Photography News issue 72

FujifilmX-Pro3 Big test

PRICE: £1699

FUJIFILM.EU/UK

Fujifilm’s new flagshipmodel aims to give amore realistic photographic experience with its hiddenmonitor, and that’s just one of the X-Pro3’s many great features

WORDS AND IMAGES BY WILL CHEUNG

the quick menu, but that didn’t seem right and wasn’t comfortable, so I folded the monitor out and used it quite happily. The main menu can't be set by touch but the quick menu can be, and that of course can be edited to suit your needs. As I was testing the camera, I did find myself a little frustrated by having to use the monitor to use the menus and to check test shots. Of course, testing a camera is not typical usage and I did find that once set up and out shooting, I enjoyed just using the viewfinder. My preference on that, by the way, was for the EVF. The 3.69 million dot organic EL panel gives a lovely, finely detailed image and, with 97% coverage of the sRGB colour space for accurate rendition of scenes, it was a real pleasure to use. Toggling between the EVF and the optical finder, as with the previous X-Pro models, is done by a simple flick of the lever on the camera front. The optical finder is good and you can still have the histogram (and much more) on show, but I think the EVF is so good I stuck with that mostly. For my own photography, I shoot a lot of street and candids and I very rarely check out what I have captured at the time, and can take hundreds of shots without previewing my results. In this context, the X-Pro3 suited my needs very nicely indeed, but for scenics, I tend to look and check results much more frequently, so the hidden monitor has less practical appeal.

FUJIFILM’S X SERIES was innovative from the instant it was released in 2012, with its unique random colour sensor and emphasis on fast aperture prime lenses. The system has come a long way since and, with a range of models on offer, it’s proved really popular with image-makers of all genres and levels. The X-Pro3 is Fujifilm’s latest and possibly its most noteworthy innovation. It's not what it has, but what it doesn't have: there’s no rear monitor. Well, that’s not strictly true – it’s there, but it faces into the body, so is effectively hidden in normal use. It’s Fujifilm’s way of encouraging – forcing! – photographers to engage with their subjects through the viewfinder and the chance to enjoy more of a film shooting experience. Of course, some cameras with fully articulating monitors allow you to do this anyway, but with the X-Pro3, you don't have the choice to suddenly decide to shoot and preview as we’re all used to now. The monitor is hinged and does fold down with a click-stop at 90° for waist- or low-level use and continues down to 180°, should you want to compose from a higher camera viewpoint. In its folded- out position, you can use the monitor to compose, preview shots, touch AF or touch shoot and adjust menu settings with the multi-controller. As I’m on the subject, I might well say how I got on with the hidden monitor. Honestly, I enjoyed it once the camera was set up. You can use the viewfinder for menu set-up and for using

On occasion, I did fold the screen down for waist-level grab shots so, again, the monitor fitted in well and the touch AF/touch shoot options came in very useful, too. For waist-level shooting, it’s best to turn off the eye sensor to avoid losing the image if your body or fingers get too close to the sensor, which is to the right of the viewfinder eyepiece. For image review, the touchscreen lets you swipe through shots and pinch (to zoom out on images) and spread (to enlarge images). then you can navigate around shots with your forefinger. What you do get on the rear panel is a small sub-monitor. On this, you can “IT'S FUJIFILM’S WAY OF ENCOURAGING – FORCING! – PHOTOGRAPHERS TO ENGAGE WITH THEIR SUBJECTS THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER”

ABOVE The exposure compensation would benefit from a firmer click-stop or a lock to stop inadvertent use. Or a menu item to lock the dial, but without affecting the actual exposure compensation feature

ABOVE The monitor folds all the way down and is click-stopped at 90°. It's a touchscreen and offers touch AF and AF shooting. For playback, use touch gestures to enlarge images

54 Photography News | Issue 72

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