Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Camera First Impressions

Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Camera First Impressions:

Fujifilm is always coming out with cool new stuff, and today, I’ll be talking a little about the new Fujifilm X-T3.  As some of you know, I’m a big fan of the X-T Series.  I not only reviewed the X-T1 and X-T2 but I liked them so much that I bought both.  I was tempted for a moment by the X-H1 but at the time of its release, I had a feeling the X-T3 was just around the corner, and I also had a feeling we would see a lot of new tech (like the new sensor), and so I waited.  Two or three weeks ago, I received a call from Bob at Bergen County Camera telling me his first X-T3 arrived and it had my name on it.  I haven’t mentioned the camera on my blog yet because I’ve been busy with a whole bunch other things but I have big plans for the X-T3; in other words, you can expect a very big review with plenty of pics to back it up.  In the mean time, I thought I’d write about my initial impressions.

In terms of build, the Fujifilm X-T3 feels, and actually looks pretty much like it’s predecessor, the X-T2.  It’s difficult for me to even tell the difference between them, which is good because I felt the X-T body had always been well-designed.  On closer inspection though, there are some key differences.  For one, the X-T3 adopts some of the X-H1’s features like the large top-panel dials, rear-panel buttons, and clicking touch of front and rear command dials.  There’s a new touch panel.  The EVF’s diopter adjustment also has a locking mechanism now.  Speaking of the EVF, I’m glad the resolution has finally been increased from 2.36 MP to 3.69 MP.  Lastly, it now comes in either silver or black.  As you can see, I went for the silver this time around, which I do not regret in the least bit.  I think it looks great in this color.

↑ The Fujifilm X-T3 with one of my favorite lenses, the Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8.

We also now have the back-illuminated 26.1 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, and X-Processor 4, which is about 3 times faster than current models.  Together with the sensor, Fuji claims the X-T3 achieves the highest level of image quality and AF accuracy in the history of the X Series.  Those are bold claims, and in terms of image quality, it has been superb so far but so was the quality from the X-T2.  Just because a new model has come out, it doesn’t mean the older one is bad :).  To see how much of a difference there really is between the two, I’d like to spend more time with it.  Don’t forget, these are just my first impressions.

↑ Top panel of the X-T3.

As for the autofocus, the sensor now has about 2.16M phase detection pixels, which is more than four times the amount in other current models.  The phase detection AF area is basically expanded to the entire sensor.  Also, the low light autofocus limit has been expanded from -1EV to -3EV, so if you’re in the habit of say shooting a scene that’s lit only with candles, then you’re in luck with the new Fujifilm X-T3.  Lastly, AF refocusing has been improved and so has the face detection.

↑ Back of the X-T3.

There are many more improvements that I will discuss in depth in my review.  I figure there’s no point in listing all the numerous features when you can read all about them in a press release.  I think what’s more important is to just talk about the overall user experience so far.

↑ Somewhere in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with the XF 35mm f1.4 R lens.

It’s actually been great to use the Fujifilm X-T3. The X-T Series has always been extremely popular in the X Series system.  At least for me, out of the entire X Series system, it really just offers the perfect combination of traits and features.

↑ Early morning in Chinatown with the XF 35mm f1.4 R lens.

So, there is a fear that whenever Fuji comes out with a new version, they’ll do something that will mess it up, at least in my mind.  That actually goes with anything that I really like, not just Fuji cameras.  So far, this feels just like my X-T2, which basically means it’s like an old friend.  You still have all the great traits like image quality, speed, performance, build quality, size, and user friendliness of the last generation but all of these qualities have just been enhanced.  In other words, the X-T2 was perfect in my eyes (at least in the X Series world), and none of what made it such a great camera has changed in a negative way; it has only been improved but the overall essence of the camera is still the same.  Now, it’s also cheaper by $100 and it comes in silver :).

↑ This was taken with the XF 18-55mm f2.8-4.

↑ Here’s another shot taken with the XF 18-55mm.

Anyway, I will keep all of you updated, and post a few articles with the Fujifilm X-T3 even before I post my review.  I’m trying to get a photo shoot going soon to really put the X-T3 through its paces using the XF 56mm f1.2 APD and maybe even the Leica 75mm Summilux.  I think using the Summilux on this new camera might be kind of fun :).  Thanks for stopping by!

The Fujifilm X-T3 is available at:

B&H Photo or Amazon

12 comments… add one
  • Steve

    Hi Patrick,

    I really like the initial photos you took with the camera. But being one who likes the rangefinder format, I will patiently wait for the X-Pro 3.

    • Patrick

      Thanks Steve!

      That’s a good idea; It should come soon :).

      Best,

      Patrick

  • Mahesh

    Hey Patrick … Look forward to your review. I bought a black one, body only and using it with my 27/2.8 from the vault 🙂
    The image quality certainly looks better to me compared with xe3 I tried last year, unless I’m imagining.
    I’ve a mitakon on order after seeing your review before, will see how I like that.

