Fuji’s new X-Pro 3 is something different. It is a camera that is focused on the purist, much like the Leica M-D and M10-D. In common with these two cameras, it can present a satisfyingly blank rear end. The only difference is that there is a screen on the Fuji, but only if you tip it down.
After a long trudge through the byways of Sony, Nikon and Canon cameras, I came at the very end of 2015 to my Fujifilm destination. Initially, it was an X-T10, then my current X-T2 plus X-T20. I am therefore an established Fuji user as some readers may have spotted from my articles on Macfilos.
I have been intrigued by the long-teased announcement of the X-Pro 3 which of course has just launched. Right from the original X-Pro 1, this has been an individualist camera model, admired for its classic and retro lines.
Some might say it has some Leica characteristics: no hump, left-hand viewfinder and even a hybrid viewfinder with a
I must first say that I think the X-Pro 3 is a beautiful camera, classy and highly desirable. There is much to admire in the clean lines, the button layout, the retro controls and of course the stunning titanium/magnesium alloy construction which can be further enhanced by an (extra cost) Dura coating which protects against scratches. Weather-proofing protects against the wet. So far, so very good.
The X-Pro 3 shares some of the fine attributes of the award-winning X-T3, for example, the 26.1mp X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and the latest X-Processor 4. This is indeed very good news for image quality. The X-Pro 3 can also match the X-T3 in its autofocus speeds and RAW-image burst capabilities and even improve on the X-T3 in its low-light autofocus ability.
The controls on the top plate are what you’d expect from Fuji, namely, exposure compensation, ISO and shutter speed and, of course, shutter release. In my view, the exposure compensation dial is just what the doctor ordered.
However, unlike my X-T2, there is on the X-Pro3 a combined dial for ISO and shutter speed with the need to move a sliding collar to change between the two. I’m sure I could learn to live with this but would forever, I fear, be just a little bit niggled.
I much prefer one dial for each exposure variable which is why I prefer my X-T2 to my X-T20 which has a mode dial in place of ISO. Grrrr! I am a simple bear.
The hybrid OVF+EVF on the X-Pro 3 is much improved over the X Pro2 and indeed the X-T3 but I haven’t yet been able to see for myself. As I keep on saying, the positioning of the viewfinder on the left side of the X-Pro series, is a deal breaker for me since I have a weak right eye. Using my good left eye on this viewfinder would place my nose smack in the wrong position!
We now come to the LCD screen which merits some discussion. It is “hidden” in that the screen, which is a touch enabled incidentally, normally resides facing into the camera back. When needed, it can be flipped down through up to 180 degrees. At 90 degrees this is ideal for waist-level shooting and at full flip can be used normally. It is not, however, a multi
It could be the case that using the screen only in restricted situations is exactly what an unobtrusive retro photographer really wants. Cut down on chimping! I would find this screen no problem since I only use the screen on my X-T2 infrequently but others might not agree.
With the LCD face hidden, Fuji has provided a sub-panel on the rear of the LCD which is therefore visible when the LCD screen is stowed away. This small panel is equivalent to the top panel on some other cameras, displaying critical exposure information.
Now that’s a feature I like very much. But there’s more, this small panel has another mode in which it can display graphics illustrating whichever Fuji film simulation you are currently using. I like this feature very much as well.
New with the launch of the X-Pro 3 is the new “Classic Neg Superia” film simulation which looks delightful in the example I have seen. Fuji film simulations are something very special and generally show other manufacturers efforts a clean pair of heels.
Fuji has also significantly enhanced in-camera control of jpegs. As well as controlling the strength of grain effect, you can now control the size of the
I am excited by another new feature of the X-Pro 3 which is an enhanced HDR and multiple exposure capability. The first of these combines a series of images into one HDR image, the second allows the use of up to nine images in a multiple exposure. Note that crucially individual original RAW images are retained in both capabilities.
What conclusions do I draw from this review which isn’t a review?
- Fuji has massively improved the X-Pro offering with the arrival of the X Pro3
- For those who like this style of classic, retro rangefinder style of shooting it must be on their very short list.
Fuji is quite consciously offering varying ranges of cameras which do not have to appeal to everyone. When the designers get it right, as I think they have in this camera, they create a product which the intended user wants to own and keenly enjoys using.
Close to customers
It seems to me that Fuji is closer to its customers than most other manufacturers are to theirs. They listen to customer input and try to act upon it, whether this is re
Many Japanese manufacturers practise kaizen but this can often be kaizen on features or changes which their technical or finance departments consider important. The customer is rarely properly consulted. This does not apply to Fuji which sees satisfying real customer need as the underpinning for everything it does. The company has a good record of adding some, but obviously not all, the features and improvements which their customers have requested
I would end by suggesting you just read Jonas Rask’s article on the X Pro3 on this link.
Jonas is a professional photographer and a Fujifilm Ambassador who has assisted Fuji in the design of the X-Pro 3 over the last year or so.
While I acknowledge that the X-Pro 3 is a
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