FujiFilm X-PRO3 Review: I enjoy using my Fujifilm cameras as much as my Z cameras! Why? Because FujiFilm makes great cameras that are a pleasure to use with excellent firmware support expanding the capabilities over time. Following the very popular XT-3 release I was like many puzzled by the hidden LCD screen on the Fujifilm X-PRO3. I wish I had a choice - but over time the backward-facing LCD is no longer an issue - I got used to it.
X-Pro3 is basically an XT-3 in a range finder hybrid form factor body with a few missing video modes, if you are more into the photography aspect rather than video, this camera is an excellent option. In Common, the X-Pro3 shares the same 26.1 MP APSC Sensor and X Trans CMOS 4 processor as the XT-3 thus as far a performance goes you have a workhorse of a camera in the X-Pro3. There are thousands of positive comments on the excellent performing XT-3, So if you have doubts about the performance of the X-Pro3 - let them slip from your mind, the same sensor and image engine is present in the X-Pro 3 - just in a different form factor.
The images this camera produces are spectacular - vibrant rich detail straight from the camera with several fantastic film simulations to choose from. Film simulation emulates Fujifilm's emulsion film in your XPro3. I can say they are splendid, if you want to go old school and do black and white - you have that option right in the camera and the out-of-camera JPEGS are exceptional.
One note concerning the X-Pro3 sharing the same Sensor and Processor as the XT-3; Read my blog on why you should not chase camera technology in the pursuit of photography happiness, it makes no sense. Use the gear you have to become a better photographer not by seeking the newest thing but by using what you have to improve your skills and results.
Improvements are many in the X-Pro3: Improvements depend on which Fujifilm camera you compare it against - compared to the X-Pro2 the improvements are many, but compared to the XT-3 the gap narrows. I limit technical details to just list a FEW improvements I think are worth mentioning with words to describe why, not in any particular order.
- New Film Simulation the Classic Negative - which has already become a favorite among shooters, look for it in other Fujifilm cameras via firmware.
- Better EVF - Higher contrast 1:5000, Better Color, Faster Refresh, larger and easy to see
- A higher resolution LCD that flips (in the wrong direction "haha") - annoying at least in my opinion
- Dura Coating Offerings - improves scratch resistance
- Focus limiter - Limits focus between two distances
- Top and Bottom Titanium covers - better durability, see dura coatings above.
- Smoother more responsive Shutter Release - butter smooth
- HDR mode - nothing to see here, move along - a fade.
- Grain with size adjustment - in case you want to do something nostalgic
One big advantage of a FujiFilm camera is the excellent well made Fujifilm lenses you have available.
In a nutshell, the X-Pro3 is an improved camera sensor and processor-wise and should be an easy step up from an X-Pro2 user perspective. Many XPro shooters already know what they are getting with this type of camera. The biggest twist from the XPro norm is the backward-facing LCD and if that rubs you the wrong way I would suggest an XT-4.
After using the X-Pro3 for over a month I discovered the back-facing LCD is a pain but somehow forces the joy of shooting in the X-Pro3 and is the paramount reason for buying this type of OVF/EVF hybrid camera in the first place. Since I rarely shoot video, this X-Pro3 focuses/forces the user to shooting stills but can when needed to capture some impressive video footage.
Things I feel the X-Pro3 needs improvements/changes:
- Battery life is still not all that good, in fact, it is somewhat bad, buy a second battery.
- Fix the LCD to allow either option forward or backward facing - forcing backward-facing LCD is awkward.
- In body image stabilization (IBIS) is missing and at nearly $2K one would think it would be included- you put it in the XT-4 "finally"
- Lower Pricing, this camera cost too much, it is a good Camera, but really?
- No included pop on flash (free with an XT-3), at this price point I should get two.
- The EVF needs a wider angle of view, I have to look around to see all the information.
Recommendation: Bored With the same traditional DSLR or Mirrorless shooting experience? You desire something a little off the beaten photographic path. The X-Pro3 will breathe a renewed enthusiasm in your photography. The X-Pro3 is a very capable camera that can produce stunning images, has excellent image quality, and has beautiful color science, and makes you want to take photographs.
Edwin The Cat Black and White