Fujifilm X-T3 Commentary: Sets the Standard for Mirrorless

In the camera market, the models we've seen will bring successors that could add a new art filter mode and nothing more. It is unlikely to update the material, eh? Fujifilm doesn't play though, which is a moderate game update: the X-T3 does add a couple of new filters, as well as significant upgrades to the sensor, autofocus system and speed, while changing the design for the better. Yes, and it rushes into shooting 4K video at 60fps.

  • Fuji X-T3 vs X-T2: what's the difference?
  • Best Mirrorless Cameras: Best Interchangeable Lens Cameras

When the X-T2 launched in 2016, we thought it set the stage for what all around mirrorless cameras could achieve. With the X-T3, Fujifilm has perfected something to re-establish itself in an increasingly busy market. The strength of these upgrades, combined with the standard price, which is actually lower than its predecessor, ensures the Japanese manufacturer is on the winner. That's why…

Design Tricks

  • Magnesium alloy body provides new footprint, larger switch control, less exposure compensation dial
  • 0.5V, 3.69MP OLED electronic viewfinder (includes lockable diopter)
  • 3.0 in Tri-adjustable touch screen LCD

Although the X-T3 looks almost identical to the X-T2, at first glance, the devil is in the details.

First, the X-T3 is made from four main magnesium alloy panels rather than three as in the X-T2, providing the solid build and weather-resistant features you'd expect. It also makes for a bit more room, but only by a few millimeters, which will only be a problem for people with the X-T2 extra battery pack (because it won't fit the X-T3, so you'll need to buy a new one).

Elsewhere, the X-T3 improves on its predecessor's design by shrinking the exposure compensation dial to size, adding a diopter lock adjustment (although this pops-in/pop-out mechanism is awkward relative to the ISO dial next to it), and increasing the rotary control dial to adjust the ride mode and accounting.

Even the latch on the tri-adjustable LCD screen is an entire load less fiddly than on the X-T2. This is very convenient, because quickly adjusting the x-T3 screen at the waist or at the level of the installation above the head in portrait or landscape orientation is a breeze. Shame the screen can't be stowed back to protect it from potential scratches though. The screen itself is no different from the X-T2, but with decent resolution for its 3-inch format, it's just fine.

New touch control that allows you to quickly change the focus area, among other settings. Overall we like it, but would have preferred more sensitivity and speed in response - or even the ability to tweak this response in the settings to stop it from being a bit dim in its response (though also responsive and nose/brass knuckles/face/anything and everything will trigger unwanted changes).

Above the screen is a built-in viewfinder, which in the X-T3 is boosted with a new higher resolution OLED panel. It certainly got all the pixels pushed through, but some narrow patterns can cause real-time moiré visual aids (which don't show in the image recording, we hasten to add). Still, with its high refresh rate, deep contrast, and massive 0,75 x equivalent size increase, it's a huge finder at this level. It's good enough to compete with the Panasonic R9 and Canon EOS R.

push performance

  • 1,5 x faster focusing than X-T2 predecessor
  • 100% autofocus frame coverage
  • 2.16 million pixel detection phase
  • 425 AF area selection
  • 11fps burst shooting
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While its design is slightly different, Push in particular sees the X-T3 step up well before the X-T2 right out of the box. Luckily, Fujifilm removed any confusion with top speed/shooting speed, as the X-T2 had different options depending on whether an accessory grip was added. The X-T3 is 11 fps straight out of the box, no add-ons required, which sees the enhanced X-T2 match at its best. Good material.

But it's really an autofocus setting that's progressing. Not only does the touch controls help with its use, the new sensor (which we'll be coming in a minute) has a massive 2.16 million phase pixel detection built in across its entire surface, designed to span the full width of the sensor. This means you can focus anywhere in your field of view, as far vertically or horizontally as you want, and still get the same focus as the center.


The autofocus system is however trimmed down to 425 maximum locations, which can be further reduced, making it easier to work the way you want. The AF point can be adjusted in a range of different sizes, also via the rear switch. There is still a Panasonic-style style to define, however, that we always miss when using mirrorless cameras from other brands.

The Fuji X-T3 will be 1,5 times faster at focusing than the X-T2. It may well be… in some cases. Don't get us wrong: it's certainly fast. But with the smallest point selected and when using a focal length of 35mm, for example, focus is not as lightning fast as it can be with more skillful lenses. So you don't feel like you're being pushed around at every turn, although the overall speed and response is impressive.

