Fujifilm X-E3 Review

Fujifilm X-E3 Review

Ultra-compact Fujifilm X-E3 system camera: With 4K video, touchscreen and Bluetooth

With the X-E3, Fujifilm announces a new, particularly compact, mirrorless system camera. The Japanese manufacturer has significantly shrunk the successor of the X-E2S without any restriction of function or equipment. And thanks to Bluetooth and a touchscreen, the camera is even more modern. The current X-Trans CMOS III APS-C image sensor with 24 megapixels and 4K video as well as the fast autofocus, even with improved response, are also on board.

Short evaluation

Pros

  • Extensive equipment
  • Very good image quality up to ISO 1.600
  • High-quality, compact housing
  • Fast continuous shooting function

Cons

  • Lean dynamic range (in JPEG)
  • Unfavorably placed tripod thread
  • Multifunction control wheels somewhat slippery
  • Somewhat immature, though modern touchscreen operating concept

Compared to its predecessor, the Fujifilm X-E3 has shrunk in size and thus become even more portable, without, however, having reduced the range of functions. On the contrary: Technically speaking, it’s a slightly drilled X-T20 with a different case concept. With the inclusion of the touch screen, the camera, which looks retro from the outside, is also taking a more modern route than its predecessor. In the test, the X-E3 must now show how well it manages this balancing act, how fast it travels and, of course, what it achieves in terms of image quality.

Compared to its predecessor, the Fujifilm X-E3 has become narrower and lighter and is now the most compact and lightweight X system camera with a built-in viewfinder. [Photo: Fujifilm]

At 121x74x43 mm, the X-E3 is Fujifilm’s most compact mirrorless system camera with built-in viewfinder. It’s almost an inch narrower than the X-E2S. The weight was also slightly reduced by about 13 grams compared to the predecessor model to 337 grams now ready for operation. Fujifilm was able to achieve the shrinkage by means of a new operating concept on the back, among other things. The row of keys to the left of the display is omitted, as is the four-way cross on the other side of the display. Instead, there is a row of keys to the right of the display that contains a joystick. This leaves even more room for the thumb despite its smaller size, which is given even better support thanks to better contouring. The grip on the front has also increased slightly, making the new camera slightly thicker than its predecessor, but even better in the hand than the X-T20, as our first hands-on comparison showed.

The Fujifilm X-E3 now has a second dial on the front. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The back of the Fujifilm X-E3 looks a lot tidier thanks to the touch screen and reduced keys, and also offers more space for the thumb. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The Fujifilm X-E3’s APS-C sensor resolves 24 megapixels and records video in 4K resolution. The rear screen of the Fujifilm X-E3 is a touchscreen, but in contrast to the X-T20 it can’t be folded up and down. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The touch screen is also fully integrated into the operating concept: there is not only the usual possibility of setting the focus point using a fingertip (even while looking through the viewfinder), if you don’t want to do this using a joystick, but the screen “understands” four wiping gestures (also while looking through the viewfinder): downwards, upwards, left and right, which calls up a different function each and replaces the four direction keys that have been omitted. Admittedly, you have to get used to it first, but then it’s intuitive and fast. For example, the ISO sensitivity is displayed by a wiping gesture and adjusted by wiping up and down. There is a touch trigger function as well as touch operation during playback. The images can be scrolled through by wiping, a double tap enlarges the area around the focus point. The magnifying glass can be moved by wiping, two finger gestures allow zooming in and out. If you don’t like the touchscreen, you can simply switch off this functionality.

In addition to Micro-HDMI, the Fujifilm X-E3 also offers a Micro-USB interface with charging function as an alternative to the included charging cradle. The 2.5 mm jack socket accepts either a stereo microphone or a cable remote release. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The small handle of the Fujifilm X-E3 is now slightly more pronounced. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The X-E3 still has the exposure time wheel and the exposure correction wheel on the top of the camera as well as the push and turn multifunction wheel on the back, which is now joined by a second one on the front. Another new feature is the car shift lever, already familiar from other models, which instantly switches the camera to automatic mode and also makes motif programs accessible. Only the exposure-correction wheel should still be used with caution, as it remains active even in Auto mode. The film simulation modes are, of course, just as much on board as the black and white Acros mode including film grain simulation.

