Fujifilm X-T3 First Impressions

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I have been using the Fujifilm X-T3 since its release late last week and, in brief, it is the camera that I was hoping the X-T2 would be both in stills and video functionality. 

I like the X-T3 though I am not naturally an SLR-style camera user for stills photography, having spent my formative and magazine photography years relying on rangefinder cameras in a number of film formats from 35mm through 120 roll film to 4″x5″ sheet film. 

I have relied on DSLR-style cameras for video, however, specifically Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GH4 and GH5 though not, as yet, the GH5S. 

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom lens.

I chose Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds mirrorless hybrid cameras for video due to Fujifilm’s APS-C hybrid cameras lack of professional-quality video capabilities for so long.

Until now, that is.

I will be putting the X-T3 to the test over the next few days and will then be better able to determine if the X-T3 is as ready for professional use in documentary photography and video production as its Panasonic Lumix counterparts.

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Fujifilm X-T3 alongside the legendary and sadly discontinued Samsung NX1, until now the most advanced APS-C/Super 35 DSLR-style mirrorless camera. Is the X-T3 the NX1 successor that I have been hoping for? Quite possibly, but further testing for stills and video are required before I can definitely answer that question.

Until then, my first impressions of the Fujifilm X-T3 are very favourable indeed, especially on the stills photography front as I took it straight into production documenting an all-day event on the day of arrival and all the following day too.

I will be more specific about how and why in coming articles soon, covering stills and video.

Meanwhile here are the general and stills photography features and improvements I have used and like so far:

  • Bigger, easier to grip body and more stability when handholding for video due to increased weight and better balance.
  • Bigger, easier to grip dials.
  • Bigger buttons, easier to locate unseen.
  • Choice of linear or non-linear focussing with focus-by-wire lenses.
  • Faster and surer face/eye focus detection in available light, available darkness and with the face turned sideways.
  • Larger built-in grip, though I would still add the metal hand grip or vertical battery grip for larger lenses and portrait photography.
  • Faster and more accurate autofocus.
  • Flicker reduction using mechanical shutter.
  • Locking diopter adjustment!!!
  • More megapixels at 26.1 MP, which appears to lead to much less noise when shooting in available darkness at high ISOs.
  • Size, shape and silver colour leads to being ignored when shooting side-by-side with Canon and Nikon DSLR users as I look like an amateur playing with a toy or an old analog era camera.

And finally and straight out of left field, here is a feature I would love to see on all DSLR-style cameras including those made by Fujifilm, that was again pioneered by Samsung but in its NX30 and not the NX1:

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The amazing tilting electronic viewfinder eyepiece on the Samsung NX30 with Samsung 18-55mm III f/3.5-5.6 OIS zoom lens, making waist-level photography possible as Panasonic did on its Lumix DMC-GX8 professional flagship rangefinder-style M43 hybrid camera. Panasonic, where is the pro-quality successor to the GX8?

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Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS zoom lens.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Bluestar Eye CushionsB&H – use on the Fujifilm Wide Eyecup EC-XH W eyecup to further enhance its usefulness when shooting video.
  • Fujifilm CVR-XT3 Cover KitB&H
  • Fujifilm EC-GFX Round Eyecup – B&H
  • Fujifilm EC-XH W Wide Eyecup – B&H
  • Fujifilm EC-XT L Long Eye Cup – B&H
  • Fujifilm EC-XT M Medium Eyecup – B&H
  • Fujifilm EC-XT S Small Eyecup – B&H
  • Fujifilm Grip Belt GB-001 for Select X-Series CamerasB&H
  • Fujifilm MHG-XT3 Metal Hand GripB&H
  • Fujifilm NP-W126S Li-Ion Battery PackB&H
  • Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery GripB&H
  • Fujifilm Fujinon XF LensesB&H
  • Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H