The Fujifilm X-E3 looks like a rangefinder, but beneath that ‘skin’, lies dozens of technological capabilities that satisfy both modern digital shooters and traditional image craftsmen.
The X-E3 has been redesigned to be more compact and lightweight. The list of improvements includes a higher 24.3MP X-Trans APS-C sensor pixel count, 8.0 fps continuous shooting, 4K video recording, 325 AF points with improved tracking algorithm to track smaller and faster subjects.
The built-in flash is removed in favour of touchscreen operation, albeit not as snappy as the smartphones of today. Fortunately, you need not rely on touch to navigate, as the camera offers you a host of physical controls ranging from a 5-way controller to front and rear clickable dials. Many of the controls are programmable and assignable via the menu, offering a high level of personalisation to suit every user, which works well if you are converting from another brand.
Users who prefer to control their cameras manually will be pleased as these settings have their own dedicated buttons and knobs: AE-L, AF-L, Programmed-Auto, AF-MF modes, EV, shutter speed controls. Selected lenses also come with electronic aperture ring and focus ring. To enhance the manual experience, you can configure the EVF to show the live preview while the main LCD shows other shooting information. The only missing dedicated button is the video recording button. But if I were to be critical, I find the camera is too compact as all the buttons and knobs located too close to one another. It can be a challenge to do manual adjustments while my eye is on the EVF and I might even accidentally press the AF-L button.
Bluetooth is added, a first for Fujifilm X-series, to improve connectivity with smartphones and PC. The PC Auto Save mode conveniently uploads images automatically to the connected devices when the camera is turned off, eliminating the laborious process of transferring images manually.
The camera handles well, feels solid, and can conveniently charges over USB, making it a good travel companion. Paired with the kit 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 lens, the camera achieves a good balance of size and flexibility of use. High ISO images display well-controlled noise, and if I turn on the electronic shutter, I can shoot in complete silence, just like using a smartphone.
A modern photographic tool disguised as an analogue camera, X-E3 helps digital photographers relive the old ways of photography without losing all the benefits that modern tech brings to the table. More importantly, it takes the best of the X-system and makes it accessible to pros and amateurs alike.
Body: S$1,499, 23mm kit: S$1,899, 18-55mm kit: S$2,099