News Shooter: Panasonic S1H full-frame mirrorless 6K 24p (UPDATED)

https://www.newsshooter.com/2019/06/01/panasonic-s1h-full-frame-mirrorless-6k-24p/

panasonic_lumix_dc-s1h_01_1024px
Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H 35mm mirrorless camera with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.0 Macro OIS zoom lens.

“…It’s best to think of the S1H as an S1 on steroids. Make no mistake though, unlike the S1 and S1R, the LUMIX S1H was designed and developed especially for film production.

The S1H is far from ready for consumers. Panasonic is only showing a prototype of the camera here at Cinegear. Just like they did with the S1 and S1R, this is more of a tease than anything else. The camera isn’t expected to be available until Autumn 2019….”

Commentary

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Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 with 8Sinn cage and Scorpio handle and rod riser. Like camcorders, the GH5’s fully-articulated LCD monitor can be positioned exactly where you need it to be.

News Shooter is the first video production industry website to which I turn for detailed information about coming and newly released hardware and as usual they have done a fine job digging into the facts about the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H video camera, currently in development for release later this year.

One of the few disappointments about the S1H’s slightly older siblings, the S1 and S1R, is their lack of the fully-articulated LCD monitor upon which I rely on so much when shooting stills and video on Panasonic’s Lumix GH series cameras as well as my GX8.

It is so good to see, from the evidence of a photograph in this article shot by the News Shooter team at Cinegear 2019, that the S1H has such a monitor.

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FUJIFILM X Series: FUJIKINA 2019 Tokyo / FUJIFILM [Video]

“Live streaming of “FUJIKINA 2019 TOKYO” hosted by FUJIFILM.”

fujifilm_gfx_100s_03_1024px_80pc
Fujifilm GFX 100 with Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR zoom lens. This lens is equivalent to 25-51mm in the 35mm sensor format.

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DPReview: Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8 WR LM Review (video)

There’s no doubt that the Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8 is a beautifully built lens. It’s also quite heavy, and at £1750 / $1900 it’s a pretty serious investment. Is the expense worth it? Chris and Jordan take to the hiking trails of Alberta to answer that question….

Commentary

Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR ultra wide-angle zoom lens is beautifully built and delivers beautiful results, but it may not be the best solution for everyone needing ultra-wide focal lengths.

Its size and weight demand mounting it on a vertical battery-equipped Fujifilm X-T3 at the very least with the now-discounted Fujifilm X-H1 providing better balance than the slightly smaller and lighter X-T3.

If the X-H1’s OIS-equipped replacement, the X-H2, is in Fujifilm’s production pipeline then it may be wiser to wait for that to appear sometime late this year or more likely early next if the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is an important lens in your gear kit.

My experience with the XF 8-16mm f/2.8 proves it to be an excellent solution for architectural photography where street furniture, trees and other buildings dictate using the widest focal lengths to get closer to your main subject and bypass non-removable visual noise.

I have used it successfully for documentary photography in the middle of dense crowds, though there were times I would have preferred the lens had optical image stabilization built-in for when the light dropped and slow shutter speeds were necessary to support deep focus via smaller apertures.

In bright sunlight, photographing landscapes was a pleasure and the lens lapped up fine detail but its lack of provision for attaching screw-on filters meant I was unable to try it out as a video lens and I am not in the market for large, heavy and expensive third-party filter adapters or even larger and costlier matte boxes.

If you need an ultra-wideangle for documentary photography and video then I highly recommend the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R which is small and light enough for use with an ungripped X-T3 and would work well on an X-Pro2 with a Fujifilm VF-X21 external optical viewfinder sitting on its hotshoe.

If a range of wide-angle focal lengths is necessary as well as portability and stabilization then I recommend the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens especially it is stopped down below f/5.6 and preferably f/8.0, and this lens will not eat into your savings anywhere near as much as the otherwise excellent Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR.

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Trying Out Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R WR Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens on the X-T3

Thanks to Fujifilm Australia, I have been lucky enough to try out the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR ultra-wide zoom in combo with the amazing Fujifilm X-T3 DSLR-style camera and its VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip.

My primary motivation in requesting the loan was so cinematographer/director Paul Leeming could use the X-T3 to shoot video footage in order to create a custom Leeming LUT Pro for it.

He did the same for my X-Pro 2 camera, and I am looking forward to eventually relying on Paul’s various Leeming LUT Pro 3D look-up tables to quickly and easily combine footage from those two cameras with video shot with my Panasonic cameras and, hopefully, Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.

fujifilm_vg-xt3_vertical_battery_grip_04_1024px_80pc
Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens.

At the moment I am using the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR for stills photography and for a self-funded independent documentary photographer and moviemaker I believe it is stills to which this lens is best suited.

Reason number one?

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR does not permit attaching circular filters.

Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR

Large and costly adapters are required in order to attach square or rectangular filters in front of the lenses convex front element, though someone may come up with a similar adapter for attaching wide diameter circular filters to it.

Another large and costly solution is to invest in a matte box, though which one may be best is beyond my current knowledge and experience.

As a budget-driven documentary video solo operator I need to keep my equipment load and expenses down so I rely on circular variable ND filters.

My current VNDs are built with ageing technology, and more recent ones are reportedly sharper, more colour-neutral and offer a greater range of filtration density stops for today’s sensors.

I want to find the best contemporary VND, need a great set of fixed density NDs for less run-and-gun style projects, and I want to upgrade from 77mm to 82mm to future-proof for coming bigger lenses.

All that aside, I absolutely love the results I have been getting with the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR.

It balances well on a battery grip-equipped X-T3 whereas it is far too large and heavy for an ungripped camera.

I cannot comment on how it works with a gripped or ungripped Fujifilm X-H1 as I have yet to experience that particular camera.

I wish the X-T3 had the X-H1’s in-body image stabilization aka IBIS and optical image stabilization on the 8-16mm lens would have been terrific.