Fujifilm X-E3 is available in black and silver-black at a price of 900 Euro. The set with the Fujinon XF 18-55 mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS will cost about 1,300 Euro. [Photo: Fujifilm]

Inside is now the latest Fujifilm technology with the X-Processor Pro and the APS-C sensor X-Trans CMOS III with 24 megapixels resolution and its integrated phase AF sensors. The autofocus is not only as powerful as that of the X-Pro2, X-T2 and X-T20, but even better, because it now reacts twice as fast to changes in subject motion with ten times shorter measurement intervals. The other models will receive this improvement by the way still in the course of the year by firmware update. The X-E3 can also record 4K video at up to 30 frames per second and 100 Mbps high quality. However, only SDHC/SDXC UHS I is used as memory card interface. As an alternative to the cable remote release, a microphone can be connected via the 2.5 mm jack socket. Speaking of connections: The Micro-USB socket allows you to charge the battery in the camera, but an external charger is still included, leaving the buyer with all the options.

The optional Fujifilm MHG-XE3 handle not only improves the handling of the X-E3, but also leaves the battery and memory card compartment accessible, moves the tripod thread into the optical axis and is Arca-Swiss compatible. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The electronic viewfinder offers the usual resolution of 2.36 million pixels on an OLED display with 0.62x magnification equivalent to a small picture and a proximity sensor for automatic activation. The rear touch screen is still firmly installed, 7.6 centimeters in size and has a resolution of 1.04 million pixels. The WLAN is now joined by Bluetooth, which allows an energy-saving permanent connection to the smartphone. Future versions of the app are to be extended by corresponding functions such as time synchronization, image transfer in the background, position transfer for geotagging, a firmware update notification and later also a firmware update function.

From the end of September 2017, the Fujifilm X-E3 will be available in black and silver-black at a price of almost 900 euros, which is just as much as the almost identically equipped X-T20. The set with the high-quality Fujinon XF 18-55 mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS will cost almost 1,300 Euro. The camera will also be equipped with an MHG-XE3 handle extension, which allows access to the battery and memory card compartment and also moves the tripod thread into the optical axis and is Arca-Swiss compatible. Furthermore, Fujifilm wants to offer a matching leather case BLC-XE3, which should make the camera look even more elegant. A matching shoulder strap (brown or black) and a wrapping cloth are included in the scope of delivery of the “pocket body”.

The X-E3 is Fujifilm’s most compact system camera. Technically it corresponds to the X-T20 and thus offers a lot of technology for the price, such as a 4K video function or a fast phase autofocus. [Photo: Fujifilm]

Since the X-E3 is technically very similar to the X-T20, this review is partly based on the X-T20 review and has been revised and adapted where necessary to focus on the X-E3’s specifics.

Ergonomics and workmanship

The design of the Fujifilm X-E3 is based on that of its predecessor, the X-E2 (or X-E2S), except that the case is about eight millimeters narrower and partly somewhat different. There are some differences in the operating concept compared to both the X-E2S and the X-T20, especially on the back of the case. But more about that now. With an operational weight of 337 grams (without lens), the X-E3 is also somewhat lighter than its predecessor and significantly lighter than the X-T20.

The housing comes in a classic brick design. The top and bottom plates are made of a light metal alloy, while plastic with a generous rubber armouring in the look of grained leather is used between them. So the X-E3 makes a robust impression, but is not sealed against dust and splash water. The metal parts of the case are available in silver or black. In the silver version, like our test device, the camera radiates a clear retro charm.

In spite of the brick design, there is a hint of a light handle, which improves ergonomics compared to the predecessor model and the X-T20. But if you want to grip a large handle with your hand, you are definitely at the wrong address. On the back there is a thumb recess as a counterweight. If the handle is too thin for you, you can enlarge it with the optionally available MHG-XE3 screw-in handle. This fixes another shortcoming of the case: The tripod thread on the underside sits far outside the optical axis and also far too close to the battery and memory card compartment, so that it is blocked when a tripod exchange plate is used. The optional handle provides free access and an Arca-Swiss compatible tripod mount.

The Fujifilm X-E3’s APS-C sensor resolves 24 megapixels and records video in 4K resolution. The rear screen of the Fujifilm X-E3 is a touchscreen, but in contrast to the X-T20 it can’t be folded up and down. Thanks to the X-Trans color filter, it does not need a low-pass filter to suppress moirés. Its strength lies above all in the very good colour rendering.[Photo: Fujifilm]

The Fujifilm X-E3 is covered with setting wheels. Together with the many programmable buttons, the recording functions can be operated very directly.

