Test: Fujifilm X-Pro3 (DSLM)

Fujifilm X-Pro3: In the test, the DSLM is one of the strangest models of the year. Image: Fujifilm

Conclusion from 27. 01. 2020

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 splits the bearings in the test. The bottom line is that the mirrorless system camera asserts itself as a fantastic tool for stylish housing, very good image quality and extensive equipment. Battery life and autofocus speed also convince in addition to the brisk series recording. The great filter simulations anyway. The elimination of the directional pad and the unusual display arrangement dampened the enthusiasm a little. The Fujifilm X-Pro3 is certainly one of the strangest DSLMs of the year.

Starting at 2.022 27 €: Find the best price for the Fujifilm X-Pro3

The values ​​in the article refer to the test time of the product ( 27. 01. 2020 ) .

The ratings below show how it compares to the other products in the leaderboard.

test ratings (compared to all tested products in this category)

Fujifilm X-Pro3: Test of DSLM in retro style

The Japanese had probably imagined something different for their Fujifilm X-Pro3. When the unveiling took place at their in-house exhibition, the otherwise loyal fan base was divided: While one camp welcomed the changes, the other camp could no longer shake their heads. What does the Fujifilm X-Pro3 want with this unusual display arrangement and who is it intended for?

One side is occupied by a normal monitor, on the other there is a colored e-ink screen for displaying settings and the selected filter simulation. However, the arrangement is the other way round than you would expect. Because in order to check recordings or change system settings, the user must first display 180 Fold down degrees. A swivel mechanism like the X-A7 ), in which the display folded out to the side can be rotated around its own axis and thus folded back the other way round, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 is missing. This polarizes, because working with the DSLM is quite cumbersome. But that's not the only design change that forces owners of one of the previous models to get used to.

Fujifilm X-Pro3: For advanced photographers

Admittedly, the X-Pro line has belonged to their debut 2013 to the more demanding DSLMs. The lack of scene programs, hardly any automatic functions and the extensive settings menu should scare beginners in many cases. This DSLM is aimed at advanced users and professionals who know what they want and who like to do their own thing. This is particularly emphasized by the three dials for shutter speed, light sensitivity and exposure compensation on the high-quality titanium-magnesium housing. The aperture is changed as usual on the lens itself. Of course, you could now set all settings to “A” for automatic, which would force the Fujifilm X-Pro3 to choose the right parameters itself. But you don't really want that. It is too much fun to turn the wheels and thus have control over the camera and image composition.

If you don't like it, you should the XT 30 , in which a fully automatic mode can be activated with the toggle switch. As a result, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 is best kept in the hands of experts and former analog photographers. It is precisely those photographers who do not want to check the picture on the display after each release – or “chimp” as it is called in German. Nevertheless, it turns out to be cumbersome to have to open the display every time, for example if you want to change settings or to initiate the transfer to your smartphone via WLAN and Bluetooth.

Fujifilm X-Pro3: E-ink on the outside, touch display on the inside – the arrangement proves to be getting used to. Image: Fujifilm

Photo gallery: Fujifilm X-Pro3 including practice photos

Fujifilm X-Pro3: upgrade for the viewfinder

Of course there is also the ingenious hybrid viewfinder in rangefinder style to choose from. Ingenious because it combines analog and electronic elements. So the photographer can choose an optical motif finder that shows the parallax shift with its illuminated frame and thus enables ideal motif design. Or, by briefly pulling the toggle switch on the front, it switches to the electronic and very bright OLED display with razor-sharp 3, 69 million subpixels and extremely smooth 200 – Hertz refresh rate. The advantage as with any other DSLM: Already in the viewfinder the motif shines as the Fujifilm X-Pro3 saves it – with 0, 66 – multiple magnification (optical: 0.5- subject) also somewhat wider than with the X-Pro2 . The battery life also drops to a maximum of 880 recordings as well as 71 UHD video minutes significantly longer. Fine.

To use the electronic display proves itself at the latest at the total of ten filter simulations as extremely practical – see photo gallery . Finally, the color effects emulate the style of the analog films of the same name, including the newly added simulation “Classic Black”. The slightly faded, reddish color mixture with hard contrasts is reminiscent of Polaroids and cheap color films from the 80 he's. This should be particularly popular with old school photographers and is sometimes one of the main reasons to choose the Fujifilm X-Pro3.

