WORK AND PLAY

If you think Fujifilm got the mirrorless camera formula pretty well spot-on with the X-T2, wait until you see what it’s done with the X-T3.

OUR FULL REVIEW IS BELOW, BUT FOR FULL SPECS & MORE, SEE THE ORIGINAL MAGAZINE PAGES AS PDFs BY CLICKING RIGHT >>>

It was hard not to fall in love with Fujifilm’s X-T2. The size was right – leveraging the benefits here of an ‘APS-C’ size sensor – the styling was classical, but immensely functional, and it was a powerhouse on the inside. It’s quite possible that if you’d bought an X-T2 – even back in 2016 after it was launched – you’d be pretty confident it was going to serve you well for quite some time. This notion would have been reinforced when the X-H1 camera along… nice, but too big and, to be honest, too much camera for my needs. Happy.

So… er, now there’s the X-T3. Look, on the outside, it’s still pretty much an X-T2 with just a few small design tweaks to enhance the ergonomics, including re-locating the EVF a bit further back so you’re not constantly nosing up to the monitor screen. OK, that’s good, but maybe not enough to convince you to part with your beloved X-T2. Fine, but we’re not sure how to break the next bit to you gently… on the inside the X-T3 is essentially an all-new camera, and you’re going to want it, badly. There’s a new sensor and processor, new EVF, new autofocusing system with more points and increased sensitivity, more speed and a bigger buffer, significantly upgraded video capabilities (significantly!), and a long list of new features, including some biggies such as touchscreen controls and a handy ‘Pre-Shoot’ function. In fact, all the turbocharged stuff that relied on the optional Vertical Power Booster Grip for the X-T2 is now on-board the X-T3 straight out of the box. There’s still an optional battery grip, of course, and it gives you a trio of battery packs to drive the X-T3 long and hard, but you now don’t need it for extra speed or features such as a stereo audio output (see the Making Movies panel for the full story about this camera’s impressive video features). Oh yes, and there’s a big improvement in battery life (due to improved in-camera efficiencies) plus the bodyshell is beefed up in a few key areas – including the lens mount and the tripod mount – primarily to maintain durability with the bigger and heavier telephoto lenses Fujifilm is now releasing in the X mount (such as the yummy XF 200mm f2.0).

OK, so let’s get that pre-loved X-T2 body up for sale right away, and look in a bit more detail at what you’re going to get with your new X-T3.

The X-T3 is very similar in size and styling to the X-T3, but there have been a number of ergonomic revisions, including a reshaped handgrip for improved comfort.

Four With More
It all kicks off with a completely new sensor christened ‘X-Trans CMOS 4’ which is the first from Fujifilm to employ a backside-illuminated (BSI) design. This frees up some space on the front to pack in a few more pixels, increasing the effective resolution to 26.1 million which, of course, is optimised by the absence of an optical low-pass filter. Moiré patterns are minimised thanks to Fujifilm’s ‘X-Trans’ 6x6 colour filter array which reduces the likelihood of a subject frequency (such as the weave in a fabric) matching that of the pixels.

The sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO 160-12,800, with extensions either side to ISO 80 and 100, or ISO 25,600 and 51,200. The lower minimum native sensitivity has benefits in terms of lower noise. The maximum image size is now 6240x4160 pixels and JPEGs are captured in one of three image sizes and with the option of Fine or Normal compression settings. The standard 3:2 aspect ratio can be switched to either 16:9 or 1:1 (both crops). RAW files are captured with 14-bit colour and in either uncompressed or losslessly compressed formats. RAW+JPEG capture is available with the JPEG configured as either large/fine or large/normal.

