If you have ever used a Fujifilm camera over the last several years, you will know how integral the d-pad has been to the control layout of the camera. Not only was this how you would navigate the menus, but this was also a whole array of function buttons that you could set in the menu. Which makes the revelation in some recent reports that the upcoming Fujifilm X-E3 will not have a d-pad at all.
One aspect of the X-E3 that has been reported for some time now is that it will have the AF joystick that the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01I3LNMAM’ text=’X-T2′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d561c88b-8c10-11e7-ae49-c555c0be1e66′] and X-Pro2 enjoy, and more recent reports indicate that it is expected to have a touch screen as well, something the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01A8DUR74′ text=’X-Pro2′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5de460e3-8c11-11e7-92d4-2d84f4fd7e8b’] lacks.
So, and now I am speculating here, maybe Fujifilm is saving space making the camera smaller by removing the d-pad and moving all control functionality to the touch screen and AF joystick? That would make sense, and if implemented well shouldn’t be an issue, but it is really notable because of what I mentioned above, the d-pad has been an integral part of controlling and interacting with X-Series cameras pretty much since the beginning. So a move away from that in the X-E3 would be a big indicator as to where Fujifilm may be heading with their cameras… or it could also just be an experiment and way to differentiate the X-E lineup from the X-T lineup, we will have to wait and see.
In addition to the big potential changes noted above, some other notable points from the latest round of reports are that the X-E3 is also expected to have a full auto-switch, and no pop-up flash and no shutter/ISO combo dial. On a personal level, I am disappointed about the no shutter/ISO combo dial, I am a big fan of that on my X-Pro2, but I realize that in addition to being more expensive, it is also a controversial feature that you either love or hate. So, assuming the X-E3 still has control wheels making it easy to change ISO, it is not the end of the world.
Currently, as noted over on FujiRumors, the X-E3 is expected to be announced sometime this fall, maybe just ahead of the PhotoPlus Expo in October. So we shouldn’t have long to wait now to get our answers to all the remaining questions about what Fujifilm is going to do with the X-E line, and if these latest reports are accurate then it seems we may be in for some interesting talking points.