The design of the X-E3 is reminiscent of a rangefinder camera: instead of a hump, the viewfinder sits in the upper left corner, which we find quite pleasant. If you look left-eyed through the viewfinder, you have the camera in the middle of your face, if you look through it with your right eye, you have a pretty clear field of view for your left eye, you don’t press your nose on the screen and you get close to the buttons. The viewfinder itself is a well-known fare: the 2.36 million pixels are sufficiently fine, but nowadays they don’t knock anyone off their stool. The 0.62x magnification in 35mm equivalent corresponds approximately to that of conventional mid-range DSLRs, but even here there are much larger viewfinders nowadays, even from Fujifilm itself. Those who now hope to be able to overlook the viewfinder all the better with glasses will be disappointed. If you can, you should therefore slide the glasses onto your forehead and use diopter compensation. This also results in less stray light in the viewfinder image. Thanks to the proximity sensor, the viewfinder activates automatically as soon as you take the camera to your eye. There is also nothing to complain about in terms of image quality and reaction speed. It’s a good standard finder without attracting much attention.

The differences to both the predecessor model and the X-T20 become particularly clear on the back of the camera and the operating concept there. The buttons are now located to the right of the screen and not to the left of it, as was the case with the predecessor model. The four-way selector is completely omitted, so there are fewer keys overall. For this there is now a joystick, which for example replaces the previous four-way selector in the menu with its individual keys more than well. Unfortunately, the screen is still firmly installed, so it’s not foldable like the X-T20, but it’s a touch screen. With a diagonal of 7.6 centimeters, an aspect ratio of 3:2 and a resolution of 1.04 million pixels, there is also a standard fare here, the maximum brightness is even just over 600 cd/m² on the brightest level, which is hardly enough to be able to read the monitor sensibly in strong sunlight.

The use of gestures on the touchscreen that replace the four-way selector, at least in terms of key functions, is really smart, but also takes getting used to. If you move the touchscreen from left to right, from right to left, from top to bottom or from bottom to top, various settings are called up, the value of which can be adjusted again by moving the mouse over the screen. By default, these are ISO sensitivity, white balance, movie simulation mode, and AF mode. However, the gesture control comes with the choice of the autofocus field or with the triggering via touch screen into the enclosure. So it seems to be left to chance whether the camera recognizes a gesture or a typing. It works more reliably if you switch off the touch AF and trigger controls, which is possible with a simple touch of a button.

Beginners face the challenge of gesture control just as much as people who rarely use their camera. Who would come up with the idea of stroking the display to set the ISO sensitivity without looking at the manual? Who can remember which of the four wipe gestures calls which function? Because this is not displayed. Some people might rather call up the extensive quick menu or program the Fn button on the top of the camera with the function that is most important to them. Fujifilm’s move is certainly courageous and praiseworthy, but not yet well thought out. At best, buyers who have grown up with a smartphone in their hands will perceive gesture control as natural with a camera. In the menu, on the other hand, there is no touch operation, here you can only get further with the swivel wheels or the joystick.

After a classic camera, the X-E3 looks much more like a supermodern camera. This is underlined by the lenses with the aperture ring and the exposure time and exposure correction dial on the top of the camera. You won’t find a classic mode dial, however. After all, there is a car lever that activates the fully automatic function as well as the motif programs. But be careful: the exposure-compensation wheel remains active, which can spoil the pictures for an ignorant person. After all, the wheel is so stiff that it is unlikely to be accidentally adjusted.

The very well processed case of the Fujifilm X-E3 is made of metal in the upper and lower part (here: silver). In between there is a generous amount of plastic covered with non-slip rubber. The X-E3 is Fujifilm’s most compact system camera. Technically it corresponds to the X-T20 and thus offers a lot of technology for the price, such as a 4K video function or a fast phase autofocus. [Photo: Fujifilm]

Despite the “mechanical” wheels, the X-E3 also offers two multifunction wheels, the first of which is on the front of the camera. Both wheels are rotary click wheels, which is a bit unfavourable, because the wheels are very small and not handy enough. This makes you press harder when turning, but they give way and sink into the housing, which makes them even harder to turn. After all, pressing does not interfere with setting the exposure time when the time wheel is set to “T”. People with dry, smooth skin and also those with very sweaty and therefore slippery fingers will not have so much fun with the wheels. After all, and this may be comforting, you can often select the functions in a different way.

