Home Cameras/Lenses Fujifilm Fuji X-Pro 3 with hidden back screen

Fuji X-Pro 3 with hidden back screen

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I rather like the look of the rumoured new Fuji X-Pro 3 with its hidden rear screen. The smooth back features a small information panel similar to those we used to see on some film cameras, where you could stick details of the film inside.

We’ve seen only an appetite-whetting preview, but the camera should be available in the first half of next year. It’s easy to write this idea off as a gimmick, but I think it could gain traction among more traditional users.

It reminds me of my Leica M10-D (which manages without a screen at all) or the reversible screens found on many cameras, including m4/3 bodies from Panasonic and Olympus. For those who aren’t constantly chimping and normally use a viewfinder, a smooth back — without glass to gather finger smudges — is rather attractive.

The full screen is hidden while the new mini-screen serves to display camera settings — similar, in a way, to the top-plate designs seen on DSLRs and some mirrorless cameras. This further enhances Fuji’s commitment to allowing all essential camera settings to be seen at a glance. Will it catch on?

Having once been a Fuji X fan, I would need little encouragement to go back to this marque if I were not committed to the TL/CL system. In terms of retro design, Fuji has out-Leica’d Leica while Leica has gone all techy on us.

The general appearance and full set of physical controls is designed to appeal to anyone brought up on traditional cameras and Leicas in particular. I know more than a few owners who rather wish their CL had the sort of control layout which Fuji has now made its own.

What are your thoughts on this? Hit or miss? Gimmick or useful?

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Would be interested hear from your FUJI users what they think, or is this just Fuji dragging announcement out? I thought the xpro1 neat, bit thn Fuji went on Tangent and sort of lost interest like Leica not really doing anything correct that center point CL maybe Leica going orphan then like the X.

  2. I can’t say I ever had a durability problem with my X-Pro, so being made out of titanium would not benefit me. The X-Pro 2 was already very light compared to many other cameras I’ve used and I don’t think I would notice the weight difference. I like the option of the flip down screen to make it easier to take low-level shots. It would also work well for shooting over the heads of a crowd if the camera was held upside down.

  3. The concept of the X pro’s have always appealed to me. I think the hidden, adjustable screen is an overdue and worthy addition. I’m less convinced of the need for the little “window” on the back, given the camera layout is geared for mainly VF use, has hard dials for shutter and iso , plus aperture rings on most lenses. That said, now that I need reading glasses a quick check of settings on the back screen could be useful.

    Fuji Xpro and X100’s do a heck of a lot right and they are enjoyable to use. I’ll look forward to seeing the new model “in the wild”.

  4. I haven’t obviously handled an X-Pro 3 yet but the mini screen is another creative idea from Fuji. On paper I think it an idea which appeals to me because having shooting information available like on a top LCD may be helpful. I also wear glasses and sometimes struggle! Even better the mini screen previews which film simulation you’re using. It thus reinforces one of the key plusses Fuji offers over other cameras.
    Many “theorists” like me are divided however on the actual utility of the mini screen and we shall need to see what actual users say in due course.
    Excellent as the camera will be for street enthusiasts, I could not use its rangefinder style. The viewfinder requires use of the right eye which in my case is my weak eye. If I apply my left eye to the viewfinder, my nose and face explore the back of the camera rather too intimately!

    • Although I am a Leica man (Unfortunately) the X-Pro 2 was the nicest digital camera I have ever used and whats more the Fuji lenses were also superb. Not quite as good as those for my Leica CL but the Fuji range were not far behind and were also far more versatile so a massive well done to Fuji if they have managed to improve on the X-Pro 2 package.

      Will I change? Maybe maybe not, but if I were to it would also because unlike Leica I know Fuji listen to customers and hence offer regular, and often very useful firmware updates, whereas Leica seem more inclined either to ignore or just leave its users in the lurch, for instance via such as just dropping a entire range as happened with the X series.

      Whatever. Good luck to Fuji as in my view they deserve to do well.

