25 Nov Fuji X-E3 – what I like and what not
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Source: Fujifilm Insider
This is kind of an addendum to my original post about the Fuji X-E3. I got this camera body (my first Fuji ever!) directly after it hit the shelves in very late September, 2017. Below is a list of observations from my own personal experience with the camera since then. I will maybe update this post whenever I feel it’s worth it!
What I like and what not – after around 5 weeks of use
Let’s start with the positive stuff!
- The user interface
I like how it works. Really perfect for me. The clearly labeled controls for aperture (on the lens), shutter speed and exposure compensation are perfect for me. But it has some small glitche so will also come up in the negative list.
- The joystick
This is really a joy! Makes changing your auto focus point such a breeze. Feels so natural to me. Also feels nice and easy to browse through the menus with the joystick. Sooow much better than pressing those four-way buttons of the past. I love this!
- Image quality
Coming from the Olympus PEN-F, I feel that the sensor is a step up in terms of dynamic range and also details (if you use the right RAW converter). Regarding the details, I find the lenses very well – at least those that I own myself or tried more extensively so far: 14/2.8, 23/2, 50/2, 56/1.2.
- Quality of JPG images
I have to say up front I am a diehard RAW user. But the JPG out of camera from the Fuji often have a nice look to them. The colors seem to be very nice. I don’t exactly like the rendering of really fine details – a proper RAW conversion will always yield some extra data. And with a lot of motives, especially when lighting conditions are challenging, JPG out of cam won’t really make the best use of the dynamic range of the sensor. But that’s normal for all cameras. Still, there are plenty images where the JPG already looks really nice to me. I find myself adjusting RAW files to my tasting and then, when I compare it to the JPG afterwards, I found that I basically re-created the look that the camera found automatically itself.
- Quality feel and size/weight
The camera is not as superbly finished as the Olympus PEN-F. But overall it has a nice quality feel in your hand. I remember that many years ago I used a Panasonic DMC-L1 camera, back then that was a rather upmarket DSLR body with Micro Four Thirds sensor. That camera, though, felt just a bit hollow in my hands. It felt too lightweight to create a quality feel. Now the Fuji X-E3 is also very lightweight. But it still feels just solid and well-balanced. Again, the note: You have to grab every camera with your own hands and find out if you like it!
I know, the Fuji X-E3’s electronic viewfinder is a point of debate. So I have to stress I don’t wear glasses (yet) and I successfully trained myself to use the right (instead of the left) eye for the viewfinder, back when I got the Olympus PEN-F. These rangefinder-style bodies are just so much nicer to use with the right eye. Anyway, I really like the view through the viewfinder. I remember that on older Fuji bodies the electronic image still looked very artificial, “digital”. This is no longer the case with the current generation. Also I find it big enough for all my needs. And I like the layout of the information like shutter speed or aperture. Less intrusive than on the Olympus. The Sony A7 cameras also had a nice information layout. But, again: You have to try every viewfinder with your own eyes to find out of you are happy with it.
- AF point selection
This is one of the most excellent features of the X-E3, really. Just push around the AF point with the little joystick. No buttons to be pressed. Just a breeze. Awesome!
- Split screen manual focus aid
In addition to the usual focus peaking feature, the Fuji also adds a split screen simulation. Wow! This feels soooow much more “natural” and less “digital”. The only small gotcha is that I think that the splitting itself could be more pronounced. In other words, I turn the focus ring of the lens and I think that the split images should move further than they do now. Like you can adjust the strength of focus peaking, you maybe should also be able to adjust the strength of the split screen feature. But overall: I love it!
- Automatic switching between viewfinder and screen image
All these mirrorless cameras sport a small sensor right at the viewfinder port that senses the approaching eye and switches automatically between viewfinder and screen. What I really like about the X-E3 is that I (so far) never had any issue with that sensor, like I frequently had with the Olympus PEN-F. The Olympus’ little sensor often was triggered by sunlight, despite my eye right at the viewfinder. The Fuji is better here, never an issue so far and feels very responsive.
- No built-in flash anymore
Again, this might seem controversial to some. But look at the top deck of the previous Fuji X-E1 or X-E2 and you’ll see how they squeezed all the dials and the accessory shoe to the right, just to make room for that pop-up flash there. And the plastic cover of that flash also did not really match the material and finish of the top deck itself. We have 2017 today. We have sensors that take beautiful images in darkness. We value camera bodies with a nice clean design. The X-E3 is much cleaner than the X-E2 and part of that is because they – finally! – omitted that pop-up flash. (Don’t worry, if you really need such a small flash for whatever reasons: A seperate little flash unit is included for free!)
Now to what I don’t like about the X-E3:…
Fuji X-E3 – what I like and what not posted on Fujifilm Insider on .