The shutter release has two pressure points that are easy to feel. Following the concept of the classic camera, a thread for a cable release is available. However, a cable remote release can also be used, which can be plugged in behind the interface flap on the left side. The 2.5mm jack connector also accepts the plug of a stereo microphone. Furthermore, a Micro-HDMI socket and a Micro-USB interface can be found here. Although the Fujifilm X-E3 comes with an external charger for the lithium-ion battery, the battery can also be charged via USB, but only when the camera is switched off. The battery life of the lithium-ion battery is not exactly generous with 350 shots according to the CIPA standard, but it is quite sufficient. This makes the USB charging function all the more valuable when you’re on the move, as it allows you to recharge the battery with a power bank, for example. Instead of the battery, a dummy with cable for an external power supply can also be connected. The SD card slot is compatible with SDHC and SDXC as well as UHS I, the write rate is just over 60 megabytes per second. So you should choose a fast card, just because of the 4K video function, which requires a UHS I Speed Class 3 card, which guarantees a minimum write rate of 30 MByte/s. The UHS I Speed Class 3 card is a very fast card.

Equipment

With its aperture ring and exposure time wheel, the X-E3 is aimed specifically at ambitious photographers; you won’t find a program selector wheel. You can switch between manual mode, program automatic, aperture automatic and aperture automatic simply by setting one, both or none of the wheels to automatic. The ISO automatic can be controlled independently of this, so it also works with manual exposure. A combination with the exposure correction is possible. Nevertheless the X-E3 can be used without knowledge of ISO, exposure time and aperture. You simply set the small lever below the exposure time wheel to Auto and the camera takes over all the necessary settings and even recognizes the subject situation automatically. In this mode, the front control dial can also be used to select specific scene modes. The practical panorama function, on the other hand, can be accessed via the “Drive” button above the screen.

The handle of the Fujifilm X-E3 is very flat, so that especially the non-slip rubber glue provides the necessary grip.

The Fujifilm X-E3 offers three interfaces: A 2.5 mm jack socket for a remote release cable or stereo microphone, a micro USB socket for charging and data exchange and micro HDMI for the video signal.

The series recording functions are also activated here. Not only the exposure can be varied, but also the dynamic range extension function, the ISO sensitivity, the film simulation mode or the white balance. But those who like to photograph in raw can dispense with some of the row shooting functions, as the corresponding settings can also be made during the raw data conversion. What the X-E3 lacks, however, is an HDR function. There is only one multiple exposure function and even an interval shooting function.

The shutter of the X-E3 works either mechanically (up to 1/4,000 second) or electronically (up to 1/32,000 second) and is therefore completely silent. The speed of the serial shot depends on this. With a mechanical shutter, Fujifilm promises a maximum of eight continuous shots per second, which we easily achieved during measurement. The duration of our test series was 27 consecutive shots in raw data format and 49 shots in JPEG. Then we continue with four JPEG images per second or just over two raw images per second, whereby we activated the lossless raw data compression. Thus, those who set the frame rates a little slower get much longer up to infinitely long series. Then you also benefit from a live image, while at the high continuous shooting rates only the last photo taken is displayed in the viewfinder or on the screen. The autofocus, on the other hand, continues to be readjusted. With electronic shutter even up to 15 continuous shots per second are possible, but then the number of possible shots shrinks significantly.

The autofocus works both with phase measuring fields integrated on the sensor and on a contrast basis. The former provides information on the direction and width of the position, the latter is used for fine adjustment. But you have to be careful, because the X-E3 is factory set to a constantly activated autofocus and above all a release priority, so that a hundred percent sharpness doesn’t always have priority. If you set the camera to focus priority and deactivate the pre-autofocus, the autofocus will slow down, but the power consumption will decrease and the focus will be more accurate. As set as it is our standard in tests, we measured a shutter release delay of about 0.4 seconds, which is fast, but is easily overshadowed by some other mirrorless system cameras. The pure release delay without focusing is fast with 0.06 seconds, but also not record-breaking. However, when it comes to tracking moving subjects, the autofocus performs much better than the measurement suggests. This is where the hybrid system comes into its own.

