Thursday, May 4, 2017

My Fujifilm X-E3 Wishlist

Fujifilm X-E1
A few weeks ago I posted that Fujifilm is rumored to be releasing the X-E3 camera this coming fall. Not a lot of information was given about what changes would be made over previous X-E models, so I thought I'd offer my wish list, especially since I'm planning to purchase this camera once released. Perhaps Fuji will stumble across this article and consider my advice.

One of the first X-series cameras that Fujifilm released was the X-E1 (nicknamed Sexy One) in 2012. It was just the second interchangeable-lens camera to feature an X-Trans sensor. And it was a big hit (stores couldn't keep it in stock), at least for a moment. People loved the design and retro rangefinder aesthetics; however, it was plagued with programming issues that quickly gave it a bad rap. Fuji later resolved these problems with firmware updates, improving the camera to what it was intended to be.

In 2013 the X-E1 was replaced by the nearly identical X-E2. It featured the updated X-Trans II sensor, and had a few other small improvements, but was essentially the same exact camera as the previous model (without any of the issues that gave the other camera a bad name). It didn't fly off the shelves at the same pace that the X-E1 did when it was first released, but was overall a good selling product.

The X-E2 was replaced by the X-E2s in 2016. The "s" added to the end of the name most certainly stood for "same" because the differences between the two models are very tiny and insignificant. This camera didn't sell particularly well, partially because it wasn't really any different than the original X-E camera from 2012 and partially because the much-anticipated X-Trans III sensor would come out just a few months later.
Fujifilm X-E1
The upcoming X-E3 will no doubt have the new highly-touted 24-megapixel X-Trans III sensor, as well as the latest processor and software. It will produce identical image quality as the other cameras with this same setup (X-Pro2, X-T2, X-T20 and X-100F). This is a given.

One thing that I'd like to see (besides the updated sensor and such) on the X-E3 is an ISO dial. On my X-E1 I can adjust the aperture and shutter like an old school manual film camera, but the ISO requires jumping through menus. I usually leave the camera in auto-ISO, but sometimes I do manually set it, and when I have to it's a sore spot (there aren't many). The newest X series cameras actually already have an ISO dial, so there isn't any excuse for it to be omitted from the X-E3. I expect that it will be included, and it would be highly disappointing if it was left off for some reason.

Another improvement I'd like to see is a better electronic viewfinder. The EVF on the X-E1 is sufficient but not spectacular. It's my understanding that Fuji has made some significant strides in this department over the last several years and it certainly would be nice if those improvements found their way onto the new camera. I don't see why they wouldn't.

I imagine that there will be auto-focus improvements (as is usually the case with new models). I use a lot of manual focus lenses so this really isn't a huge deal to me, but in those rare times when I do auto-focus I'd like it to be as quick and accurate as possible. I think that the focus joystick thing that Fuji has included on some of their new cameras would be a nice addition to the X-E3.
Yashica Minister-D & Fujifilm X-E1
Duel memory card slots would be great. I don't think that this will happen (it's a feature found in the higher end models), and it's not as important nowadays as it used to be (when was the last time you had a card error?), but I would definitely welcome it.

How about 4K video? I'm not a big video guy, so it wouldn't bother me much if Fuji didn't include 4K capabilities, but it would be nice for those occasions where I do shoot video. The X-T20 has 4K video, so to should the X-E3.

Another improvement that I'd like to see would be a tilting touch screen. And if Fuji won't do that, how about either a tilting screen or a touch screen, with the tilting screen the preferred choice of the two. It's 2017, and this really shouldn't be too much to ask. Even so, photographers did just fine without any screen on the rear of the camera for--what?--17 or 18 decades, so it's really not a huge deal if Fujifilm doesn't make any change to the rear screen. But a tilting touch screen would be a nice touch to what is a nice camera.

One final improvement, and one that I personally think should be near the top, is size and weight. Anytime you can make a camera smaller and lighter you should do it. With the advancements in digital technology since the X-E1 was introduced, Fujifilm should have very little problem shaving a little off the upcoming X-E3 without compromising anything. And I hope they do.

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