    I look forward to the 16-80 f4 in the future. That lens and a fast prime (just 35/1.4) would be a good set..and maybe 56 Apr which I enjoyed in the past more than the normal 56.

    • Patrick

      Thanks Mahesh!

      Congratulations as well! The 27mm is one of my favorite lenses. I hope you’re enjoying both! I think the image quality looks better as well, and I’m hoping to really put the X-T3 through its paces soon with a portrait shoot. I can’t wait to give it a go with my XF 56mm APD. I haven’t had much of a chance to use that combo yet.

      The Mitakon is a great lens, and one of my favorites for the X Series. Let me know what you think of it when you get it.

      The 16-80mm sounds awesome but I’m waiting for the 8-16mm. I am most definitely going to review that lens, and I might be tempted to buy one ;). I hope you continue to enjoy your new set up!

      Best,

      Patrick

  • Mahesh

    By the way I found a reasonable deal on a second hand barely used m10-p but I’m having 2 minds maybe just because of the investment. I’ve a 50 sonnar that I can get going with.

    • Patrick

      Hi Mahesh,

      I was amazed at how quiet the shutter of the M10-P was when I first played with it. I feel like the M10-P or M10 are pretty much all anyone or at least me, would need in terms of the M line. I find them both pretty much perfect for M digital cameras. Of course, I’m an SL user now but I could see myself one day purchasing a Monochrom to accompany my current set up. There’s nothing like the files from the Monochrom.

      Best,

      Patrick

  • Pepou

    I’m curious to know if the AF of 23mmf1.4, 35mmf1.4 and 56mmf1.2 has been improved about speed and accuracy.

    • Patrick

      Hi Pepou,

      I haven’t done any type of side by side comparison with the X-T3 and an older generation camera but I’ve been using the XF 35mm f1.4 quite a bit, and it sure does feel faster and more accurate. I would also imagine that in general, all the lenses (new and old) would be quicker and more accurate because the points and new processor of the X-T3 help out greatly. I will be using the XF 56mm APD with the X-T3 very soon, and will post my results in an future article. Thanks for stopping by!

      Best,

      Patrick

  • Mario Poje

    Hi Patrick,

    I was so lucky to get early copy of X-T3 to spend (just) a weekend with it.
    Since I did not own nor use X-T2, just X-T100 few weeks back I can tell you that X-T3 blew me away.
    TLDR; I call it “a photographer’s camera” because it is such a joy to use all this buttons, lined up perfectly, and this is the only camera that pushes me to shoot more, and more, and more.
    I had it paired with 16mm f1.4 (which actually is not my preferable focal lenght) but I loved every single picture I took with it.

    Hoping to get my own copy soon <3
    I'll be waiting for your in-depth review impatiently 😉

    • Patrick

      Thanks Mario!

      I will try my best to post my review faster :). Yeah, I am really loving this new version of the X-T Series. I felt the X-T2, and even the X-T1 were difficult shoes to fill but I think Fujifilm really did an incredible job with the X-T3. So far, it’s pretty much perfect in my eyes. I love the size, speed, image quality, build, and of course, as you say, it’s a true “photographer’s camera” with all the cool little buttons and knobs. By the way, the XF 16mm f1.4 is amazing! I hope you get your X-T3 soon, and thanks for stopping by!

      Best,

      Patrick

  • Hello Patrick,

    Really very glad to read your first impressions of this new X-T3. I just returned from attending the three day FUJIFILM Festival held in Venice, CA, & while there got to borrow & use one. Like you I was blown away by what Fuji has done with it. I’ve been an X-Pro1 & X-Pro2 user since they both first came out, but after experiencing the new EVF on the X-T3, its blazingly fast AF, & the in-the-hand use & feel of it, I am picking up one tomorrow at my local Fuji/Leica dealer. But what really got my attention was the articulating LCD & lockable diopter adjustment – two things really needed on the X-Pro2! So I will anxiously await your detailed review of it, & hope that it might contain some useful tricks or ideas about how best to use it for those like me who are new to it. And really liked the first images you provided, particularly the black & white. I used the 18-55mm lens while attending the photo festival & had forgotten what a truly remarkable little lens it is, so I decided to get the kit version of the new X-T3 in black – but I also really like the look of your silver, but have just become very used to black after using my XP1 & 2 bodies. The info on the knobs & body seems to stand out more to my aging eyes. Thanks again,

    Jed

    • Patrick

      Hi Jed,

      Apologies for the late reply! By now, you are probably already shooting with the new X-T3, so congratulations! I hope you enjoy it, and yes, the 18-55mm is a great little lens. I’ve owned mine since I bought it with the X-E1 kit a while back. Thanks for stopping by!

      Best,

      Patrick

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