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.

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.


Mirrorless cameras were built to be compact, so why have they gotten so heavy?

Mirrorless cameras launched as portable alternatives to bulky and complex DSLRs -- so why are they getting bigger and heavier? Cameras are trending towards heavier models, but that change comes with more advanced features.

The Panasonic FZ1000 gets a much-needed update alongside the smaller ZS80 zoom

Panasonic's 2014 superzoom camera with a larger sensor has finally seen an update. The new Panasonic FZ1000 II has a sensor that's better for low light, more physical controls, and new 4K Photo Mode features.

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Emerging Tech

Chandra X-ray telescope uncovers evidence of the universe’s missing matter

Where is all of the matter in the universe? NASA's Chandra telescope has uncovered evidence of hot gas strands in the vicinity of a quasar which could explain the missing third of matter which has puzzled astronomers for years.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

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!

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.

The best place to print photos online in 2019

Have you been looking around for the best place to print out your favorite photos online or in store? Don't fret, we've pored through dozens of options and narrowed it down to the seven best.

Watch the construction of a 270-degree fisheye lens, the widest ever

Think you've seen wide fisheye lenses? Think again. A team from Lensrentals recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at a custom prototype 4.5mm fisheye lens, which captures a whopping 270-degree view.

NASA celebrates Earth’s incredible natural beauty with free photo book

NASA has published a fabulous new book featuring stunning imagery captured by its satellites over the years. A hardback version is available for $53, though it can also be downloaded to ebook readers for free, and enjoyed online.