Andy, xor Andrew

Professional software developer / hobbyist street photographer
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📷 First time out with the XPro 3

After a few years of shooting with the X-T20, I’ve swapped up to the X-Pro3.

For my first outing with this camera, of course I chose Pike Place Market. It’s surely the easiest place in Seattle to be a street photographer. People are comfortable, having fun, and cameras are everywhere.

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I haven’t shot around Pike Place Market in a long time; even before the pandemic, I’d walked up and down that market so many times that it was starting to become too familiar. But after a year inside, with the forecast looking nicer for both weather and the pandemic, and with a shiny new camera to play with, Pike Place was the obvious choice.

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So, how do I feel about the X-Pro3?

Honestly, I think I could get the same quality of photo out my former X-T20. The sensor is near enough the same.

But the experience of shooting the X-Pro3 is certainly more fun. I believe the X-T20 is sturdy and well built, but the X-Pro3 makes it seem like a cheap toy in comparison. This thing was definitely designed for much more talented photographers than I, who demand much more from the instrument. The controversial body of this camera presents you with a direct challenge: get out there. Take some shots. No chimping. Eye through the viewfinder. Click away.

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Another much-touted feature of this camera is the film simulations. Of course, all X-series cameras have this feature. But because of that cute little display on the back that shows your selected film simulation, it’s clear this camera wants you to relish that functionality. So for today’s photo walk, I shot entirely in jpg; no RawTherapee enhancements here. Just the camera’s own interpretation (well, with some tweaks to the defaults to get a bit more punch).

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One thing I’m not sold on yet is the optical viewfinder. As much as I try to force myself to use it, the real-time feedback provided by the EVF is simply too convenient to pass up. With the EVF, there’s no doubt if you’re missing focus, or over/under exposed. And despite the build quality of the camear, I’m concerned about the longevity of the motor that raises and lowers the EVF. Hopefully it is rated to last nearly as long as the shutter.

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Despite the challenges posed by 2020, it was still an interesting year to be a hobbyist street photographer, because you could document a society-wide change in behavior that, in our lifetimes, we’ve never seen before, and likely won’t see again. That being said, hopefully the remainder of 2021 also brings a society-wide shift back to normality at whatever pace is responsible.