Fujifilm X-Pro3 Review
|Full model name:||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
(23.5mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||Hybrid / LCD|
|Native ISO:||160 - 12,800|
|Extended ISO:||80 - 51,200|
|Shutter:||1/32000 - 900 sec|
5.5 x 3.3 x 1.8 in.
(141 x 83 x 46 mm)
|Full specs:||Fujifilm X-Pro3 specifications|
Fuji X-Pro3 Review -- Now Shooting!
11/14/2019: First Shots posted
12/05/2019: Field Test & Gallery Images posted
04/23/2020: Exploring the Southern Appalachian Mountains (VIDEO)
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(This project was made possible thanks to support from Fujifilm)
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Fuji X-Pro3 Field Test
Excellent image quality & performance, but new design changes leave me puzzled
by William Brawley | Posted 12/05/2019
XF 35mm f/2 WR: 35mm, f/2.8, 1/2700s, ISO 160
While both of Fujifilm's X-T cameras, the X-T3 and the X-T30, underwent their most recent revisions last year, the rangefinder-styled X-Pro model remained unchanged since the X-Pro2 debuted in 2016. That finally changed back in October of this year, with the aptly-named Fuji X-Pro3 getting the same internal upgrade treatment as the X-T3 and X-T30. It gains a higher-res sensor, a faster image processor and a vastly upgraded hybrid AF system, and also gets better video recording features, though this camera really isn't designed as a video camera. But if you do want to capture video with your X-Pro3, it's much better suited than the previous version, though not to the same degree as the X-T3 or X-H1.
Externally, the majority of the camera's shape and handling characteristics remain unchanged. It maintains its distinctive rangefinder design, with a slim and rectangular shape, minimal grip and off-center hybrid viewfinder. There have, however, been some notable changes to the camera's construction as well as to some of its physical features and controls.
Over the last week, I've been shooting the new Fuji X-Pro3 both in the lab and, of course, out in the field, so let's dive in to see how this new stylish Fuji camera performs.
XF 35mm f/2 WR: 35mm, f/8, 1/640s, ISO 160
Design & Handling
As mentioned, the external design of the X-Pro3 is extremely similar to the previous models. The camera keeps that classic rangefinder styling that the X-Pro line is famous for. The overall size, shape and weight are, for the most part, nearly identical to its predecessor, despite changes in build quality and construction. Instead of a full-on magnesium alloy construction, the new X-Pro3 combines a mag-alloy chassis sandwiched between titanium top and bottom plates. The result is a wonderfully solid camera that in no way feels or gives off an air of chintziness. I'm not exactly sure why Fujifilm decided to tweak the construction of the X-Pro3 -- it didn't do a similar magnesium and titanium hybrid construction for the X-T3 -- however, the specific titanium used is said to be more durable and scratch-resistant than stainless steel. The result, nevertheless, should be a supremely durable camera that also keeps its thorough weather-sealing. A win all-around, in my book.
As with previous X-Pro cameras, the X-Pro3's rangefinder shape offers a fairly minimal handgrip. There's a little chunk protruding from the front that's edged in a rubbery material, and on the rear, there's a similar cylindrical protrusion with a notch carved out for your thumb. Despite the minimal grip, I find the X-Pro3 is quite comfortable to hold. It's certainly way more secure in the hand than my Fuji X100F, which offers a measly "hump" on the front and zero thumb rest/notch on the rear. And when combined with small, lightweight prime lenses -- the best kind of lenses for this camera -- the entire X-Pro3 package is secure and comfortable to carry around, even without using any sort of strap. I'm quite surprised, as I tend to enjoy compact cameras that still offer some form of deep(ish) handgrip, but the X-Pro3 feels great in hand, even after extended periods.
For the most part, the control scheme of the X-Pro3 is very similar to the previous model, with the same basic control layout: front and rear control dials, locking shutter speed dial with integrated "pull-up ring" for adjusting ISO, large exposure compensation dial, and for the majority of cases, aperture control on the lens itself. However, there have been some notable changes in terms of button layout and, of course, a significant change to the rear LCD design, which I'll talk about a bit later.
For starters, the button placement on the back is generally the same, however the functions of these buttons are all mixed around compared to what they were on the X-Pro2. Likely due to the removal of a key cluster of physical buttons and to make room for the larger rear LCD assembly, Fujifilm needed to reassign buttons to different areas on the camera. If you have strong muscle memory for the controls of the X-Pro2 (or X100F in my case) it may take some time to get accustomed to the X-Pro3.
One thing that I really appreciate on the X-Pro3 is the joystick control. I know I mention the joystick pretty much every time I review a camera, but it's such a handy control for instantly adjusting autofocus points (which I do constantly). I now find it really frustrating when cameras don't have one, so I'm glad Fujifilm kept it on the X-Pro3.
