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Woodworth

X-E3 - have Fuji lost their way?

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I’ve been using Fuji since they introduced the X-E1. Over the years since I have had a number of Fuji bodies and lenses but have settled on an X-T2 and an X-E2s with various prime lenses. I have always found Fuji to be a great system to work with and have earned much of my income from their products.

 

The lineage of each model seemed logical and each new version made progressive improvements such as improved AF or resolution for example. You can tell that the X-E2s is progression from the original X-E1 with nicely thought out additions or upgrades. The X-T2 is such a nice camera and certainly a step up from the X-T1. So far, so good.

 

In my mind at least the line up worked something like X-A cameras for amateurs, casual shooters, etc. The X-T10/20 for the more trendy photographer, someone who liked innovation such as touch screens and blue tooth and the cute look of the camera. The X-E cameras for the expert photographer, the person who liked the rangefinder styling and the smaller size for travelling and discrete photography, a street photographers camera perhaps. the X-T range for the more demanding photographer, someone who wanted a more professional kind of camera in a DSLR style and the X-Pro for the same kind of photographer who preferred a rangefinder kind of camera. I’m probably wildly wrong here but at least it’s a stab at my understanding the lineage of the various Fuji offerings.

 

Then came the X-E3 and messed it all up for me. Here was a camera that looked like an X-E camera but seemed more at home in a X-T20s? In the lineage, instead of a progression, someone seems to have left the logical path and gone off track with this camera. In my mind at least, the X-E3 should have been an upgrade from the X-E2s. Perhaps a X-E2s with the X-T2 sensor and AF but with the XT-20 flippy screen and IBIS. I can see how introducing bluetooth connectivity with a tablet and touch screens would appeal to an X-T20 user perhaps but where is the camera for the X-E1, X-E2 and X-E2s user?

 

 

I’m trying desperately hard to find the good in the X-E3 and I will try one out but it simply does not appeal to me right now. I feel that Fuji have spoilt a good thing by letting someone introduce trendy features onto something that was historically more traditional. It would be a shame if Fuji lost their vision after all the success they have had to date.

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Without having the camera in hand, its hard to judge how well it works, but imo the fujifilm engineers did something which was much needed: prune away some buttons. Especially with the e3 being smaller and the joystick added, all those buttons are starting to clutter up the back of the camera. Viewed in that light, the touch screen is not a trendy feature, but a replacement to still be able to use the extra functionality those buttons enabled (essentially, moving the buttons into the screen). Just because it is `trendy', it doesn't mean that this solution is bad. ^_^

Edited by Florian

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Until a hands on, I'm not sure how I feel about the touch screen screen. But as to buttons, while it was nice to customize the X-E2's buttons, I do accidentally hit them a lot and unknowingly change setting that I really didn't want to have changed at that moment, so as Florian mention in a comment the removal of buttons looks like a plus to me. I'm in the X-E? world for the light and portable.

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Providing that from October till April I'm shooting in the gloves, use built-in flash, shoot in manual mode and don't consider 6400 ISO's noise to be the worst thing in the world, I just see no reason to move from my X-E2 to E3.... and yes, I hope Fuji eliminate D-Pad in all their future cameras to give us all an equal rights.

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I stick for the time beeing with my X100T and FZ1000 until there is something out which is a real game-changer re. results. Sure 24MP is nice to have (large prints or crops) and also all the nice things like touchscreens etc. but it can wait. The hybrid systems (foto/video) will develop further fast and may be Fujifilm brings soon a monochrome camera with its great sensor and processor, this would be a blast! A X100Monochrom!! 

Edited by WaveDancer

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But as to buttons, while it was nice to customize the X-E2's buttons, I do accidentally hit them a lot and unknowingly change setting that I really didn't want to have changed at that moment, so as Florian mention in a comment the removal of buttons looks like a plus to me.

Long press on MENU/OK button will lock D-Pad and some other buttons.

