Fujifilm X-Pro3 Hands-On Review

We've been shooting with the new Fujifilm X-Pro3, Fujifilm's 26mp rangefinder style mirrorless camera with new film simulation and sub monitor. Updated with new sample photos, HDR, and video.

|  Fujifilm X-Pro 3 in Mirrorless Cameras
 Add Comment

Fujifilm XPro3 (17)
 

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 updates the X-Pro2, with a new 26mp sensor and 4K video. The X-Pro3 was previously announced as being in development, showing the camera with a hidden LCD screen, and a new film mode, but now, Fujifilm has officially announced the X-Pro3, with full details on the new camera, and we’ve been shooting with it. 


Fujifilm X-Pro3 Features

Fujifilm XPro3 (16)

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 features the same sensor as the X-T3 and X-T30, with a 26mp BSI CMOS sensor, for not only increased resolution, but also improved low-light performance. As you’d expect from a premium Fujifilm X-Series camera, the sensor is an X-Trans CMOS sensor, which is also designed to give improved colour, lower moire, and noise benefits. The the X-Pro3 there have been a number of updates which have been developed following feedback from X-Pro photographers.

The camera has been “built to last” according to Fujifilm, with a “Pro” body with magnesium alloy shell, and top and bottom plates made from titanium. Using Titanium, this has 50% of the weight of stainless steel, and is also said to be less corrosive. It's said to be 7x stronger than stainless steel, smooth and the DURA version is scratch resistant. There's a laser etched logo, and the use of Titanium means there is a labour intensive process of manufacture. The camera will be available in three variants, including:

  • Titanium DURA black - with Duratec (TM) coating
  • Titanium DURA Silver - also with Duratect (TM) coating
  • Titanium Black

The camera weighs 497g (with battery and memory card), measures 140.5x82.8x46.1mm and has a weather sealed body, with 70 weather sealed locations. The camera no longer has an HDMI port, which may limit the cameras appeal for (more advanced) videographers.

 

The updated Electronic Viewfinder is another key part of the camera, and offers a high resolution of 3.69m dots.

It’s a new hybrid electronic / optical viewfinder, it is clearer, with less distortion, and has a higher eye point 17mm, a larger angle of view (27degrees), with newly designed optics (X-Pro2 was 24degrees), all designed to give an improved user experience. The resolution has been increased to 3.69m dots, it also offers a 1:5000 high contrast ratio, with sRGB 97%, 1500cd brightness, and 100fps (with boost mode enabled) with motion blur reduction. The electronic viewfinder is using an OLED display.

 

On the back, you’ll notice something a bit different… the screen is now “hidden” in normal use, with a second “sub monitor” on the back that can be used to show the film simulation type, or the camera settings (shutter, aperture, exposure, ISO, file settings, inc file size, WB, film), it can also display the remaining number of shots possible, as well as remaining battery life. The rear sub monitor is a low-power unit, that is said to use barely any power, and continues to be displayed even when the camera is switched off. It does use some power, and taking the battery out will result in the screen going off.


The Chimp Paradox*

To "chimp" or not? The term chimping refers to the habit of checking the rear LCD screen after every shot to check if you nailed the shot (Wikipedia). With the X-Pro3 the camera is designed to give you an "Instant Street Camera", in the style of an old school film camera, and trying to check every shot after shooting can be a challenge. You can flip the screen down, press play, and view the photos but this is much slower than on other cameras, and does suggest that this is a camera that isn't designed for chimping - using the screen tilted is another option although this does feel odd at times, and you'll quite quickly want to fold the screen away. Another way of shooting is using the electronic viewfinder with image review switched on. 

It's a camera that makes you think about how you shoot and if your style of photography is to use an EVF or OVF and not review or chimp every photo then the X-Pro3 will be an ideal solution. If you don't want to switch away from an optical viewfinder, then the X-Pro3 gives you both an OVF and EVF. However, if you want to use the screen or do use the screen a lot on your camera then the X-Pro3 is likely to slow you down and also quite potentially frustrate you at times. It's also noticeable the delay in getting in to the menus, compared to other cameras. For those that already own an X-Pro camera, the 3 could be the logical next step. *The Chimp Paradox is also the name of a book.


