For a very long time I have been looking at the Fujifilm X-Pro3 as the “dream” camera. I already have a Fujifilm X-T2 and it has been absolutely flawless for years. The main motivator for switching is the “Classic Negative” film simulation, which is not available on the X-T2. For some reason I have just really fallen in love with the colors it produces. But also the look of the X-Pro3. To my eyes it is one of the most beautiful modern cameras ever made.


A year ago I bought a X-E4, in order to have a small camera that could use interchangeable lenses and have the “Classic Negative” film simulation. That relationship lasted about a week, then I returned it. I was so disappointed with the build quality and the sluggish software. I expected more, even from one of the cheapest cameras in the Fujifilm line-up.

It did however fuel the want for the “Classic Negative” film simulation that intensified after having tried it.


Finally a week or so ago I found a used X-Pro3 at the right price, from a camera shop. I had kept an eye on the used market for several months and when it suddenly appeared at a very good price from a camera store instead of a private seller, I took the plunge.

My initial impressions was positive. The build quality is top notch! Everything feels well built – just like my old X-T2. There is even a little upgrade in the fact that the front and rear “wheel-dials” are all metal on the X-Pro3 and they are plastic on my X-T2. So all good in the build-department.

But another thing that became very apparent – which of course I could have seen from pictures – is the fact that the X-Pro3 has a lot less physical buttons than the X-T2. The most notable omissions is the “D-pad” which would have provided 4 extra custom buttons. I like the minimal design of the X-Pro3 but even keeping with that, I still feel like it needs more customizable buttons.

Once I got memory cards from the X-T2 swapped into the X-Pro3 I attached my trusty 23mm F2 lens. I then programmed a few film simulation recipes into it and tried my way with a few of the customizable buttons, to get closer to the shooting experience that is so ingrained in my fingers, from the X-T2.


But almost immediately I noticed an issue. To test out different film simulations I shot several images of the same scene and just switched between them. But I noticed that the button I had programmed to switch between the custom recipes, became unresponsive for 3-5 seconds after having shot an image. Back from when I had the X-E4 I knew that the “Clarity” setting slowed down the camera and showed a “Storing…” message in the viewfinder after each shot. In this case however it was between film simulations where I had explicitly decided not to use the “Clarity” setting – and even then the camera became unresponsive for 3-5 seconds after each shot.

This is annoying as I never had that issue with the X-T2. I regularly shoot for instance a color and a black & white image of a scene. This can be done with no lag whatsoever of any buttons on the X-T2. This newer camera in comparison feels slower.

Having experienced this delay I actually contacted the seller about my possibilities of returning the camera. He was really kind and said that of course I could return it for 14 days. But the issue with unresponsiveness might be down to the memory cards. I researched a bit and found that indeed faster generations of the memory cards were available so I order new ones.

Once I received them I tested them in the X-Pro3 and to my surprise it actually helped. A bit. The images was clearly saved faster and the camera was not unresponsive for as long. But it still had a delay/lag of 2-3 seconds after each image that just annoyed me endlessly.

Need or lust?

The issues I experienced then made me reconsider whether I really needed to replace my X-T2.

There was no doubt that the images produced by the X-Pro3 was beautiful. Especially the “Classic Negative” recipe that I had longed for. But was it that much different? I could see from a “style” I had found to apply in Capture One on top of my X-T2 files to mimic the “Classic Negative” that it was actually quite close to the real thing.

I had also just recently shot some amazing images with the X-T2 of a celebration together with my family as well as some of the most amazing images from a winter holiday in Sweden. So how much did I actually need a new camera? I even started to convince myself that I might not even have produced as good images with the X-Pro3 as the “Classic Negative” film simulation is very specific and I feel like it would have created a whole different type of images which I think would not have made the same impact on me.

So earlier today I made the final decision and returned the X-Pro3.

I think my conclusion is that Fujifilm have shot themselves in the foot by creating such a good camera as the X-T2. It is almost impossible for me to find a newer replacement for it, without having to compromise. If I buy a new expensive camera, then I would like for it to be an update in all areas. For some reason that is very hard when the starting point is as good as the X-T2.


After this wall of text I think we need a few test shots from the X-Pro3. I only had it for a week, so the subjects or compositions are not the most exciting ones. But with the excuses out of the way, let’s look at a little gallery.

And finally a little “re-union” photo I took with my X-T2 after having spent a little extra time fine-tuning the recipes in that one. I have actually shot very little with the “Kodachrome II” recipe that this picture is shot with as I always find it too dark. But with +2/3 exposure it really made me fall back in love with the look – and camera of course.

Until next time, fall back in love with what you already have.