  5. I am a Fuji X user and lover since the X-Pro1, which, although flawed, was a breakthrough in usability and in its time also IQ. Heck, even today the images are top notch. The Pro2 took all the goodies from the Pro1 and just made the camera better in every respect – I never had such a big increase between just two camera generations. And now the Pro3…it leaves me really puzzled, there is a lot of improvement, I am sure, but none is a „killer feature“, thanks in parts to the really great Pro2. It‘s just difficult to best something which is already great. The killer feature could have been an articulated display. But this design, well, I am not sure. The problem is: 90% of the times I don‘t need the display, I use the finder, granted. But then there are every now and then setzings I‘d like to change, things like that. And here I feel (more than I know) that this design goes actually in my way rather than supporting me – I hope I am wrong, because up to now the Pro line was all about usability. Bu habing to flip down the display every time I want to change a setting – or having to look through the finder and navigate the menues kind of blind – does not sound too attractive to me. Again, I hope I am wrong

  6. Kirk Tuck has been talking positively about this camera recently, though I sometimes struggle to add comments to his site.

    I really like my X Pro 2 and I liked the mark 1 before it. Kirk states that the new body has a much better EVF, which would definitely be of interest to me.

    However, I find the changes to the screen pretty egregious. Putting a pretend film box holder thing on the back strikes me as merely silly and if you are going to put a ‘mini’ settings screen in a body, why not on the top where it’s easier to see?

    Fuji have also stated that they deliberately left a flip screen off the X-Pro series because the perceived user-base wouldn’t want one and would buy the XT body if that was important.

    They are entitled to change their minds but why on earth add a folding screen that can only be viewed from above? I don’t want to try and hold my camera upside down if I’m trying to take a shot above the heads of a crowd. And forget trying to do that one handed!

    Ultimately I could ignore the screen issue but this body is going to be made out of titanium, so I can see it costing well over £2k. For that money, why not spend a bit designing the best multi-angle screen possible. My old Canon 60D was better designed than this!

  7. Fuji mirrorless cameras have been on my radar since the XT-1. I was on the fence between the Nikon Df & XT-1 back in 2015. I picked the Df mainly because of its high quality full-frame D4 sensor & very good low light capability. Then in 2017, I need a small & light everyday/travel camera to replace my Leica D-Lux 109 which was stolen along with my Df. This time, I was looking at the Leica CL & XE-3. After trying both cameras at the store, I decided on the CL due to better build quality, simpler operation & the true ability to use M-mount lenses. In both cases, Fuji came very close & there are many things I like about their mirrorless cameras. Since I shoot lots of landscapes/cityscapes, I am thinking about either get a high-megapixel full-frame mirrorless or upgrade to medium format mirrorless. This brings me to the GFX 50R which I tried at the Fuiji X-Space Center a few days ago. It feels like a bigger version of the X-Pro2 or XE-3 but not very comfortable when using heavier or longer lenses. It will be interesting if the hidden back screen concept will also be adapted in the next GFX 50RII.

  8. The improvement in the size of the viewfinder is the main attraction for me. I mainly use the OVF of the X-Pro2 (as well as the X-Pro1) and having the ability to use the 14mm and 16mm lenses without resorting to the EVF would be a big plus.

    Buttons, or lack thereof. I’ve gotten used to the fact that camera makers move controls around every edition. Not like the days when you could pick up any Leica of any generation and everything was pretty much in the same place. The change from the XP1 to the XP2 took some adaptation on my part yet the XP2 proved to be a much more usable camera in comparison. So the buttons and controls are not an issue with me. But…

    …I don’t see the need for titanium. The standard material and finish of the XPro are strong and tough enough for utility. The use of titanium seems more of a sales technique than a useful addition to the camera series.

    …The flippin’ screen. Oh boy! While I don’t chimp every exposure, I do check my images frequently while shooting. This prevents the unfortunate but occasional problem of failing to use the proper settings. When I don’t check my images, I can almost be assured of having made a mistake and losing some shots. Murphy’s Law, you know. I don’t think this flippin’ screen was meant for guys like me. It looks fragile and more likely to get in the way than benefit my type of shooting. But I don’t know for sure. For that reason I withhold judgement on the camera as a whole until it’s released in its final form.

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