Fujifilm X-T3 long term review

It’s almost 2023, so I thought I would look at the Fujifilm X-T3 and give a long term user review on this fantastic camera. You don’t need in-depth specifications, just an honest look at day to day heavy usage of one of Fujifilms finest cameras.

The Fujifilm X-T3 camera was released in 2018 and was Fujifilm’s flagship camera. That means it’s around five years old now, so can it remain a flagship style camera in 2022/23 and beyond?

Build Quality

The X-T3 measures 132.5mm x 92.8mm x 58.8mm. It is a small mirrorless camera, with a small grip, because that is the style it was designed to be and the reason you would buy this (and other) X-T cameras. There are plenty of cameras out there with bigger grips, so this gives you an excellent choice for your preference. I have added a leather half-case to mine (as I do with all my cameras), which gives a little protection, plus gives you a few millimetres extra to the base for your pinky finger to rest, and expands the grip a tiny bit.

The build quality is extremely good, and in my years of use, the camera has been knocked and banged and it has been really robust. The camera has a nice weight at 539g so it’s not too heavy, but heavy enough to know you’re carrying a camera.

There are numerous dials and buttons on the camera, and this is the appeal of the X-T range, as you can adjust all your settings with rarely going into your menu system. It’s very tactile, and thankfully all the buttons and dials feel great to use, with just the right clickyness.

All the buttons are fully customisable, so you can customise to your liking. It’s features such as this which really make a camera yours, knowing you can set it up exactly as you want.

Electronic Viewfinder And Screen

The X-T3 has a good quality EVF that has 3.69 million dots for clear display and no noticeable lag (measured at 0.005 seconds). It runs at 100fps when in boost mode, and slightly less when not in that mode.

The rear panel is a touch screen 3 inch display with 1.04 million dots. It’s bright enough at its highest setting for outside use and has nice colour reproduction.

The rear screen on the X-T3 has a tilt mechanism meaning you can take both low and high shots by tilting the camera, plus you can take low shots while in portrait mode, as the screen also flips in that direction.

Sensor Performance

The X-T3 features a Fujifilm 26mp BSI X-Trans IV sensor. It was a step up from the Fujifilm X-T2 which was X-Trans III 24mp sensor in terms of megapixels. The latest X-T5 (and X-H2s) have the new X-Trans V with 40mp sensors just to let you instead where sensor size is going. This jump to 40mp is a very recent one, and it’s got some people very excited.

I’m not a pixel peeper in any way, but I do see the results of sensors, and having used Fujifilm since the X-Trans III cameras (X-T2) and I’ve been watching the way that Fujifilm sensors have been performing over the years.

The X-T2 was the pinnacle of low light ISO performance, plus it gave a very unique look to its images. The X-T3 has slightly less low light performance than the X-T3, which you do notice when you swap from X-T2 to X-T3. And, as the pattern suggests, the X-T4 and X-T5 are a decreasing scale of low light performance. There’s not much in it, but low light capabilities seem to be getting slightly worse, and the X-T3 is a solid middle ground.

The X-T3, just like all Fujifilm X-Trans sensor cameras has a very unique looking noise pattern, and coming from other cameras you will notice this pattern.

Colour reproduction on the X-T3 is very nice, it’s a bit different to the X-T2, but it still retains the colour science we know and love from Fujifilm.


It is important to talk about autofocus. Fujifilm cameras are often dismissed because of their focus system, but that is because they are very much misunderstood. Unlike Sony or Canon cameras which you can basically point the camera and you don’t have to adjust any settings by default, Fujifilm have settings and modes that you need to tweak to get the best performance based on what you are doing.

When I was shooting with the Fujifilm X-T20/2 I was shooting birds in flight with little to no issue. The step up to the X-T3 meant I could still get birds in flight, but the focus was improved. The improvement was most noticeable in the eye detection, which was really a step up from the X-Trans III cameras. The X-T4 shared the exact same focusing as the X-T4, while the X-T5 has an improved autofocus system.