By the way, manually focusing with the Fujifilm X-E3 is a dream. Not only can you always use the autofocus at the push of a button, but you also get support from a digital cut image simulation, which is only available at Fujifilm, a focus magnifier and focus peaking. In addition, there is a focus scale on the screen with distance information as well as an aperture-dependent depth of field display, which optionally works on a pixel basis in addition to the film format basis, which has a considerably lower depth of field due to the higher magnification. The scale proves to be extremely useful, especially in landscape photography. As an example: While on a film format basis at a focal length of 18 millimeters and F8 everything can be sharply imaged at less than two meters to infinity, on a pixel basis this is only possible from a distance of about five meters.

If you want to record videos, you first have to put the camera into the corresponding mode with the help of the drive button, because there is no special video recording button. The X-E3 films optionally in 4K resolution with up to 30 frames per second or in Full-HD as well as HD-Ready with up to liquid 60 frames per second each. 24p as “cinema look” represents the lower limit in each case. Only a minimal crop in the image width takes place, which hardly matters. Vertically, the trim is significantly larger due to the different aspect ratio (3:2 sensor, 16:9 video). Aperture and exposure time can also be set manually on request. The autofocus adjusts the sharpness fluidly, quickly, smoothly and above all silently. The touch screen makes it easy to focus on a different subject detail to automatically “pull” the focus. The integrated stereo microphones are located at the top left and right of the flash shoe, but an external stereo microphone can also be connected. A level indicator including a modulation option, but only in rough steps, is not missing either. It is stored in MOV format with H.264 compression at up to 100 Mbps quality (in 4K).

The Fujifilm X-E3’s APS-C sensor resolves 24 megapixels and records video in 4K resolution. The rear screen of the Fujifilm X-E3 is a touchscreen, but in contrast to the X-T20 it can’t be folded up and down. Thanks to the X-Trans color filter, it does not need a low-pass filter to suppress moirés. Its strength lies above all in the very good color rendering.[Photo: Fujifilm]

For both photo and video recordings, Fujifilm’s typical film simulation modes can be activated, which simulate real or imaginary analog films up to a switchable grain size. Here you can be wonderfully creative and give the photos an individual look that stands out from the mass of photos without losing image details. If you like, you can also activate more distorting filter effects such as toy camera, miniatureture effect etc..

The X-E3 doesn’t have an integrated flash, but a clip-on flash is included. It folds up high and offers more than the standard functions such as long-term synchronization or an anti-red-eye pre-flash. Red eyes can be removed either instead of or in addition to the pre-flash with an automatic digital retouching and also a manual flash output control in seven steps up to 1/64 of the full output are available next to a flash exposure correction. The mediocre guide number of (measured) 9 and the flash sync time of only 1/180 second, on the other hand, do not tear anyone from their stool. To use the flash, the photographer must also become active in automatic mode and not only attach the flash, but also fold it upwards. As a control unit for wireless flash control, the plug-in flash is unfortunately not suitable, but a suitable external system flash must be attached to the TTL flash shoe.

The playback function allows some basic image editing functions, such as trimming. The integrated raw data converter offers more possibilities. Another interesting feature is the photo book function, which Fujifilm integrates into its cameras as a photo book service provider. Thanks to WLAN and recently Bluetooth, the X-E3 can be connected to a smartphone or even computers. Via a permanent Bluetooth connection, the camera can tap into the GPS of the smartphone, where the camera can be used normally, only that the images are provided with coordinates. If desired, it can also transmit images to the smartphone in the background. With the help of the corresponding app, a remote control function including live image transmission is also possible when the WLAN connection is activated, and selected images can also be transmitted quickly. The autosave function allows wireless data backup of the images on the home PC.

Picture quality

With their different color filter X-Trans instead of Bayer, the Fujifilm image sensors are something very special. The distribution with clusters of different sizes in the green channel and the distribution of red and blue filters in each row and column is closer to the analog film grain than with normal Bayer sensors. A low-pass filter can be dispensed with without the danger of Moiré. Like many other APS-C cameras, the X-E3’s sensor resolves 24 megapixels, which is the highest resolution in the APS-C range since Samsung’s withdrawal. To check the image quality, we tested the X-E3 with the set lens, which is sold together with the camera at a price of almost 1,300 Euros. This is a high quality, F2.8-4 fast 18-55mm zoom that covers a 35mm equivalent focal length range of approx. 27 to 83 millimeters.

The battery and SD memory card are removed from the bottom of the Fujifilm X-E3. One should pay attention to a fast UHS-I memory card, in order not to slow down the camera unnecessarily, which can have a speed of up to 60 MB/s. The UHS-I memory card can be used to store the data.

