News Thoughts on Cameras

The Fuji X-Pro 3 – A digital camera design philosophy I can get on board with!

The Fuji X-Pro 3 is the first digital camera that’s genuinely piqued my interest in a long time – and it’s not even been officially released yet. Fuji did some sort of pre-announcement presentation sometime last week, which was followed by the online photography press exploding with news and pictures of a camera that seemed to cause a disproportionate amount of disgust. I wasn’t disgusted though, in fact, I found myself really quite intrigued – not because I want to buy it, but instead for the simple fact that a mainstream camera manufacturer seems to have tried to create something a little different to the broadly homogeneous kit the other big brands are churning out.

Of course, Fuji are known for breaking the mould a little bit once in a while. I remember (and bought) when the X100 was first released – it was one of the most interesting cameras any of the bigger manufacturers had dared to bring to market for a long time. It was a big success for Fuji too. From it was spawned the first X-Pro 1 – an interchangeable-lens pseudo-rangefinder camera that I suspect was an even bigger hit than the X100 (I bought one of them too). From the X-pro 1 then came and entire system of cameras that has been vastly built upon over the years since.

Over those same years though, I’ve personally felt the Fuji have been slowly loosing their edge, or at least losing something of what made those original cameras so unique. I talked about this opinion in a bit of a review I penned about the latest ‘F’ variant of the X100 here. A great camera, there’s no denying that, but to me it felt as though what was special about the original version had somehow been lost.

Fuji x100f

The fuji X100F

As I talk about in that review, the simple original concept had been over-complicated with a stack of extra, largely superfluous functions – and with all the extra function there was a huge increase in buttons, controls and other ways the user could interface with it.

Of course, many of the commentators on that review told me that I’d missed the point. All the extra functionality could only aid the photographer, and if I didn’t like it, I could and should have just switched it all off. Whilst this is true, I feel quite strongly that these opinions missed the point I was trying to make. It’s my view that the beauty of the original design was not in the extent of its functionality, but indeed in the lack of functionality it provided.

The original design concept provided a niche group of photographers with a set of limitations that would work for them, the latest one tried to make that inherently limited concept offer something for everyone. To my mind, a camera that’s so limited by the nature of having a fixed 35mm f/2 lens could benefit from also be allowed to be limited in other ways. By making the choice to add a proverbial kettle, toaster and microwave with built-in-grill to the X100 design – at least in my opinion – Fuji had lost touch with the concept and lost their way a little when it came to their own original design philosophy.

The Fuji X-Pro 3

Which is exactly why I am so pleased to see them bringing out a camera like the X-Pro 3. I’m not going to go into too much detail about the features that Fuji have so far spoken about the X-Pro 3 offering – at least short of highlighting the headline conspicuously-disruptive screen design. If you’ve not read about it yet, you might be surprised to hear that the new X-Pro 3 has a screen on the back that’s articulated in such a way that it’s natural position is folded away out of view. In addition to the main screen, there is also a little secondary screen that shows various camera settings, including a film emulation type display.

To shoot using live-view with the primary screen on the back, you have to fold it out. This means it can either be used as a waist level finder, or if you wish to use it at eye level, the screen awkwardly hangs below the camera. It can’t be rotated, and therefore can’t be viewed from the front for selfies and can’t be folded back against the camera facing out. As such, to use the camera comfortably at eye level, you need to use the viewfinder.

 

Of course – especially in the DPReview comments section – this idea has been lambasted beyond reason. There is some positivity there, but in the main, the comments are really quite negative, and this is even before the camera has been officially announced, never mind widely used.

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As I’ve said though, personally I find myself on the side of those who appreciate this move as a positive one. I think what Fuji have done is innovative, interesting, and actually quite brave. There is, admittedly, a bit of a gimmicky element to it – the secondary screen showing the film emulation type has been done in such a way that it imitates the little slots in film cameras that allowed people to tear off a bit of the film box and slot it in as a reminder of what film was in the camera. Diehard film photographers will no doubt be shouting “why not just shoot film” etc… but I’m not really interested in all that side of the argument. What I’m interested in is the overarching design philosophy of limiting the ways it can be used by photographers, and therefore limiting its appeal to a smaller niche.

