This month (October 2017), a new rangefinder style camera enters the mirrorless camera market with the Fujifilm X-E3. Fujifilm invited us to a private members library in the heart of London to get hands on with this new addition to the Fujifilm X-series.
The new X-E3 boasts a variety of fantastic features including an APS-C 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor, 3.0” touch-screen and 4K Video recording. However, from getting hands-on with the camera, it is clear that, whilst this camera is packed full of cutting-edge technology, it is simple to use for those who have either been familiar with previous models, or even for those who have not necessarily been interested in taking photos before.
Upon picking up the camera, it’s compact size is instantly noticeable. Despite being more compact than the previous model (X-E2s), Fujifilm have retained the premium and retro feel that has been synonymous with the X-Series range since its introduction way back in 2010. Despite reducing the size, Fujifilm have striven to ensure that the camera sits comfortable in your hand, and in fact the depth of the grip is almost identical to the X-E2s. When shooting, the grip certainly makes the camera feel very ‘solid’ in your hand. For when you are using some of the longer lenses within the range, there is an optional hand grip that can be added to make using the camera feel even more comfortable.
Of course, when anything is reduced in size, something has to be sacrificed. On the X-E3, the directional set of menu buttons have disappeared, and has instead been replaced by a touch screen. This not only allows a little more space for your hand to rest naturally in place, but is also very handy for focusing (using the touch focus mode to focus just where you want it to), which, combined with a focus joystick found just near where your thumb naturally sits makes it very easy to focus quickly and accurately.
However, things that have not been sacrificed are the dials on the top of the camera. Those who have previously owned a Fujifilm will be familiar with these dials that span the X-Series range, and I feel also enhances the retro feel of the camera. It’s easy to adjust the shutter speed, aperture priority or exposure compensation, even if you want to adjust the settings prior to turning the camera on and taking a shot.
To access the settings of the camera (to enable things such as different filter settings, film simulations, or focus settings), you simply swipe the screen up, down, left or right. This is something that can be customised depending on your preferences. I found it to be a little different to using a conventional directional set of buttons on the back of the camera, but once I had played around with it a couple of times, it is easy to get used to – it’s very similar to actions that you might make using your phone or tablet. There is also a ‘quick’ button on the rear of the camera that also gives you access to a whole range of settings to easily change things.
Sharing your images with the rest of the world is easy to do with the X-E3. It is actually the first within the X-Series range to be equipped with Bluetooth, and you can therefore pair the camera with your phone or tablet. Once paired, the camera is always connected, and can therefore automatically transfer images to your device using the Fujifilm Camera Remote App, giving you advance warning on the LCD screen if there are images still to be transferred. The camera does only transfer the JPEG images across as opposed to anything shot in RAW.
Overall, the X-E3 is small, lightweight yet durable camera, that is capable of not only taking some high-quality images and movies, that is simple to use, making it an idea travel / everyday camera.
By Park Cameras on 05/10/2017
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