My review of X-E3

Started Sep 25, 2017 | Discussions
jarek leo
OP jarek leo Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: My review of X-E3

It took my friend, who has been using X-E1 for 6 years, whole four hours of digging through menus to discover e.g. how to enable focus peaking. I have used dozens of cameras and when I was handed out a Canon EOS-1X Mark II after ten years of not using any Canon camera, it took me an hour to work the settings out. I was completely lost with Fuji mensus, mostly because they use weird language to describe commonplace functions. But with a small prime the camera looks and feels great and takes aesthetically pleasing pictures. Lack of a tilting screen is understandable but still regrettable.

Best

Jarek

FTOG wrote:

jarek leo wrote:

I have never used any Fujifilm camera so I colloborated with a seasoned X-E1 user and a few other people on the review. Most of them ended switching the control by touch off. By "misses the mark" I mean that if Fujifilm intended to make the camera more ergonomical than X-E2/E-X1 it succeded only in part. X-E3 is better but could be much more so. It gets slightly too small and lightweight especially when paired with fast lenses, with which it is so front-heavy. And menus are for me even worse than in Sony A7 series. It is a lovely looking camera, with excellent image quality and very good AF, but did not make my cry: I want it. My review is highly subjective and YMMV.

Best

Jarek

Thanks for more details. It sort of makes sense and also "relieves" me a bit.
I use smaller lenses and am not planning to use bigger lenses.

I'll have to hold it in my hands, to experience if it is right for me, or not.

As for the menus, it hurts to hear you think they are worse than the notorious Sony menus. But let's see. I don't spend much time in the menus of my X-E2, because the Q menu has so far allowed me to bind everything to either physical controls or the Q menu.

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JohnnyLuddite Contributing Member • Posts: 748
Re: term; it has just a soap-box shape

fullstop wrote:

yes

No.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60167523

Check the aspect ratio, the use of silver and black, that it's as deep as a 35mm film spool, that it's knobs on the right are spookily reminiscent, with the flash shoe in the right place.  Granted it doesn't have the film take-up spool knob or the VF/RF ports.

As a laugh, I even thought about popping on some DIY decals for the front viewports on the X-E1,  maybe I'll do it in memoriam of the Leica IIIc!

I don't think anyone will ever rush over themselves to do a "real" digital sensor rangefinder, substituting OVF and rangefinder mechanism, interfacing to the mechanics of the LTM/Contax etc...

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jarek leo
OP jarek leo Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: My review of X-E3

Thanks for supporting me with a meanigful explanation. I am really neither that young nor that stupid to confuse a rangefinder focusing with phase-detection AF or combined view-rangefinder with EVF.

Best

Jarek

FTOG wrote:

fullstop wrote:

Geez when will people learn...it is not a rangefinder the comparison with Leica is dumb unless you compare it with the T series

I own a Leica M2, and generally agree that the term gets thrown around a bit too much.

But: The OP explicitly said "rangefinder style", referring to the design aesthetic and not the focusing mechanism. I wouldn't go so far to say, that the cameras look very much alike, but there are certainly similarities:

  • viewfinder placement
  • flat top plate (compare to SLR camera or SLR design)
  • (in case of Leica M) somewhat minimalist and clean camera surfaces
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JohnnyLuddite Contributing Member • Posts: 748
Re: My review of X-E3

FTOG wrote:

Thanks for more details. It sort of makes sense and also "relieves" me a bit.
I use smaller lenses and am not planning to use bigger lenses.

I'll have to hold it in my hands, to experience if it is right for me, or not.

As for the menus, it hurts to hear you think they are worse than the notorious Sony menus. But let's see. I don't spend much time in the menus of my X-E2, because the Q menu has so far allowed me to bind everything to either physical controls or the Q menu.

My experience with the Fuji menus, including focus peaking, were much better than Jarek describes, possibly because I had already penetrated the Sony nonsense on the Rx100.  I actually like the Q button, and obviously having the dials offers a good alternative at times.

I agree with you & Jarek about the weighting issue for bigger lenses, to me it makes no sense to have that body size when you are toting huge lenses around, and it becomes awkward/crazy to hold.

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Miki Nemeth
Miki Nemeth Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Was the confusing term "rangefinder styling" originally from Fuji marketing lingo?

jarek leo wrote:

I mean by "rangefinder styling" and that I have never intended to confuse anyone into thinking that I consider X-E3 a rangefinder camera.

You didn't intend, but actually you did, and possibly this term originally came from someone else, maybe from the Fuji marketing department, who knows now? I guess, it was absolutely intentional from a marketing officer. Using the term along with Fuji cameras that has actually nothing to do with anything rangefinder, that must be a marketing trick, I think.

