Making the conversion from Nikon to Fujifilm

Making the conversion from Nikon to Fujifilm

When I went to New Zealand I knew that when I came back I would be considering making the conversion from Nikon to FUJIFILM. It now seems that will be happening.

Making the conversion from Nikon to Fujifilm

Making the conversion from Nikon to Fujifilm

A couple of years ago my friend Chris asked me if I would ever consider giving up my DSLRs and going mirrorless. I was surprised by the question. It wasn’t something I ever thought I would do. So, I said no. Why would I?

One of the main reasons at the time was the size of the camera. When I go out people seem to expect me to have a big camera. If your camera is small they think you aren’t a very good photographer. So to get respect from students I thought I needed that. The fact that I am older and larger meant I need to get as much credibility as possible. Sad, I know.

The other reason was that I didn’t really know enough about mirrorless. How could I convert to a system I didn’t know enough about.

Making the conversion from Nikon to Fujifilm

Learning about Mirrorless

I set about learning as much as I could. I tried a couple of camera companies and the only one that seemed willing to talk to me and help explain it all was Fujifilm. They were fantastic. So patient.

They helped me to understand that there isn’t a lot of difference between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera. We talked quite a bit and then I asked if I could borrow one to try it out. The answer was yes.

I was loaned the X-T2 with the XF10-24mm lens, along with the XF56mm prime lens. It has to be said that I did fall in love with them. When I had it I didn’t use my Nikon gear at all.

So when Chris asked me again if I would consider it, my answer became maybe.

Making the conversion from Nikon to Fujifilm

Trip to New Zealand

When I was planning my trip to New Zealand I asked FUJIFILM Australia if I could borrow the X-T3 and 3 lenses for the trip. The idea was that if I could do the trip with just the Fujifilm gear then I would need to consider whether or not to stay with Nikon.

Over the 16 days I was in New Zealand I didn’t miss my Nikon gear once. There was never a time that I thought I wish I had . . .

For me, that was great news. I loved using the camera and my back loved it too.

Making the conversion from Nikon to Fujifilm

Returning Home

It has been a few months now since I got back from my trip. Trying to work out what to do next hasn’t been easy. For me, the biggest problems with converting were, 1 how would I pay for it, and 2 what about my macro gear.

The only way I would be able to pay for it would be to sell a lot of my Nikon gear. Would I be able to sell enough to get what I wanted? How much could I sell? How many lenses would I need and what would I need.  So many questions and I couldn’t make up my mind.

The other problem is the macro stuff as I have so many different things to do macro that all fit the Nikon camera.

However, I have noticed the last few times that I have gone out taking photos and had to carry my gear for a few hours, it wasn’t comfortable. My back hated it.

One thing that didn’t bother me in New Zealand was how everyone asked my friend the photography questions. Her camera was bigger. I found it entertaining and I realised then I didn’t care about the size anymore.

Making the conversion from Nikon to Fujifilm

Approaching Fujifilm

I decided that the best thing to do was approach FUJIFILM Australia and see if I could do some sort of deal with them.

My dream has always been that a camera company, I thought Nikon, would give me a camera. That they would love what I do and want to support me. Though, I’m not at all disappointed that the camera company that has been the most supportive for me has been Fujifilm. I love the relationship I have with them.

If you haven’t guessed yet, then let me tell you how Fujifilm are sponsoring me with an X-T3 and the XF10-24mmF4 lens. They will be mine to keep. As part of the sponsorship they are supporting my solo show in October next year. I was told they loved what I’ve done with the camera in the past and especially New Zealand. I need to keep doing what I’ve been doing.

It is fair to say I am converted.

Making the conversion from Nikon to Fujifilm

Making the conversion from Nikon to Fujifilm

It is going to be easier than I thought. I will still have to sell some of my Nikon gear, but only to get a couple of lenses. I will probably keep my D800 and use it for Macro at this stage.

If I am making the conversion then I want it to be complete. Eventually, I will build on the macro side of Fujifilm as well.

I’ve been walking on the clouds since the phone call and I can’t wait to get the camera and lens. This is a dream come true for me.

Thank you very much FUJIFILM Australia and I hope you love what I do with the gear.


Fujifilm Australia logo


All images in this post were taken with Fujifilm cameras and lenses.