When you do tilt the screen down, you get a high resolution 1.62m dot resolution, and it’s also a touch screen. The idea behind the Hidden LCD, is that it enables you to “experience a rangefinder camera” encouraging you to use the Hybrid OVF/EVF. So that you simply set-up the camera how you want it, and then go and shoot without worrying about menu settings and options, and instead use the external controls when and if you need to. Just like the X-Pro3 and other X-Series cameras, there is direct access to shooting settings, including the shutter speed, ISO speed, aperture*, and exposure compensation, with dedicated dials for these. *An aperture control ring can be found on the lens, as long as you’re using an XF lens, rather than an XC lens.

Users of Fujifilm X-Pro2 said they mostly used the viewfinder - not the screen. This has given Fujifilm the confidence to rethink the design of the camera, and introduce this new monitor and sub-monitor setup.

Fujifilm XPro3 (1)
 

There's a new film simulation: Classic Negative, plus new black and white monochromatic colour options (cool to warm +/- 18 steps, magenta-green +/- 18 steps). You can also output 8/16-bit TIFF files. In addition grain effect control has been added letting you adjust roughness, and size of the grain. Other options include clarity control +/- 5, WB settings using Kelvin settings, from 2,500K to 10,000K, and a new colour chrome effect blue.

 

Focus and shooting - Key Updates

  • -6 EV PDAF, drives PDAF pixels separately for capturing enough light to detect phase under low-light
  • AF range limiter option available
  • 0.02/0045sec shutter release lag (OVF/EVF)
  • In camera HDR 800% (with a natural look)
  • Advanced multi-exposure – can be up to 9 frames (different blending options)
  • Focus bracketing auto calculation (set start and end point), calculates how many shots it needs to take up to 999 (manually)

 

Fujifilm XPro3 (4)

The camera offers continuous shooting speeds of 11fps using the mechanical shutter, 20fps using the electronic shutter (at 26mp), or 30fps cropped, again using the electronic shutter.

The X-Pro 3 uses the same 26mp APS-C BSI CMOS (X-Trans IV) sensor as the Fujifilm X-T3 / X-T30, with an ISO range of ISO160-12800 (which can be extended to a low of ISO80, and a high ISO51200).

The camera can record up to 15 minutes of 4K DCI-CINE/UHD video. The fastest frame rate for 4K video recording is 29.97fps, with 25 and 24fps also available. Stereo microphones are built-in, and there’s also a microphone socket included.

The camera offers a battery life of 370 shots, when using the EVF, more when using the optical viewfinder. USB Type-C charging / operation is possible.

Key Features

  • 26mp APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS sensor
  • 3.69m dot EVF, with Hybrid optical viewfinder 
  • Hidden 3.0inch 3:2 aspect ratio touch-screen, 1.62m dots
  • Additional 1.28inch colour sub-monitor
  • ISO160 to ISO12800, extends to ISO80 to ISO51200
  • 11fps continuous shooting, up to 20/30fps
  • 14-bit Raw, compressed/uncompressed
  • Face and Eye-detection, Phase-detection AF
  • New HDR 800 / HDR Plus modes
  • 4K DCI/UHD video recording, 30/25/24fps
  • Dual UHS-II SD Card slots
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in
  • Weather sealed magnesium / titanium body
  • Available in black, Dura Black, or Dura Titanium

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Handling

Fujifilm XPro3 (18)

The front grip gives a large rubber area to hold on to, and you’ll also find one on the back for your thumb, again with a rubber area. These grips may look small compared to the grip found on a DSLR or DSLR-style camera, however, these actually providing a re-assuringly competent area to hold on to. The camera feels secure in your hand, even when holding it with one hand.