The new sensor is matched with a new processor called the ‘X Processor 4’ which employs a total of four CPUs to enable faster number crunching (three times faster than the previous ‘X-Processor Pro’ says Fujifilm). The specs here include a start-up time of 0.3 seconds, a shutter release lag of 0.045 seconds and an AF speed of 0.06 seconds. The faster and more powerful processor also enables the significant increases in the X-T3’s video recording capabilities (such as 4K UHD with 10-bit 4:2:0 colour at 50 fps) and faster continuous shooting with
still image capture. Using the focal plane shutter, the top speed is now 11 fps with the AF/AE locked to the first frame, or 8.0 fps with adjustment between the frames (which is claimed to be happening 1.5 times more frequently than before).

Switch to the sensor-based shutter and the X-T3 can zip along at 20 fps. Want to go even faster? Well, you can in the X-T3’s new 1.25x crop mode which reduces the pixel count to 16.6 million (still sufficient resolution for many applications), but as a result, enables 30 fps continuous shooting with no EVF black-out and full AF/AE adjustment. Impressive. Plus, of course, there’s a 1.25x increase in the effective focal length, something that most sports or wildlife shooters will appreciate. Fujifilm calls this the ‘Sports Finder’ mode as the live view image is cropped too, and the space outside this frame means you can better anticipate when a moving subject will actually be in-shot (just like the optical finder in an RF camera). Also no doubt with sports photography primarily in mind, is the ‘Pre-Shoot’ function which commences continuous capture immediately the shutter release button is at the half-way (i.e. metering and autofocusing) position, eliminating any ‘lag’ on the photographer’s side. These frames are held in the buffer memory – being progressively replaced if it becomes full – and are downloaded to the card when the shutter button is fully depressed.

Like the X-T2 and X-H1, the X-T3 has dual memory card slots for the SD format and both support the faster UHS-II speed devices. The file management set-ups are ‘Sequential’ for automatic overflow, ‘Back Up’ which records files simultaneously to both cards, and RAW/JPEG which separates the RAW+JPEG captures to slot one and slot two. Alternatively, one card can be assigned to video recording and one to stills.

Get The Look
For in-camera image processing, the X-T3 gains the new functions that have been introduced with the GFX 50S and then the X-H1 – namely ‘Colour Chrome Effect’ and the cinematography-orientated Eterna ‘Film Simulation’ profile – plus there’s an all-new ‘B&W Adjustment’ for toning monochrome images through sepia to blue or, if you prefer, warm to cool (although a Sepia ‘Film Simulation’ profile is still available).

The addition of the Eterna profile brings the total of ‘Film Simulation’ presets available on the X-T3 to 16. Eterna is the name of Fujifilm’s colour negative cinematography film stocks and, while it’s obviously designed primarily for shooting video, it can be used in photography to give more subdued colours and a softer tonality with an extended dynamic range. The other ‘Film Simulation’ profiles include the classic Fujichromes – Velvia (Vivid), Provia (Standard) and Astia (Soft) – the Pro Neg High and Pro Neg Standard colour negative film lookalikes and the ACROS B&W film settings with the options of yellow, red or green contrast-control ‘filters’. Rather than each profile having individually adjustable parameters, Fujifilm employs ‘global’ tweaks for Colour, Sharpness, Highlight Tone, Shadow Tone plus the new ‘B&W Adjustment’. ‘Colour Chrome Effect’ also works this way – essentially to increase contrast without overdoing the colour saturation – as does the ‘Grain Effect’ function which, logically, adds grain to create a more filmic look. Additionally, there’s a selection of eight ‘Advanced Filters’ special effects which include Toy Camera, Miniature, Soft Focus, Partial Colour and Pop Colour.

You can also tick the boxes for an intervalometer, a multiple exposure facility (well, actually it’s still only a double exposure facility), in-camera panorama stitching (two sizes), flicker detection and reduction, noise reduction for high ISO and long exposures, and dynamic range expansion processing.

