30 Days with the Fuji X-Pro3: Day 18

This shot completes the trio of images I’m posting that were taken with a vintage lens. For the most part, I don’t think that this is the best…or even a very good…way of shooting with the X-Pro3. The process is a little clunky, even with the great focus peaking on modern Fuji cameras. It’s fun for a change of pace, but it’s not a sustainable way of shooting…especially when you have so many wonderful X-series lenses at your disposal.

I will add one more positive to this approach before going back to posts with modern lenses, though. I’ve talked a lot in the past about having a “film mindset” when shooting. In short, I find I value the images I take more when I’m shooting on film. Part of this is a confirmation bias fallacy, I’m sure (i.e., I wouldn’t have taken the picture and paid for the film/development/scanning if it wasn’t a good picture!), but I’m convinced that part of it is real. I think this primarily comes from slowing down and being physically connected to more aspects of the creation of the image. When you have autofocus, auto ISO, etc. it’s easy to treat your camera like a super powerful point and shoot. There’s nothing wrong with that, but for me it doesn’t tend to result in as creative images compared to when I’m considering all the elements of the composition alongside all the elements of the camera itself.

As much as Fuji is nudging X-Pro3 users towards that film mindset, it’s still extremely easy to fall back on using it as a super powerful point and shoot camera. Sure, you have some built-in resistance to chimping after you take the shot since you have to flip down the LCD screen. And sure, you can use an optical viewfinder. But you still have autofocus, auto ISO/shutter speed settings, and you can very easily switch back to the EVF or take an extra second to flip down the LCD and check your shot…the fact that all those features are available means, in the vast majority of cases, I’m going to use them.

The X-Pro3 is a niche camera, but as I’ve reflected on it more and more over the last year I actually don’t think it’s niche enough. This isn’t a judgment on Fuji, since I’m sure they’re doing what’s right for their company by walking the line between making a statement and alienating too many customers with their flagship camera line. I just think that, for myself, I would be even more connected to this camera if they had gone as far as getting rid of the LCD screen entirely like Leica did with the M10-D or limited its function to only the menus…maybe even gotten rid of the EVF. I don’t know, though…it’s so difficult to achieve what Leica has done in terms of simplifying modern cameras down to their essence, especially when Fuji is also trying to compete against the hyper-modern Sony/Canon/Nikon lines.

I got off on a rambling tangent there, and I’m not sure I really have a conclusion to draw other than this uncertainty/confusion is representative of how I feel about this camera in general. I mostly love it, but also sometimes feel a little disappointed by it…not because of what it can’t do but because of what it can.

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