The X-T3’s ungripped body makes for a great companion camera to my X-Pro2 as I discovered during my first X-T3 tryout late last year, equipping the latter with a Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 alongside the former with my Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R attached.

Adding a Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip to the X-T3 turns it into a great handheld portrait camera with the addition of my Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R.

But I digress.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is the first Fujifilm Red Badge zoom lens I have tried, and so far it looks like it adheres to the common praise heaped upon the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R WR, that it is like having a set of top quality primes at your disposal but all in the one lens.

The widest lens I have ever used until now was the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R, equivalent in 35mm sensor terms to one of my favourite focal lengths for immersive documentary photography and video, 21mm.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR goes well beyond that excellent and affordable little lens with a focal length range from 12mm through to 24mm in 35mm sensor terms, the latter not one of my preferred focal lengths by any means.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR’s focal range is particularly well-suited to cityscapes and ‘burbscapes, though it can handle documentary shots in a pinch provided you set it at 16mm and watch out for weird volume distortion of people and objects too near the corners of the frame.

Some of that corner volume distortion can be corrected in post-processing with DxO ViewPoint but that can also introduce other distortions in the centre of the photograph.

I would rather have a pro-quality 18mm lens for immersive documentary work, but Fujifilm has yet to update its current quirky 18mm offering or release the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens.

In my analog days I often made architectural photographs with 4”x5” sheet film cameras as part of corporate photography assignments, and as it was a sideline rather than a speciality did not have the set of wide-angle large format view camera lenses I would have liked.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR gives me all of those focal lengths and more.

Shooting architecture with a small handheld camera is a very different dynamic than doing it with a tripod-mounted field camera.

The small camera’s fast and easy mobility means one feels free to dart all around the subject and the zoom lens makes it so fast and easy to try out plenty of alternative camera positions.

I often found myself using the lens at its widest focal length when street furniture, signage and random objects and people got in the way.

So long as you keep a keen eye on potentially detrimental volume and perspective distortions due to distance from and angle of view to the subject, you will do fine.

On the other hand, if you want radical perspective and even more radical near/far object size comparisons, select one of the lens’ wider focal lengths and distort to your heart’s content.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is possibly the sharpest lens I have ever used, with excellent resolution and micro-contrast.

Whether using Adobe’s Enhance-equipped Camera Raw 11.2, previous versions of Camera Raw or another raw processor or image editing application, its unsharpened raw files are impressive onscreen.

If adding sharpening in post-processing, go easy with it and you may also wish dial down your in-camera sharpening for certain subjects if you are a JPEG user.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR zoom lens makes for a superb addition to your Fujifilm lens collection if your work demands ultra-wide focal lengths, though its current high pricing will give some pause to stop, think and postpone purchase.

Many video-oriented users of Fujifilm APS-C/Super 35 cameras may be better off considering the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens for one or more of its most prominent differences – price, size, weight, optical image stabilization and not least the ability to easily mount circular filters of 72mm diameter or larger.

In terms of focal length, one loses 2mm at the wide and gains 8mm at the long end with the 35mm sensor equivalent of 15mm to 36mm, thus providing my preferred documentary photo and video focal lengths of 14mm, 18mm and 23mm or in 35mm sensor terms 21mm, 28mm and 35mm.

Add a medium-to-long zoom lens or some longer primes and you have most bases covered.

The Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens is reportedly not as sharp or as high-resolving as the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR and I have read complaints about its lack of corner sharpness at certain wider apertures, so I hope it will be one of the lenses Fujifilm considers for revision in the very near future.

If the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR meets your needs despite its inability to take a screw-on filter and lack of OIS, and its price is beyond your budget, wait for the discounts and sales seasons or for Fujifilm to substantially drop its price.

If price is no object and if I were a full-time architectural photographer, this would be my number one and possibly only lens for the job.

Gallery, Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR on Fujifilm X-T3

Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 16mm and 8mm

The XF 8-16mm f/2.8 for architecture with the X-T3’s 3D Electronic Level indicator

fujifilm_x-t3_electronic_level_manual

One of the great X-T3 features rarely if ever covered in the many reviews of the camera is its optional 3D level indicator that can be assigned to a function button.

I have long wished that all Fujifilm cameras had the same always-on 3D level indicator that Panasonic puts in its cameras so that levelling shots involving parallel verticals is made better than guesswork.

Without much if any fanfare Fujifilm has upgraded its electronic level function from just displaying a simple virtual horizon, and if one assigns Electronic Level to a function button then the function becomes even better, a 3D electronic level that displays roll and pitch indicators.

I assigned Electronic Level to the X-T3’s front function button and, when pressed, its 3D form appears onscreen as an overlay for a fixed period so you can quickly tilt your camera in 3D space to avoid what they used to call “keystoning” of buildings.

I found myself using the 3D Electronic Level all the time when photographing architecture and street views, though sometimes I would run my images through DxO ViewPoint after raw processing in order to further refine perspective and volume deformation.

DxO ViewPoint works as standalone software as well as a plug-in in Photoshop and Photoshop-savvy image editing software, as well as a plug-in in DxO PhotoLab which does not, regretfully, support Fujifilm X-Trans raw files.

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DPReview: Open letter to Panasonic: Innovations in manual focus could make Lumix S a winner for cinematographers

https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/3202272540/open-letter-to-panasonic-long-overdue-innovations-in-manual-focus

“Jack Lam is a cinematographer based in Beijing and Hong Kong. His body of work includes TV commercials, seasonal TV drama series and theatrical feature films. His commercial clients include Cathay Pacific, Lenovo, Airbnb, Alibaba, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. He also works with DJI as a design consultant for their cinema products….

… As a working cinematographer, I am super excited by Panasonic’s announcement of the Lumix S mirrorless camera system. The Panasonic GH5 is so well-designed, it has become a reliable workhorse for many video shooters. I have no doubt a full-frame version of it will be amazing, and everything I read about the S1/S1R confirms that.

