough. A couple of recipes came out of those experiments, but a C200 recipe remained elusive. The good news is that George Coady (check out his Instagram) figured it out! Yea! George has a lot of experience shooting actual Fujicolor C200 film, and he experimented using X RAW Studio until he got the recipe right. I had a very small hand in tweaking it, but really George did all the work. He gave me permission to publish his recipe here. Thanks, George!

Fujifilm introduced Fujicolor C200 in 1990 as a low-budget, no frills color negative film. I’ve shot several rolls of it over the years, although it was never my go-to option. Fujifilm gave it a small refresh in 2017, and it’s still available today. Even though C200 is a cheap color film, it has a cult-like following, and many people enjoy its aesthetic and choose it over more expensive emulsions.

Red Chairs in a Yard – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor C200”

This recipe looks great! In high-contrast situations DR400 does better to protect highlights than DR200, but in low-contrast situations DR200 produces better contrast. After awhile I decided to set my camera to DR400 and adjust it to DR200 when the situation calls for it. The pictures in this article are a mix of DR200 and DR400. The White Balance Shift can be set to -4 Blue, which can sometimes be more accurate to the film, or -2 Blue, which can sometimes be more accurate to the film, because one film can have many different looks depending on how it was shot, developed, and scanned or printed, but -3 Blue does well for all-around use. Because this recipe requires a half adjustment to Highlight & Shadow, it’s only compatible with the Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10 and X-E4, although if you use Highlight 0 and Shadow -1 it’s pretty close to the same, which opens it up for use on the X100V and X-Pro3.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400 (DR200 in low contrast situations)
Highlight: +0.5
Shadow: -0.5
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpeness: -3
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Weak, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Daylight, 0 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Fujicolor C200 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Red Palms – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Red Chair – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Fairy & Elf – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Throw Pillows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
R&R BBQ – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Restaurant Counter – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Standing Tall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sour Honey – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Large Leaf – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Blooming Branch – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Yellow Bush – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
If a Tree Falls Does Anyone Hear? – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Up The Trunk – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Trailers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipe on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

Fuji Features: A Roundup of Fujifilm X-E4 Reviews

There doesn’t appear to be one place on the web to get your full Fujifilm fix. You might frequently visit a handful of websites, and the Fuji X Weekly blog is hopefully one of those websites. I have a few regular daily stops, plus a few that I visit less often. I realized recently that I’m missing a lot of great content that’s out on the web regarding Fujifilm, and perhaps you are, too. If there was a frequently visited website that gathered these articles and put them into one place, that would be very convenient. Seeing a need and wanting to fill it, I’m creating a new series called Fuji Features, which will have links to recent Fujifilm related articles. My intention is that each of these posts will have a theme, and the theme for this very first one is Fujifilm X-E4 reviews.

I searched the web and found a whole bunch of Fujifilm X-E4 reviews. I’m not including all of the reviews that I found, only those that were published over the last few weeks—if they’re older than that, it’s more likely that you’ve already seen them, so I didn’t include those in this article. I’m sure that I missed a few, so if you know of one that should have been included, don’t be afraid to add it via the comments section. Of course, I have my own Fujifilm X-E4 review, and I invite you to view it if you haven’t already. If you are considering purchasing an X-E4, my hope is that this post will be useful to you.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Black + 27mm f/2.8    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver + 27mm f/2.8   Amazon   B&H

Below are the recent Fujifilm X-E4 reviews that I found on the web.

5050 Travelog

Digital Camera World

ShotKit

The Phoblographer

Pocket-lint

Shutterbug

Photo Review

Amateur Photographer

SGEEK

Plus some videos! Lots and lots of videos….

Hopefully you found this this post helpful or interesting. I plan to do more articles in this series, although the exact format might vary from post-to-post. I’m not certain how frequent these will come out, but my plan right now is weekly, but we’ll see how that goes. If you found one of these articles or videos especially helpful to you, let me know in the comments!

Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Eterna v2

Rural Thistle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Eterna v2”

One of my favorite film simulations is Eterna. There’s a special quality to it that’s different than the other film simulations, with its low contrast and muted colors. Yes, you can get pretty close to Eterna using PRO Neg. Std, but you cannot completely match the lovely subtle tonality of it. I think the Eterna film simulation is a little underrated, as it’s a great base for crafting recipes, and I was eager to create a new look with it—so I did!

Real Eterna is a motion picture film. Actually, there have been a number of different film stocks that Fujifilm has given the name Eterna to. The film simulation of the same name doesn’t exactly match any specific Eterna film, yet it has a great general Eterna cinematic feel. In my opinion, the Eterna film simulation is good for achieving an analog color negative film aesthetic.

The first recipe that I created that uses the Eterna film simulation is simply called Eterna, and I really like how that one turned out. I wanted to make something similar, but not identical, using the additional JPEG options that Fujifilm has added to their newer X-Trans IV cameras. I wanted a warm vintage film look—something that could possibly be confused as being actual analog—without being based on any specific film. I think it looks pretty good, and I hope that you do, too.

El Capitan – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Eterna v2”

Because this film simulation recipe requires the new Auto White Priority white balance, it is only compatible with the X-T4, X-S10 and X-E4; however, for outdoor natural light photography, using Auto white balance will produce identical results, which means that you can use this Eterna v2 recipe with the X100V and X-Pro3! For indoor artificial light photography, using Auto white balance will produce overly warm images, so Auto White Priority works better, but right now only the three newest Fujifilm X cameras have that option. For the X-T3 and X-T30, in addition to using Auto white balance, you’ll have to disregard Color Chrome Effect Blue and Clarity, and consider setting Highlight to +2 and Shadow to +1 plus Sharpness to -2 to compensate, as well as disregard Grain size (simply use Strong). It won’t be identical, but it will be very similar—I tested it out on my X-T30 and it works.

