Purchased in 2018 with 23 1.4 & 56 1.2 lenses as a lightweight companion system to my Canon DSLRs for family photojournalism and day to day use. When paired with fast primes the XT3 is a nice balance of form and function.
Latest firmware 4.11. Currently running 3.20. 4.x is mainly AF enhancements. Planning to upgrade when time permits.
Ergonomics are decent for a camera it's size. The grip is comfortable in my large paws. Buttons on the back and selectors below the ISO & shutter speed dials are fine in temperate weather, tricky to use with gloves in winter. Other than adding a soft release shutter button cap, I haven't accessorized my XT3. The included strap is good for daily use; over the shoulder or around the neck. The camera is small enough to fit into a 3/4 full backpack without consuming too much space.
The XT3 AF system focuses consistently and accurately in AF-S (single/one shot) mode. It's less reliable in AF-C (continuous/servo). Subject tracking isn't as a good as my 5D4 + 24-70 2.8 II or 7D2 + 100-400 II although that may be a result of fw 3.20 and/or the lenses I have. My XT3 struggles to focus in low light and in scenes with minimal contrast such a blue sky or white clouds. Having AF points to the edge of the frame is a great compositional tool. No more focus and recompose. The ability to vary the size of the points and link the spot meter to the active point are useful features.
EVF works well. Displaying realtime exposure helps dial in settings quickly. No problem switching between 5D4 OVF and XT3 EVF. Tilt screen is handy for low or overhead shots and is useable on a tripod. XT4 fully articulating screen is better for vlogging and self portraits however.
I haven't done a lot of video with the XT3. The few clips I've captured @ 1080p 24fps look good.
The XT3 + 56 1.2 captures beautifully detailed landscapes at f/8 - f/11. While some landscape photographers prefer wider and longer FLs, I found 23 1.4 & 56 1.2 compliment one another well for wide and medium telephoto shots of the same scene. Panorama mode can be used in portrait or landscape orientation and, with practice, produces useable images out of camera.
Film simulation recipes available online provide settings to emulate various 35mm film. Custom simulations can be stored and recalled from the custom menu. It's possible to get some really interesting retro looks out of the XT3 without having to post process. This creates unique artistic possibilities if you take time to customize a recipe to suit the scene.
Lightroom doesn't handle Fuji X-Trans raw files well in some cases. Capture One is a better raw processor but can present a moderate to steep learning curve for LR users.
Fuji's image rendering has more artistic flair out of the box than comparable Canon cameras. I need to be deliberate when taking photos with the XT3. It has its own character which can be good or bad depending on the situation. Some of this is a side effect of using primes instead of zooms. The inherent limitations of a single focal length make walk around shooting a creative challenge or a constant source of aggravation depending on the subject matter.
It might be just me but the XT3's behaviour is less predictable and less consistent than the 5D4 & 7D2. Metering, white balance, AF, and colour rendition all seem to have their good and bad days. It's hard to quantify and explain. I've had issues with firmware defects. Command dial bug in 2.10 and AF hunting problems in 3.10 (might have been 3.01).
Fuji's tactile interface has been well received. I don't think it's a big deal. It was novel for a couple of weeks. Once I got used to the dials and aperture ring on the lenses they more or less disappeared the way buttons & dials on DSLRs do. I still use menus frequently. The menu system has a large # of options and are organized fairly well.
No problem using 5D4 and XT3 side by side. Muscle memory takes care of switching between the two. I don't feel any less conspicuous with the XT3 than the 5D4. I was under the impression the size of the camera matters. It doesn't seem to. People notice when you point a camera at them, big or small. You can get away with looking a bit more touristy with an XT3 by holding the camera at arms length and not using lens hoods.
Couple of quick points: buy an extra battery. Buy the fastest SD cards available. The iphone app needs improvement. Wait a few weeks before upgrading to a new firmware release unless you absolutely have to. Look for forum posts reporting issues. XT3 does not support downgrading firmware to previous versions. Check settings frequently. It's easy to move the aperture ring and shutter dial when carrying the camera over your shoulder.
Overall, I like the XT3. Despite being quirky and tempermental, it's a feature rich camera that encourages creativity and produces lovely images.
Although Canon will remain my main squeeze, Fuji makes a great secondary system and canvas to get into creative trouble with.
If you're new to Fuji, rent an XT3 for at least a week before buying it. I also suggest downloading a Capture One demo version since the two go hand in hand for many users.
- Capable APS-C sensor
- Compact lightweight body
- Comfortable ergonomics
- Film simulations with extensive customization options
- Excellent out of camera jpgs
- Good raw shadow/highlight recovery in Capture One 12
- Competent AF system
- Good EVF, comfortable to use coming from DSLR OVF
- 1/8000 mechanical, 1/32000 electronic shutter speed
- 1/250 flash x-sync speed
- Works well with Godox wireless radio & speedlites
- Tactile interface
- Tilt screen useful for shooting low angles & overhead
- Well appointed video functions
- Excellent system for walk around, family pj, travel, & street photography
- Good price/performance value when purchased used or on sale
- Buggy firmware updates
- AF isn't as reliable as 7D2 or 5D4 in low light (firmware 3.20)
- Battery life is okay, not great
- Boost mode (speeds up AF, shutter response, EVF) is easy to forget about, drains battery faster when used
- AWB excessively cool/blue, particularly in evenings
- Phone app-based GPS implementation is unreliable, prone to losing sync & crashing
- New features & film simulations may not be backported from XT4 to XT3 as was done in the past
- EVF is wonky in bright sun
- LCD can't be seen at some angles in bright sun
- Tilt screen isn't as versatile as fully articulating screen
- Finish readily picks up dust and debris, hard to keep clean
- Lightroom X-Trans sensor raw processing isn't great, Capture One is better
- Capture One 12 Fujifilm is okay but not great (LR is better for catalog/metadata mgmt)
- Capture One 12 film sim emulation is ok but not as good as SOOC
- Older prime lenses need to be updated, not weather sealed, slow AF
- Manual aperture ring is easy to bump (always check your settings)
- 23 1.4 sucks more dust than Canon's dust pump
- Overall feels like a less polished platform than Canon or Nikon
Fujifilm X-T3 + XF 23mm f/1.4
XT3] by Houseplant Apocalypse on Flickr