The perfect transition camera is hard to find. You need one with enough controls to facilitate learning but without so many that you find yourself lost. Making the jump between a point and shoot and a DSLR often involves a few hits. After all, you want something slightly more professional but who wants to sacrifice on fun? The Fujifilm X Series X-A3 24.2 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera - 1080p - Brown - Body Only only is one of those rare fantastic transition cameras. The sensor stands up compared to other products on the market and photo quality is excellent without sacrificing usability. Plus, it has unique features like a swivel LCD screen and Wi-Fi, making it a camera for those with social obligations to keep up with.
We find that the Fujifilm X-A3 is as stylish as it is practical. Scroll through our full review – we’re sure you’ll agree.
Fujifilm X Series X-A3 24.2 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera - 1080p - Brown - Body Only
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What Is the Fujifilm X Series?
Fujifilm X Series X-A3 24.2 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera - 1080p - Brown - Body Only combines the traditional look of a camera – think your parents or grandparents old camera – with the same technology you’ve come to expect in a 21st-century camera.
The line is aimed at both experienced enthusiasts and professionals with the aim of showing you how to “fall in love with photography all over again.”
Look and tech is the only common denominators across the range. Unlike other product ranges, the models across the X series don’t share a common lens format, sensor size, or even baseline tech. A quick glance at the full list of X series cameras will show you just how varied these cameras are across every possible area.
Where Does the X-A3 Fit?
The Fujifilm X-A3 is the next generation in the X Series following the X-A2 camera.
The X-A series is what is known as a compact camera system. Compact camera systems are similar to the principles used in DSLR tech. To produce a photo, light flows into the camera’s body, which then leaves an image on the camera sensor.
In a DSLR or SLR, there’s a mirror system in place to reflect the light from the body up to the optical viewfinder.
A compact camera system like the Fujifilm X-A series is missing the mirror system; hence, it’s a “mirrorless compact camera system.”
Fujifilm considers the X-A3 to be an entry-level mirrorless camera.
How Does the Fujifilm X-A3 Work?
The Fujifilm X-A3 is a user-friendly social camera designed for budding photographers who care about image quality but who aren’t quite ready for a high-end camera.
Before diving into usability, let’s talk about the camera’s specs:
Here’s what you need to know:
The camera design is one of the points Fujifilm chooses to emphasize about the camera. It’s a retro design that trends towards fashionable rather than old-fashioned. The camera itself is made of aluminum and is covered in faux leather that makes the texture grippier and great for selfies while also adding interest visually.
You can purchase the camera in silver, pink, or brown, making it suitable those who want a neutral camera and those who see it as a fashion accessory.
The sensor on the camera isn’t professional grade, but it’s a step above those point and shoot standards. Fujifilm chose a 24MP sensor with a Bayer color filter. While that keeps the price point down, other X series cameras were blessed with an X-Trans sensor, which is superior and more exotic.
If you’re an advanced or professional photographer, neither the A-3 nor any of the X series A models is likely to work for you.
We do like that the ISO range can be expanded from 200-6400 to 100-25,600. However, the choice of the sensor does confirm Fujifilm’s assertion that the camera is for mass use – and entry-level photographers – rather than professional use.
The screen is one of the biggest selling points for this camera compared to other cameras within.
It offers 3” LCD screen with touchscreen functionality. But Fujifilm allows more than just push buttons or controls. It also offers three functions: Touch AF, Touch Zoom, and Touch Zoom. Each mode provides a zoom experience that mimics using a smartphone. Zoom features like this are more intuitive, making them ideal for those transitioning from smartphone photography into working with a fully-fledged camera.
The screen also offers 180 turning, so you can leave it in place on the back of the camera or flip it around to face you in selfie mode.
Ultimately, we agree that the screen sells this camera more than the rest of the specs.
As a note:
Because it’s a mirrorless compact camera system, there’s no viewfinder on this camera, so you’ll use the screen for virtually all functions.
Don’t despair, though, if a viewfinder is important: there’s a hot shoe for adding a viewfinder if working without one is a deal breaker.
If you’re looking to step up your photography game, you’ll be interested in the wide number of shooting modes available with the camera including:
Within scene position mode, choose from:
With so many options to choose from you’ll be able to grow your skills. However, there aren’t so many customizable options that you’ll wind up in trouble.
The combination of design and features make it a very usable camera. As you hold it, you’ll have a good grip on the front while allowing your forefinger to fall naturally on the shutter release button.