The build quality is excellent, thanks to a titanium top and bottom, with a main body featuring a magnesium alloy construction. The camera is weather sealed, and use in the rain (with WR lenses) caused no problems. If you want a scratch-proof camera, then you’ll need to look at the DURA coated versions, which have scratch proof top and bottom plates, as well as an increased price.

Switching between the optical viewfinder and the electronic viewfinder can feel a little strange at first, as the optical viewfinder can show a much wider view (depending on which lens you are using), and will show an outline of the actual picture in the frame. However, if you use a wide-angle lens, such as a 16mm lens or wider, then the framing lines disappear, and the view in the OVF is narrower than what will be recorded by the camera – in these situations, use of the EVF is recommended. When using the electronic viewfinder, the view is very clear and looks good, with a high quality image visible.

Fujifilm XPro3 (8)

Using the rear “sub monitor” you can display the film simulation type, in a clear nod to old school SLR cameras, where you would put a cardboard section from your film box in the back of the camera slot. You can also adjust the sub monitor to display your current shooting settings, which can be much more useful. Getting to the sub monitor display settings can take some time, as you need to go through a number of menus to get to the settings. It would be nice if you could use the rear sub monitor to change settings using the Q button, but unfortunately you’ll need to swing the monitor down, or use the EVF to change settings. This can slow down changing settings, and may take some getting used to. The sub-monitor does not feature a backlight, and works best in bright conditions, with it becoming difficult to view the screen when light levels drop.

To use the rear screen, you tilt it down, however, if you have a tripod mount attached to the bottom of the camera, this can hinder how far you can flip the screen down. The rear screen offers a 3inch 3:2 aspect ratio, and 1.62million dots, giving a very clear view, with great colours and good viewing angles.

There are plenty of direct controls on the camera, letting you adjust the shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, and ISO speed directly, without having to go in to any menus. To adjust the ISO speed you have to pull up the ring around the shutter speed dial, and then turn to the desired speed. This is displayed in a neat little window. You can also leave this on A (Auto), or set it to C (Custom), so that you can adjust it electronically.

As for speed, the X-Pro3 offers 11fps (Approx.) using the mechanical shutter, letting you shoot up to 145 frames as JPEG. You can shoot 42 shots using Lossless compression, and up to 36 shots as Uncompressed RAW. Slower continuous shooting speeds are available, as shooting at 11fps and above can result in a lot of photos to pick through.

Like the X-T3 (and X-T30), the camera offers up to 20fps continuous shooting at full resolution, using the electronic shutter, and up to 30fps in a cropped mode, with a 1.25x crop and 16mp images.

Fujifilm XPro3 (21)
 

Battery life is rated at 370 shots with using the electronic viewfinder (EVF), or up to 440 shots when using the optical viewfinder (OVF). Battery life figures for using the screen are not provided. Charging is possible using the USB Type-C connection, and the camera uses the same battery type as other X-Series cameras.


Support this site by shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, Save 10% with Eversure Insurance.
*It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Used Photography Gear

Cameraworld The offers are provided by the Cameraworld & ePHOTOzine Partnership, see more fantastic Used Photography Gear.

Other articles you might find interesting...

Canon EOS M200 Review
Sony Alpha A7R IV Review
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review
Leica Q2 Review
Fujifilm X-T3 Firmware Update 'Coming Soon'
Fujifilm X-A7 Sample Photos
Leica SL2 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Hands-On (Review) & S...
Leica SL2 Vs Leica SL Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

Comments


ThomasT 6 2 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2019 11:07AM
Wot, no built-in flash? Add that and we have a bulky camera.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

RamblinSam 6 31 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2019 11:13AM
I'm pleased to see that al tong last, the buttons on the back have been re-located to the right-hand side, as holding the lens in the left hand with version 1 ended up with the annoying situation of you regularly pressing those buttons because they weren't recessed, as they were in the version 2 model. Fuji could instead of having a flip-down screen, installed a 3mm raised lip around the edge of the screen and fitted a on/off toggle switch allowing the menu or/and image 'chimping' display to to go blank, plus protect the screen fro scratches at the same time. Maybe that's jus too easy or obvious a solution?

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.