What I do find frustrating with the X-Pro3's controls is the removal of the 4-way control buttons. Like on the GFX 100, Fujifilm did away with the 4-way button cluster on the X-Pro3, forcing menu navigation to be done with the tiny joystick control. While I find the joystick is great for moving the AF point(s) around, it is a tiny control and it feels imprecise and rather tedious to use for menu navigation. Furthermore, the 4-way buttons were also customizable functions buttons that could be assigned to any number of different modes and settings while in shooting mode, and now they're simply gone.
The rear of the X-Pro3 (top) vs. the X-Pro2 (bottom)
Now, these customizable functions are relegated to "Touch Functions" on the rear touchscreen or to other buttons on the camera. These programmable swipe-direction functions are arguably usable on the GFX 100 with its exposed rear LCD (they are also present on the X-T3, but that camera also has the 4-way buttons), but with the X-Pro3 and its hidden flip-up rear screen, they seem like a rather ridiculous feature. You'll have to take the camera down from your eye, flip out the screen, swipe around, flip the screen back up and then get back to shooting. Seriously? I hope this isn't a new design trend for Fujifilm going forward; doing away with these useful buttons across the board, especially on cameras where there is room to fit the controls (looking at you GFX 100). There's plenty of space on the rear of the X-Pro3 to fit the 4-way controls -- shave a bit off the rear thumb rest, if need be -- but these controls should have remained. To me, it doesn't make any sense making a camera less usable, less functional and less customizable. If the successor to my lovely X100F, for example, goes a similar route, I'm going to have major doubts about ever upgrading it.
Now for easily the most striking change to the X-Pro3's design: the rear LCD monitor. Unlike most digital cameras these days, with the option to shoot, review images and such with an exposed rear screen, the X-Pro3 has a hidden rear panel that flips down to reveal a touchscreen LCD. In typical shooting, the panel is flipped up and you use the viewfinder for composing and capturing shots. As Fujifilm puts it, the hidden LCD design "encourages a more traditional shooting style," much like on an analog film camera, in which you capture images with a viewfinder, focus on the experience of capturing images, and then see your shots later. In a way, it pushes you to ignore the urge to "chimp" your shots out in the field, and enjoy the surprise of reviewing your images later, much like you would with a film camera and waiting to see prints or negatives.
I can see the appeal of this. It's not nearly as radical of an approach as Leica took with M-D Typ 262, the digital M rangefinder that lacks any rear screen whatsoever, but the idea of simplifying the "process" of photography and focusing more on the act of shooting, can be a refreshing change for some.
XF 35mm f/2 WR: 35mm, f/2.2, 1/5400s, ISO 160, -0.7 EV
For me, the hidden LCD instead feels rather gimmicky. It'd be one thing if the X-Pro3 had no rear screen at all, forcing me to operate the camera just via the viewfinder. However, a lot more would have to change with the design and control scheme on the camera because navigating and operating the menus using the EVF is annoying. But, the camera has a rear screen, and it feels a bit silly to half-obscure its use and functionality. In the field, I still found myself flipping down the screen to change settings, accessing the Quick Menu, and reviewing images (admittedly, probably more than a typical user might since I'm evaluating the camera). You can't use the tiny sub-display for any kind of setting changes; it's very passive, simply an info display. Plus, the rear flip-down screen works well for shooting at low angles, but you simply have to spray-and-pray if you want to attempt shooting down from a high angle.
Also, be careful using a tripod with this camera. Depending on your tripod clamp, you might not be able to open the rear flip screen fully.
The sub-display on the exterior, too, is of limited usefulness, I found. Having an info panel showing your exposure settings is indeed handy, but the display isn't backlit, so it's nearly impossible to see indoors and in dark conditions. Outdoors and in bright conditions, it's great. It, too, simulates an aspect of a film camera: the small film memo holder that you'd use as a reminder for what type of film was loaded into the camera. Those obviously weren't lit either. Need to see your exposure settings in the dark or what Film Simulation you're using? Better pull out a flashlight!
Stylish, but limited in usefulness.
Ideally, I wish the X-Pro3 simply had an articulating screen, one side flipped around featuring the "blank" panel with small sub-display, and then swivel the screen around to have the rear LCD exposed as normal. That, to me, would be the great compromise of offering a "pure photography experience" while still providing the same level of versatility as on the previous model.
Given the importance of the viewfinder, the X-Pro3's electronic viewfinder offers a nice upgrade compared to the previous model. The EVF is larger in size, uses an OLED panel instead of a TFT LCD and is higher in resolution. The physical viewfinder opening is also larger than the predecessor's. Overall, the viewfinder experience is excellent. The EVF view is sharp, crisp and responsive with little to no apparent lag during my time with the camera (the refresh rate is boosted up to 100fps from around 85fps in the older model).