Fujifilm has placed the tripod thread of the X-E3 very unfavorably. The best way is to get the right grip with an Arca Swiss shot, which also improves the handling of the camera. [Photo: Fujifilm]

The 18-55 shows the usual high performance on the X-E3, edge darkening, distortion and color fringes are almost completely corrected, which is not least due to Fujifilm’s Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO), which frees the images in the tested JPEG mode from optical errors and can even compensate for the diffraction effect to a limited extent. In the case of resolution measurement, this optimization can be read off from the measured values. For all focal lengths, the resolution suddenly increases again after a slight drop when dipping down, while the sharpness artifacts increase in parallel. The maximum resolution is just over 56 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm) in 35mm equivalent at 50 percent contrast. In principle a very good value, but for 24 megapixels also not outstanding, but expectable. Especially at short and medium focal lengths the resolution is good over a wide aperture range and moves down to F11 at 48 and more lp/mm. A high resolution of 38 to 49 lp/mm is also achieved at the edge of the image, the edge drop of the resolution thus remains low to medium and moves almost to the fixed focal length level. With a long focal length, the lens weakens a little, especially when stopped down, it loses resolution. The resolution drops from 52 lp/mm at F4 to 39 lp/mm at F8, but reaches 47 lp/mm again at F11. At the edge of the image, the resolution at 55 mm is between 45 and 37 lp/mm, which means that the edge drop is also low, but the resolution is partially only just enough for sharp images up to 20 x 30 centimeters print format, but not much more.

The APS-C image sensor with its resolution of 24 megapixels has a pixel pitch of approximately 3.9 µm, which does not mean that the pixels are just as large. It is a standard CMOS sensor without BSI architecture, i.e. the traces cover a certain part of the light-sensitive surface. Up to ISO 400, the X-E3 achieves a good signal-to-noise ratio of over 40 dB, up to ISO 3,200 the value remains within the acceptable range of over 35 dB. The noise has an extremely fine grain, but the brightness noise only becomes visible above ISO 3.200, color noise plays practically no role. The noise reduction only affects the details above ISO 800, but up to ISO 1.600 there are still more than enough of them left. At ISO 3.200 there is already a slight to moderate loss of the finest image details, but even ISO 6.400 can still be used with quite acceptable image quality. It also doesn’t hurt to reduce the noise suppression in the camera a bit and rather allow a little more of the “grain”, which is good for the images at ISO 3,200 and 6,400. You should only turn the sensitivity higher in an emergency or then have to live with a corresponding loss of image quality.

The input dynamics of Fujifilm in JPEG are not particularly good, the X-E3 is no exception. It only achieves a dynamic range of a good nine to 9.5 f-stops, but maintains it over a wide sensitivity range up to ISO 12,800. The tonal value curve is slightly divided for crisper mid-range contrasts, with the tonal value range dropping from very good over 224 from 256 possible brightness gradations at ISO 100 and 200 over good more than 192 f-stops to ISO 800 to acceptable over 160 f-stops at ISO 3,200. However, it is noticeable that the red and especially the blue channel are somewhat weaker – no wonder, as there are considerably fewer pixels available than in the green channel. However, this leads to the fact that at slightly higher ISO sensitivities visible gradations in brightness gradients can already occur. Especially for landscape shots with a lot of blue sky, one should stay at ISO 200 and never set more than ISO 800, as then there would only be 128 and less brightness levels.

The X-E3 is again very good in terms of color fidelity, color tones are predominantly reproduced very accurately and only in individual color tones with slight deviations, but all of which remain within a small range. The strongest deviation is in purple and in the magenta area. The lilac slips towards the magenta, the magenta tends towards the red. Also very good is the actual color depth with over four million colors up to high ISO 3,200, with lowest sensitivities there are even about eight million color nuances. Fujifilm doesn’t fool anyone here so easily.

Bottom line

The Fujifilm X-E3 is a high-quality processed and compact mirrorless system camera with a good price-performance ratio. It combines the charm of old cameras with the modern up to a touch screen, even if it takes getting used to. The X-E3 convinces with its wide range of photographic functions from automatic to manual exposure. Thanks to Bluetooth and WLAN, it also connects to smartphones, tablets and computers. Even though the Fujifilm doesn’t have the fastest single autofocus, the X-E3 is still a fast camera with high continuous shooting speed and usable AF-C. Especially the image quality is convincing, not least because of the good XF lenses. The sensor offers a high resolution with low noise and very good color rendering. Only the dynamic range should be a bit better.

