Fujifilm’s X-E-series cameras have all the time been the reasonably priced options to the flagship X-Professional fashions, and with the brand new X-E3, we lastly have a correct sidekick to the X-Pro2. The $899 rangefinder-style digital camera is definitely the fourth within the sequence (lest we overlook 2016’s X-E2s) and it’s the most refined, streamlined, and highly effective model but. It borrows closely from the X-Pro2, to the purpose the place many customers could have bother appreciating the variations.
By now, Fujifilm’s method to its second-tier cameras has grow to be predictable, and we’re definitely not complaining: Take 90-percent of the options of the flagship mannequin, compile them right into a smaller physique with an easier management structure, and slap it with a price ticket that’s a number of hundred much less. We noticed this with the impressive X-T20 simply six months after the X-T2, but it surely took significantly longer for the X-E sequence to obtain the identical refresh.
As we’ll cowl in our Fujifilm X-E3 overview, this digital camera is very shut in specs to the X-T20, and deciding between the 2 is basically a matter of private style. The X-T20 is loaded with nice options, however the X-E3 takes a chic, no-nonsense method to design that distills images right down to its core parts. Customers after a distraction-free capturing expertise will find it irresistible.
The place kind meets perform
If there’s one common fact to the Fujifilm X-series, it’s that the cameras are all the time exceptional to have a look at. Solely the likes of Hasselblad with its X1D-50c and Leica (with, properly, any of its cameras) can compete with Fujifilm on fashion, however they do it at a value level that mere mortals can not often attain.
The X-E3, significantly in the silver finish of our overview unit, is a superbly retrospective throwback to analog cameras. In comparison with the X-E2/X-E2s earlier than it, it has cleaner strains and is barely smaller general, partially because of the removing of the pop-up flash (a small exterior flash is included within the field). In actual fact, it’s the smallest viewfinder-equipped X sequence mannequin in Fujifilm’s lineup.
That viewfinder is the place one of many essential variations between the X-E and X-Professional cameras reveals up: it’s digital solely (basically the identical unit because the X-T20). The X-Pro2 has an optical viewfinder that may be switched into digital mode, so if you happen to crave that basic rangefinder capturing expertise, begin saving your pennies (the X-Pro2 begins at $1,699, almost twice the worth of the X-E3).
The X-E3 is a superbly retrospective throwback to analog cameras.
After all, a digital camera that merely seems good isn’t actually what it’s all about. Happily, the X-E3 can also be very usable. It swaps the four-way button cluster on the again for an autofocus level joystick, and the fastened touchscreen also can perform as a touchpad to maneuver the AF level whereas framing by way of the viewfinder. Contact controls have additionally changed the four-way buttons, permitting customers to swipe up, down, left, or proper to entry ISO, movie simulation, AF mode, or white stability. In follow, that is definitely a bit extra awkward than simply urgent a button, however given that every one of those options are available within the fast menu (accessed with the Q button the thumb grip), it’s straightforward sufficient to search out them.
What’s extra, the necessity for an ISO button is basically negated by a brand new entrance command dial (the X-E2s had only a rear dial). ISO management will be assigned to that dial, which suggests when working with a lens with an aperture ring, you may have devoted controls for shutter velocity, f-stop, and ISO all at your fingertips.
The remaining controls are largely the identical, though the rear buttons have been repositioned to create a cleaner look general.
In comparison with the X-T2 (as a result of we had one mendacity round), the X-E3 is about 50 grams lighter and truly feels even smaller than it seems. We examined it with three lenses, the XF 18-55mm f/2.Eight-Four package lens, XF 35mm f/1.Four, and XF 16mm f/1.4, however from a pure usability standpoint, this digital camera would actually shine with a compact pancake lens connected, just like the XF 27mm f/2.Eight or XF 18mm f/2.
That is additionally the primary Fujifilm digital camera to utilize Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, which suggests you’ll be able to set it as much as switch photos to your good machine robotically. Solely JPEGs will be shared wirelessly, nonetheless, so that you’ll nonetheless want an SD card reader to your telephone or laptop computer if you wish to edit RAW photographs on the street in one thing like Adobe Lightroom CC.
