This is not a review. You’ll find no beautiful photos made with this camera. I haven’t even touched the Fuji X-T3 at this point. But I want to, oh boy do I want to. This camera needs to be in my bag right now… or does it?
G.A.S. – The disease infecting photographers everywhere.
Let’s talk about having G.A.S. for just a minute. In case you weren’t aware of the term, G.A.S. stands for “Gear Acquisition Syndrome”. It’s the sneaky syndrome that can send photographers down the path of hiding credit card receipts from their spouses. Not a great place to be, though I must admit I’ve never been there. Honesty is always king in our relationship.
That’s not to say that new gear is a bad thing at all, or that geeking out over the latest releases is somehow a sin. Trust me, every artist out there gets excited when new tools are made available. Not to mention that sometimes a little gear talk is needed to help us mentally relax when we are deep into artist mode.
What’s so special about the Fuji X-T3?
Disclaimer time: I AM NOT sponsored, endorsed, or other wise compensated by Fujifilm in any way, shape, or form. This is simply my opinion based on being a long time Fuji X series camera user that finds the gear they make really fits the way I shoot. Not just fits, but fits perfectly. Your mileage may vary.
Simply put, they’ve really updated a ton of stuff with the “guts” of the camera that seem to have made a big difference. Increased dynamic range with a backlit image sensor, faster autofocus speeds, etc., etc.. Fuji has been working hard to keep their loyal fanbase happy. They are known for listening to their photographers and doing their best to implement features and technology to meet the demands of their users.
They also seem to be reshaping things a bit with their own camera line-up. Addressing the needs of video shooters by releasing the X-H1, the high quality demands of medium format photographers with their GFX line, and of course the needs of pure stills photographers with the X100F/X-Pro 2/ X-T3 line. It’s a bold and clever move that flies in the face of the recent “Full Frame Mirrorless” train that is being run by Sony, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic and the like.
It’s something I really admire about Fuji, the fact that they are very comfortable with who they are and what they do, and they block out all the other noise in the social media sphere and focus on being the best at the things they do.
And they are killing it.
So when am I getting my new X-T3?
Well, that’s the thing. While this camera looks amazing, the real world reviews I’ve been reading are raving about how amazing this new camera is, the actual images being shown are truly fantastic, I haven’t decided if I want to buy it just yet.
Let me explain.
- I’m not a professional photographer. At least by the definition of “professional” meaning that I make the majority of my living from my photography. I make none of my living from photography in fact, it’s a passion and hobby I enjoy immensely.
- Being I’m not a professional photographer means I work on limited funds available to sink into my gear. If I’m going to spend hard earned cash on new gear I better have a damn good reason to do so. It could be to replace something that has worn out or broken, or maybe I am selling old gear to pay for the new gear. But I have to fight G.A.S. and the impulse to just have the latest and greatest.
- I try to approach my photography and gear from a standpoint of staying needs based. Meaning if I don’t NEED it, I don’t buy it.
The thing is, camera manufacturers are releasing new gear so often that we get sucked into the idea that when the new gear comes out the old gear becomes obsolete. While that may be in part due to the invasion of computers in our every day lives, it isn’t necessarily true in the world of cameras.
Just because the X-T3 is announced, Fuji didn’t send an EMP to completely hatch my trusty pair of X-T1’s I’ve been using since they launched. They did what I needed them to do just fine yesterday, so today’s announcement hasn’t made them inadequate or unusable.
Gear is just a tool in your toolbox, it’s your vision that makes the photograph.
We don’t replace a hammer every time a new model comes out, so why do we feel the need to do it with our cameras? That hammer we’ve used for years is still pounding nails just as good as it did when we bought it, only now it feels familiar in the hand.
It’s broken in and has character.
Over time it’s become a natural extension of our hand when we use it. My X-T1’s are the same way, well used, broken in and still allowing me to make the photographs I want to make. Getting the new X-T3 isn’t going to make me a better photographer or magically have me making better photos. The gear is a tool in my toolbox, a way to translate that which I see into a final image.
The symptoms of G.A.S. are real, however.
Even though I know my X-T1’s didn’t magically go bad over night, why do I find myself pulled so strongly to jump to an upgrade with the X-T3?!
It sure looks like an amazing tool that I’d LOVE to add to my toolbox. Like I’ve said before, you’re going to get nothing but honesty from me here.
As such, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I could have an X-T3 in my camera bag right now. I’d love to be an Official X Photographer, so I could have had a chance to really check this camera out. It’s highly unlikely that will ever happen, million to one odds, but if Fuji came knocking you can be sure I’d answer with a resounding YES.
Someday I’ll need to upgrade. My X-T1’s will begin to wear out and need replacing.
On that day the X-T3, or whatever camera is out at that time, will become my new trusted tool. Until then my current familiar tools will stay in hand as I try my best to squash the symptoms of G.A.S. that have hit me SO hard today.
Want to see more about the Fuji X-T3?
Check out the terrific article by my friend, Bryan Minear. It’s a fantastic example of what a camera review should look like. Real world experiences surrounded by loads of fantastic photographs created with that camera.
You can also check out a similar style review from the always wonderful Jonas Rask. Some of the most amazing gear porn you’ll find and his review of the X-T3 has another huge gallery of photographs made with Fuji’s newest X offering.
In the meantime, here is some recent work that I’ve been having a blast creating with my ancient, obsolete, Fuji X-T1’s. I’ve been having fun just letting myself explore more visually as I also continue to work on a few long term projects. The best part is that I’m really happy with the results of this visual exploration and play time as well. But dang, I’d sure love that silver X-T3 in my hand.
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