However, Lumix S has the potential to become much greater that what we see in this product launch. With this brand new camera system, Panasonic has a unique opportunity to create the perfect small camera system for professional cinematographers. But doing so requires Panasonic to address a long-standing problem that is overlooked by all other camera makers, as well as some rethinking of conventional ideas on camera design.

This missing feature – one that can become a potential killer feature for Panasonic – is good manual focus control for video….

… I want MF control that is simple, accurate, reliable, repeatable, predictable, measurable and ergonomically sound. It should also be wireless-capable and highly integrated as part of the camera (so that we can keep the camera small and don’t need to add six other accessories just to pull focus). Do you know of any small (DSLR/mirrorless) camera in the market that fulfills all of the above requirements? I have found none.”

panasonic_lumix_dc-s1_01_1024px
Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 35mm sensor mirrorless camera with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS standard zoom lens.

Commentary

olympus_m.zuiko_primes_square_17_25_45_1024px_60%
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro and Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro professional prime lenses with manual clutch focusing, brilliant for shooting video or stills where accurate focus is absolutely critical.

Please note that Jack Lam’s open letter was written late 2018 before the official launch of the Panasonic S1 and S1R cameras and lenses, before detailed specifications were released.

The elephant in the room of mirrorless and DSLR hybrid cameras is manual focusing, and it is pleasing that Mr Lam has addressed it in depth.

The autofocus capabilities of modern mirrorless cameras have been steadily improving for use in stills photography, but I often find myself flipping over into manual focus whenever starting off with autofocus when shooting video, no matter how much innovation has gone into each camera’s video autofocus functions.

The problem of manual focusing limitations in cameras is further compounded by the manual focusing and focus pulling limitations of the lenses that are made for them, with their reliance on non-linear focusing control rings or lack of focusing rings altogether.

Whenever possible I invest in lenses that have manual clutch focus mechanisms and hard stops at each end of the focussing scale, but these lenses can be far and few between in any camera system.

fujifiom_fujinon_xf_14mm_f2.8_r_01_1024px_80pc
Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R prime lens with manual clutch focus, equivalent to 21mm in the 35mm sensor format.

Lenses manually focused via control rings are more common, whether the option of switching from non-linear to linear operation is offered in cameras’ firmware or not.

Given a choice, I will always select a manual clutch focus lens over autofocus-only or control ring-only lenses, but then there is another factor, the all-too-common lack of an aperture ring.

The ideal lens for me has both, with a switch for clickless and clicked operation of the aperture ring being the best option for riding exposure in variable light.

I write about this stuff as often as I can but I am nobody and no camera manufacturer pays attention to what I have to say.

It may be a different matter for Jack Lam.

I hope that Panasonic is not the only camera and lens maker that may read Mr Lam’s open letter.

I want Blackmagic Design, Fujifilm and Olympus to read it and act positively upon it too.

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Olympus O-MD E-M1X camera with fully-articulated LCD monitor. I relish having fully-articulated monitors on my Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras and use them constantly for photography and video. I am not so enamoured of the two-way, three-way and non-articulating monitors that have been appearing on recent cameras by other manufacturers including Fujifilm, Sony and now Panasonic in its S Series cameras. Full articulation, please, camera makers. 

Manual focus and focus-pulling for video with mirrorless hybrid camera should not have to suck.

I am beyond tired of it sucking on the cameras that I try out and consider for purchase.

I am tired of having to mention it all the time in my articles in the hopes of things changing for the better.

I am sure that my contacts at the camera and lens companies are tired of me and reportedly many others asking them to lift their game.

Mr Lam makes a number of other excellent suggestions on page two of his article as published by DPReview, or you may wish to read it at source, at Mr Lam’s The Right Lens web log below.

For good measure, here is his list of other necessary features, all of which I agree with:

Other Good-to-have Features

While we are at it, here are some good-to-have features that I’d like to see in the Lumix-S system. But they are not nearly as important as a good focus control system.

– GH5-style Flip-out Screen. It is already so good. Don’t change it.

– High-bright Screen. Make it viewable under sunlight. I know it eats battery and heats up quick. But it really is super useful outdoor.

– Internal ND

– 4K 10-bit Log 60fps

– Build-in Video Transmitter or make it an add-on module that is highly integrated with the camera. Monitoring thru WiFi isn’t reliable enough. (I know I am getting greedy…)

– Sturdy, Positive-locking Lens Mount. For the time when we do use a cinema lens. (Just like the mount upgrade option on the Canon C300 MK2)

– Ergonomics. For the video-centric pro model, please, don’t make it too large, otherwise the whole talk about small cameras getting good focus control becomes moot. At least give us one video-centric model with DSLR-like form factor. And please, for god’s sake, don’t make it shaped like the Canon C100 / C300. They have the worst ergonomics.

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Fujifilm Global: Fujifilm announces firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-T3

http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n190214_04.html

“… FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) will release new firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-T3 (“X-T3”) X Series digital camera in April.

Firmware Version:
[ FUJIFILM X-T3 Ver. 3.00: April 2019 ]

1.Strengthened the accuracy of face / eye detection AF performance

The AF algorithm has been improved along with the accuracy of face / eye detection AF. The ability to detect faces in the distance has been enhanced by approximately 30% and AF tracking is now more stable, even when an obstacle appears in the way. The improvements in AF are applicable to both still photos and video recording.

2.New Face Select function

The Face Select function has been introduced to provide priority auto-focus, tracking and exposure on a selected subject when multiple faces have been detected. The priority face can be selected by using the touch screen or focus lever.

3.Faster AF speed for subjects at a distance

Thanks to the improved AF algorithm, faster AF speed is achieved when shooting from short to long distances (or vice versa).

