remap named buttons to other camera
settings in the menu, making the X-E3
nicely customizable. One gripe though:
There’s no dedicated video recording
button on the camera and none of the
programmable options let you assign video
recording to a button or display swipe.
The only other design quibble we had
was the location of the tripod socket.
It sits almost directly next to the battery
and memory card compartments, making
them impossible to open when you have
a quick-release plate attached. Also, and
this could be an issue with our model,
we found the memory card literally leapt
out of the slot when you applied pressure
to the spring-loading mechanism. It was
pretty funny when we weren’t expecting
it (and it landed safely on the office floor),
but it would be less amusing if our card
flew from the camera into the mud or
down a ravine (though we don’t make a
habit of standing over those).
Our subjective measure of the X-E3 found
little to disappoint. Colors were richly
saturated, skin tones pleasant and RAW
files had ample dynamic range to pull back
highlights and shadows. JPEG images
looked great in the standard film simulation
setting, though we noticed a slight tendency
to push up the contrast.
There’s very little visible noise as
you push the camera into higher ISOs.
Image quality is very solid through
Videos showed a fair amount of
contrast and the occasional crushed
black but were otherwise also
very pleasant and color accurate.
Unfortunately, 4K videos are capped
to ten-minute clips. We do like the
ability to use film simulations during
video recording, though.
The X-E3 has a new image-recognition
algorithm to enhance AF tracking on moving
subjects. Thanks to the algorithm, the camera
can track subjects half the size or moving twice
as fast as previous cameras. In our experience,
tracking was fairly reliable, though definitely
not class-leading. You have a generous number
of AF points to choose from (325) with about
70 percent of the frame (vertically) covered by
AF points. That coverage isn’t comparable to
Sony’s APS-C line, but it’s still quite good.
The X-E3 has a fairly speedy burst rate
of 8 fps when shooting with a mechanical
shutter but you can bump the speed to
11 or 14 fps using an electronic shutter.
Unfortunately, you have to first set the
camera to electronic shutter mode before
selecting these higher burst rates—the
camera won’t automatically switch for you
(even, curiously, when you set the camera to
mechanical + electronic shutter mode).
You’ll enjoy a CIPA-rated battery life of
350 images, which is solid performance for
a camera in this class.
If you want the classic styling and image
quality that Fujifilm’s mirrorless models
are known for, the X-E3 gets you there on
a budget. You won’t get the same video
features, AF and tracking performance as
you would on Sony’s a6300, but you do get
a nicely well-rounded camera.
GEAR & TECHNIQUES PRODUCT REVIEWS
PROS: Excellent resolving power; one of
the lightest cameras in its class; excellent
image quality and dynamic range; novel
swipe-based interface; Bluetooth Low
Energy for image transfers.
CONS: 4K video clips capped at 10 minutes; no
assignable video recording button; fixed display.
PRICE: $900 (body)
E;M;; MARK III
Here’s something to ponder. Movie theater
popcorn, in all its stale, salt-ridden glory,
hasn’t changed much in decades and
yet seemingly costs more with every
visit. Digital cameras, on the other hand,
continue to improve significantly year
after year while the prices have only fallen,
bringing technology that was inaccessibly
to many budgets in the past into the hands
of the masses in the present.
The third iteration of Olympus’ entry-level OM-D camera, the E-M10 Mark
III, is a perfect example. At just $650,
it delivers features like in-body image
stabilization, 4K video recording and
speedy burst modes at a price that’s just
about comparable to our last trip to the
NOTES FROM THE
TIPA TEST BENCH
PDN is a member of the Tech-
nical Image Press Association,
which has contracted with Image
Engineering for camera testing. For the full lab
report, please see: http://bit.ly/2AwLBR
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III uses its
16-megapixel sensor fully at the lowest ISO of
200 (100 percent of the theoretical maximum;
1725 line pairs per picture height). All resolution
measurements are improved in the Olympus
OM-D E-M10 Mark III over the Mark II.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
makes excellent use of its sensor at all the
lower ISO speeds: at ISO 400, it used 95
percent of the theoretical maximum (1649 line
pairs per picture height), and at ISO 3200, 91
percent (1568 line pairs per picture height).
Even at ISO 6400, it uses 85 percent of its
sensor (1476 line pairs per picture height).
These numbers are supported by
subjective visual inspection of images shot
ABOVE: Fans of Fuji’s image quality won’t be
disappointed in the X-E3.
ABOVE: The X-E3 is the Tinder of digital cameras,
with a swipe-based interface that lets you quickly
find camera settings with a flick of your finger.