Hands-on Fuji X-E3
What can the little Japanese do? Since there are enough data sheets and test reports about the technical skills - and everyone who knows me knows that I don't care much about that - I want to show the most important thing for me, pictures! In order to stay as close as possible to the original, I devoted a maximum of 5 minutes to each picture in post production.
The following test report therefore is very subjective and depends on my feeling and the demandsI make on a camera.
When news about Fujifilm appeared in the past few months, it was very often about the medium format camera GFX. Fuji has built fantastic medium format cameras in the past. For example the so-called "Texas Leica", the GW690. I myself own a GL690, which mainly differs in that it enables the use of interchangeable lenses. I once read that Fujifilm was asked why they are building a digital medium format and not full frame cameras. Apparently, they have argued that upgrading from APS-C to full frame is not enough that it would be worth it. Of course, I wanted to know whether this argument would keep what it's promising!
The advantage is obvious: with 121 x 74 x 43 mm (W x H x D) and 337 g incl.battery, the small camera is very easy to carry and still has a pleasant ease of use. In combination with the Pancake lens Fujinon XF 27mm f / 2.8, which is also available in chic silver, it fits in your jacket pocket. Fuji has paid attention to the users needs and the feel has improved significantly compared to its predecessors. It is supplied with a battery, charger, belt, USB cable and a flash, since the built-in flash has probably fallen victim to the more compact size. In addition, it impresses with a great design, I personally really like the retro style!
I've been a Fuji fan since I owned an X-M1 years ago that really convinced me. The lenses in particular have always fascinated me with their imaging quality.
The practice test
Who would be better suited to test a new camera with me than the wonderful “Doomed Puppet”? Thoroughbred professional and impressive model. Together we have already cleared international prices and so the bar for the X-E3 was quite high. I have already created wonderful portraits with Daniela. She has become a friend over the last years and it is always a lot of fun to work with her.
In the photo studio 9565 we spent a day preparing for the upcoming workshop and had enough opportunity to take a lot of pictures.
EVF - I haven't been a fan of it so far
First of all, this convinced me. The image preview is very pleasant and very precise. You can work with it smoothly and there is hardly any flickering (I hardly noticed any). When working with studio flash, you can deactivate the preview of the exposure and thus get a view of the subject.
I could not notice any delays.
In my opinion, only the dimension of the EVF is
a little poor. This could be a little bit bigger.
Phase detection autofocus with 325 sensors,
Contrast autofocus with 49 measuring fields.
Fuji has to be said again and again that autofocus is not their greatest strength, especially in connection with face and eye recognition. Of course, I tested this because my Nikon D800e is not state of the art on this point and I wanted to see how the small camera from Fuji compares.
The autofocus really convinced me! I had practically no rejects - of course I take portraits and not hummingbirds - and even if the model moves a bit, the focus is always quick and reliable.
Native ISO 200 and upwards not too much air for my taste. Of course, less light hits such a sensor than a full-frame sensor and it is clear that there have to be differences, but unfortunately for ISO ISO 1600 it is over, whereby I have to say that I am subjectively quite sensitive. At least if I want to publish pictures later. However, the ISO behavior is very good for this price and camera class. In some test reports you can read that it achieves good results up to 3200.
Of course, the camera can do much more! Record panoramas, programmable fn button and setting wheels, a focus stick for quick adjustment of the focus point, Bluetooth and WiFi, the same sensor as the X-T2, 8fps up to 23 RAW files in one piece etc.
But! Pictures say more than a thousand words
At the end of the day there is only one thing for me: the picture. No matter how good the autofocus is and what great features there are, the picture has to be perfect, everything else is just "nice to have" for me. My Leica Summicron-R 50mm, which I converted for my Nikon myself, is my favorite lens, even though it does not have an autofocus, «only» opens up to max. Aperture of 2.0 and is crisp only from 2.8. It doesn't even have a automatic diaphragm and doesn't send any information back to the camera, but who cares, it takes the best pictures!
A few technical data:
At 300 dpi we get 50.8 x 33.87 cm
With an A2 print it is still approx. 250 dpi
At 60 x 100 cm still 150 dpi, which is still completely sufficient for printing in this size!
However, the quality of the pixels is more important, because the number itself does not really say much. The little Japanese girl is also convincing there, although you have to make a few compromises, you risk the somewhat unfair comparison with full-frame bodies. If you look at an image at 100% on a modern monitor, you can see a difference in detail reproduction. The contrasts and the plasticity are also not processed as well - in my opinion not quite as intense as with the full frame.
What I want?
For me it was very clear that I would like a small second camera that sometimes fits in my jacket pocket and with which I can still take pictures that meet my requirements. The little one can do it, and in connection with the really impressive Fujinon lenses, the X-E3 is now my constant companion.
I often travel with my children. And who likes to carry the photo backpack with them all the time? But everyone has wished at least once, they had done it. This camera enables me to be well equipped in such situations.
My model (body) cost 858 CHF (approx. 780 euros) and is finally a good alternative in terms of price.
I make a clear recommendation.