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Fujifilm X-T3 First Impressions

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The Fujifilm X-T3 was announced recently with a lot of attention because of the significant upgrades but how does it feel out of the box? Let's find out!
Fujifilm X-T3 First Impressions
The new silver color X-T3!

We reported in our announcement article over here that it now has a new back-illuminated sensor and a new quad-core processor that work together to improve the image quality , the performance and the autofocus even in low light!

Disclaimer: Fujifilm Philippines invited us to try a preproduction Fujifilm X-T3 with the new XF 8-16 f/2.8 WR, XF 200 f/2 and the XF 10-24 f/4. Hardware and performance may change upon release.

Unboxing/Accessories

The silver X-T3 with the Vertical Booster Grip!
The silver X-T3 with the Vertical Booster Grip!


We were given access to multiple X-T3s and several XF lenses and the Vertical Booster Grip but the box wasn't present.


Build Quality/Design

Three X-T3s at different angles!
Three X-T3s at different angles!

The fit and finish and the way the materials feel in the hand is exactly the same as with my X-T2 even though the X-T3 is now made in China. The X-T3 is using an extremely similar chassis as the X-T2. There are minor changes in size and details like the slightly deeper grip, the new diopter pull-out knob, the smaller/tapered main dials, one bottom plate(as opposed to two) and the lesser number of screws.

The new Vertical Booster Grip also adds a deeper hand grip for a more stable hold of the camera when attached. It isn't as large as the X-H1's grip though. It did make it a lot easier to hold the X-T3 with large lenses compared to my X-T2 with its vertical grip.
The new touch screen 3-way tilt screen!
The new touch screen 3-way tilt screen!

It also has a new 3-inch 1.04M dot LCD touch display with the same 3-Way tilt screen. The lever you pull to release the tilting mechanism is now easier to pull than the X-T2.
The new pull-out diopter knob!
The new pull-out diopter knob!

One of the issues long time Fujifilm fans had is that the new X-T3 is now made in China and no longer in Japan.

This was a decision made because of the new cameras like the X-H1 and GFX 50S were added to the line that are also made in Japan but the factories in Japan couldn't keep up with the increased number of demand of production. The second reason is that, when the X-T2 was released there was a high demand that it was sold out for months in some countries because the demand was too high and the Japan factories couldn't produce as much as the demand.

This resulted in Fujifilm having the X-T3 made in China to keep up with the expected high demand and because the Japan Factories will focus on the flagship lines. (X-H and GFX)
X-T3 and X-T2
X-T3 and X-T2

I myself had my concerns being an X-T2 user since it was released. My copy never had problems and I did attribute it to being made in Japan but I have heard people having issues with their Japan made X-T2. But seeing the X-T3 in person quickly alleviated it. 
On top are the signature analog dials!
On top are the signature analog dials!

On top are the on/off switch, function buttons, hot shoe and the signature analog dials (ISO, Shutter Speed, Exposure Compensation and subdials for metering and Drive modes) that Fujifilm has been known for. The view mode button for the EVF is on the right side of view finder bump.
On the right side are the DUAL SD Card slot and the remote port
On the right side are the DUAL SD Card slot and the remote port

On the right side are the Dual SD card slot and latch. Above it is a rubber flap that hides the Remote shutter release port.
On the left is the microphone, headphone 3.5mm jacks, USB Type-C port and the mini HDMI port!
On the left is the microphone, headphone 3.5mm jacks, USB Type-C port and the mini HDMI port!

On the left side is another weather sealed latch that has the two 3.5mm jacks for the microphone and headphones.  Beside these are the USB Type-C and mini HDMI port.
At the bottom is the battery hatch, tripod screw mount and the CPU contacts for the booster grip!
At the bottom is the battery hatch, tripod screw mount and the CPU contacts for the booster grip!

At the bottom is a new single plate (opposed to the two plates put together in the X-T2) which allows for a sturdier build and less screws at the bottom. On it are the CPU contacts that connect to the Vertical Booster Grip and the battery hatch.
The new X-Trans 4 sensor!

In front are the front command dial, Fujifilm branding, LED autofocus assist light, customisable button, Mount release button, autofocus mode switch and the X-Mount itself.

Initial findings

1. The new 0.5 inch approx. 3.69 millions dots OLED Color Viewfinder with 0.75X magnification has a refresh rate of 100 fps while the new 3-inch 1.04M dot LCD display is now a touch screen!

The touch screen allows for swipes, pinch to zoom in and out and touch to focus controls that improve quality of life changes while on the field while the new EVF may give a slightly smaller magnification from the X-T2's 0.77x magnification, it does offer a significantly faster refresh rate with almost no lag inbetween with better details that we prefer it now over the X-T2.

2. It now has the new X-Processor 4 quad-core processor over the X-Processor Pro dual-core processor that now allows for faster performance and up to 240 autofocus calculations from the 60 calculations from the X-T2 and XH1.

This promises better autofocus performance coupled with the entire frame of Phase Detect autofocus pixels and from our first impressions it is significantly better in autofocus single and continuous!

The battery is the same NP-W126S Li-ion from the X-T2 from two years ago but is now rated for 390 shots and 40 minute 4K 30fps record time as opposed to the 310 shots and 30 minute record time for 4K in the X-T2. This is said to be because of the more efficient processor.

3. The new X-Trans 4 Back Illuminated Sensor allows for 26MP of high resolution images while maintaining a high signal to noise ratio (the ratio of the strength of an electrical or other signal carrying information to that of interference, generally expressed in decibels). 

This promises better low light and noise performance of the bat. We'll have to do more testing but from our initial trials we were happy with ISO 8000 and though we would never use the files from ISO 12800, it is considerably cleaner than the competition. We will link our first camera samples below.

4. It is complete with connectivity with support for the following: IEEE 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, USB Type-C charging, mini HDMI.

5. The older Vertical Booster Grip from the X-T2 is not compatible because of the changes in size and because the headphone jack on the X-T2's vertical grip creates an electronic conflict with the X-T3's in body headphone jack. The grip also has a new grip deeper design that adds to the body's own grip. It is a substantial size added that helps handholding the X-T3 with larger lenses. Honestly, it is a good change but personally I prefer the larger grip from the X-H1. It was more stable. This however is more than good enough.

Related: Fujifilm X-T3: First Camera Samples


As of the moment

With the vertical booster grip attached
With the vertical booster grip attached

In our first few hours with the X-T3 we were able to compare it with the X-T2 hardware wise and saw some minor but significant quality of life changes like the new touch screen, higher resolution EVF, single bottom plate for sturdiness.

But all of these pale to how significant the changes are internally with the new sensor, processor and the entire frame of Phase detect autofocus pixels. 

Overall the X-T3 is shaping up to be the best APS-C camera of 2018. We'll have to wait for Photokina to see what the competition has for us though. Otherwise, long time Fujifilm fans and prospective new users a like will be happy to know that the X-T3 is looking good so far.

The X-T3 Body will cost PHP 86,990 while body with 18-55 will set you back PHP 109,990!

We'll have to do more testing with it and see more of what it can do.
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