Limitations for a niche

What Fuji have done – well or badly I’d argue it remains to be seen – is create a camera that imposes limitations, rather than trying to remove them. They’ve not tried to create yet another camera that solves every possible problem for every possible photographer. Instead they’ve designed something that will work specifically for a small niche of photographers – something usually only attempted by the likes of Leica and other more esoteric brands such as Alpa.

This is why the comments section of DPReview has erupted. There are hundreds of people who are seeing a camera that not only doesn’t quite fit their needs, but is actually quite specifically not designed for them. More significantly though, it’s come from a brand that usually does make cameras for them, and this seems to have caused a huge amount of confusion and anger… Which, to me, is just bizarre! I can’t help but find it really odd that so many people can’t see that it’s perfectly possible for cameras that offer features and functions that don’t appeal to them to exist on the marketplace…?

Why the anger?

So why is it that Fuji get so heavily lambasted for trying something different? Well, it’s my opinion that digital camera industry has dug a bit of a hole for itself. Proven, I think, by the fact that it’s been contracting year on year for a while now. It has pushed and pushed the bigger, better, faster sales tactic for so long that the consumer has bought into the ideal wholesale. The average consumer seems to have arrived at a point in their mentality that every camera released needs to be the perfect fit for every photographer and possible usage case out there. In reality though, many cameras have been offering a bit of everything for everyone for a while now, so the newer bigger, better, faster ones haven’t had much new to offer. In many other walks of life innovation, variety and choice are at very least prized if not essential – yet in camera design, manufactures push and are pushed to make the same do-everything boxes, so have largely run out of ideas that actually help sell the things.

It’s all become really quite absurd in my opinion, which is why I applaud Fuji for this move. The X-Pro 3 might be a little gimmicky, but beyond that, it’s a design that’s is trying to offer something for a niche set of photographers who want something different; photographer who want a different user experience and want limitations imposed on them rather than the opposite.

I’m one of those photographers too – which is perhaps why I’m drawn to the concept, despite not being particularly convinced that I would choose the X-Pro 3 specifically for me.

But, whilst I’m not sure it’s for me, what I am sure of is that it will be right for some other photographers out there – and good luck to them I say! I just hope it’s right for enough photographers to prove to Fuji that more of this sort of disruptive innovation is a good idea.

You listening Fuji?? A Fuji X100 without a screen (or even one like this new X-Pro) and about 10 less buttons would be a great addition your line up – make it happen, yeah – you might even find yourself welcoming curmudgeonly me back to the fold…

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43 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Paul Pacurar
    September 30, 2019 at 10:13 am

    I have a similar idea on my wish list for several years. What about a camera with almost identical (at exterior) body with film ones (slr or not), that is having a physical LEVER (and thus saving more power) to provide mechanical energy for shutter (and mirror maybe), but using the power for sensor only? Epson RD did it with their small sensor rangefinder, and although that isn’t now a very capable camera for present standards, it still has a very big value because the idea was nice and loved, so I’m sure it is a good path.. Why don’t anyone continue with similar models?…

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    thorsten wulff
    September 30, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Completely agree, Hamish. I still use my X100s almost every day, and shot some of my best pictures in the last couple of years with it. When the X-Pro 2 came out three years ago I reviewed it, and the only thing that kept me from buying it was A: I had the X100, and B: did not want to start a new family of lenses. But I was always sure, X-Pro 3 is the charm for me. Now, with this display, I am even happier.

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    Iván Bernal
    September 30, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Nice piece, Hamish. I hadn’t read about the X-Pro 3 controversy, but I agree with you and quite like the hidden screen. I’ve been using an XE-1 for 6 years now, and I love its simplicity and the fact I can use it as my film SLR. Limitations are a good thing, in my opinion.

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    Malcolm Myers
    September 30, 2019 at 10:44 am

    I’m surprised that Fuji haven’t sold a mono version of one of their cameras (X100M?) as I’m sure the cognoscenti would love it. I mean, Leica managed it.

