(Pocket-lint) - When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived three years ago, we thought it set a new benchmark for mirrorless cameras. Since then we've been spoiled with the likes of the Panasonic Lumix G9 and many other compact system cameras.
Last September, Fuji came back with a bang: the X-T3 brought a new sensor, new autofocus and 4K 60fps video capture that set it apart from its X-T2 cousin. Here's a breakdown of the key differences:
Fuji X-T3 vs X-T2: Design & Layout
- X-T3: A little deeper (58.8mm) than X-T2 (49.2mm) due to eyecup and grip
- Both cameras: Full manual control dials, Fujifilm X mount lenses
- Optional battery grip is different for each camera
- Both cameras: Weather resistant build
At a glance, the X-T3 and X-T2 are one and the same. But they're a slightly different size, which means if you want to use an accessory battery grip then you'll need to buy for the specific camera. X-T2 users will be disappointed that an X-T3 will require a new grip.
Otherwise, the layout and operation is similar: there's full manual control, all the shutter/aperture/ISO/exposure compensation dials you could need, and that old skool design aesthetic.
The X-T3 does shrink the exposure compensation dial to avoid accidental knocks, while the toggles around its dials are larger for easier adjustment. There's also a dioptre lock on the X-T3 which was lacking previously.
Fuji X-T3 vs X-T2: Viewfinder, Screen, Performance
- X-T3: 0.5 inch, 3.69m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
- X-T2: 0.5 inch, 2.36m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
- Both cameras: 3.0 inch, 1040k-dot, tri-adjustable LCD (X-T3 adds touchscreen)
- X-T3: 1.5x autofocus speed improvement over X-T2 (Fujifilm claims)
- X-T3: 2.16m phase-detection pixels offer edge-to-edge autofocus (X-T2 has a limited selection area)
Mirrorless cameras have gone from strength to strength in recent times, with electronic viewfinders good enough to rival traditional optical ones. The X-T2's already decent 0.5in OLED finder remains the same size (magnification) in the X-T3, but the new camera ups the resolution by over 50 per cent. It's the same finder as found in the Canon EOS R.
Regarding the rear screen, both cameras offer a tri-adjustable fit, meaning the LCD panel can be pulled out for waist-level or overhead work in either portrait or landscape orientation. Most competitors can't handle this vertical orientation. However, we found this method of control a little fiddly to use, which is a setback. The X-T3, like the X-H1, adds touchscreen - which was lacking from the X-T2.
When it comes to speed, the X-T3 also ups the autofocus ante with a claimed 1.5x speed improvement over the X-T2. The biggest change is the full edge-to-edge autofocus system, though, which offers a mammoth 2.16m phase-detection pixels right across the whole sensor for precision autofocus anywhere within the frame (it offers 425 AF areas, compared to the X-T2's 325).
Fuji X-T3 vs X-T2: Image Quality, Speed, Video
- X-T3: X-Trans CMOS IV sensor, 26-megapixel resolution
- X-T2: X-Trans CMOS III sensor, 24-megapixel resolution
- X-T3: 11fps burst shooting at full resolution
- X-T2: 11fps with optional battery grip only
- X-T3: 4K video at 60fps / XT-2: 4K 30fps
Core to the X-T3 is its new X-Processor and X-Trans CMOS sensor, both of which are in their fourth generation guises (compared tot he X-T2's third-gen). This brings greater processing speed, able to handle the slightly higher resolution of the newer camera.
In terms of burst speed, the X-T2 was never a slouch, capable of up to 11fps at full resolution. However, you had to have the optional battery grip attached to achieve that. With the X-T3 you do not, it's 11fps capable out of the box (and it'll even hit 30fps with a 1.25x crop and electronic shutter).
Another big benefit of this new processor is the readout speed means the X-T3 can cater for 4K video at 60fps straight to the camera's internal SD card. No other APS-C sensor camera can do this (Sony is at 30fps, as was the X-T2, while Panasonic uses a slightly smaller Micro Four Thirds solution). Furthermore, the X-T3 offers up to a 400Mbps data rate with H.265 compression and 24-bit stereo sound support.
Fuji X-T3 vs X-T2: Conclusion
- X-T3: £1,349 body only (at launch)
- X-T2: £1,399 body only (around £1,249 at time of writing)
The X-T3 is a savvy replacement for the X-T2. It's faster, more adept at focusing, will deliver similar image quality at a slightly higher resolution, and will appease videographers too. And all for a price that's actually less than the X-T2 was at launch.
Our suggestion would be to go with the newer model and all the extras that brings (unless the X-T2's price really plummets).