Like its predecessors, the X-Pro3 offers a hybrid viewfinder, letting you toggle between an optical viewfinder and an electronic viewfinder. In a sense, the camera defaults to an optical viewfinder, and in EVF mode, it will quickly pop up the EVF screen when you first put the camera to your eye. However, unlike my X100F, the X-Pro3 will keep the EVF panel in place while the camera is powered on; there's no real delay in shooting with the EVF anymore when putting the camera up to your eye, which I really like. The screen inside will turn off if the eye sensor doesn't detect the camera at your eye, which saves battery, but the panel is physically in place all the time while the camera is powered. The X100F, meanwhile, will lower the EVF immediately once you move the camera away from your eye, causing a split-second delay in shooting readiness.
Unlike the predecessor, the X-Pro3's EVF will remain in-place even if you bring the camera down from your eye, though the screen inside will turn off to help save battery.
When it comes to the optical viewfinder, I rarely use it on both the X-Pro3 and my X100F. As I mentioned in my X100F Field Test, the OVF feels a bit tricky to use. The autofocus doesn't feel as precise, as the camera needs to compensate for parallax since the optical viewfinder isn't looking directly through the lens. The AF box will shift accordingly, with more noticeable parallax adjustment, the closer the focused object is. The actual focus box also only appears when you half-press, which makes composing precisely more difficult. Plus, you don't get the more advanced focusing features like Face and Eye-detection AF nor the full array of AF points when using the OVF. It just doesn't work well for my style of shooting, but it is still there should you need it, and I know the OVF has its fans amongst Fujifilm owners.
XF 35mm f/2 WR: 35mm, f/2.5, 1/2400s, ISO 160, +0.3 EV
The last thing I want to talk about when it comes to the usability and shooting experience of the X-Pro3 is the bugginess. To be clear, I never experienced any major, show-stopping bugs that prevented the camera from capturing photos or losing data... nothing that severe. But there have been a few frustrating quirks that definitely seem like bugs that a new firmware update could likely (hopefully) fix. (The review unit we have has version 1.0 firmware, which we understand to be production-level firmware.)
For starters, the camera consistently resets the date and time stamp. I have no idea why, what triggers it or how to make the camera reset the date/time on-command. I'll manually set the camera to the current time and date, go out shooting, and sure enough, eventually, the camera will be back to 01/01/2000, 12:00am. It's not a major dealbreaker, but it does make organizing images by date very difficult.
Similarly, I experienced another random "reset" where the camera, upon powering on, prompted me to set the language once again, as if the camera had its settings completely reset. However, it was not reset completely. All the other user settings were just like I had left them. The date and time, however, had been inexplicably set to 01/01/2019 this time around. (Hey, at least it remembered the year!)
Hopefully these are just minor bugs that will get ironed-out with a future firmware update. I'll be eagerly watching for an update and will report back here if it fixes these glitches.
XF 23mm f/2 WR: 23mm, f/2.0, 1/4000s, ISO 160, -0.7 EV
Under the hood, the Fuji X-Pro3 gains the same overall imaging pipeline as the Fuji X-T3: a 26.1-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor paired with a newer, faster X-Processor 4 image processor. As we experienced with the Fuji X-T3, our 2018 Camera of the Year, as well as the smaller X-T30, which also uses the same imaging pipeline, the image quality out of these latest-gen Fuji X Series cameras is fantastic. As expected, the X-Pro3 offers a practically identical level of image quality performance, allowing for excellent image quality at both low and higher ISOs.
XF 35mm f/2 WR: 35mm, f/2.0, 1/2900s, ISO 160
At low ISOs, the X-Pro3 paired with a sharp lens is easily capable of producing images with fantastic colors, tons of intricate, fine detail, and great dynamic range for an APS-C sensor. High ISO performance, as we saw with the X-T3, is also very good for an APS-C camera. Fujifilm X Series cameras have historically been very good with high ISO image quality for crop-frame cameras, and the X-Pro3 is no exception. Noise is very well controlled in JPEG images, with the camera's default level of noise reduction processing doing a nice job of reining in noise while still leaving a pleasing amount of fine detail. That said, even at mid-range ISOs, such as this ISO 1250 shot below, you can see NR processing effects in the image if you look closely. However, it's pretty mild all around, I feel, and it's certainly not an issue if you don't pixel peep. Overall, I am very pleased with image processing for shots straight out of the camera.
