The X-Pro series is an important camera to me. I started my love affair with X-Pro1 in 2013. As slow as the auto focus was; I still love how the way it handles and not forgetting the beautiful Fuji colors. After using it for 4 to 5 months, I started thinking if I should
moved camp fully from Canon to Fujifilm. That is how impactful it was.
Fast forward, I did take that leap of faith to moved from Canon to Fujifilm. It wasn’t an easy decision; especially I make a living in photography full time. I sold a 1DX, two 5D MK2 and 6 lenses. With insecurity still in me because it’s not a full frame camera; I kept my Phase One as back up. LOL. Truth be told, I only sold it when GFX50S came along.
When X-Pro2 arrived in 2016; Its a totally different beast but still retain its persona. Everything have been beef up. plus it’s a WR body. I couldn’t ask for more. Maybe 2 things, if I could remembered correctly. A full frame sensor and a tilt screen.
My first encounter with X-Pro3 was at Dubai X Summit early this year. Four X-Photographer including myself was presented with the prototype X-Pro3 at a discussion. We were all very happy with the 3 colors options, a couple of improvement and its titanium body!
When it comes to the LCD back; we were not very sure about it being covered and only able to tilt down 90 degree then. I felt that we have taken a step back. We all agree that a 2 way tilt will be enough.There was much debate and uncertainty about it.
Seven month later, I had the opportunity to test out a preproduction X-Pro3. When I first open the box and took the X-Pro3 out, I asked myself; what have the engineers and designers done? It’s a flip down LCD screen. Instead of the 90 degree angle that I saw in Dubai X Summit it now at 180 degree. Is it an ergonomic disaster? X-Pro series is already a very niche market camera and now with this new design of a covered LCD; many will either stick to their X-Pro2 or worst; change camp to another camera brand. Did they just shot themselves in the foot?
This new X-Pro3 didn’t leave a deep footprint for me. Maybe I just don’t like the concept of the covered LCD. Having said that, I have the camera with me, what better way than to take the new X-Pro3 through it paces and see if I enjoy it or worst; this cause the end of my 7 years love affair with the X-Pro series.
To me its not just about all the tech that is inside this camera. Rather how is the usability of this camera in the real world. Is X-Pro3 now a camera for hipster or can we still consider it as a professional tool?
If you love pure photography, I think the new X-Pro3 is certainly the purest modern camera money can buy. It brings the photographer to the roots of photography and equipment them with many advanced modern features to nail that winning shot. All this in a very well crafted titanium construction body.
Now that the LCD is covered, X-Pro3 kind of forces you to use it amazing hybrid viewfinder. Weather its in EVF or OVF option; trust me; you will enjoy it. If one needs to shoot at waist level or low angle this flip down screen will be useful. This is a step up if you are using a X-Pro1 or X-Pro2. After using the X-Pro3 for a week, would I wanna have a usual 2-way tilt screen. My answer is no. It’s a very logical approach; at least for X-pro3. The opening downward of the LCD is very well constructed. Actually the whole
X-Pro3 feels very well constructed. Probably the most well made camera to date for the X-series line-up. A very premium feel.
If you have never used a X-Pro series; one should take some time at you local camera store to give yourself an opportunity to understand why it made this way. As for all the old boys like myself which started with the film days; you will certainly appreciate the X-Pro3 even more.
Whether it’s illogical or logical, I am glad that Fujifilm took this necessary risk. Well
done boys. Yea! Take my money now.
The above photo is part of my exhibition series together with 13 other X-Photographers from around the globe. This will be held in Prague for the month of November at Manes Exhibition Hall along the famous Vltava River. I will also be conducting a workshop and a talk on 2nd November. Do check out the details below and I would love to see you there in Prague.
Ivan Loh, A Fuji X-photographer is known for his quirky and different approach through his lens. He has received numerous accolades from the International Photography Award, New York and Photography Master Cup. Most Recently a Gold, 1st Place at the 2014 PX3 Prix De La Photographie in Paris .
Ivan started shooting since his teenage years with his father’s Nikon SLR and he hasn’t stopped since. He has lensed campaigns for clients such as Singapore Airlines, MTV Asia, Nike, Bossini, Nanyang Technological University(NTU) Tuas Power, Allianz Insurance, Manulife Insurance, HSBC Insurance, DHL. TNT, UOB, CAAS, Hilton Group, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Raffles Hotel, Diegeo, Embraer, Carlson, TATA Communication, HDB, Clark Quay, HOT FM 91.3, Kiss 92FM, JIA 88.3, Power 98, and CHIMJES.
His editorial works have appeared in magazines such as Conde Nast, Home+Living, TopGear Singapore, Her World, Cleo, Seventeen, FHM, Parents World and Home & Decor. His works have also glossed the pages of international magazines such as Asian Photography and Digital Photography(UK).
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