In life, there are certain unconventional things that you are not supposed to do because they go against established rules and common sense.
However, these same unconventional things can be done by entities who achieved a certain status allowing them to do so.
Gianni Agnelli would dress funny sometimes, but nobody really dared to challenge his taste because, well, after all he was Gianni Agnelli. So he could pull it out and do it with style, becoming a fashion icon altogether.
Taking the analogy, in the photographic world there is a similar power figure called Leica.
Leica can sell cameras that shoot black & white only. Leica can sell cameras that have no screen and a fake film advance lever. Leica can remove the logo from the camera, apply exquisite materials and eccentric paints, and call it a special edition.
And, guess what, Leica can do this all and have you paying a premium for this. Yes, pay more for less.
In short, Leica can do unconventional things that nobody else dares to do because, well, Leica is Leica.
Fuji X-Pro3 goes unconventional
A couple of days ago I had the chance to watch the X-Pro3 teaser video from Fuji and my observation is that Fuji feels they had achieved the power status enjoyed by Leica. And Gianni Agnelli.
So now they can go unconventional.
Firstly, the information shared by Fuji have absolutely no reference to technical specs. Image quality, the sensor that the X-Pro3 will use or the image processor. No information whatsoever. Technical stuff is irrelevant to Fuji now.
Instead, we are given information concerning the design features of the camera.
And those are now highlighted as if they were the most important things of the world and for photography: (1) a titanium body and the inherent manufacturing challenges; (2) new body colour schemes, with oh-so-stylish names; (3) a new, enhanced EVF; and
(4) the best of them all,
A hidden back screen that you have to flip open to use. Because, in its normal position, it’s closed and you will see no screen.
Let’s be honest, this screen is weird and not user friendly. But, guess what, Fuji knows it and says it’s been designed like this because they don’t want you to use the screen. They want you to use the viewfinder of the camera instead.
Sounds familiar? Like, the Leica M10-D that has no screen so you don’t get distracted and focus on pure photography?
This Fuji stunt feels very Leica-esque indeed. It’s the kind of polarizing stuff that will divide photographers: you either like it and think it’s genius, or you deeply hate it.
And now Fuji feels they can do this, because, well, they are Fuji.
And oh, when the screen is closed, there is a tiny little screen that can be used to show aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Or it can show the icon of the film simulation – like it’s been cut out of the card box and inserted into the slot, just like in the old days.
Yes, it’s smart and charming, puts a smile on my face, but how important is this for your photography?..
Actually it’s quite cool
Mind me, I’m grumbling here but I’m enjoying it. Seeing Fuji taking this direction it’s actually cool and refreshing.
Objectively, Fuji can do this with the X-Pro3 because they have enough conventional cameras in their current portfolio. So going a bit special with the X-Pro3 is an interesting way forward.
Apparently, the X-Pro3 will get the same 26MP sensor and image processor from the X-T3.
So there you go: if you are a conventional type of guy, you get the X-T3. Want to pull a Gianni Agnelli, then get the X-Pro3.
Fuji didn’t have the balls to remove the screen altogether à la M10-D, but, well, one step at a time, right?