Towards the end of 2018, we got a chance to check out the Fujifilm X-T3 at their launch event in Brooklyn, NY. We found ourselves impressed with the camera’s improved auto focusing abilities as well as improvements to its burst mode. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on it and a few months later, we finally got a chance to put it through its paces. Here’s how we thought the Fujifilm X-T3 did.
Fujifilm X-T3 Specs (from First Look)
Sensor: 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 Sensor with primary color filter
Image Processor: X-Processor 4 Image Processing Engine
- Capable of 4K/60P and 10bit output
- Features 4 CPU units
- Startup time of 0.3 seconds
- Shutter time lag of 0.045 seconds
- High-precision, 0.5-inch, 3.69 million dot OLED color viewfinder
Viewfinder: Magnification of 0.75x
- Wide viewing angle (diagonal 38º and horizontal 30º)
- Display time lag of just 0.005 seconds, refresh rate of approx. 100fps
Body Design/Materials: Robust magnesium alloy body
- Approx. 30fps [Only electronic shutter, 1.25 x Crop] (JPEG? 60 frames Lossless compression RAW 35 frames Uncompressed RAW 33 frames)
- Approx. 11fps (JPEG: 145 frames Lossless compression RAW: 42 frames Uncompressed RAW: 36 frames)
- Approx. 5.7fps (JPEG: endless Lossless Compression RAW: 62 frames Uncompressed RAW: 43 frames)
- Pre-shot: Approx. 30fps [Only electronic shutter, 1.25 x Crop] (max. 20 frames while half press, max. 20 frames after full press, total max. 40 frames
Video: Movie Recording (using a card with the UHS Speed Class 3 or higher)
- Movie File format: MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265, Audio: Linear PCM / Stereo sound 24bit / 48KHz sampling)
- Movie compression: All Intra/Long-GOP, can be used with the following settings:
- DCI4K/4K 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 400Mbps
- Full HD 2048×1080/Full HD 1920×1080 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 200Mbps
Display: 3.0-inch, aspect ratio 3:2, approx. 1.04 million dots touch screen color LCD monitor (approx. 100% coverage)
16 Film Simulation Modes: PROVIA/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, ASTIA/Soft, Classic Chrome, PRO Neg. Hi, PRO Neg. Std, Black & White, Black & White +Ye Filter, Black & White +R Filter, Black & White +G Filter, Sepia, ACROS, ACROS +Ye Filter, ACROS+R Filter, ACROS+G Filter, ETERNA/Cinema), B & W
Ergonomics & Design
While there are some that may not like dials and physical controls that give Fujifilm’s X-Series of cameras their retro-futuristic look, if you’re a fan of the design shooting with the X-T3 its as close to getting to hold perfection in your hands as you can get. The third iteration of the workhorse camera body marks the progression of the SLR design language employed by Fujifilm – refinements to overall weight, positioning of the dials/buttons, ensuring that the body remain small but still comfortable to hold. It truly feels like coming home.
Strictly from an ergonomics perspective, the Fujifilm X-T3 is a great balance between being large enough where it’s comfortable to hold during all-day shoots, while still being light enough to make you not regret carrying it with you for casual shooting. For photographers that will use the X-T3 in a more professional capacity, you’d be pleased to know that Fujifilm has kept all of the camera’s controls within easy reach. The joystick is placed comfortably within reach your right thumb to help ensure you’ve got your eye on the viewfinder at all times. The X-T3 exemplifies how great design should melt away and become one with the end user – this camera makes you want to go out and shoot!
Shooting with The Fujifilm X-T3
Our review unit came to us with the Fujifilm XF-23mm f/1.4 lens, an amazing piece of equipment that helps the Fujifilm X-T3 shine. We’ve shot with the XF-23mm f/1.4 in the past – mainly with an X-Pro1 and while the image quality was nothing short of gorgeous, we found that focusing was a bit on the slow side. That is far from the case with the X-T3, in fact the autofocusing system has been greatly improved over the X-T2. The weather didn’t cooperate during our loan period so we couldn’t get any action shots in, but during our initial hands-on period at the launch, we found that eye autofocusing worked better than anticipated – even in a dark studio turned roller rink. When paired with the XF 200mm f/1.8, eye autofocus nailed a good 85-90% of the shots we took and when shooting portraits, we found the results to be consistent even when shooting at f/1.4 on the 23mm.
The X-T3’s electronic viewfinder also saw an improvement from the previous model. The X-T3 now sports a 3.69 million dot EVF with 100% field of view and 100fps refresh rate – this allows you to shoot in that bonkers 30ftps high-speed burst without ever experiencing any blackout (at least to the naked eye). On the rear of the camera, the 3-inch tilting display got a touch-input upgrade that allows you to select autofocus points, focus and capture, as well as scroll through menus and images during playback. It’s a nice touch that compliments the joystick option and back-button focus options – mix of old school and new. In practice these slight variations meant that I was able to keep my eyes on my subjects without having to fumble through menus or having to worry about missing a shot whether I was using the EVF or needed to pull focus on the fly.
The APS-C camera market has been stagnant for a long time now, not since the Samsung NX1 has there been an APS-C camera that has truly felt innovative in any real sense of the word. While many manufacturers are keeping APS-C sensor cameras in the repertoire to meet customer demands for sub-$1,000 (read cheap) cameras, Fujifilm has gone the complete opposite direction by continuing to fine-tune and over deliver with their flagship X-T3. It’s rare that a camera makes you want to go out and shoot, but the X-T3 does just that. While the physical controls and manual aperture-controlled lenses may be a bit too old school for some (think of it as the difference between knowing how to drive stick and not); the X-T3 will force you to be fully immersed in the act of making a photograph. For this reason, we feel that the X-T3 is just one step closer to achieving crop-sensor perfection. You can get your hands on perfection for around $1400.