Fujifilm X-Pro4 | A Letter of Hope
Nope, unfortunately this is not a review of the Fujifilm X-Pro4 – not even an initial one. And it can’t be, because this camera is not (yet) on the market. In fact, I don’t even know if an X-Pro4 will ever come to market or if Fujifilm is actually working on it.
The web is currently full of rumours that not only the X-Pro3 has been discontinued, but the entire X-Pro series. I wonder what to make of that. So, I’ll start with a quote that is often attributed to different authors – from Winston Churchill and Karl Valentin through to Mark Twain.
Forecasts are difficult. Especially when they concern the future.Unknown Author
Nobody except the people at Fujifilm and – if it is actually being developed – a few beta testers know anything about it at the moment. And at least I am not aware of any concrete rumours.
But why is this question so important to me? Quite simply because I only switched to Fujifilm because of the X-Pro(2) and also only because of the X-Pro series I don’t think about leaving again. But first things first…
The Magic of Fujifilm X-Pro
Yes, the X100 was the start of it all, and yes, for me too it was the entry into the Fujifilm world. I still stand by my statement that the Fujifilm X100V is the sexiest digital camera ever made. But the X100 was not the entry into the system, because the cameras of the X100 series aren’t system cameras.
The Fujifilm X-Pro1
Here I can make it easy for myself: I never bought the X-Pro1 because it really didn’t seem “consistent” enough to me yet. The faults and quirks that I easily forgave the original X100, I was not willing to forgive an X-Pro1. It didn’t even have dioptre correction, to name just one example.
The Fujifilm X-Pro2
My complete switch to the Fujifilm system happened immediately when the Fujifilm X-Pro2 came out. For me, this camera was the first perfect reincarnation or – more precisely – a modern and smart interpretation of rangefinder cameras.
The X-Pro2 is perhaps the most important camera of my (photographer’s) life. More than anything else, it really brought me back to (serious) photography. And it accompanied me on my four-month photographic project across Europe.
This amazing tool has been with me through thick and thin, experienced heavy rain, great heat and dust as well as it (and me too!) survived a motorbike accident – and it never let me down.
Even if you could see the traces of the strain on its body afterwards… 😉
For me, the X-Pro2 was like a natural extension of my arm – and an implementer of my photo ideas.
But as is often the case in life: the better is the enemy of the good. The Fujifilm X-Pro3 has continued this love for the X-Pro series… at least after a short familiarisation. 😉
The Fujifilm X-Pro3
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find the switch from the X-Pro2 to the X-Pro3 a little difficult. Sure, I was happy about the technical improvements. The X-Pro3 was much faster, the autofocus was much better and the EVF played in a different league. But there were two things that irritated me.
Like some others, I had to get used to the new (hidden) folding display at first. Today I don’t want to do without it! In my view, it is outstanding in its idea and simplicity. I love this one!
A little more annoying is the fact that the new hybrid viewfinder was not as good as the old one in the X-Pro2 – and unfortunately not as good as the one in the X100V. With my eyes, I can’t use the EXF and the OVF with the same dioptre setting.
And on top of that, the optical magnification for my most important focal length – 18mm – has gone. Unfortunately, all this has meant that I practically no longer use the OVF on the X-Pro3.
Apart from that, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 is and remains a sensational camera for me. For documentary and street photographers, perhaps one of the best on the market. Just my opinion… but again: The world is turning, and the development of digital cameras has brought forth great new things that I would not like to do without.
The Fujifilm X-Pro4?
As I said, I don’t know anything more than you do about it, which is nothing. But I really hope that there will be a Fujifilm X-Pro4. Just recently I invested heavily in renewing my system and bought four new lenses (XF23 1.4 WR, XF30 Macro, XF33 1.4 and XF56 1.2 WR) in addition to the new Fujifilm X-T5 – mostly as replacements for older stuff.
This was a commitment to the Fujifilm X system, so to speak, and happened in the hope that I would get another purely photographic sister with the same sensor alongside the X-T5. On the one hand, I would like to work with the same sensors within my system. On the other hand, despite my love for the X-Pro3, there are still a few points that could certainly be improved there.
X-Pro4 Wish List
My wish list for an X-Pro4 is surprisingly short. That also shows how close the X-Pro3 already is to my ideal camera. But a few improvements would make the camera almost perfect for me.
Things that definitely should be changed/updated/implemented
- IBIS (please!!!)
- The same 40-megapixel X-Trans 5 sensor of the X-T5/X-H2
- The same X-Processor 5 as in the X-T5/X-H2
- Update of the OVF (with 18mm POV or at least better optics)
Things that would also be nice to have
- Same battery as X-T and X-H line (if possible)
- Update of the EVF (but OK if not…)
Things that should stay the same
- The folding display!!! (but the small rear display can be left out)
- The form factor
- The arrangement of the controls
- The titanium body
I know that unlike the X100 series, the X-Pro series is certainly not as successful economically. The X-Pro cameras have always been niche products for very specific types of photographers. But for me, they are something like the soul of the Fujifilm X system – and soul is something you shouldn’t throw away lightly.
Would I part with my Fujifilm system in perspective if there was no X-Pro4? I don’t know, but to be honest, the chances of that happening would increase considerably.
At the moment I see this system as incomparably versatile. I can grab my X-Pro3 with the XF18 F2 and go on the road. This combination is as unobtrusive as it is lightweight. Or I could do a shooting or videos with the X-T4. And still have a large selection of lenses for both to realise other tasks as well.
Now that I’m using the X-T5, I’d like to have the same workflow again with the two different cameras – in terms of sensor and colour. And I would really appreciate an X-Pro4 with IBIS more than anything.
Dear people at Fujifilm, I hope the decision for an X-Pro4 has long been made and the camera is already in development or even testing. I will definitely want one…
There is always light somewhere – go out and shoot!