You might be interested in …


  1. Congratulations, Leanne. Well deserved on the sponsorship. As someone who has followed you and your work for a while, it is such an amazing thing to see – all that hard work and the different avenues of photography you have pursued paid off. I really enjoyed your New Zealand photos recently – they comes across as really sharp and they pop – and cannot wait to see where you are headed next with your art 🙂 Lovely to hear Fujifilm have been so patient with you, and that is a sign they respect your work and a good relationship. Once again, congrats 😀

    1. Thank you so much Mabel. I’m so happy about it. That’s good to hear that you enjoyed the NZ shots, it is such a beautiful country. I think it is going to be a great relationship. Thank you once again, and thank you for your support all these years.

  2. I too switched from Nikon got Fuji. I’m so glad I made the change. I love the tactile feel of the dials and knobs. I love the size of the equipment. But best of all I like the top quality images. Keep up the great work.

    1. I agree with all you have said Lane, I love the retro feel to it as well. Takes me back to my first camera. The size is fantastic. The images are incredible, have to agree with you there. Thank you so much and I will do my best.

  3. Hope the switch goes smoothly.

    I’ve heard good things about Fujifilm, and you”re a strong photographer so I reckon you’ll easily have the new gear working well for you.

    1. Thank you, I’m sure it will be a journey, lol.
      They are great cameras. I’m happy that I have used them before, so it won’t be like picking up something completely new.

  4. about time you got the support and recognition you deserve, Leanne! Congratulations – I bet it will take a while for you to come down from your high cloud!

    1. Thank you so much Chris, it is nice to get some recognition. I think you might be right, I’ve been floating for a few days now.

  5. Lucky you to have the support of Fuji, Leanne. Well deserved. I can relate having switched from the D800 to the X-T2 three years ago and I’ve never looked back. A technically wonderful camera and light as can be. Congrats on making the switch.

    1. Thank you so much Jane, I am feeling very lucky. I can’t imagine I will look back either. I think the cameras are great and I do think the X-T3 takes better long exposures than the D850, that’s for sure.

  6. Hi Leanne. I made the change from Nikon to Fuji this past year. I am not regretting one bit. I have used the X100, which I got when it was new, now and then, as a ‘walking-around’ camera, together with my Nikons. I love Fuji as a company. They are the only camera/tech company I know that apparently does not believe in “planned obsolesence” – A steady program of software updates not only fix problems but actually introduce new features to the camera, thus improving your original camera without additional cost. Then I found that I loved the image quality – Sharp, amazingly clear. And I liked the “retro” look that Fuji introduced. The Nikon – with lenses – weighs a ton. So this past year I bought an XPro-2. I have not regretted it. Wonderful camera.

    1. Great to hear from you Joanne. It seems a lot of us are doing this. I get what you mean about the weight, that has been a major reason for me that’s for sure. I love the Fujifilm company as well. They are very supportive. That is good to know about the software updates and things as well. I love the image quality too, and I like a lot of the other features, like the film preferences. The retro look is fantastic, I think it is so good. I like how easy it is to change things around as well. Just brilliant. Love hearing your experience, thank you so much for sharing it with me.

  7. This is interesting, Leanne >>> very good to hear that you’re into mirrorless; I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I would never consider getting a camera with an optical viewfinder again; mirrorless cameras are such wonderful creative tools.

    However, to some extent I’m going in the opposite direction to you, by embracing Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless camera, the Z 6, used via an adaptor with some of my Nikon F-mount lenses, notably the 70-300 which, using the Z 6’s APS-C mode, gives me a 70-450 telephoto. I am stunned by the Z 6’s size (not much larger than an X-T2), its handling and its creative potential, both at and post capture (ie in-camera processing).

    An extremely productive combination that I use consists of the Z 6 with the 70-300 Nikkor, and the X-T2 with the Fuji 10-24 wide angle zoom. Used together, these two cameras provide hugely extensive creative possibilities, without any need for changing lenses. Adrian

    1. Yes Adrian, something I’ve given a lot of thought too. Mirrorless cameras have lots of good advantages, and the more I use them the more I find.

      Yeah, the Nikon’s system is getting a lot of attention, but it is still in its infancy, so not something I am interested in. Also Fujifilm Australia have been so good to me over the last couple of years. I think it is time to move on from Nikon. Apparently there are adaptors for the Fujifilm too so I can use my Nikon Lenses, but not sure I will go in that direction.