Get the right lens to the front, however, and the crank performance is up a notch. The X-T2 showed how well a mirrorless camera can continuously autofocus, with the X-T3 picking up where its predecessor left off. There are user settings, like you would find in a professional SLR camera, for the system to ignore subject interruptions, to be aware of subjects coming to/from the camera, and so on.

Filming on motor to show the Goodwood Revival, it was possible to shoot the car coming into the chicane of the track using 11fps in burst mode and focus tracking, with a good proportion of footage remaining sharp and the background blurry in motion.

There's also some kind of 1,25x Sports Framing Mode Finder that digitally frames the edges of the frame in the viewfinder and on the LCD screen so you can create and predict what will go into that frame. If you want to shoot at super-fast bursts using an electronic shutter than up to 30fps is available (at 1.25x crop), which will silently fire - and will therefore be especially useful to some sports photographers.

As we said, all mirrorless cameras to date X-T3 are not the best DSLR top specs for continuous autofocus with some not rate continuous autofocus with lock to foreground or lack of focus accuracy, but considering all the mirrorless cameras we have used here this Fujifilm, which stands above and beyond its peers. Finally, continuous focusing is no problem with this type of camera.

Other improvements have taken place, too, with eye-tracking AF especially fast response to lock onto the subject's eyes for accurate portrait focus.

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Image quality

  • 26MP X-Trans CMOS sensor 4 sensor (backlit new copper wiring placement)
  • X-4 Processor three times faster than its predecessor (as found in X-T2)
  • ISO 160 to 12800 (ISO 80 to 51,200 extended)

Much of that extra legwork of autofocusing is possible thanks to the fourth-generation processor at the center of the X-T3, paired with the fourth-generation X-Trans CMOS sensor.

This time the sensor is backlit, with copper wiring placed under the photo diodes in the sensor to create a clean signal path.

The wide prevalence that X-Trans CMOS 4 can receive light makes it f/1.0-ready technical and says. Which isn't surprising, since the company has a 33mm f/1.0 lens in a oeuvre that's likely to show up in the not-too-distant future (we believe, but there's no official comment on the matter - and trust me, we've invited plenty of company representatives).

Even without lenses, Fujifilm's extended range of optics means there's something for more or less every situation. For this test, we mainly used 40-150mm f/2.8, 18-55mm f/2.8-4, 50mm f/2.0 and 90mm f/2.0. Such wide aperture lenses show the same level as Fujinon lenses which makes a huge difference in use.

From shooting in a dimly lit room to capturing race cars around the track, or candid moments, with an electronic shutter, being able to shoot at f/2.0 on a large sensor provides clarity and background shift that's pretty magical. No, it's not full frame, but the x-T3's pictures often look like they could be with the right lens.

Daylight is where everything really shines. ISO 160 base is still not as low as we'd like, but there's an option for extended ISO 80 to help keep the aperture wide open when needed. Some of the shots we snapped candidly with the prime 50mm lens are very sharp (ok, there's a bit of color aberration, but that's not the world for £430).

We always praise Fujifilm's image quality prowess. And the X-T3 trend continues. Hit ISO 3200 and sharpness dissolves into place grain, but even ISO 6400 is a useful sensitivity (just look at the wooden lion statue photo above).

Words on video

  • 4K 60fps capture maximum, up to 400Mb/s speed
  • 10-bit 4:2: capture 0 (internal for SD)
  • 10-bit 4:2: Capture 2 (HDMI output)
  • H.264/H.265 format XNUMX formats
  • HLG capable

The last one is video capture. And Fujifilm doesn't poke around here. Indeed, the X-T3 is the only APS-C sensor camera that can shoot 4K at up to 60 frames per second. Sony offer 30 frames per second from a single format, while Panasonic's smaller Micro Four-Thirds sensor doesn't fulfill the same caveat.

Now this is a very important announcement, especially from Mark, who makes Fujinon cinema lenses. The X-series will now be seen as an even more formidable video capture machine. And this will be true if you're shooting to an SD card or camera, since the X-T3 can shoot 10-bit 4:2:0 direct for the card (or 4:2:2 10-bit 400MB/s Pure via HDMI output) .

With H.264/H. With 265 codec options, hybrid log gamma (HLG) matching, and audio (24bit 48kHz), the X-T3 has significant video settings that shouldn't be taken lightly.

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