Fujifilm's retro-styled X-series cameras continue their slow but inexorable series of improvements. The latest in line for an update is the rangefinder-style X-E series, with the new X-E3 taking some trickle-down tech from the X-Pro2 and the X100F — but also adding one very significant first.
That Fujifilm X-E3 first is low-energy Bluetooth 4.0, which promises easy direct uploads to smartphones using minimal power. As a X100F owner, this is Good News — and a significant improvement from the OK-but-not-fantastic Wi-Fi of previous X-series cameras, which sucks up battery power like nothing else. Bluetooth LE also allows for constant background connections, although it's not clear whether Fuji is going to be using this; even if nothing else, connections and photo sharing should be faster and more reliable than now.
The X-E3 gets some of the X-Pro2 and X100F's under-hood tech too, with the latest X-Trans CMOS III imaging sensor at 24.3 megapixels and the X-Processor Pro chip; you get 5 frames per second continuous shooting, minimal shutter and shot-to-shot lag (0.05sec and 0.25sec), start-up time of 0.4 seconds, and autofocus in 0.4 seconds flat. New autofocus tech, Fujifilm says, can track moving subjects half the size of the previous model and twice as fast.
The body and back panel has also been re-jigged to suit Fuji's current design language, shifting most all buttons to the right-hand side to make them more easily accessible to a thumb. The 3-inch screen on the rear is touch sensitive, as before, and the camera uses Fuji's interchangeable X-mount — a new 80mm f/2.8 lens was just announced, too. Just about my only complaint? The X-E3's charging/data port is still USB 2.0 and microUSB, rather than USB 3.0 and Type-C. [Fujifilm]