XF 23mm f/2 WR: 23mm, f/2.0, 1/1250s, ISO 1250, -0.3 EV
When it comes to colors, this is one of Fujifilm's biggest strengths thanks to their history in film production, color science and then translating that analog knowledge into the very clever Film Simulations. Often, when testing cameras, I'll stick to the default "profiles," which is Provia/Standard in the case of the X-Pro3. It's a nice, general-use Film Sim that produces natural, balanced images with pleasingly vibrant colors that don't look oversaturated. However, I sometimes like a bit more "pop" and richer colors, depending on the scene and location, so I'll switch over to the Velvia film simulation. This is a great look for landscapes, nature and other scenes with lots of color that you want to emphasize. To me, Velvia shots don't look too overly-saturated most of the time, but it can be a bit strong sometimes, especially with reds. Also, skin tones aren't as pleasing to my eye in Velvia images. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I also enjoy using the Acros monochrome preset for a clean, not too contrasty, black-and-white look. What's really awesome about the Film Simulations is that when shooting in RAW+JPEG and you capture a shot with the incorrect Film Sim, or you just want a different look after the fact, the X-Pro3 offers in-camera RAW processing. You can then easily make another JPEG with any of the other film simulations, all right in-camera.
XF 35mm f/2 WR: 35mm, f/2.0, 1/1600s, ISO 160, +0.3 EV
XF 35mm f/2 WR: 35mm, f/2.0, 1/4400s, ISO 160, +0.3 EV
Autofocus & Performance
Much like how the X-Pro3 shares the same imaging pipeline with the X-T3, it's a similar story with its autofocus system and performance specs. Compared to the predecessor, the X-Pro3 gets a significantly upgraded AF system with more selectable AF points (now at 425 points), better low-light performance, customizable C-AF settings with speed and sensitivity presets, Eye AF and generally faster overall performance. As for burst shooting, again, the X-Pro3 is basically identical to the X-T3, offering full-resolution images at up to 11fps with the mechanical shutter and 20fps with the electronic shutter. While the X-Pro3 isn't physically designed for sports or action-type subjects, for the most part, the camera is fast and nimble and easily usable for fast-moving subjects. The X-Pro3 is essentially an X-T3 packed inside a slimmer, lighter camera body.
XF 23mm f/2 WR: 23mm, f/2.0, 1/4000s, ISO 200, -0.3 EV
Wanting to get a feel for the X-Pro3's performance, I took the camera out to an off-road bicycle race here in Atlanta, giving me a great opportunity to test out the camera's burst shooting and continuous autofocus capabilities. Throughout the race, the X-Pro3 handled the generally fast-moving cyclists with ease. Though AF performance might differ slightly depending on the lens used, the two fast primes I used -- the XF 23mm f/2 WR and XF 35mm f/2 WR -- proved fast and accurate when it came to autofocus and subject tracking. When reviewing shots after the race, I did notice a few instances where images were slightly soft, with the plane of focus slightly behind the subject, as if the camera's AF tracking wasn't quite fast enough to keep up with the action. However, this could easily be chalked up to user error, where I simply didn't keep my AF point cluster over the subject as accurately as I should have. Also, fine-tuning the AF tracking and sensitivity settings could help improve tracking performance. Overall, though, much like with the X-T3, continuous AF performance on the X-Pro3 is very good, and the camera did well at subject tracking using the default "general purpose" C-AF preset.
XF 23mm f/2 WR: 23mm, f/2.0, 1/1250s, ISO 640, -0.3 EV
In terms of image quality and performance, the Fuji X-Pro3 offers a laundry list of upgrades and improvements to this popular rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, finally putting it on-par in most respects with Fujifilm's other flagship APS-C model, the X-T3. With the same imaging pipeline, the X-Pro3 offers extremely similar, if not identical, image quality. Photos are sharp, vibrant and full of detail at low ISOs while also offering well-controlled noise and high-quality images as the ISO rises. For those considering upgrading from the X-Pro2, the jump in pixel count from 24 megapixels to 26MP isn't a significant bump in resolving power. For an APS-C sensor, a 24-26MP resolution offers a good balance of resolution while not cramming too many pixels on a relatively small sensor and negatively impacting noise and high ISO performance. From an image quality standpoint, there isn't a huge difference between the X-Pro2 to the X-Pro3, though I'd argue the X-Pro3 is slightly better. What's more noticeable is the upgrade in versatility and performance with regard to its AF system and performance features.
