Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Tests with Sample Images

I’ve been out shooting with the Fujifilm X-T3 and testing how well it performs under challenging shooting conditions. Here’s a selection of high-resolution photos I’ve taken with the Fujifilm X-T3 specifically focusing on its high-ISO performance in low-light conditions.

Text & Photos By David Coleman
Last Revised & Updated:
Filed Under: Mirrorless Cameras

I MAY get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

With its smaller APS-C-sized sensor, it’s hard for the Fujifilm X-T3 to compete with full-frame competitors like the Sony a7 iii, Sony a7R iii, or Nikon Z7. And to be frank, it doesn’t threaten to—if you’re putting a priority on low-light shooting, those are hard to beat when it comes to mirrorless bodies.

That said, the cameras in the X-T range have been steadily improving in their low-light performance (the X-T2 is pretty good in this regard too—here are some examples). And even if there are full-frame cameras that perform better at high ISOs, I’ve been impressed with the X-T3’s performance in this area and a little surprised that it comes as close to something as the A7 iii as it does.

So I thought it might be useful to post some real-world examples for anyone looking to judge for themselves whether the X-T3’s high-iso performance is up to snuff for what they want and expect.

FUJIFILM X-T3 Mirrorless Camera
  • 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor
  • X-Processor 4 with Quad CPU
  • UHD 4K60 Video; F-Log Gamma & 10-Bit Out
  • 2.16m-Point Phase-Detection Autofocus
  • Extended ISO 80-51200, 30 fps Shooting

The X-T3 has a native ISO range of 160 through 12800. If you use the Auto ISO setting on the top dial, it will work within that range (you can also set a lower limit—more on that below).

But you can go higher than 12800 by moving into the extended ISO range of 25600 and 51200 (there’s also an extended option at the bottom end, down to 80). At these settings, it is moving beyond the native capabilities of the hardware, and the image is boosted by software. That’s why you’ll see a momentary flash of the “processing” indicator on the screen when you’re shooting and the frames per second between shots slows slightly. You’ll also notice the image quality will drop off markedly, which is why these aren’t enabled by default. Accessing these extended ISOs is pretty straightforward—move the dial to the “H” marking—although it’s not self-evident how to get the 51200 option; I’ve put together a separate explanation on how to enable the maximum ISO setting.

FujiFilm X-T3 with Fujinon 18-55mm f2,8-4 zoom lens

These were all shot as RAW. They were processed in Lightroom, but I haven’t applied any extra noise reduction beyond the default Lightroom setting (amount: 40; radius: 1.0; detail: 25; masking: 0). If you’re shooting JPG (or previewing the original embedded JPG thumbnail for the RAW file), the X-T3 has some noise reduction tools built-in, but I’ve deliberately bypassed those by re-rendering directly from the RAW data.

You can click on each image to open a full-size version for a closer look, and there’s a link in each image’s caption where you can download the original RAW file (NB: they’re about 56MB each).

Related: Fujifilm X-T3 Memory Card Recommendations

FujiFilm X-T3

Sample Photos Taken at High ISOs with the Fujifilm X-T3

Here’s a more general sampling of various images I’ve shot with the X-T3 at ISOs from 3200 to 51200.

ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 3200. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 3200. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 3200. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 3200. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 3200. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 3200. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 3200. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

ISO 4000

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 4000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 4000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 4000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 4000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 4000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 4000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

ISO 5000

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 5000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 5000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 5000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 5000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 5000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 5000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 5000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

ISO 6400

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 6400. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 6400. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 6400. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 6400. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 6400. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 6400. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 6400. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 6400. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

ISO 8000

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 8000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 8000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 8000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 8000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 8000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

ISO 10000

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 10000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 10000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 10000. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

ISO 12800

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

ISO 25600

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 25600. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 25600. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

ISO 51200

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 51200. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 51200. Download the original RAW file. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Side-by-Side Sequence

Here’s a sequence I shot at each ISO step to give a sense of how moving up the ISO increments affects image quality.

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 3200. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 4000. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 5000. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 6400. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 8000. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 10000. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 25600. Download the original RAW file.

Here’s another sequence:

Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 3200. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 4000. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 5000. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 6400. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 8000. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 10000. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 12800. Download the original RAW file.
Fujifilm X-T3 High ISO Sample Image
Fujifilm X-T3 @ ISO 25600. Download the original RAW file.

