I'm pretty much still in the honeymoon phase with three different cameras. All three are Leica models. I like the SL2 for its projection of image quality dominance. I like the original SL for its almost indestructible build quality (and its panache that still shows after eight years in service). And I really like the Q2 for its compactness of purpose and its almost perfect design. I am amused to still consider that I am in the honeymoon period with the SL2 as it's been well over two years since I bought that camera. In the past my crushes on new cameras diminished to mere "confidence of purpose" within the first year and started out the second year as something "usable" while I looked around to see if there was something better. And at the end of the second year it was "ship jumping time" even if the grass wasn't much greener anywhere else.
There are some brands though that keep nipping at my consciousness and imploring me to give em another try. And then there are some, like the Sony A7 series, that I consider unusable and unloveable. Like milk that's been in the fridge for months. Or a car that keeps breaking down on lonely highways. While no Sony has left me walking into the next small town looking for repairs they just aren't cameras that inspire me to do fun work. Or any work at all. I'm sure lots of people like them. I'm sure lots of people can point to good photograph which have been taken using them. But I'm equally sure that some number of people also sung the praises of the Pontiac Aztec while it was on the market...
I often wonder if I've overlooked some brand that might have finally perfected its offerings enough to give the Leicas a run for their money where I am concerned. Here are the ones I actively think about when I should be thinking about keeping the car in the correct lane, or pouring steaming hot water over fresh coffee grounds, or handling explosive materials, or trying to fix my own refrigerator...
There are actually two different Fuji APS-C cameras that I've been following since their introductions. One is nudging closer and closer to the dangerous, "What could it hurt just to try one, along with one, single solitary prime lens?" That would be the Fuji X-Pro3. I know the sensor would make great images because, if I remember correctly, it's the same sensor used in the XT-3. That was a camera I used a lot and enjoyed very much. The appeal to me of the X-Pro3 is the rangefinder styling and the overall design of the camera and the controls. I've always enjoyed top mounted shutter speed dials and also EV dials. The camera looks sleek and beautiful while also giving an extensive nod to "retro" fashion. That body with something like the 35mm f2.0 lens, or the even more whimsical 35mm f1.4 lens would make a great "artist's" camera and I wouldn't mind walking around shooting with one.
I imagine that I will pick up one eventually but I'll most likely have to wait for a year or so. They currently seem to be back-ordered everywhere and I figure they won't tumble into the aggressive used market for at least that long (a year or two) around the time when most lukewarm hobbyists give up cameras and photography altogether and turn their attention to riding lawn mower races or goading Europeans about their banking habits.
The advantages of the X-Pro3 for me are the eccentric and happily silly flip down rear monitor screen with its illustration of film types on its rear panel when closed. That and the ability to actually use the camera like a rangefinder; not necessarily for focusing but for viewing directly. I'm sure you'll read a review of this product here long after the review might have been useful. Kinda like the Leica SL.... (circa 2015).
The next Fuji camera on the list is one of the latest ones. The XT-5. As I said, I liked the overall handling and image quality of the XT-3 but I traded it away because I was convinced, at the time, that I "needed" a more video extensive model. The XH-1 was close but plagued with audio issues. I moved on.
But now I don't really give a crap about video production, would rent a real video camera if needed, and kinda love the idea of an upgraded and even more capable version of the XT-3. Fuji has solved so many of the issues I had with the older camera. Bigger battery and more shots per. A nicer, higher res viewfinder. I'd be torn though by also thinking about the XT-4 which used the older 26 megapixel sensor and I always seem to like the files coming from lower res sensors better; all those things the same.
The XT-5 has some allure but really, it's the X-Pro3 that will probably find itself nestled in my shopping cart. I'd be interested to hear from past or current owners as to why they bought it and if they still use it.
Another brand/model of camera that constantly shows up in the hands of satisfied, serious photographers is the Nikon Z6ii. Nice, 24 megapixel sensor, nice body styling and size. And, according to many, a really nice and super performing 50mm f1.8. My favorite focal length and not so fast as to be a compromise between speed and performance or speed and handling. I was always pretty happy with older, DSLR Nikons I owned, as far back as the D2HS and the D2X cameras but also the full framers like the D700, D800e and the D810. My only problem with the later, higher res models was the angsty frustration of trying to get lenses to focus accurately. So many were either front of back focusing. When correctly dialed in the whole system of camera and lens was great. But getting there could be a nightmare. Of course, one of the many great things about mirrorless cameras is the accuracy of focusing. In fact, I think if I ever ended up ditching the L mount cameras two of the Nikons would be top choices as replacements. They are small and light, have good battery life, nice screens and pretty files. Nice color science.
Those would be the Z6ii and the Z7ii. A couple of good zooms and that 50mm to start. But, as I said above, still in the honeymoon period with various Leicas...
Last in today's list of cameras I'd like to at least try out would be the Ricoh GR111x. Most people seem to like it because it's small. A lot of people like it because they find the lens to be quite good. I think I would like it because I think someone finally got the right focal length lens on the front of a point and shoot camera. A 40mm equivalent. It would harken me back to the days when I started out shooting with a Canonet QL17 camera and how much fun that focal length was (and still is) for me.
Sure, the battery life is shorter than a cup of hot coffee in a snowbank and sure, there isn't a nice EVF, but you can get a nice bright line finder and there is something to be said for a camera you can take with you just about anywhere. Even in the pocket of your tightest disco pants. If you are so inclined.
I wonder how many of you have picked up the GR111x and what your thoughts about it are. Inquiring minds attached at the hip to credit cards want to know....
Next time we might want to cover some current lenses that whet the appetite. There are a few that keeping falling in and out of my online shopping carts. Now just waiting to see what the tax bill will be like before I pull the trigger. If I can even afford to trigger a purchase in the first place.
Be well. Stay refrigerated. Demand good service. Pay your full share of taxes so I don't have to shoulder your shortfall.