With a new sensor and processor mixing with an enhanced autofocus and electronic viewfinder, Fujifilm’s update to its high-end APS-C feels anything but minor. On September 6, Fujifilm debuted the X-T3, a mirrorless that improves in more categories than not over the already well-received X-T2, while boasting a new world’s first in the process. The combination of the new sensor and processor makes the X-T3 the first APS-C sensor camera capable of recording 4K at 60 frames per second onto an SD card.
At the heart of the update is what Fujifilm is calling its best X-Trans sensor yet, a 26.1-megapixel backlit X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor. Like earlier X-Trans sensors, the latest uses a color pattern instead of an optical low-pass filter to control moire. Unlike earlier sensors though, the sensor adds phase detection pixels across the surface in a way that Fujifilm says improves resolution without compromising with more noise.
The 2.16 million pixels that are part of the phase detection autofocus produce a faster, more accurate autofocus system, according to the company. Fujifilm claims the new autofocus system is capable of focusing down to -3 EV in low-light conditions, where the X-T2 was limited to -1EV. The new autofocus also means a 1.5-times speed improvement over the X-T2 for both autofocus and autoexposure metering. Fujifilm says face and eye detection have improved, with Eye AF now available in continuous autofocus and both options now included in video.
The updated sensor is paired with the X-Processor 4’s Quad Core CPU, which is three-times faster than any other processor currently in Fujifilm’s lineup. The increased speed allows the X-T3 to reach that 60-fps 4K with a 10-bit output and can also handle more challenging image processing, like a new Color Chrome Effect. The new mode helps create more accurate color gradation in vivid colors, an option that was introduced in the medium-format Fujifilm GFX 50S. The X-T3 also has four-times the data rate of the X-T2 and twice the data rate of the X-H1, with a 400 Mbps bit rate for 4K. Additional video features include the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and H.265/HEVC formats, increased read speed to reduce rolling shutter distortion, and a new 4K inter-frame noise reduction algorithm.
Still photos are a snappy 11 fps with a 142 shot buffer for JPEG and 42 for RAW. With the electronic shutter, the X-T3 can shoot at 30 fps or use a pre-shot that starts snapping with the same half-press used to focus the shot. Fujifilm’s film simulation modes are onboard, including the new Eterna option, along with Bluetooth connectivity and Wi-Fi.
On the outside, the X-T3 carries much of the same style from previous generations with a few small changes. However, there is one big update: The electronic viewfinder can shoot with no blackout during burst shooting, thanks to a 100-fps refresh rate. The EVF diopter has a new lock to prevent accidentally bumping the viewfinder settings while the top dials and buttons are larger than the second generation.
The X-T3 will also launch with an optional battery grip that uses two extra batteries for a 1,100-shot battery life and a metal hand grip designed for using the camera with heavier, large-aperture lenses. Without the battery grip, the X-T3 has a 390-shot expectancy before a recharge.
The X-T3 body is bundled with an EF-X8 hot shoe flash and is set to launch on September 20 for about $ 1,500, or about $ 1,900 with a XF18-55mm kit lens. (Notably, another improvement over the X-T2’s original body-only launch price of $ 1,600). The camera will be available in both black and silver.