What's it like to use?

Cameras can serve different purposes for different photographers; the right tool for one person might be the wrong one for someone else. With that in mind, we'll be taking a look at how the Fujifilm X-T3 stacks up for a variety of common uses, based on its specifications, our lab testing, and the time we've spent with it in the real world.


Travel

ISO 160 | 1/500sec | F2.8 | Fujinon XF 16-55mm @ 53mm

The X-T3's comparatively small size (especially when paired with the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 or one of the small F2.0 primes), makes the X-T3 an attractive travel camera. Add in its combination of stills and video capabilities and it's only really the lack of IS for video that counts against it.

Pros:

  • Great JPEG output
  • Bluetooth-supported Wi-Fi for easy image sharing
  • Excellent stills and video quality
  • Decent battery life
  • USB charging (type C)

Cons:

  • Lack of in-body stabilization undermines video quality for hand-held shooting

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Video

The X-T3 is one of the most impressive video cameras we've tested, with quality living up to the specifications. The provision of the flat but attractive 'Eterna' film profile and 10-bit Log, even for 60p capture, makes the camera hugely flexible, with or without post-processing. Autofocus, while not as simple as on a Dual Pixel Canon, is good enough to make shooting simpler.

Pros:

  • Good quality 10-bit 4K at up to 60p
  • Separate exposure settings for stills and video
  • Eterna / 10-bit Log give flexibility
  • Good (though not 100% dependable) autofocus
  • Headphone and mic sockets

Cons:

  • Limited exposure monitoring tools
  • Silent Movie Control interface is a little fiddly
  • Lack of in-body stabilization
  • No AF tracking in video

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Family and moments

ISO 160 | 1/280sec | F2.8 | Fujinon XF 16-55mm @ 49mm

The X-T3's attractive JPEGs and improved autofocus make it a tempting camera for family photographs and significant moments, but its Face Detection isn't sufficient for complex social situations.

Pros:

  • Excellent JPEG output with attractive color
  • Face/Eye Detection works well for single subjects
  • Easy to shoot stills and video without having to re-configure exposure settings

Cons:

  • AF not responsive enough for running children
  • No way to specify which face you wish to prioritize, camera easily confused when multiple subjects are in a scene

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Lifestyle and People

ISO 800 | 1/100 | F2.8 | Fujinon XF 16-55 F2.8 @ 55mm

The X-T3 lends itself well to general social photography thanks to its compact size and good low light performance. The inability to specify which face you want Face/Eye AF to focus on limits its usefulness in situations with multiple subjects though. AF can also struggle in back-lit conditions.

A strong range of fast-aperture lenses makes it attractive for lifestyle shoots, though you won't get quite the same image quality as full frame. Setting up a Bluetooth connection makes it quicker to re-establish a Wi-Fi connection if you want to share your images.

Pros:

  • Effective Face/Eye AF system
  • Good low light performance
  • Attractive and easy-to-share JPEGs
  • Decent battery life

Cons:

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Portraits

ISO 160 | 1/300sec | F2.8 | Fujinon XF 50-140mm @ 134mm

The X-T3's improved Face/Eye detection system lends itself well to posed portraits, and the JPEG output makes the results look attractive. As a bonus, Fujifilm's TTL flash system is increasingly supported by third-party flash makers.

Pros:

  • Face/Eye Detection does a good job of putting focus on the eye, with minimal input
  • Choice of attractive color modes
  • Easy to Wi-Fi small or full-res image for sharing with your subject

Cons:

  • High ISO JPEGs can lose the whites of the eyes
  • Cameras with higher resolution are available
  • Arguably the system's best portrait lenses (the 56mm F1.2s) are also the slowest to focus

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Landscape

ISO 160 | 1/500 sec | F5.6 | Fujinon XF 16-55mm F2.8 @ 25mm
Photo: Jeff Keller

The X-T3 is a fairly small camera to carry and it promises weather sealing. Battery life is reasonable but it's probably worth carrying a second battery. It can't compete with the dynamic range or resolution of some more expensive full frame cameras, but it's still a very attractive camera for landscape work.

Pros:

  • DR modes make it easier to visualize and exploit camera's dynamic range
  • Attractive JPEG output and flexible Raw files
  • Promises a degree of weather sealing
  • Flip-out screen makes it easier to work on a tripod or at odd angles

Cons:

  • Higher resolution cameras are available in a similar form factor
  • Extending the rear screen doesn't disengage viewfinder (tap 'Viewmode' button to switch off the Eye Sensor when shooting on a tripod).

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Sports

ISO 500 | 1/250 sec | F5.6 | Fujinon XF 55-200mm @ 78mm
Photo: Carey Rose

The X-T3's ability to shoot at up to 11fps (20 in E-shutter mode, 30 with an additional 1.25x crop), plus improved AF makes the X-T3 a plausible sports camera. It's not quite Nikon D500 responsive, but with a little AF tuning and used in Zone AF mode, the X-T3 does well. It'll shoot for around 35 shots even with Raw enabled, which should be sufficient for capturing most moments.

Pros:

  • Improved AF performance makes X-T3 pretty capable
  • 11fps shooting is competitive (20fps if your subject and lighting allows the use of electronic shutter mode)
  • Strong JPEG images out-of-camera

Cons:

  • AF system requires a degree of fine-tuning to suit subject
  • Lens choice and rental availability may be lower than other systems (so check first)

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Candid and street

ISO 160 | 1/220 sec | F2.8 | Fujinon XF 50-140mm F2.8 @ 94.5mm equiv.

The X-T3 isn't as small and subtle as a Ricoh GR or even a Fujifilm XF10 but, particularly if you choose the black version, it's a pretty discreet camera to shoot with. The two-axis tilting touchscreen allows waist-level shooting, but you'll need to tap the 'Viewmode' button on the viewfinder hump to avoid the eye sensor constantly blacking the screen out.

Pros:

  • Flip-up screen and small size allow discreet shooting
  • Silent shooting mode has pretty well-controlled rolling shutter
  • Touchscreen and AF joystick for easy AF placement
  • Nice-looking, ready-to-post JPEGs
  • Wi-Fi for easy sharing with subjects

Cons:

  • Extending the rear screen doesn't disable the eye sensor
  • Becomes quite noticeable with all but the smallest of lenses

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