Fact sheet

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Fuji film
Model X-E3
Sensor CMOS APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5
)24.3 megapixels (physical)
24.0 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 3.9 µm
Resolution (max.) 6.000 x 3.376 (16:9)
Video (max.) 3.840 x 2.160 30p
Lens Fujifilm XF 18-55 mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS (zoom lens)
Video viewfinder EVF, 100 % field coverage, 2,360,000 pixels resolution, 0.93x magnification (sensor-related), 0.62x magnification (KB equivalent), diopter compensation (-4.0 to 2.0 dpt), -4.0 to 2.0 dpt)
Monitor 3.0″ (7.6 cm)
Disbandment 1.040.000 pixels
tiltable
rotatable
swivelling
Touchscreen yes
AV connector HDMI Output Micro (Type D)
Fully automatic yes
Automatic motif control yes
Shooting modes 14
Program automation yes
Program shift yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
Manual yes
Bulb long time exposure yes
HDR function
Panorama function yes, Sweep panorama
Exposure metering Matrix/multi-field measurement (256 fields), center-weighted integral measurement, spot measurement
fastest shutter speed 1/4.000 s
Flash included attachable flash
Synchronous time 1/180 s
Flash connection Hot shoe: Fujifilm, standard center contact
WLAN yes
NFC
GPS external, permanent smartphone connection
Remote release yes, cable release, cable release, remote control via Smartphone/Tablet
Interval shooting yes
Storage medium
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
Sensitivity
automatic ISO 200-12.800
manually ISO 100-51.200
White balance
automatic yes
manual measurement yes
Kelvin input yes
Fine correction yes
Autofocus yes
Number of measuring fields 325
Speed 0,40 s
AF auxiliary light LED
Dimensions (mm) 121 x 74 x 43 mm
Weight (ready for operation) 337 g (housing only
)614 g (with lens)
Tripod socket outside the optical axis
Zoom
Zoom adjustment manual on lens
Battery life 350 images (according to CIPA standard)
– = “not applicable” or “not available”

Short evaluation

Pros

  • Extensive equipment
  • Very good image quality up to ISO 1.600
  • High-quality, compact housing
  • Fast continuous shooting function

Cons

  • Lean dynamic range (in JPEG)
  • Unfavorably placed tripod thread
  • Multifunction control wheels somewhat slippery
  • Somewhat immature, though modern touchscreen operating concept

Fujifilm X-E3 Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5
)24.3 megapixels (physical) and 24.0 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 3.9 µm
Photo resolution
6.000 x 3.376 pixels (16:9)
4.240 x 2.832 pixels (3:2)
4.240 x 2.832 pixels (3:2)
4.240 x 2.384 pixels (16:9)
4.000 x 4.000 pixels (1:1)
3.008 x 2.000 pixels (3:2)
3.008 x 1.688 pixels (16:9)
2.832 x 2.832 pixels (1:1)
2.000 x 2.000 pixels (1:1)
Panorama Swivel panorama
2.160 x 9.600 pixels (180°)
9.600 x 1.440 pixels (180°)
2.160 x 6.400 pixels (120°)
6.400 x 1.440 pixels (120°)
Picture formats JPG, RAW
Color depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel), 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard
Video resolution
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 30 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 25 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 24 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 60 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 50 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 25 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 24 p
1.270 x 720 (16:9) 30 p
Maximum recording time 10 min
Video format
MP4 (Codec H.264)

Lens

Lens mount
Fujifilm XF

Focusing

Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with 325 sensors, contrast autofocus
Autofocus Functions Single Auto Focus, Continuous Auto Focus, Area Auto Focus, Tracking Auto Focus, Manual, AFL Function, AF Assist Light (LED), Focus Peaking, Focus Magnifier
Focus control Depth of field control, Live View

