During the Fujifilm x summit on 20 September 2019, in Shibuya Japan. Fujifilm announces the long-awaited x-pro 3. hyped up at sites likes fuji rumors, Street photographers waited for Fujifilm to show a new x-pro rangefinder camera at the X Summit in 2019. Officially introduced on 23 October 2019 we now know how the camera looks like and what features it will bring.
I find the x-pro 3 an exciting new camera. It is more an evolution than a revolution; it has some exciting new features. Of course, there is a new processor, a new sensor, a camera body made of titanium, a larger and brighter optical viewfinder (OVF) and an extra body color. But the most significant change is the lack of a back-facing LCD screen.
There is an LCD screen. It is a one-way, fold-down flip screen. It reminds me of the top-view, look down viewfinders of the Hasselblad, Rollei flex days.
Having an LCD screen provides the flexibility to change the menus and check your images when you have a quiet moment. But it has another much more significant advantage. By closing the screen, it forces you to stay in the moment and keep focus.
There are two sides to the discussion. Street photographers that hate the new x-pro 3 because it does not have an articulate foldable LCD screen. And the other side likes the new rangefinder camera.
A Purist camera?
It started with the Leica m10-d. A digital camera without an LCD screen. The possibility to view images on a smartphone or iPad with an app. It is providing a more analog feel, with all the benefits of a digital camera. I think Fujifilm would not go all the way and remove the LCD. Leica did not do the same for four generations of digital m cameras.
With a small screen at the back of the camera to show the camera settings and the chosen film preset. Including a new one called film negative.
The camera fits more with my style of photography. I am a firm believer of the one camera one lens philosophy. Or two camera‘s, two lenses. (I mainly use one camera, one lens) and I go deeper into this in another blog post.
But when photographing in the streets I am a firm believer in removing all distractions and getting into street photography focus. Using multiple lenses does not work because you lift yourself out of the moment. I never chimp. When you chimp the focus changes to the backside of the camera, you are losing connection with your surroundings, missing out on what is happening around you. Those moments will never happen again. They will be gone forever. You cannot change anything to the images already recorded. But by staying in the moment, you can capture more. If you did not capture the moment, it is lost, it will never happen again.
The x-pro 3 perfectly fits that style of photography, no chimping. You can review images while having a good cup of coffee when you are out of the moment. Or rid8ng the train or subway back after a day of street photography. If you have to change a setting, there is an LCD screen with menus. And you can photograph as low as on the street. While still be able to use the OVF (optical viewfinder) or EVF (Electronic viewfinder) for night images or precisely aligned photos.
The Fujifilm X-Pro 3 is just a tool, and it should fit your style of photography. But I like to have as little distractions as possible. Having an LCD screen on the back of the camera could also be a liability. It could scratch or break and while photographing you never use it. So why is it on there? For a ‘purist’, a camera is there to make photos! Capture and document that unique moment in time. There are a lot of photographers that want the latest and the greatest. They want Flippy screens, latest processors, all the bells and whistles that are possible. That is not for me. Keep it simple. Quick autofocusing or lenses with a zone focus scale that can be focused with minimal rotation. No shutter lag, no aperture dances. It is just social documentary, photographing what happens around you, street photography in its purest.
I cannot wait until I can photograph with the Fujifilm x-pro 3.