Today we’re going to check out the new Fuji X-T3 which might be the best bang for your buck when it comes to mirrorless cameras. We’re going to talk about why I’m such a fan of this camera and why I think it’s an excellent choice for professional quality video and photography.
The X-T3 offers some significant improvements over the already impressive X-T2. It brings to the table a brand new sensor, improved autofocus and excellent video performance. This camera has some unbelievable specs and features and at the same time there were somethings that I wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of. My goal with every product review is to give you a detailed overview of the product features in a way that relate to real life use.
I’m added links below to where you can buy the X-T3 and some of my favorite accessories and at the same time help support my channel for free and allow me to create more content. I’m going to get into details for each aspect of the camera and there is a lot of good stuff in the additional features section so make sure to watch that segment.
I’ll start out with some overall key features.
I’ve tried a few other Fuji cameras in the past and I was so excited to get my hands on the X-T3 so let’s get to the detailed review.
This APS-C sensor is excellent if you’re shooting portraits, landscape, sports, if doing street photography, if you want to take it with you while you travel or even just do family and lifestyle photography. This new sensor also helps add a camera to the X-T line which challenges cameras like the Panasonic GH5 for video. It’s going to give you beautiful, crisp video and I have been impressed with Fuji’s color.
That was the sensor, let’s talk a little about the processor. Here, Fuji opted for the X-Processor 4 which uses four CPUs for better and faster image processing. Together with the nice sensor, you’re going to get sharper images and video and really nice low light performance. The X-Processor 4 also makes the camera really fast to operate. The X-T3 is very nice and responsive for both video and stills. General menu operation is fast, it has a very quick startup and things like Image preview and video playback again are very fast.
For photography, the X-Processor 4 allows the X-T3 to have 11fps burst, or continuous, shooting with continuous autofocus when using the mechanical shutter. If you’re willing to use the electronic shutter, and add a 1.25x crop, you can shoot at up to 30fps…. That’s just silly fast. So I can just hold down the shutter and the camera will just keep firing. This is a nice feature if you’re photographing kids running around, if you’re as a sporting event, or any time when you’re shooting any fast moving subjects.
There is also a sports-finder mode where you will can use the viewfinder or the LCD screen to see the cropped area of the photo. I’m never had this in a camera before and it’s nice because you can see things as they are about to enter the frame and it’s then easier to anticipate when the action is going to happen.
From a video standpoint, the X-Processor 4 is what let’s the X-T3 record internally at up to 4K 60 fps. 10-bit video.
For video, the X-T3 can record 4k video at up to 60fps and FULL HD, 1080P at 24, 30, 60 and 120fps. And this comes down to what kind of look you prefer to have for your video. If you like a more cinematic look, you can go with 24fps and if you like a sharper more crisp look you can shoot at 60fps.I shoot most of my videos, including this one at 30 frames per second. If you edit your videos at 1080P 30 fps like I do, you can play your 120fps footage at 30fps and you can slow things down by factor of 4. And even if your final output is 4K 30fps, you can still slow down the 4k 60fps my 50%. Both of these options are outstanding at this price and this is something that I absolutely love and is currently missing from my setup.
The X-T3 can internally record 4k60p at 4:2:0 10-bit as well as 4k60p 4:2:2 10 bit via HDMI output, both at 400 Mb/s. I’m not going to go into the difference here, but if this is something you’re familiar with you’ll appreciate having the option.Because the X-T3 offers a clean HDMI out, it’s also a good option for livestreaming. You can simply use a micro HDMI to HDMI cable and connect the X-T3 right to a capture card.
There are a ton of affordable, really fast prime lenses as well as some excellent zoom lenses. I’ll add links at the bottom to some of my favorites. One thing to remember is that because the X-T3 has an APS-C sensor, and not a full frame sensor, there is a crop factor of 1.5x. Which means is that you have to take the focal lens on the lens and multiple it by 1.5 in order to get the 35mm equivalent.