    As for this one, it does look interesting, but I really have enough film and digital cameras now. The only thing I’m really missing is a high-ISO / low-light camera but I can live without that most of the time. And if I did have the money I’d seriously look at the new iPhone 11 instead.

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    Dale Rogers
    September 30, 2019 at 10:56 am

    I watched the launch video and would jump on board in an instant. I love the concept and hope this camera does well enough for Fuji to continue this trend. If only I could use my Fuji lenses on a film camera now ….

    Thanks for the commentary!

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    Reply
    Allan U
    September 30, 2019 at 11:04 am

    I think the X-Pro3 will be perfect for me. As my close vision eyesight continues to get worse I end up doing this strange juggle of glasses-off to use the viewfinder and then glasses-on to read what’s on the screen. I may as well stop using the screen just use the diopter adjusted viewfinder I reckon.

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    Hut
    September 30, 2019 at 11:19 am

    As you said. Gimmicky poor mans Leica M10-D. Does not come even close to the original in reduction/limitation, still has way too many buttons and is downright ugly 🙂

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    Bernhard
    September 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Hi Hamish,

    the concept is not bad, but the cam is to expensive for me as a family father.

    Regards Bernhard

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    Nick Clark
    September 30, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Where to start with this? First, I suspect I *am* Fuji’s target market for this, and I’m still annoyed.

    What works with Leica M’s (and arguably the original X100) isn’t applying limitations, it’s about reducing the photographic experience into its most basic elements. What you need and nothing more. My M2 doesn’t do much, but everything it does it does perfectly.

    My frustration with the X-Pro3 is that it hasn’t done this – the screen is still there, it hasn’t been removed – it’s just been implemented in such a way that, in practice, it will just work badly. The stupidity of this is that there are highly effective ways of designing articulated screens that face inwards when not in use (Pen F a case in point).

    If Fuji really where really committed to people using the VF and pursuing a niche through limitation, then by all means remove the screen. Leica did that with the M-D. Sure, I don’t know if I’d buy it, but it would certainly fit a niche and that’s to be celebrated.

    But to include the feature, but implement it badly just to make a point? Nope, that’s just bad design.

    • Avatar
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      Zoran
      October 1, 2019 at 3:43 pm

      We’re at square one again: How can you possibly have a comment on a product that hasn’t been out yet and you haven’t been able to even look at it at your local store? Sorry, really don’t get it.

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      Neil
      October 2, 2019 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Nick, I couldn’t agree more with you. My reservations about this concept are the same, but I have a more fundamental issue with the overall design of the series of cameras since version 1, it looks horrible to me and has stopped me from buying one.

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    Anthony Smith
    September 30, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    I think its a beautiful design, knurled knobs and clean lines. I am more & more of the opinion that comment forums (especially digital) are just full of angry people who are constantly right and think something is crap if its not exactly what they wanted or would have designed.

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    Robert M Gambill
    September 30, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Personally, I’m so excited for this to come out. I upgraded to an X-Pro 2 from Fuji’s X70 and the one feature I’ve missed more than anything has been the ability to shoot waist level. Ever since I got the X-Pro 2, I’ve found myself in so many situations where I’ve thought it would be perfect if only I could tilt the LCD down!

    Adding to that, the ability to hide the LCD when it’s not needed is really exciting to me. I was recently on a trip where I made a conscious effort to not review any shots on the screen while I was shooting to see how it impacted the way I was photographing. I found that I took way more shots than I would have otherwise, but also, that they turned out way better than normal as well. Eliminating the distraction of chimping really works for me, apparently.

    I totally agree with you, Hamish. This isn’t a camera that’s for everyone, but it is absolutely a camera specifically for me, and that makes it feel really special, in my opinion.

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    David Hume
    September 30, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Hey Hamish – I’ve been following the X-Pro 3 and it’s a cliche to say this, but the X-Pro 3 is for me the first “shut up and take my money” camera since I bought the first X100 to hit my town in 2011 (I bought a D700 on release in 2008 but I did that for sensible commercial reasons)

    If they make a new X100 in this vein I’ll buy that too.

