Holidaying with the Fujifilm X-T3

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Holidaying with the Fujifilm X-T3

Recently I was holidaying around the South Island of New Zealand with the X-T3 from Fujifilm. It was great having it with me and seeing what I could do with it.

 

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Holidaying with the Fujifilm X-T3

I approached Fujifilm Australia when I knew that I was going to New Zealand to see if they would loan me the X-T3 camera and some lenses. The main reason behind the loan was to see what I thought of the mirrorless system, especially if I left my Nikon gear at home.

Some of the pluses for me

  • Weigh less
  • Smaller size
  • Easier to carry around all day

Fujifilm X-T3

Travelling with photography gear

Anyone who has travelled knows that your gear can create a lot of problems. It isn’t like going away with your car and you can take as much as you like. You need to consider how much weight you are taking. Part of the reason for wanting the Fujifilm camera and lenses was for this. It would weigh a lot less than my Nikon gear.

The size of it was also important. It meant I would be able to fit more into my camera bag. In the end I took two Fujifilm bodies and 5 lenses. If I were using the Nikon gear, I would not have been able to take that much with me.

The other thing that was important was the ability to carry it around my neck all day. You need to be able to do it comfortably without having to worry about killing your neck and back.

The Fujifilm Camera and Lenses fit all three of these and when I was approved the loan, I knew it would make my trip that much better.

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Problems with the camera

When you buy cameras, or any gear you buy it with the knowledge that you are starting from scratch. You set it up the way you want and to your needs. Unfortunately, when you borrow gear you have no idea what the set up will be.

Back Button Focusing and shooting in RAW

When I first got the X-T3 I realised fairly quickly that I couldn’t focus on anything the way that I am used to. Someone who had borrowed it in the past had set it up for back button focusing. Now I know a lot of people love that, but I’m not one of them.

When I’m taking photos, I nearly always use spot focusing and being able to move the spot around is very important. So instead of using my thumb to focus, I use it to move the spot. If I have to focus and move the spot at the same time would make it harder for me.

How to turn off this feature turned out to be harder than you would think. I Googled and Googled. Lots and lots of information on how to set it up, but not to reverse it.

The other problem I discovered was that I couldn’t seem to find where to set it so that I could take photos in RAW. I could see all the choices for JPEG, but not the other.

After spending a lot of time online and in the Fuji X Aus Facebook Group it seemed the only way to sort out the problem was to do a complete factory reset.

It worked.

I could also choose RAW for my image quality. Brilliant.

Using two memory cards

It was really important that I be able to use two memory cards while I was travelling. It doesn’t happen often, but memory cards have been known to fail. The X-T3 takes two SD cards and I wanted to set one up as a backup.

I had to try a few times to do this and in the end the problem was not with the camera, but with me. After a while I realised I had set it up right, but it didn’t work the same as it does on my usual camera.

Sports Mode            

After a few days I realised that my images were being cropped. When I looked in the viewfinder, I could see a rectangle in it.

I knew it was cropping the photos and I had to compose my images within it, but no idea what it was. My Nikon full frame does a similar thing, but it didn’t seem to be the same thing.

Again, Google was very helpful, along with the manual for the X-T3. It took a while, but it turned out the camera had been switched to Sports Mode. No idea how it happened. It was, however, easy to fix once I knew what the problem was.

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Fixing problems

There were a few things I had to fix, but the main thing was that I was able to get everything the way I wanted. None of the problems were that serious.

If in doubt and when I couldn’t work out what the problem was, I knew I could go to the group. The Facebook group is full of people who use Fujifilm cameras. There is a wealth of knowledge there.

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X-T3 Menu

Someone told me before I used a Fujifilm camera that the menu system was difficult to work out.

In some ways it is true, but I find the Canon menu system hard as well. It really comes down to what you are used to. The more I’ve used Fujifilm cameras the easier I am finding them. I’m starting to understand the terminology that is used. Sometimes I need to go to the manual, but overall it has become better for me.

I’ve used Nikon cameras for over 20 years, so I understand them. I know how to find what I need. There is no doubt that eventually I would find the Fujifilm the same.

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Using the X-T3

The retro look of the camera makes this a fairly easy camera to use. Once you get past the quirks of it. It took me a while to work out how to put it on Aperture Priority. It was easy in the end, but it doesn’t have the button changes like many other cameras.

Manual mode was a little harder, and I forgot that to change the aperture I needed to use the aperture ring on the lens.

Once all the was sorted I had no problems.

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Taking long exposures

Anyone who follows me knows how much I love doing long exposures. One of the important things you need to do it is a remote shutter release, or a camera that has capabilities to let you. Shooting long exposures means using the bulb setting and opening the shutter for long periods.

I was so happy to see that there is a “T” on the Shutter Speed dial and you can set it to how long you want. You do seem to have to do it in increments of one minute, but that is okay. It does a count down when it is taking the photo so if you want to do something else you can stop it.

Many cameras have something similar, meaning it will keep the shutter open for as long as you want, but you have to time it, and then remember to stop it. It was fantastic how you didn’t have to do that with the X-T3.

It is always nice when you don’t have to take as much gear with you. I have a remote shutter that will work for that camera, but I really hate it. It doesn’t work the way I want. So, once I realised that I could use the “T” setting, I never looked back.

That Wanaka Tree in New Zealand

Converting to Fujifilm

One of the tests for me while away was would I miss my usual DSLR? Would I want to convert to a mirrorless system?

In the end I didn’t miss my DSLR. The X-T3 did everything I wanted it too. I didn’t need to worry that I would want to do something and not be able to.