Viewfinder and Monitor

Monitor 3.0″ (7.6 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 1,040,000 pixels, anti-reflective, brightness adjustable, colour adjustable, with touch screen
Video viewfinder Video viewfinder (100 % field coverage) with 2,360,000 pixels, 0.93x magnification factor, diopter compensation (-4.0 to 2.0 dpt)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 256 fields, spot measurement, AF-AE coupling
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 4 s (Auto
)1/4,000 to 900 s (Manual)
1/32,000 to 900 s (Electronic Shutter)
Bulb with maximum 3,600 s Exposure Time
Exposure control Fully Automatic, Program Automatic (with Program Shift), Aperture Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual
Bracketing function Bracket function with maximum 9 shots, step size from 1/3 to 3 EV
Exposure compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 200 to ISO 12.800 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 51.200 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, cable release, cable release, remote control via smartphone/tablet
Shooting modes Flowers, documents, fireworks, skin, landscape, night scene, night portrait, party, sunset, sports, beach/snow, underwater, 2 more shooting modes available.
Picture effects High Key, Pinhole Camera, Low Key, Miniature Effect, Pop Color, Selective Color, Softness, Colorkey (Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Purple), Dynamic Range (100%, 200%, and 400%), Movie Simulation (Provia, Velvia, Astia, Pro Neg), High- and Low-Key, Pop Colors, 1 additional image effects
White balance Auto, Clouds, Sun, White balance bracketing, Fine tuning, Underwater, Fluorescent lamp with 3 presets, Incandescent light, From 2,500 to 10,000 K, Manual 3 memories
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 14.0 fps at highest resolution and max. 35 stored photos, or 22 consecutive images in compressed RAW
Self-timer Self-timer every 2 s, Special features: or 10 s (optional), Group self-timer, Buddy self-timer
Timer Timer/interval recording, start time adjustable
Shooting functions AEL function, AFL function, live histogram

Flashgun

Flash no built-in flash availableFlash shoe
: Fujifilm, standard center contact
Flash range Flash sync time 1/180 s
Flash number
Guide number 11 (ISO 200)
Guide number 8 (ISO 100)

(Slip-on flash included)

Flash functions Auto, Fill-in flash, Flash on, Flash off, Slow sync, Flash on second shutter curtain, Manual flash output (7 levels), Red-eye reduction by digital retouching, Pre-flash, Flash exposure compensation from -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV

Equipment

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
GPS function GPS external (permanent smartphone connection)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply Power supply connectionUSB charging function
Power supply 1 x Fujifilm NP-W126S350
images according to CIPA standardFujifilm
AC-5VF power supply unit
Playback Functions Red eye retouching, crop images, image rotation, protect image, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier, image index, slide show function, zoom out
Face recognition Face recognition
Picture parameters Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation, Noise Reduction
Special functions Electronic spirit level, grid display, pixel mapping, orientation sensor, live view, user profiles with 7 user profiles
Ports Data interfaces: Bluetooth, USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (type: B, G, N)
AV connectors AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D
)Audio input: yes (2.5 mm jack (stereo))
Audio output: no
Supported direct printing methods Exif Print, PictBridge
Tripod socket 1/4″ not in optical axis
Features and Miscellaneous Ultrasonic Sensor Cleaning System Exposure compensation
-2 to 2 in 1/3 EV steps in Movie ModeAutofocus points
are grouped (13×7, 3×3, 5×3, 5×3, 7×7)

Eye Auto FocusFilm Simulation Bracket
(3 shots)
Dynamic Range Bracket (100%, 200% and 400%)
ISO sensitivity bracketing (1/3, 2/3 and 1 EV)
Multiple exposuresDynamic circumferential adjustmentsFilm simulations

/Velvia, Provia, Astia, Classic Chrome, ACROS (with and without filter)
Photo book wizardDigital
split image indicator

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 121 x 74 x 43 mm
Weight 337 g (operational)

Other

included accessories Fujifilm BC-W126 charger for special batteriesFujifilm
NP-W126S special batteryFujifilm
XF (housing cover)
flash unit EF-X8, USB cable, carrying strap
optional accessory Fujifilm MHG-XE3 (Handle
)Fujifilm RR-90 Cable Remote Release

Firmware updates for the Fujifilm X-E3 and X-Pro2: functional upgrades and bug fixes

Fujifilm provides new firmware for the X-E3 and X-Pro2. While the version 4.01 for the X-Pro2 only fixes a very specific bug where the camera could freeze, the firmware 1.10 upgrades the Fujifilm X-E3 to the function to receive GPS data from the smartphone via Bluetooth. Furthermore, a time synchronization with the smartphone is possible and a small bug with the live image display has been fixed. The updates can be installed by the user himself and can be downloaded from Fujifilm. If necessary, you can get help from Fujifilm Support or your dealer.

 

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Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.