You have decided that you want a Fujifilm mirrorless camera. Of course, the Fujifilm X Series cameras offer impressive image quality, features, and handling. And they are quite affordable. In this article, we will help you choose between Fujifilm X E3 vs X T20, two entry-level mirrorless cameras that are quite popular in the market. Which one is better?
Continue reading below to find out more information about:
– The design and build quality of each model
– Which model that has better control and handling
– The comparison of their autofocus and photo burst performance
– The image quality of Fujifilm X E3 vs X T20
– Their video recording capabilities and other features
– Which mirrorless camera that is generally more recommended
Design and Build Quality
If you put these two cameras side by side, you can easily see the differences in their designs. That said, they are actually quite similar in terms of build quality and durability. Both Fujifilm X E3 and Fujifilm X T20 have magnesium top and bottom plates, but they are not weather-sealed. Both models are available in black and silver variants. See also: Fujifilm XT1 vs XT10.
Both models are really lightweight and easy to carry around. The X-E3 model is slightly lighter at 337 grams, whereas the X-T20 model is slightly heavier at 383 grams. Not a significant difference.
One main distinction that sets Fujifilm X E3 vs X T20 apart is the EVF placement. Fujifilm X E3 has its electronic viewfinder placed on the left in a “rangefinder” style. It will allow you to maintain eye contact with the subject while shooting. On the other hand, Fujifilm X T20 has a centered electronic viewfinder in a classic SLR style, which some people find more comfortable.
The EVF specifications are identical on both models. It is an OLED panel with a resolution of 2,360k dots. It has a magnification of 0.62x.
Handling and Control
Fujifilm X E3 is very comfortable to use. It has some clear space on the rear where you can rest your thumb. However, it has a fixed display screen. Although some people say that a fixed display is more robust than a tilting one, which is true, a fixed display will not allow you to make shots from tricky angles.
Fujifilm X E3 supports touchscreen control, but this is not very useful. In order to activate the AF area grid, you still need to use a function button. Besides, the AF joystick is generally more convenient to use. On the rear panel, there are very few physical buttons. The touchscreen allows you to use touch gestures in four different directions to activate four different settings of your choice.
Fujifilm X T20 is slightly bulkier, and the rear panel has many more buttons. As the effect, it is not as comfortable as the X-E3 model in use. You may end up accidentally pressing some buttons if you don’t watch where you put your fingers. However, the X-T20 model still has some big advantages.
First, Fujifilm X T20 has a tilting display with touchscreen support. This is incredibly useful for taking shots from difficult angles. It doesn’t have an AF joystick, but you can adjust the focus point via the touchscreen or the four-way D-pad. Second, Fujifilm X T20 comes with an additional dial for the drive mode, which is really handy.
Fujifilm X E3 vs X T20 use the same autofocus system, which is a hybrid autofocus system that combines phase & contrast detection. This AF system has a total of 91 focus points. It has 49 central phase-detection points – these are the only ones that you can use while shooting in Continuous AF or CH burst shooting. Interestingly, you can divide the 91 points into 325 smaller points when shooting in S-AF.
Both cameras have excellent performance in S-AF and C-AF. They are fast and reliable, even when in a difficult lighting condition. However, you need to use a lens with a fast internal AF motor. With older lenses, these cameras become slower and less accurate. Nevertheless, as long as the AF lock is correct, they will always deliver pleasantly sharp images.
Both models perform really well in sports and wildlife photography. They both have Face Detection and Eye Detection for portraits. However, Fujifilm X E3 has an additional feature called Store AF Point by Orientation, which will allow you to switch between two different focus modes by rotating the camera into a horizontal or vertical position. Fujifilm X T20 does not have it, but this is not a deal-breaker.
Shutter Speeds and Continuous Shooting
Both cameras have similar maximum shutter speeds, which are 1/4,000s with the mechanical shutter and 1/32,000s with the electronic shutter. Both cameras also have similar continuous shooting speeds, which are 8fps with the mechanical shutter and 14fps with the electronic shutter.
Be careful when using the electronic shutter. Although the AF/AE Tracking can remain active with this setting, it may cause a rolling shutter distortion if the subject is moving too fast or if you are panning too quickly. Both cameras only support UHS-I SD cards.
However, X-E3 is better for long exposures, as the T Mode can be set to a maximum of 15 minutes. It can work with the timer, so you can utilize a slow speed safely without risking moving the camera when you press the shutter. In the Bulb Mode, the maximum is 60 minutes. X-T20 only allows the T Mode to go up to 30 seconds, except if you use the Bulb Mode which also allows a maximum of 60 minutes.
Both Fujifilm X E3 vs X T20 use the same 24MP X-Trans III CMOS sensor and X-Processor Pro engine. As the effect, they should be able to deliver exactly the same levels of image quality. And, both cameras are quite impressive.
With either camera, you can shoot in uncompressed RAW or lossless compressed RAW. The latter option will allow you to save some storage space and utilize a deeper buffer capacity when shooting continuously. The dynamic range is awesome in 14-bit RAW; you can recover excellent highlights and shadows in the images.
The native ISO range is 200 – 12,800. You can extend it to ISO 100 on the lower limit and ISO 51,200 on the upper limit. However, you may benefit from Fujifilm X E3’s additional pull values, which are ISO 125 and ISO 160. All images up to ISO 12,800 are usable. They have little to no noise. At ISO 25,600, the noise becomes too excessive.
You can play around the JPEG settings to adjust the highlights, shadows, saturation, sharpness, and noise reduction. However, the noise reduction can be a bit too aggressive if you set it to anything higher than +1 or +2. Meanwhile, the automatic white balance works well most of the time.
Both cameras come with several useful features for controlling the image quality. The Auto ISO has three presets and four metering modes. However, Fujifilm X E3 has an additional mode called Live View Highlight Alert, which can be quite handy at times when you want to avoid clipping the bright zones of your image. Fujifilm X T20 does not have this feature, but it is once again not a real deal-breaker.
Video Recording and Other Features
Both cameras share similar characteristics in video recording. They are capable of recording 4K videos at 30fps, 100Mbps. They record such videos by using the entire sensor area, so there is no crop factor. It is not a full pixel readout, so you may find slight aliasing in fine details, but the overall quality is still very good. For video recording, ISO 3200 is the maximum that you can use, as anything higher than that will bring too much noise.
Both cameras are also able to record 1080p Full HD videos at 60fps. However, they don’t have higher frame rate settings for slow motion videos. The maximum video recording duration is 10 minutes in 4K, or 15 minutes in 1080p Full HD. Both cameras also have great AF performance in video recording.
Fujifilm X E3 has built-in Wi-Fi for transferring files to your mobile device. It also has built-in Bluetooth, which can be more useful when you need a constant connection for remote-controlling the camera via your smartphone.It does not have a built-in flash, but a small external one is included. On the other hand, Fujifilm X T20 comes with Wi-Fi but doesn’t have Bluetooth, and is equipped with an internal flash.
The connection ports on both cameras are similar. You can find a Micro USB port, a Micro HDMI port, and a 2.5mm socket which you can use for an external microphone or a wired remote control. Both cameras have nice tripod sockets, but you will need to unmount their tripod plates whenever you want to access the battery or SD card.
Fujifilm X E3 vs X T20
These two models have different advantages and disadvantages. However, Fujifilm X E3 is generally more recommended. It has more features, such as the AF adjustment by orientation and highlight alert, which can be quite handy. In addition, it comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The overall image quality and video recording capabilities are excellent.