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +2
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: 0
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Auto White Priority
(X100V + X-Pro3: Auto), +4 Red & -7 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Eterna v2” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Faux Plant on a Table – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
J.C. Higgins – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Empty Grapefruit Box – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Duerden’s Will Call – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Reaching Tree Branches – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Flower Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Click – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sevenhundred Sixty – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Cold Country – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Chief of Rocks – Yosemite NP, CA – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipe on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

Fujifilm X-E4 Film Simulation Recipe: Ektachrome 320T

Since 1938 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Ektachrome 320T”

The Ektachrome line has been around since the 1940’s, but Kodak didn’t introduced Ektachrome 320T, also known as Ektachrome EPJ 320T, until 1992. This was a high-speed Tungsten color-reversal (slide) film intended for use under artificial light. Tungsten films were never as popular as daylight-balanced films; when used in daylight you get a strong blue cast (unless you have an 80A filter). I’m not completely sure when Kodak discontinued Ektachrome 320T, but I believe it was sometime in the early to mid 2000’s—all Ektachrome films were discontinued by 2013. When Kodak reintroduced Ektachrome in 2018, EPJ 320T was unsurprisingly not included.

This film simulation recipe was not intended to mimic Ektachrome 320T. I was simply trying to create a tungsten film look using the new Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation. Prior to this I had only one recipe for Eterna Bleach Bypass, LomoChrome Metropolis, so I was eager to create another. The reason for a tungsten-like recipe is because I feel as though I don’t have as many after-dark options as I’d like. This recipe’s similarities to Ektachrome 320T film is coincidental, as I didn’t set out to recreate it, but it does, in fact, resemble the film fairly well.

On – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Ektachrome 320T”

Even though I didn’t intend to create an Ektachrome 320T recipe, these settings come curiously close. I would consider, when using this recipe under artificial light, setting the White Balance Shift to -7 Red & -6 Blue to more accurately reflect the film (I didn’t make that adjustment for any of the photographs in this article). I wish that +5 was an option for Color—that would likely be more accurate to the film—but unfortunately it tops out at +4. I debated if Grain size should be Small or Large, but I ended up going with Small because that’s what I originally set it to; however, Large grain might be slightly closer to what you’d find on actual Ektachrome 320T, although that’s certainly debatable.

This recipe is the first one to use the new Auto Ambience Priority white balance, which is currently (as of this writing) only available on the Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10 and X-E4 cameras. That means this recipe is only compatible with those three cameras. As a reminder, the camera will take a moment to save each exposure when using Clarity. Also, High ISO NR on the newer camera models is the same as Noise Reduction—Fujifilm renamed it for some reason, but it’s the same thing.

Eterna Bleach Bypass
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: -2
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Auto Ambience Priority, -6 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Ektachrome 320T film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

White Tree, Blue Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Thistle Field – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Fake Plant on a Table – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Cage Free Eggs – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Lifted – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Old Navy Carts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Ghost Mart – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Pot & Bench – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Lights in a Puddle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Night Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Old Old Navy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Cotton Eyed – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipe on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

Fujifilm X-Trans IV Film Simulation Recipe: Vintage Vibes

Autumn Aspen – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Vintage Vibes”

Accidents happen. Sometimes they’re happy accidents that lead to great discoveries, and sometimes they’re not. An example of one that wasn’t happy is when Omar Gonzalez accidentally used Classic Chrome instead of Classic Negative with the Agfa Vista 100 film simulation recipe. When I saw it, I thought, “You know, I’m going to make this mistake work, and call it ‘Agfa Vista Baby’—I just need to figure out what situations it works well in.” But, try as I might, Agfa Vista using Classic Chrome instead of Classic Negative just doesn’t look good. Sorry, Omar. An example of a happy accident is this recipe—it was discovered by mistake, but I’m very glad to have made that mistake.

You see, back in the fall I was shooting in Montana with what was at the time a brand-new yet-to-be-published recipe that’s now known as Kodak Portra 400 v2. Somehow I managed to accidentally change the film simulation from Classic Chrome to Classic Negative, and I shot a number of frames with this before I realized my mistake. As I reviewed the pictures I realized that the results were pretty good, and that this mistake was actually good fortune. As Lefty Gomez coined, “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

What does this film simulation recipe resemble? Of course, since it’s based on the Classic Negative film simulation, it has a Superia-like aesthetic, as that is what Classic Negative is modeled after. But to me it feels more vintage than Superia. I kept thinking that I’ve seen this look before. Not every picture makes me feel this way, but some—Autumn Aspen, Mill Creek, Blossoming Branch, etc.—seem to have this vintage vibe that I recognize from somewhere. But where?

Yellow Spots – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Vintage Vibes”
Red on Pine – Big Fork, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Vintage Vibes”
Wet Red Leaves – Big Arm, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Vintage Vibes”

I was digging through some old issues of Arizona Highways Magazine, which, if you are unaware, is full of fantastic photography—Ansel Adams was a fairly regular contributor back in the day—and I found a very similar aesthetic on the pages of that magazine. From the mid-1960’s through the early-1980’s, there are images with this look, by numerous photographers. I did research in an attempt to discover what films were used for those pictures, but unfortunately that was largely a dead-end. I’m not sure if it’s a specific film that creates this look (and, if so, which one?), or if it’s a byproduct of the printing process that was used, or the fading ink, or a combination of all that, but this film simulation recipe, which I call “Vintage Vibes” for lack of a better name, can be, in the right situations, very similar. It’s also similar, in the right situations, to Fujicolor Superia. Whatever it looks like, it looks good, and I know that many of you will appreciate this recipe.

I’ve been wanting to get this recipe out for awhile. Sometimes it takes time. Now it’s finally ready! This “Vintage Vibes” film simulation recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3, X-T4, X-S10 and X-E4 cameras.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: 0
Shadow: -2
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: -2
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: 5200K, +1 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Vintage Vibes” film simulation recipe on my X100V and X-E4:

Trees & Dirt Cliff – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Forest Road – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Mill Creek – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Blossoming Branch – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Sunlit Blossoms – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Windshield Water – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Johanna & Lens Flare – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Playing in a Dirty Kitchen – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Heat Lamps – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Tableware – Woods Cross, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipe on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

My Fujifilm X-E4 Focus Switch & ISO Dial Exclusion Solution

Ever since I published my review of the Fujifilm X-E4, I have received numerous requests to explain my focus switch and ISO dial exclusion solution. It can be difficult to know how to best set up this new camera, especially with the changes that Fujifilm made, and perhaps most puzzling are focus mode and ISO. I don’t know if my settings are best, but hopefully this will be helpful to some of you.

