First, if you have not done so read my XT-2 REVIEW HERE. The XT-2 is a wonderful camera that captures the spirit of Photography and recently Fujifilm released new firmware that provided several free upgrades to the XT-2 making it even better than what was already an awesome camera. Fujifilm's approach to firmware updates alone is worth the price of admission to the Fuji way of life and I for one have come to appreciate Fujifilm's path of constant improvement.
On September 20, 2018 Fujifilm began shipping the new XT-3 and by now you probably have heard or read that it incorporates several performance improvements that place it amog the top APSC mirrorless camera.
I would like to start with what I don't like about the XT-3: The two command dials one on the front and one on the back are too thin and hard to turn for my taste. I much better preferred the softer feel of the XT-2 but still did not come to appreciate the thinness of these dials. When using the rear dial I found myself pressing it in as I was attempting to rotate the dial, too stiff and too thin for my taste.
I also find the grip still a bit on the small size while shooting with a heavier lens I would prefer a more sure grip, especially when I am shooting in the summer humid weather. With my 80mm macro, I sometimes have a hard time trying to hold the camera with one hand.
No flippy screen, although not a big problem for me I would have appreciated the ability to flip out as well as up and down not sure if the XT series will ever see one, I assume not due to the body design and back layout - that hinge would need to go somewhere.
The batteries - Understandability Fujifilm stayed with the same battery to reduce their production cost since the XT-3 body is near identical to the XT-2 body, along with the battery grip sharing the same size and shape and connectors of the XT-2 with very minor differences. People ask does the grip from the XT-2 fit the XT-3? I have not tried, nor do I intend to because Fujifilm offers a specific grip for the XT-3 and that kind of tells me the XT-2 grip would not be a perfect fit/compatible. Since the batteries are a bit on low for long-term shooting, I carry 3 spares or attach the battery grip - one good point is you can charge by USB. Thus if you have a batter bank/pack you can charge using that when not using the camera.
On In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS): I wished IBIS was in the XT-3 but sadly it is not. Considering that Fujifilm recently released the XH-1 which has IBIS it would be unwise of Fujifilm to release the XT-3 with IBIS which in my opinion the XT-3 is better than the XH-1 less the IBIS, If the XT-3 had IBIS that would reduce the sales of the X-H1.
What I do like about the XT-3: The XT-3 is much improved performance-wise, the camera snaps moving through the menus, has quicker image playback, a faster better EVF, all at a remarkable price point of 1500.00 USD and not to mention the focus speed is considerably faster and more accurate. The autofocus accuracy has improved as well as the eye tracking and detection which now actually working well enough to be trusted for most situations without worry. As many of you know I purchased the Fujifilm XF-80 macro lens and have been using that with my XT-2. While I was getting good overall results with focus speed and accuracy when I put that lens on the XT-3 I noticed the difference, the lens was much snappier on the XT-3.
The Electronic Viewfinder: Near lag free, brighter with a crisp high-resolution image display that is almost like an optical viewfinder, this EVF is a joy to use and look through.
Customizability: Not new for Fujifilm cameras but worth mentioning all the options to customize function buttons, and modify the EVF and LCD data elements.
Video: All aspects of video performance and shooting have been upgraded and improved, you already heard about 4K at 60fsp with a slight crop, and 1080p supports 120fps for that slow motions effects. The focusing while in video mode is very good and tracks the subject very predictably. While I am not a VLOGer or have high requirements for video work I can attest to the fact the XT-3 has a ton of menu options for video and touch focusing and now FLOG recording in camera. It is obvious Fujifilm took time to improve the video capabilities of this new camera.
Other minor improvements were appreciated as well such as the increased resolution, the lower base ISO of 160 and of course the introduction of the touchscreen LCD. Also to note is the jpeg ACROs adjustments you can do in camera, dialling up or down the temperature of the JPEGS.
Of all Mirrorless releases in 2018 The XT-3 and Nikon Z7 are the cameras that excite me the most - while Fujifilm is improving on every aspect of their XT camera main points and Nikon now is in the mirrorless market as well, I predict these cameras will be a top seller as well as very well respected cameras.
In a nutshell, the XT-3 improves on almost all aspects of the XT-2 especially in the speed and performance areas, noting that the XT-3 uses the newer quad-core X Trans 4 processor and the improved CMOS 4 sensor. If you love the XT-2 or were thinking of buying your self-one you may just want to buy an XT-3.
Well Done FujiFilm!
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- Fujifilm XF 23 f/2
- Fujifilm XF 35 f/2
- Fujifilm XF-80 Macro
- Fujifilm XE-3
- Fujifilm XT-2
- Fujifilm XT-3