The grip is there, but if you’re used to a camera with a specially designed grip, you’ll find it lacking.
Although the camera is small, it’s still a decent size to offer controls that are easy to maneuver without too much trouble.
Image quality is fantastic for a compact camera system. Each image size should hang out around 7Mb when you use the 24-megapixel setting.
The images are well saturated without looking fake or photoshopped. However, there’s a setting that allows you to take ‘flatter’ pictures, which are easier to work within your editing suite of choice. If you’re not editing, you’ll likely find that the simulation modes add unique properties to your shots that make them stand out on their own.
One of the biggest value propositions for this camera among an enthusiast market is that the all-purpose metering is useful in more ordinary photography scenarios, so you don’t have to do much tinkering to achieve a perfectly balanced exposure.
What Makes the Fujifilm X Series X-A3 24.2 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera - 1080p - Brown - Body Only Unique?
The unique aspect of the Fujifilm X-A3 is that it’s hard to find. Fujifilm created this model specifically for the UK-based camera store Jessops. They’re hard to find in America or even order online.
Additionally, the X-A3 is the smallest out of the X series compact camera systems. It's not quite pointed and shoot size, but it isn’t as hefty as other models with similar specs.
The weight isn’t so important until you realize that the camera was designed for easy one-handed use. It’s meant to be a professional grade camera capable of a great selfie. The weight combined with a grip on the front of the camera and the eye tracking capabilities mean you can selfie it up with a professional camera.
The Fujifilm camera isn’t widely available, and so public perception tends to be limited. Professional reviews find it to be a solid camera for the value proposition: an entry-level camera designed with style and selfies in mind.
There are two things people tend to like about the camera. First, the price is fantastic even for an entry-level camera without amazing specs, particularly compared to similar Sony models.
Second, the screen is worth the buy for its usability. Even today, touchscreen displays aren’t as common as they could be and although Sony used the 180 flip display a few years before the X-A3 came out, Sony prices are still unrealistic compared to Fujifilm cameras.
How It Compares
There’s a lot of competition both within Fujifilm’s line-up and among competitors like Canon, Olympus, and Panasonic, so let’s break the Fujifilm X-A3 compared to its competitors within and outside of the model range.
Fujifilm vs. Outside Competitors
Fujifilm used an APC-C 24 MP sensor in the camera, which doesn’t meet the expectations of professional photographers but far outweighs competitive models.
The battery life on this camera is also spectacular when it meets its full potential. Fujifilm says you’ll get 410 shots out of a fully charged battery without connecting to WiFi.
Fujifilm’s battery life is fantastic compared to both models in its category and high-end DSLR models. You’ll often expect somewhere north of 200 shots with an ideal range between 250 and 300. So, 410 shots per charge have a value proposition particularly for those who consider themselves to be a bit more snap-happy.
Beyond sensor size and resolution, the camera tends to be middle of the road among other cameras in its category. For example, it offers 1080/3p video rather than 1080/60p or even better – the 4K/UHD offered by the Panasonic GX850.
Fujifilm X Series X-A3 24.2 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera - 1080p - Brown - Body Only vs. Other X Series Models
The X-A3 is one of the few cameras in this class at its price point. The best models within the Fuji series to compare it to are the X-A10 and the X-E2S.
The X-A10 is an entry-level camera with tech that has existed for several generations. It’s only $100 less than the X-A3, which typically makes the X-A3 a better camera not just regarding specs but for the money as well.
However, the A3 is miles behind the X-E2s which has an X-Trans sensor and a max ISO of 51200 compared to the 25600 on the A-3. You’ll also get an additional frame per second on the max burst and a greater number of customizable control options with additional performance.
The RRP on a brand new Fujifilm X-A3 can range from £499 (GBP) or $599 (USD).
What We Think
We think it’s an excellent camera and it does what it says. It’s not pretentious and its style-inspired, which certainly has a niche market among bloggers and marketers who are entering the photography.
You won’t like this product if you’re looking for a professional-grade camera. Entry-level cameras are all about cost-cutting – hence the sensor downgrade – and you simply won’t have the control you’re looking at. However, if you want a quick upgrade from a point and shoot to walk around with, you could still enjoy this camera.
With an epic battery life, decent sensor, and a versatile screen, you can use this camera in all kinds of exciting ways and take your photography game to the next level.
Plus, it's a great entry camera for the Fujifilm range, allows you access to a huge line of lenses.