I’m trying to avoid talking about gear other than the Fujifilm X100F on this blog (because this site is about the X100F), but some of you know that my introduction to Fuji was with an X-E1, so I have been asked to share my thoughts on the X-E3. This new camera, which is the fourth generation in the X-E line, will be shipping soon.
I love the X-E line, and I loved my X-E1. It was a great camera that reignited my passion for photography like no other camera, with perhaps the X100F as the only exception. It was a joy to use. I particularly liked pairing it with vintage lenses. I was sad to let it go.
What’s great about the camera is the user experience. I was reminded of the film days, and shooting with a Canon A-E1 (one of the greatest cameras ever made, by the way). I appreciated the process of creating photographs with it. Image quality was great, too.
The only reason that I gave up the X-E1 is because, after I purchased the X100F, I stopped using it. It was a shame watching it collect dust on a shelf. I didn’t expect that the fixed-lens camera would downright replace it, but it did.
So what about the X-E3? Well, it’s a tad smaller than the previous X-E versions. It has the same 24-megapixel X-Trans III sensor found inside the X100F. It has better auto-focus. It has Acros and film grain simulation. It has the ISO dial and focus joystick. It has a touchscreen and a simplified back.
The camera is an improvement over the previous models, I’m sure of it. There are definitely some advantages. I’m not sure that I would like the touchscreen, especially since many of the physical controls were moved to that–I can see it being both positive and negative.
Here’s the deal: the X-E3 is 90% the same camera as the X-E2s, which is 98% the same camera as the X-E2, which is 95% the same camera as the X-E1. Each new generation is an improvement over the previous, but not by huge margins. The X-E3 over the X-E2s is the largest change from one model to the next, but it’s still not a massive jump. The X-E3 would seem significantly different than the X-E1, but that’s to be expected considering how many models they are apart.
If you purchased the X-E3 you will certainly be happy with that decision. You won’t regret the camera! If the MSRP is a stretch for your budget, consider one of the previous models instead, which can be found for not much money (you can find the X-E1 with a lens for under $300). I think you’ll enjoy any camera from the X-E line. If I were purchasing an interchangeable lens camera, I’d choose one of them.
Are the X-E3’s improvements enough to justify the higher cost? Maybe. I think if you routinely print poster-sized prints, or you shoot straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, or you shoot a lot of moving subjects, you may find the higher price of the X-E3 worth it. If you have an X-E1 with a lot of clicks on the shutter and you’re not confident that it will last you another couple years, perhaps it might be time to upgrade. Otherwise I’d strongly consider a previous generation X-E instead.