In case you don’t know, Fujifilm removed from the X-E4 the M/C/S focus selector switch that most X cameras have. This switch allows you to quickly and easily go between Manual Focus (MF), Autofocus Continuous (AF-C), and Autofocus Single (AF-S). Instead of a switch, you now have to dig into the menu to change this, which is an inconvenience, to say the least. Fujifilm programmed the X-E4 so that the Focus Mode can be, or really must be, set and saved with each Custom Preset. I have all of my presets set to Autofocus Single (AF-S) because that’s the Focus Mode that I most commonly use. No matter the C1-C7 preset that I choose, it is set to AF-S, and whenever I change presets the Focus Mode will be automatically set to AF-S, whether that’s what I want or not. Most of the time this works well, but not always.

I have AF+MF set to On. I also have MF Assist set to Focus Peak Highlight (I prefer Red) and Focus Check set to On. This is important because most Fujinon lenses are capable of Manual Focus Override, and if you have one of these lenses, when you are in an autofocus mode, if you half-press the shutter you can turn the manual focus ring on the lens and manually focus. Yes, you read that correctly: you can manual focus while in AF-S or AF-C, without setting the camera to MF! Not only that, but MF Assist will automatically activate, and if you are using Single Point AF Mode, focus zoom will also automatically activate. So it’s like setting the focus selector switch to M, except that you stay in AF-S or AF-C. By the way, this isn’t a new feature, and many other Fujifilm cameras are capable of this. It’s pretty slick, and if you’ve never used it you should give it a try.

That works well for Fujinon lenses, but what if you are using a third-party or vintage lens that is manual-only? No matter the Focus Mode you are in, you can press the Focus Stick in to activate Focus Check. You don’t need to be in MF Mode to manually focus, and Focus Check helps to achieve a properly focused image; however, MF Assist will only activate in MF Mode, so Focus Peak Highlight (or whatever you have it set to) won’t activate unless MF Mode is selected. If you don’t need MF Assist, keeping the camera in AF-S or AF-C focus mode even when using a manual lens, and using the Focus Stick to Focus Check, is a good strategy. If you do like to use MF Assist, you’ll need to set the camera to Manual Focus Mode, which is found in the AF-MF Menu.

You can program one of the buttons on the camera body or one of the touch-screen gestures as a shortcut to activate the Focus Mode menu. I chose the AEL-AFL button on the back, and that works well for me, but it might not work for you. The unmarked Function (Fn) button on the top is another good option. This is not an ideal solution, but it’s better than digging through the menu. Since most of the time I’m using AF-S, it’s only occasionally that I need to change the Focus Mode to AF-C or MF, so it’s not a huge deal, but it would have been better if Fujifilm had kept the M/C/S switch on the camera body.

The X-E line has never had an ISO dial on the camera body. You’ve always had to dig through the menu to find the ISO menu. I had hoped that Fujifilm would add an ISO dial around the Shutter knob like the X100V, but they didn’t. My solution to this lack of an ISO dial is simple: the front wheel, which is called The Command Dial. The little wheel on the front can be programmed for only a few different things, like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. A long press will allow you to switch what it controls, but I have it set to, and I leave it set to, ISO. Because I most often use Auto ISO, which can be programmed with each Custom Preset, I don’t change ISO often, but when I do this works very well, probably better than a dial around the Shutter knob.

The Fujifilm X-E4 is a great minimalistic camera, and I really appreciate that aspect of it, but the exclusion of the M/C/S switch went just a little too far, in my opinion. But that doesn’t mean the camera isn’t a great tool or that it can’t be worked around. I found that it has a sufficient number of buttons, and the firmware Fujifilm gave it does make up for some of the exclusions. Changing focus modes is more cumbersome than it should be, but it’s not a big problem, just an occasional minor inconvenience.

If you have a Fujifilm X-E4, I hope that you found this article helpful. If you’ve found a different solution to either the missing focus mode selector switch or the non-existent ISO dial, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! I’m fairly satisfied with my focus switch and ISO dial exclusion solution, but maybe you’ve figured out something even better.

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

My “Ultimate” Fujifilm Travel Kit

I recently set out to create an “ultimate” Fujifilm travel kit.

Over the last couple of years, as I’ve collected more and more gear, traveling with my cameras and lenses has become cumbersome, which has lead to frustrations and reduced productivity. More isn’t always better; in fact, less is often more—this is especially true when traveling. I realized that my gear wasn’t nearly as ready for adventure as I was, and I needed to make some series changes to my kit before embarking on my next road trip.

What makes a travel kit bad? If it’s big and heavy and gets in the way, it’s not good. My travel kit consisted of a backpack camera bag filled with multiple bodies and as many lenses as I could stuff inside. I went to Montana last fall, and in my bag there was an X-T1, X-T30, X100V, and X-M1, plus a handful of lenses, including the Fujinon 100-400mm and Fujinon 90mm, which aren’t small or lightweight. I hardly used any of them, except for the X100V, which I could easily carry with me, and so I did. Because I had it with me, I used it often. The rest of the gear just got in the way—literally, the backpack took up too much space in the car, and it become a point of frustration. I would have been better off just bringing one or two cameras and maybe a few small lenses—gear that might have actually been used.

I was afraid that if I didn’t have a certain camera or lens, I would regret not bringing it, if at some point I thought I might need it. You never know what you’ll need, so it’s better to be prepared, right? What I discovered over the last few trips is that the majority of what I was carrying with me I didn’t use. Or, for some of it, if I did use it, it’s only because I forced myself to use it when it wasn’t really necessary. Having too much gear actually made me want to photograph less, and made me less creative when I did. My best photography most often happened when I had limited gear—perhaps one camera and one lens—and left the rest behind.