The X-T3 also has the ‘Dynamic Range Priority’ function which was introduced on the X-H1 and which is designed to adjust the contrast to better preserve detailing in both the highlights and the shadows. There are three settings – Auto, Weak and Strong – with the latter two based the dynamic range expansion modes which means the minimum ISO is also raised (to ISO 320 and 640 respectively) to give more ‘headroom’ for adjustments. The Auto setting selects one or the other, according to the brightness range presented by the prevailing lighting conditions.
Also available is Fujifilm’s ‘Lens Modulation Optimiser’ processing which is designed to correct for the effects of diffraction when using smaller apertures such as f16 or f22. It applies sharpening to the corners of an image where the softening caused by diffraction is at its most noticeable.

As before, auto bracketing is available for exposure, sensitivity, the ‘Film Simulation’ presets, dynamic range and white balance plus, new on the X-T3, focusing (although this can be added to the T2 and the H1 via a firmware upgrade). The sequence can be set for up to 999 frames with intervals of up to ten seconds and the amount of focus adjustment shift set between one and ten steps.

Point Scores
The new sensor has a total of 2.61 million pixels for phase-difference detection autofocusing which gives a massive frame coverage of 99 percent, both vertically and horizontally. A total of 425 measuring points are user-selectable – arranged in a 25x17 pattern – which can be reduced to 117 (in a 13x9 pattern) for more efficient selection, but obviously with a bigger measuring area as a result. Low light sensitivity is extended down to -3.0 EV (at ISO 100).

The AF area modes comprise Single-Point (adjustable to one of five sizes), Zone (in 7x7, 5x5 or 3x3 point clusters selected from 117 points) and Wide. There’s also an ‘All’ setting which allows you to cycle through these three modes via the rear input wheel. With continuous AF operation, the area modes are Single-Point, Zone and Tracking which also works with Face/Eye Detection. Fujifilm says it has upgraded its eye-detection to enhance the reliability even if the subject isn’t looking straight at the camera or turns away. Obviously, the nearly full-frame coverage also enhances the tracking reliability (and it’s still 91 percent vertically and 94.5 percent horizontally in this mode).

As on the X-H1, there’s an ‘AF-C Custom’ menu which provides five scenarios for fine-tuning focus tracking via three parameters – Tracking Sensitivity, Speed Tracking Sensitivity and Zone Area Switching. The five options are called Multi Purpose, Ignore Obstacles & Continue To Track Subject, For Accelerating/Decelerating Subject, For Suddenly Appearing Subject and, take a deep breath, For Erratically Moving & Accel/Decel Subject. Additionally, a custom setting allows you to manually adjust these three control parameters to create your own focus tracking regime. The X-T3 retains an external switch on the front panel for selecting either continuous or single-shot AF operation, or manual focusing. The assists for manual focusing comprise a magnified image, a focus peaking display (with a choice of colours and levels) and Fujifilm’s ‘Digital Split Image’ panel plus a new ‘Digital Microprism’ which is another contemporary interpretation of an old optical focusing device. The ‘Digital Split Image’ display replicates the old split-image rangefinder that was standard on 35mm SLRs for a long time. The ‘Digital Microprism’ creates an interleaved grid pattern which is designed to work like the traditional collar on a fresnel focusing screen. Does it work? Well, like the split-image display which can be very hard to gauge, we’re also not convinced by this either… it’s again pretty tricky to see what’s going on especially if the subject is particularly ‘busy’ in terms of lots of detailing. The focus-peaking display still seems to be the most accurate guide to precise manual focusing.

Seeing The Light
The X-T3’s exposure control system is pretty well the standard Fujifilm X mount fare, based on 256-segment metering with a choice of multi-zone, centre-weighted average, fully averaged or spot measurements. Additionally, the spot meter can be linked to the active focusing point or zone.

