Fuji X-T3 Image Quality Comparison

Below are crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing the Fuji X-T3's JPEG image quality to its predecessor's, the X-T2, as well as against several premium high performance interchangeable lens cameras in its price range: the Nikon D500, the Olympus E-M1 Mark II, the Panasonic G9 and the Sony A6500.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page: Fuji X-T3, Fuji X-T2, Nikon D500, Olympus E-M1 II, Panasonic G9 and Sony A6500 -- links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Fuji X-T3 to any camera we've ever tested!

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Fujifilm X-T2 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 160
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 200

Above we compare the 26-megapixel X-T3 to its predecessor, the 24-megapixel X-T2. The X-T3 has a slightly lower base ISO of 160 which combined with its newer backside-illuminated sensor should perhaps yield lower noise despite marginally smaller photosites, however when examining the flatter or darker areas of the scene, we see the X-T3 image does contain slightly higher noise levels. This could be due to faster circuitry required for the X-T3's higher performance, or perhaps as a result from the vast increase in PDAF pixels and related circuitry over the X-T2. Whatever the reason, the X-T3 does look just a bit noisier. Deep shadows are however more detailed and not as crushed as from the X-T2, which is a nice improvement. The X-T2 appears to do slightly better with our red-leaf swatch, but the X-T3's slight increase in resolution is likely resolving a bit more of the individual thread pattern which tends to interfere with and break-up the leaf pattern somewhat. Micro contrast and sharpness are slightly better from the X-T3, but we upgraded lenses since the X-T2 was shot, from the Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 macro to the 56mm f/1.2, which is the main reason for the minor improvements in sharpness and contrast. Overall, though, very similar image quality here at base ISO with just slightly higher noise and resolution from the X-T3, along with an improved default tone curve that retains more visible detail in deep shadows.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Nikon D500 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 160
Nikon D500 at ISO 100

Here we compare the Fuji X-T3 to the 20.7-megapixel APS-C Nikon D500 at base ISO. The 26-megapixel X-T3 does resolve more detail than the Nikon in most areas, while the D500 produces a slightly crisper image with higher contrast, which is especially noticeable in the red-leaf swatch. However, sharpening haloes are more evident from the Nikon. Noise levels are similar here at base ISO, with perhaps just slightly higher luma noise but lower chroma noise from the X-T3, however keep in mind the higher base ISO of the Fuji. Both cameras offer great color, though the Fuji's is more accurate overall.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Olympus E-M1 II at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 160
Olympus E-M1 II at ISO 200

Above we compare the Micro Four Thirds Olympus E-M1 Mark II to the APS-C X-T3. You would think the 26-megapixel X-T3 would have a noticeable resolution advantage over the 20-megapixel E-M1 II here, but both cameras have fairly similar resolutions on the vertical axis (4160 vs 3888 pixels) which is how this scene is framed, so the resolution difference is pretty minor and mostly boils down to different demosaicing algorithms and processing. Luminance noise appears higher from the Fuji, but chrominance noise is higher from the Olympus. The Olympus produces a crisper image with higher contrast, though default sharpening also appears to be higher. The X-T3 resolves more fine detail in our red-leaf swatch even though contrast is lower, while the E-M1 II renders it smoother but with less detail, however the Olympus does better with thread pattern in the pink fabric. Both cameras produce good color, though the Fuji's are a bit warmer and not quite as saturated.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Panasonic G9 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 160
Panasonic G9 at ISO 200

Above we compare the X-T3 to another 20-megapixel Micro Four Thirds camera, the Panasonic G9. Again, you might expect the 26-megapixel X-T3 to have a noticeable resolution advantage over the 20-megapixel G9 here, but the resolution difference is minor. Luminance noise appears a little higher from the X-T3 in flatter areas, but the G9 produces a crisper image and does a better job rendering fine detail overall. The G9 does noticeably better in most of the fabrics, but it also shows more aliasing artifacts which the XT-3's X-Trans filter helps avoid. Both cameras produce pleasing colors though the Fuji's are warmer and a bit more accurate.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Sony A6500 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 160
Sony A6500 at ISO 100

