Fujifilm Pops Up Again Under the Full Framers

bythom fujifilm xt3 back

Fujifilm today announced the X-T3 update of their DSLR-like mirrorless camera. The interesting news is, that despite lots of specification advances, the X-T3 is priced at US$1499 (body only). That's a bit on the aggressive side for a crop sensor camera given all the full frame activity only US$500 above it, but Fujifilm is hoping that the additions and changes will make people consider this new camera, as well.

The big news here is mostly internal, with a number of specification changes that put the X-T3 at the forefront of the crop sensor cameras: 

  • 26.1mp BSI sensor (X-Trans). A few more pixels, but some important other changes, as well, including 2.16 million phase detect points embedded across the entire sensor, an increase of 4x. Rolling shutter impacts have been reduced by about half due to speed increases. Native ISO drops to 160 from 200.
  • X-Processor 4 ISP. The new digital engine of the camera features four cores, and is claimed to be three times faster than previous models.
  • Focus changes. Besides the additional focus sensor sites, low light focus performance has been extended from -1EV to -3EV. Face detection is improved in "performance", and other modes also get speed boosts.
  • Black-out Free Viewfinder. This comes with a catch: you'll be shooting 16.6mp (further 1.25x crop) images using only the electronic shutter. But like the Sony A9, the viewfinder refresh is fast and continuous, with no blackout, when you shoot this way.
  • Video changes. Fujifilm joins the 10-bit crowd (both internally with 4:2:0 and externally with 4:2:2), but also adds 2106P/60 (4K video at 60 fps). Hybrid Log Gamma will be supported with a firmware update.

Elsewhere, the changes are fewer and more subtle. We do get touch on the rear LCD, and the EVF does get a boost to 3.69m dots, both nice touches that should be appreciated. Overall, Fujifilm made a number of substantive changes while dropping the body price US$100 from its predecessor. 

The strange thing about the X-T3 is that, on paper, it now obsoletes the X-H1. About the only thing the X-H1 has that people might consider significant is on-sensor image stabilization (the X-T3 does not have that). 

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