The overrides for the auto control modes comprise an AE lock, up to +/-5.0 EV of compensation and, of course, auto bracketing which can be set over sequences of two, three, five, seven or nine frames with up to +/-2.0 EV adjustment per frame. There’s no built-in flash so, as with the X-H1, a compact accessory unit, the EF-X8, also comes in the box. The flash hotshoe is supplemented by a PC sync terminal and the maximum flash sync speed is 1/250 second.
As noted earlier, the X-T3 has both a conventional focal plane shutter (confusingly referred to as the “mechanical shutter” although of course it’s electronically controlled) and a sensor-based shutter (a.k.a. the “electronic shutter”). With the sensor shutter, the fastest shutter speed is 1/32,000 second and the slowest is 15 minutes which is also the longest timed setting for the FP shutter (although the actual ranges vary according to the exposure mode). The dial is only marked to one second so these longer times are accessed via a ‘T’ setting. The bulb (B) timer has a maximum duration of 60 minutes and flash sync is up to 1/250 second. The FP shutter’s top speed is 1/8000 second, but the camera can be configured so it will automatically switch to the sensor shutter if the faster speeds are selected. The third option is the hybrid “electronic first curtain shutter” which makes the exposure with the sensor, but finishes it conventionally with the FP shutter’s second set of blades. This hybrid shutter operation eliminates the vibrations created by the FP shutter’s first set of blades moving (and also the associated lag), and consequently also offers some reduction in noise levels. Remember that the FP shutter has to be open to enable a live view feed so to make an exposure it has to first close and then open again… eliminating all of this activity at the start of an exposure will make a significant difference, especially when using longer lenses. Obviously using the sensor-based shutter alone eliminates any noise and vibrations. Fujifilm says it has put a lot of effort into minimising the ‘rolling shutter’ distortion, but it does still occur with very fast-moving objects.

The auto white balance correction is supplemented by seven presets (including one for underwater) and provisions for creating up to three custom measurements. Fine-tuning and auto bracketing are available plus manual colour temperature setting over a range of 2500 to 10,000 degrees Kelvin.

In The Hand
As noted in the introduction, the X-T3 retains essentially the same styling and design as its predecessor so all the key controls are in exactly the same locations. It’s marginally heavier (but only by a matter of just over 30 grams) and is slightly deeper mainly due to the EVF’s eyepiece extending a little further back, but it’s still nicely compact, especially given its enhanced capabilities.

The top deck layout is dominated by three big dials for setting shutter speeds, sensitivity and exposure compensation. As before, the first two have selectors located below them – for the metering modes and drive modes respectively – and one of the small changes is that these are now taller – as on the X-H1 – so they’re easier to adjust and the setting markings are easier to see. The sharp-eyed will see that there’s now a new lower ISO 160 minimum setting on the sensitivity dial, but the ‘A’, ‘L’ and ‘H’ positions are retained as before. The latter two obviously access the extensions which are pre-assigned in the Set Up Menu, while the ‘A’ position will select one of three Auto ISO ranges, this time set up in the Shooting Menu (with adjustments for the default sensitivity, the maximum sensitivity and the minimum shutter speed).

raditionalists will be pleased to note that the shutter button with an old-school cable release connection is retained, unlike on the X-H1 which has a “feather touch” release.

As before, there’s no main mode dial and instead the exposure control modes are set via various combinations of the ‘A’ settings on both the shutter speed dial and the lens’s aperture collar. This, of course, is also very old-school, but hard to fault for its logic. The main dials are supplemented by front and rear input wheels, various function buttons, a joystick-type control for focus point selection (but which also has various navigational functions) and a four-way navigator key cluster.

Under the slightly more set-back EVF housing (which, incidentally, does make a difference to comfort) is a new 1.3 cm OLED-type EVF with 3.69 megadots resolution, 100% vertical/horizontal scene coverage and 0.75x magnification (35mm equivalent). This is, in fact, the same EVF as is used in the X-H1 and represents a big increase in resolution over the T2’s finder (at 2.36 megadots). It definitely shows in the cleaner, crisper display which has refresh rate of 100 fps so lag isn’t an issue. In fact, Fujifilm says the display lag is just 0.005 seconds so, put simply, you’re not going to notice. Adjustments are provided for brightness, colour saturation and colour balance.

