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Fujifilm X-E3 versus Pentax K-3 II

The Fujifilm X-E3 and the Pentax K-3 II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2017 and April 2015. The X-E3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the K-3 II is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Pentax provides 24.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Fujifilm X-E3 vs Pentax K-3 II

The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-E3 and the Pentax K-3 II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the X-E3 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Fujifilm X-E3 vs Pentax K-3 II
Compare X-E3 versus K-3 II top
Compare X-E3 and K-3 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-3 II is considerably larger (46 percent) than the Fujifilm X-E3. Moreover, the K-3 II is substantially heavier (137 percent) than the X-E3. It is noteworthy in this context that the K-3 II is splash and dust-proof, while the X-E3 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 the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the X-E3 gets 350 shots out of its NP-W126S battery, while the K-3 II can take 720 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X-E3» 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i
Pentax K-3 II« 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 720 Y Apr 2015 1,099 i i
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i
Fujifilm X-A5« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.6 in 12.7 oz 450 n Jan 2018 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T20« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.5 oz 350 n Jan 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X70« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.7 in 12.0 oz 330 n Jan 2016 799 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.0 oz 410 n Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-E2S« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Jan 2016 699- i
Fujifilm X-A10« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.7 oz 410 n Dec 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-E2« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Oct 2013 999- i
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i
Pentax KP« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 390 Y Jan 2017 1,099 i i
Pentax K-70« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.9 in 24.3 oz 410 Y Jun 2016 649 i i
Pentax K-3« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 28.2 oz 560 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i
Pentax K-5« » 5.2 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 26.8 oz 740 Y Sep 2010 1,099- i
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-E3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 18 percent) than the K-3 II, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Fujifilm X-E3 vs Pentax K-3 II

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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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.

Fujifilm X-E3 and Pentax K-3 II sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the K-3 II offers a slightly higher resolution of 24.1 megapixel, compared with 24 MP of the X-E3. This megapixel 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 3.92μm for the X-E3). Moreover, it should be noted that the X-E3 is much more recent (by 2 years and 4 months) than the K-3 II, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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.

Unlike the X-E3, the K-3 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

X-E3 versus K-3 II MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Fujifilm X-E3» APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Pentax K-3 II« APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.613.6110680
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-A5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----
Fujifilm X-T20« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-A3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-E2S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-A10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Fujifilm X-T10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-E2« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675
Pentax KP« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i----
Pentax K-70« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i----
Pentax K-3« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.713.4121680
Pentax K-5« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/25p23.714.1116282
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the X-E3 provides a higher video resolution than the K-3 II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison: Fujifilm X-E3 vs Pentax K-3 II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-E3 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the K-3 II 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-E3, the Pentax K-3 II, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Fujifilm X-E3»2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n
Pentax K-3 II«optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 8000 8.3 n Y
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A5« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T20« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-E2S« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T10« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-E2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Pentax KP« »optical n 3.0 921 tilting n 6000 7.0 Y Y
Pentax K-70« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 6000 6.0 Y Y
Pentax K-3« »optical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 8000 8.3 Y Y
Pentax K-5« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 7.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y

Both the X-E3 and the K-3 II are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The K-3 II replaced the earlier Pentax K-3, while the X-E3 followed on from the Fujifilm X-E2S.

Review summary: Fujifilm X-E3 vs Pentax K-3 II

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X-E3 and the Pentax K-3 II? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-E3:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More compact: Is smaller (121x74mm vs 131x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 463g or 58 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 (18 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the K-3 II launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Pentax K-3 II:

  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (720 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 build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2015).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-3 II comes out slightly ahead of the X-E3 (9 : 8 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.

X-E3 08:09 K-3 II

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 handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-E3 or the K-3 II. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X-E3»Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i
Pentax K-3 II«--5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2015 1,099 i i
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i
Fujifilm X-A5« »----3.5/5 Jan 2018 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T20« »HiRec82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« »-74/1004.5/5-4/5 Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-E2S« »-77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Fujifilm X-A10« »--4/5-4/5 Dec 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« »HiRec80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-E2« »-80/1004.5/5-5/5 Oct 2013 999- i
Panasonic GX8« »Rec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i
Pentax KP« »-82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,099 i i
Pentax K-70« »-79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2016 649 i i
Pentax K-3« »-83/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i
Pentax K-5« »-83/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,099- i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i

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. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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