Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera gets serious about video


Just as Nikon and Canon are beginning to take the mirrorless camera market seriously, long-time mirror-free adherent Fujifilm is updating its popular and long-running enthusiast body. The result is the X-T3.

A new X-Trans 4 sensor sits at the heart of the X-T3. This 26.1-MP sensor uses a unique non-Bayer color-filter arrangement that's meant to reduce the chance for distracting moiré artifacts in pictures without the use of an anti-aliasing filter. Such filters have the potential to reduce perceived resolution in finished images, although even most Bayer-array camera sensors do without anti-aliasing layers in their sensor filter stacks.

The X-Trans 4 is an APS-C-sized sensor with a back-side-illuminated design that could potentially allow more light to reach its sensor wells. On top of its slight resolution increase over past X-Trans sensors, the fourth iteration lowers base ISO to 160 (from 200 on the X-T2). That lower sensitivity could be useful for photographers chasing wide-aperture shots in direct sunlight or other bright lighting conditions. Maximum ISO extends to 12,800, and extended modes can lower ISO to 80 or boost it to 51,200.

The company also laid down more autofocus pixels than ever on the X-Trans 4. Fujifilm claims the sensor now has 2.16 million phase-detection sites on its surface, resulting in AF coverage across practically the entire frame. DPReview says that more generous sensor complement results in as many as 425 selectable autofocus points. Fujifilm says the autofocus system can perform face and eye detection for better subject identifcation and tracking.

The X-T3 pairs the X-Trans 4 sensor with Fujifilm's new X-Processor 4 image signal processor. The company says that chip has four cores on board to allow for better autofocus speed and subject tracking, frame rates as high as 11 FPS for continuous shooting (or up to 20 FPS with the electronic shutter at full resolution), and a faster EVF refresh rate of 100 Hz in certain modes.

The X-Processor 4 can also apply more film simulation modes and a so-called "Color Chrome Effect" that was previously available only in Fuji's medium-format GFX 50S. The X-Processor 4 chip can apply this particularly processing-intensive color profile even in continuous shooting.

The biggest improvements in the X-T3 might be for videographers. The company says this camera can record 4:2:0, 4K, 59.94-FPS (4K60) video with 10-bit color directly to its SD card and 4:2:2, 4K, 59.97 FPS video in 10-bit color to external recorders.

DPReview notes that 4K60 video requires use of a 1.18x crop, but 29.97-FPS (4K30) video and below can be oversampled with no crop for better image quality, according to Fujifilm. Bit rates max out at 400 Mbps for internal recording with the H.265 codec for 4K30 video and 200 Mbps for 4K60 and 4K30 video in H.265 or H.264.

The X-Trans 4 sensor apparently has a faster readout to reduce rolling shutter when shooting video, too, and the X-Processor 4 chip can apparently make use of a better noise-reduction algorithm for cleaner video across the board.

The X-T3 body itself inherits the larger manual control dials for shutter speed and ISO that Fujifilm debuted on the X-H1 flagship camera, as well as the more tactile control wheels from that camera. The default color scheme for the X-T3 is a bright "Graphite Silver," although professional black will remain an option for those with more discreet leanings.

Fuji doesn't provide a suggested price for the X-T3, but DPReview says the camera will run $1499 body-only for both black and silver versions—$100 less than the X-T2—when it arrives September 20. The company will continue to sell the X-T3 as a kit with its 18-55 mm R f/2.8-4 OIS lens for $1899.

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