When Fujifilm announced the X-T3, the first camera to feature an X-Trans IV sensor, I only paid half attention to it because I’m not in the market for a new camera. I read a couple of articles about the differences in image quality between X-Trans III and IV sensors, and also the quickness of the X-T3, and left it at that. However, I failed to notice three new features that are quite fascinating. I stumbled across these new features pretty much by accident, and wondered why they haven’t received more press. Or maybe they did and I just ignored it. Whatever the case, I thought it would be worthwhile to share it with you.
The first new feature on the Fujifilm X-T3 that I find fascinating is the Color Chrome Effect. This is something that you can toggle on or off for any film simulation, and you can choose either weak or strong. What it does is increase the color saturation while also producing deeper colors so as to increase color gradation. They got the inspiration for this feature from the limited-run Fortia film, which was wildly saturated (more so than Velvia) yet maintained great color gradations. To be clear, Color Chrome is not a new film simulation, but something that can be added to any film simulation, which will give it a slightly different look, producing subtly different results. Fujifilm intended Color Chrome to be used in highly saturated scenes. It takes a lot of processing power, so it will slow down your camera a little and drain your battery faster, but I can definitely see the usefulness of it.
The next new feature on the Fujifilm X-T3 that I find fascinating is a monochrome adjustment that allows you to tone your black and white photographs, either warm or cool (+ or – 4). As long as the weakest adjustment is subtle, I would love to use this! I like to tone my monochrome photographs, something that I have done often over the last 20 years, including when I used to print my own pictures in a darkroom. You can infuse an emotional response into a photograph simply by how it’s toned. This is something that I have wished my X-Trans III cameras could do, so it’s great to see Fujifilm include it on the next generation.
The third new feature on the Fujifilm X-T3 that I find fascinating is D-Range Priority, which is a dynamic range setting that is in addition to the traditional Dynamic Range settings (DR100, DR200 and DR400). It flattens the image to retain highlight and shadow detail. It’s not something to be used all of the time, but in ultra high contrast situations it can be useful. I found someone who has had good success using D-Range Priority for sunset pictures. This actually isn’t a new feature, as the X-H1 also has it, but it’s not found on any camera that predates the X-H1.
I imagine that all three of these features will be included on all X-Trans IV cameras. Fujifilm could choose to include the last two in X-Trans III cameras through firmware updates, but they probably won’t. It sure would be nice if they did, though! Still, it’s good to see them on the new models. It definitely gives me camera envy, but it is reassuring to know that my current Fujifilm cameras are capable of capturing great images, and while I may want these new features, I certainly don’t need them.