4.Intuitive operation of touch screen

A Double Tap Setting and Touch Function has been added to the touch screen settings*. The two settings must be set to OFF to provide a better touch screen response. These new settings allow a more intuitive touch operation when shooting, AF and focus area select.

*By default, Touch Screen Setting, Double Tap Setting and Touch Function are set to all OFF.
For improved touch screen response, Touch Screen Setting must be set to ON.”

fujifilm_x-t3_15_1024px_80pc
Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 cinema zoom lens.

Commentary

Autofocus is a feature I had assumed would be nice to have rather than crucial when I first got back  into moviemaking and photography with hybrid digital cameras.

As time passed, and as autofocus steadily improved on the gear I was using through firmware updates and new camera models, I have come to see the utility value of autofocusing for stills photography and now, with the X-T3 having the best autofocus functionality for video yet of all the mirrorless cameras I have tried, it looks like it will be getting better again with April’s coming firmware update.

Improved face and eye detection is particularly welcome given I am in the process of getting back into portrait photography and manual focus with longer lenses and moving subjects does not always cut the mustard, as it were.

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Nick Thomas: A Memento of Life | A Fujifilm X-T3 Short Film

A MEMENTO OF LIFE | A FUJIFILM X-T3 SHORT FILM from Nick Thomas on Vimeo.

Commentary

When I was trying out Fujifilm’s X-T3 as a video camera, shooting footage at DCI 4K 10-bit 4:2:0 F-Log All-Intra 400 mbps and recording internally rather than onto an external monitor/recorder such as the Atomos Ninja V, I was gobsmacked at the quality of the images even though it was just a little short of the 10-bit 4:2:2 footage that external recording makes possible.

Although cameras that shoot raw or ProRes footage such as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and the like are traditionally termed, well, cinema cameras, the X-T3’s footage is clearly more than good enough for many projects that independent documentary and feature moviemakers are likely to create.

It certainly is for me, and it certainly appears to be a step up from the reportedly excellent 10-bit 4:2:2 the Super 16-like Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S camera is cable of recording internally and that is apparently a step-up from the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5’s 10-bit 4:2:2 footage, also recorded internally.

We appear to now be living in the realm of ‘degrees of excellence’ and so image quality may no longer be the number one deciding factor when choosing how one may shoot a project.

Other factors such as colour science, camera size, shape, handholding ability, available lenses, rigging and more will become the deciding factors and that is no bad thing.

It is great to see what the Fujifilm X-T3 is capable of when shooting short features with it and Nick Thomas and his team have my thanks for kindly sharing their work here.

Bravo!

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    • Atomos Ninja V 5″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
    • Atomos Handle Adapter for AtomX SSDmini (5-Pack)B&H
    • Aurora-Aperture variable ND filtersB&H
    • Bluestar Eye CushionsB&H
    • Breakthrough Photography CPL, UV and ND filtersB&H
    • Chiaro UV FiltersB&H
    • DJI Ronin-SB&H
    • G-Technology Atomos Master Caddy 4K (1TB)B&H
    • HPRC 2500 Hard Case for DJI Ronin SB&H
    • Formatt-Hitech Firecrest fixed value ND filtersB&H
    • Fujifilm CVR-XT3 Cover KitB&H
    • Fujifilm EC-GFX Round Eyecup – B&H
    • Fujifilm EC-XH 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 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
    • LockCircle camera cagesB&H
    • MindShift Grea and Think Tank Photo camera bags and accessoriesB&H
    • Peak Design camera strapsB&H
    • Phase One Capture One ProB&H
    • Røde video microphonesB&H
    • SLR Magic variable ND FiltersB&H – SLR Magic was reputed to be working on a collection of fixed value ND filters though they do not seem to have appeared at B&H yet.
    • SmallRig camera cagesB&H
    • Sony 128GB M Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Card Kit (2-Pack)B&H
    • Zhiyun-Tech Crane-2 3-Axis StabilizerB&H

The X-T3 is Fujifilm’s Finest Camera for APS-C Photography and Super 35 Video Right Now

Moments after I unpacked the X-T3 it became clear that Fujifilm had created something very special with this, the latest in its APS-C sized line of DSLR-style hybrid stills and video cameras.

No time for contemplation  though so I placed it in my shoulder bag and dashed off down the road to where the venue for an historical commemoration was being prepared for the following day, and my first few minutes documenting the action with the X-T3 proved my initial impressions were absolutely spot on. 

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom lens, the combination I have been trying out for this article.

Gallery: the Fujifilm X-T3

Fujifilm’s X-T3 hits the mark

With the X-T3, Fujifilm has really hit the mark and is now fulfilling the promise of affordable, high-quality hybrid stills photography and cinematic video that other makers had dangled back way in 2008 with the 35mm and APS-C DSLRs of the day.

I’ll go even further. With the X-T3, Fujifilm has delivered on the promise of a camera little-known when new and now almost completely forgotten, a revolutionary camera which vanished almost almost as rapidly as it had first appeared, the Samsung NX1.

The Fujifilm X-T3 not only picks up where the NX1 took us back in 2014 but signals a bright future for other top-end Fujifilm APS-C/Super 35 cameras that are hopefully coming soon, specifically the X-Pro3 and the X-H2.

The Fujifilm X-T 3 for stills photography

Amazing feature film-quality video is anything but the whole story for the X-T3 – it is also an amazing stills photography camera.

The Fujifilm X-T3 for documentary photography and photojournalism

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Fujifilm X-Pro 2 and Fujifilm X-T3: a perfect two-camera two-lens documentary photography and photojournalism combination?

I come from a newspaper and documentary photography background, having worked for newspapers, magazines and corporate clients from a ridiculously early age.

I did that work with a range of camera types and sizes, ranging from a Pentax Spotmatic SLR through Nikon SLRs, to sheet film view cameras handheld and on tripods, to Leica’s M-System masterpiece rangefinder cameras and then to a number of medium format roll film cameras in twin-lens reflex, single-lens reflex and rangefinder configurations.