XF 35mm f/2 WR: 35mm, f/2.8, 1/3200s, ISO 160, -0.7 EV
However, the big story with the Fuji X-Pro3 isn't with its image quality nor its performance. Those qualities are fantastic. The issues I have lie with the design and usability changes Fujifilm made to this new model. I'm afraid it feels a bit more like form over function. The general design, however, remains very similar to the previous models. I love the slim, compact size, and the minimal grip that's both comfortable yet unobtrusive. The addition of titanium in the construction, while not really noticeable, adds a bit of "cool factor." Plus, the camera is still weather-sealed, which I love. Physical controls around the camera are plentiful for the most part, but the removal of the 4-way button cluster on the rear hinders usability and customization and just feels completely unnecessary. My main frustration, however, lies with the rear screen design, and while I understand that Fujifilm was trying to go for this "pure photography experience" by emphasizing viewfinder shooting, the flip-down screen and tiny sub-display just come off as gimmicky in my opinion. The camera feels less usable and less versatile than the predecessor. I found myself having to constantly flip down the screen for various reasons, which became annoying out in the field. Had they kept the same exterior design as the X-Pro2, or offered a completely articulated screen where you could hide the LCD completely if you wanted to, the camera would have been absolutely stellar.
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Fuji X-Pro3 Review -- Product Overview
by Mike Tomkin
It's been nearly eight years now since Fujifilm first stepped into the mirrorless camera world with the X-Pro1, a camera which while a little on the slow side performance-wise, nevertheless thrilled many photographers with a solid, photographer-friendly design and a completely unique hybrid optical viewfinder. A second generation followed in early 2016, and now the basic formula carries through to a third generation with the Fujifilm X-Pro3.
A "hidden display" design keeps the focus on the unique hybrid finder, instead
While the X-Pro3 bears a striking resemblance to its earlier siblings when seen from most angles, just a glance at its rear deck will be enough to tell you that this is a pretty significant update. Around back, you'll find both an updated hybrid viewfinder that, while still combining the best of both optical and electronic viewfinders in a single unit, sports significant improvements to both. And beneath, the LCD monitor -- now a touch-screen type -- is notable by its absence, thanks to a new articulation mechanism which keeps it out of harm's way until you need it.
This unusual "hidden display" design, as Fuji's calling it, also helps you to focus on the hybrid viewfinder and a more traditional shooting posture, instead of slipping into a more modern arm's length shooting style. (Which makes a lot of sense in a camera whose standout feature is undoubtedly still its unique viewfinder.) Unless you decide to flip the touch-screen down, the back of the camera is instead occupied only by a much smaller, rear-deck color status display and a profusion of controls -- although rather fewer than in past models.
The same X-Trans CMOS 4 imaging pipeline as in the flagship X-T3
Nor is that all. The Fuji X-Pro3 also sports the same imaging pipeline as in the enthusiast flagship-model X-T3, based around the pairing of a 26.1.megapixel, APS-C sized X-Trans CMOS 4 image sensor and an X-Processor 4 image processor unit, both being unique to Fujifilm of course. And the X-Pro3 also has an uprated, hybrid autofocus system which can not only focus in near darkness, but also now locate your subjects' eyes to put focus in just the right place for more attractive portraits.
Other changes in this new model include 4K video capture capability -- admittedly, something which came to its predecessor via a firmware update -- a variety of new film simulations, updated connectivity and more besides, as we'll learn in just a moment.
A brand-new body with titanium top and bottom, and mag alloy elsewhere
In terms of size and weight, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 is basically unchanged from its immediate predecessor. It's said to have exactly the same height and width, and is only a small fraction of a millimeter deeper than before, while weight has increased by a scant 0.1 ounces (2g) or so. Put both cameras side-by-side and you're not going to notice a difference in portability at all. The X-Pro3's dimensions are 5.5 x 3.3 x 1.8 inches (140.5 x 82.8 x 46.1mm), and without a lens (but otherwise ready to shoot), it weighs just 1.1 pounds (497g).
But where the X-Pro2 had a magnesium alloy body, the new model switches instead to solid titanium panels top and bottom, a material that Fuji tells us is seven times as durable as stainless steel, but with half the density. (We understand that the rest of the weather-sealed body is still crafted predominantly from magnesium-alloy, however. In all, there are now 70 weather seals throughout the X-Pro3, up from 61 in the previous generation.)
Courtesy of Citizen tech, Fuji's DR body colors should prove more scratch-resistant
While the standard, "classic black" version of the X-Pro3 bears paint atop these metal panels, prospective buyers are faced with a rather unusual add-on option which promises a more scratchproof finish. (Fans of patina on their well-loved cameras need not apply.) For the titanium panels alone, Fuji has licensed a cold-plasma surface-hardening technology from Japanese watch-maker Citizen, known as "Duratect".
This finish is applied only to the DR Silver and DR Black body colors, and comes at a premium of US$200 over pricing for the base model. In its own products, Citizen brands this finish as "Super Titanium", and claims it to be "five times harder than stainless steel" in terms of scratch-resistance, suggesting it should be significantly more long-lasting than a paint-based finish.