A proximity sensor set below the eyepiece enables automatic switching between the EVF and the monitor screen. As on the X-H1 Fujifilm has addressed the issue of this happening inadvertently when the latter is angled to allow for waistlevel shooting. Once the monitor screen is flipped out, the proximity sensor is fully disabled so even if it is then blocked you won’t suddenly lose the live view image.

The X-T3’s monitor screen allows for up or down tilts to be applied in the horizontal plane and an upward tilt in the vertical plane, the latter after releasing a tilt lock. It’s a 7.62 cm LCD panel with a resolution of 1.04 megadots and, again, is adjustable for brightness, colour saturation and colour balance. Both displays can be configured with one of three guide grids, a real-time histogram (either brightness only, or with the RGB channels as well), a dual-axis level display and a highlight warning plus the selection of read-outs and status indicators shown is fully customisable. Additionally, you can now increase the size of selected icons and also adjust the display contrast to enhance legibility in different lighting conditions. This includes a ‘Dark Ambient Lighting’ setting for shooting at night so it doesn’t upset your night vision.

The monitor screen has a three-way tilt which allows for low-level shooting when the camera is being held vertically.

There’s an ‘Info Display’ screen which contains 15 function indication tiles, the exposure mode and settings, a real-time histogram and the AF area mode. With manual focusing, there’s an additional ‘Dual Display’ which comprises the live view feed accompanied by a small additional panel which shows the manual focus assists separately… either a magnified image section with or without a focus peaking display, the ‘Digital Split Image’ or the new ‘Digital Microprism’ option described earlier.

There’s also a ‘Quick Menu’ screen in the monitor which provides direct access to 15 functions and can also be customised. Additionally, up to seven ‘Custom Settings Banks’ can be created as additional ‘Quick Menus’ which, in particular, are handy for dealing with specific shooting situations.

The touchscreen control implementation is as on the X-H1 and so, for capture, is limited to focus point selection with autofocusing (with or without automatic shutter release) plus access to the functions displayed in the ‘Quick Menu’.

In playback mode, you can browse, zoom in or out (which will also select the thumbnail pages), or zoom in on the active focus point. Additionally, when shooting video clips, a set of on-screen icons is available for selecting the key capture functions via touch, primarily to allow for quieter camera operation. Additionally, there’s a set of four ‘Touch Functions’ (T-Fn) which enable custom functions to be assigned to the left, right, up and down swipe actions. No fewer than 49 operations can be assigned to any of the camera’s six multi-function ‘Fn’ buttons or the four touchscreen actions.

Furthermore, various other controls can have their functions or operations modified to suit the way you like to work. A customised ‘My Menu’ can be created so up to 16 frequently-used functions can all be conveniently displayed in one place.

The replay/review options include a choice of three full screen displays or a thumbnail accompanied by selected capture data (in one of two sets), a highlight warning, a brightness histogram and the focus point or zone used, which is very useful. Pressing the rear command dial instantly zooms in on this point so you can quickly check the focus. There’s the choice of pages with either nine or 100 thumbnails, zooming and a slide show function.

The in-camera editing functions include RAW-to-JPEG conversion (with 18 adjustable parameters), red-eye removal, cropping, resizing, Fujifilm’s ‘PhotoBook Assist’ feature (which allows for up to 300 images to be organised for reproduction in a photo book) and direct printing to an Instax instant print device via WiFi. As with the X-H1, the WiFi connectivity is supplemented with Bluetooth 4.2 LE which provides a convenient ‘always on’ connection for low bandwidth data transfers, and also allows for easier pairing when you want to send bigger files or when using the Fujifilm Camera Control app for remote camera control.