Even the DPR reviewers picked the term, and I guess Jarek, simply accepted and applied this lingo.

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jarek leo
OP jarek leo Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: Calling the X-E3 a "rangefinder styling" is really controversial
2

For me X-E3 generally feels a solid piece of quality equipment. Perhaps except the joystick, which is very ... well, joisticky.

As for rangefinder confusion: then let's just call all cameras soapboxes; Nikon D850 will be a "large soapbox with a blob on top". I just think some analogies are meanigful to descibe things. I don't know if Fujfilm marketing department invented this and I don't care. I have nothing to do with Fujifilm. I was not even loaned the camera by them but by a store that seels all sorts of photographic equioment. X-E3 emulates some elements of street shooting experience with rangefinder cameras of old days: the finder is offset to the left, it is small and lightweight yet solid, descrete, quiet or even silent, etc. I just do not subscribe to describing most current cameras with a single term, because we would be unable to communicate anything meaningful. If I test a Sony a6500 against Fujifilm X-E3 and you ask me about their design would you accept "they are both soapboxes, you know" answer?

Best

Jarek

Miki Nemeth wrote:

jarek leo wrote:

I said "rangefinder styling", never said it has anything other than "looks" in common with rangefinders. I was born in 1962 so I know what a rangefinder, combined rangefinder

Hi Jarek,

Great review. What is your feeling about the build quality? Does the X-E3 feels plastic/hollow/cheap or sturdy/metal/dense/quality piece of equipment?

As for the "rangefinder styling". I'd tend to agree with those who say that it is really not a meaningful name. Why not simply call it soap-box shape or something like that. Proud rangefinder owners could be really upset when calling any camera rangefinder styling, just because it has a soap-box shape.

It's really a bad terminology, for a long time I had the impression that the X-PRO and X-100 cameras have rangefinder OVF, because of the loose, negligent, careless, improper application of the term "rangefinder styling", because it conveyed the false connotation that this camera is a kind of rangefinder. To my utter disappointment I've learned later that the X-PRO and X-100 have only a peephole, I wouldn't even call it optical viewfinder, honestly. The X-E3 is even farther away from the term rangefinder styling, it simply has a soapbox shape and an EVF, that's all. Millions of camera existed with that shape, and no one called them rangefinder styling at that time. I have an Olympus mju-II film camera, with a rounded soapbox shape, I'd never call it a rangefinder styling.

Who started using this controversial/debatable term for Fujifilm cameras? Was that Fuji's marketing department or DPR reviewers?

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JohnnyLuddite Contributing Member • Posts: 748
Re: Was the confusing term "rangefinder styling" originally from Fuji marketing lingo?

Miki Nemeth wrote:

jarek leo wrote:

I mean by "rangefinder styling" and that I have never intended to confuse anyone into thinking that I consider X-E3 a rangefinder camera.

You didn't intend, but actually you did, and possibly this term originally came from someone else, maybe from the Fuji marketing department, who knows now? I guess, it was absolutely intentional from a marketing officer. Using the term along with Fuji cameras that has actually nothing to do with anything rangefinder, that must be a marketing trick, I think.

Even the DPR reviewers picked the term, and I guess Jarek, simply accepted and applied this lingo.

I think you're absolutely right that it has been pushed by the Fuji marketing department.

BUT - it's been done specifically with a camera that's been designed & styled with the Leica III in the background - obviously not a mimic, but there is an archetype there that gets triggered when you look at it - a bit like they do with car styling, there's a huge amount of attention paid to that sort of thing.  Nice big manual knobs, a "real" photographer's camera - that's the market pitch.

I reckon peoples' purchasing decisions in these things are more influenced by that styling than they may recognise.

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jarek leo
OP jarek leo Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: My review of X-E3

Actually i like the Q menu a lot and the fact it can be controlled by touch - but my fingertips are too big and I had problems selecting the desired function with touch.

Jarek

JohnnyLuddite wrote:

FTOG wrote:

Thanks for more details. It sort of makes sense and also "relieves" me a bit.
I use smaller lenses and am not planning to use bigger lenses.

I'll have to hold it in my hands, to experience if it is right for me, or not.

As for the menus, it hurts to hear you think they are worse than the notorious Sony menus. But let's see. I don't spend much time in the menus of my X-E2, because the Q menu has so far allowed me to bind everything to either physical controls or the Q menu.

My experience with the Fuji menus, including focus peaking, were much better than Jarek describes, possibly because I had already penetrated the Sony nonsense on the Rx100. I actually like the Q button, and obviously having the dials offers a good alternative at times.

