The Fujifilm XE3 is a mid-range mirrorless camera, aimed at enthusiasts who want the quality and lenses of the X-system in a compact body. It shares the rangefinder styling of its four year-old predecessor, the XE2, with the same electronic viewfinder in the corner, but updates the sensor to the latest 24 Megapixel X-Trans III with greatly improved autofocus. The screen remains fixed in position but is now touch-sensitive and complemented by an AF joystick. There's also Bluetooth in addition to Wifi and the XE3's body is also slightly smaller and lighter, making it the most compact model with an X-mount, viewfinder and X-Trans III.

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Fujifilm XE3 preview

The Fujifilm XE3 is a mid-range mirrorless camera, aimed at enthusiasts who want the quality and lenses of the X-system in a compact body. Announced in September 2017, the XE3 is the successor to the four year-old XE2, and like that model features a rangefinder-styled body with an electronic viewfinder (0.62x / 2360k dot OLED) built-into the corner. Fujifilm has however shrunk the body a little while packing it with its latest technology.

The XE3 becomes the latest model to sport Fujifilm’s 24 Megapixel X-Trans III, an APSC sensor with embedded phase-detect autofocus. Its quality and performance are already well-known from the X-Pro2, XT2 and XT20, although it comes with autofocus enhancements arriving as firmware updates for the other bodies. Like the XT20, the 3in / 3:2 screen is touch-sensitive, although now supports gesture controls in playback like pinching and swiping. While you can use the touchscreen to adjust the AF area, the XE3 also offers the joystick of the X-Pro2 and XT2, uniquely equipping it with the best of both Worlds. Unlike the XT models though, the screen is fixed in place and doesn’t tilt-out.

Like the XT2 and XT20, the XE3 can shoot 4k video at 24, 25 or 30p for up to ten minutes, or 1080p up to 60p for 15 minutes; unlike the XT2 though there’s no optional battery grip to extend clip length. In addition to Wifi, the XE2 becomes Fujifilm’s first body to offer an always-on low-power Bluetooth link to your smartphone; I’m confirming the capabilities but sincerely hope it’ll provide GPS tagging which updates with your location unlike Fujifilm’s previous Wifi implementation. The body, at 121x74x43mm and 337g including battery, is a little thinner and narrower than the XE2(S) and a fraction lighter too, although if you’d like more to hold onto, the optional MHG-XE3 boosts the height and grip a little while providing a dove-tailed base (albeit not for portrait shooting like an L-bracket). Like all Fujifilm bodies to date, there’s no built-in stabilisation, with the XE3 instead relying on optical stabilisation on some lenses. Keep reading for more details, or if you’re already convinced, you can pre-order the Fujifilm XE3 from B&H!




There’s a lot of overlap between the XE3 and XT20, and both bodies cost roughly the same. I love having the Bluetooth and AF joystick on the XE3, but would miss the tilting screen of the XT20; ultimately a lot will boil down to your preferences on body styling and viewfinder position. I hope to publish some hands-on experience with the XE3 soon, but in the meantime, the body is expected later this month at a price of $899 USD / 849 GBP or in kits with the XF 23mm f2 for $1149 USD / 1149 GBP or with the XF 18-55mm for $1299 USD / 1249 GBP. Fujifilm also launched a new XF 80mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro lens (costing 1249 GBP in November 2017) along with an updated roadmap unveiling a new ultra wide XF 8-16mm f2.8 R LM WR zoom and a new XF 200mm f2 LM OIS WR telephoto, both slated for sometime in 2018.

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