    You’ve said lots of sensible stuff here, but it’s a bit like “You had me at Hello”

    (FWIW for digital I currently shoot an XE-2 for commercial travel stuff with the kit zoom, and with the pancake 27 2.8 if it’s not a gig)

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    Roger B.
    September 30, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    An interesting albeit niche’d design. Puts me in mind of the Nikon DF.

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      Hanumanbob
      October 19, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      love love love the DF

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    Dave
    September 30, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    A friend of mine is left eye dominant and his camera with touch screen focus is repeatedly triggered by his nose hitting the active screen when he raises his camera to look through the viewfinder. That has kept me away from cameras with similar lay-outs because I am also left eye dominant. This has really piqued my interest!

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    Sasij
    September 30, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Hate to be that guy, but it’s losing, not loosing

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    Valdo
    September 30, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Hi,
    I agree with your points. I have the XPRO2 and I like the different concept of XPRO3.

    What I don’t like are the buttons on the thumbrest, when I picking the camera from the bag I always push minimally one of them. A thumbrest should by a thumbrest only!

    Another think what I dislike, but this is common for all Japanese camera manufacturer, is the myriad of available menu settings. Those guys are thinking that if a spec list isn’t full with features they don’t have a competitive product. I would kick out minimally half of items out of menu!

    Cheers

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    Steve Lang
    September 30, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    I used to have a Sony A55 DSLR and ended up turning the LCD screen around in just the same way so that I couldn’t see it in normal use. I preferred to use the viewfinder and concentrate on taking shots. I have to say this Fuji design really appeals to me, but I can understand why others might not warm to it. I think we have all got used to being glued to our screens and for some of us a break from it is quite refreshing

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    Peter
    September 30, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    A real rangefinder would be better, though

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    Nick Lyle
    September 30, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Here here! I could not agree more. I still use my old XPro1 and am truly grateful for its limitations. Over complicated general purpose cameras bring another kind of limitation, one that I find less helpful. Often a more specialized camera that does fewer things does those few things much better.

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    George Appletree
    September 30, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    They seem to pretend staying right in the middle. Say in between a Leica MD and any other conventional screen suited digital. Ok, hide the screen, or close your eyes, and think whether you shoot just jpeg and the film style is really a big thing for you. Then you have the screen to know every time (you’re not using the screen) which emulation you are using. Is that a great thing? Perhaps. The great thing when using a digital camera in my opinion is not to be every shot checking how good it was. As easy as disconnect the screen maybe. But it seems at the end only a feature for nostalgic people who need to keep on thinking film. And, … BUT your screen will be really safe in there.
    By other side the main characteristic of this camera is the hybrid rangefinder like viewfinder. So really a foldable screen for this camera becomes just a supplementary feature, perhaps more an inconvenient than an advantage.

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    Pat
    September 30, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    I think the little screen on the back is a mistake. They should have left it blank. You already have the exposure inoformation on the dials so that’s pretty redunant. And what rangefinder has a slot for you to slide you film label into? I’ve only seen that on SLR’s. I also think it’s just kind of distracting and not very aesthetically pleasing.

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    Gregory Morton
    September 30, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Great insight! I’m looking forward to this camera. Refreshing!!

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    Adrian Morgan
    September 30, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    I think it would have been even better if there was no screen at all. Just the small rear LCD would have been perfect. Maybe they will release a version of the X100 like that 🙂

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    Kodachromeguy
    October 1, 2019 at 4:48 am

    Hamish, the “photographers” (frauds) on Dpreview hate it. Therefore you know that the X-Pro3 will be an innovative and viable tool for real photographers.

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    karellen
    October 1, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    At first I didn’t like that kind of screen, it just needed it to be articulated to be perfect! But anyway that design is growing on me, as looking from the top is way more common than any other orientation and having the possibility to do that just opening it may be a good choice. What I’d like to know is if it’s possible to open the screen more than 180°, so that it would be easy to shoot keeping the camera high with the screen pointing down.

