Fujifilm updates compact X-series mirrorless lineup with X-A3, adds 23mm f/2 lens

Love them or hate them, selfies are an important part of modern day photography, and part of the reason why phones, with their front-facing cameras, have all but replaced small, dedicated point-and-shoot cameras. Fujifilm knows this, and that’s why its new X-A3 mirrorless camera is loaded with features for the selfie photographer.

It all begins with the LCD screen. Like its predecessor, the X-A2, the three-inch, articulating monitor (920k-dot resolution) can flip up 180-degrees for perfectly framed selfies. It even slides out slightly so that the entire display is visible from the front of the camera. The screen is touch sensitive, and users can tap to focus or take a picture, or even pinch to zoom, just like a smartphone.

Another physical accommodation for selfie shooters is a redesigned grip that provides an ergonomic shooting position for both standard and selfie photography. In selfie mode, a user can press the command dial located beneath their index finger to take a picture, if they’d prefer to not use the touch screen.

Even the software has been updated with selfie users in mind, and include features like smile detection and even special timer modes that can trigger the shutter when two people come close together or the set number of people enter the frame.

While selfie tools are generally found in point-and-shoots, the X-A3 is more advanced than that. Inside the camera, the X-A3 makes use of a newly designed, 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, a significant bump up from the 16MP sensor of the X-A2. Despite being the same resolution, it does not appear to be the same unit as that used in the X-Pro2 and X-T2, as it does not bear the X-Trans CMOS III brand – more of a budget X-series. Fujifilm is using a newly developed image processor in this camera, rather than the EXR processor found in other X-series cameras. The ISO range is also one stop less than Fujifilm’s professional cameras, stretching from 200 to 6,400 (expandable to 100-25,600).

More advanced users can shoot in RAW, which the camera can process internally. For sharing or remote control, there’s Wi-Fi; the camera also supports wireless printing to its Instax Share printer.

Also in this camera are added functions to the 49-point autofocus system: release priority/focus priority and AF + MF; Pro Neg.Hi and Pro Neg.Std. film simulation modes; and panorama and time-lapse shooting modes.

Along with the X-A3, Fujifilm also announced a new lens: the Fujinon XF23mm F2 R WR. While the X-A3 is clearly built with the casual photographer in mind, this new lens is decidedly high-end. Geared for X-Pro2 and X-T1/X-T2 shooters, it features a weather-resistant design to match the build quality of those cameras. It also promises to take full advantage of the latest sensors, with an optical design that includes two aspherical elements and Fujifilm’s Super Electron Beam Coating (EBC) to ensure sharpness and reduce ghosting and flaring.

fujifilm_XF23mm
XF23mm F2 R WR

As it is a stop slower than the existing XF23mm F1.4 (max aperture at f/2, and a minimum of f/16), the new lens is also more compact and lighter weight, making it a good fit for the street or travel photographer. Fujifilm also claims it has silent and fast autofocus, with the ability to lock focus in as little as 0.05 seconds. The lens is constructed with 10 elements in six groups, including two aspherical elements and a nine-blade diaphragm.

The XF23mm F2 R WR will be available in September for a price of $450, while the X-A3 will go on sale in October for $600, which includes a 16-50mm stabilized kit lens. The camera comes in three colors (silver, brown, and pink) but the lens is only available in black. More information on either new product can be found at Fujifilm’s website.

Article originally published in August 2016. Updated on 09-28-2016 by Anthony Thurston: Fujifilm has announced that the XA3, which was originally scheduled for an October 6th release, will be delayed until at least November 10th. Fujifilm cited the quality assessment of the product during it’s development  as taking longer than originally planned as the primary reason for the delay. The company was not specific about what issues the quality assessment team ran into, other than just to say it was taking longer than expected.

Product Review

How does the sleek MateBook X Pro hold up to the modern day competition?

Huawei impressed us with the MateBook X, a solid competitor to the 12-inch MacBook that beat Apple at its own game. Now, Huawei is taking a shot at premium 14-inchers with the MateBook X Pro, but it’s not without oddities – like a…
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.
Gaming

The most common Xbox One X problems, and how to fix them

The Xbox One X is a brilliant console, but it's not without its issues, ranging from simple annoyances to severe hardware problems. Here are common Xbox One X problems and how to fix them.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high-tech and low-budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.
Photography

Full-frame mirrorless cameras just made their Hollywood debut with this thriller

The Possession of Hannah Grace isn't just a thriller -- it's also the first Hollywood feature film to be shot completely with a full-frame mirrorless camera. The film was shot with several Sony a7S II bodies and anamorphic lenses.
Photography

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

As 2018 comes to a close, Lens Rentals is taking a look at most popular cameras of the year, based on rental data. While Sony and Panasonic saw more rentals than the previous year, Canon is still the most-rented brand on the platform.
Photography

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.
Photography

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!