It’s a busy time of year. So getting a loan of an X-T3 after a Touch and Try day was an unexpected surprise. A nice one, but also a what the hell can I shoot with the kinda one! Over what was already a full work weekend, I had to squeeze in some shooting as well. Also I had to consider my output. Bearing in mind that Lightroom doesn’t yet support it, and that Fujifilm hadn’t announced the collaboration with Capture One for the FREE C1 Express for Fujifilm, it meant having RAW + JPEG versions too choose from. Nevertheless, I did get out and about with it and the 8-16mm f2.8 which I’ve reviewed here. For this blog, you’re getting camera JPEGs.
As I’m coming from the X-T2, the X-T3 is instantly familiar in layout and design. For a nice change, they only went with internal changes for the most part.
Obviously it’s not the same camera. First up, the tilt screen benefits from touch control. It’s pretty intuitive and a great additional. I loved it back when I had an E-M5, so it’s great to finally see this in the T-Series. It also moves in three directions. Other big features include the new CMOS 4 and X-Processor 4 internally. Part of the bonus with that is you can now do 4k/60fps video. The photo frame rate can now go to 30fps. That’s essentially a movie in still form. It’s also blackout free! That does require the use of Electronic Shutter mode-which has seen improvements as well. In Manual Shutter it’s a respectable 11fps. Also new is the Sports Finder Mode. This is a 1.25x 16.6m crop. It allows you to see things coming into the edge of frame and perhaps get a shot you’d have otherwise missed. On the MP note, the full sized Raw is 26.1MP, up from 24 in the X-T2.
Other changes include ISO 160 as a default ISO. You also have to pull out the Diopter to change it, like setting a watch, so it can’t change accidentally in the bag!
The Exposure Compensation dial is smaller, and also harder to have it change in the bag. One bonus with keeping the body design (bar the tooling cost reductions for Fuji of course) is that my X-T2 grips fits it perfectly!
Right, I’m not really here to describe features, I’m here to play with a camera that I’m on the verge of buying.
Touch and Try
Fujifilm do these days to allow customers a chance to play with all the available Fuji cameras and lenses. Most shops don’t have the wherewithal to keep the entire range in stock, but can order them in once a sale is imminent. So Touch and Try days are the way to get a go of any particular item you’re considering purchasing. Ours was last Friday, a day after the X-T3 officially launched here.
I went in first thing so I could shoot a few shots with it. I also brought a flash, trigger and soft box with me. Bear in mind I thought I get a few minutes with the camera at most, so I wanted to concentrate on a few key things. Flash was one, because I light so much of my commercial work. Stephanie from Fujifilm was happy to have a few shots taken. Which was great for me, it meant not having to sucker any of the lads in the shop to pose.
Flash worked right off the bat, so I was instantly pleased. I popped into the street to try the the 8-16mm as well.
Love the sunstar from it.
I’m shooting a lot of food. Mostly for stock, but also for portfolio. And that day I was also making buttercream icing for the first time, with the intent of getting better at piping. The icing worked out great, the piping less so, but I still used them as a subject. Shot here using my new background surfaces, which I’ll review again at another stage.
These were mostly shot with the Eterna film simulation, which I actually quite like. Fuji’s colour is one of the key reasons I love them, and this film emulation does not disappoint.
While most of my friends and acquaintances think that I mostly shoot models, I actually shoot a huge variety of stuff. My actual photo work is commercial, so models are a tiny percentage of what I shoot. They just see the model stuff and remember it I guess. One thing I love is evening and night shots. So I went out to get some light trails.
Building up a series of light trails, I combined them all together using a combination of masking and Lighten blend mode.
After this I went down to Blackrock diving tower-a quintessential Galway location. To speed up my shooting, I bumped ISO to 400, to give me 15 second shots rather than 30. The JPEG is still quite clean and allow me to get more shots. Low light focusing was really good, but still not perfect. A few of the shots (which were autofocuses) were soft and it did hunt sometimes. To be fair, the moon was in cloud and it was pretty dark-I couldn’t really see that mound in the foreground properly with my eyes.
The next day was dull and overcast, but given the limited time I had to shoot, I went out and shot about the city. I was still using the 8-16 a lot though. I shoot interiors and exteriors commercially, so I was keen to check out both camera and lens for this. The X-T3 has an electronic level that does both side to side and front, so you can get proper verticals in camera. A godsend for this type of work. It doesn’t fix horizontal issues though- as in making the focal plane parallel, but it’s the best you can get in camera.
Here’s a few more dull day shots.
While I’m doing a lot more video myself and the X-T3 video is an improvement, I didn’t really shoot much video. Next time perhaps.
As mentioned in the 8-16 article, I did some concert shots as well. I’d no real issues, and the higher ISO looks the same or better than the X-T2-bearing in mind that it is has more photosites, which equates to more noise.
Food and Drink
I set up some flash for shooting food and drink. Focus was fast and the camera a joy to use.
The big question is always going to be, “is this a better camera than the X-T2?”. Yes. Yes, it is. Faster focus, more responsive. Touch screen. Bluetooth. That electronic altimeter style level. So stopping asking and go buy one. Me? I had a go of the GFX the following week and I’m torn. More on the GFX to come!