After two years of exclusively using the X100 series, I felt that I had reached a certain limit with these cameras and their fixed lens. A 35 mm equivalent focal length was often not wide enough for larger cityscapes, but also not narrow enough for certain street scenes. I ended up buying the two add-on lenses and I did use the wide angle converter frequently enough, but the teleconverter was way too large and heavy. The lack of a tilting screen and the poor subject tracking made shooting my then two-year-old kid increasingly frustrating.
Having reached what I felt was my limit with the X100F, I considered my options. Every interchangeable lens camera would be bulkier and heavier no matter what. So I figured I might as well buy a large and ergonomically well-designed camera with a nice and large viewfinder. The viewfinder on the X100T/F was a bit cramped, especially with glasses. I also wanted to play around with vintage lenses, so my choice fell on the Fujifilm X-T3. It seemed like the perfect camera (they are never, though).
The X-T3 was a great camera. It was well-designed with lots of control dials and buttons. It had a large and comfortable viewfinder that worked really well for me and my growing collection of vintage lenses. Holding this camera was a joy and it allowed for slow and deliberate photography. Subject tracking worked well enough for my toddler but I soon became quite good at snapping her with manual focus. I am not going to talk about image quality. Almost all cameras from the last seven years are probably good enough for most people. Certainly good enough for me.
I also had quite a bit of luck finding this camera. I bought one used from a photo store without really knowing much about its condition. But it came with a one-year warranty and two weeks no questions asked return policy. My copy came with lots of spare batteries and thought that this camera had surely seen a lot of use. But in fact it was in practically new condition. There was zero dust anywhere on the viewfinder, no scuffs or scratches, fingerprints or dirt. The shutter count was zero. Someone must have bought the camera as a spare and just kept in a desk drawer somewhere.
I took lots of pictures with it and I experimented with a lot of different focal lengths, vintage and modern manual lenses. I also experimented with even more JPEG recipes until I felt the sheer choice of them overwhelming me and began to develop my own 3 to 5 go-to recipes. Likewise, I also took advantage of the large viewfinder to try out old and maybe obscure and cheap lenses. All in all, my time with the X-T3 was an experimental time which looking back I very much appreciate. The camera helped me in finding a certain purpose in my photography.
Pretty soon, I realized that my "size does not matter" attitude was flawed. I had many occasions when carrying the X-T3 was simply not possible. I did not have enough space, or carrying it all day long over my shoulder would become very uncomfortable. This also coincided with my kid no longer requiring a stroller, on which I usually carried my camera gear around. Now I had to carry everything in a backpack or sling, and more often than not I had to carry my child as well while the large camera bounced around.
I also found that I never really used all the dials and buttons. In fact, I did use only one dial (plus the aperture ring on the lens) and maybe two or three buttons. I never needed two card slots and I did not handle large telephoto lenses, mostly using small primes. The camera was too large and heavy (for me, at least) to take one-handed snapshots. It was uncomfortable to shoot via the back display because of its weight and bulk.
I used the Fujifilm X-T from 2020 to 2022 and took (kept) 800 photos. Many of which I really like.