What makes a travel kit good? It should be compact and lightweight, yet versatile. One camera and one lens is often enough, but not always. The X100V is a great travel camera, but sometimes I need something more wide-angle or more telephoto—it’s not always versatile enough, even though it is often my camera of choice. I think two bodies and a limited assortment of lenses in a small bag is good. Small enough to not get in the way. Lightweight. Something that you don’t mind having with you, so you do. A good travel kit strikes a comfortable balance between practicality and petiteness.

I put together what I hoped would be a great kit for travel photography. I was able to put it to the test on a road trip to Arizona—was it actually going to work for me?—and I discovered many good points and a few things that still need to be worked out. Let’s take a close look at this “ultimate” Fujifilm travel kit that I assembled for myself, piece-by-piece.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Bag

It might seem strange to begin with the bag, but in my mind it’s just that important. The camera bag needed to be very small, but it also had to be able to hold everything. Finding one that I felt was just the right size and design turned out to be a challenge, but after much research I stumbled across the National Geographic NG2344 Earth Explorer Shoulder Bag, and for only $40! The dimensions of this bag are roughly 8″ x 7″ x 6″, yet I can fit two cameras and six lenses inside. I was thrilled to learn that the bag fit into the middle storage console of my car, so it is completely out of the way on road trips, yet is easily and quickly accessible.

I subdivided the main compartment into four, using the soft dividers to create “hidden” storage under the cameras, which I use for lenses. The bottom-right holds two Fujinon lenses, and the bottom-left holds three third-party lenses. Two cameras fit on top, just as long as the interchangeable-lens camera has a pancake lens attached. The small front compartment holds charging cords, extra batteries, SD-cards, etc., while the two tiny top pockets (which are probably more for looks than anything) hold lens-wipes. While everything is packed in, I don’t feel like it’s overstuffed—there actually is a little room for more, should I need it.

One thing that I don’t like about this bag is that the shoulder strap is permanently attached. I might modify it at some point to make the strap removable, as I think that would improve it. Otherwise, the bag seems pretty darn good for the travel photographer.

National Geographic Earth Explorer Bag Amazon B&H

Cameras

I already owned a Fujifilm X100V, and that camera was going to be in this kit, no doubt about it. The other camera was a question mark for me. It needed to be small yet an interchangeable-lens model. I thought that my X-T30 might be too big, so maybe the X-E3, but it has the older sensor. I really wasn’t sure which camera was going to be the right one. Then Fujifilm announced the X-E4, and I really hoped that it would be the correct camera for this kit, so I immediately preordered it. After several weeks of waiting, and just a couple of days before my Arizona trip, it arrived at my doorstep. And it fit perfectly into the camera bag.

Fujifilm X100V

The Fujifilm X100V, which I’ve had for about 10 months, was a birthday gift from my wife. It’s such a great camera and I absolutely love to shoot with it. The X100V has a permanently attached 23mm lens, which is 35mm full-frame equivalent—a very useful focal-length. The compactness of it makes it especially great for travel.

There are some X100V features that are unique in my bag. It’s weather-sealed, has a nearly silent mechanical leaf shutter, built-in high-speed-synch fill-flash, optical viewfinder, and built-in neutral-density filter. I could photograph with this camera 90% of the time and be very happy, but the X100V isn’t always the right choice. It has strengths, but it also has weaknesses that limit its versatility.

If I could only have one camera, it would be the X100V; however, I believe that this camera demands a partner. If you have this camera, you also need an interchangeable-lens option to accompany it. That’s why I have two cameras in my kit, even though the X100V is oftentimes all that I need.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

Below are a few pictures that I captured with my Fujifilm X100V on the Arizona trip.

Putting Practice – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Metal Pool Flowers – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V
Pinnacle Peak – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm X-E4

The Fujifilm X-E4 is the smallest interchangeable-lens camera with an electronic viewfinder offered by Fujifilm. The compact size of the X-E4 is an important aspect of this travel kit. I have an X-T30, which is a small camera that’s a little bigger than the X-E4, and it does fit into the camera bag, but barely—it’s much more snug than I want it to be. In a pinch it would work, but the X-E4 is a more comfortable fit, and a better choice because of that.

When the X100V isn’t the right tool, the X-E4 fills in nicely. It adds great versatility to the travel kit. I can go more wide-angle or telephoto by changing the lens. It can store one more film simulation recipe than the X100V. It has some new JPEG features that the X100V doesn’t. Even though 90% of the time the X100V is all that I need, I found myself using the X-E4 much more than I thought I would. It’s a fun camera that’s easy to have with you because of its compact size.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H

Below are a few pictures that I captured with my Fujifilm X-E4 on the Arizona trip.

Three Palms – Sun City West, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
That Way – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Blossoming Red – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm

Lenses

In the camera bag I have six lenses—seven if you count the one permanently attached to the X100V. This provides versatility for whatever photographic situations present themselves. The lenses must be small, or else they won’t fit inside the bag.

Would a 100-400mm zoom be nice to have as an option? Yes, for sure! But it’s too big, and it would add a lot of weight—if it’s not going to be used much, it’s not worth bringing along. The Fujinon 90mm f/2 is one of my favorite lenses, but it’s also big and heavy, and not used often enough, so it’s not in this kit. A zoom lens would make a lot of sense, perhaps something like the 18-55mm f/2.8-4, but I prefer primes. My philosophy as I put this travel kit together was smaller is better. Zooms are often smaller than a few primes put together, but are rarely smaller than a singe prime. If a lens attached to the X-E4 made it possibly pocketable, that was a win. The more compact the camera and lens combo is, the more convenient it will be for travel. With those goals in mind, I chose six lenses to place inside my camera bag.

Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R

The Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R is Fujifilm’s second smallest lens, which makes it a great option for travel. The 18mm focal-length, which is 27mm full-frame equivalent, is very useful—great for walk-around photography and landscapes. This is my primary wide-angle lens in this kit. The 18mm f/2 is a little loud and a bit slow, but it captures beautiful pictures. The compact size and lovely image quality are what makes this lens great.