Here we compare the X-T3 to the 24-megapixel APS-C Sony A6500. The A6500 produces a much crisper and more detailed image, yet its sharpening algorithm produces less noticeable haloes around high-contrast edges. Contrast is also higher from the Sony, especially in the red-leaf swatch, however it does contain obvious moiré patterns while the Fuji image does not. Luma noise is a bit higher from the Fuji, but again, chroma noise is much lower. Color is generally more pleasing and accurate from the Fuji, with less orange to yellow and yellow to green shift, but the Sony preserves much of the subtle coloration caused by offset printing in the mosaic label while the Fuji preserves very little of the coloration.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 1600

Here at ISO 1600, we again see slightly higher contrast and sharpness from the X-T3 versus its older sibling, likely because of the better lens, but also slightly higher noise levels. Still, it's pretty close and both do extremely well for APS-C cameras.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Nikon D500 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 1600
Nikon D500 at ISO 1600

Above at ISO 1600, the Nikon's rendering is much softer than it was at base ISO, while the X-T3's is only slightly softer, and the Fuji continues to resolve more detail in most areas. While contrast is still higher in the red-leaf swatch, the D500's default noise reduction has blurred away more fine detail than the X-T3. Luminance noise is however a bit higher from the X-T3, which is no surprise thanks to its smaller pixels.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Olympus E-M1 II at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 1600
Olympus E-M1 II at ISO 1600

The Fuji X-T3 starts to pull away from the Olympus E-M1 II here at ISO 1600, with much lower chroma noise and fewer noise reduction artifacts, though luma noise is higher and coarser. While contrast and sharpness are a bit better from the Olympus, the E-M1 II's default noise reduction starts to distort and smear subtle detail in the mosaic crop and especially in the red-leaf fabric.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Panasonic G9 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 1600
Panasonic G9 at ISO 1600

The G9 continues to do a better job rendering fine detail than the X-T3 here at ISO 1600, while at the same time producing much lower luma noise. The Fuji however produces fewer aliasing artifacts and lower chroma noise. Again, colors are noticeably warmer from the Fuji but more pleasing.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Sony A6500 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 1600
Sony A6500 at ISO 1600

The A6500 continues to produce a sharper, more detailed image at ISO 1600, but the offset printing coloration in the mosaic crop is no longer present, suppressed by the Sony's high ISO noise reduction. The Sony also appears to do better in the red-leaf swatch, however much of the fine detail is distorted and false. The A6500 definitely does better with detail in the pink fabric, though, however the X-T3 continues to deliver better overall color.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-T2 at ISO 3200

Once again, very similar image quality from the two siblings here at ISO 3200, with just slightly higher noise levels from the X-T3.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Nikon D500 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 3200
Nikon D500 at ISO 3200

Once again, we see the Fuji X-T3 hold onto more detail than the Nikon D500 here at ISO 3200, though the D500 continues to produce higher contrast with more obvious sharpening haloes. Luma noise levels are again a bit higher from the X-T3 but chroma noise is lower, and overall the X-T3 produces the better image here.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Olympus E-M1 II at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 3200
Olympus E-M1 II at ISO 3200

The Fuji X-T3 is the overall winner here at ISO 3200, with better detail and fewer noise reduction artifacts than the Olympus E-M1 II. Luminance noise from the X-T3 does appear a little higher, but chrominance noise is lower, and the Fuji hangs on to more fine detail in most areas.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Panasonic G9 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 3200
Panasonic G9 at ISO 3200

At ISO 3200, the G9 image appears sharper, a little contrastier and cleaner, but with more noticeable sharpening haloes. Fine detail is a little better from the X-T3 in our troublesome red-leaf fabric, though both cameras blur it significantly at this ISO. Colors are still warmer and more pleasing from the Fuji.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs Sony A6500 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T3 at ISO 3200
Sony A6500 at ISO 3200

The Sony A6500 still produces a crisper, contrastier image with more punch here at ISO 3200, however noise levels in flatter areas are higher. Again, the red-leaf pattern may look more detailed from the Sony, but much of that detail is false, and the Fuji still produces more pleasing colors.

