Body and controls

Key takeaways:

  • Top and bottom plates now made from titanium but, on the painted version, look much like the X-Pro2
  • Controls and handling are very similar to the X-Pro2 but four-ways controller is omitted, leaving controls that are easily accessed when the camera is up to your eye
  • AF point adjusts position with focus distance, but camera no longer shows infinity focus point

There's been a slight re-shuffling of controls but we haven't found ourselves missing the X-Pro2's four-way controller. The key control points are the ones at the top right of the camera, and are easily accessed with your thumb.

At first glance, it's only the rear screen setup that distinguishes the X-Pro3 from its forebear. The top plate layout is essentially identical, despite the change in body material.

It's on the back of the camera that the real changes have taken place. The four-way controller has been removed, as has one of the buttons to the right of the viewfinder. A touchscreen has been added but, because the screen is usually folded out of the way, it's only really useful for waist-level shooting.

So, although the two cameras look pretty similar, the X-Pro3 is looking to give a much more streamlined shooting experience.

Joystick

Like the X-Pro2 there's a joystick on the back of the camera. This is primarily used for setting the AF point but, because it's in the perfect position when the camera's held up to your eye, is also likely to be your main means of navigating the camera's menus.

It effectively renders the four-way controller redundant, so you're unlikely to miss it. It's also worth noting that the button that's gone missing from next to the viewfinder is the 'View Mode' button. Since there's less ambiguity about whether you're trying to shoot with the viewfinder or the rear screen, it's unlikely that you'll need to tell the camera which one to use, so again, it's not something you'll miss.

Combined ISO/Shutter speed dials

The X-Pro3 has the same combined Shutter Speed/ISO dial, on which you have to lift the outer ring and rotate to change the ISO setting.

We've not always found this the easiest control to operate, particularly while shooting through the viewfinder, but it undeniably adds to the retro appeal of the camera. Most people will be happy to leave it set to 'A' mode, so this isn't a major drawback: you can always cycle between Auto ISO presets by configuring a button to do so.

Revised AF point display

One feature that might take some getting used to, if you've shot with an X100 or X-Pro camera before, is the updated AF point behavior in the viewfinder.

The offset between the location of the optical finder and the lens means the AF point (and framing of your shot) shifts across the viewfinder, depending on how close you focus. There's a menu option [AF/MF Setting | Corrected AF Frame] which adds an indication of the maximum extent of this parallax shift.

The new viewfinder struggles make sense of the parallax view: a challenge Warren Beatty and Pacific Northwest film buffs will be familiar with

On previous models, the camera would continue to show the infinity and close-focus locations, along with the actual position shown when focus is achieved. On the X-Pro3, the camera only shows the current position and (if you've enabled it) where the close-focus location would be.

This means you lose any indication of where your AF point will be at anything more distant than your current focus position. There's no way of knowing how the current position relates to the infinity position, so if you refocus from something close to something further away, there's no way to predict where the AF frame will jump.

We're going to have to spend more time shooting with the X-Pro3 to assess its full impact, but as an X100 shooter, it made the process more complex.

Menus

The X-Pro3's menus are fairly well laid out, but there's a lot of options in the Set Up section, which you may need to trawl through a few times, to familiarize yourself with.

The menus are essentially unchanged from previous Fujifilms. There are six icons down the left hand side of the screen (seven if you set up the custom 'My Menu' tab). These make it relatively easy to quickly navigate to the correct section. The 'Set Up' tab is a little convoluted, with each of the seven options actually being a heading representing several pages of specific settings, but they're all pretty self-explanatory and you'll rarely need to change them.

Six buttons and four directional swipes on the touchscreen can be configured to access various camera settings [hold down DISP/BACK to access the button setup]. A button in the midst of the viewfinder mode switch, one on the top plate and a press of the rear command dial are all particularly easy to access with the camera held to your eye.

The Q Menu can be customized, as before. But it can now be slimmed-down to 12, 8 or 4 options. It can now be viewed as an overlay on top of live view, if you prefer.

If dedicated dials and three easy-to-access function buttons isn't enough for you, there's the 'Q' menu screen that is home to up to 16 functions. This can be navigated using the joystick and command dials or by tapping the touchscreen.

The Q menu can be reconfigured to whichever settings you want and now gains the choice of whether you want it to show 16, 12, 8 or 4 settings. It also gains the option to have it render with a transparent background, with the live view still visible in the background.

Access to movie shooting, bracketing and the camera's new multi-shot HDR modes are accessed by pressing the 'Drive' mode button and cycling through the available options.

Auto ISO

The Auto ISO behavior on the X-Pro3 is ok but not as flexible as it could be. You can define three Auto ISO presets, each of which has a lower and upper ISO limit along with a shutter speed threshold at which the ISO increases. This threshold can be an absolute value or set to 'Auto,' which uses a shutter speed that relates to the current focal length. There's no way to bias this auto setting to use a faster or slower speed that still relates to the focal length.

Auto ISO is still available in manual exposure mode with exposure comp to set the target brightness the camera tries to maintain.

Battery

The X-Pro3 uses the same NP-W126S battery as the X-Pro2 and most other recent Fujifilm models. It's an 8.7Wh unit which powers the X-Pro3 to a rating of 440 shots per charge if you use the optical viewfinder and 370 if you use the EVF.

As usual with CIPA ratings, you're likely to get many more shots than this, depending on your shooting style (double the rated number isn't unusual). A rating of around 400 shots per charge is usually good for a day's committed shooting or a several days of occasional shots. The battery can be charged over the camera's USB Type C socket.

We've been shooting with the X-Pro3 for a while now:Click here to read about our experiences so far.