Speed And Performance
With our reference memory card – Lexar’s 128 GB SDXC UHS-II/U3 (Speed Class 3) Professional – loaded up, the X-T3 (using the focal plane shutter) captured a burst of 152 JPEG/large/fine files in 13.884 seconds, giving a shooting speed of 10.94 fps. This is as close to Fujifilm’s quoted 11 fps as makes no difference. Switching to the sensor shutter, the burst length was 76 frames captured in just 3.822 seconds which represents a shooting speed of 19.88 fps… impressive. For the record, the average test file size was a healthy 16.5 MB.

The autofocusing performance is simply sensational, both fast and unerringly accurate practically no matter where the subject is positioned in the frame or its size. Thanks to this wide coverage and the density of measuring points, the tracking is also extremely reliable even with fast-moving subjects… and the EVF keeps up well too. The eye-detect AF is just about as good as Sony’s – which is the benchmark here – which means it’s greatly improved in its reliability too. Fujifilm’s 256-zone metering is already well-proven across the X mount range and it continues to work well here too. Given the increase in resolution over the X-T2 is comparatively small, we wouldn’t expect to see a big jump in sharpness and definition, but the dynamic range is noticeably better and the noise reduction processing appears to be better too, particularly in terms of maintaining sharpness across the native sensitivity range. Even at ISO 12,800 there’s still lots of cleanly resolved detailing and minimal graininess.

Logically then, it’s even better at lower ISOs with the X-T3 delivering its best results between ISO 80 and 400. Fine detailing is very crisply rendered and the tonal gradations are creamily smooth.

Fujifilm’s vast experience with colour reproduction is put to good use in the ‘Film Simulation’ profiles which have been designed to balance colorimetric colour – or real colour – with expected or ‘memorised’ colour. The Standard/Provia profile’s colour fidelity is accurate across the spectrum, but Vivid/Velvia punches up the saturation without compromising tonal gradations and really replicates the ‘punch’ of Fujifilm’s popular transparency film. Of course, the rest of the ‘Film Simulation’ profiles provide plenty of scope for creating different looks with the added input of the ‘Colour Chrome Effect’ and ‘Grain Effect’ processing.

ABOVE & BELOW: Test images captures as JPEG/large/fine files with the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR zoom (equivalent to 24-82.5mm) and XF 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR zoom (equivalent to 27-202.5mm). Shutter-priority auto exposure control, multi-zone metering with the Vivid ‘Film Simulation’ profile. Best quality JPEGs exhibits excellent detailing and definition with a wide dynamic range and smooth tonal gradations. Colour saturation and sharpness are well maintained across the native sensitivity range with the image quality excellent up to ISO 6400 and still very acceptable at ISO 12,800. Click the images for larger versions.

Making Movies
With its long history in cinematography – making both film (which is how the company started) and lenses, it’s a bit of a surprise that Fujifilm has taken a while to get into gear with video in its X mount mirrorless cameras. But it really steps up to the plate with the X-T3 which is easily as accomplished a ‘hybrid’ video/still camera as the best from Panasonic or Sony.

It looks a bit like Fujifilm went through the specs of the Lumix GH5 and decided to give the X-T3 the full works too. Soooo… the X-T3 shoots 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160 pixels) or Cinema 4K (4096x2160 pixels) at 60, 50, 30, 25 or 24 fps, using a 1.18x crop on the ‘APS-C’ sensor. Significantly, at 60 or 50 fps, there’s the option of capturing 10-bit 4:2:0 colour internally or 10-bit 4:2:2 colour externally via the HDMI output using the higher compression efficiency HEVC H.265 codec with a bit rate of up to 200 Mbps. The AVC H.264 compression codec is available with UHD/60p, but internal recording is at 8-bit 4:2:0 colour. Usefully, 4K/60p at 10-bit 4:2:2 colour to the HDMI output can be recorded simultaneously with 40/60p 10-bit 4:2:0 colour to the memory card, giving a more practical back-up solution than if the latter is restricted to 2K with 8-bit colour. Incidentally, the X-T3 is the first ‘APS-C’ format mirrorless camera able to record 10-bit video internally.

