Fujifilm X-T3 New Features Guide

Fujifilm X-T3 New Features Guide

The X-T3 is now Fujifilm’s most advanced APS-C camera. It features the best technology that the company has to offer in this space and contains a host of new firmware-based features to take advantage of the new hardware. Let’s take a look at some of those features here. 

Last week, we took an overall look at the Fujifilm X-T3 and how it compares to the X-T2. So, if you’re unfamiliar with the camera or the big changes Fujifilm has made, head over and read that before continuing here

Shutter and Stills Related

With the X-T2 and X-H1, we saw the introduction of focus bracketing for those who like to focus stack and a flicker reduction mode for working under certain lighting conditions. This time around, Fujifilm has given us a few more features that will benefit certain photographers in certain situations. 

Sports Finder

In a rather interesting move, Fujifilm has included a “Sports Finder” mode in the X-T3. Consider looking through a rangefinder camera at framing guidelines and you have the idea of what this is. The X-T3 will capture around a 16MP frame from the middle of your viewfinder (viewable in a white box), but you can see outside the captured area to easily view what’s coming into your frame. I can see this being a benefit for sports photographers or street photographers in the same way that a rangefinder could be. 

30 FPS Burst Mode

In breaking news, Fujifilm allows video to be captured as stills! At least for the first second. Jokes aside, the X-T3 now allows the capture of 30 frames per second (1.25x crop, blackout free) and 20 frames per second (full sensor) when using the electronic shutter. When I first read this spec, I dismissed it as marketing hype. However, I decided to give it a try nonetheless. To my surprise, it tracked Korean delivery riders (the fastest known visible object on earth) with a hit rate of 24, 25, and 27 frames out of 33 (the buffer fills at this point) frames. I was using the Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8, which is one of the fastest focusing lenses on the system.

I can truly see this being useful to sports and wildlife photographers, as the shooting is blackout free, allowing you to track your subjects with ease. With future cameras, I can only see buffers getting bigger and making this more and more useful. Also, when making 30 frames every second, you will fill the 33-frame buffer very quickly, so it's best used for hedging your bets when you know the moment is coming. 

Pre-capture mode

Another feature that works in a very similar way is the “pre-capture” mode. This has the camera constantly capturing images when you half-press the shutter and saving whatever is in the buffer when you fully press the shutter. This works at your current CH setting, and could certainly be useful to wildlife or sports photographers. However, because you’re basically filling the buffer with images each time you half press the shutter, flushing it can take some time, slowing down your shooting. As long as you’re aware of this, it shouldn’t become an issue.

JPEG Features

Fujifilm have always been proponents of the quality that JPEG files can offer and the features of their cameras have always reflected that. I’m still not quite sure why their flagship model still has a dedicated “Advanced Filter” setting on the mode dial, but there are some great new JPEG-elated features for those of you who prefer to spend less time in post-production. It is important to note that none of these features affect your raw files.

Film Simulations

The X-T3 gets the ETERNA film simulation for both video and stills. Its subdued colours and detail-rich shadows are fantastic for those who don’t love grading video and also make a great base for classic-looking photos as well. I’ve really enjoyed adding a little extra contrast to its base settings and using it as my film simulation of choice while working with the X-T3. 

Color Chrome Mode

Another interesting JPEG enhancement that has made its way down from the GFX 50S is the Color Chrome mode. This basically brings a richness to highly saturated subjects. Below, you can see the result of this with late afternoon sun on autumn leaves. 

Cool and Warm Black and White

With the black and white film simulations in the X-T3, we are now able to add a cool or warm tint to the resulting image. Much like a subdued sepia or cyanotype of days gone by, a tinge can be added that gives your monotone images a different feeling. This can be adjusted nine steps in either way, and you can see the results of that below. 

Operability

As has become par for the course with Fujifilm cameras, there have been a host of small operability upgrades to the X-T3. Some of these are hardware-based and some software, but all provide small tweaks that will benefit certain users. 

Headphone Jack

Along with no longer requiring the battery grip for longer record times in video, we no longer require it for audio monitoring either. This is a great change for someone like me, whose primary business is not in video and thus only occasionally needs to check audio levels. Rather than spend $400 on a glorified headphone jack or MacGuyvering audio monitoring using the HDMI output, I can now plug my headphones directly into the body. 