I most found myself at home with rangefinder cameras, small, medium and large, the reason why I was so besotted with the Fujifilm X100 when it was launched in 2010.

As a result I immediately bought an X-Pro2 when it appeared and have loved it ever since.

There is more to documentary photography than the 18mm to 56mm focal length lenses that the X-Pro2’s amazing Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder can handle, though, and I have been hoping for an improved X-Pro3 or some other suitable companion camera that makes the most of lenses longer and wider than 56mm and 18mm.

I certainly hope that the X-Pro3 is on its way, but those other focal lengths continue to beckon.

Having tried the X-T1 and X-T2 and having appreciated them without loving them, I know now that the X-T3 is a big evolutionary jump beyond both older cameras and makes a great companion for my X-Pro2.

The X-T3 side-by-side with the X-Pro2 and all on its own

I loved the X-Pro2 as soon as I picked it up not only for its rangefinder-style optical viewfinder but also for its looks and its feel in the hand, in the way it leaps into my hands every time I get it out of my camera bag.

The day of the X-T3’s arrival I placed it in the bag alongside my X-Pro2, carrying three lenses that day, the Fujinon XF 18-55mmm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom, my Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R and my Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R prime lenses.

I had chosen those two fast primes after reading wedding documentary photographer Kevin Mullins’ blog at F16.click and seeing the results he was getting in the usual ill-lit churches and wedding venues.

I had worked as a wedding photographer to supplement my income as a kid, relying on flash units and medium format roll film cameras, so appreciated the speed and ease with which Mr Mullins creates his images.

I covered the commemoration event with the X-T3 and X-Pro2 draped around my neck via two Peak Design SlideLite camera straps, relying more on the X-Pro2 at the start then quickly switching to the X-T3 after discovering how beautifully it handled the venue’s available light, or more accurately its available darkness.

I usually rely on Fujifilm cameras’ Auto ISO feature, with aperture priority auto exposure, choose reasonably high ISOs and shoot with fairly wide open apertures in those circumstances and found I was getting better results from the X-T3.

It proved easier and faster to use, faster to autofocus especially when using eye autofocus, produced less noisey images, and most pleasantly of all, it felt just as good in the hand as my X-Pro2, with the result that I began to rely solely on the X-T3 for the rest of the loan period, and loved it.

The Fujifilm X-T3 for monochrome documentary photography

Most of my photography in monochrome, or black-and-white as its more commonly known, is reserved for documentary photography in poor lighting or when the colours of my subjects and their environments carry little to no meaning.

These commemorative event photographs are typical in that the lighting in parts of the venue was low, of mixed sources with some continuous and others prone to flickering, where colour played little to no part in conveying information about the event and its participants, and where I was prepared to shoot in at high ISOs with resulting grain-like digital noise.

The X-T3, frankly, amazed me with its low noise at high ISO to the point where I could easily have shot at ISOs greater than 3200 which I usually set as my upper limit only to be used in emergencies.

Chalk at least some of that up to the X-T3’s new X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4.

The Fujifilm X-T3 for colour photography

Fujifilm cameras are rightly celebrated for their colour science and the richness and veracity of their film simulations for JPEGs and video footage, but I tend to rely on raw files that I process in a number of different applications and plug-ins depending on whether I am after realism or pictorialism, or whether I wish to emulate analog films or go entirely digital in my effects via high dynamic range imaging by merging 5 or 7 exposure brackets in Skylum Aurora HDR 2019.

Since buying my X-Pro2 I have tried out a number of custom picture styles for JPEGs by following the recipes shared by photographers like Kevin Mullins, Thomas Fitzgerald and others.

They have proven to be great reminders of how I visualized the final rendering of my raw files but rarely if ever have I used my JPEGs for final reproduction.

If I were working for a fast-moving client with tight deadlines that deny me time enough in the digital darkroom then I would take my JPEGs more seriously, but those days may well be long over for me now.

And then Fujifilm put Colour Chrome Effect in the X-T3 and what a difference it makes!

Colour Chrome Effect was the crucial step needed to persuade me to finally take JPEGs seriously.

For me, shooting JPEGs for reproduction is akin to shooting colour transparency film while shooting raw is not unlike shooting colour negative film then fussing and mussing it in the colour laboratory.

With an X-T3, my JPEGs to raw files keeper percentages would be more even than they are now when I often chuck out my JPEGs or use them as a quick reference and reminder and not as final art.

The Fujifilm X-T 3 for video

With Fujifilm positioning its X-H1 as the most videocentric DSLR-style camera in its range, as well as the highest performance camera of the whole X Series, the X-T3’s pro-quality video features came as a complete surprise.

In the run-up to Fujifilm’s X-T3 announcement, rumour websites had placed more emphasis on it as a stills photography camera than for video, and I was left wondering whether there would ever be an APS-C hybrid camera that approached or even surpassed the revolutionary Samsung NX1.

Samsung’s NX1 foreshadowed the video capabilities of Fujifilm’s X-T3

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Until Fujifilm released the X-T3, Samsung’s NX1 was the undisputed innovation leader in APS-C hybrid cameras capable of professional-quality 4K video as well as excellent stills. Now the X-T3 is the one to aim for and to beat.

The Samsung NX1 had taken everyone by surprise with a slew of video features nobody could have foreseen at the time it was announced back in 2014.

Those features included its 28.9 megapixel backside illuminated sensor (BSI), autofocus phase detection points covering almost all the sensor’s frame, subject tracking that was incredibly effective for its day, great 4K video, 8-bit 4:2:2 4K video out, a dynamic range and low light capability that was outstanding, high-speed burst stills, touch screen, fast and intuitive menu system, built-in Wi-Fi, an almost lag-free OLED viewfinder and, looking to the future, its H.265 video codec.