The X-Pro3 in DR Silver
A tour of the X-Pro3's updated body finds just a few changes to front, top and sides
Seen from the front, you could be forgiven for not noticing any change in the X-Pro3's new body, but there are a few to be found if you look more closely. The handgrip has been reprofiled just slightly for a cleaner look, and no longer has a cutout near its top end. Nearby, the indentation for the front dial now stops at the viewfinder selector lever instead of continuing across lens mount. And finally, the AF assist illuminator / self-timer lamp window now bows out a little on its left and right ends, rather than being a simple rectangle.
Seen from the top, the X-Pro3 is even nearer identical to its predecessor. It still has a hot shoe for external strobes, as well as dedicated dials for both shutter speed and exposure compensation, with ISO sensitivity shown through a small window in the former. The function button just right of the shutter release no longer has a silk-screened "Fn" marking on it, but that's the only change visible from this angle.
Turning to the left side, you'll notice that the diopter adjustment control for the viewfinder is now mostly embedded in camera body, which should make it harder to bump and accidentally adjust. Sadly, the sync terminal is now gone, and the connector compartment cover has thus moved up the body a bit. Beneath that cover, there's no longer a Micro HDMI connector either, and so the HDMI logo has been removed from its outside surface. Finally, the USB port has changed from a Micro-B to USB-C connector with an adjacent logo indicating support for in-camera charging. A 2.5mm external microphone / remote release jack remains beneath the updated USB connector.
On the right side of the body, the SD card compartment cover now has a small latch button to open it with, rather than just a small indent to give purchase as you slide it open. And if we're really nitpicking, a screw which holds the top of the body together has moved just a little bit closer to the right strap lug.
Most changes are on the rear, including a brand-new hybrid viewfinder
It's on the back panel where the meat of all the changes are to be found. Starting from the top left corner, the viewfinder window is a good bit larger than before, and the protrusion in which it sits has a much cleaner shape with softly-rounded corners, unlike that of the X-Pro2 which was sharply angled around the eye-detection sensor.
Together, these changes hint at an updated hybrid viewfinder. In a single unit it still combines a reverse-galilean optical finder with electronic bright frame for parallax correction, and an electronic viewfinder, but there are significant changes to both. The optical finder is now more accurate than before, being manufacturer-rated at 95% coverage, rather than 92%, and it should also be both crisper and have less distortion, but with wider coverage. Magnification is now fixed at 0.52x, unlike the variable 0.36x / 0.60x magnification of the earlier OVF.
The electronic viewfinder also has much higher resolution, is fractionally larger and has a change to its underlying technology. Previously, it was based around a 0.48-inch, 4:3-aspect ratio TFT LCD panel with 2,360k-dot resolution, but that's now been replaced by a 0.5-inch, 3,690k-dot, 4:3-aspect Organic LED panel that offers better color and contrast. We understand that the frame rate has also increased somewhat from around 85 to 100 fps, with a smoothness priority option that inserts a black frame between preview frames to reduce motion blur, and is thus said to be "equivalent to" a 200 fps refresh rate.
Eyepoint has also risen fractionally, from 16 to 16.8mm, and magnification has climbed from 0.59x to 0.66x. There's still a -4 to +2 diopter adjustment available, and Fuji is now stating a 1:5000 contrast ratio. (It didn't disclose a figure for the earlier EVF.) The company also claims 97% coverage of the sRGB color space for the new panel.
Beneath, you'll find two new LCD panels, with one hidden behind the other
Below the viewfinder, the X-Pro2's fixed-position LCD monitor is gone, replaced by a new tilting unit which, when folded upwards to its closed position, offers up only a tiny 1.28-inch square color status "Memory" LCD. This smaller screen might harken back to the tiny displays common in the early days of digital cameras, but fear not, there's a larger display lurking behind it. The status display protrudes a little further than most of the back panel much like a memo holder on a film camera, which might seem to put it in harm's way, but we understand that it has a toughened glass cover plate which should protect it from minor knocks and scratches. It can be configured to display basic shooting info such as shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, ISO sensitivity, white balance, film simulation and image size. Alternatively, it can emulate the look of a Fujifilm film carton lid, showing just the current film simulation, white balance and ISO settings.
The main LCD itself isn't visible at all until you flip the entire assembly downwards up to 180 degrees, giving you a good reason to stick with a traditional viewfinder shooting style most of the time. It also means that even though this is a 180-degree flip-down screen, it's not usable for selfies, unlike most other cameras using a similar articulation mechanism. But on the plus side, it keeps the main LCD safe from harm when you're not using it. This larger screen has the same 3.0-inch, 3:2 panel size and 1,620k-dot resolution as before, with a manufacturer-claimed 100% coverage. But as well as the new articulation mechanism, it also adds touch-screen.
(Ergonomics are perhaps not ideal though, since when flipped out the screen protrudes well below bottom of camera. That will translate to more leverage, making it more likely to cause you to shift off your subject when you tap the display.)
