X-Pro3 Early impressions & images.

Started Feb 17, 2020 | Discussions thread
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Pete Takes Pictures
Pete Takes Pictures Junior Member • Posts: 35
X-Pro3 Early impressions & images.

Hey folks, I'm still kind of new to this site and feeling my way, started lurking when Chris and Jordan joined the crew and I've just slowly begun immersing myself into the DPReview world. I'm a Fujifilm user, love those cameras, but I really prefer talking about photographers and photobooks I love. Shame there isn't really a dedicated forum section to that. Oh well.

Anyway, I picked up the X-Pro3 recently and I really am rather loving it - despite the fact it really needs one more function button and my first copy malfunctioned causing the light of a thousand suns to shoot into my eyes through the viewfinder, or something. I've got the Dura-Black version, and it really is rather handsome once you finger-smudge it up good and proper to get get a cool matte black finish. So yes, I've started shooting with it and I'm working my way to doing a proper review, but in the meantime I've just made my first blog post with images taken from the camera after an intensive day shooting and editing in the wake of Storm Dennis.

The images are here: http://petetakespictures.com/blog/stormdennis

I hope it's okay to post to one's own website. I blog about Fujifilm and the photos wot-I-took-with-'em semi-regularly, but I do try not to waste anyone's time, and would quietly understand if a brief-flash of 'Um, here's muh blog' was frowned upon and shown the heave-ho by the moderators.

But I did want to work in my first impressions of the X-Pro3 after six weeks of use. I've now shot two weddings, a few events and a bit of street with it and after initial mild concerns I'm kind of surprised how those two big scary changes - the lack of D-Pad and the hidden LCD screen - really are working out reasonably well for me. I say reasonably well as I still miss the D-Pad when typing in words and things on the menu, and find it a little fiddlier to select, but otherwise I'm quite happy with the way I'm no longer hitting function buttons with my nose. If only they'd put a function button between the Drive / Delete button and the AE/AF button everything would have been peaches and gravy.

Meanwhile the Hidden LCD is - against all expectations - most excellent. I do find I'm chimping less, which is a good thing, but that it is perfectly easy to still access the images when I need it. Lower camera, hit the play button, raise camera to eye - see image just taken - half press shutter to commence taking pictures again. It's pretty fluid, working in a pause to assess the scene, check focus and seamlessly move into shooting again.  Or you can just flip down the screen and hit the play button. It's really not an issue. Even better, unlike with my X-T3 I find the rear screen is a lot more friendly for street photography as it's only one smooth motion to deploy. Flip down, make like Vivian Maier and shoot away. Flip back up again.

The body itself feels great in the hand too. I find the grip just right and - Good Lord - that shutter button feels beautiful. The entire camera has a reassuring heft and the viewfinder is big, clear and bright. I mostly shoot 18mm through 56mm. To be honest I'm going EVF if I shoot portraits, but otherwise with street shooting through the OVF the 18mm works remarkably well as the edges fit just within the viewfinder, the issue only being if you're shooting super close up, which you're normally not doing in street anyway. Naturally the 23mm and 35mm work fantastically. The 16mm, not so much unless, again, you switch to EVF - but that was kind of the case for that one on the X-Pro2 anyway.

Though another minor gripe I have is that I find it slightly harder to mount lenses. They don't slide into the click quite as well as on my other Fujifilm cameras. It's not much of an issue, but I have to use a bit more welly to slot them into place. Odd that.

As far as the in-camera stuff goes, I'm finding the JPEGs look just very slightly nicer in the new camera - even over the X-T3. It's a hair's difference, but I think it's there. I also really like the monochromatic colour option. The clarity option is good for processing your RAW images after the shot in camera, but a bit useless when activated for the shot itself as a big 'Storing Image' message pops up completely breaking the flow of shooting when rendering it. Stick to using it only in post in a cafe someplace, say I. Finally though a handy visual representation the tone curve is a bit of a let-down as you can't raise or lower the end points with a proper five point curve, thus clouding the shadows or smoothing the highlights. If you could do that in camera I'd be far happier shooting JPEGs most of the time and would only look to Capture One for local adjustments. Bit of a missed opportunity that. Still, JPEGs do look lovely and though it's taking some getting used to and not the miracle-cure I hoped, Classic Negative does look very nice when used for the proper situations.

So all in all the X-Pro3 is a winner for me. It just gets out of my way while I'm taking photos, and feels super-comfy in my hand and since I'm not really interested in video I don't feel hampered as compared to the X-T3.  I've now sold on my old X-Pro2 to a very talented friend and am super-happy with it - and am pondering trading my X-T3 for a second body.

So, possibly a controversial opinion and I can see the logic behind the concerns of the less flexible OVF, but I really like it. Though I understand your mileage may vary, natch.

Um, I do shoot colour as well by the way, but I'm on a real black-and-white kick at the moment. Cheers for reading and have a good 'un.

 Pete Takes Pictures's gear list:Pete Takes Pictures's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm X-Pro3 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +4 more
Fujifilm X-Pro3
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