May 24th, 2024


Three women wade in a mountain lake under a blue sky
Lava Lake

I've got a trip to San Francisco coming up, and I'm taking a few days in the city after the business part is over. I had this trip on my mind when I ordered my X100VI, but I don't expect to see that until fall, if then.

The last time I went I took my X100V, and that'd be a fine choice this time, too, but there is a certain restlessness upon me, and I've got this GR IIIX sitting here. It is probably the most underused digital camera in my collection (well, minus a little Sony that it is impossible to forge a sense of connection with).

Monochrome. People walking small dogs as passengers board a nearby bus.
Dog walkers

It's an oddball: Its most direct competitor for my attention is going to be an X100 of whatever kind.  I much prefer sighting through a viewfinder to a rear display. I much prefer knobs to buttons and little switches.  I fixed the viewfinder part by buying an optical viewfinder that goes in its hotshoe, but I need more practice with Snap Focus (which is to say "assisted zone focusing") before I'd go all in on the OVF.

A hand holding a credit card peeking out from behind a POS screen

If I were being completely rational, I'd probably sell it.

However, I am not completely rational about cameras. Every one I own has some piece of the puzzle or something compelling to offer, so I tend to hold on to them. The GR IIIX's interesting features are its size -- literally pocketable in a pants or hoody  pocket -- and the Snap Focus feature. Things that further keep it in contention: The sensor and lens are great, and for being very button-driven the ergonomics and UI aren't bad.

A woman looking over the top of a rangefinder camera

Oh, right ... also it has IBIS. So while the X100V is my most preferred form factor, there's some appeal in that, given I really love street photography at night. 

And, finally, there's just "how does it feel," and something I really like about it is the way its small size but capable specs come together to create a very loose, easy feeling when I have it out. Part of that is knowing that it will not read at all as anything other than a harmless little thing to people who go on alert around a camera. If I choose to trust Snap Focus or just keep my movement easy and loose, it might even look like a phone at a glance. 

Okay. Think I may have sold myself.