The X-Pro Range – What Next?

Scroll down to content

Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:

Part 103: The X-Pro Range – What Next?

An exciting week just went by in Fujifilm camera land.

As you’re no doubt aware, Fujifilm just announced the X-H1.

I’ll spare you a copy/paste of the spec, and I personally haven’t had my hands on one to test.

However, here’s the link to Fujifilm’s website that lists all the features.

Fujifilm’s X series isn’t quite a spring chicken any more… My daughter will be six this year (and the cat will be eight, which some how makes me feel even older) and the X-Pro1 predates her (but not the cat!).

That said, what a huge amount of progress Fujifilm has made in that time, from a single body with three primes, to – well I’ve actually lost count of the number of lenses and bodies etc! We now have a camera who’s headline grabbing colossally desirable feature is IBIS, (not to be confused with the undesirable colonial condition IBS), IBIS which stands for In Body Image Stabilisation is a feature that allows you to shoot at lower shutter speeds, by allowing the sensor to effectively float about a bit so that the minute vibrations of the human body don’t cause a blurry image when using a slow speed shutter handheld.

The X-H1 also features various other upgrades, such as an increased resolution EVF with less black out time and superior AF speed to incumbent Fujifilm bodies.

There’s also a new film simulation, called Eterna

The build quality has been improved by using a “25% thicker alloy” for the body and a 8H scratch resistant paint (8H is, give or take, about as hard as quartz).

I’ve given you a very superficial list folks, there’s a lot of refinement going on, but I’m not here today to talk about the X-H1.

Nope! I’m here today to speculate, with ZERO insider info about what all this might mean for the X-Pro3. Assuming such a creature comes to exist.

I wonder what Fujifilm might have in store for the X-Pro3….

If you take away any single thing from this missive to Fujifilm, please let it be this: For me… The X-Pro range has always been about the hybrid VF.

You see for me… (SO SERIOUSLY, YMMV) I’m starting to feel that Fujifilm have ever so slightly lost their way with the X-Pro range…

I think my love of the X-Pro cameras needs no reiteration.

And I realise I speak only for me, not for you.

But it seems (to me) that the original end user compliment that was aimed at the X-Pro range has become diluted.

That original compliment could perhaps be summed up as Fujifilm put the fun back into photography

Now of course what people do for fun, varies, from a wild night out to a quiet night in (or even a quiet night out and a wild one in)

But when it comes to using a Fujifilm camera, I personally think the fun lies in the external controls, the ease of use, and the desirability to go out and shoot – I think these feelings are further underpinned on the X-Pro range by knowing we’re using something a bit special and unique, that no one else really offers.

That’s not to say that umpteen dozen modes and features smeared across several menu pages isn’t without use, isn’t without necessity and certainly isn’t without function.

It’s just not fun.

This is NOT going to be an article about, we should all have simple cameras if we all wanted simple cameras, then we could all go out and… I dunno… buy a Leica or a ten year old Nikon or something.

Equally this ISN’T going to be a piece denouncing complexity and features, they’re important

It just seems to me that Fujifilm are closing a niche. Every FW update we’ve had for the X-Pro2 has taken it closer to the spec of the X-T2.

If we wanted (say) all of the X-T2 features, would we X-Pro2 owners not have bought one?

Personally I quite fancy an X-Pro3 with a 25% tougher body and the EVF component of the viewfinder to be a 3.69m dot OLED unit.

I’m not so convinced I want lots of different AF tracking modes on my documentary and street orientated camera.

If I wanted both types of camera, I’d actually entertain the idea of owning both, rather than a single unit that’s neither one thing or the other. The idea of owning both has more appeal to me when I consider I’d only need one set of lenses.

The USP of the X-Pro range has always been the hybrid VF.

First found in the X100, it truly came into it’s own on the X-Pro1, with bold and visible framelines and the ability to switch magnifications based on focal length.

The hybrid VF of the X-Pro2 owed much to the X100T and haemorrhaged a lot of the legibility of the X-Pro1.

The electronic range finder (ERF) of the X-Pro2 is only occasionally useful (YMMV) and introduces an annoying amount of shutter lag and an inaccurate histogram.

Perhaps it’s time for Fujifilm to really innovate the VF for an X-Pro3?

Perhaps the ERF part could be everything within the framelines, yet the part outside of the framelines remains optical?

Perhaps there’s a way to make a semi-transparent Heads Up Display (HUD) that allows you to overlay focus peaking on to the optical view of the world. (Savouring that thought at all legacy lens users?)

Don’t misunderstand me… the X-Pro2 is a great camera, the size, the feel, the heft, the amount of buttons, external dials and customisability are all about right. (A little more heft and better paint wouldn’t hurt though)

But let’s not get away from the original concept.

I PERSONALLY don’t want to see the guts of the X-H1 (or X-T3) shoe horned into an X-Pro3.

I don’t want my X-Pro3 to be trickle fed features that are already found on different Fujifilm cameras.

I don’t want my innovative hybrid VF to be a parts bin carry over from last years’ camera


I want the original concept adhered too, I want a class leading VF solution, that blends optical and electronic tech together as seamlessly as Fujifilm did with their shutter dials and aperture rings.

