Fujifilm X-Pro3 Review: Updated with Full-Resolution Images

Fujifilm X-Pro3 review: Fuji has hidden the screen on its new rangefinder-style camera to put the focus back on photography. Is it a step too far?

Review

Friday November 8, 2019

By Ben Gallienne

Our Verdict

The Fujifilm X-T series of mirrorless cameras has been so popular that the rangefinder-style Fuji X-Pro and X-E series sometimes get a little overlooked. Perhaps to address this, and to help the X-Pro3 carve its own niche, Fujifilm has hidden the camera's main screen to encourage photographers to concentrate on what they see in the viewfinder. That's a decision that is bound to split opinion. Some photographers will love it while others will scratch their heads and wonder why. Fujifilm has also made the X-Pro3 more durable than average by using titanium in its construction and applying a new scratchproof coating to two colour variants. Inside, however, the new camera has the same sensor and processing engine as the Fuji X-T3 and X-T30, which means it can capture the same quality images.

Price & Availability

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 price tag is £1699 for the black model. The X-Pro3 price rises to £1879 for the Duratect finish black or silver version.

Pre-order the X-Pro3 black version from B&H Photo Video in the US or Park Cameras in the UK. Pre-order the Duratect finish versions from B&H Photo Video or from Park Cameras.

Specification

  • Price at Launch: £1,699/$ body only for the black version and £1,79/$ for the Duratect Black or Silver body
  • Sensor: 26.1Mp 23.5 x 15.6mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS 4
  • Processing Engine: X Processor 4
  • Lens Mount: Fujifilm X
  • AF System: Intelligent Hybrid AF Single point AF: 13×9 / 25×17 AF points Zone AF: 3×3 / 5×5 / 7×7 from 91 areas on 13×9 grid Wide/Tracking AF: (up to 18 area) AF-S: Wide / AF-C: Tracking All
  • Screen: 1.28-inch, 1:1 LCD and 3.0-inch, 3:2, tilting 1.62 million dot touchscreen that tilts through 180-degrees
  • Viewfinder: Hybrid viewfinder that comprises: Optical viewfinder: Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display, coverage approx. 95% Magnifications approx X0.52Electronic viewfinders: 0.5 inch 3.69 million dots OLED, coverage approx 100% 100% Eyepoint: approx. 16.8mm (from the eyepiece lens) Diopter adjustment: -4~+2m-1 Magnification: 0.66X
  • Continuous Shooting: 20fps using the electronic shutter for 79 Jpegs or 36 Lossless compression raw files, or 34 uncompressed raw files 11fps using the mechanical shutter for 145 Jpegs or 42 Lossless compression raw files, or 36 uncompressed raw files 30fps using the electronic shutter and with a 1.25 crop for 60 Jpegs or 35 Lossless compression raw files or 33 uncompressed raw files
  • Sensitivity: ISO 160-12,800 (expansions settings of ISO 80/100/125/25600/51200)
  • Video: DCI 4K(4096×2160) at 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p and 200Mbps/100Mbps for up to 15min
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Dimensions: (W) 140.5mm × (H) 82.8mm × (D) 46.1mm / (W) 5.5in × (H) 3.3in × (D) 1.8in (minimum depth 34.8mm/1.4in)
  • Weight: 497g / 17.5oz (including battery and SD memory card) 447g / 15.8oz (excluding battery and SD memory card)Build and Handling
Key Features

Like the X-T3 and X-T30, the Fuji X-Pro3 has an APS-C format 26.1Mp back-illuminated (BSI) X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 processing engine.

However, thanks to new firmware, the X-Pro3’s phase-detection autofocus system is claimed to operate at down to -6EV. That’s very dark.

There are also a few other improvements upon the X-T3 including a new multiple-shot HDR mode, an in-camera AF range limiter, 9-image multiple exposure, focus stacking, a new Classic Neg Film Simulation mode and a collection of image adjustment options.

The autofocus range limiter introduces this useful feature to all Fujifilm XF lenses. It enables you to select one of two preset values or use the focus ring to set the focus range.

The focus stacking feature works in a similar way in that you use the manual focus ring to set the start and end points of the focusing. The camera then uses that information and the lens data to calculate how many exposures are required to get everything in focus in a single merged image.

Fans of multiple exposure images are also able to combine up to 9 frames using Additive, Average, Comparative Bright or Comparative Dark merging. It’s even possible to use different Film Simulation modes for each shot.

Read our guide to the best Fujifilm cameras

New Image Controls

The new Classic Neg Film Simulation mode simulates the colour negative film that was traditionally selected for everyday photography.

In addition, Fuji has expanded the range of Black & White adjustment that was introduced with the X-T3. As before, it allows you to warm or cool images but there’s a new ‘Monochromatic Colour’ function. This lets you pick the key colour from a range of Warm / Cool tones and Magenta / Green hues.

Clarity has also been added to the list of image quality parameters (Highlight Tone, Shadow Tone and Sharpness). It enables textures and details to be accentuated or softened without losing the colour gradation.

Fujifilm has also developed the Grain Effect feature to give control over the strength and size of the grain.

Build and Handling

Fujifilm has made the top and bottom plates of the X-Pro3 from titanium. This is a very light and durable metal, but it’s extremely hard to work with. Perhaps no surprise then that the front and back sections are made from magnum alloy.

In addition to a standard black version, the Fuji X-Pro3 is available in Duratect Black and Duratect Silver. The Duratect element refers to a new coating that’s applied using a cold plasma technique that bonds the paint more effectively to the metal. This makes the Duratect cameras much more scratch-resistant than normal.