It would be great to be able to convert, but the only way I can do it is if I sell my Nikon gear. That isn’t as easy as it seems. I never have a lot of luck selling anything. So, I might have to consider saving up.

I have a loan of a friends X-T20 and her lenses, so I might have to continue using that for a while. That might be a good option while I continue working out what I want to do. Money is always a problem for me. My husband is great, but he refuses to pay for any gear. So might have to rethink everything.

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Finally

There is no doubt that the Fujifilm X-T3 camera is fantastic. Once you know what you are doing it is easy to use and really good to carry around. You can do everything you want with it that you can do with a DSLR.

Mirrorless cameras are fantastic. They do what you want and the reasons for hanging onto a DSLR are getting weaker. It’s getting so much harder to say that I need a professional DSLR when I get just as good images from the X-T3.

The main argument I hear is the size possibilities of printing. The reality for me is that I don’t print much, and if I need something really large there is software out there that can help with that. It isn’t a good reason anymore.

More thought is needed from me about this. Time will tell.

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Extra

I borrowed three lenses from Fujifilm Australia and I will do a future post on them and what I thought.

If you would like more information on the Specifications of the camera click here.

For now I would like to thank Fujifilm Australia so much for loaning me the X-T3 and the lenses for my trip. I really enjoyed using them and love a lot of the photos I got.

Fujifilm Australia logo

12 Responses

  1. Great blog. I too use the Fuji system. Your images are fantastic. Keep up the great work.

  2. Don Barton

    Hi, Leanne. I haven’t regretted moving to the Fuji XT-2 from Canon 5D MarkIII. (My only regret was I did so 6 months before the release of the XT-3, reportedly a superior model.) I had no trouble selling the Canon gear. I made the decision to jump into the deep end selling all my Canon gear. I was concerned if I didn’t, I would vacillate between the two systems and not become fully versed in the benefits of Fuji. The talk about Fuji files not being handled well by Lightroom is a Furphy. To my feeble eyes, the image quality is exceptional.

    • I didn’t realise you had sold all your Canon gear. Interesting. Yeah, I would go for the X-T3, it is a great camera. I like your reasoning. I really do have to think about this. I think the image quality is incredible. Thank you for sharing this Don.

  3. jack

    Hi Leanne, Thanks for your candid reviews. Have a good friend who mad the switch from his Nikon full Frame D810 to the XT model. He never looked back.

    2 questions:
    1. Can you edit in Lightroom? I understand that you need to edit in Capture One software. Maybe its only for the medium format Fuji GFX-s & r

    2. If you switched could make large mural size images from the crop sensor? Seems like the larger Fuji medium format would give the resolution and depth that you needed if you wanted to go Big!

    I’ve never used either so just wondering your thoughts are since you got to play with one.

    Thanks,
    Jack

    • Hey Jack, you’re welcome. I have heard a few people who have done the same thing.
      You can edit the photos in Lightroom, quite a few of the images in this post were processed with it, the rest in Photoshop.
      Even with my full frame DSLR I can’t print that big, but if I wanted to, I know that there is software available that will do that. I haven’t used it, but I have seen some images that it was used on and it is amazing.
      I hope that answers your questions Jack.

  4. Welcome to the wonderful world of Fujifilm. As you know I dumped Canon for Fuji about 2 1/2 years ago and haven’t looked back. The thing that made the switch easy for me financially was the amount I was able to get for my Canon gear. Luckily I had good gear, 5D MkIII, and a bunch of L lenses, that brought good prices when I sold it all. Good enough that I was able to buy the XT2, the 10-24, 50-140, and a few others, with money left over. Of course I was willing to completely move to Fujifilm, with no interest in keeping my Canon stuff, just in case.

    • Thank you Jeff. I suspect if I could sell my Nikon gear I would get enough, but I do have trouble selling stuff, but it is definitely something I am considering. I love that 10-24mm lens, it would definitely be on the list. I don’t know that I could move completely, I have a ton of Lensbaby stuff for the Nikon, and my infrared camera is a Nikon. But I could probably sell enough to get the camera and a couple of lenses. I’m still considering my options. Thank you Jeff for telling us what you did.

    • Leanne, I definitely took a leap of faith when I made the switch. I was heavily invested in Canon, and I switched with virtually no overlap time to get used to a new system. The spur of the moment purchase of a used X Pro1 and 18-55 as a smaller, lighter camera to carry on a Disney vacation was all it took. We were in Disney for 10 days, I used my Canon once, and that was only because I had no way to mount the Fuji to my tripod. Even though I had never used a rangefinder style camera before, and the best way to describe the AF speed was glacial, I was in love with the image quality I was getting. So much so that the majority of my Canon gear was put up for sale and sea XT2 and the 10-24 and 50-140 were put on order.

      This was BEFORE we had even left Disney! Obviously that was a little impetuous, because it could have been a HUGE mistake. Luckily I have not once regretted doing it.

    • You really did Jeff, wow, that is impressive. I will probably end up doing it, but not sure when. My problem is that I have a lot of lensbaby stuff for the Nikon, and my Infrared camera is also Nikon. So I won’t sell everything.

  5. Wow nice blog and good to see you trying to move to some thing smaller to travel with. I am currently using a Lumix G85 and love it I moved to this from Pentax. I am now looking at trying a XT30 out any thoughts? Thanks Mick PS nice photos from your NZ trip.

    • Thank you Mick. It was definitely a good decision to go with the Fujifilm gear when I travelled. I have heard quite a bit about the Lumix camera. I haven’t used or seen the X-T30, but the X-T20 is a great camera. I really enjoy walking around the city with it.

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