I want to feel that it’s still the 1990s, like I’m listening to smells like teen spirit and I’m shooting with a camera that works like a film one, whilst simultaneously using a decidedly modern 21st century capable product.

I’d like to see Fujifilm ignoring those that complain that the X-Pro doesn’t do what an X-T does because those people bought the wrong camera, you can’t (nor shouldn’t) feel you have to resolve that.

The release cycle of the X-Pro range seems to run at a slower pace than that of the X-T line.

That’s ideal.

That means us X-Pro folk want to buy a “pride and joy of ownership” type of camera.

We don’t want to bounce around the merry-go-round of the X-T / The Sony / The Olympus (or whoever else DPR gave a gold star for ‘most tech crammed into a camera’ to this month)

I think the X-Pro range is designed for a smaller number of people than the X-T range, and I sincerely believe that those people would rather have their narrower operational range of digital rangefinder mirrorless camera desires completely quenched than they would having a watered down X-T or X-H type camera.

I know I would.

DON’T GET ME WRONG keep the tech coming, make a camera with 10 stops of IBIS and 46 AF modes. But please understand that some of us either don’t really desire all of that, or are quite happy to own a super-duper high tech Fujifilm and a more traditionally featured camera.

If it’s so important for Fujifilm’s marketing strategy and product placement to have all their cameras as fully loaded as possible.. then perhaps there should be way to disable and hide from the menu all the features of our choosing.

I appreciate the ‘my menu’ is a sort of inverse of this, except that we can’t put every single thing we want in the ‘my menu’

Fujifilm – you have the power, the resources and the know-how to cover this with separate products or with a clever operating system.

As I said some where near the start, if you dear reader take away any single thing from this missive to Fujifilm, please let it be this: The X-Pro range has always been about the hybrid VF. It’s time to drag this concept further into the 21st century. To make it the indispensable USP that it was when it first appeared.

What about you?

How would you like any X-Pro3 to be?

Just like an X-H or X-T in all but shape?

Or something that’s really a bit special and nothing like anything that’s already in existence?

Comment below, drop me a line, tap me up on social media.

I want to hear your thoughts

A lot of time and effort goes into this site.. Hopefully it’s helped you? Perhaps you’d consider helping me?

One way you could help me is if you want to buy from Amazon, if you do so using the links below, then I will receive a small percentage of your expenditure, and you will pay NO MORE than you would have paid anyway.

Shop at Amazon USA
Fujifilm X-Pro2 ¦ Fujifilm X-Pro2 Handgrip ¦ Shop for Fujifilm X-Pro ¦ Shop for Fujifilm X-T ¦ Fujifilm XF Lenses ¦ Fujifilm XF Acessories

Shop at Amazon UK
Fujifilm X-Pro2 ¦ Fujifilm X-Pro2 Handgrip ¦ Shop for Fujifilm X-Pro ¦ Shop for Fujifilm X-T ¦ Fujifilm XF Lenses ¦ Fujifilm XF Acessories

If there’s a different product you’re considering, then perhaps you’d drop me a line and I can send you an associate link for it?

Another way you could help, is by making a donation. The donate button can be found on the link below


Thank You Very Much!

The X-Pro Series Content: Referenced and All In One Place

7 Replies to “The X-Pro Range – What Next?”

  1. I’m totally with you here, Adam. The optical (hybrid) viewfinder is what brougth med to the fujifilm system back in 2011 with, at first, the X100 – and then the next year the X-Pro1. I don’t want/need any other type of camera …

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope as you do that Fuji holds to original thoughts on the X line. At least part of it. I switched with the Xpro 1 from Nikon. I am a pro of over 30 years, shooting now editorial and luxury lifestyle. I would love to see a minimalist Fuji body, like original Xpro. No video necessary. Decent amount of focus points. Like the idea of evf with optical boundries. A real photographers camera meant for a single frame at a time. That is what I trained my eye for these many years.
        A rugged body, no frills needed. Maybe even no rear LCD, just ability to view in viewfinder.
        A viewfinder built for primes exclusively, even if for only semi wide to mid tele. I don’t need to edit or process in camera, that’s why I have this ridiculously expensive computer. What do we really need to create great images. If you want all the gimmicks and features with ultra wide, super tele, stabilization, zooms, super shutter speeds and everything including the kitchen sink, there are other cameras in the fuji universe for you. Me, I’m just a photographer that wants a little more simplicity when I am working on my personal work. I am good enough to make my own decisions and use a tripod when I can’t hand hold. I’m one of those that believes a tripod is as important a part of image creation as the camera. As a 4×5 photographer for decades before digital, I like the slower approach to photography. To me its a serious craft, a thoughtful process to capture my world as I see it. My reasons for moving to Fuji began with these thoughts. It was a camera for photographers. Some did not appreciate the concept. I did. Atget, Kertez, Weston, Arbus, Evans and so many more didn’t have any automation or multi coatings yet created timeless imagery. Please Fuji, if you are listening, stay at least with one body, with your core mission to create cameras for photographers and not succumb to the pressure to be like others.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hi Jerry,

        I have to say that I agree with every word of that.

        I fear we may need to plan for the worst but hope for the best though…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: