What is the FujiFilm X-Pro 3?
Fujifilm’s X-Pros are its series of rangefinder-style, APS-C mirrorless cameras, and the Fujifilm X-Pro 3 is expected to be released sometime in 2019.
It’s a possible alternative to the excellent Fujifilm X-T3, though X-Pro ergonomics are a little different – these cameras’ hybrid viewfinders have real benefits for those who want to see around the frame as they shoot.
FujiFilm has made no official X-Pro 3 announcements yet, but there are a few fairly solid rumours – and a believable hint at its release date.
In this round-up of all the latest FujiFilm X-Pro 3 news, we’ll start with the strongest tip-offs, and then move into a few features that will almost certainly appear.
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FujiFilm X-Pro 3 price and release date: when will it be announced and how much will it cost?
Serial Fujifilm camera rumour mill Fuji Rumors wrote in May 2019 that the Fujifilm X-Pro 3 will be announced or released in October 2019. It cited a “new source”, an unnamed one.
This does not directly correlate with the X-Pro 2’s announcement. It arrived in January 2016, not October, but this is no surprise when we’re dealing with a range not updated all that regularly.
Fujifilm has launched X-series camera in October before, but not since 2013’s X-E2 and XQ1. The timing makes sense, though – it marks a little over a year since the FujiFilm X-T3 arrived.
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FujiFilm X-Pro 3 design: what will it look like?
The “Pro” in the name may make you think the X-Pro 3 would naturally be significantly larger than the X-T3. However, to date the Pro line has been different rather than flat-out larger.
FujiFilm’s X-Pro 2 is wider than the X-T3, but not quite as tall. And it is marginally thinner.
These differences are down to the X-Pro line’s rangefinder style. The X-T3’s viewfinder sits above the main body, roughly in the middle. The X-Pro has a viewfinder to the left hand-side, modelled after a Leica rangefinder.
In the X-Pro 2 at least, it can switch between modes as a normal electronic viewfinder and a far more unusual optical one. You look through a window with a wider view than your average camera lens, but an interstitial layer shows the image framing, so you can see what’s around the shot as you take it. This is particularly useful if you want to capture something that will move fast through the field of view.
How can Fujifilm make this hybrid hardware better? It seems unlikely it will change it drastically, as this is at the heart of the Pro series’s identity. Still, the EVF could certainly be improved.
The X-Pro 2 has a 0.48-inch LCD with a 2.36 million-dot resolution (1024 x 768 pixels). Fuji’s newer X-T3 has a 3.69 million-dot OLED EVF (1280 x 960). An upgrade to that level would be very welcome and entirely possible.
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FujiFilm X-Pro 3 features: what sensor and specs will it have?
Here’s a rundown of the most interesting rumoured features on the X-Pro 3:
Japanese camera blog Nokishita Camera noticed that a new Fuji camera had been registered at the bluetooth.com Launch Studio in early June 2019. Products going through Bluetooth certification appear on this site.
The listing does not mention “X-Pro 3”, of course. It is called the “FF180002”. But we do know this refers to a new camera. Previous Fujis that have shown up on Launch Studio include the “FF180006” X-T30 and “FF180003” X-T3.
Fuji’s X-T30 appeared there just over a month before its launch, and the X-T3 three months before its debut. It offers no clues to the exact launch window, but does suggest there’s plenty of time for an October 2019 release.
The listing does imply that the FujiFilm X-Pro 3 has Bluetooth connectivity, using version 4.2. Just like the X-T3 Bluetooth, it will likely let you transfer images to your phone without using much battery power.
IBIS, or in-body image stabilisation, is the most interesting X-Pro 3 rumour, if also the least credible. Fuji Addict reported about claimed leaked camera specs on Chinese social networking site Weibo, and they included stabilisation.
To date, only the Fujifilm X-H1 has offered in-body stabilisation, among mirrorless Fujifilms. The lack of it is one of the main reasons to buy, for example, a Sony A6500 instead. Lenses like the brilliant Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 do not have OIS so the shutter speeds you can reliably use handheld are limited.
Fujifilm has said it has not found a way to build IBIS into cameras like the X-T3. The X-H1 is significantly larger as a result of having IBIS. As great an addition as stabilisation would be for the X-Pro 3, we’re not convinced this one will pan out, yet.
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Fujifilm has a generational approach to sensors. The X-Pro 2 has an X-Trans III 24-megapixel APS-C sensor. Given our assumed release date of late 2019, the X-Pro 3 will most likely have the same X-Trans IV 26-megapixel sensor as the X-T3.
Higher sensor resolution at the same size class will mean the X-Pro 3 has smaller sensor pixels. But you can expect similar image quality between generations.
Fujifilm may fiddle with extended ISO modes to signpost an improvement in hardware, but X-T2 vs X-T3 comparisons suggest there’s not a huge stills quality difference between them.
4K 60fps video and AF
The newer tech should add one very important feature to the X-Pro 3, though: 4K video at 60fps. An X-Pro 2 lets you shoot at 30fps, but not the full 60fps Fujifilm added to cameras like the X-T3.
AF improvements are likely to be the most significant for stills, if in-body stabilisation does not pan out. The X-Pro 2’s focusing has actually improved since launch. A firmware update took it from 71 selectable phase detection points to 91.
But the fourth-generation X-Trans sensor provisions for phase detection across the whole of the frame. Its point-AF offers 425 focus points, or up to 117 in the zone AD mode. Something similar is likely in the X-Pro 3.
FujiFilm X-Pro 3 Early Verdict
Who wouldn’t want to see a new Fujifilm X-Pro camera? This range drips in charm, and it has been far too long since the X-Pro 2 launched.
Upgrades like a new sensor and 4K video seem obvious, almost too obvious. Our hope is FujiFilm has found a way to add IBIS/OIS to the camera. Add that to the range’s traditionally very likably ergonomics and we are onto a potential winner for street photography fans.
We’ll update this page as soon as we hear official news
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