At the 30 and 25 fps frame rates, the full width of the sensor is employed (so there’s no focal length magnification factor) with oversampling. Here’s there’s the choice of ALL-I All-Intra intra-frame or Long GOP inter-frame compression with a bit rate of up to 400 Mbps. Long GOP is short for Long Group Of Pictures and is a version of IPB interframe coding which only manages the changes between key frames. Furthermore, there’s a flatter F-Log gamma profile for an extended dynamic range and easier colour grading in postproduction, plus the Eterna ‘Film Simulation’ profile which replicates the look of Fujifilm’s colour negative movie stock, giving a more muted look via lower contrast and lower saturation. A firmware upgrade will add the Hybrid Gamma Log (HGL) profile that’s based on the BT.2100 colour space for 4K HDR displays.

The maximum clip duration for 4K/50-60p is 20 minutes, but extends to the full 29 minutes
and 59 seconds at the slower frame rates.

Full HD footage can be recorded at all the standard speeds, plus 120 or 100 fps for slow-motion effects of up to 5.0x at 24 fps with a 200 Mbps bit rate, but the clip length is limited to six minutes. When shooting video, the highlight warning is replaced by zebra patterns with an adjustable brightness threshold and, of course, there’s the focus peaking display to assist with manual focusing. Time-coding is available with a drop frame option.

On the audio side, the GH5 has built-in stereo microphones with auto/manual level control, a wind-cut filter, a low-cut filter and an attenuator. Both a stereo audio input and output are now on-camera and are the standard 3.5 mm minijack connections. While most serious video shooters are going to use an external mic, the sound quality delivered by the camera’s mics was very impressive indeed, in terms of both the dynamic range and the definition (yep, both are audio terms as well as visual).

The upgraded autofocusing system really comes into its own with video, particularly the faster and more reliable subject tracking with its near-full-frame coverage. Plus there’s the convenience of the touch controls for quickly establishing focus or moving the focusing points or zones. Also available for video shooting are the rest of the ‘Film Simulation’ profiles, the adjustable picture parameters (including the new warm-to-cool B&W Adjustment), noise reduction, dynamic range expansion and correction for lens vignetting.

The X-T3 is undoubtedly the best thing Fujifilm has yet done with a mirrorless camera for videography and it’s easily up there with the best in this class. The image quality is exceptional, especially if you’re using footage straight out of the camera without very much post-camera tweaking. In particular, the new sensor and processor are designed to minimise any rolling shutter distortion… and it looks to be pretty effective here.

A neat touch is that the cover for the camera’s connection bay can be completely removed which makes life a lot easier when the X-T3 is in a rig and hooked up to devices such as an external recorder and headphones for monitoring audio. With this camera Fujifilm has covered both the big picture and the little details.

The Verdict
The big question raised by the X-T3 is… where does it leave the X-H1? The X-T3 is smaller and lighter with better autofocusing, better video-making capabilities and better image quality. So the X-H1 has in-body image stabilisation (which is a very good thing) and a top panel info display plus it’s faster at 14 fps (albeit with a slight reduction in resolution), but is all this worth $500 more? This depends on how you like to shoot (especially as the X-H1 handles more like a D-SLR), but the X-T3 is undoubtedly the more potent package overall and better leverages the advantages of the ‘APS-C’ sensor size.

For those who love the compact and classical form factor of the X-T series, even better
here is the fact that all the good bits of the X-T2 have been left unchanged, so the comfort and ergonomics are still exemplary, yet the X-T3 is a big step up in terms of its upgraded systems and new features, which translate into greatly enhanced performance and mainly small, but still significant, improvements to image quality (and we include the far superior autofocusing here too).

Importantly, it’s a creditable (and credible) alternative to a full-35mm format mirrorless camera which keeps Fujifilm and X mount firmly in the hunt for new converts from D-SLRs, even with the many attractions of the new arrivals in the bigger format.

Fujifilm X-T3
Price: $2499 body only, bundled with EF-X8 accessory flash.