The below images are taken with the X-T3 in various autofocus modes.

As I said, autofocus is more fiddley with a Fujifilm camera. You need to understand what mode to use and when (I have this guide on photographing birds here, plus a guide to a focus mode I really enjoy using here). However, in day to day use, when you’re just out and about, the focus system works perfectly. Just understand you will need to switch modes for our activities.

And finally, on the subject of autofocus, the lens you are using will also affect the speed and accuracy of the autofocus.

Film Simulations and raw files

Being a Fujifilm camera, the X-T3 is loaded with film simulations (Provia, Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome, Pro Neg Hi, Pro Neg Std, Eterna, Acros and Monochrome ) and although they generally don’t look as nice as the X-Trans III versions, they are still beautiful. Of course, you can also tweak these simulations and create “recipes” just as in other Fujifilm cameras (see images below for an example of some recipes, or browse the website).

For editing, the jpeg images are extremely flexible, and allow you to adjust them in software later with little to no issues.

The raw files are generally around 24mb in size (or 50mb if you use the fully uncompressed option, although there seems to be no benefit in using this option, as the results from both lossless compressed and standard are identical – the clue is in the name “lossless”)

Fujifilm raw files are great to edit, you’ll have over 12 stops of dynamic range to play with, and some of the best base colours from the sensor to create beautiful images.

Battery life

A lot has been said about the battery life of Fujifilm cameras, but in all honesty, the battery life is perfectly fine, and batteries are so small that you can keep spares in your pocket. Only once have I ever had to change batteries on a day shoot, and that was because I was using burst mode while photographing birds at a birding event!

You’ll get between 500-700 shots per battery (around 400-600 on a third party battery) easily when out as long as you don’t leave your camera always on. Leaving your camera on constantly will be the biggest drain on batteries.

I wrote this article here on saving your battery should you wish to really squeeze battery life and compromise performance.


The Fujifilm X-T3 has been my main camera for the last two years, and it has had heavy, weekly use. I use it alongside an Olympus E-PL8, plus I use other cameras while out and about such as the X-T4.

As far as bang for buck goes, alongside the X-T2, the Fujifilm X-T3 is the best value X-T camera that you can buy right now. It just does everything right, from the screen that’s designed for photographers, through to the capable autofocus, excellent low light performance, amazing build quality and most importantly, it’s reliability.

We have all seen issues with the X-T4 being reported, and even the new X-T5, but the X-T3 has always been a reliable camera. Fujifilm really captured the imagination with the X-T3, they refined the X-T2, improved the bits that needed improving, and created the best X-T camera.

It’s come to a point, that if anything was to happen to my X-T3, I have no desire to get the latest models and would invest in another X-T3.

Overall, if you’re thinking of getting a larger X-T camera, the X-T3 should be your number one choice. If you’re after a smaller X-T camera, the X-T20 is still my choice.

Published by Mark G.Adams

Fujifilm And Olympus Documentary Photographer, YouTuber & Blogger.

12 thoughts on “Fujifilm X-T3 long term review

  1. One of the best reviews I’ve read about Fujifilm’s X-T series, and I really mean it.
    That’s because you wrote it honestly, without prejudice or self-interest through sponsorship as you sometimes encounter with others.
    And I think you’re right, the X-T3 is Fujifilm’s best value camera you can get now, and possibly for years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marc, much appreciated. I know that some things may offend some fanboys, but I think honesty is always the way to go when reviewing things. I simply have no reason to buy a newer Fujifilm camera.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in my mid-60s so my shooting days will most likely be determined by my body breaking down before my camera body. To that end, I chose the X-T3 to be my last camera. After using one for over a year, I came to the conclusion that it lacks nothing for my type of photography. I then bought a second one when they were selling for a ridiculously low price (the world wide edition without battery charger). These two X-T3 bodies should cover me for the rest of my photography endeavors.