Touchscreen

For those who don’t appreciate using selector pads or the joystick to move focus points or work with the quick menu, you can now do that with the touchscreen. You also inherit the same “silent mode” for video that the X-H1 added. Also available are focus and shoot modes so that you can dictate what function is activated by tapping the screen. 

Dark Ambient Lighting

For those who use a high brightness setting for their rear screen, you’ll know that in the dark, this can be quite a shock at times. Especially, perhaps, for wedding and event photographers, that blinding light when you try to switch something in the menu could result in a few moments of disorientation. Fujifilm’s new “Dark Ambient Lighting” setting sends the camera's menus into a high visibility red mode that is less taxing on the eyes in dark situations. 

Digital Microprism Focus Assist

Like many SLRs passed, the X-T3 now allows you focus using a digital recreation of the microprism focusing system. Much like having a large circle of split prisms in the center of your frame, it allows for precise manual focusing. Personally, I found it extremely disorienting when I tried to use it. 

Bluetooth

Bluetooth connectivity has now come to the X-T lineup. It works quite well for getting the camera to connect much more quickly for Wi-Fi control and image transfer. However, the automatic image transfer is still lacking in my opinion. I feel like having multiple options for how and when we transfer those images could be beneficial. Right now, the camera transfers everything each time you turn it off, which renders the camera useless until that operation is complete. Having the option to transfer on command that would connect the Wi-Fi and send everything that has not yet been transferred would also be useful (rather than one-by-one through the app) and also perhaps a constant background transfer over Bluetooth (although this may use too much power and potentially be very slow).

Video

Recent Fujifilm cameras have aimed squarely at the "Fujifilm can't do video" complaints and turned them on their head. Below, you'll find a few new video features listed. However, possibly the biggest change in the usefulness of the X-T3 as a hybrid video and stills camera is that just like the X-H1, all image quality settings for video are now separate from their still photography counterparts. 

4K 60p

Video users now have up to 60p recording at 4K in 16:9 or 17:9. This does, however, come with a 1.18x crop that will change your framing slightly. This is something to be aware of if you intend to use multiple frame rates on a single production.

Slow Motion Recording

Although 120 fps slow motion recording has been in the X-H1 and X-T2 for some time now, in order to improve the quality of it, Fujifilm now crops the frame to 1.29x. Again, we’re all about quality here, but it is something to be aware of if you plan to mix slow-motion footage with regular footage. 

H.265

The new processor gives you the power to work with the more efficient H.265 codec, which opens up 400 MB/s encoding with a choice between All Intra or Long GOP encoding for your workflow. It’s clear that Fujifilm is intending to become a serious contender in the video market as well. 

Zebras

Rejoice, you can now see stripes across your video! In all seriousness, this is something that many people rely on when working with video, and Fujifilm’s inclusion of it is just another sign that we’re seeing a shift in their focus towards improving not only stills but video as well.

In Conclusion

Although it's impossible to cover every small change in a relatively short article like this one, these are the major changes for the Fujifilm X-T3. Let me know if there are any other features you'd like covered in the comments. 

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9 Comments

Paul Parkinson's picture

It'd be brilliant if you could update this article with the menu placings for these functions!

Studio 403's picture

How would stack up this camera with the comparable Sony? I have the buying itch for this camera or the Sony. Only "complaint" I hear about the Fujifilm the pop-out viewfinder does not have an articulating arm. Good Report

I really think it all depends on what you are shooting and what features you need to accomplish the task. I'm primarily a stills shooter Portraiture and Event. The things that sold me on the X-T3

The APS-C sensor: The debate will rage on and on, but I don't have any need for Full Frame and coming from the Nikon D500, I'm used to working with it. The extra "reach" is really nice too, it spares me the task of having to crop, and get the framing I like in camera.

Silent Shooting: It is INTEGRAL for me to have in the performances I shoot.(Quiet Classical/Choral rep)

The option of 4k Video: While i'm no videographer by any definition, its a nice option to have if I need it.