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    Simon
    October 1, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    I agree with you, and I love the idea of the back screen. This is exactly what a mirrorless camera needs in my opinion. I really hope they do something similar with a smaller camera. This would work even better on a camera like the Canon M5 that doesn’t have exp. settings on dials.

    I doubt I’ll be buying cause I can’t justify the expense for a camera that’s not full-frame, but I hope it does well!

    Also the DPReview comments section is always full of hate, it’s a sink of anger and rage, not reflective of the real world lol

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    Zoran
    October 1, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Very sensible post. Have not followed the Internet commenting mess because my life is too short to spend on idiocy… But it does show that empowering people with the power of comment isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s not because you can that you should. Most forget that.

    Discussing “facts” about something that does not exist yet physically is akin of screaming into the wind. It doesn’t serve any purpose.

    Thank you for correcting this.

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    Bruno Chalifour
    October 1, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    Interesting ideas and comments as usual, … and as usual ideas and comments that trigger more ideas and comments (the original idea of this blog as I understand it). First let us go back to The X100: an interesting concept and tool at its inception but suffering of slow and sometimes unsuccessful AF system. What the following versions have added that made it a more interesting camera (the major ones): faster AF, 24 Mp sensor with better color rendition (same improvement as from Xpro 1 to Xpro 2), front wheel falling under the photographer’s index. By the way removing 10 buttons from the X100 would leave one with a bar of soap! (useless to take photographs, a cube with no commands ;o) What makes the X100 attractive is the fact that it is a very apt, solid and compact APS-C camera, pleasant to use, one for either serious amateurs or pros, allowing all settings to be used in manual mode (focusing, aperture, shutter-speed, ISO) as well as automatic. Its compacity makes it the ideal travel/everyday in one’s bag camera. Its fixed focal lens is the ideal one for me (23 mm on an APS-C camera) and being fixed it makes it even more of a constant travel companion (problem of spots/dust on sensor solved). To top all that, the unique feature that is common to the X100 and X pro series: their dual viewfinder (EVF and “pseudo” optical rangefinder).
    Now regarding the X Pro 3, its “niche” audience (judging by the number of X pros 1 or 2 I keep seeing in such places as the Rencontres d’Arles where Leicas used to be the cameras to take for a walk) seems to indicate that the niche might be broader than Leica’s. FUJI just keeps on improving its X pro concept to compete with the growing EVF category (Canon, Nikon, Leica CL, SONY,…). There are improvements compared to the X pro 2 (Titanium body (lighter, tougher), 26 Mp, improved sensor and processor, better color rendition, improved finder (both optical and electronic). It is as interesting as the X pro 2 was when it came out… I bet X pro 1 and X pro 2 owners will be tempted to upgrade; even X100 owners might be tempted. Another reason to buy into the Fuji family is the quality of their lenses (weren’t they originally lens makers?) and their cost especially compared to Canon, Leica, Nikon and the latest (finally up to par with the others) Sony. All of this explains the resurrection of Fuji as a camera and lens manufacturer, we are just seeing a steady continuity taking small risks in innovation, enough maybe to attract a new audience and expand the current one on its margins. Nothing to moan about, I agree, on the contrary quite a few things to be happy about, first of an innovative manufacturer producing interesting equipment (cameras and lenses) of high quality at a reasonable price (although no price has been announced yet for the X pro 3… let us wait for this last criteria which may tip the scales one way or the other).

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    Victor
    October 2, 2019 at 8:24 am

    While I quite like Fuji X100, I have to disagree on your take on X-Pro3 (or 1,2 for that matter). I toyed with the idea to buy pro-1, pro2, and waited to see what pro3 will bring, but every time it was further from what I’d like to see, so I’ll pass also this time. The hybrid OVF/EVF is basically the main selling point of the series, as otherwise XT is objectively better in all regards if you want Fuji. X-Pro aims to be “focus on photography not specs” thing, as also clearly follows also from current press-release, but it fails to be that! They increase amount of “fuss” with each release, and that I dont like.