DPReview’s Pros and Cons lists for the NX1 included the same item in two places, the NX1’s H.265 video codec in the Pros list due to the small size of H.265 HEVC video files and in the Cons list because many computers of the tine were just too underpowered to handle it well.

The X-T3’s H.265 HEVC video codec and contemporary computers

Those relatively underpowered computers of the day when the Samsung NX1 was new are no longer as much of a concern now, something I proved by putting the X-T3’s H.265 video files to the test in an Apple Store on a range of current computers from an entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro through an entry-level 27-inch iMac up to a mid-range iMac Pro maxed out with RAM.

The two entry-level machines were low in memory for their CPU but they had enough video RAM and graphics processing power to easily handle my H.265 files whether in playback or editing in Final Cut Pro X.

Internal and external graphics processing units like Blackmagic Design’s  Blackmagic eGPU are the key to the big video files that cinema-quality cameras like the X-T3 and NX1 produce, especially when maxing out on resolution, bitrate, compression and aspect ratio.

I carried the Fujifilm X-T3 in this Think Tank Photo MindShift Gear Exposure 15 adventure shoulder camera bag throughout heavy downpours and the occasional sunnier days. Until this bag with its innovative gel shoulder strap, I was unable to carry larger shoulder bags due to longtime spinal injuries but now I can carry two cameras and several lenses as well as a host of other items large and small with impunity.

I initially tested the X-T3’s ability to shoot great video with settings I would apply to making records of family and friends, choosing from Fujifilm’s legendary film simulations for instant television playback via HDMI.

However I shot most of my test video with the cinematic combination of F-log, the cinematic 17:9 aspect ratio of DCI 4K, shooting at 24p and 400Mbps, chose the H.265 (HEVC) codec for 10-bit 4:2:0 on the SD card which would have been 10-bit 4:2:2 if I’d had an Atomos Ninja  V monitor/recorder handy, and ALL-I movie compression instead of Long GOP.

Fair warning: if you choose to shoot whole projects at those settings, make sure you have plenty of internal hard drive space and plenty more fast external hard drives to store on and edit from.

Transcode to ProRes when editing on older computers

I was pushing it on my ageing 27-inch iMac Retina 5K, with video playback stuttering whichever software I used, including the ever-reliable Kyno media management application.

For older machines like mine, be prepared to transcode your H.265 footage to ProRes using your choice of Kyno, EditReady, Compressor or any other capable transcoding software so your computer playback goes smoothly and your editing goes even smoother.

And be prepared to investigate how to use external GPUs on likewise ageing computers, and to invest in a workable solution.

The external GPU community website eGPU.io is a great place to start your research into adding extra graphics processing power to older computers.

Alternatively, choose the older H.264 codec, Long GOP compression and 1080p if you don’t need to future-proof your footage by shooting and editing in 4K.

“Simples!”

Fujfilm X-T3 lightly rigged for video

It is still early days for camera cages and accessories makers coming up with designs for the X-T3 and I do not currently have access to gimbals and other stabilization devices so used it handheld.

Equipped with an optically stabilized zoom lens, however, the Fujifilm X-T3 makes for a very good run-and-gun video camera and its great balance and weight easily accommodates popular video mics from makers like Australia’s very own Røde Microphones as well as headphones or earphones for a little more on-location discretion.

The X-T3 benefits from larger, faster SDXC memory cards especially when shooting video for the high road, and I have some suggestions in the list at the borrow of this page.

You will also need neutral density filters especially when shooting in available light outdoors as the X-T3 has a base ISO of 640 in F-Log and 160 in Rec. 709.

Documentary cinematographers often rely on variable neutral density filters aka VNDs while feature filmmakers choose sets of fixed value ND filters in circular screw-on frames, or square or rectangular filters for sliding into matte boxes or filter holders.

I use both, depending on the project and its circumstances, and there are some recommendations in the list at the bottom of the page.

I also recommend rigging your handheld X-T3  up with ample camera strapping for safety and better grip, and I equip every camera I use with Peak Design’s Clutch, Cuff and SlideLite.

Still frames from DCI 4K video shot in F-Log then minimally graded with Fujifilm’s free LUTs

The video still frames above were shot at DCI 4K then downsized to 1080p to keep file sizes down but they give a good idea of the video image quality delivered by the X-T3 at high road video and in-between settings.

The X-T3’s Super 35 4K footage is eminently gradable, looks beautiful whether shot with F-Log or Fujifilm’s Eterna Rec. 709 film simulation, and I am looking forward to seeing what it does with Fujifilm’s Hybrid Log-Gamma aka HLG profile when it is released via a firmware update sometime later this year.

With the arrival of HLG on Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras the Lumix DC-GH5 and DC-GH5S last year and this, many documentary and feature moviemakers have adopted it as their go-to profile and the same may very well occur with X-T3 users.

I have shot all but one of these in F-Log with the exception of one as Eterna, and have graded the F-Log footage with Fujifilm’s recently updated set of three LUTs for F-Log along with some creative looks LUTs from LookLabs’ SpeedLooks and DFS aka Digital Film Stocks collections.

The X-T3’s Eterna footage looks like it is more than usable ungraded and can take a modicum of grading as well.

The X-T3 takes video autofocus seriously and now, so do I

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A great opportunity to try out the Fujifilm X-T3’s video autofocus and tracking capabilities while panning on fast-moving subjects in dull light during a typical gloomy Sydney October day. Looks good enough for me. Lens used was the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom minus ND filter, at about 18mm and with aperture fairly wide open.

For years there has been no end of to and fro online about whether serious moviemakers use autofocus or not, with the implication that real professionals only focus manually.

My motto is ‘take nothing for granted’ so I put the X-T3’s video and eye detection autofocus to the test in some rather trying conditions and found they certainly work well enough for use when shooting run-and-gun style video and during fast-and-loose handheld camera movements.

The Fujifilm X-T3’s autofocus, and autoexposure capabilities for that matter, are well worth putting to the test under a range of conditions.

