Budget Fujifilm Cameras (Less than $1000), Which One Is Right For You?

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Whether upgrading from a smartphone, investing in your first mirrorless camera, or researching Fujifilm's entire lineup, you can't go wrong with these gorgeous camera tools.

The question is, which one is right for you? After utilizing these cameras across various fields — weddings, portraits, travel, or personal documentation — I will walk you through the differences and similarities between the three models to help decipher which is most suitable for your needs.

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X-E4 APS-C Mirrorless Camera


The Fujifilm X-E4 Mirrorless Camera brings the best of the legendary X Series products together into one camera that is the perfect storytelling tool for everyday photographers, videographers, and con...

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What's the same?

The sensor and the processor of these three cameras are the same; they all use the X-Trans IV, APSC CMOS sensor, and the image quality, sharpness, and color science of this sensor and processor combination are outstanding. They also share the same processor and sensor as their "older brothers," the X-T3, the X-T4, and the X-Pro3. Remember that you're not getting a lesser-tiered camera in terms of image quality, despite the more budget-friendly price. Likewise, the ISO ranges from these three cameras are the same, going from the base ISO of 160 to ISO 12,800.

They likewise have identical movie capabilities that do 4K at 30 fps and 1080P at 240 fps. Then one other shared thing across all three cameras is that they all have the same viewfinder: a 0.39-inch viewfinder with 2.36 million dots. Admittedly, these three viewfinders are smaller than the viewfinders of the X-T3, the X-T4, and the newer X-H2. But you'll have to stomach the smaller viewfinder in this $1,000 or less range.

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Price & Budget

Now that we're aware of the many similarities, how do we decide between these three? First, let's talk price.

The X-E4 is the cheapest at $849; the X-T30 II at $899, then a step up to the X-S10 at $999. If the price is your main concern, you will want to go with the X-E4 as it's the cheapest. On the other hand, if you'd like to upgrade to more manual controls, consider upgrading to the X-T30 II or the X-S10 for its giant suite of features.

Image Stabilization

One of the significant differences between all three bodies is that the X-E4 and the X-T30 II do not have IBIS, in-body-image-stabilization, whereas the X-S10 does. In-body-image stabilization is when the sensor is mechanically suspended from any vibration or external shakes, helping tremendously with helps with low light photography.

However, when photographing portraits or moving subjects, in-body-image stabilization does not counteract the motion blur of your subject. It only counteracts the camera shake of your hands or the vibration of your environment. Thus, when you're looking to capture people, children, low light, documentary photography, or wedding photography — the in-body-image stabilization isn't as necessary.

On the other hand, if you primarily shot low-light scenes and cinema-grade filmmaking, the X-S10 may be the camera to choose. Nevertheless, you can compensate with proper shutter speed to achieve sharp images. Instead, you will mainly want to offset this with larger aperture lenses (so you freeze motion with faster shutter speeds).

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Another significant difference between these three camera bodies is the screen. The X-T30 II is the main photography-centric screen with a center-oriented tilting LCD which is ideal for low-angle and high-angle shots. Ultimately, I dig the center screen for photography because it allows you to keep your composition in line with the subject. Additionally, street images can be captured more discreetly, keeping them in line with the lens rather than sticking out to the side.

The X-S10 has a fully articulated screen, which is more popular with videography, vlogging, and self-portraiture. Many photographers like to close it and face the screen towards the body to protect the screen. Candidly, when it comes to photography, it is annoying for me to put the screen out to the side to do low-angle shots, and then when you do a centered composition middle, you have to look off to the side to compose it. At this point, I'm used to it, but I don't prefer it.

The X-E4 has the same thing as the X-T30 II, which has a tilt screen for low-angle and high-angle shots but can also maneuver for selfies. The main appeal of this is for more casual shooters who want to be in the photos, or it can be helpful in a pinch regarding travel videography.

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If you're interested in having a flash be a part of your camera system, the X-E4 does not have a built-in flash, whereas the X-S10 and the X-T30 II do. When it comes to photography, and you start growing into it, the built-in flash could have a better position because it's straight in line (which gives that deer-in-headlights look at times). The built-in flash also requires an output power to sustain full-on productions, event photography, etc.

Button & Dial Layout

Depending on the type of photography you want to do and the shooting experience you intend, the button layouts between these three are very different.

All three are rangefinder-style bodies, which will have your viewfinder off to the side and a minimal button layout — a dedicated shutter speed dial and faithful exposure compensation dial. This layout is excellent for photography, especially for those who are starting to understand camera settings. However, it is limited to one front command dial and no rear command dial. Thus, reduced dials might be a downside for photographers who prefer total manual exposure.

If you require more manual experience, the X-T30 II will be the better bet. It has a dedicated shutter speed dial, an exposure compensation dial, an aperture dial with the lens, and a front command dial that maps an altering ISO.

The X-T30 II also offers separate buttons for autoexposure and autofocus locks, making it the best photography-oriented control layout of these three cameras.

Battery Life

The final consideration is battery life, and while they offer the same battery, they measure various efficacies. Under one battery — the X-E4 has an estimated 460 frames, the X-T30 II offers 390 frames, and the X-S10 does the worst at 325 shots under a single charge.

I recommend that everyone obtain one to two extra batteries for their Fujifilm cameras to photograph all day. Furthermore, all three cameras can be charged via USB-C.

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For Photographers

For the best overall experience for still photography, the X-T30 II is the best option due to its extensive manual controls and center-tilt screen. With the slight increase in price over the X-E4, you're getting the best combination of features, compactness, and ergonomics (with the little grip).

For Hybrid Creators

When it comes to videography or hybrid photo and video content creation, the X-S10 is going to be the best choice. It has in-body-image stabilization for smoother video, an ergonomic flip-out screen, and a long-lasting comfortable grip.

For Minimalists

Last but not least — the X-E4 is perfect for casual shoots or photographers wanting the lightest, most inconspicuous setup. It's a petite body with the tiniest flashy buttons and controls and is seamless in automatic or semi-auto photography approaches.

The rangefinder-style camera allows you to use your right eye in the viewfinder and use your left eye to see around. It's also the best for travel because it's the smallest, easiest to pack, and has the best battery life.

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