is the X-T3 worth upgrading from an X-T2

by | Sep 19, 2019

I recently got a question from a reader asking if I thought the Fuji X-T3 was a worthwhile upgrade for someone who already had the X-T2. I thought that was something I should also post here because it’s a bit of a complicated answer.

My general take is that if you have an X-T2 or an X-T20, I don’t think there are a lot of reasons to upgrade to an X-T3. There are definite improvements, but the X-T2 is more than good enough and the change is incremental. I don’t think that’s where I’d spend my money.

The AF is definitely better, but the X-T2 is good enough. My keeper rate went up with the X-T3, but again, that’s a lot of money for a minor improvement. The X-T30 is a great deal and gets you most of those upgrades and is easier to justify, but again, if I have an X-T2 I don’t think I’d spend my money on this. I have had no thought of upgrading my X-T20, for instance and I find I often take it out instead of the X-T3 when I want to go light and nimble. I don’t feel like it’s a downgrade or compromise.

The reason I did it was because my wife had an X-T1 and was ready to upgrade, and so she took my X-T2 when I bought the X-T3, so it’s in effect an X-T1 to X-T3 upgrade for the household.

If you are thinking about the improved AF as a reason to upgrade, I would suggest before you do, ask yourself if you’re getting everything you can about the X-T2 AF system. There are lots of options to tweak how it works and I’ve found few photographers seem to spend the practice time figuring out what configurations of AF work best in which configurations for you.

Are you switching between spot, field and entire sensor AF? Are you taking advantage of the fact that you can set spot to 1x1 pixel or 3x3? Or that field area from 3x3 to 9.9? Do you move your spot sensor around or leave it dead sensor? Have you experimented to see which of the AF-C customizations work best in different situations? Did you even know that the AF AI has 5 different pre-configured customizations and the ability to build your own custom one?

Have you set up your quick menu to allow you fast switching between the different AF forms and the customizations for those?

If the answer to any of that is “no” or “what, what are you talking about?” then I think practice time with the X-T2 will get you better results with your existing body and spending money on the upgrade isn’t necessary.

If you aren’t regularly shifting between spot and field or shifting your APS-C customizers, I think it’s worth some experimenting to see whether there are tweaks you can find that make your AF do your bidding more reliably.

Coercing your AF system to bend to your will is something I’ve been meaning to write about, but I simply haven’t had time. But it’s well worth doing some practice outings and go out and just start trying things. There’s a lot of flexibility in the X-T2 AF and while it’s improved in the X-T3, I suggest learning to leverage and master that is better than spending money on an upgrade where you still won’t get everything out of the camera because you haven’t spent the practice time learning what it can do.

Sometime this winter I’ll spend some time documenting how I work the AF on my system and get it written up for everyone.