From the evidence of the still-frame above and others I would me more than happy to rely on the X-T3’s autofocusing in a pinch, especially for use in documentary projects.

My Fujifilm X-T3 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Slightly larger body, dials and buttons – better grip, more stability in the hand, easier to locate without looking, easier to click or turn.
  • Slightly larger built-in grip – though I would still add the metal hand grip or vertical battery grip for larger lenses and portrait photography.
  • Size, shape and silver colour – aids in 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.
  • 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, defeated only by subjects wearing glasses.
  • Faster and more accurate autofocus – in stills and especially video.
  • Flicker reduction using mechanical shutter.
  • Locking diopter adjustment!!! – no more knocking off its settings and annoying resetting.
  • More megapixels at 26.1 MP – leading to less noise when shooting in available darkness at high ISOs.
  • Size, shape and silver colour – aids in 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.
  • Minimal blackout of the electronic viewfinder.
  • Better video dynamic range than other APS-C and M43 cameras.
  • Beautiful stills and videos. 
  • Wide range of film simulation picture styles – augmented by Colour Chrome Effect, Eterna and F-Log.
  • Good low noise results at high ISOs. 
  • Built-in microphone and headphone ports – on-camera instead of only on battery grip.
  • Zebras – for accurate video exposure, with ability to set percentage.

Cons:

  • No in-body image stabilization – wait for the X-H2?
  • Three-way tilting LCD monitor instead of fully articulated LCD monitor – limits the operator’s range of positions relative to the camera, especially in tight spaces, and eliminates the possibility of mounting detachable hoods and loupes.
  • Small battery – while the NP-W126S delivers more sustained power than the NP-W126, shooting throughout the day requires carrying several of them and so I recommend the Vertical Battery Grip VG-XT3.
  • Blinkies only – for accurate stills exposure and not zebras and percentage settings as with video.

Conclusions

The Fujifilm X-T3 has been a revelation, the first contemporary DSLR-style APS-C/Super 35 format camera I have used that has impressed me as much as the revolutionary Samsung NX1 did, for photography and for video.

The Fujifilm X-T3 is the first APS-C DSLR-style camera that proved to be as comfortable, as at-home in my hands while covering an all-day event as my Fujifilm X-Pro2, and I would have no hesitation relying on it for plenty more of the same.

The Fujifilm X-T3 also proved to be just as usable and as comfortable in my hands in its role as a Super 35 movie camera shooting beautiful high-end DCI 4K cinematic footage with its video settings maxed out, and its straight-out-of-camera 1080p video shot using the Eterna and other film simulation picture profiles was a delight.

The X-T3 will be as at home shooting family videos with stabilized zoom lenses attached as it will be on the set of a commercial movie or television production, heavily rigged up with adapted cinema prime lenses or Fujifilm’s two geared parfocal X-Mount cinema zoom lenses, the Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 and the Fujinon MKX 50-135mm T2.9.

I have only touched on the surface of this amazing camera and its capabilities, but even so I was deeply impressed and excited about the future of Fujifilm’s X-Mount system for stills photography and moviemaking, and have no hesitation in recommending the X-T3 for users at all levels of expertise.

Links

This is an exhaustive list of hardware and software products that may be of interest to those using the Fujifilm X-T3 for stills photography or video production. I use or have at least tried out most of these products and can recommend them.

Many of them are available for purchase via my B&H Photo Video affiliate link account if you wish to help support may work in producing articles like this one, or you may wish to do so via the shorter list at the base of this page.

