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Switching from my a6500 to an X-T3?


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After much debate over the last year I am finally selling my Sony a6500. I decided I just wasn’t happy with the Sony aps-c system. Now the fun part (camera is still waiting to be sold):

My main wants for video are the following:

4k, 10 bit (no more 8 bit please!)

At least 60fps and 120fps

Great out of box color with log capability

Decent battery life (better than a6500 with 7 battery) 
Ibis 
Decent native lens selection (ie not $1000 lenses)

Good photo capability

Decent low light performance up to 3200 or 6400

Prefer an APS-C size sensor and hybrid capability ruling out the BMPCC4k as cool as it is...

After looking at the above I’ve realized having recently purchased the zhiyun crane v2 I could technically rule out ibis. My ideal setup is a 16-50 2.8. Having said this I’ve realized the x-T3 should meet a lot of these requirements and the 18-55 2.8-4 is really close natively to what I’m wanting. Once my camera sells I should have $1200 to pick up a body and lens and I’m really thinking about getting one of these. In time I’d expand my lens selection with a native prime but would pick up a dumb adapter for vintage glass like I did on my Sony as well. Any thoughts from those who have used this setup?

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I have not had any of that model range Sony's but do use (I can say do, as I had a wedding last week) the XT3 as my principal workhorse in 2020 and did throughout 2019.

I am more than happy with it and use it as follows:

On a free-standing (Sirui) monopod with Anker powerbank, Fringer Pro adapter, autofocus, Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 and Tamron 45mm f1.8, 4k 60p internal, Eterna last year, Classic Chrome this year.

Re. lenses, I don't much care for any of Fuji's lenses for video but would rank them roughly as follows:

16-55mm f2.8 the best followed by 18-55mm f2.8-4, (though this latter lens is a bit slow for me) and 16-80mm f4 (ditto, but outdoors and at the longer end, pretty good).

The f2's, but they can pulse a bit using AF, especially the 35mm f2.

The fast 1.4's and 1.2 are awful for AF.

I should add that I use my XT3's for 'hybrid', but have one set up purely for video and one for stills and rate them as excellent for both.

I tend to shoot up to 6400 iso max.

Criticisms?

Of the actual XT3, nothing really other than I prefer the XH1 form factor and would like the IBIS and bigger battery from the XT4 (all of which might be an XH2 in 2021) because I could then ditch the monopod and Anker battery pack for all but 2-3 minutes of a typical 15 hour shoot day.

I also might switch to flog on an XH2 but working in super-bright sunlight as I do in SW France without an external monitor etc it currently is not an option for me.

Gimbal?

Tried a Ronin S and then a Weebill lab. 

Sent both back, - gimbal stylee just isn't for me.

I hope that helps.

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10 minutes ago, MrSMW said:

I have not had any of that model range Sony's but do use (I can say do, as I had a wedding last week) the XT3 as my principal workhorse in 2020 and did throughout 2019.

I am more than happy with it and use it as follows:

On a free-standing (Sirui) monopod with Anker powerbank, Fringer Pro adapter, autofocus, Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 and Tamron 45mm f1.8, 4k 60p internal, Eterna last year, Classic Chrome this year.

Re. lenses, I don't much care for any of Fuji's lenses for video but would rank them roughly as follows:

16-55mm f2.8 the best followed by 18-55mm f2.8-4, (though this latter lens is a bit slow for me) and 16-80mm f4 (ditto, but outdoors and at the longer end, pretty good).

The f2's, but they can pulse a bit using AF, especially the 35mm f2.

The fast 1.4's and 1.2 are awful for AF.

I should add that I use my XT3's for 'hybrid', but have one set up purely for video and one for stills and rate them as excellent for both.

I tend to shoot up to 6400 iso max.

Criticisms?

Of the actual XT3, nothing really other than I prefer the XH1 form factor and would like the IBIS and bigger battery from the XT4 (all of which might be an XH2 in 2021) because I could then ditch the monopod and Anker battery pack for all but 2-3 minutes of a typical 15 hour shoot day.

I also might switch to flog on an XH2 but working in super-bright sunlight as I do in SW France without an external monitor etc it currently is not an option for me.

