Fujifilm X-E1 vs X-Pro3
The Fujifilm X-E1 and the Fujifilm X-Pro3 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and October 2019. Both the X-E1 and the X-Pro3 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The X-E1 has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the X-Pro3 provides 26 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Fujifilm X-Pro3? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Fujifilm X-Pro3 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 is notably larger (21 percent) than the Fujifilm X-E1. Moreover, the X-Pro3 is substantially heavier (42 percent) than the X-E1. It is noteworthy in this context that the X-Pro3 is splash and dust-proof, while the X-E1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
Concerning battery life, the X-E1 gets 350 shots out of its NP-W126 battery, while the X-Pro3 can take 440 images on a single charge of its NP-W126S power pack. The power pack in the X-Pro3 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Fujifilm X-E1||129 mm||75 mm||38 mm||350 g||350||n||Sep 2012||999|
|2.||Fujifilm X-Pro3||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||497 g||440||Y||Oct 2019||1,799|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T4||135 mm||93 mm||64 mm||607 g||500||Y||Feb 2020||1,699|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T3||133 mm||93 mm||59 mm||539 g||390||Y||Sep 2018||1,499|
|5.||Fujifilm X-H1||140 mm||97 mm||86 mm||673 g||310||Y||Feb 2018||1,899|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399|
|9.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|10.||Fujifilm X-T2||133 mm||92 mm||49 mm||507 g||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|11.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|12.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|13.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399|
|14.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|15.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|16.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||140 mm||82 mm||43 mm||450 g||300||n||Jan 2012||1,699|
|17.||Sony NEX-6||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The X-E1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the X-Pro3, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the X-Pro3 offers a higher resolution of 26 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the X-E1. This megapixels advantage translates into a 27 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the X-Pro3 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 4.80μm for the X-E1). However, it should be noted that the X-Pro3 is much more recent (by 7 years and 1 month) than the X-E1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm X-Pro3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-Pro3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 31.2 x 20.8 inches or 79.2 x 52.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25 x 16.6 inches or 63.4 x 42.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.8 x 13.9 inches or 52.8 x 35.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X-E1 are 24.5 x 16.3 inches or 62.2 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 13.1 inches or 49.7 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 10.9 inches or 41.5 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The X-Pro3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X-E1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Fujifilm X-Pro3 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-51200.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the X-Pro3 provides a better video resolution than the X-E1. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the X-E1 is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the X-Pro3 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the X-E1 (3690k vs 2360k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-E1, the Fujifilm X-Pro3, and comparable cameras.
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X-E1 has one, while the X-Pro3 does not. While the built-in flash of the X-E1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-Pro3 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-Pro3 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X-E1 and the X-Pro3 write their files to SDXC cards. The X-Pro3 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X-E1 only has one slot. The X-Pro3 supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the X-E1 can use UHS-I cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X-E1 and Fujifilm X-Pro3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the X-Pro3 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the X-E1 does not provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Fujifilm X-Pro3 (unlike the X-E1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The X-Pro3 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the X-E1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X-E1 was succeeded by the Fujifilm X-E2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Fujifilm X-Pro3? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-E1:
- More compact: Is smaller (129x75mm vs 141x83mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 147g or 30 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2012).
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-Pro3:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (26 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 27%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/24p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3690k vs 2360k dots).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 460k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (440 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 1 month of technical progress since the X-E1 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-Pro3 is the clear winner of the contest (22 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Fujifilm X-Pro3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-E1 or the X-Pro3. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm X-E1||4/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|2.||Fujifilm X-Pro3||4/5||+||85/100||4/5||..||Oct 2019||1,799|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T4||5/5||+ +||..||5/5||5/5||Feb 2020||1,699|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T3||5/5||+ +||88/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2018||1,499|
|5.||Fujifilm X-H1||..||+||86/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,899|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399|
|9.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|10.||Fujifilm X-T2||5/5||+ +||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|11.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|12.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|13.||Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399|
|14.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|15.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|16.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||5/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||1,699|
|17.||Sony NEX-6||5/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Fujifilm X-E1 vs Fujifilm X-Pro3
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X-E1||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Fujifilm X mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2012||October 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 1,799|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6 mm||23.6 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.16 mm2||368.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||26 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||6240 x 4160 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.34 MP/cm2||7.05 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||160 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor||X-Processor 4|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||3690k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||1620k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/32000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||Dual UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.1|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||440 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
129 x 75 x 38 mm
(5.1 x 3.0 x 1.5 in)
141 x 83 x 46 mm
(5.6 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||350 g (12.3 oz)||497 g (17.5 oz)|
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