Customization: The Fuji system is ridiculously customize-able want to reprogram a button, or all the buttons? go ahead!(I realize that other cameras offer similar features) but it just seems that Fuji has a deep level of customizing that I don't feel when using my Nikon.

2 card slots.(sorry just with all the hype around the Z and the R, I had to add it. Sony is doing just fine here)

Film Simulations: People will shout "IG filters in my pro camera?!? what a joke!" but I love the color of Velvia and Classic Chrome, and Acros-Red... just beautiful. and shooting in RAW gives you the option to choose these profiles after the fact(in camera), or I can adjust in post to my liking.

Some seriously competitive glass: SHARP! and less expensive than the G Master lenses. The 16mm f1.4, the 50-140mm f2.8... I could cut myself on the images. Even their budget lenses like the 35mm f2 and the "Kit" 18-55 f2.8-4 put other budget lenses to shame in terms of AF speed, build quality and IQ.

--------That's not to say that it doesn't come with its own set of caveats. There are a few things I find an issue with:

No fully articulating screen: It'd be nice to have

Battery Life: My D500 carry an extra or bring my grip, we're good to go all day for stills. The Fuji battery grip is a big help but I have 4 extra batteries to replenish as the day/shoot progresses. but they are light so it's not too much of a pain. I also have the X100F and I've gone all day shooting travel/leisure and even a couple studio shoots without having to change my battery.

Customization: I know, I listed it as a pro to the camera above, and for certain situations it's great, but going deep in the Fuji menus may have you frustrated when you are in a different style wondering why the camera isn't functioning the way you want it to, only to find that the random setting that you messed with the shoot before is preventing the camera from using the feature you want now. I've also stumbled upon this frustration with Sony as well but to it's defense I've not had much time shooting with Sony.

Just offering my Fuji opinion here. I've never had a client, model, or organization come back to me offended I didn't shoot with a Full Frame camera or one brand over the other. I'd recommend renting your options to get a feel for what you like about one over the other. Investing in any system should be a personal choice, it's like a car, the brands are the dealerships and they entice you with their offerings, but it's down to the consumer to make the decision based on their specific needs/means.

Hope you are happy with your purchase, no matter which direction you go! Keep Shooting!

Dylan Goldby's picture

I'm not sure what the "comparable" Sony you mention is. Sony makes some APS-C mirrorless bodies, but perhaps the most comparable feature set would be the A7III. Those are very different beasts.

In the end, every single camera on the market today is capable of amazing things. Choose the one you enjoy using so that you'll make more photographs. It's hard to recommend one over the other for image making.

Andy Day's picture

A really useful overview - thanks Dylan! Was a month away from pulling the trigger on the a7iii but Fuji have really thrown a spanner in the works. I'm torn between full frame and something more portable. First world problems...!

Dylan Goldby's picture

Portable is relative, my friend. Put the big zooms on the X-T3 and you might as well have any other camera on the market. Are you looking to use it with the small primes or the big zooms?

Andy Day's picture

Not 100% sure yet. Speaking in 35mm numbers: I'm used to having a 16-35 and a 24-70, but over the last few months I've not used my 24-70, preferring my 40mm and 50mm primes instead. I definitely need the wide angle zoom (f4 is fine) for the parkour stuff and would be happy to start out with just a 50mm and maybe also a 35mm until I can afford to add something a bit longer. Appreciate the help! I think the Sony is just tipping it for me at the moment, but I have a month to decide... :D

Dylan Goldby's picture

I know it's expensive and huge, but for the Parkour stuff, you might want to look at the 8-16mm f/2.8 if you decide to go Fuji. It looks to be an absolute beast for the ultra-wide end. Fuji offers the 27mm f/2.8 pancake and a 35mm f/1.4 (or 35mm f/2) that would fill those gaps for you. The great thing about Fujifilm is that the XF lineup doesn't really have a bad lens in it. Lots of choices for you. Hit me up on FB if you need any more detailed experiences on my end.

Andy Day's picture

Thanks Dylan, much appreciated. Yeah, that 8-16 is pricey and looks amazing, but the 10-24 might be a better option. I'm used to my canon 16-35mm so it would feel like a straight swap.

And yes, you're right about the fuji primes from what I've been reading elsewhere. They all get amazing reviews.

Argh. Decisions. 😂