Leica Q3

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Leica Q3 camera with strap

Over the last few years I’ve been enjoying photography as a hobby more and more. As I mentioned in my Two Years Later post, it scratches that creative itch that used to be filled with DJing gigs or making the podcasts. Thanks again, JLo. Yet another reason to cancel her.

Prelude: The X100VI Adventure

In April, after reading countless glowing reviews of the Fujifilm X100VI, I decided to order one. I dragged my friend to B&H one Sunday afternoon to ogle the display unit in the store. Mind made up, I placed an order. I knew there was going to be a pretty long delay because of all of the backorders. Since its launch in March, some pre-orders from February still hadn’t shipped. They told me that it could be anything from three to nine months for a delivery: a baby-sized wait.

After two months of waiting and constantly checking a Reddit thread dedicated to tracking the pre-order and delivery situation, I decided to give up on it and cancelled my order with B&H. Before cancelling, I tried all the workarounds: ordering from other countries, chatting with countless sales representatives from Best Buy every Thursday morning – the Reddit thread will explain why – and even considering buying it at an inflated price from eBay scalpers.

The X100VI is probably the most popular camera launch in history. It’s rumoured that there were 500,000 preorders and the factory can only produce 15,000 units a month. Made popular by TikTok and Instagram, it seems everyone, everywhere and all at once, wanted this same camera. Partly because of its brilliant underlying tech but mainly, I suspect, because it looks retro and has all sorts of retro photo filters built-in which make it very fun to shoot with. It’s almost designed to be a Leica replica.

Enter Leica

Ever since discovering Leica Camera many years ago and reading about their superior technology, build quality and lens systems I’ve always coveted one. The only trouble was that such great quality comes at a high price. The X100VI was probably always going to be a stepping stone to a Leica for me so when that wasn’t going to work out I decided to finally take the plunge and get a Leica of my very own.

I decided to go for the Leica Q3. It’s their latest rangefinder-style, fixed-prime, full-frame camera. It’s got the aforementioned fixed-prime 28mm lens with f/1.7, a 60 megapixel sensor and can shoot video at 8K, as well as many other technical doodads. If you don’t know what any of that jargon means, just know that this is cutting edge stuff.

It’s also in very high demand right now and is on backorder at most of the online retailers. So I called the Leica store one Tuesday afternoon and was told that if I could come in that day, they’d keep one for me. Many calculations, texts with photography friends, and anxious pacing around my apartment later, I decided to, as Céline Dion would say, go for it, and headed to the store.

And one eye-watering credit card charge later – though, think of the points – I had it. All those years longing for one and now I finally had it. I’m honestly blown away by how good it is. I can’t get enough of holding it and admiring the build quality, the materials, the feel of it in my hand, and that’s before even taking any photographs.

I’m still getting used to it and learning a lot. I still have a lot more to learn. I’ve booked a photography course with Leica which should hopefully give me more confidence and understanding of what the technology is really capable of once you know what you’re doing. Most of all, I’m looking forward to using it as a tool, enjoying a fun hobby and getting out and about. Keep an eye out here for more photographs soon.

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