Fujifilm announces X-E3, two new lenses, and several firmware updates

Update: the camera is out! Read our full Fujifilm X-E3 review for our complete take on the camera.

Fujifilm unleashed a slew of announcements today, one of which proved a longstanding rumor that until now seemed too good to be true: the addition of 4K video to the X-Pro2. But the main course of today’s news is the introduction of the Fujifilm X-E3, a $900 camera body that also offers 4K video. Naturally, having a less capable camera in the lineup that shoots 4K, when the flagship model lacks it, might have rubbed users the wrong way, so hearing that the X-Pro2 will also get an upgrade is welcoming news.

Bringing 4K video the X-Pro2 was once thought impossible due to the lack of a heat sink to manage the increased temperature of the sensor and processor. It would appear that Fujifilm has found a way to skirt around this issue, however. Compared to Fujifilm’s other flagship, the X-T2 , the X-Pro2 will still lack some high-end video functionality, like F-Log gamma and support for external recording over HDMI. The company did not confirm if the X-Pro2 would have the same, 10-minute clip length limit as the X-T2 and X-E3.

The X-E3 arrives to replace the X-E2 and is officially the most compact X-series model with a built-in viewfinder. It inherits the same 24-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X Processor Pro image processor used in the X-Pro2, X-T2, X-T20 , and X100F. Along with it comes the much improved autofocus system, and even the AF joystick found on the X-T2 and X100F, but Fujifilm has taken it a step further with a new algorithm that the company says dramatically improves tracking performance in continuous AF mode.

Comparing the X-E3 to the X-E2, based on looks, it seems Fujifilm has retained a similar retro-inspired design, with a few cosmetic changes. While the hot shoe remains, the built-in, pop-up flash has been removed. Inside, the camera has the aforementioned components — including an upgrade from the X-E2’s 16.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor. 4K recording is at 30p at 100Mbps, with continuous recording of up to 10 minutes; there’s clean HDMI-out and a mic input. There’s still Wi-Fi, but there’s also now Bluetooth Low Energy for quick, always-on pairing with smartphones.

In addition to the $900 body-only option, photographers have the choice of two kits with the X-E3. The standard, 18-55mm kit will sell for $1,300, while a kit with the XF 23mm F2 R WR will go for just $1,150.

The X-E3’s improved AF algorithm will also come to the X-Pro2 and X-T2 via firmware updates that will begin rolling out in November. Additional features coming via firmware include support for Fujifilm X RAW Studio across all current models; tethered shooting support for the X-Pro2; touchscreen operation while using the X-T20’s viewfinder; improved radio flash controller with select third-party studio flashes in high-speed sync or TTL mode for the X-Pro2, X-T2, and X100F; and the ability to transfer settings from one camera to another for the X-Pro2, X-T2, and X100F through the Fujifilm X Acquire software.

Two new lenses and an updated lens roadmap

In addition to the camera announcement, Fujifilm also revealed a new macro lens: the XF 80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR. The name is a mouthful, but there’s a good reason for that: This lens gets Fujifilm’s linear motor (LM) for silent and fast AF performance, optical image stabilization (OIS) for steady handheld shooting, and is weather resistant (WR) for use in all manner of conditions. It is also the first XF lens to offer a true 1.0 magnification ratio, making it excellent for detailed close-up shots. Billed as a premium lens, it will cost $1,200 with availability slated for November.

The second lens announced today isn’t for the X-series but for the company’s medium-format GFX system. It’s a 45mm f/2.8, offering a 36mm full-frame equivalent field of view. Like other GFX lenses, it is also weather sealed. Fujifilm advertises it as a perfect lens for street shooting thanks to its compact and lightweight nature. The lens will be available in November for $1,700.

Lastly, Fujifilm updated its XF lens roadmap to include two new models: an ultra-wide, 8-16mm f/2.8 zoom and a 200mm f/2 telephoto prime. Although the company has not said when these two lenses will be available (nor how much they will cost), they both look like very exciting additions to the X-mount lineup, at least on paper.

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