While both of Fujifilm’s X-T cameras, the X-T3, and the X-T30, underwent their latest revisions this past year, the rangefinder-style X-Pro model remained unchanged because the X-Pro2 debuted in 2016. That finally changed back in October of this season, with the aptly-called Fuji X-Pro3 obtaining the same internal update treatment as the X-T3 and X-T30. It gains a higher-res sensor, a faster image processor chip, a vastly improved hybrid AF system, and better video recording features. However, this camera actually isn’t designed as a video camera. But if you do want to capture video together with your X-Pro3 fully, it’s far better suited compared to the previous version, though never to the same level as the X-T3 or X-H1.
Externally, a lot of the camera’s form and handling features remain unchanged. It keeps its distinctive rangefinder design, with a slim and rectangular shape, minimal grip, and off-middle hybrid viewfinder. However, there have been some significant changes to the camera’s construction and a few of its physical features and controls.
During the last week, I am shooting the new Fuji X-Pro3 both in the laboratory and, of course, out in the field, so let’s dive directly into see how this new stylish Fuji camera performs.
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Fujifilm X-Pro3: Design & Handling
As stated, the external style of the X-Pro3 is incredibly like the previous versions. The camera keeps that traditional rangefinder styling that the X-Pro line is well-known for. The entire size, shape, and fat are, for the most part, nearly similar to its predecessor, despite adjustments in construction and construction. Rather than a full-on magnesium alloy building, the brand new X-Pro3 combines a mag-alloy chassis sandwiched between titanium best and bottom plates. The result can be a wonderfully solid camera that feels or produces a surrounding of chintziness by no means. I’m nearly sure why Fujifilm decided to tweak the structure of the X-Pro3 — it didn’t execute a comparable magnesium and titanium hybrid construction for the X-T3 — nevertheless, the precise titanium used is reported to be stronger and scratch-resistant than stainless. The result, nevertheless, ought to be a supremely long-lasting camera that also maintains its comprehensive weather-sealing. A earn all-around, in my book.
Much like previous X-Pro digital cameras, the X-Pro3’s rangefinder form offers a reasonably minimal handgrip. There’s just a little chunk protruding from the front that’s edged in rubbery materials, and on the rear, there’s a similar cylindrical protrusion with a notch carved out for your thumb. Regardless of the minimal grip, I discover the X-Pro3 is fairly comfortable to carry. It’s certainly a lot more secure in the hands than my Fuji X100F, which provides a measly “hump” on leading and zero thumb rest/notch on the trunk. And when coupled with small, lightweight primary lenses — the very best kind of lenses because of this camera — the complete X-Pro3 package is protected and comfortable to transport around, even without needing any strap. I’m quite amazed, as I tend to enjoy compact cameras that still offer some deep(ish) handgrip, but the X-Pro3 feels great at hand, even after extended intervals.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: Controls
Generally, the control scheme of the X-Pro3 is very similar to the previous model, with the same basic control layout: front and back control dials, locking shutter speed dial with integrated “pull-up band” for adjusting ISO, huge exposure compensation dial, and for nearly all cases, aperture control on the zoom lens itself. However, there were some notable changes in terms of button design and, of course, a substantial change to the rear LCD design, which I’ll discuss a bit later.
First, the button positioning on the back is normally the same; nevertheless, the functions of these buttons are mixed around compared to what these were on the X-Pro2. Likely because of removing an integrated cluster of physical buttons and making room for the bigger rear LCD assembly, Fujifilm needed to reassign control keys to different areas on the camera. When you have strong muscle memory for the settings of the X-Pro2 (or X100F in my own case), it might take some time to become accustomed to the X-Pro3.
One thing that I must say I appreciate on the X-Pro3 is the joystick control. I understand I point out the joystick almost every time I critique a camera, but it’s such a helpful control for immediately adjusting autofocus points (that I constantly do). I now think it is really frustrating when digital cameras don’t possess one, so I’m glad Fujifilm held it on the X-Pro3.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: Rear Screen
Now for easily the most striking transformation to the X-Pro3’s design: the trunk LCD monitor. Unlike many digital camera models these days, with the choice to shoot, review images, and such with an uncovered rear screen, the X-Pro3 includes a hidden back panel that flips right down to reveal a touch screen LCD. In normal shooting, the panel can be flipped up, and you utilize the viewfinder for composing and capturing shots. As Fujifilm places it, the hidden LCD style “encourages a far more traditional shooting style,” very much like on an analog film camera, where you capture pictures with a viewfinder, concentrate on the knowledge of capturing images, and see your shots later. In ways, it pushes you to disregard the desire to “chimp” your photos out in the field and revel in the shock of reviewing your images later, much as if you would with a film camera and waiting around to find prints or negatives.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: Viewfinder
Given the need for the viewfinder, the X-Pro3’s electronic viewfinder offers a good upgrade compared to the earlier model. The EVF is certainly larger in proportions, uses an OLED panel rather than a TFT LCD, and is normally higher in resolution. The physical viewfinder starting is also bigger than the predecessors. Overall, the viewfinder experience is great. The EVF view is sharp, sharp, and responsive with small to no obvious lag during my period with the camera (the refresh rate can be boosted up to 100fps from around 85fps in the old model).