The X-T3 has taken another leap forward. It’s pretty fast to focus and the auto-focus system pretty much covers the entire sensor area. There is also a Face/Eye detection option and subject tracking when working in continuous autofocus mode and when recording video. Face/Eye detection helps you keep a person in focus even as they move through the frame and may get closer or farther away from the camera.
There are some limitations to this autofocus system that I wanted to mention. First, when it comes to Face/Eye detection, you can’t select whose face you want the X-T3 to focus on. So if there are multiple people in the frame, the camera will choose for you.
Next, the X-T3 can’t do subject tracking like the Canon Duel Pixel AF or the Sony AF systems. You can’t click on an object on the screen and have the AF point follow them around the frame. Just to be clear, you can do this with a person, but not with an object.
For the purpose of creating YouTube content, or professional video,I think good continuous autofocus is definitely a feature that you’re going to want. And even with the slight limitations I mentioned, The X-T3 performed pretty well in my videos.
So I can easily connect a shotgun mic and I’m all set!. This a really nice compact setup, it’s light, you’ll get great video and great audio, it’s just perfect for vlogging, shooting talking head video and really anytime where you want more directional sound pick up, instead of an omnidirectional microphone that will pick up sound from everywhere.
If you’re interestedin some excellent microphone options, here is a microphone review I did which will easily help you find a microphone in your budget.
I’ll also put links below to some of my favorites.
Another awesome feature for video is that Fuji included a headphone jack. So now you can monitor your audio in realtime. This is an excellent option for a lot of users, and being able to monitor audio can save you a ton of time in post production.
Aesthetically we have a rugged, magnesium alloy, rangefinder style body. It is weather sealed against moisture and dust and there are a ton of analog controls for ISO, Shutter Speed and Exposure Compensation.
This is something that was pretty intimidating at first, it looks really complicated. After using the X-T3 for a bit, I got used it making changes manually. There is a way to change the ISO and the shutter speed electronically, but that ended up being confusing because the dials would be set to one thing and the camera to another.
If the lens you are using has an aperture ring, link this 18-55mm kit lens, the only way to adjust the aperture is by manually rotating the ring.
Overall, this was not my favorite user experience and I felt like having to use these dials made adjustments more cumbersome than I would like. To be fair, I’m coming from years of using cameras where the only manual dial is used for exposure compensation so I’ll concede that some of this friction is based on my personal habits and preference. Fuji added a nice and bright OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) which is really nice to have. It’s especially helpful when you’re taking photos outside because it eliminates any problems you might have when it’s super bright and in other situation where it may be more challenging to see the screen.
From a size standpoint, the X-T3 strikes a really nice balance between portability and ergonomics. It’s small enough where I can put it in my jacket packet, but isn’t so small that I feel uncomfortable trying to hold and use it. This grip is excellent for a mirrorless camera and there is rubbery grip all the way around so it feels very secure in my hand. I really like having a grip like this on a camera, especially when there are times I’m going to use it without a strap.
If you’re looking for a great camera strap, check out BlackRapid which I have been using for almost 10 years. I did a review of my favorite strap, the Curve Breathe and I have a giveaway going right now if you’re interested in a chance of getting one for free. If you’re using a standard camera strap, you definitely take a look. There is a reason why I spent over $60 on a camera strap, and it’s not the fact that I like to waste money. There are a bunch of features that it has that have been super valuable for me.
If you are shooting and holding the camera up in the air, you can have it pointed down and that also works for overhead shots.There is also a way to partially tilt the screen on a second axis which is a nice option if you’re shooting in portrait orientation. This isn’t as flexible as a fully articulating screen, and I‘m really hoping to see more companies implement a fully articulating design in the future.
This means that if you plan on shooting and being in front of the camera there is no way for you to frame yourself and preview the shot without using an external monitor. This may or may not matter in your particular application but I think it’s worth mentioning. It’s almost a full touchscreen. So what I mean by that is that you can set focus by clicking on the screen and control quick menu options but you can’t control the main menu using the touch screen or change change various settings and in the camera. The screen is nice and bright and worked great for me indoor and outdoors.