Fujifilm X-Pro3: The numerous operating elements such as the locking wheel, ISO knurled wheel and function keys mark an important part of the DSLM. Image: Fujifilm

Fujifilm X-Pro3: Slightly improved image quality

Because a lot has happened on the technical side, too, but the big eye-catcher is missing. The fourth and latest generation of X-Trans sensors records photos in APS-C format, plus DCI-4K videos with up to 30 frames per second and 200 MBit, but the big leap in image quality is missing. The edge sharpness increases with 2. 231 Line pairs per image height only slightly more than 100 line pairs. The texture fidelity or detail reproduction is almost unchanged, the image noise has increased somewhat compared to the X-Pro2. In practice, this means two megapixel larger, but almost identical images that are up to ISO 6. 400 can be used without significant losses.

Incidentally, photographers do well if they give preference to internal RAW processing over external programs. Since X-Trans sensors have a different structure than ordinary Bayer chips, Lightroom and Co. stumble when converting to JPEG format. Sharpness and micro-contrasts work much better with pictures taken in the camera. Accordingly, over a year ago, Fujifilm saw itself induced to use the free program “ X RAW Studio “to offer an in-house solution. The X-DSLM is plugged into a PC or Mac via USB – and the RAWs can be converted from the PC into JPEGs using the camera. Alternatively, a fairly extensive RAW converter is available in the camera, which now also allows conversion to TIFF files.

Fujifilm X-Pro3: The new filter simulation Classic Black mimics with its slight red cast and the hard contrasts of analog films from the 80 s. Picture: CHIP

Fujifilm X-Pro3: Usable eye autofocus

Compared to the new image sensor, other improvements seem decidedly more fundamental. Above all, the series recording, with 11, 1 frames per second works amazingly fast. The unlimited number of JPEGs as well as 39 RAWs per second underscore the sporty pace. And also the 425 Focus fields include a some important optimizations. Not primarily at the pace, which is sufficiently fast with about 0.4 seconds release delay in both daylight and dim light.

However, the fields are now much more sensitive – even at -6 LW from aperture f / 2.8, the automatic focusing works accurately and accurately. In addition, focus tracking and eye autofocus prove to be significantly more accurate. In contrast, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 seems to be difficult for children because it does not always recognize their eyes. But even if eye AF has not yet reached the level of modern Sony DSLMs – Fujifilm is heading in the right direction. Perhaps this function will be expanded with upcoming firmware updates? It would be desirable.

Fujifilm X-Pro3: The two SD card slots now support the rapid UHS-II speed with up to 300 MByte per second. Image: Fujifilm

Photo gallery: Fujifilm X-Pro3 including practice photos

Fujifilm X-Pro3: (K) cross the cross

The acceleration of the SD card slots is also noticeable, because from now on both slots work with the rapid UHS-II standard and deliver data rates from theoretically up to 300 MByte per second. The change from Micro-USB to USB Type-C also sounds positive, it can also be used to charge the camera or connect headphones. It is a little surprising that Fujifilm continues to rely on the rather unusual 2.5-inch jack for the microphone input.

Just like the omission of the control pad. You can get used to moving in the system menu or within the image gallery using a mini joystick or swiping gesture on the touchscreen. However, the fact that this also causes four function keys to jump over the blade, less so. The remaining three “Fn” buttons are not enough for some photographers; going through the touchscreen to activate four more functions is actually out of the question. Finally – we remember – the Fujifilm-X-Pro3 user first has to fold out the screen.

Fujifilm X-Pro3: Not for everyone

Accordingly, the X-Pro3 leaves mixed feelings. The DSLM comes with all sorts of important innovations compared to the previous model. However, a few design elements prove to be more of a return than an advance. The e-ink display is certainly an interesting and outstanding feature. In practice, however, it is of little use. In view of the many dials, having the current settings displayed looks a bit fake; to display the selected filter simulation more like a gimmick. In addition, the fact that four function keys are missing due to the omission of the control pad is a problem.

So that we don't get ourselves wrong: The Fujifilm X-Pro3 proves to be an excellent camera with very good image quality, great functions and a charming housing in the style of an analog camera. But that already applies to the X-Pro2. It is correspondingly difficult to guess at a change. And around 1. 900 shell out just for a new filter simulation as well to get subtle optimizations in viewfinder, autofocus and continuous shooting? Rather not. But if you do not yet have an X-Pro camera, you should probably go for the newer model. And who then still more 200 On top of that, the robust “Dura” edition gets, according to the manufacturer, ten times harder housing material in black-gray and black-silver.

Leaderboard: All Fujifilm-X lenses tested

Photo gallery: Fujifilm X-Pro3 including practice photos

Moritz Wanke

Moritz Wanke

Moritz Wanke is the editor-in-chief of the photo magazines CHIP FOTO-VIDEO and N-Photo. He has been enthusiastic about photography, especially in the people area, since analog times. His focus is on testing and technology of cameras and photo accessories.




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