It’s been more than three years since Fujifilm introduced the X-Pro2 and much has changed since then. While the company was issued a handful of firmware updates to keep it relevant over its lifetime – adding 4K video, boosting the autofocus system and so on – these can only do so much to keep the model current.
Since then Fujifilm has fired out a stream of smashers across its wider camera portfolio – from the minuscule X-T30 mirrorless model and the X100F compact through to its GFX medium-format monsters.
The X-Pro2 has been around to witness all of their arrivals and we were quite confident that we’d see its successor soon enough. And how right we were, with Fujifilm confirming the development of the X-Pro3 at the company’s X Summit in Tokyo in September.
And we don’t have long to wait, with a clock on the Fujifilm website counting down each second to the official announcement on October 23. Without divulging too much, the Japanese camera maker did tease a few details, including a ‘hidden’ rear display and a redesigned viewfinder.
However, latest reports from reliable camera leaker Nokishita has stolen any surprises from us, revealing a document that reads like the press release for the upcoming retro rangefinder.
Between what we know officially and what we can gather from the rumor mill, we’ve listed what we can expect from the upcoming retro rangefinder.
Fujifilm X-Pro 3: pricing and availability
There’s no surprise party organized for the launch of the X-Pro3. After persistent rumors kept on harping about an October launch, Fujifilm has officially let the cat out of the bag, saying the new camera will be announced on October 23. As we mentioned earlier, there’s even a countdown clock on the company’s global website ticking down to the date.
While October 23 is when Fujifilm will unveil its next camera, it most likely will not go on sale immediately. Chances are the final units will begin shipping in November.
As for the price tag, we can only speculate that it will closely match the launch price of the X-Pro2, which came in at $1,699 / £1,350 / AU$2,699.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: design
Fujifilm gave us our first, very brief, look at the X-Pro3 in September, confirming previous rumors of the design changes the new camera will bring with it.
At first glance, it pretty much resembles the X-Pro2 but there are some major differences, particularly round the back.
As rumors have suggested, the X-Pro3 will lose out on the D-Pad and some of the buttons have been repositioned. According to a leaked document from Nokishita, the quick menu (Q button) functionality has been improved to display 4, 8, 12 or 16 icons.
The traditional 3-inch LCD display is also a goner – instead, there’s a two-sided flip frame with the actual LCD screen on the inner side, meaning it would be ‘hidden’ most of the time.
On the outer side, though, is a smaller 1.28-inch color LCD screen – made from toughened glass, according to Nokishita – that functions like the top-plate display on many DSLRs and pro-level mirrorless cameras, displaying important shooting parameters like exposure, aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings. You’ll also be able to preview images shots on Fujifilm’s film simulation modes on the outer screen, which will remain on irrespective of whether the camera itself is powered on or off.
You’ll need to flip that display frame over to reveal the actual LCD screen. This design idea, Fujifilm says, is to encourage photographers to think about composition more, rather than just pointing and clicking. It shares the same 1.62 million-dot resolution as its predecessor, but touch functionality now makes its way here.
Fujifilm has already announced that the camera body is made out of titanium, making it corrosion resistant. However, the leak from Nokishita adds that weather-sealing will be available at 70 different points. It has also been confirmed that the camera will be available in three different finishes – the classic black, a DURA titanium and DURA black. The last two constructs will feature an extra-strong DURA coating to make the body more rugged, increasing the camera’s scratch resistance ten fold, claims Fujifilm.
Rumors put the dimensions of the X-Pro3 at 140.5 x 82.8 x 46.1mm, and weighing 497g. That’s pretty much like its predecessor, which measures 140.5 x 82.8 x 45.9mm and weighs 495g.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: new viewfinder
Fujifilm has already disclosed that the X-Pro3 will come with a redesigned hybrid viewfinder.
According to the company, the optical component will offer a clearer view, with less distortion and a wider angle of view. The electronic variant will benefit from a higher refresh rate, a wider color space, better contrast and higher resolution than both the X-Pro2 and the X-T3.