Auto ISO Settings on the Fujifilm X-T3

When using the Auto ISO setting on the X-T3, you have a few options for customizing how it behaves.

You can set the default sensitivity. The default is the lowest native ISO (160), and in many situations, that’s going to be ideal in that it starts at the lowest native ISO and only goes higher if it needs to. But there are also situations where you might want to make sure it’s using a high ISO.

There are three presets (Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3) that you can set to maximum sensitivity limits. So, for instance, if you’re shooting portraits and don’t want it to go over, say, ISO 800, you could set that as the maximum for Auto 1 and use Auto 1 when shooting portraits. But if you want to switch to shooting run and gun low-light street scenes, you might want to set Auto 2 to something like ISO 6400.

You can also designate the minimum shutter speed, including using a dynamically calculated Auto function that is based on the focal length of the lens. One thing to note, though, is that if you set the minimum shutter speed manually, it isn’t a hard floor. That is, the camera will override it if the image is still underexposed even when using the maximum ISO that you’ve set in the Max Sensitivity setting.

Fujifilm X-T3 Price & Availability

You can find the X-T3 in various configurations, from body-only to kits with lenses.

Buy New

Check the current price and availability at:

FUJIFILM X-T3 Mirrorless Camera
  • 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor
  • X-Processor 4 with Quad CPU
  • UHD 4K60 Video; F-Log Gamma & 10-Bit Out
  • 2.16m-Point Phase-Detection Autofocus
  • Extended ISO 80-51200, 30 fps Shooting

Buy Used

Now that there are newer models out to replace it, you can often find good deals on used X-T3s. Stock levels of used gear are always in flux, but these places are well worth checking:

Related

Fixing Image Quality Problems in Editing

The general rule of thumb in photography is that it’s better to get the shot right at the time of capture rather than trying to fix it later. That’s a great aspiration, but it’s not always possible to do if you’re shooting in especially challenging conditions or bumping up against limitations or flaws in gear, conditions, or technique.

But it’s worth mentioning that there are some excellent tools available to help address common image quality issues with digital images. And they’re getting better and better all the time as the power of AI ramps up. They can deal remarkably well with anything from sensor issues like high-ISO image noise to lens issues like distortion, softness, vignetting, and chromatic aberration. (Note: I’m focusing here on corrections related to image quality, not image enhancement tools—that’s a different kettle of fish.)

All-round image processing apps like Lightroom Classic and Capture One have solid tools built in that are very good places to start. But it’s also possible to take it much further with more specialized tools. If you shoot in challenging conditions regularly and find room for improvement in the image quality coming out of the camera, these might well be worth a look (and they have free trials). Some are stand-alone apps; some integrate into image editing suites such as Lightroom Classic.

UPDATE: In April 2023, Adobe released an update to Lightroom Classic that added new AI-powered noise reduction for RAW files. It’s a powerful tool that rivals some of the dedicated apps below. If you’re already using Lightroom Classic for your image editing and organization, it’s well worth trying out—look for the Denoise tool under the Detail panel.

Fixing Image Noise & High ISO Artifacts

  • DxO PureRAW 3. Like Lightroom Classic’s Denoise tool, it only works on RAW files. But since was updated to version 3, it has become my go-to app for this kind of thing. I’m consistently amazed at how it can rescue photos with otherwise dodgy image quality from noise. It can also help with lens distortion, lens vignetting, and lens softness.
  • DxO DeepPrime. This is the noise-only offering using the same denoising technology as PureRAW.
  • Topaz Labs’ DeNoise AI. This is another excellent option for specialized denoising. It works alongside Lightroom or as a standalone app.

Fixing Lens-Related Optical Issues

  • DxO PureRAW. Again offers an impressive suite of automatic fixes that are applied before you start editing the images.
  • DxO ViewPoint. Correcting for lens distortion and geometry skews. Lightroom Classic and Capture One also have excellent built-in tools for this.
  • Topaz Labs Sharpen AI. In addition to standard unsharp tools, it includes focus correction and shake reduction.

Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2024-03-01 at 15:38. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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David Coleman

I'm a professional photographer based in Washington, DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and many places in between. I've been shooting for 30+ years, and my photos and time-lapse videos have appeared in a bunch of different publications, from major newspapers to magazines and books, billboards, TV shows, professional sports stadiums, museums, and even massive architectural scrims covering world-famous buildings while they're being renovated. You can see some of my travel photography here and here.