Gimbal?

Tried a Ronin S and then a Weebill lab. 

Sent both back, - gimbal stylee just isn't for me.

I hope that helps.

Hey man, was hoping you’d comment as I’ve seen you post about using this. I have a 2019 MacBook Pro base model with a 6-core processor and I think 4gb video card. How will it handle the h.265 in resolve or premiere? Also do you have to link up the files over 4gb? How is that fringer adapter for photos? 
 

I wish I could afford the x-T4 but it would be pushing it. I’ve really thought about the GH5 but I just don’t think I’d be happy with the micro 4/3rds sensor. Yes I know I can speedboost it but I think I’d be happier having some form of usable video af over ibis especially since I already have a gimbal. This would force me to actually use my gimbal since I’ve only done a few tries with it. 
 

Are there any other cameras I should consider? I may pull the trigger on one this week. Looks like I can actually get a new body for around $1k if I don’t want to buy used? This seems like a pretty decent deal and the quality should be an upgrade from the codec/color science I’m used to right?? (Although the eoshd profiles were really great for out of camera color!)

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58 minutes ago, Dustin said:

Hey man, was hoping you’d comment as I’ve seen you post about using this. I have a 2019 MacBook Pro base model with a 6-core processor and I think 4gb video card. How will it handle the h.265 in resolve or premiere? Also do you have to link up the files over 4gb? How is that fringer adapter for photos? 

I honestly have no idea what your machine will handle, - I'm a PC guy and not very techy!

I use Premiere and can tell you straight away that if I even try importing h.265, it just says, "err, no, I don't think so sunshine", so the evening before I am going to start a video edit, I batch convert the whole lot to Pro Res overnight.

I don't think you have to link up 4+gb files anymore? I think an early firmware fixed that?

Re. the Fringer, mine is a first edition model and it's a funny one, - I think it works BETTER for video AF than anything native that I have used, but is not as good as native glass for stills. Go figure that one, but I'm not complaining as I like my f1.8 glass for video!

Alternatives might be...and it's not cheap, but I'd really like to give it a whirl, is the new Metabones ef to X mount 0.71x focal reducer. I'd like to give that a go with something like the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 and 35-150mm f2.8-4, because if the AF works well for stills and video, I'd use that pair on a pair of XH2's. If that body actually does appear and they don't screw it up...

Actually, both of those lenses being OIS, they could work pretty well on an XT3 which has the far superior screen to the XT4 and with a grip, about the same battery power.

58 minutes ago, Dustin said:

Are there any other cameras I should consider? I may pull the trigger on one this week. Looks like I can actually get a new body for around $1k if I don’t want to buy used? This seems like a pretty decent deal and the quality should be an upgrade from the codec/color science I’m used to right??

Nikon Z6 would be my second choice if I was happy with 1080 internally or using an external monitor/recorder for 4k.

Beyond that, nothing else that interests me right now in this kind of price bracket (with the Z6 being not that much more than the Fuji).

Yes, there are various Sony offerings, but anything pre-new boy doesn't interest me.

Canon EOS R if you don't mind the crop?

Panasonic G9 not to be overlooked!

I buy most of my kit used these days and paid £900 a few weeks ago for a dealer XT3.

Codec/colour science: That's a moot question... As a Sony user you will be more familiar with it but I'll stick my neck out and say that the XT3 video output is nicer/better, based on no other opinion than my own 🙂

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These are some good points! Good to know on the firmware update.

The only downside I can find to the Fuji i can find is probably ibis. Seems like their native primes at 16mm and 35mm are reasonably priced. 
 

Still wondering about GH5 but I’m sure I won’t be satisfied with the photo capability. I think I may pick up the x-T3. I also apparently live under a rock and didn’t realize the atomos ninja V can be had for $500 ish used. Would be a nice upgrade with a cage and top handle to shoot prores out the gate no? I’m not really a rig guy but didn’t realize it was that affordable. 
 

Is my San Disk extreme pro 95mbps 128gb card compatible with the higher codecs of this camera?

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I use 150mb/s 64GB, but will be switching to 256GB next year as I can fill a set of 2 quite easily so the next size up (128GB) makes no sense to me.