Like its predecessors, the X-Pro3 provides a hybrid viewfinder, permitting you to toggle between an optical viewfinder and an electric viewfinder. In a way, the camera defaults to an optical viewfinder, and in EVF mode, it’ll quickly pop-up the EVF screen when you initially place the camera to your attention. However, unlike my X100F, the X-Pro3 could keep the EVF panel in place while the camera is powered on; there’s no true delay in shooting with the EVF anymore when putting the camera up to your eyesight, which I enjoy. The display inside will switch off if the attention sensor doesn’t identify the camera at your eyes, saving battery. However, the panel is physically set up all the time as the camera is run. The X100F, on the other hand, will decrease the EVF instantly once you move the camera from your eye, causing a split-second delay in capturing readiness.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: Image Quality
Beneath the hood, the Fuji X-Pro3 gains the same general imaging pipeline as the Fuji X-T3: a 26.1-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor paired with a more recent, faster X-Processor 4 picture processor. As we familiar with the Fuji X-T3, our 2018 Camera of the entire year, and the smaller sized X-T30, which also uses the same imaging pipeline, the image quality out of the latest-gen Fuji X Series digital cameras, is fantastic. Needlessly to say, the X-Pro3 offers a practically identical level of image quality performance, enabling excellent picture quality at both low and higher ISOs.
At low ISOs, the X-Pro3 paired with a sharp lens is easy with the capacity of producing images with great colors, a great deal of intricate, fine detail, and a great powerful range for an APS-C sensor. As we noticed with the X-T3, high ISO functionality can be very best for an APS-C camera. Fujifilm X Series cameras have historically been extremely great with high ISO image quality for crop-frame cameras, and the X-Pro3 is no exception. Noise is quite well managed in JPEG pictures, with the camera’s default degree of noise reduction processing performing a nice work of reining in sound while still leaving a nice amount of details. Having said that, even at mid-range ISOs, like this ISO 1250 shot beneath, you can see NR processing results in the image if you look closely. Nevertheless, it’s pretty mild throughout, I feel, and it’s really certainly not a concern unless you pixel peep. Overall, I am happy with picture processing for shots directly from the camera.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: Autofocus & Performance
Much like how the X-Pro3 shares the same imaging pipeline with the X-T3, it’s an identical story using its autofocus system and performance specs. Compared to the predecessor, the X-Pro3 gets a considerably upgraded AF system with an increase of selectable AF points (right now at 425 factors), better low-light overall performance, and customizable C-AF configurations with velocity and sensitivity preset Eyesight AF, and generally faster efficiency. For burst shooting, once again, the X-Pro3 is actually identical to the X-T3, offering full-resolution images at up to 11fps with the mechanical shutter and 20fps with the digital shutter. As the X-Pro3 isn’t physically created for sports or action-type subjects, generally, the camera is usually fast and nimble and very easily usable for fast-moving topics. The X-Pro3 is actually an X-T3 packed in the slimmer, lighter camera body.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: Summary
In terms of image quality and efficiency, the Fuji X-Pro3 provides a laundry set of upgrades and improvements to the popular rangefinder-design mirrorless camera, finally placing it on-par generally in most respects with Fujifilm’s other flagship APS-C model, the X-T3. With the same imaging pipeline, the X-Pro3 offers extremely comparable, if not similar, image quality. Photos are sharp, vibrant, and filled with detail at low ISOs while also providing well-controlled noise and high-quality pictures as the ISO rises. For all those considering upgrading from the X-Pro2, the leap in pixel count from 24 megapixels to 26MP is not a significant bump in resolving power. For an APS-C sensor, a 24-26MP quality offers an excellent balance of resolution without cramming way too many pixels on a comparatively little sensor and negatively impacting sound and high ISO functionality. From a graphic quality standpoint, there isn’t any huge difference between your X-Pro2 to the X-Pro3, though I’d argue the X-Pro3 is somewhat better. Also noticeable maybe the upgrade in flexibility and performance in regards to its AF program and performance features.