While we were hoping that Fujifilm would use at least the 3.69 million-dot panel in its latest X-T line in the X-Pro3’s EVF, the leaked document from Nokishita goes ahead and leaks that resolution. According to the report, the organic EL panel in the EVF will boast a high contrast ration of over 1:5000, with a maximum luminance of 1500cd/m2. This will allow the finest of details in shadows and highlights to be displayed within the frame. EVF refresh rate is said to be 100 frames per second, but a Smoothness Priority option can insert a black frame between each for a smoother experience and effectively taking the refresh rate to 200fps.
The X-Pro3 could also feature an “electronic range finder” function which would display a small EVF within the optical viewfinder for when users want to check their settings.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: New sensor and processor
The X-Pro2 uses the previous-generation 24MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and older X-Processor Pro engine, rather than the 26.1MP sensor and X-Processor 4 engine we’ve seen inside more recent models. However, it seems like the X-Pro3 will keep up with the times, housing a 26.1MP back-illuminated CMOS IV sensor alongside the fourth-gen X-Processor engine.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: in-body image stabilization (IBIS)
One thing we don’t expect the X-Pro3 to sport is in-body image stabilization (IBIS), although there have been some rumors claiming that IBIS may make its way into the X-Pro3.
Currently, the only camera in the X-series to have this is the X-H1, a much larger and more expensive model, while it’s also in the new medium-format GFX 100.
Including such a system on a more junior camera is likely to have an impact on its overall size – and given that a number of X-series lenses already sport optical image stabilization, we reckon Fujifilm will stick with this to keep the camera as compact as possible.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: autofocus
As the X-Pro3 is predominantly a stills camera, especially one that likely lacks IBIS, improving the autofocus system would be important.
At launch, the X-Pro2 had 71 selectable phase-detect AF points – a firmware update improved that to 91 points. However, the fourth-generation X-Trans sensor does allow for more AF points to be spread across the entire frame – like the 425 individual points in the Single Point AF mode on the X-T30 – and we’d be surprised if the X-Pro3 came with less.
While we’re still not sure how many AF points we’ll have to choose from in the X-Pro3, the leaked Nokishita document says that Fujifilm has, apparently, improved the AF algorithm for the upcoming camera, potentially giving the it the ability to focus at -6EV, meaning it should be able to lock on to a subject in near pitch-black darkness.
The X-Pro3, according the leaked document, will also feature an autofocus range limiter which, until now has been a feature in some high-end lenses only. The ranger limiter on the new camera is said to have two preset values to choose from. When a particular value is chosen, the camera assumes you’re interested in subjects within that range, and will only attempt to focus in that distance. This improves AF speed and accuracy as the camera isn’t trying to guess where you want it to focus.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: video specs
A firmware update added 4K shooting capabilities to the X-Pro2, although that’s at 30fps. That’s about the least we expect from the X-Pro3, although it’s fair to assume that the new camera would be able to shoot video at 60fps, like the X-T3, especially if the rumors of it coming with the X-Processor 4 engine are true.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: shooting modes
Nokishita also claims that X-Pro3 will debut with a new HDR shooting mode that will combine multiple shots taken at different exposure settings into one to bring out every detail possible.
The camera will also be able to combine up to nine multiple exposures in the Additive, Average, Comparative Bright or Comparative Dark modes that were taken at different times and from different viewpoints. If you want to get creative, the document states that you can apply Fujifilm’s superb Film Simulation modes to each frame before combining for a multi-layered collage.
Speaking of the Film Simulation Modes: looks like Fujifilm has added a “Classic Neg” mode to the options which emulates images shot on color negative films, adding chromatic contrast to the results. A black-and-white adjustment function first introduced with with X-T3 and X-T30 cameras will also make its way to the X-Pro3, although it will now be called the Monochrome Color function. This should help you add warmth or cool tones to monochrome images.
And that is only just a few of the improvements made to the shooting modes in the X-Pro3, with features like “clarity setting” (to accentuate textures and outlines of subjects) and Grain Effect (to simulate film photography) also making its way into the menu options.
Fujifilm X-Pro3: connectivity
Considering all of Fujifilm’s latest cameras come with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, we’re expecting the same in the X-Pro3. And – if the latest Nokishita report is true – it looks like we might be getting a USB Type-C port (USB3.1 Gen1) for both fast file transfer and in-camera battery charging.