Most of the time when I want a wide-angle option, the 18mm focal-length works well; however, occasionally I would like something a little wider. I think a 14mm or 12mm lens would be preferable sometimes, but unfortunately there’s not an option that’s small enough for my camera bag—for example, my Rokinon 12mm f/2 is just a little too big. Thankfully, this lens is often a great choice when I want to shoot wide-angle, so it gets used a lot, and is an essential part of this travel kit.

Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R   Amazon   B&H

Below are a few pictures that I captured with my Fujinon 18mm lens on the Arizona trip.

Sunlight Through Palm Leaves – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
American Motorcycle – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
Roundabout – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm

Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR

The Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR was my most used lens on the trip to Arizona. It’s Fujifilm’s smallest lens, so I knew that it would be an essential element of my travel kit, but I didn’t know just how much I’d love using it. The 27mm focal length, which is 40.5mm full-frame equivalent, is the closest to a “normal” lens on Fujifilm X, yet it is slightly wide-angle.

If I wanted to really simplify things, I could be happy just bringing this lens and the 18mm f/2 to pair with the X-E4 (plus the X100V). That would be a lightweight and uncomplicated kit. Expanding the focal-length options with a few other lenses is a nice bonus, but the heart and soul of the camera bag are the two camera bodies and the 27mm and 18mm pancake lenses.

Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR   Amazon   B&H

Below are a few pictures that I captured with my Fujinon 27mm lens on the Arizona trip.

Old Cars & Tires – Kamas, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Two Roses, Mary & Child – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Two Thirty – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 27mm

Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR

The Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR has been my most used lens over the last two years. The 52.5mm full-frame equivalent focal-length makes this a slightly telephoto “standard” prime lens, often referred to as a “nifty fifty”. There’s a little redundancy between this and the 27mm, as they’re both “standard” lenses, but the 35mm has some advantages: quieter autofocus, larger maximum aperture, slightly superior optics. Despite that, I found myself using the 35mm f/2 less often than I thought I would.

Because I have the 27mm lens, this lens isn’t an essential part of the travel kit. Since there’s room for it and it’s been a favorite lens of mine for a couple years, I decided to include it anyway. I did use it a little on my trip, but more because I forced myself to and not so much because I needed to. I might rethink its inclusion in the camera bag, but for now the 35mm f/2 lens stays.

Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR Amazon B&H

Below are a few pictures that I captured with my Fujinon 35mm lens on the Arizona trip.

SS At 35th – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Coin Prizes – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Lemon Tree – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm

Pergear 10mm f/8 Fisheye

The Pergear 10mm f/8 Fisheye lens is quite limited in its usefulness, but occasionally it comes in handy, such as when I visited Horseshoe Bend, which demanded an ultra-wide-angle option for the dramatic landscape. The Fujinon 18mm lens wasn’t nearly wide-enough, so the Pergear 10mm came out and did the trick. The strong barrel distortion makes it tough to use, but it’s definitely useable in a pinch.

This compact pancake lens takes up almost no space in the camera bag, so its inclusion is a no-brainer. Even if it was only used a few times, and otherwise remained in the bag unused, it’s worth having around for those rare occasions when this lens comes in handy. It’s so small, lightweight and cheap, it just makes sense to have it in the camera bag, providing a more wide-angle option than 18mm.

Pergear 10mm f/8 Fisheye Amazon

Below are a few pictures that I captured with my Pergear 10mm lens on the Arizona trip.

Yucca – Glen Canyon Nat. Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pergear 10mm
Green Spikes – Glen Canyon Nat. Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pergear 10mm
Sitting Above Horseshoe Bend – Glen Canyon Nat. Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pergear 10mm

Asahi Pentax-110 50mm f/2.8

The Asahi Pentax-110 50mm f/2.8 was the last lens that I added to the travel kit. Why did I include it? Because, since it’s a tiny lens, there was room for it, and I really like how it renders pictures. This lens has a fixed aperture, which makes its usefulness limited, but when I do use it I enjoy the pictures that I capture with it. This Asahi lens is the only vintage lens in this kit.

I wish that I had used this lens more, but it had competition, so I ended up using it less than I should have. Next time I will use it more. This little 75mm full-frame-equivalent lens has a special quality and takes up so little space, so its inclusion in the travel kit should have been obvious. The Asahi Pentax-110 50mm lens is going to stick around awhile.

Below are a few pictures that I captured with my Asahi Pentax-110 50mm lens on the Arizona trip.

Spring Seeding – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pentax-110 50mm
Closed Canopy – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pentax-110 50mm
Jon (and Yoda) Ready to Play – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pentax-110 50mm

7artisans 50mm f/1.8

The sixth lens in my travel kit is the 7artisans 50mm f/.8. This fully manually lens is good and all, but there are two reasons why it will be replaced: I already have a 50mm lens that I like, and focusing on distant objects is more difficult than it should be. Otherwise this a decent lens, and it has several advantages over the Asahi 50mm: closer minimum focus distance, larger maximum aperture, adjustable aperture, less vignetting—technically speaking, it’s a superior lens, but it’s missing the great character that is oozing from the vintage Asahi lens.

The reason why I selected this particular lens for this kit is because it’s the smallest 50mm X-mount lens available. I did discover that there’s actually a little more room in the bag for something slightly bigger. Ideally I’d like to replace this with a longer focal-length lens, but at the moment I’m just not sure what it will be, or when I’ll replace it. I do know that the inclusion of the 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 lens in my travel kit won’t last long.

7artisans 50mm f/1.8 Amazon

Below are a few pictures that I captured with my Asahi Pentax-110 50mm lens on the Arizona trip.

Tropical Blossom Monochrome – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & 7artisans 50mm
Dark Blossoms – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & 7artisans 50mm
Tattered Awning – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & 7artisans 50mm

Conclusions

How ultimate is my “ultimate” Fujifilm travel kit? It’s not perfect, but it’s significantly better than what I was traveling with before. The bag is ideal. The two cameras are wonderful. There are some excellent lenses to choose from. No doubt about it, this is a really good kit for travel photography.