We should always point out that, along with the $1,300 18-55mm package, you should buy the X-E3 paired with an XF 23mm f/2 lens for $1,150, shaving $200 off the à la carte value. It’s fairly uncommon to see a digital camera kitted with a main lens, particularly at this value level, and we anticipate Fujifilm followers will respect this providing.
Our solely actual grievance in regards to the X-E3’s design is that the reminiscence card/battery compartment will get fully blocked when you may have a tripod plate connected to the digital camera.
Efficiency, picture high quality, and 4K video
That is now the fifth digital camera constructed across the 24-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X Processor Professional pairing. When you’ve seen pattern photos from the X-Pro2, X-T2, X-T20, or X100F, there actually isn’t something new to say about picture high quality right here. Once more, we definitely aren’t complaining — photographs have nice element and coloration, and RAW recordsdata present ample dynamic vary, which turns out to be useful when capturing high-contrast landscapes.
Extra decision sensor, quicker velocity, improved autofocus, 4K video, and a smooth new design.
As all the time, we actually like Fujifilm’s movie simulation modes, which mimic the standard of a number of totally different movie shares from Fujifilm’s portfolio, like Velvia, Astia, and Provia (assume filters unique to Fujifilm cameras). Energy customers can nonetheless manipulate the RAW recordsdata to their hearts’ content material, however movie simulations make out-of-camera JPEGs greater than satisfactory for the common shooter.
The X-E3 has additionally inherited the identical 91-point AF system (expandable to 325 factors) from the X-Pro2. It’s definitely the perfect AF system we’ve ever seen in a Fuji, however efficiency relies on the geared up lens. With the 35mm f/1.Four, for instance, focus was slower and tended to hunt extra in less-than-ideal lighting. Newer lenses, just like the 16mm f/1.Four and 18-55mm zoom, are extra dependable, nonetheless.
The digital camera also can shoot constantly at as much as Eight frames per second (fps), or a formidable 14 when utilizing the digital shutter — good numbers for a digital camera at this value level, and equal to the X-T20. When the X-E3 was introduced, Fujifilm boasted about its improved AF monitoring efficiency in AF-C (steady) mode, which guarantees to have the ability to monitor objects twice as quick and twice small than what earlier variations of the system might do. Sadly, we didn’t have the chance to really check this in our quick overview window, however we don’t actually anticipate that the X-E3’s goal buyer is all that involved with burst velocity and AF monitoring. (Aspect be aware: These AF enhancements are additionally slated to make their strategy to different X sequence cameras by way of firmware updates.)
We might additionally argue that the X-E3 goal buyer isn’t a lot of a video shooter, however Fujifilm went forward and gave the digital camera a 4K video mode. It seems to be the identical implementation as on the X-T20, which suggests full-width readout however with out the oversampling of the X-T2. Video high quality might not be as crispy as higher-end 4K cameras, however it’s a important enchancment over the 1080p mode on earlier fashions.
The X-E3 definitely isn’t meant to be knowledgeable filmmaking machine, but it surely does have HDMI out and a microphone jack (albeit a smaller than regular, 2.5mm model).
X-E3 versus X-T20
When you shoot a good quantity of video, that is one factor that may push you towards the X-T20 as a substitute of the X-E3. The X-T20 has an articulating monitor. It additionally has a 3rd dial on prime for shortly altering capturing mode, together with placing the digital camera into video mode.
Past that, each cameras are extremely comparable of their specs — together with the shortage of inside stabilization, maybe the final hurdle in Fujifilm’s race to perfection. The one different distinction worthy of be aware is the worth: The X-T20 additionally begins at $899 for the physique solely, however the package with the 18-55mm lens is simply $1,200, $100 lower than the X-E3 package with the identical lens. Moreover, on the time of writing, there’s a $100 instantaneous rebate on each the X-T20 physique and package.
Nevertheless, the X-E3 is the one one to supply a package with the 23mm f/2 (or any prime lens, for that matter). We predict it is a good way to purchase the digital camera, and should sway some fanatics towards the X-E3.
In comparison with the X-Pro2
If up till now you’ve been considering the X-E3 leaves little purpose to spring for the X-Pro2, properly, frankly, you might not be incorrect. There may be, in fact, the worth: When you’re out there for a sub-$1,000 digital camera, the X-Pro2 is just out of attain. However when you have the finances for it, right here’s what you’d be lacking out on by selecting the X-E3.
