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.

Comments closed
    • anotherengineer
    • 1 year ago

    If it does video in 10-bit color, would I be correct in assuming it takes photos in full true 10-bit color also??

      • Voldenuit
      • 1 year ago

      RAW files for most system cameras have been 12 to 14 bit for a while now, but the image data is not full color depth per pixel* due to the Bayer (or in the case of this X-T3, X-Trans) filter in front of modern sensors.

      Instead, you have a mix of chroma and luma information gathered at each pixel that is demosaiced after capture to reproduce the RGB color information, but there is lossiness, artefacting, and some loss of detail involved.

      * Sigma’s Foveon sensors captured 3 color channels per pixel, but had other performance issues and never overtook the mainstream.

      EDIT: “Bitness” in camera RAW files is more a measure of dynamic range than actual color, but yes, with careful exposure and grading, you can produce images that have more than 8 bits of color depth with them, and have been able to for a while now (cf print publications). But if you really want the most information to play with, HDR/exposure stacking will capture more stops of information and finer gradation.

    • TheEmrys
    • 1 year ago

    I do have to say, the physical act of shooting a Fuji body is a pure joy. Truly excellent layout and thoughtfulness. And getting the ISO down to 160 is excellent. I really hope they get it down to 100. But the electric shutter is awfully helpful.

    • Airmantharp
    • 1 year ago

    …it’s seriously missing IBIS

    😉

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 1 year ago

      Probably coming to the X-H2, if I had to guess.

    • moriz
    • 1 year ago

    not mentioned here:

    -in addition to 20 fps burst at full resolution, the X-T3 also has a 30 fps burst “sport” mode, which has a 1.25x crop AND no blackout.
    -unlike earlier Fuji “pro” grade cameras, the X-T3 does not need the battery grip to enable its boost mode.

    all in all, a pretty hefty upgrade over my X-T1. i’m considering between the X-T3 and X-H1 with my upgrade.

      • TheEmrys
      • 1 year ago

      One thing to bear in mind is that Fuji is the absolute best at supporting their bodies through firmware upgrades. The Xt-2 I had become a much, much better body through upgrades of firmware. And it wasn’t about fixes, it was a constant desire to improve the existing hardware. The XT3 bought today is going to be vastly improved in 2 years.

    • DPete27
    • 1 year ago

    How are their lenses always so small compared to others?

      • TheEmrys
      • 1 year ago

      Aps-c designed lenses are always small. Shoot,micro 4/3 lenses are truly tiny. I fit two primes in a pocket comfortably. Love the fuji body and lenses. Hate the flash system.

        • DPete27
        • 1 year ago

        I consider my Sony a6000 (also APS-C) lenses comfortably small but still substantial enough that they feel like they cost. The Fuji ones just look like little toys.

          • moriz
          • 1 year ago

          depends on the lens.

          Fuji’s “red badge” zoom lenses are all pretty big. and heavy. recently, a youtuber landscape photographer seriously considered “downsizing” from his Canon 5DmkIV system to the X-T2 and a trio of red badge zooms. in the end, the “downsizing” would save him about 50 grams.

          outside of primes, if you want to get serious with the Fuji lenses, expect them to be big. it’s only the entry level zooms that are actually small.

          • Voldenuit
          • 1 year ago

          Have you actually handled and used the fuji lenses, especially their primes and high end zooms? They make amazing stuff.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 1 year ago

        The APS-C size means that the sensor is smaller, so the lens can also be proportionally smaller than lenses for full frame cameras, based on the diagonal measurement of the sensor size:
        (Canon) full-frame: 36×24 mm = 864 mm², 43.3 mm diagonal
        (Fuji) APS-C: 23.5×15.6 mm = 367 mm², 28.2 mm diagonal
        (Olympus) Micro Four Thirds: 18×13.5 mm = 243 mm², 22.5 mm diagonal

        The short flange-to-sensor distance and lack of in-lens image stabilization elements should also make many (especially wide angle) lenses designed exclusively for most of the mirrorless camera systems simpler, smaller, lighter and less expensive than lenses designed for DSLRs, though the reduced manufacturing costs are frequently [b<]not[/b<] passed on to the consumer.

          • DPete27
          • 1 year ago

          Ah, I see. But that also sounds like a terrible decision to divide your mirrorless lens lineup into APS-C lenses and Full frame ones. It sounds like the name of the game is universal lens compatibility. The team with the most cross-compatibility wins the hearts of the photographers.

            • moriz
            • 1 year ago

            Fujifilm doesn’t make full frame camera bodies, so they don’t have to make full frame lenses.

            they do, however, make a medium format body and lenses: the GFX 50S.

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 1 year ago

            I’m not sure that everyone is playing the same game, even between departments of the same company. Canon is currently offering 109 different lenses and adapters for digital photography (8 for RF, 75 for EF, 17 for EF-S, 9 for EF-M) plus 21 lenses for cinema plus 40 lenses for broadcast television. The full-frame EF lenses work on all of the cameras, and yet there are a dizzying array of lenses targeted to particular uses.

            How much choice is too much?

            • Tumbleweed
            • 1 year ago

            Oh, but Canon is almost Trumpian in doubling down on the crazy. They now have TWO full-frame lens lines (EF and RF) and TWO APS-C lens lines (EF-S and EF-M). EF lenses work on EF-S cameras, but their new line, the RF lenses, do not work on EF-M cameras. Fun times for Canonfolk.

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 1 year ago

            I’m afraid that we would fly off into R&P territory if we debated whether or not Canon’s crazy was at the Trumpian level or merely [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_prefix<]milli-Trumpian[/url<] or micro-Trumpian. However, I agree that the current situation looks inefficient and unsustainable. Note that all EF and EF-S lenses work with APS-C mirrorless EOS M cameras with a [url=https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/995005-REG/fotodiox_eos_auto_eos_m_p_canon_eos_m_camera_mount.html<]very inexpensive[/url<] passive adapter tube, but the lack of compatibility with RF makes one expect that there will be another change coming.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 1 year ago

    Wow. Priced to sell. I’m guessing it doesn’t have the lens selection of the Canon/Nikon lines.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 1 year ago

      Actually, Fuji has been at this for a while and has a much more mature lens ecosystem than Canon or Nikon: [url<]https://fujifilm-x.com/gbl/lenses/[/url<]

      • TheEmrys
      • 1 year ago

      They have a ton of lenses to choose from. I love the system. Amazing images. The lens selection covers everything short of tilt/shift and super bright long teles. But wow, do they make good lenses. If their flash system weren’t terrible, I would probably still be shooting Fuji.

    • chuckula
    • 1 year ago

    Mirrors? We don’t need no stinkin mirrors!

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