I agree with you & Jarek about the weighting issue for bigger lenses, to me it makes no sense to have that body size when you are toting huge lenses around, and it becomes awkward/crazy to hold.

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jarek leo
OP jarek leo Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: Was the confusing term "rangefinder styling" originally from Fuji marketing lingo?
2

Look at Fiat 500, which is made in my country by the way. When I say it has old Fiat 500 styling do you think I mean it has the same engine and suspension?

Jarek

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don-bosco Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: My review of X-E3

jarek leo wrote:

I have never used any Fujifilm camera so I colloborated with a seasoned X-E1 user and a few other people on the review. Most of them ended switching the control by touch off. By "misses the mark" I mean that if Fujifilm intended to make the camera more ergonomical than X-E2/E-X1 it succeded only in part. X-E3 is better but could be much more so. It gets slightly too small and lightweight especially when paired with fast lenses, with which it is so front-heavy. And menus are for me even worse than in Sony A7 series. It is a lovely looking camera, with excellent image quality and very good AF, but did not make my cry: I want it. My review is highly subjective and YMMV.

Best

Jarek

FTOG wrote:

jarek leo wrote:

Ergonomically, the camera misses the mark, but classic rangefinder Leicas, which used to rule the world of reportage photography for decades, did not fare any better in this respect.

Can you elaborate a bit on where you think the camera misses the mark?
What rubbed you the wrong way? The touch screen implementation? The removal of the D-Pad? The smaller body size?

Personally, I haven't had a chance to have the X-E3 in my hands yet, but I have reasonable hope that it might work for me. I never used the D-Pad for anything other than AF point selection, so I don't mind the replacement with a joystick and addition of a second command dial in the front. With the touch functions potentially switched off, my only (minor) concern is the camera size and reduced eye point length (glasses wearer here).

I know, you sound like you have already bought into Nikon D850 hype. And being Polish makes the situation even more subjective. Excellent images..

Miki Nemeth
Miki Nemeth Senior Member • Posts: 1,543
Re: Calling the X-E3 a "rangefinder styling" is really controversial

jarek leo wrote:

For me X-E3 generally feels a solid piece of quality equipment. Perhaps except the joystick, which is very ... well, joisticky.

I see. Thank you so much. Definitely, I'll give it a try before buying.

As for rangefinder confusion: then let's just call all cameras soapboxes; Nikon D850 will be a "large soapbox with a blob on top".

Not really, you have a chunky handgrip, too. It is really far from a soap-box.

I don't know if Fujfilm marketing department invented this and I don't care. I have nothing to do with Fujifilm. ... If I test a Sony a6500 against Fujifilm X-E3 and you ask me about their design would you accept "they are both soapboxes, you know" answer?

No problem, Jarek. Even the DPR reviewers used this misleading term, and a number of commentators criticized them that they contribute actively to spreadis this fake and misleading term. This term is really bad, many reader gets this as a message that "Fuji is making rangefinder cameras", I thought exactly this for a long time, because I didn't pay attention to the "styling", What the hell is this "styling" word mean in this context? Then I've learned, it simply refers that I=the camera body looks like a soap-box: no extensively protruding bulbous parts here and there, and has nothing to do with anything rangefinder.

Take care

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confused circle Senior Member • Posts: 1,932
Re: Calling the X-E3 a "rangefinder styling" is really controversial
1

Most people understand that style and function are two separate things. Do you get equally upset that most digital cameras look like film cameras, yet you can't comfortably stick that roll somewhere.

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 23,153
Re: My review of X-E3

You had me at "sweet looking brown border-collie-like dog". Nice article, thanks for sharing.

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JohnnyLuddite Contributing Member • Posts: 748
Re: Calling the X-E3 a "rangefinder styling" is really controversial

confused circle wrote:

Most people understand that style and function are two separate things. Do you get equally upset that most digital cameras look like film cameras, yet you can't comfortably stick that roll somewhere.

Yeh, I haven't seen users of the Nikon Df complaining about the lack of film rewind, or Auto-ISO either.  Or that they were somehow fooled into buying its retro look.

Maybe they should have included range calibration on the X-E3.  The ironic thing being that the sensors are automatically doing what the eye did with the rangefinder and more, much faster.  Hmmm.

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rlx
rlx Senior Member • Posts: 1,022
Re: My review of X-E3

jarek leo wrote:

It took my friend, who has been using X-E1 for 6 years, whole four hours of digging through menus to discover e.g. how to enable focus peaking. I have used dozens of cameras and when I was handed out a Canon EOS-1X Mark II after ten years of not using any Canon camera, it took me an hour to work the settings out. I was completely lost with Fuji mensus, mostly because they use weird language to describe commonplace functions. But with a small prime the camera looks and feels great and takes aesthetically pleasing pictures. Lack of a tilting screen is understandable but still regrettable..

