28 Jan Fujifilm X-Pro3 – Second Guessing The Third Body
As readers of this column and of all the other on-line digital sites, you will be familiar with a fan-boy forum fight. That ever-so-slightly passive-aggressive set of exchanges that develop whenever any one writes about a new product. There can be flurries of anger if anything is criticised and equal flurries if no opinion is offered. If you think this is petulant and childish, I can only point you to the British sites that deal with scale model airplanes; look for the discussions about green cockpit paint…
But occasionally someone says a good thing – or at least says something that someone else might have said a long time ago. I’ll peep over the top of the Fujifilm parapet and risk it.
The screen arrangement on the new Fujifilm X-Pro3 is the chief salient feature of the camera – followed by the titanium construction and the changes in the optical/EVF system. Fujifilm have done a marvellous job of explaining why they designed it this way and if what they have done is to your liking, you can rush down and buy an armful of them right now.
- The screen works well, but it is as much a limitation as it is an improvement. Direct LCD view in anything other than waist-level landscape orientation is…well…fraught. The screen is out there under the bottom of the body in danger of the clumsy virus. It is no improvement at all over the two-way tilt of the X-T2.
- The titanium construction is a fine idea, and the Duratect option a good one, if you are going to be horrible to your camera. You pay for the privilege of doing so and getting away with it. Oddly enough, there are amateur shooters who value beaten-up appearance in their cameras and will purposely age them – possibly to suggest professional use. Quite what they will do to the new Duratect cameras is a question…will chainsaws be involved?
- The OVF on a Fujifilm has always been somewhat reminiscent of the Leica finder in old film days. Now it is even more so with a series of detailed frame lines visible marching down to the center of the frame. Of course you can bypass this with the EVF, and you may find yourself wanting to do so…the nest of white frames is a little daunting.
Now the good parts. Things to make you say Ahhh.
- The battery is the same as the previous model – W126s. The camera warns you to use this instead of the older W126 to get better battery performance. They are rumoured to be thinking of a new battery for the X-T4 but we’re safe for the moment.
- The EVF is good enough that you can use the joystick to chase your AF points around in there in real time.
- There are new film simulations. These are always worth looking at in Fujifilm as you may luck onto something that exactly says what you want it to and sometimes never need to tap your RAW file at all. A job done all in OOTC jpeg is a joy.
- You can experience the retro feel of whatever it is they are advertising very simply. Just keep the LCD panel shut and play the game like it was 1953 with pixels.
But that last point having been made, consider that you could also do the same with the X-Pro2 or X-Pro1 by merely turning off the LCD and disciplining yourself not to chimp. I’ve taken the advice of another Fujifilm blogger and turned off instant replay on my cameras – though this is the improve battery performance. One check to see that I’ve not invented some new mistake to make and then away we go for a long series of shots.
Please take all of this as speculation and make the experiment of coming in yourself to see whether you agree. You may fall in love with the machine and there’s another sale made.