Body and handling

The X-E3's body is very much what we've come to expect from the series: a substantial-feeling chunk of fairly dense plastic with a metal top plate. It's a little smaller than the X-E1, 2 and 2S, but most of the space freed-up by the removal of the four way controller has been given-over to the 3.0" touchscreen on the back of the camera.

The camera fits reasonably well in the hand, with a bit of a ridge on the front and a thumb rest on the rear, to support the it. It's not hold-for hours comfortable like the handgrips offered by most modern DSLRs, but it's a comfortable and stable way to hold the camera while you're taking your shot.

Autofocus joystick

The X-E3 gets the AF joystick that we first saw on the X-Pro2 and that has gone on to significantly improve the ergonomics of both the X100F and X-T2. This is an essential, as the number of selectable points grows. When set to 91 points (a 7 x 13 grid pattern), the rear screen's touchpad does a reasonable job but if you select the finer-grained 325 point mode (a 13 x 25 arrangement), we found the joystick gave a better balance of precision and speed.

Compared with the X-E2S

As you can see, the main differences between the X-E2S and the X-E3 are the omission of the four-way controller and the loss of built-in flash, and the addition of the AF joystick.

The changes don't make much of a difference to weight, with the X-E3 losing just 13g (1/2oz), compared with its predecessor. The changes see the X-E3 lose around 8mm of width (1/4") but that's the only significant difference: the manufacturer-quoted specs give undue importance to the slightly more prominent front and rear grips, which don't make any real-world difference to the impression of the camera's size.

Auto ISO

The X-E3 has the same implementation of Auto ISO as Fujifilm's recent cameras. There are three slots available for Auto ISO settings, each of which contains a minimum and maximum ISO setting to use, along with a shutter speed threshold at which to increase the sensitivity. There's now an 'Auto' setting that relates the shutter speed threshold to the current focal length. Auto ISO is also available in movie mode but with no control over any of the parameters.

Auto ISO remains available, with exposure compensation in manual exposure mode for both stills and movie shooting.

Battery

The X-E3 continues to use the NP-W126S battery, from which it is able to squeeze 350 shots per charge, per the CIPA testing standard. These figures don't necessarily represent how many shots you'll get from the camera (so don't be surprised if you get significantly more), but they tend to be comparable with one another.