Is the Fujifilm XT3 as good as they Claim?

I did something, I made the switch to the Fujifilm system and bought an XT3. Although I will hold on to my Canon gear I will be switching to Fujifilm for all my weddings and photography shoots. It is my first Fujifilm camera and I had it less than a week. I will give you my first impressions.

The camera is currently paired with the 18-55mm OIS and the 23mm F1.4 for specific reasons.

Fujifilm XT3

I am primarily a Canon shooter but recently, I fell in love with the look of the Fujifilm XT3 in silver and the color science that come out of them are to die for.

I will be honest having owned this camera for a few days now and playing with the settings, I am still getting used to the navigation screen, so I am not as quick as I was with the Canon system having owned 4 or 5 of them. Starting with the Canon 5D, 2 60D bodies and the Canon SL2.

The main reason why I bought the Fuji XT3 is because it is one of the best hybrid cameras on the market. It is rated for professional photographers, the image quality is bare none. Fuji also has wide variety of lenses to choose from, the compact size and the E.VF. (omg, what a difference) being able to view how sharp your images are a under bright sun, is a jobsaver. The days of going back to your computer and realizing that half your shots are blurry are over. The 4K video capabilities paired with an Imaged stabilized lens is also huge.

This year, I decided that I will start doing more videography. I will to start offering video highlights of my couples weddings and this camera is going to be put to the test. From the reviews, I read, it’s fully capable of switching back from photo and video mode seamlessly. Now it is up to me to master the craft and I am certainly looking forward to the challenge.

Now back to the camera, since I’ve had it for a few days and had a chance to play with it, I discovered some pretty cool features. Mainly, the preloaded film simulation. Nearly allowing you to do away with Lightroom presets all together. My favorite so far is Classic Chrome.

Fujifilm XT3 Flip Screen

I’ve chose 2 specific lenses to pair with this camera initially. Starting with the 18-55m OIS for video as it comes with Image Stabilization and the 23mm F1.4 for general photography.

Over the next few weeks I will add a few more lenses, starting with the 50-140mm F2.8, then the 50mm F1.0 and maybe the 60mm Macro lens. As I build my collection I plan to do detailed review. But so far I am quite impressed with the current lenses I own.

If you are wondering, Sam, why did you buy the 18-55mm F2.8-4 for your first lens when you could have bought the 23mm F2 prime lens for the same price. Well, that’s because I truly want to provide added value to my clients and get into the videography game. I feel like it’s the future as a wedding photographer is to offer your clients video highlights of their event and this will set you apart from the competition.

The overall build quality is excellent. The Fujifilm 18-55mm lens boasts a metal mount, high-grade plastic barrel and non-rotating 58mm filter thread.

The zoom ring is generously wide and has a ridged, rubberized grip band. Zooming is not internal, meaning the length of the lens changes while you zoom. Physically the lens is shortest at 18mm and longest at the 55mm setting.

I chose this lens strictly for video work. Being an On body Image stabilized, it provides variable focal length and steady footage for that reason. It can be used for photography if you stop down to F2.8 at its wide aperture of 28mm. Once you zoom in to 55mm, then you are at F4. If fits the bill with what I am trying to do and I am happy with my choice.

This Fujifilm 23mm F1.4 was made for photographers who crave images with a shallow depth of field, as well as those who want to gather the most light possible for sharper photos in dim conditions. It captures sharp images, when paired with this XT3 and its modern 24MP image sensor, and has a focus clutch for those who prefer manual focus. It’s not weather sealed, like Fujifilm’s less expensive, smaller Fujinon XF 23mm F2 R WR, but an f/2 doesn’t quite blur out backgrounds like an f/1.4. This lens is amazing and I couldn’t be happier. It’s my new FAVORITE lens.

To test this new gear, I took it on an outing a few days ago. I took it to the Nature Museum here in downtown Ottawa. Honestly, I didn’t realize how dim and dark the environment I was going into but did the 23mm and it wide aperture of 1.4 came through. Clearly a flash in a museum environment was out of the question but the ISO capabilities of this APS-C camera is impressive.

Image Captured by BnDphotography
Image Captured by BnDphotography

As you  can see, that museum was pitch black save for a few exhibits. It was not easy environment to shoot while also getting use to a new camera system. So far though I’m impressed with the Fuji system. I didn’t explore the film simulation yet but I will in the future.

I will say though that I would have liked the Image Stabilization to be better but only the lens has OIS and not the body. I plan to fix that eventually as I will be buying the Fuji XT4 sometimes in the next few months. Even with the XT4 though I think a Gimbal is going to be needed if I want the best quality video footage. I have the DJI Ronin SC in mind.

The other short falls of the XT3 is the battery life. This is a known factor of mirrorless cameras is how much battery juice they use to run all the new electronic features like the EVF. A battery grip would be useful to really feed the energy needs of these cameras.

I will keep you guys posted as I uncover all of the potential of this camera. All the pros and cons and how it pairs with more premium lenses.

Published by Samatar David

Ottawa-Gatineau Wedding Photographer

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