Fujifilm X-T3 review

Fujifilm’s new high-end mirrorless camera gets turbocharged

5 Star Rating

The new autofocus feels fast and responsive with all of the lenses we tried, though there is a point worth making here: AF performance is as much depending on the speed and efficiency of each lens’s AF actuators as it is the camera’s autofocus system. Some older lenses, like the 27mm f/2.8 ‘pancake’ prime and 56mm f/1.2 APD have slower, noisier actuators than can make the X-T3’s autofocus seem less efficient than it actually is. 

In fact, with Fujifilm’s latest lenses the X-T3 handles fast-moving subjects very well, even when they’re moving towards the camera. The trick is to select the correct focus mode – using focus ‘zone’ with a cluster of AF points is easier than trying to keep a single AF point over a moving subject.

The X-T3's continuous AF mode kept this car sharp with no difficulty as it sped towards the camera.

The X-T3's continuous AF mode kept this car sharp with no difficulty as it sped towards the camera.

The X-T3's viewfinder keeps up with fast panning shots pretty smoothly so it's not hard to keep your subject in the frame.

The X-T3's viewfinder keeps up with fast panning shots pretty smoothly so it's not hard to keep your subject in the frame.

Usually with mirrorless cameras, the EVF is the weak point for capturing fast action, not the autofocus system. It’s hard to follow fast-moving subjects with a jerky screen refresh. The X-T3 looked pretty good here, too, as subject movement in panning shots was a lot smoother than we’re used to seeing with EVFs.

The image quality is especially impressive. In our lab tests the X-T3 26.1-megapixel sensor delivers just about the highest resolution we would expect to see from an APS-C sensor, and with very good noise and dynamic  range performance too.

In fact, the level of detail captured in some of these shots is very impressive indeed. The X-T3 uses an APS-C sensor rather than full frame, but the combination of its low-pass filter-free sensor design and Fujifilm’s top-quality X-mount lenses can produces outstanding results.

Its JPEGs are especially good, with great edge definition, textural detail and noise control. We examined the raw files using Capture One Express Fujifilm, now offered free by Phase One as a far superior alternative to the bundled Silkypix-based Fujifilm software, and found that even with Phase One’s excellent processing engine, it was hard to improve on the rendition of the camera’s JPEGs.

Editing raw files in Capture One also revealed the extended highlight and shadow detail that can be recovered from the X-T3’s raw files.

Backlit shots and skintones were reproduced really well – this was taken using the Standard/Provia film simulation mode.

Backlit shots and skintones were reproduced really well – this was taken using the Standard/Provia film simulation mode.

Fujifilm's 50-140mm f/2.8 is really sharp even wide open, and you can use this to get attractive shallow depth of field.

Fujifilm's 50-140mm f/2.8 is really sharp even wide open, and you can use this to get attractive shallow depth of field.

The X-T3’s Film Simulation modes offer rich, dense, natural-looking colours for JPEG shooters, and the expanded dynamic range option really does help prevent bright highlights burning out. The X-T3 adds a new  Colour Chrome effect to improve the appearance of highly saturated colours, and a Warm Black/Cool Black adjustment to add depth to monochrome images.

Unlike the pro-orientated X-H1, the X-T3 does not have in-body image stabilisation, but many Fujifilm lenses have have optical image stabilisation built in, so this may not prove to be an issue for many photographers.

The Auto Dynamic Range mode has keep the blue tone in the sky even though our subject was in shade – and we expect the raw files to have even more latitude.

The Auto Dynamic Range mode has keep the blue tone in the sky even though our subject was in shade – and we expect the raw files to have even more latitude.

Detail rendition is excellent, so although the sensor is 'only' 26.1 megapixels, it still delivery very crisp, clear fine detail.

Detail rendition is excellent, so although the sensor is 'only' 26.1 megapixels, it still delivery very crisp, clear fine detail.

The level of detail captured in the X-T3's shots is very impressive indeed. It uses an APS-C sensor rather than full frame, but the combination of its low-pass filter-free sensor design and Fujifilm’s top-quality X-mount lenses can produce outstanding results.