Thoroughly Upgraded From Within

Fujifilm X-T3

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Fujifilm X-T3

Calling it a “new standard in mirrorless”, the X-T3 is Fujifilm’s successor to the highly capable X-T2, and the first camera to get their latest 26MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor. This back- illuminated sensor is paired with a new X Processor 4 image processing engine that has the camera processing about three times faster than the X-T2 and X-H1 before it. Up to 30fps continuous capture is possible using the electronic shutter, so the X-T3 is certainly fast.  

From a physical perspective, nothing has changed compared to the X-T2. However, the touch screen now gains added functionality. Like the GFX 50R, swiping up, down, left or right activates (or deactivates) a custom function that you can assign, so you have custom functions available at a touch. 

That, plus the Q-menu (which now supports touch a la the X-H1) makes the X-T3 one of the most customizable cameras on the market at the moment. Touch really takes away the need for menu diving, but it takes a bit of getting used to as it’s fairly easy to accidentally swipe across the screen and activate a function. 

Handling-wise, the X-T3 feels very much like the X-T2, even though the newer camera is actually slightly taller and deeper measuring (132.5 x 92.8 x 58.8mm compared to 132.5 x 91.8 x 49.2mm). The top dials have been made slightly larger to match those of the X-H1, but made a bigger difference was just how much snappier the new camera was.

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Not needing the extra VG-XT3 battery grip to enable boost mode allows you to keep the overall size of the camera down while still getting the 100fps viewfinder refresh rate. Blackout free shooting at 30fps means you can really follow the action, and adding Phase detection AF to the entire frame certainly speeds up autofocusing immensely. 

AF tracking works extremely well with both stills and video, and the camera now does a better job at picking up faces (and eyes) as the focus point seems to snap over faster. Eye-detection AF now works in AF-C mode too, so that’s definitely a boon for shooting sports or dance. 

The one time we had issues was when the face we were trying to track wasn’t the brightest in frame, as the AF point would tend to snap away. Still, all it took was a quick adjustment of the AF-C settings to preset 2 to solve that issue so it’s more a case of using the right presets for the appropriate scenario. 

There’s also a new Pre- Shoot function on the X-T3 which works much like the RX100 IV’s “End trigger”, but with stills. Once you half- press the shutter button to focus, the camera will start taking pictures, stopping when you full press down – handy for trying to catch just the right moment. 

There’s plenty of fine detail to be had at the lower ISOs too, and the sensor has pretty good latitude for post-processing in both highlights and shadows. Where the camera performs slightly worse than its predecessor is in the high ISO department. Despite the fact that the camera focuses much better in low light, it also seems to be more prone to detail loss due to aggressive noise reduction, and luminance noise starts to creep in from ISO levels 6,400 onwards, leading to a loss of fine detail. As such, we’d recommend staying below ISO 25,600. 

Whether it’s stills or video capture, the X-T3 is much improved over its predecessor. The modest resolution increase belies the benefits of much faster operating capabilities, but when it comes to capturing that decisive moment, speed and accuracy trumps all. Paired with good lenses and proper technique, this is one camera that can handily take on all manner of assignments with ease. 

It’s great to see that Fujifilm added the ability for the camera to be charged by a power bank, as that greatly increases your options when traveling or using the camera for long periods. Also good, is the fact that you no longer require the additional vertical grip to enable all the boost mode functions, as this means you can truly keep your setup as nimble as possible. Add to that the fact that it is being sold some $300 lower than the launch price of the previous X-T2, and it’s easy to see how the X-T3 is a winner.

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At ISO 25,600 details turn to mush. 

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The fast speed of capture lets you freeze motion to get just the right instant. 

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A massively improved camera that’s well worth upgrading to.