Changes aplenty to rear-deck controls with a much-simplified layout
There are also quite a few control changes, so if you're upgrading from the earlier X-Pro1 or X-Pro2 (which already differed significantly between each other), you'll need to take a little time to relearn the control layout. Most notably, there's no longer a four-way button pad, a feature of both earlier cameras. The drive button -- previously found on the up-arrow button of the four-way pad -- has thus gone back to being a standalone control, and now sits just beneath the flash hot shoe.
Like the original X-Pro1 (and unlike the X-Pro2, which separated these controls), AE and AF lock functionality now share a single button by default. It sits just right of the drive button, roughly where the AE-L button was positioned in the X-Pro2, rather than in the rear thumb-grip as in the X-Pro1.
There are still three buttons to the right of the LCD monitor, but the functions of two of these have changed. At top is now a menu / OK button, replacing that which used to sit at the center of the four-way pad. That change of location has in turn pushed the playback button one spot further down the pecking order, and there's no longer a dedicated delete button in this stack. (It's now a secondary function of the aforementioned drive button, instead.)
Thankfully, there are still twin control dials and a joystick, as well
The remaining rear-deck controls are roughly where they sat before, with a rear dial and joystick control to the right of the LCD, and two buttons in the thumb grip. (The seam between that grip and the titanium top-deck panel is now level with the top of the rear-deck's leatherette trim, for a slightly cleaner look.)
The lower of these two thumb grip buttons is still used to access the quick menu, while the upper button -- previously used for AF lock in the X-Pro2 -- is instead now a user-programmable control.
And finally, we come to the base of the camera. There's not a lot changed here, although the bottom of the new LCD articulation mechanism sits in a cutout in the base which gives it room to flip downwards 180 degrees. The two-hole speaker port -- which previously sat just between the tripod mount and battery compartment -- has also been moved. It's now quite close to the left end of the camera body, a location in which you're probably more likely to accidentally cover it with your thumb or palm when shooting with a two-handed grip, depending upon how you're holding the camera.
The same imaging pipeline we loved in the flagship X-T3 and mid-range X-T30
But enough of the outside, what of the Fuji X-Pro3's internals? At its heart, you'll find the exact same 26.1-megapixel, APS-C sized, X-Trans CMOS 4 image sensor as featured previously in the X-T3 and X-T30. Its output is handled by Fuji's quad-core X-Processor 4 image processor, again as in both the T3 and T30.
We found that combination to have great image quality for both raws and JPEGs in those earlier cameras, so that's good news even if the increase in resolution from the 24.3 megapixel X-Trans CMOS III chip of the X-Pro2 -- which it paired with an X-Processor Pro CPU -- can be expected to be quite modest.
Also rather modest is the change in ISO sensitivity of that new sensor, which still has an upper limit of ISO 12,800 by default (ISO 51,200 if extended), but now starts from a base of ISO 160 (ISO 80 if extended). By way of comparison, the X-Pro2 started from a base of ISO 200, and could be extended to a minimum of ISO 100.
The X-Pro3 is capable of shooting full resolution images at up to 11 frames per second using the mechanical shutter and up to 20 fps when using the electronic shutter. A 1.25x crop mode is also available which can shoot at up to 30 fps with the electronic shutter. Manufacturer-claimed buffer depths are quite generous at 145 JPEGs, 42 losslessly-compressed raw or 36 uncompressed raw frames when shooting at 11 fps. At 20 fps, the buffer depths are 79 JPEGs, 36 losslessly-compressed raw and 34 uncompressed raw frames, and at 30 fps those figures drop to 60, 35 and 33 frames respectively. By comparison, the X-Pro2's burst performance topped out at around 8 fps with claimed buffer depths of 83 JPEGs, 33 lossless raw or 27 uncompressed raw frames.
Improved autofocus and added eye-detection capabilities
In front of the new sensor, you'll find the exact same Fuji X-mount as in other X-series mirrorless cameras. (And there's still no in-body image stabilization in this model, so you'll remain reliant on in-lens stabilization where available.)
Autofocus has significantly improved, however. The X-Pro3's hybrid AF system is inherited from the X-T3 with up to 425 addressable AF points versus 273 for its predecessor, and the X-Pro3's phase detection autofocus is rated to work to as low as -6 EV, whereas the X-Pro2 was rated down to only -1 EV. And while the X-Pro2 offered face detection, the new model supplements this with eye-detection as well, for more pleasing focus in portrait shooting with wide-aperture lenses. There's also a new in-camera AF range limiter function offering two preset options.