It's a standard feature from Fuji exactly to prevent of accidentally hitting.

Described in manual, somewhere in beginning.

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Looks like a great camera, but a touch screen while taking winter landscape is about as much use as a chocolate fire guard.

 

That's my reaction too but I'm hoping that the other controls will allow you to bypass the touch screen altogether. 

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Long press on MENU/OK button will lock D-Pad and some other buttons.

It's a standard feature from Fuji exactly to prevent of accidentally hitting.

Described in manual, somewhere in beginning.

 

Good point.

 

I remember when Fuji comunity asked Fujifilm to bring "1 more Fn button" for better camera control and faster access to features but now we live in times when Fuji users are very happy when 4 Fn buttons have been ditched. It's 'smartphone' guys era. Soon we will read "LCD is enought".   

Edited by renes

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here is a link to mirrorlessrumors.com - http://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/nikon-confirms-new-mirrorless-sytem-camera-will-full-frame/

I quote it:"The design will be inspired by their long history of mirrorless film cameras. It will neither be fully retro nor fully modern"

If I read it correctly they'll present FF rangefinder body camera. Lets see how X-E3 will stand against it.

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here is a link to mirrorlessrumors.com - http://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/nikon-confirms-new-mirrorless-sytem-camera-will-full-frame/

I quote it:"The design will be inspired by their long history of mirrorless film cameras. It will neither be fully retro nor fully modern"

If I read it correctly they'll present FF rangefinder body camera. Lets see how X-E3 will stand against it.

 

Woul love to see first FF RF style body with EVF. Maybe a digital incarnation of Nikon SP with nice changings? With native 64iso? Amen!  

 

BTW, native 200iso in Fuji cams in 2017/18 looks like a joke. Same regards to lack of tiltable LCD in X-E3 - it's 2018!    

Edited by renes

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Woul love to see first FF RF style body with EVF. Maybe a digital incarnation of Nikon SP with nice changings? With native 64iso? Amen!  

 

BTW, native 200iso in Fuji cams in 2017/18 looks like a joke. Same regards to lack of tiltable LCD in X-E3 - it's 2018!    

 Er, .... still 2017 in this part of the universe! But I agree with you about the lack of tiltable screen (and a bunch of other things) missing from the X-E3 also regarding the Nikon mirrorless, I'm looking forward to seeing what they do.

Edited by Woodworth

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 Er, .... still 2017 in this part of the universe! But I agree with you about the lack of tiltable screen (and a bunch of other things) missing from the X-E3 also regarding the Nikon mirrorless, I'm looking forward to seeing what they do.

 

I should added "almost" in 2018.

X-E3 with fixed LCD and tiny x0.62 EVF with a few buttons now look like dinosaur cam compared to competiton from Sony, Panasonic, Olympus.  

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Fuji has X-T20 and X-T2 to compete with the others. The E-series is more specialized/cater to more specific group of people.

 

Right, that's why it does not look like X-E2 successor.

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I am in love with the new xe-3. Don’t care about ibis or tilt , I had an xt-2 and sold it, xe-3 is about size, if you want tech buy the higher end models. The xe rangefinder style and size inspires me to take more pictures and grab my camera more, no LEICA had a flip screen.....

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I had the X-E2S (which I wasn't completely happy with) and the X100T which I loved and hated. As part of the Fuji cash back period I had some plans to get an X100F and an X-E3 (which I would swap for an X-T2 if I wasn't happy). I was unsure how the touch screen would go but I knew the joystick was critical.

 

Having used the X-E3 since it's release as I was lucky enough to get one of the first ones, I can honestly say I'm sold, and not only am I not bothering to get the X100F, I'm actually selling my X100T because I simply don't need it.

 

It's not perfect, but it's pretty damn good.

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Having used an XE-2 for a couple of years (and generally like it), I was interested to try an XE-3 at Photo-Plus Expo in NYC last week. I'll only comment on a few improvements that mattered to me.