But making do this year as the spec of the XH2 is as yet unknown and may not even be the camera(s) I go for to replace these XT3's. If I even replace my XT3's...

The 16mm f1.4 and 35mm f1.4 lenses are both superb bits of glass. The 35 was not a focal length I really used so only had it briefly when it first came out and I have no real need for a fast prime preferring to use a FF equivalent focal length of around 30-80mm (which my Sigma & Tamron cover when all the maths has been done for APSC 4k crop).

Never had the GH5 and sure it's a fine beast for video though some will argue that the output of the XT3/4 is superior.

I couldn't use one for my stills work or any 4/3rds sensor. It's not sensor snobbery, - I tried previously with a pair of Olympus and nah, it's a step behind APSC which itself is arguably a step behind full frame, but for me is the sweet spot (APSC) for both video and stills in one system. At this time.

Had the Ninja V. Sent it back. 2 reasons:

Reason 01: Couldn't get 4k to record to it due to cable issues. Gave up on that front but had I worked that one out...

Reason 02: It would make me look like a videographer as would a shotgun mic on the hotshoe. Not a single person has clocked to date I'm shooting hybrid, - they all think it's just stills. Even the clients forget at times. Guests never know, even on the monopod. Even Uncle Bob's think the silver XT3 on the monopod is a film camera.

It all depends on your own needs. I would like to ideally shoot a 2 camera, 2 lens system, one unit set up for video and one for stills, freehand. I am doing that now except for the freehand bit. I can actually shoot the Tamron handheld as it has VC, Tamron's version of OIS, but not the Sigma. XT4 would fix that, but no money this year, new batteries, hate the screen, yada yada yada, - there is always a compromise!

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2 hours ago, Dustin said:

These are some good points! Good to know on the firmware update.

The only downside I can find to the Fuji i can find is probably ibis. Seems like their native primes at 16mm and 35mm are reasonably priced. 
 

Still wondering about GH5 but I’m sure I won’t be satisfied with the photo capability. I think I may pick up the x-T3. I also apparently live under a rock and didn’t realize the atomos ninja V can be had for $500 ish used. Would be a nice upgrade with a cage and top handle to shoot prores out the gate no? I’m not really a rig guy but didn’t realize it was that affordable. 
 

Is my San Disk extreme pro 95mbps 128gb card compatible with the higher codecs of this camera?

Depending on how extensively you plan on using the external recorder I would consider the Nikon Z6. Full Frame, Ibis, and far better battery. If your sticking mainly internally XT-3 is a better option. 

One thing to consider is the XT-3 is extremely annoying when your switching between photo/video as the settings are not separated. I tried it out, think I may switch away from Z6, and that drove me up the wall and I found I really missed the IBIS.

Also God do I hate the micro-HDMI on the XT-3. Can't use a monitor without a cage

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1 minute ago, Geoff CB said:

Depending on how extensively you plan on using the external recorder I would consider the Nikon Z6. Full Frame, Ibis, and far better battery. If your sticking mainly internally XT-3 is a better option. 

One thing to consider is the XT-3 is extremely annoying when your switching between photo/video as the settings are not separated. I tried it out, think I may switch away from Z6, and that drove me up the wall and I found I really missed the IBIS

Yeah for now I’m sticking with internal. I was watching some old films of mine shot on the ole Nikon d5300 and what impressed me most was that the out of camera colors seemed more naturally pleasing than what my skills are able to pull out of the Sony. I just bought a gimbal I haven’t used much so I’m thinking maybe I’ll give this a go. One of my reasons for transferring to Sony was the IBIS and wanting a flatter profile but funnily enough I’m being driven back to an easier to grade profile. I do want ibis but can’t afford the xt4 and also want 10bit so I guess compromises have to be made. Looks like I can pick up the xt3 and a 18-55 2.8-4 kit from bh for $1,399 brand new with a San disk 64gb 170mb extreme pro card and extra battery. I’m used to having a 128gb but never have filled it up so this should be plenty to get started shooting.

Perhaps if I truly can’t live without ibis I can sell and try something else? For the price all in I can’t see anything else that hits my specs for less? 