According to Fujifilm, the Duratect cameras that I saw didn’t necessarily have the final finish. But they may have. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. But anyway, the finish is apparently unique to each camera.

The Duratect Black I saw looked like very tarnished silver while the Duratect Silver looked a little like pale gold. They both look like they have a patina on them like the exposed metal of some older cameras.

At 140.5 x 82.8 x 46.1mm, the X-Pro3 is a very similar size to the X-Pro2, and it’s exactly the same weight.

Read why you should use your camera’s film simulation modes

Screen

The biggest (or perhaps oddest) change made with the X-Pro3 is the decision to hide the screen on its back. Where you’d expect to see a 3-inch screen there’s actually a small square screen with a dim display of the film packet associated with the selected Film Simulation mode, plus the sensitivity value.

However, the back panel of the camera has a hinge along its bottom edge to enable it to tilt back to reveal a 3-inch screen. Obviously, if you want so see the menu on this screen rather than in the viewfinder, you have to tilt the screen back.

Initially, I found this quite tedious. It’s a pain to have to keep tilting the screen down. And of course, when you’re finished looking at the menu, you have to tuck the screen away again to look in the viewfinder.

It never seems quite right to raise the camera to your eye and peer in the electronic viewfinder when you want to see the main or Quick menu. It also draws attention to the fact that you’re using a camera.

After some frustration, I decided to stop trying to test all features for a review and just pick a collection of settings to use. After all, the X-Pro3 is supposed to be designed to let you focus on the most important aspects of photography. With that decision made, I started to enjoy using the camera a bit more.

By default, lots of cameras don’t show the image each time you press the shutter release. So I didn’t really miss that element. And if I want to check anything, there’ also the opportunity to review the image in the viewfinder. That can be a better option than a screen on the back of the camera in bright light.

Read our Fujifilm X-E3 review

Viewfinder

Some photographers bought the X-Pro1 or X-Pro2 because of the optical part of the hybrid viewfinder. When the X-Pro1 was introduced electronic viewfinders (EVFs) were still viewed sceptically by many photographers. By the time the X-Pro2 came along, EVFs had improved to the point that many photographers recognise that they offer some advantages over an optical viewfinder. This is even more the case now.

Because the direct view optical viewfinder allows you to see the scene beyond that captured by some lenses, the X-Pro series is popular with some wedding and street photographers. It means you can see whether a subject is about to enter the frame and getting ready to take the shot.

The X-Pro3’s optical viewfinder is nice and bright and clear, however, I much prefer to use the electronic viewfinder. This does away with any parallax error or the impact of its correction, and it means you can see the view through the lens with any exposure and colour settings applied. I also like the fact that you can see the whole scene without the lens extending into the frame. That’s an annoying feature of the optical finder.

Fujifilm has improved the X-Pro3’s electronic viewfinder over that of the X-Pro2. It has an OLED panel with an increased resolution of 3.69million dots. The contrast ratio is also 1:5000, the brightness has been boosted to 1500cd and the colour space coverage has been increased to 97% of sRGB.

In addition, the EVF frame rate is effectively 100fps. It’s actually 200fps but the screen alternates between the image and a black frame. This helps to deal with the perception of motion.

It adds up to make for a comfortable viewing experience.

Read our Fujifilm X-T3 review

Performance

Although it has a different form factor and design quirks, the X-Pro3has the same image capture technology as the X-T3. That means it’s capable of producing very attractive images.

The autofocusing system is also very fast and effective. However, the shape of the X-Pro3 makes it less suited to use with long telephoto lenses so it’s less likely to be for shooting sport or wildlife than the Fuji X-T3 or X-H1. However, if you want to do so, the Intelligent Hybrid AF system is up to the job.

Its design makes the X-Pro3 more suited to use with Fuji’s prime lenses. Ruling out zooming between focal lengths and working with an aperture ring helps you concentrate on your subject. And the results are generally great. There’s plenty of sharp detail with excellent noise control.

Image Quality

It’s not possible to process the raw files from the Fuji X-Pro3 yet, but I have been able to examine some Jpeg images that I shot on a pre-production sample. These show that like the X-T3, the X-Pro3 controls noise well up to around ISO 12,800.

I mainly shot in the new Classic Neg Film Simulation mode and I like the slightly retro look it gives images. The colours seems to be slightly muted and cool, but there’s a bit of variation depending upon the scene. In some images, the blues seem relatively strong. The contrast is also quite high, but not excessive.

Read our Fujifilm X-T30 review

Read our Fujifilm X-H1 review

Sample Images

Follow the link to browse and download full-resolution images with the final image quality

The images below were captured on a Fujifilm X-Pro3 that generates the final image quality

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: WP Frank
Sample Video

This 4096 x 2160 video was shot handheld on the Fujifilm X-Pro3. The audio was recorded using the built-in mic.

Early Verdict

There’s no getting away from the fact that the Fujifilm X-Pro3 is an unusual camera. It’s capable of producing the high-quality images that we expect from Fujifilm’s fourth generation of X-Series cameras, but the handling is quirky.

That hidden screen may be designed to take away distraction and let you focus on creating images, but it can also get in the way. And if the screen is flipped out to show the menu, it’s tempting to use it compose images.

However, it can also encourage you to select some settings and stick with them, only adjusting the exposure as you need/want.

Fujifilm needed to do something to make the X-Pro3 standout from the X-T3. It’s gone with the old-school vibe, but it means the X-Pro2 isn’t the most practical of cameras. Some photographers will find it very enjoyable to use, but I’m sure many will find it downright strange. After some initial misgivings, I enjoyed shooting with the X-Pro3 but I need to use it more to decide which camp I fall into longer term.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Fujifilm X-Pro3

Recent Stories