Fujifilm X-T3 vs. Fujifilm X-T2, Nikon D500, Olympus E-M1 II, Panasonic G9, Sony A6500

Fujifilm
X-T3
ISO 160
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Fujifilm
X-T2
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Nikon
D500
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Olympus
E-M1 II
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Panasonic
G9
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
A6500
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Detail comparison. High-contrast detail is also important, pushing the camera in different ways, so we like to look at it, too. The X-T3 does well here against its predecessor, offering slightly better contrast and more detail, but keep in mind the slightly better lens used. The X-T3 compares well to the Olympus E-M1 II and Panasonic G9, with the MFT cameras' image quality dropping off more quickly as ISO rises, particularly the E-M1 II's. The APS-C Nikon D500 and Sony A6500 both produce higher contrast across ISOs, but the Nikon isn't able to resolve quite as much detail as the X-T3. Overall, the A6500 comes out ahead here.

 

Fuji X-T3 Print Quality Analysis

Very nice 30 x 40 inch prints up to ISO 200; a pleasing 8 x 10 inch print at ISO 12800; and usable 4 x 6 prints up to ISO 51200.

ISO 80/100/160/200 images all easily make beautiful prints up to our maximum testable print size of 30 x 40 inches. Print size here really depends on how much you want to push the resolving power of the X-T3's 26-megapixel sensor. At 30 x 40 inches, you do see very slight pixelation upon close inspection. However, at typical viewing distances for such a large print this isn't a major issue. Overall, the X-T3's image quality here at these low ISOs is excellent and thus produces very pleasing prints with lots of details and vibrant, rich colors.

ISO 400 prints look strikingly similar to lower ISOs, but we do see a subtle increase in shadow noise and a bit of detail softness. Overall, it's quite minimal, and you're easily capable of making a great 24 x 36 print here, which is still very large. That said, a 30 x 40-inch print would certainly be doable for wall display or with careful post-processing.

ISO 800 images are surprisingly clean of offensive noise and still full of crisp detail, and you might also be able to get away with a 30 x 40 inch print for wall display with judicious post-processing. However, background/shadow noise is a bit too strong for us to really call it at that print size, and so for us, ISO 800 images do well at up to 24 x 36 inches.

ISO 1600 prints begin to show too much noise for prints as large as 24 x 36, but at smaller print sizes, noise remains pleasingly minimal and fine detail is still plentiful. We're calling it at 20 x 30 inches for this ISO setting, which is rather impressive for an APS-C camera.

ISO 3200 image display more noticeable signs of detail loss and some softness due to increased noise and stronger noise reduction processing. Our pick here for this ISO tops-out at a still-respectable 13 x 19-inch print. A 16 x 20 might work for less critical applications or with careful processing.

ISO 6400 prints work quite well up to 11 x 14 inches, which is a rather impressively large print size at this ISO for an APS-C camera. Interestingly, shadow noise appears ever-so-slightly stronger than this same print from the X-T2, however, the X-T3 displays a bit more fine detail.

ISO 12,800 images display quite a bit of noise, but like the X-T2 predecessor, the X-T3 is still capable of a usable 8 x 10 print here at its maximum native ISO setting.

ISO 25,600 prints are quite noisy and pretty soft if you print them any larger than 5 x 7 inches.

ISO 51,200 images are very noisy, and noise reduction processing takes a heavy toll on detail across the frame. As such a 4 x 6-inch print is the largest print we're willing to accept that this ISO; it just passes the mark. Still, the fact that an APS-C camera makes a usable print at its maximum, expanded ISO setting it very commendable.

Much like its predecessor, the Fuji X-T3 has an impressive showing in our print quality tests. Despite the APS-C sensor size, the X-T3 is capable of some impressively large prints even as the ISO rises, going up against some full-frame cameras, in fact. Up to ISO 200, you're free to make prints as large as you want; it just depends on how much you're willing to push the resolving power of the X-T3's 26MP sensor. Our tests max at 30 x 40 inches, which is quite large. Even up to ISO 800, the X-T3 makes a really nice 24 x 36 print. As you climb the ISO scale, the camera even manages to offer pleasing 8 x 10-inch prints all the way up to its maximum native ISO setting of 12,800. Going further into the expanded ISO settings, the Fuji X-T3 can make a usable print at every ISO setting, with a 4 x 6 just passing the mark at ISO 51,200.

 



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