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XT3 you can switch between stills and video but you need to enable silent mode.

Having said that, it’s FAR better having a switch like the XT4.

Do you need to shoot 4K Dustin or is 1080 good enough because that would open up another Fuji contender, the XH1.

Loved loved loved my XH1...but traded IBIS for 4K moving to XT3.

If I had to make that same choice today, I’d pick IBIS for my specific needs.

Very cheap are XH1’s... 

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9 minutes ago, superporpoise said:

The X-T3 is an amazing tool. If you do decide to go that route and want to buy used, I’m selling mine in great condition with the 18-55. Also happy to answer any questions as I’ve used it a bunch. 

I’ll pm you.

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I've also been super happy with my T3. Love the image quality out of it and the film simulations for photo. I have been able to get the Ninja to work fine with it and really like getting a 422 Prores file to edit, plus a much bigger monitor with a full suite of monitoring tools is clutch.

I've mainly used the 18-55 on it; it really is a decent lens if a bit slow. A key benefit of the X-mount system that hasn't been mentioned yet is cheap, good cinema glass. I have a Meike 25mm, and it's a great piece of glass to use, if you have a matte box to control flairs. I'll definitely be getting more of these lenses if Canon continues to screw up it's mirrorless line.

I've had the new Metabones speedbooster for a week or so. It does boost your price range a fair bit, but if you have old lenses you can use with it, it might well be worth the investment. The optical quality is great as far as I can tell. The autofocus does work, but I can't yet say whether it matches or beats native lenses because my L-glass is all quite old (~15 years) with USM motors. I'd like to try it out with STM motors or the very best new L-glass.

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21 minutes ago, EphraimP said:

I've also been super happy with my T3. Love the image quality out of it and the film simulations for photo. I have been able to get the Ninja to work fine with it and really like getting a 422 Prores file to edit, plus a much bigger monitor with a full suite of monitoring tools is clutch.

I've mainly used the 18-55 on it; it really is a decent lens if a bit slow. A key benefit of the X-mount system that hasn't been mentioned yet is cheap, good cinema glass. I have a Meike 25mm, and it's a great piece of glass to use, if you have a matte box to control flairs. I'll definitely be getting more of these lenses if Canon continues to screw up it's mirrorless line.

I've had the new Metabones speedbooster for a week or so. It does boost your price range a fair bit, but if you have old lenses you can use with it, it might well be worth the investment. The optical quality is great as far as I can tell. The autofocus does work, but I can't yet say whether it matches or beats native lenses because my L-glass is all quite old (~15 years) with USM motors. I'd like to try it out with STM motors or the very best new L-glass.

Good deal. As a casual filmmaker on a budget I’ve never really been invested more than $1300 or so in any one setup so this makes the most sense to me. Honestly can’t wait to have a 18-55 lens again after shooting with a Native 35mm lens only for the last 3 years (Plus some Nikon glass which I will get an adapter for). 
 

Now if only my Sony will sell on eBay...

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32 minutes ago, EphraimP said:

've had the new Metabones speedbooster for a week

Have you any full frame f2.8 zooms you could try it with (for stills and video AF) and report back?!

Something I am very interested in right now.

@Dustin re. XH1, sorry, I only think in 4K 60 terms as I do a lot of slowed down footage!

A used XT3 with an 18-55 has to be one of the best value kits right now. It’s just the longer end that I use that kills it for my work, but otherwise superb.

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1 minute ago, MrSMW said:

Have you any full frame f2.8 zooms you could try it with (for stills and video AF) and report back?!

Something I am very interested in right now.

@Dustin re. XH1, sorry, I only think in 4K 60 terms as I do a lot of slowed down footage!

A used XT3 with an 18-55 has to be one of the best value kits right now. It’s just the longer end that I use that kills it for my work, but otherwise superb.

Any links to your footage?

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3 hours ago, MrSMW said:

XT3 you can switch between stills and video but you need to enable silent mode.

SInce I'm considering a Fuji future, I was just asking you about it...but if you enable silent mode, you can't use any dials to change the settings, no? Ok, aperture is usually on the lens, but you can assing ISO to the front or back dial?

And how you enagage it, could map a button to press?

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