For photography, it’s nice to be able to use your phone as a remote shutter, this way you’re not disrupting the camera if you’re doing stuff like product photography, or anytime when you’re doing long exposure.
For video, when I vlog or anytime when I’m in front of the camera, it’s great to be able to control the camera using the app. It’s nice to be able to make sure I’m framed correctly, make adjustments, set focus and start or stop the video without having to get up every time. That’s huge when you’re working alone, you can literally use your phone as a remote monitor. There is a slight delay but it’s an awesome feature and one that I use all the time.
Next I want to talk about timelapse. The X-T3 does not do in-body timelapse, but it does have a built-in intervalometer. So you can select the Interval Time Shooting option under the Shooting Setting menu, then set your interval in hours, minutes and seconds, and finally set how many shots you want the camera to take. You then select how long you want the camera to wait before starting to shoot and click OK to start. I’ll probably end up doing a more detailed video about the whole process, all the way to the final timelapse, so if you’re interested, hit the subscribe and notification buttons to get an alert when it’s published.
There are no presets available by default and you can’t save presets so you’ll need to set these settings each time you want to shoot a timelapse.
Next I want to discuss the battery life. The X-T3 uses an NP-W126S Lithium-ion battery, rated for 390 images. A fair comparison is something like the A6500 which has a battery life of 350 images. As with almost all mirrorless camera, I recommend buying an additional battery if you plan on shooting a lot. I usually get 2 additional batteries just to be safe; I hate running out of batteries.
The X-T3 can be charged and powered by a USB-C cable I really like this feature because sometimes I open for an external battery pack instead of additional batteries. This way I can have the battery charging while it’s in my pocket or the bag. This way I’m always keeping a full battery when I’m on the go.
Another really nice add-on is that Fuji included a compact flash with the X-T3. The EF-X8 slides onto the hotshoe and then flips up. While it’s pretty small, I found that it’s really powerful and I was able to get great shots with it.
The last thing I want to mention is the dual SD card slots which offer a more flexible and reliable means of storing your media. Just a few examples, you can set one slot for JPEGs and the other for RAW so that you end up with having both options later on. Or you can just choose to have the camera save the same file on both cards as immediate backup.
The APS-C sensor and the X-Processor 4 image processor are a great combination and give you beautiful color and really nice results in low light. You can shoot 4K at up to 60fps, and Full HD or 1080P in up to 120 FPS which also lets you do slow motion at 25% if you edit your videos in 30fps.
I love Fuji’s line of lenses and there are outstanding, really fast primes and some excellent zoom lens options. This lets you start out with one lens and then add to your kit as your needs and budget grow.
The autofocus is pretty good, but I do wish there was object tracking for video. I’m extremely happy about the mic input which lets me connect an external microphone to the camera and get much fuller audio without have to separately record it and then sync it in post production.And the option to monitor audio using the headphone jack is a fantastic bonus for videographers.
The three-way tilting screen is beautiful and bright, although I would have liked to see a full articulating screen instead. The X-T3 small and portable and it a fantastic option for photographers that don’t want a bulky and heavy camera with them and at the same time are not willing to compromise on image quality. Very fast continuous shooting is a fantastic feature, and is something a lot of users are going to take advantage of.
Fuji definitely intended to also appeal to users who are interested in video, and the combination of features, coupled with 10-bit video is very impressive. I really like the build quality and weather-sealed design, and I was super comfortable using the X-T3 at the beach or while hiking. I also appreciated the excellent electronic viewfinder, dual SD slots, and the included compact flash.
You can use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to easily move images from the camera to a mobile device and I’m happy that the Fuji Cam Remote app gives you control over both photography and video features.
The body alone sells right for $1499 and the kit with the 18-55mm lens is $1899 which is an outstanding value. I’ll put links below because there are always specials and discounts and the links will be automatically updated with the lowest pricing.
I really hope I was able to give you a good overview of the Fuji X-T3. If you’re looking for my top 10 reasons to buy a Fuji X-T3, I’ve go you covered. You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @techgeartalk.
You know what I always say, buy it nice or buy it twice! Good luck and see you soon.