Climate sealing. The X-Pro2 is climate sealed. That is value noting if you happen to’re contemplating the aforementioned package with the 23mm f/2, as that lens does bear the WR label indicating climate resistance. A cursory look could make you assume the digital camera can also be climate sealed — it isn’t.
Efficiency. The X-E3’s shutter velocity tops out at 1/4000 of a second, whereas the X-Pro2 reaches one cease quicker at 1/8000. Each cameras shoot at Eight fps, however solely the X-E3 can make the most of the digital shutter to succeed in 14 fps. The X-Pro2 does have a bigger picture buffer, nonetheless, so it could actually shoot barely longer bursts (33 RAW recordsdata in comparison with 25).
Direct entry management. The X-Pro2 has extra, easy as that. Primarily, it has a devoted ISO dial nested beneath the shutter velocity dial, but it surely additionally has each an AF joystick and a four-way button cluster.
The X-Pro2’s benefits actually solely matter for skilled and superior fanatic photographers.
Reminiscence playing cards. The X-Pro2 has two SD card slots in comparison with the X-E3’s one, and they’re accessed on the facet of the digital camera, slightly than sharing a compartment with the battery. This makes them simpler to entry when the digital camera is mounted on a tripod.
LCD display. The X-Pro2 makes use of a higher-resolution display (1.64 million dots in comparison with 1.04 million), however the X-E3 is the one one with a touchscreen.
Viewfinder. We already talked about this, but it surely bears repeating: the X-Pro2 has a elaborate hybrid viewfinder that may be switched from optical (with digital overlays) to completely digital mode. The X-E3 makes use of simply an digital viewfinder.
Fujifilm X-E3 In contrast To
So whereas there are variations, these might not be important variations to the common consumer, significantly these on the lookout for a digital camera within the value vary of an X-E3. The X-Pro2’s benefits actually solely matter for skilled and superior fanatic photographers.
Fujifilm provides a one-year limited warranty on the X-E3.
With the next decision sensor, quicker processor, much-improved autofocus, 4K video, and a smooth new design, the X-E3 is the true improve to the X-E2 that we’ve now been ready years for. It’s a superbly made, straightforward to make use of, and technically proficient digital camera that makes skilled energy extra approachable and reasonably priced.
After all, that is simply what we’ve come to anticipate after the X-T20 did precisely the identical factor earlier this yr. Each cameras are wonderful, however we would give a slight nod to the X-T20 for its tilt display and extra direct-access management. The X-E3 definitely will get some fashion factors, nonetheless, and we anticipate many customers will desire its easier, extra streamlined design.
Is there a greater different?
There’s no scarcity of competitors right here, however Fujifilm has labored laborious to distinguish itself from rivals on the system degree. The X-series is constructed with fanatics in thoughts, and the lens lineup — which incorporates an unbeatable assortment of wonderful primes — illustrates this, as does the truth that you should buy the X-E3 in a package with the XF 23mm f/2. Notably for road and journey images, it’s laborious to give you a greater choice. Once more, the strongest competitors could come from Fujifilm’s personal X-T20.
That mentioned, we are able to’t ignore cameras just like the Sony A6300, which is now even barely cheaper than the X-E3 at simply $828 for the body only. We do desire the X-E3 from a design and usefulness standpoint, however the A6300 (regardless of being almost two years outdated) stays forward in some efficiency specs, together with 425 AF factors, 11-fps steady capturing, and a few higher-end video options.
How lengthy will it final?
We anticipate will probably be no less than two years earlier than the X-E3 is up to date, however it is a very succesful digital camera that ought to final properly past that if gear acquisition syndrome doesn’t get the higher of you.
Do you have to purchase it?
In order for you the fashion and expertise of a rangefinder with out paying the X-Pro2 (or Leica M) value, then completely. Being prime lens followers, we’d recommend the package with the 23mm, though the 18-55mm is definitely not dangerous so far as package zooms go. Once more, we would give the X-T20 the sting, however solely barely. Fujifilm has each cameras round for a purpose, and which is the higher one for you relies upon totally on, properly, you.