My thoughts on buying the X-Pro3, which like most peoples thoughts are subjective, you should consider this in line with your own interpretation of the product and then make up your own mind if this rangefinder styled form factor will work for you.
I wont be going through every aspect or attribute that the camera has or can do. Only over a significant period of time with the camera will they be used or not. I tend to hone in on the features that I find useful to me and disregard the rest.
In the main I’m an aperture priority, auto ISO, exposure compensation, single point auto focus type photographer. If the circumstances dictate that I need to control something like the ISO only then will I deliberately pick X or Y value to match the circumstances or desired look (noise & grain).
These are my main settings when using the Fuji X-Pro3 camera.
Auto ISO up to 3200
Film simulation bracketing (Eterna + Acros Green filter + Provia) generating 3x jpegs and 3x raf files.
Colour space sRGB
Average metering or Spot metering
Single point auto focus
Of course you can set it up anyway you want or you can spend your time fiddling with the product and not take any photos.
Post processing, I use Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CC, I try to do the minimal amount of post processing work possible. For example I tweak the. Highlights / shadows / contrast / exposure / clarity / texture / vignette / leveling up the horizon just basic stuff.
So why did I buy the Xpro 3 ?…….Two reasons.
1: The form factor
2: The Viewfinder
Add the f2 series of reasonably priced Fuji prime lenses and you have a nice compact relatively discrete system. 16mm f2.8, 23mm f2, 35mm f2, 50mm f2. Multiply by 1.5 to get the approximate full frame equivalent focal length.
Pick it up hold it to your eye. Does it feel right ? For me the answer was a resounding yes, I really liked the rangefinder styled camera.
As I’m right eyed dominant, when the camera is placed against the face and eye my left hand cups the base of the camera and lens naturally, my left eye is free to roam the field of view until its time to press the shutter button. This will either work for you or it wont.
It has an Optical and Electronic viewfinder – You chose –
I flick between both using the little lever on the front.
Optical set up the scene – Electronic to see the exposure and then back to Optical to take the shot.
Personally I’m not mad on EVF’s after a while they really annoy me – Using the bright frame lines in the OVF is “pure pleasure”.
No rear screen !! – Well there is one but 99% of the time you cant see it as it is in the closed position. In reality its no big deal as the cameras focusing is super accurate and the face detection works extremely well so you can be confident that you got the photo.
What about the small rear screen that looks like a gimmick ? Well its very handy to see what film simulation has been set or the cameras settings you can chose. Classic Mode = film simulation or Standard Mode = camera settings.
But you cant put the screen in fully down position when on a tripod !!….errrrrr…….So just use the viewfinder.
There is some conversation on the web about the OVF when using a lens that is wider than a 23mm (35mm eq) as you get out of boundary markers displayed. My point of view on this is – use the OVF to gauge the scene flip to EVF to see the exposure and the field of view and take the shot. I cant see what they are groaning about.
Video functionality, I don’t use it at all and I’d preferred it if Fuji had left it out.
Touch screen functionality, I don’t use it. I turned it all off ! After all its a camera not blooming phone.
Full camera specifications can be found by clicking this link, it will take you to Fuji’s website.
Link to Fuji’s X-Pro3 web page where there are plenty of images and marketing blurb to entice you.
I like this camera a lot.
I’d place the X-Pro3 and the Olympus Pen F as my two favorites.
One thing I’d like to mention – I don’t ask or expect a range finder styled camera to act like a sports camera or a true landscape camera.
For sports or action I would pick something like a Nikon D3s / D4s / D5.
For true landscape I would pick either a Nikon Z6 (good) / Z7 (best) / D850 (best) / D810 (very good) or preferably Fuji GFX 50R.
The main reason for writing down a few lines about this particular camera is because there seems to be a slight tendency towards the negative towards this product mainly directed towards the rear screen, lack of D pad, comparisons with other XT lines like the XT30 or the XT3 and finally the price point.
Lack of screen – I’m not bothered
Lack of D pad – I’m not bothered
Price point – I think the Dura coated ones are expensive and I cant see the point, whenever a new product comes to market the price is always at the upper margin. I waited for it to drop to a more reasonable amount before buying the Black version.
Compared to other XT lines – Well they are DSLR form factor items so I don’t think its a real comparison unless you just want to refer to specifications in which case the XT30 is really good value.
Some useful Fuji lens links.
I always wanted to like the X-Pro1 + 2 but I felt that the viewfinder was a bit lame. The X100 series is nice and I did try a few but I like to change lenses once in a while so they go the chop.
Olympus Pen F – love it, small compact brilliant black and white.
Olympus EM1X – love it, great weather sealing and handling.
Nikon D700 – old n clunky like a classic British sports car – great to use once in a while.
Nikon Z6 with the 24/70 f2.8 – Nope, going to get the chop –
Don’t get me wrong it takes really lovely images, but I cant stand the small hands body they should have made it like a DSLR.
Nikon D3s – fast n furious beast – I should never have sold it. Ho hum you learn.
Nikon D810 – Its good, but we could not get a long, I was spoilt by the D3s handling. It got the chop.
Fuji GFX 50r – Rangefinder styled Medium format dream machine, maybe one day.
If you got to the bottom of this page your probably thinking – This blokes got GAS – I would argue and say no I don’t have it. But I’m a bit particular about how somethings work or don’t work for me.
To be serious – Pick it up, use it, take it to some demanding locations, stress yourself out – did you gel with it ? – did you stop thinking about the camera and lens combinations and where that dam button or menu feature was ? – Did you just think about being creative, If you did then that’s the one for you as the camera seamlessly became part of your thought process.
In the end I can see myself with just the X-Pro3………He said 🙂