Fujifilm X-E1 vs Pentax K-3
The Fujifilm X-E1 and the Pentax K-3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and October 2013. The X-E1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the K-3 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 24.1 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 Pentax K-3? 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 Pentax K-3 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions 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 Pentax K-3 is notably larger (35 percent) than the Fujifilm X-E1. Moreover, the K-3 is substantially heavier (129 percent) than the X-E1. It is noteworthy in this context that the K-3 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.||Pentax K-3||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|3.||Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|4.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E2S||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Jan 2016||699|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|12.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|13.||Pentax KP||132 mm||101 mm||76 mm||703 g||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099|
|14.||Pentax K-3 II||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2012||1,099|
|16.||Pentax K-5||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099|
|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.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 somewhat lower price (by 23 percent) than the K-3, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the K-3 offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the X-E1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 4.80μm for the X-E1). However, it should be noted that the K-3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the X-E1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. 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 Pentax K-3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the K-3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20 inches or 76.4 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16 inches or 61.1 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.1 x 13.3 inches or 50.9 x 33.9 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 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 Pentax K-3 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|14.||Pentax K-3 II||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.8||14.1||1235||82|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the K-3 provides a faster frame rate than the X-E1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-E1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the K-3 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X-E1 and Pentax K-3 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Fujifilm X-E1||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|2.||Pentax K-3||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon 70D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n|
|4.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T20||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E2S||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A2||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E2||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n|
|12.||Fujifilm X-M1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|13.||Pentax KP||optical||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/6000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Pentax K-3 II||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||Y|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Pentax K-5||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony NEX-6||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
One feature that differentiates the K-3 and the X-E1 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The K-3 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the X-E1 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.
The Pentax K-3 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 K-3 write their files to SDXC cards. The K-3 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X-E1 only has one slot. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 Pentax K-3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X-E1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Pentax K-3||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 70D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T20||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E2S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Fujifilm X-M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Pentax KP||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Pentax K-3 II||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Pentax K-5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the K-3 has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The X-E1 lacks such a headphone port.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax K-3 (unlike the X-E1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the X-E1 and the K-3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X-E1 was replaced by the Fujifilm X-E2, while the K-3 was followed by the Pentax K-3 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Pentax websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Pentax K-3? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Fujifilm X-E1:
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More compact: Is smaller (129x75mm vs 131x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 450g or 56 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (23 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).
Arguments in favor of the Pentax K-3:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 23%.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/24p).
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 460k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.3 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (560 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- 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.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-3 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 Pentax K-3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-E1 or the K-3. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.||Pentax K-3||4/5||..||..||83/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|3.||Canon 70D||5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|4.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||5/5||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E2S||4.5/5||..||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|12.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|13.||Pentax KP||4/5||..||3/5||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,099|
|14.||Pentax K-3 II||4.5/5||..||..||..||5/5||5/5||Apr 2015||1,099|
|15.||Pentax K-5 II||5/5||..||..||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,099|
|16.||Pentax K-5||4/5||..||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099|
|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.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon G5 X vs Fujifilm X-E1
- Canon M100 vs Fujifilm X-E1
- Canon SX520 vs Pentax K-3
- Canon SX720 vs Pentax K-3
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Fujifilm X-E1
- Fujifilm X-E1 vs Fujifilm X-E2
- Fujifilm X-E1 vs Nikon D800E
- Fujifilm X-E1 vs Panasonic GX8
- Leica M10-P vs Pentax K-3
- Olympus E-M5 II vs Pentax K-3
- Pentax K-3 vs Sony A7S II
- Pentax K-3 vs Sony WX800
Specifications: Fujifilm X-E1 vs Pentax K-3
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||Pentax K-3|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2012||October 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 1,299|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Pentax K-3|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.16 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||6016 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||3.90 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.34 MP/cm2||6.56 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor||PRIME III|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||80|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1216|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Pentax K-3|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Pentax K-3|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||8.3 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Pentax K-3|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Pentax K-3|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||560 shots per charge|
129 x 75 x 38 mm
(5.1 x 3.0 x 1.5 in)
131 x 100 x 77 mm
(5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||350 g (12.3 oz)||800 g (28.2 oz)|
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