Fujifilm XT-3 Review: Finally a perfect Fuji for Wedding Photographers
I’m not gonna lie, I had high expectations for the newest Fujifilm X-T3 camera. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I’m a Fuji fanboy, I’ve been using my X-Pro2 (review HERE) as my main camera at weddings for more than a year and I’ve always hoped that one day I’ll be able to finally sell all my Canon and fully rely on the Fuji system. Well, if you’re here only for a conclusion, here it is": The X-T3 is a solid upgrade to the X-T2, but it’s still just a Fuji. With all its pros and cons.
FUJI For Wedding PhotographerY? Why not
There’s no doubt that Fujifilm cameras are pretty awesome. As a matter of fact, every time someones asks me for a recommendation, I suggest either the X100 series or the X-T20 for travel and personal work. It’s perfect! But as a wedding photographer, I want to use my Fuji for work as well, especially at weddings. Their color science is just too good and editing a wedding takes me probably a third of a time if I shoot only with Fuji. Not to mention all the physical dials for ISO, aperture and shutter speed make my life easier and my heart happier (I’m pretty old school, you know that).
Obviously there are some shortcomings. Crop sensor can be a problem in low light, ISO has never been really great on Fuji cameras and focusing can be pretty slow at times, especially with those f1.4 lenses.
Fortunately, the new X-T3 is a solid upgrade in all these areas. Based on some basic testing, the ISO performance is much better and the files don’t look as ugly when pushed a stop or two. Autofocus is also much better and more reliable, everything just FEELS faster and with lenses like the 56mm f1.2 you can really notice a significant difference. That itself sounds like a good enough reason to upgrade from the X-T2.
Still the best Colors in The Game
Fuji has the best color science on the market, I still believe that. It’s ironic that I think Canon is actually the worst now. Ok maybe Panasonic is the worst, then Canon, then Sony and Nikon. Leica and Fuji leading the game no doubt. Editing those files has always been easy and fun and there’s something about that crop sensor texture that really reminds me of 35mm film.
X-T3 RAW files look pretty much identical to X-T2 or X-Pro2 files. What a relief. Below is an example of just a simple one click edit with my preset. There’s not really a big difference, X-T3 files just look a bit brighter, warmer and cleaner.
But once you start playing around and adjusting sliders in Lightroom, these new files react very differently to what I’m used to and it’s pretty frustrating. Especially the way colors react to white balance. For some reason the tint is always around 60s and 70s as default and slight adjustments can give you some very extreme color shifts. This makes it impossible to just sync edits between the XT-3 and the X-T2. If that was your plan, just forget it.
X-T3 vs X-T2. shot on 23mm F1.4 with identical settings.
Best Fuji yet. But still just a Fuji.
I shot around 15 weddings on my X-Pro2 and I never really missed my full frame Canon. Sometimes I missed focus because the camera is not very fast (especially with the XF 35mm f1.4) and sometimes I gave up on taking a photo completely because I knew the sensor won’t handle the dark scene. But I believe all of this was completely worth it because I’m really happy with my colors, my camera bag is lighter and my editing is faster than ever.
I’m pretty sure I’ve had around 100+ wedding photographers asking me over the years if they can switch to Fuji system completely. I usually say yes. But if you’ve tried the X-Pro2 or X-T2 and didn’t love it, I’m pretty sure the X-T3 won’t change your mind. It’s an amazing camera for lifestyle photographers. It’s also the best Fuji camera for wedding photographers yet, but it still has the same problems all Fuji cameras have always had. It’s just slightly better. It’s fast, but still not Sony fast. It’s reliable, but still not Canon / Nikon DSLR reliable.
Fuji still has the prettiest colors! (edited image with newest LKO 2019 on the left, RAW file on the right)
I’m definitely keeping the X-T3 for now and it’ll probably be my main camera for the next year or two. But I’ll probably still keep an eye on what other manufactures are doing, just in case someone will finally figure it all out. By “all” I’m imagining a camera with Fuji colors + Sony focusing + Canon and Nikon reliability + Leica design. Just my humble wish, you know.
Also!!! Come back soon or subscribe to my newsletter, I’ve tested this camera against Sony and my 5D mark IV and I’m gonna blog some side by side photos very soon.