    More importantly, while I do understand the complexity of the implementation of the hybrid VF, but the end result is, unfortunately, far from being perfect worse than on X100 series let alone leica (dimmer, lower magnification, worse eye relief). A huge con for a camera which main selling point is optical viewfinder! Yes they improved the hybrid part, but that does not really matter as people who want 3m+ EVF, just buy XT series. People who want flippy screen, buy that (or canikoson) too. I think, Fuji is half doing it, as unlike leica (I’m looking at M-D and Monochromes!) they dont have balls to go all in and follow marketing department rather than their inner photographers soul. In the end, they probably suffer from that, as they claimed X-pro series is not particularly profitable anyway, and more of a halo product. What they should have been doing is strip the camera to the basics (i.e. no dual card slots, no display, no zoom-in OVF for which you have EVF anyway, no fussy AF modes with 100% coverage, no joystick, etc). On the other hand, polish its main selling point (hybrid OVF) to perfection. By that I mean making it clear and bright with decent magnification and eye relief, and usable focussing aids (X100F is almost fine in this regard). In the process they could make camera lighter and cheaper to produce (does not mean lowering selling price though). People who would complain about missing features would buy other camera anyway, and bashing battles on forums are great free marketing 🙂

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    Neil
    October 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Its good to see the Epson RD1 mentioned here as I think Fuji have taken a lot of design cues from this camera, whilst I love the idea of a digital camera with no screen Fuji have implemented this in a shoddy way, rather than doing what it should do which is simplify the camera, they have just added it as another feature which is totally against the concept they are trying to achieve. So far, Leica have done this with the M10-D really effectively but I can’t quite forgive them for doing the fake film rewinder-lever-thumbrest-actually.

    Can someone not just make a digital camera which has no screen and is as elegant as a Leica but not costing £6500. We don’t want more features and buttons we want less of everything.

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    Patrick Medd
    October 5, 2019 at 8:42 am

    I like this concept very much. Fuji allow a square crop setting on their cameras, so with the screen up I have a rangefinder style 35mm ratio camera. With the screen folded down and the square ratio selected I have a Hasselblad with a waist level finder; that is a powerful thing. Is it enough to tempt me when I have a 35mm rangefinder camera and a Hasselblad already?—well for travel it might be. I was thinking about selling my Fujifilm equipment, this announcement has certainly made me pause for thought.

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    Johny
    October 13, 2019 at 5:52 am

    I am always been one person that believe the beauty is in diversity, and now I am turning angry and intolerant, for long time I been looking at the x pro line ( I have a XT 10 that I love) but I never purchased the x pro1 because I use often the tripod in a very low position and I need a way to compose the shoot, and now the x pro 3 is bringing that opportunity ( mind me I will love a articulating view finder that will be impossible to make hybrid ) , and a whole lot of phone shooter start to bash and define stupid a idea that do not support their view of things, there is plenty of camera models that fit all the spec wish of everybody, I feel the uni city of the X pro camera is the viewfinder, and that is the thing that Fuji should promote along the ergonomics and still photographic experience, All that people that need a fully articulating LCD , or IBIS will never get the point, and never appreciate or understand that viewfinder, but they are always there calling stupid all the people that believe in that concept, Maine we should ask them how human been should look like and eliminate all that people that do not meet the profile.

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      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 14, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      “beauty is in diversity” quite right!

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    Bill H.
    October 15, 2019 at 2:31 am

    I’m all in if the price isn’t too high. Otherwise I’ll stick with my XPro-2. The new viewfinder and philosophy behind the camera speaks to me

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    Hanumanbob
    October 19, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    I use a Sony A9 for studio portraits but have recently decided to go back to Fuji for street and some on site people shoots. I got an X Pro1 for next to nothing and just love the design, and the files coming out of the camera are spectacular with the 35mm 1.4 lens. I will probably get this camera as it will be something very special. I’m hoping the screen is solidly built. There is a slight gimmick component to the rear screen but I understand what they were trying to do. If you could swipe through various pre set looks/styles that you create to change them it would be amazing.

