Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera (review)
4.3Overall Score
Name: Fujifilm Price (RRP): $2,499 Manufacturer: X-T3 mirrorless camera

We reported on the launch of the Fujifilm X-T3 digital mirrorless camera a couple of months ago. I was impressed then. Now I’ve had a chance to use the camera extensively for a couple of weeks, I’m even more so.

Fujifilm X-T3 Features

To recap briefly, the Fujifilm X-T3 uses a 26-megapixel APS-C sensor. That means a crop factor of close to 1.5:1. That is, a 50mm lens on this camera provides the same field of view as 75mm on a 35mm film camera.

It also makes for a smallish camera body and fairly compact lenses.

Fujifilm X-T3

The sensor is Fujifilm’s own X-Trans CMOS 4 model. Rather than the Bayer filter pattern used in many cameras, it used its own XTRANS arrangement. This makes it far more resistant to moiré, reducing the need for heavy-duty filtering, and thus increasing detail. Read about it in our earlier report if you want to know more about that.

Continuous shooting of up to 30 frames per second is available using the electronic shutter, or 11 frames per second using the physical shutter. With the electronic shutter, speeds of up to 1/32,000 seconds are available. If you have enough light (and exceptionally good timing), you can freeze nearly any motion.

Movie recording of up to 4K – that’s real 4K at 4,096 by 2,160 pixels, as well as UltraHD – is supported at up to 60 frames per second. At that speed it can record with 10 bits and colour resolution of 4:2:0 to card, or output at 10 bits and 4:2:2 to the built-in HDMI output.

There’s also slow motion available, with shooting at up to 120 frames per second in FullHD.

Storage and inclusions

There are the usual accessories in the box, including a battery charger. One nice extra is a tiny little flash unit that slips into the hot shoe. I know, we’re supposed to spurn on-camera flashes, but sometimes you need utilitarian photography. A flash might not be artistic, but it can help make sure things are clear. This one slips into your pocket. The camera’s own battery powers it.

Fujifilm X-T3

Power and file transfer are via a USB Type-C socket. The camera also supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for advanced functionality.

There are two SDXC card slots with support for cards of up to 512GB.

The fact that a USB Type-C port is available for file transfer doesn’t necessarily mean that the transfers will be fast. I plugged the camera into my computer and dragged into it 239 RAW and JPEG files, and one movie file. They amounted to 4.33GB in size. It took four minutes and 3.8 seconds for the files to transfer from the U3 rated SD card in the camera. That works out to a speed of 18.2MB/s.

Transferring the files from the card using a fast card reader took 52.8 seconds, for a speed of 84.0MB/s.

Dials

I remain especially taken with the dials and controls of the Fujifilm X-T3. Most interchangeable lens cameras (DSLR or mirrorless) let you choose things like aperture priority, manual, automatic and so on from a dial. The paradigm is quite different with this camera. You set the shutter speed to automatic by turning its dial to that position. Or you can set it manually by spinning the dial to a different position. You set the aperture to automatic by turning the lens ring to that position. Or you set it manually by turning it to a different position. You set the ISO to … well, you get the picture.

Fujifilm X-T3

For fully automatic operation, letting the camera make all decisions apart from composition, you just leave everything on their auto settings. For aperture priority shooting, turn the ring to your chosen aperture. If you like automatic, except that you don’t want a high ISO rating (and thus potential grain, turn the ISO dial to your preferred figure and leave everything else on auto. Adjust exposure to account for tricky lighting by turning the exposure compensation dial.

Look, it’s different to what we’ve become used to. But I for one think it’s a far more effective system. Sure, it takes a little learning, but having all those controls directly accessible, without ever having to change some setting, means that once you’ve learned how to do it, you can do it fast and surely.