For the first time, Fujifilm is offering a digital camera without a screen in default position. This is a significant choice that challenges our contemporary shooting habits. Leica had already played this card with its M10-D in 2018, to be met by a reserved audience.
New features on stage
One year later, Fuji released the X-Pro 3, a 26 MP APS-C, successor of the worthy X-Pro 2, an emblem of photojournalism. The newcomer features an X-Trans 4 sensor, the X-Processor 4, the legendary hybrid viewfinder, a more sensitive autofocus and 4K video recording (limited to 30 fps).
The square screen displays film type, WB and ISO.
We paid a visit to our friends from Images PHOTO in Paris Bastille to discuss the matter who kindly lent us the camera along with the XF 23 mm f1.4 to put those specs and this ergonomic innovation to the test: in its default position, the screen is closed on itself but the back has a small square screen displaying… the type of film simulated! (Fujifilm can boast about being a reference in silver film). An X-Pro that is firmly destined for reportage, combining lightness, robustness, ideal size, essential manual controls and clarity of sight.
It seemed inevitable to test this camera in true conditions, on the field of street photography. The experiment was entrusted to Manol Valtchanov, a photographer from the OCUS community, who chose the business district of La Défense to play the old-time game when the cardboard specs of the film were slipped on the back of the camera. Time comes to trust your eye more than your screen, to see life in 36 shots and to discover your images only long after the action. Of course, when you’re both digital and analog, things don’t always go as planned, but the images brought back from this urban late afternoon make you want… to go back for a ride. (The images are raw unedited JPGs).
What we definitely loved!
- Handling is always pleasant with Fuji: one literally finds the pleasure of taking pictures. Lightweight, ergonomic and stylish, the X-Pro 3’s rangefinder design is attractive and reassuring.
- The high quality workmanship is still a signature! The camera gives a real impression of solidity once it’s in your hands.
- The Fuji X lenses family is growing every year with new focal lengths, specs and sizes. The lenses are not the cheapest on the market, but they are undeniably a great deal. Superb construction, excellent sharpness, an aperture ring (plus the hyperfocal graduation on the XF 23mm f1.4) and a smart and beautiful look that fits the cameras.
- Fujifilm colorimetry is by far the best on the market; decades of silver film manufacturing are unmistakable. The film simulations are extremely well done and it is even possible to create your own settings or develop new formulas found on the internet toemulate a multitude of other films such asKodak, Agfa, etc.
- Autofocus has been significantly improved compared to the X-Pro 2 with almost complete viewfinder coverage.
- The minimalism of the back of the camera streamlines its design, though a tiny doubt remains about the joystick’s lifespan.
- The return to pure photography, a bold choice for which Fujifilm is to be congratulated.
- Film simulation goes further with the possibility to increase the grain effect. And this grain is as beautiful as that of a silver film! (almost)