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    Mario Piper
    October 20, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    I totally agree! I love the original X series cameras (I’ve had both the X10 and the X100, but haven’t had (but held) the X Pro1). Their simple design, and wonderful user controls (especially the X100) made digital photography truly enjoyable. They pushed me back to film! Superia 400 is now a staple in my film stock. If Fujifilm makes a successor to the X100 series that keeps the same design overall, with the lovely lens and viewfinder (as well as a dedicated ISO dial and color film mode dial) but make it with the back of the X Pro3 (and weather sealed would be good), then I’d buy it in a heartbeat! Get that screen out of the way! Yes, I love film photography, but I also love well crafted digital cameras and their output. The original X series cameras did that for me. Please Fuji, make and X100 camera in the spirit of the X100 series (lens, viewfinder, simple design), but with the back of the X Pro3.

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    Bill H.
    October 27, 2019 at 1:19 am

    I’m amazed at the number negative comments I’ve read about the XPro3. Some people have taken the release of this camera as a personal attack on their ability to enjoy photography.

    Yes, the camera is a bit unconventional. I think we as a community should celebrate that uniqueness! I think for some the XPro-3 will encourage their creativity. I’m putting my ‘“money where my mouth is”. I think I’d always wonder if I passed up a great opportunity if I didn’t take the plunge.

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    Antoni Rybaczyk
    October 27, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    And make it monochrome

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    Clive W
    November 4, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    I’m with Bill. The hidden LCD was a surprise to me but it nullifies my argument for not buying an X-Pro so far: that it didn’t do enough that I couldn’t already do with my X100F. (I was late to the X100 party too, so I can’t comment on whether the F loses out on ‘purity’ to the older models; I’m delighted with mine.)

    My first X camera was the X70, and I seldom use that without flipping out the LCD. I like the unobtrusiveness of waist- or chest-level shooting and it has another advantage for me: being very nearly 2m tall, I have to make an extra effort to photograph people’s faces, not the tops of their heads, so it’s useful to have a comfortable way to hold the camera lower. Yes, I could do this with any X-T instead, but those just look and feel a little too ‘mainstream’ for me. Part of the fun of a Fuji is not about people mistaking it for a Leica, but about using something that doesn’t look like everyone else’s D41835nxi, and the X-Pro, X-E and X100 just do this better for me.

    So the fold-out screen is clever because it removes an old limitation without changing the nature and appeal of the camera. The X-Pro3 is not a ’tilt-screen camera’ in the manner of the X70; the screen is very much a secondary viewing device for occasional situations. Nor is it a ‘whatever you want’ tool like the X-T3 – a thing I hugely respect but don’t want for my own use. Nor is it really an ersatz film camera, despite the sly nod with the mini-LCD.

    The mini-LCD box-top might be a gimmick but for the other work Fuji has done on JPEG output. With the 24MP and later Fuji cameras, you really need to be a bit of a control freak (moi?) to insist on working in Raw and post-processing everything. Which means that if, say, you’re a travel blogger with an X-Pro3 and an iPad (other tablets are available) you can rely on the camera alone to produce JPEGs ready to transfer and dispatch at your first coffee stop of the day. The box-top is there as a quick visual check that you’ve selected the right settings for your style for the day. So you could argue that, rather than making you slow down and be ‘more like film’, the X-Pro3 is actually helping you speed up the creative process by making it more immediate. You don’t have to work that way, of course, but wouldn’t it be nice to have the option? (And if you can travel without a laptop, it might leave room in the bag for another camera and some actual, y’know, what’s it called? Oh yes, film.)

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    Jazz1
    November 10, 2019 at 2:52 am

    I’m all in. Sold my XT-2 and X-Pro 2 to fund the XPro 3. My needs have simplified over the years where I need to commit to a more basic approach to photography. The XPro 3 seems to meet my need to go back to a more film like camera.

    I’ll probably add and XT-3 or XT-4, (when it is releasedin the future) to cover all bases.

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