    I shoot 100% of the time in single point autofocus for semi static subjects, so autofocus is no problem for me. I have 8 batteries and a couple of battery wallets so it doesn’t bother me to carry spares. I compose in camera and never crop, so 26mp are more than enough in the real world. I have both bodies (one black, one silver) set up identically with all the same film simulations in the same sequence on the Q menu, allowing for two cameras to be used simultaneously with different lenses, with no variation in operating technique.

    The X-T3 is all the camera that I need and will be my last camera model.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Mark for a most efficient overview of the whole camera. One aspect of my X-T30 that irritates me ( and I assume it functions the same on the X-T3) is the awkward placement of the Q button, which I was repeatedly operating unintentionally, so I had to re-assign it – to focus. It was of interest to me therefore to read the guides you have on setting autofocus – but the links in your review are not correctly defined – could we have an update, please ?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Here’s a straight ‘copy & paste’ from your article:
        “As I said, autofocus is more fiddley with a Fujifilm camera. You need to understand what mode to use and when (I have this guide on photographing birds here, plus a guide to a focus mode I really enjoy using here). However, in day to day use, when you’re just out and about, the focus system works perfectly. Just understand you will need to switch modes for our activities.”. Neither of the words ‘here’ appear to be a hyperlink. Perhaps I’m not understanding how to follow the links…

        Anyway, I can easily follow the links you gave in your reply – thanks. I know I’m a bit slow on the uptake, but I really cannot say that I understand almost any article, blog or video whre the author says “press the AF-L button which locks focus (and exposure)”. In my experience ( X-T10, X-T20, X-T30) this button ( and AE-L) function only when they are held down – i.e. ‘press and hold’, not just ‘press’ (which implies ‘press and release’). So I don’t understand why these button have the word ‘lock’ in their name. What am I missing? And why does the AF-L button lock exposure? Surely that is the purpose of the AE-L button ?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for that. The links in the article are the bold text.

        As for the AF-L and AE-L buttons, by default you have to hold them down for them to be active, and by default AF-L locks only focus while AE-L locks only exposure.

        I’m assuming that, just like myself, many find this very annoying and so reassign the buttons to make them more usable.

        Myself, I have set up the AE-L button to lock both focus and exposure, and I set the mode so that it is active on a button press (as opposed to holding it down). I just find that it makes more sense this way (I can write instructions in a blog if you think people will find it useful).

        That has freed up my AF-L button to which I’ve assigned eye tracking and it means I can turn it on/off quickly without leaving the EVF, although you can set it to anything you wish.

        I hope this helps, and I can see why you are asking this question as the default action is really annoying!


      3. Mark, I feel very embarrassed about sending this email – if it is inappropriate just bin it and ask me not to contact you again.

        You said: “The links in the article are the bold text.”

        I have attached (I hope) a screenshot of the original article in which I have circled what I think are the original ‘links’. These certainly do not appear as hyperlinks in the version of your article that appeared in my email. Further more, as the screenshot shows, there is no bold text, aside from a sub heading visible further down the page (“Film simulations and …”) and one off the page, towards the document start, not visible, labelled ‘Autofocus’. Neither of these are hyperlinks either so I am quite confused. What have I misunderstood here?

        Regards Tony Hamilton.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I have tried the article out on Edge and Change on laptops and PCs and on Chrome on mobile devices and the links show as bold text, plus open to the correct links. I’m not sure why you’re getting different? I tried on my wife’s computer as well and it showed up correctly. Very strange indeed 🤷‍♂️ I’m genuinely confused.


      5. Mark, A big ‘thank you’ for following up on this. I have attached another sample of a screenshot taken at about the same place as the first one I sent you. The difference is the browser being used – for this one I am using Firefox; for the first version I was using Brave. It is clearly a Brave issue and nothing at all to do with your actions in creating the document. This has come as a bit of a shock to me as I have been using Brave is my only browser for a long time now, eschewing Firefox, Edge, Chrome and a few others. Time to rethink this strategy.

        Once again, thank you for investing time in this. Lesson learned!

        Regards Tony Hamilton

        Liked by 1 person

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