If anything, it’s the lens selection that’s not quite perfect. I like the 18mm and 27mm. The 35mm is great, too, but a little unnecessary since I have the 27mm. The X100V, with its built-in 23mm lens, is awesome. I like the Asahi Pentax 50mm lens, but it’s not especially practical for everyday photography. The 10mm Fisheye is good to have around, but not especially useful most of the time. Those two lenses take up very little space, so it’s easy to keep them in the bag just in case I want to use them, but I know that I won’t be using either of them all that often. I don’t need two 50mm lenses, so the 7artisans will be replaced.

Should I replace the Fujinon 35mm f/2? If so, with what? The 16mm f/2.8 is the same size, so it’s a logical option, although it creates the same redundancy problem, just at the wide-angle end, which actually might be slightly more practical. Maybe the Fujinon 16mm f/2.8 and the Fujinon 50mm f/2 would be good options to replace the 35mm and the 7artisans models. The 50mm f/2 is a little bigger, but I believe it would fit. The Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 might be an option instead of the 50mm, which would be preferable because it has a longer reach and is also a macro lens, but it might be a tad too big for the bag. Maybe I should consider a vintage model. Or maybe replace two primes with a zoom. There’s a lot to consider, and I think replacing one or two lenses will make this “ultimate” travel kit even better. I’ll let you know when I make that modification, and how it goes.

This trip to Arizona that I recently returned from was photographically so much more pleasant than my other travels over the last couple of years. A small camera bag filled with compact and lightweight gear—a purposeful assortment of cameras and lenses—is a night-and-day difference from the heavy backpack stuffed with everything that could fit that I used to haul around. Practical and petite is preferable when it comes to travel photography. Less is often more. This might not yet be the “ultimate” Fujifilm travel kit, but it’s pretty close, and will only get better.

50557680816_8cb5645e93_c

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

Video: Horseshoe Bend + Fujifilm X-E4 + Pergear 10mm

Check out this quick video where I use a Pergear 10mm f/8 Fisheye on my Fujifilm X-E4 at the Horseshoe Bend overlook near Page, Arizona. The film simulation recipe that I used was The Rockwell (find it on the app!).

While I’d passed this famous photographic landmark a handful of times, this was the first time that I’d actually stopped to take a look myself. It’s a part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and sits a little ways northeast of the Grand Canyon and just southwest of Lake Powell.

Despite visiting during the “off season” it was surprisingly crowded. There’s a small entrance fee, and it seems well maintained. A well-marked trail leads to an epic overlook of the Colorado River. The steep drop-off has railings at one spot but otherwise there’s nothing to keep visitors from falling except for good sense—it didn’t seem as though everyone was exercising good sense while I was there. The red rocks were dusted in red sand, making footing unsteady at times. Be careful if you should visit.

The reward is an incredibly amazing view! There’s a similarly amazing place in this region called Goosenecks State Park that’s much less crowded, which is briefly featured at the beginning of my Monument Valley video. If you have a chance to visit Horseshoe Bend or The Goosenecks, be sure to do so. Don’t wait until the seventh or eighth time passing by before finally getting out of the car and heading down the trail. It’s worth your time, and your photographic attention.

Review: Fujifilm X-E4 — The Little Camera That Can

The X-E1 was my introduction to the world of Fujifilm cameras. I love the X-E line—the nearly perfect combination of form, function, size and price—it’s easy to understand why people are passionate about it. Fujifilm just released the latest model in this series: the X-E4. This new iteration has received plenty of praise and criticism. Fujifilm made some significant changes to this model, but do they equate to a better camera?

The Fujifilm X-E4, which retails for $850 for the body or $1,050 when combined with the new 27mm f/2.8 lens, is the fifth X-E camera. Fifth? Isn’t the X-E4 the fourth? In 2012 Fujifilm released the X-E1 (X-Trans I), a year later the X-E2 (X-Trans II), in 2016 the X-E2s (also X-Trans II), in 2017 the X-E3 (X-Trans III), and now in 2021 we have the X-E4 (X-Trans IV). Beginning with the X-E2s, this series marks the end of a sensor generation, and most likely the X-E4 will be the last camera with the X-Trans IV sensor.

Fujifilm knows how to make a beautiful camera, and the X-E line is one of their best looking. The X100, X-Pro and X-E series are the epitome of modern-retro fusion camera styling. People will mistake it for a vintage film camera. The X-E4 is indeed one of the loveliest cameras made today! The X100 and X-Pro lines are more premium, while X-E is more mid-level. This camera is not weather-sealed, and there’s no IBIS, which will certainly cause complaints, yet the X-E4 is a wonderful camera that is well-built and well-designed—a solid offering by Fujifilm, no doubt—but it’s not a premium model, so expectations should be kept reasonable.

The X-E4 is Fujifilm’s smallest interchangeable-lens camera with a viewfinder. It’s tiny! Really, though, it’s not all that much more compact than the X-T30 or especially the X-E3, but it is slightly smaller nonetheless. It’s pretty darn lightweight, too. This is why I bought the camera: I wanted a smaller and lighter option for travel, and the X-E4 fulfills that nicely.

Fujifilm’s promotional slogan for this camera is “Make more with less.” It’s clear that the design philosophy for the X-E4 was minimalism, something that I appreciate. They attempted to “achieve simplicity” with it, and indeed they did! But did they go too far? There are a number of buttons, switches, and wheels that have been removed from the camera body. Aside from the Shutter Speed and Exposure Compensation knobs and the On-Off/Shutter-Release switch/button, there are now just seven buttons, a joystick, and the front wheel—and that’s it! I wish that the M/C/S focus selector switch had not been axed (probably the most controversial decision), but I’m alright with all of the other design choices. It would have been a nice touch if Fujifilm had included an ISO ring around the shutter knob, but it’s not a big deal that they didn’t.

The X-E4 has an X-Trans IV sensor, which has been around for about two-and-a-half years now; however, Fujifilm has refreshed the firmware in new models, so this camera feels like a different generation than the X-T3 and X-T30. It’s more similar to the X-Pro3, X100V, and especially the X-T4, yet Fujifilm tweaked it a little, so it’s not exactly the same as those cameras, either. One difference is that literally everything in the menu can be (or, really, must be) set in the custom presets. There are some advantages and disadvantages to this, and it definitely takes longer to set up (there are a couple of new tools to potentially help with this); overall I feel like this was a good change that I hope Fujifilm carries forward into future models.

