Hands on with the Fujifilm X-T3
It’s that time of year, autumn. A fave for many of us, as temperatures start to cool and leaves start to change. And of course… new cameras are announced. With so many new tools on the market, we thought we would take some time to get out in the field with them, create some images and share our experiences.
Recently I took the new Fujifilm X-T3 out for a stroll through the Japanese Garden at the Washington Arboretum. The fall colors were in full force and the koi were angling for snacks, which we of course obliged.
If you have used cameras like the Fujifilm X-T1 or X-T2, the Fujifilm X-T3 is going to feel like home. Moving from the X-T2 to the X-T3 will be a very easy shift, as the body doesn’t really have any changes. The eye-cup is perhaps the most noticeable change, it extends out just a bit more than on the X-T1/X-T2. Fujifilm has done this because the X-T3 now has a touch screen for auto focus or auto focus/capture. You will also feel very at ease with the menu system, it’s very similar to that of the X-T2 / X Pro2 / X100F, with some new features added.
If you are new to the Fujifilm lineup or considering making the jump to the Fujifilm system, you will find great joy in working with these cameras. While it has it’s cool, vintage looks, it feels great in the hand and the controls are thoughtful. With easy access to Shutter Speed and ISO via control dials and aperture via aperture rings on the lenses, you are good to go. If you are someone who prefers a larger camera body, there’s always a vertical grip available!
Some updates from the X-T2 on the X-T3 include
- A new: 26.1MP X-Trans sensor and X-Processor 4
- Touch Screen for Focus, or Focus and Capture
- Increased Frames per Second, up to 30 fps depending on camera settings
- Bracket mode speeds increased
- Flicker Reduction
- Bluetooth and Wireless functionality (connect to Instax Printers, mobile phones, etc…)
- Color Chrome Effect
The new sensor, color and film simulations
I’ve always had a fondness for the results from a Fujifilm X Series camera (just ask anyone, they will tell you so!), this sensor has delivered some beautiful files. Now with more megapixels, we need a little more storage. The file sizes are between 7-11 mb per JPG and 57-59 mb per RAW file, these will vary based on the information in the images.
Something to consider enabling when capturing vibrant colors would be the new Color Chrome Effect. With this effect enabled, you will see more depth and gradation of colors like reds and oranges which are historically more challenging to photograph. Fujifilm cameras now have 16 Film Simulation options, including the newer Eterna. If you want to utilize the film simulations, I highly recommend going with the RAW(F) setting for your file type. This gives you the base RAW file and a JPG with that simulation applied.
Increased Frames per Second & Bracket Mode
What I immediately noticed when decided to try the bracketing mode, is that the speed of capture increased significantly over the X-T2. Typically with the X-Series cameras you most often have the option to do up to 9 frames in a burst, with 1/3rd, 2/3rd, 1 stop or more increments. I most often just do 3 images with 1 stop increments. In my opinion, with the dynamic range of most cameras on the market, using 1/3rd stop between each is too little and 3 stops between each could be too much. So my go-to is 1 stop for each. This gets me solid range of highlights, midtones and shadows, for blending into a HDR via Lightroom or Photoshop.
This gives you an idea of the information in the shadows, mid-tones and shadows. Then taking the image into Lightroom and using the Merge to HDR function I had the following results:
I recommend leveling up your editing game and doing a little retouching, even on something like this, you can get rid of the leaves and other elements that could be distracting using a program like Photoshop.
Speaking of dynamic range, I thought I’d share one image where I pulled the highlights and pushed the shadows somewhat dramatically. This displays the broad amount of information in these files. The before image on the left, the after image on the right.
For those of you capturing video or using electronic shutter in low light, you will want to enable this, it will reduce those lines you sometimes see in these situations.
Bluetooth and Wireless
Many of the Fujifilm X Series cameras now have these capabilities, one of the joys is the ability to send files to your phone via their Cam Remote app, or control the camera via this app. You can also send images direct to select Instax Share Printers. The Instax Share SP-2 creates Instax Mini Prints and the Instax Share SP-3 creates the newer Square Prints. Options between cameras and printers will vary based on camera model and printer model.
These are just a few things that make this camera a great option for photographers. The Fujifilm X-T3 is a great update to the Fujifilm X-T2, or X-T1, if you are ready to upgrade.
If you have been contemplating diving into the world of Fujifilm cameras and are seeking a camera that is lightweight, yet robust with fabulous image quality, the Fujifilm X-T3 may just be the camera you’re seeking.
All of the images in this article were captured in the RAW file format by Kate Hailey, using the Fujifilm X-T3 and the 23mm f/2 lens (except the shot of the X-T3 with SP3 printer). Images were edited using the latest version of Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, in many cases, using their rendition of the Velvia Film Simulation with some basic, sharpening and color adjustments.