Thank's for the review Jarek. I am still with my 5-years old XE1 and still looking for a good reason to change. I am not part of this debate between "rangefinder" vs "DSLR" look since all I am interested in is functionality within my constraints (left eye, livelyness, manual focus, etc).

Years ago, my daughter came to me with a used Minolta SLR film camera she wanted to buy and asked if it was worth it. The camera was loaded with a 24 exposure film. It was my first time with a Minolta. After a couple of snaps around the house, we went downtown and I took one picture of a nice street through the passenger window while driving. While waiting for a green light, I saw some car festival going on in front of me; I got out of the car, composed, took the picture and got back in the car just before the light turned green. I took a very good picture of my daughter coming out of the museum waiting with the camera prefocused. I just missed one picture.

I would say the XE3 is well desiged if one can forget the camera and just take pictures at the moment one needs to and the way one wants to; just the way I did with that Minolta. I love my XE1 but it still does not pass that simple test.  Is it a responsive camera for creative use or is it a P&S with additional buttons with sometimes half baked functionality? The answer to that question lies in the software design though since the XE3 seems to have all the right hardware one can dream of except for a tilting/articulated screen.

jarek leo
OP jarek leo Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: Calling the X-E3 a "rangefinder styling" is really controversial

It is wonderful to diagree wisely and I think this is what is happening between you and me. BTW You have excellent galleries  and you live in a wonderful country. I was in Budapest some time ago and is so much more photogenic than Warsaw. I can see we share love for FD lenses on Sony A7 series cameras. Canon FD was my first Japanese system back in 1980s/90s but back than I could not afford professional grade lenses. After I bought Sony A7 about three years ago I started buying FD lenses - now i have more of tchem than anyone could consider sane.

Best

Jarek

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jarek leo
OP jarek leo Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: My review of X-E3

Why being Polish makes the situation even more subjective? What am I missing?

Jarek

don-bos

co wrote:

jarek leo wrote:

I have never used any Fujifilm camera so I colloborated with a seasoned X-E1 user and a few other people on the review. Most of them ended switching the control by touch off. By "misses the mark" I mean that if Fujifilm intended to make the camera more ergonomical than X-E2/E-X1 it succeded only in part. X-E3 is better but could be much more so. It gets slightly too small and lightweight especially when paired with fast lenses, with which it is so front-heavy. And menus are for me even worse than in Sony A7 series. It is a lovely looking camera, with excellent image quality and very good AF, but did not make my cry: I want it. My review is highly subjective and YMMV.

Best

Jarek

FTOG wrote:

jarek leo wrote:

Ergonomically, the camera misses the mark, but classic rangefinder Leicas, which used to rule the world of reportage photography for decades, did not fare any better in this respect.

Can you elaborate a bit on where you think the camera misses the mark?
What rubbed you the wrong way? The touch screen implementation? The removal of the D-Pad? The smaller body size?

Personally, I haven't had a chance to have the X-E3 in my hands yet, but I have reasonable hope that it might work for me. I never used the D-Pad for anything other than AF point selection, so I don't mind the replacement with a joystick and addition of a second command dial in the front. With the touch functions potentially switched off, my only (minor) concern is the camera size and reduced eye point length (glasses wearer here).

I know, you sound like you have already bought into Nikon D850 hype. And being Polish makes the situation even more subjective. Excellent images..

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jarek leo
OP jarek leo Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: My review of X-E3

Thanks, she is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrreiver.

Best

Jarek

stevo23 wrote:

You had me at "sweet looking brown border-collie-like dog". Nice article, thanks for sharing.

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 23,153
Re: My review of X-E3

jarek leo wrote:

Thanks, she is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrreiver.

Best

Jarek

stevo23 wrote:

You had me at "sweet looking brown border-collie-like dog". Nice article, thanks for sharing.

Looks like a sweet one - I had an Australian Shepherd with the same expressions.

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jarek leo
OP jarek leo Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: My review of X-E3

I knew an Aussie dog that looked exactly like a Nova Scota Dusk Tolling Retriever. But each Aussie is different.

Best

Jarek

stevo23 wrote:

jarek leo wrote:

Thanks, she is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrreiver.

Best

Jarek

stevo23 wrote:

You had me at "sweet looking brown border-collie-like dog". Nice article, thanks for sharing.

Looks like a sweet one - I had an Australian Shepherd with the same expressions.

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