One positive side effect of this firmware change is that it’s now possible to program eight film simulation recipes into the camera. Yes, eight! There’s still the C1-C7 custom presets that can be accessed through the Q Menu, but whatever is programmed into the IQ Menu is remembered separately from the custom presets. As you scroll through the C1-C7 presets in the Q Menu, you additionally have the IQ Menu settings, which are designated by a P, A, S or M, (depending on the shooting mode you are in) in the Q Menu. This eighth “custom preset” cannot be named, but it’s nice to be able to store another recipe in-camera. Also, the very confusing “Base” designation is now gone.

One negative side effect of the firmware change is that the focus mode, whether Manual, Continuous or Single, must be set from within the menu, and must be programmed with each custom preset. I shoot in Single-AF 80% of the time, so that’s what I have it set to, and most of the time this works well. But, when I need to change it (I have a button programmed to quickly access this), it’s not remembered by the camera, so when I adjust to a different custom preset it’s back to Single-AF, when maybe I want Continuous or Manual instead. When I’m shooting in something other than Single-AF, I find myself having to sometimes reset it to the focus mode that I want to use, which can be a little inconvenient and a bit frustrating. The X-E4 does have the ability to automatically save changes to presets, which is a potential solution, but I can foresee some possible problems with that, so I haven’t tried it. I’m hoping that I’m just overlooking some simple solution to the problem, and this will be a complete nonissue once I figure it out. This curious design choice might be the biggest reason why people don’t buy the X-E4, and the inclusion of a M/C/S focus selector switch would have avoided it altogether. It’s just unfortunate, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me because most of the time the camera operates just as I want it to. It’s only a problem every once in awhile.

The X-E4 has a flat design with no bulges for grips. You can buy an aftermarket grip and thumb rest, which is supposed to help with holding the camera, yet adds a little girth and weight. I have had no issues holding the camera, so I have no plans to use those. I might be in the minority with this opinion, but I actually prefer the flat design; however, some people won’t like it, and this might be a reason to avoid the X-E4, depending on your preferences.

The electronic viewfinder is plenty good enough for me—I believe it’s the same one found in the X-T30. The rear screen is a touch-flip. I actually have the touch capability disabled because accidentally touching it, which happens often, does annoying things. The flip ability is nice, but I have never moved it to the “selfie” position—only 90° for waist-level shooting. Maybe someday the full flip will come in handy.

Image quality on the X-E4, like all X-Trans IV cameras, is outstanding. I said about the X100V, and it’s just as true (if not more true) with the X-E4, is that it’s like shooting with an endless roll of film. Actually, it’s like shooting with up to eight endless rolls of film. You can capture as many frames as you wish on each roll, and change the film anytime you want. Amazing!

The video specs are pretty darn good on the X-E4. I’ve not used the camera much for video yet, but I have no doubts that it would be plenty good enough for most people and most purposes. Most likely it has a similar overheating issue as the X100V, but I’ve not heard any reports or experienced overheating myself. Plan to keep clips under five minutes in length, and give the camera a break every now and then, and it should not be a problem at all. If you are serious about video, I don’t think you’d want the X-E4 as your primary cinema camera, but I believe that it would make a solid second body.

With product reviews, people often look for recommendations. Should I upgrade from the X-E3? Should I choose the X-T30 or X-S10 instead of the X-E4? What should I buy? I can’t tell you what decisions you should make, but, for me, I really like the X-E4 as an interchangeable-lens companion to the X100V for travel. That’s where this camera makes the most sense to me, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if it makes sense for you and how you might want to use it.

For travel photography, I’m trying to go smaller, lighter, and simpler, and a key component to that is the Fujifilm X-E4. I really appreciate the redesign. It’s not perfect—no camera is—but it’s pretty darn close to perfect for what I want it use it for. The X-E4, along with a handful of compact lenses, such as the new 27mm f/2.8 that came with it, fits nicely into a small camera bag, right next to the X100V. The X-E4 really is the little camera that can, and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Black + 27mm f/2.8    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver + 27mm f/2.8   Amazon   B&H

I captured the photographs below using my Fujifilm X-E4 on a recent trip to Arizona:

Sitting Above Horseshoe Bend – Glen Canyon Nat. Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pergear 10mm
Three Palms – Sun City West, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
That Way – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
SS At 35th – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Old Cars & Tires – Kamas, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Trash Cart – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
American Motorcycle – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
Spring Seeding – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pentax-110 50mm
Lemon Tree – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Blossoming Red – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Dark Blossoms – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & 7artisans 50mm
Hanging Light Bulb – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Roundabout – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
Coffee – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
Two Thirty – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 27mm

See also: My Fujifilm Gear Page

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

Fujifilm X-E4 Thoughts….

I wasn’t intending to write this article. I had other things that I wanted to talk about. There are a couple new film simulation recipes I’ve created that I plan to share. I want to give my thoughts on the new GFX100S. I want to talk more about the GFX-50S that Fujifilm sent me to use. There are a couple of lens reviews that I’ve been procrastinating on. The Android version of the Fuji X Weekly App is edging closer to being finished. But, the upcoming Fujifilm X-E4 has been turning inside my brain all day, so that’s why I’m writing about it instead.

I think a lot of people had high hopes and expectations for the Fujifilm X-E4, and nobody really predicted what it ended up being. It’s like when the X-Pro3 was announced, and everyone was scratching their heads. With the X-Pro3, even though so many didn’t understand it, I think there was a pretty large curiosity towards it, and a lot of people came around to it after awhile. The X-E4 has a similar lack of understanding surrounding it, but it doesn’t carry that same curiosity, so it will likely be fairly ignored. It’s already been overshadowed by other gear announcements.

There was a post I published back in July called Shrinking Camera Market: What Fujifilm Should Do in 2021 & Beyond. I suggested that Fujifilm should make a less-expensive 100MP GFX camera. Guess what? They did! Another thing I suggested is that Fujifilm should do more to differentiate the X-E4 from the X-T30 (and the eventual X-T40) because the X-E3 and the X-T20 were so very similar (aside from camera shape). Well, it looks like they did that, too. My apologies.