A new shutter assembly, but most creative options are unchanged
The X-Pro3 sports a new shutter assembly, and offers an expanded shutter speed range compared to its predecessor. You can still dial in shutter speeds from 1/8,000 to 1 second directly on the dedicated dial on the top deck, and up to 4 seconds is possible in programmed auto mode or 30 seconds in aperture priority. Exposures as long as 15 minutes are now possible in shutter priority or manual mode. There are also time and bulb positions for even longer exposures up to 60 minutes. An electronic shutter mode is also available, with speeds ranging from 1/32,000 to 30 seconds, and an electronic front curtain shutter option is also provided up to 1/2,000, along with various combinations of the three shutter types.
A 256-zone metering system still offers multi, average, center-weighted or spot options. and you can still dial in +/-3.0 EV of exposure compensation in 1/3 EV steps courtesy of another dedicated top-deck dial, or as much as +/-5.0EV through the menu system. (Movies, though, are still limited to a +/-2.0 EV range.) As in the earlier model, there's no built-in flash, but a top-deck hot shoe offers X-sync at 1/250 second, supports auto FP high-speed sync, and the camera offers an optional red-eye removal function.
As you'd no doubt expect in a Fujifilm camera, there are a generous selection of 16 in-camera film simulation effects, two of which are new additions. As well as a Monochromatic Color option which offers tinted monochromatic shots, there's a new Classic Negative film simulation which, says Fuji, was "designed to simulate color negative film that was normally used for everyday snapshots".
A few other creative changes have been added, including a new multi-shot HDR mode, plus new tone curve, clarity and grain effect options.
4K video is technically not new, but it's received some updates regardless
Although it lacked 4K video capture support at launch, the Fuji X-Pro2 was gifted with this capability via a firmware update. It's been developed further for the X-Pro3, however. The capture rate still tops out at a maximum of 29.97 fps, unlike the X-T3 which offers 60 fps 4K capture. But unlike the X-Pro2, the Fuji X-Pro3 now allows a choice of 100 or 200Mbps bitrates for 4K, adds a slightly wider-aspect DCI 4K option, and extends the maximum clip length from 10 to 15 minutes. (As well as 29.97 fps capture, lower rates of 25, 24 or 23.98 fps remain available.).
And if ultra high-def isn't your thing, you can still record Full HD (1080p) content at rates of 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 24 or 23.98 fps, but now have a choice of 50/100/200Mbps bitrates instead of a fixed 36Mbps. The X-Pro3 also adds a slightly wider-aspect DCI 2K (2,048 x 1,080 pixel) resolution, plus a high-speed Full HD mode at capture rates of 120 or 100 fps with a fixed 200Mbps bitrate. You can record standard Full HD for 59 minutes instead of the X-Pro2's 15-minute maximum, while the new high-speed video mode has a 6-minute maximum clip length. HD (aka 720p) capture has been removed altogether.
Updates to storage, connectivity and power
Like its predecessor, the X-Pro3 sports dual SD card slots, allowing you to double your in-camera storage capacity. These slots are now rated as compatible with a maximum of 512GB per card, though, where the X-Pro2 theoretically has a 256GB maximum. Images can be stored as JPEG, 14-bit .RAF raw, or both formats simultaneously.
Both slots offer UHS-II support unlike the X-Pro2 which only supported UHS-II in slot one. The X-Pro3 is also now rated compatible with Video Speed Class V30.
As mentioned previously, wired data connectivity is provided via a new, more modern USB Type-C connector, rather than the earlier Micro-B USB connector found on the X-Pro2. This allows support for faster USB 3.1 Gen 1 (aka USB 3.0) transfer, rather than the slower USB 2.0 High Speed data of the earlier camera. Also mentioned previously, the X-Pro3 drops the X-Pro2's Micro HDMI port and PC sync terminal.
The X-Pro3 also features built-in Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) like its predecessor, but adds Bluetooth LE Ver 4.2 for easy pairing, auto image transfer and geotagging by piggybacking off your smartphone's GPS receiver.
Power comes courtesy of an NP-W126S lithium-ion battery pack, which is recharged in-camera via USB (a dedicated charger is not included but is available for purchase separately). CIPA-rated battery life is 440 frames with the optical viewfinder and 370 frames with the EVF. That's a significant improvement from the X-Pro2's 350 and 250 shot ratings respectively.
Fuji X-Pro3 price and availability
Available in the US market from late fall of 2019, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 will start from a price point of US$1,800 body-only, in its classic, black-painted version. Two alternate body colors dubbed DR Silver and DR Black will instead feature a more scratchproof, cold-plasma hardened finish to the titanium top and bottom panels for a US$200 premium.
Available accessories will include an MHG-XPRO3 grip to make the camera more comfortable in larger hands, and a BLC-XPRO3 leather half-case. Pricing and availability for these accessories hasn't yet been disclosed.
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