 

1) The XE-3 can now be set to use only the EVF for shooting, and the rear screen for review.  This makes it function the same way as all the traditional DSLR's I have used, and which I'm used to. The rear screen does not light up when held away from the body, unless I want it to. Shooting with a camera held out in front of me is not my choice for serious work, anyway; to see the screen clearly, I'd need to put on reading glasses. I believe, but am not certain, that the EVF only powers on when the eye sensor sees my eye at the eyepiece. I believe the new camera should have better battery life solely as a result of this change. The XE-2 cannot be set to operate this way.

 

2) The XE-3 can now be operated as follows, if you want: Center-point AF focus on the desired sharp feature, hold shutter half-depressed, re-compose as needed, and fire. For one shot, my XE-2 will operate this way, too. BUT, I cannot take a follow-up shot with the XE-2 unless I release the shutter button fully---and then, I have to re-focus and re-compose, or perhaps add a step by pressing a focus lock button. Very annoying! With the new camera, if I keep the shutter button half-depressed, I can press through again for one or more follow-up shots, with my original focus unchanged. This makes for much more fluid work. and fewer missed shots. Again, this is how many, many current pro-level cameras operate. (While I appreciate what good electronic focus systems can do, I almost never allow a camera to decide what should be sharply focused---that's my job.)

 

Seems to me that both of these changes, while seeming small, are ways to make good tools even better, and to bring them into line with the good features of other serious cameras. The XT-2 with most recent firmware runs this way, too, and perhaps the XPro-2 and Xt-20 as well (?). Yes, I could change the focus point on an XE-3 with the joy-stick, and perhaps the new point would be as sensitive and accurate as the center point. But I might be slower, working that way. I appreciate having the choice.

 

3) The power switch on the XE-3 is just a tad shorter that the XE-2 version, and does not project out past the face of the camera body quite as much. It seems much less likely to get turned on by accident, compared to my camera. My switch also moves a bit too easily, with the net result that I have often turned the camera on by mistake. Not so good for a camera with rather short battery life. I'm thinking of asking Fuji Service if they can put an XE-3 switch on my XE-2.

 

Fuji continues to listen to photographers, incorporates good ideas into new models, and probably does more than any current maker to enable updates to older cameras. Combined with knowing the value of old-school aperture and shutter controls, Fuji commands my respect more than other current camera makers.

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I see what you mean about there not being a true X-E2 replacement but I do really love the X-E3, it really could use a better eyecup and tilt LCD though, I've become used to those features in the A6000 type cameras.

 

I found this youtube video a great look into the usability of the X-E3 for those that have not had a chance to play with it yet, it's LONG but detailed and the guy is great at answering questions: https://youtu.be/IH5uy5RcXOU?t=4m11s

Edited by Peter Kent

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I don't see why all the hate? I have an X-E3 and I love its size! It feels like a X100 (and I have had the X100 and X100s) but with interchangeable lenses which is awesome! I also have (until I decide to sell it) the X-T1 and my daughter still has my old X-E1 which she loves. I had an X-Pro 1 many years ago (in camera years that is..) and it was lovely to use but quite a hunk to handle and got far too much attention from people for its looks!

 

I don't miss a flippy screen and the joystick is soooo much easier to use than a D pad, even the touch screen is OK although I rarely use it to be honest as the joystick is much simpler to me.

 

It does want you to take the camera out far more than my X-T1 ever did and the X100 was far to slow to ever catch a portrait of a child in motion and the X100s did little to improve on the speed. I never use flash so don't miss that either.

 

The eyecup could be bigger or interchangeable and apart from the poor Bluetooth implementation I don't have any complaints so far.

 

Lastly, I have read comments about the build quality but don't see any problems at all, it looks and feels well made and not plasticky unlike the X-A's and X-M. The new Leica CL looks far worse IMHO.

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