    • 1Styles.pro – maker of film simulations styles and presets for Capture One.
    • 8Sinn – maker of popular camera body-hugging camera cages and accessories, currently designing cages for the Fujifilm X-T3.
    • Alien Skin – maker of Exposure X4 raw photo editor and organizer.
    • Aurora-Aperture – excellent quality UV, neutral density and variable neutral density filters for photography and cinematography, including the PowerXND-II VND series featuring a range of 1 to 11 stops of light reduction.
    • Apple – Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter – … “a bidirectional adapter, it can also connect new Thunderbolt 3 devices to a Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port and macOS Sierra.”
    • Blackmagic DesignBlackmagic eGPU – external high performance graphics accelerator for photograph and video editing and grading, currently sold exclusively through Apple stores.
    • Blackmagic DesignBlackmagic Raw – “the world’s fastest RAW format with better quality and better features!” – imagine if this raw codec was implemented in all cameras, especially the X-T3!
    • Blackmagic DesignDaVinci Resolve – “DaVinci Resolve 15 is the world’s first solution that combines professional offline and online editing, color correction, audio post production and now visual effects all in one software tool!” – available in excellent free version as well as paid-for Studio version.
    • Breakthrough Photography – makers of some of the finest brass traction-framed and non-framed UV and fixed ND filters as well as the best brass traction-framed step-up rings though the company does not make every single size that may be needed. If the size you need is not available, consider the brass step-up rings made by Heliopan and Sensei, UV filters made by Chiaro and ND filters made by Formatt-Hitech and SLR Magic.
    • Chiaro – excellent high transmission UV protection filters in brass frames.
    • CoreMelt – Australian maker of plug-ins for Final Cut Pro X that are considered must-haves for all video editors, with its Chromatic plug-in especially essential for quality colour grading within FCPX.
    • divergent mediaEditReady 2 – affordable macOS-only application for transcoding video files.
    • DxO – maker of DxO PhotoLab, DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint as well as the new owner of the Nik Collection Plug-ins. Sadly, DxO does not support Fujifilm X-Trans raw files in its applications but they can be applied as plug-ins.
    • eGPU.io – macOS user community website dedicated to external graphics processing unit solutions for current and older Mac computers including those that predate Thunderbolt 3.
    • F16.click – Fujifilm X-Photographer Kevin Mullins’ blog, where he shares his excellent SOOC JPEG custom settings amongst other things. Like me he is a rangefinder camera-using documentary photographer and I recommend his articles on the X-T3 from that point of view.
    • Formatt Hitech – makes Firecrest Ultra ND and Firecrest ND fixed value neutral density filters in framed and unframed versions, the “world’s first hyper-neutral ND”.
    • Fujifilm GlobalApplication Software – free software including Fujifilm X Raw Studio, Fujifilm X Acquire and Tethered Shooting Software HS-V5.
    • Fujifilm Global – Digital Camera Firmware : Interchangeable Camera Body / Lens – check that you have the latest camera and lens firmware here.
    • Fujifilm Global – Fujifilm launches new mirrorless digital camera “FUJIFILM X-T3” – press release.
    • Fujifilm GlobalFujifilm X-T3 – product pages.
    • Fujifilm Global – LUT for F-Log (Look Up Table) – set of three free LUTs for X-T3 video, an excellent starting point when grading F-Log and other video from the X-T3. I particularly like the F-Log to Eterna LUT.
    • Fujifilm Global – RAW FILE CONVERTER EX 3.0 powered by SILKYPIX – free raw file convertor.
    • Fujifilm X/GFX USA
    • Fujifilm X Series Official Site
    • Image Alchemist – maker of presets for Capture One.
    • iridient digital – maker of Iridient X-Transformer and transformer software for other cameras’ raw files as well as Iridient Developer for processing raw files; helping get the very best out of Fujifilm X-Trans raw files.
    • Leeming LUT Pro – Australian director/cinematographer Paul Leeming makes “the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table ( LUT ) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec. 709 starting point for further creative colour grading.” and is working on a LUT for the Fujifilm X-T3.
    • Lesspain SoftwareKyno – unique application for macOS and Windows that is effectively a Swiss Army Knife media management toolset for moviemakers, that works in close conjunction with Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro.
    • LockCircle – run by Italian-Australian director/cinematographer Dante Cecchin, this Italian company makes some of the best camera cages and accessories for digital moviemaking.
    • LookLabs – makers of SpeedLooks and Digital Film Stocks aka DFS looks LUTs based on scans of film stocks and popular feature film grading looks.
    • On1, Inc. – maker of On1 Photo Raw 2018, soon to be upgraded to On1 Photo Raw 2019, raw image editor and organizer.
    • Phase OneCapture One Express Fujifilm, Capture One Pro Fujifilm, and Capture One Pro for all cameras – Express version is free, other two must be purchased, both offer tethered shooting on top-tier Fujifilm cameras, and all versions provide top-quality raw image processing of Fujifilm raw files with integrated Fujifilm film simulations coming soon.
    • Silkypix – maker of Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 9, Silkypix Developer Studio 8 and free raw developer software for Fujfilm cameras.
    • Skylum – maker of Aurora HDR 2019 and Luminar 2018 image editing and organizing software.
    • SLR Magic – makers of neutral density and related filters popular with professional documentary moviemakers, includingSLR Magic 82mm Self-Locking Variable Neutral Density 0.4 to 1.8 Filter (1.3 to 6 Stops) and SLR Magic 86mm Solid Neutral Density 1.2 Image Enhancer Filter (4-Stop) as well as a range of fixed neutral density filters.
    • SmallRig – maker of cages and accessories for cameras including the X-T3, with two cages in Pre-Order at time of writing, SmallRig Cage for Fujifilm X-T3 Camera with Battery Grip 2229 and SmallRig Cage for Fujifilm X-T3 Camera 2228.
    • Thomas Fitzgerald Photography – blog by JPEG and raw file processing expert whose ‘Fuji Jpegs: Shooting and Processing Guide’ eBook contains some excellent advice and recipes for getting the best out of SOOC JPEG custom settings.

    Image Credits

    • Header image by Jonas Rask on commission from Fujifilm.
    • Press image product shots courtesy of Fujifilm.
    • Photograph of Fujifilm X-T3 and Samsung NX1 made on location at a local event as a 5-bracket HDR image with Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens then processed in Aurora HDR 2019 and DxO Nik Collection plug-ins.
    • My own product shots made as 5-bracket HDR images with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens then processed in Skylum Aurora HDR 2019, Alien Skin Exposure X4 and DxO Nik Sharpener Pro as plug-ins.

    Help support ‘Untitled’

    atomos_ninja_v_02_1024px_80pc
    The Atomos Ninja V 5-inch HDMI monitor/recorder, perfect for recording 10-bit 4:2:2 F-Log video footage from the Fujifilm X-T3.

    Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

    • 8Sinn camera cagesB&H
    • Angelbird 256GBGB Match Pack (2 x 128GB)B&H
    • Angelbird AtomX SSDmini (1TB)B&H
    • Atomos Ninja V 5″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
    • Atomos Handle Adapter for AtomX SSDmini (5-Pack)B&H
    • Aurora-Aperture variable ND filtersB&H
    • Bluestar Eye CushionsB&H
    • Breakthrough Photography CPL, UV and ND filtersB&H
    • Chiaro UV FiltersB&H
    • Formatt-Hitech Firecrest fixed value ND filtersB&H
    • Fujifilm CVR-XT3 Cover KitB&H
    • Fujifilm EC-GFX Round Eyecup – B&H
    • Fujifilm EC-XH 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 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
    • LockCircle camera cagesB&H
    • MindShift Grea and Think Tank Photo camera bags and accessoriesB&H
    • Peak Design camera strapsB&H
    • Phase One Capture One ProB&H
    • Røde video microphonesB&H
    • SLR Magic variable ND FiltersB&H – SLR Magic was reputed to be working on a collection of fixed value ND filters though they do not seem to have appeared at B&H yet.
    • SmallRig camera cagesB&H
    • Sony 128GB M Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Card Kit (2-Pack)B&H

Fujifilm X-T3 First Impressions

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?

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

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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