The question is: what was Fujifilm thinking when they designed the X-E4? What was their vision? That’s tough to know until the tell us, if they tell us, as they might not. Until then, we’re left guessing, and most of the guesses seems to be along the lines of, “They cheapened the X-E line.” I really don’t believe that was their intention.

As I’ve thought about this, I believe the X-E4 is intended to be a minimalist’s “just shoot” camera. Looking at all of the aspects of an X-E3, the designers asked themselves, “Is this necessary?” If the answer was yes, it stayed, perhaps repositioned or redesigned. If the answer was no, to the chopping block it went! I question if the rear wheel and focus-type-selector were really unnecessary, because I think they’re both quite handy. But someone obviously didn’t think so. An ISO dial on the shutter knob (like the X100V) would have been a great addition, but that didn’t happen, unfortunately. I do believe the design of the X-E4 was very intentional, and there was a purpose to the decisions, even if I don’t fully understand them myself.

Besides being a “just shoot” camera, I think the X-E4 was intended to be a smaller pocketable-ish camera, like the X100V or the X70. Remember the X70? It was the short-lived baby-brother to the X100T, with an 18.5mm fixed-lens. Sony suddenly stopped production of the X-Trans II sensor, which the X70 used, and that killed the camera. The X-Trans III sensor was too hot to place inside the small X70 body, so an X80 never happened. Is the X-E4 actually an interchangeable-lens X80? Maybe. Attach one of Fujifilm’s pancake lenses—the 18mm f/2 or 27mm f/2.8—to the X-E4 and it could pass as an X70 successor. It wasn’t very long ago that Fujifilm said there would be no X-E4, that the X-E3 was the end of the line, so maybe the initial vision of this camera wasn’t X-E at all. Just a thought.

Where I think the Fujifilm X-E4 makes the most sense is as a lightweight, compact, carry-everywhere camera. It could nicely complement the X100V. It might be a good option to replace an aging X70. Or, if you never purchased an X70 but always wanted to, this might be a solid alternative. Maybe the XF10 never interested you because of its sluggish performance, Bayer sensor, and PASM dial, but you’d love a compact X-Trans option. Well, now you have one.

My opinion is that if you can make peace with the minimalistic redesign, and you get yourself the 18mm f/2 and/or the 27mm f/2.8—maybe even use a wrist strap instead of a neck strap—this camera could be a very nice travel/street/have-with-you-wherever-you-go option. Is it perfect? No, but what camera is?

Like a lot of you, I’m disappointed that the Fujifilm X-E4 isn’t the camera that many of us thought it could or should be, but as I’ve pondered what it is exactly that Fujifilm created, I can see its place and it does make some sort of sense. If you embrace it for what it is, and perhaps think of it more as an interchangeable-lens X80 than an X-E camera, than I think the X-E4 could actually be a wonderful and fun option.

I say all of this, but I’ve never used or even held an X-E4, so this rant should be taken with a grain of salt. I was initially bummed by the camera because my expectations were off, but now that I’ve had time to dwell on it I’m actually beginning to warm up to it. I think the X-E4, like many of the X-E cameras that came before, will go under the radar and will be under appreciated, but for those who own one, it will be a joy to use.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 (Body Only)   Amazon  B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 (w/27mm f/2.8)   Amazon  B&H

New: Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm just announced the brand-new X-E4. This will be the smallest interchangeable-lens camera in the X series, and comes in at a modest $849 (body only) price tag. Plenty has been said about it, and I wanted to add my own quick opinions.

The X-E4 is a camera that I am excited for. Why? Because my Fujifilm journey began with the X-E1, and I love the X-E line. I appreciate the size and design. The X-E4 is the X-Pro3’s and X100V’s little brother; sometimes little brothers get overlooked. I could be wrong, but I bet this will be last camera with the X-Trans IV sensor, and the next Fujifilm X camera will feature a new X-Trans V sensor.

This latest version of the X-E camera, which will be released on March 11, is the smallest. It’s also the first with a tilting screen. There are some curious design choices. I’m not surprised that the D-Pad was removed, but I am surprised that the back wheel and some other buttons have been taken away. Fujifilm really embraced a minimalist camera back, which I suppose fits a philosophy that helps to separate this camera from the X-T30 and X-S10, but I wonder if that was actually a good idea. I’m personally disappointed the shutter speed knob doesn’t have an ISO dial like the X100V. It’s still such a beautiful camera body!

The GFX100S, which was announced the same day and really has received most of the attention online, and perhaps deservedly so, was given a new film simulation, called Nostalgic Negative. Strangely, the X-E4 won’t have this new film simulation (but it will have Classic Negative and Eterna Bleach Bypass). This puzzles me because 1) my assumption is that the majority of GFX users shoot RAW and not JPEG (although there are certainly many who do) and 2) this could have been a selling point for the X-E4 and would have generated more excitement for the camera. It would have made more sense to me to have included this film simulation on both cameras, or if it was going to be on only one it should have been the X-E4. My guess is that we’ll start seeing Nostalgic Negative on whatever X series camera comes after the X-E4.

I haven’t preordered the X-E4, but I’m considering selling my X-T30 and replacing it with the X-E4. I don’t think that’s necessarily an upgrade (maybe arguably in some sense, and maybe arguably a downgrade in some other sense, but mostly roughly a lateral move overall), but I just love the X-E line. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do.

The X-E4 is a compact, lightweight Fujifilm X camera that embraces minimalism, simplicity and retro goodness. It seems like such a fun camera that’s especially great for travel or street photography. Introduced at the same time is the new 27mm f/2.8 pancake. This one is weather sealed (the X-E4 isn’t) and has an aperture ring (both are great upgrades!) yet with the same great image quality, so it’s a lens that I hope to add to my collection someday. You can buy the X-E4 bundled with the Fujinon 27mm pancake lens for $1,050.

If you’d like to preorder the camera, you can use the links below:

Fujifilm X-E4 (Body Only) Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 (w/27mm f/2.8) Amazon B&H

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.