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Has the Fujifilm X-Pro3 made me a hipster photographer?

(Image credit: James Artaius)

When I heard the first rumors about the Fujifilm X-Pro3, I wasn't convinced. A camera whose main USP is that the rear flippy screen is backwards, to discourage me from chimping? Yeah… no thank you.

I remained staunchly unconvinced about the Fujifilm X-Pro3 (opens in new tab). After all, almost every camera I own has a fully articulating screen – so I can turn the flippy screen backwards and not chimp my photos without spending a penny, thank you very much. And for the ones that don't have that kind of screen, that's what duct tape is for. Not to mention that the camera has an electronic viewfinder, though admittedly you can turn that off as well. 

• The best retro cameras (opens in new tab) in 2022

Regardless, the more I played with it, the less cynical I became. Because the Fujifilm X-Pro3 is basically the closest a digital camera can possibly get to a film camera (opens in new tab). It's not just the chimping that it cures you of; when you flip the hybrid viewfinder from an EVF to a traditional optical affair, you no longer get the instant exposure feedback that mirrorless cameras are known for. 

Then there's the rangefinder design, which doesn't give you a through-the-lens viewpoint – meaning that the field of view is the same whether you're using an ultra-wide lens or a super telephoto. 

(Image credit: James Artaius)

All of which is basically an elaborate way of saying that the Fujifilm X-Pro3 does a great job at "analog-ing" the digital process. Everything that's great about modern mirrorless cameras – the instant chimping, the full-time live view, the electronic viewfinder – is stripped back and removed, giving you a much more SLR-like experience.

Indeed, with the rear screen closed, it even displays the kind of "film" you're shooting with, if using one of the brilliant film simulations – just like the old days, when you'd cut out a tab from the box of film and slide it into the back of your camera.

So why don't I just use an actual old film camera, with actual film, then? Because, I fear, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 has made me a hipster – or maybe a poser. I want the vibe, the kudos and the experience of shooting film, but with all the trimmings of shooting digital. 

And that's okay. I just hope it stops before I grow a silly moustache and start riding a fixie bike around Shoreditch.

Read more: 

Best Fujifilm cameras
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Best Fujifilm lenses
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Best mirrorless cameras
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Best DSLRs (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.