      Good luck with the system Adrian, sounds like you are really impressed with it. I will have to build up with the Fujifilm gear now. Thank you.

    1. Well, I don’t think it matters as much any more. The images are 6000+ by 4000+ pixels, and you can still print fairly large. If you want to go even bigger there are programs out there that will allow you to do that. Many printing places can do that for you. I had an image from my old D300s, which was a cropped sensor printed to something like over 2 metres wide and it looked great. Someone did work on the file so it could be done. so I think that reason is not so important anymore.

  8. I knew it was only a matter of time before you made the switch. I must say that it’s awesome you’ve gotten the support from Fujifilm to make it happen.

    1. I have to say Jeff, I thought the same, the writing was on the wall. It has happened a lot faster because of Fujifilm Australia, so very grateful. Thank you Jeff.

  9. Excellent news! Having used an X-E1 for almost eight years now I can’t imagine using another system. However at some point I’ll have to consider an upgrade so will be interested to hear how you get on, Leanne. Congratulations on the sponsorship 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Mike, it feels great. I know I’m going to love the X-T3, and it takes great photos too.I’m sure you will love the new system Mike. Thanks again.

    1. I’ve been interested for a while. glad I got to try it first. I don’t know about wildlife, but in the dark it is fantastic. Takes better photos in low light conditions, that is my experience.

    2. It is really amazing how it performs in the dark. I took a shot of my husband in the kitchen when I was first loaned the X-T2, and when I snapped, I thought oh no, I had the ISO too low, the photo wouldn’t work. It was nighttime. I couldn’t believe how well it did work out. It didn’t take seconds to take, which my DSLR would have done. So I think it is better.

    3. I have a Sony DSC-RX10M4. In low light images are grainy and blurry because of slow shutter speed on birds at zoom of 600mm. It is handy for travel but needs tons of light to work at 600mm on a still subject. My Nikon 750 with Sigma 150-600mm does rings around it.

    4. YOu are talking about a different type of camera all together now Sherry, that Sony is a compact camera, very different to mirrorless. Mirrorless works much the same as a DSLR, just more computer stuff, like the way you look through it.

  10. Fantastic news for you Leanne… I dabble in both Sony and Fuji and am loving the straight out of camera look that you can get with Fuji …. see you after my holiday
    Kind regards liz

    1. Thank you so much Liz. I love a lot of the film settings you can get with the Fuji, they are great. Yes, see you then, enjoy your holiday.

  11. Hi Leanne, what are your thoughts about power suppliement of fujifilm. In the last I tried to check the xt1 (from D810), but for a dokumental trip to South America I should have taken 10 or more Akkus and minimum 2 x 20.000 Powerbanks to reach a quiet normal power for the mirrorless. What’s your experience? Kind regards from Deutschland and sorry for my bad english. Olaf

    1. I don’t really know, sorry. I know you have to have more batteries. I tend to switch off the live view to make the battery last longer. Though having said that, when I’m doing long exposures with the D850 I chew through the batteries as well. Especially when I use live view, which I do a lot for it. So sorry, I’m not very good with the technical stuff.

  12. Welcome to the Fujifilm family, Leanne. As you know, I converted from Canon and Sony to Fuji. I haven’t looked back. I now own five Fujinon lenses. My most recent purchase has been an absolute delight. I bought the Fujinon 27mm lens featuring an especially slim, pancake design, the black XF 27mm f/2.8 from FUJIFILM is a versatile 41mm-equivalent prime that is ideal for travel and everyday shooting. It acquires focus almost instantly. Love it! Best of all, I paid only $100 for this lens with Fuji’s cash-back offer. Love my Fuji!

    1. Thank you so much Don. Yes, I remember you doing that. I’m starting to look at more lenses now. Seeing what the options are. That 27mm sounds interesting. I missed the cashback for more lenses, but I have plenty of time. Which ones do you have Don?

    2. I’ve got the “kit lens” that came with the camera, the 18-55mm (must say a great little lens), the 23mm f/1.2, the already mentioned 27mm f/1:2.8 pancake lens, 60mm f/1:2.8 and the 50-140 f/1:2.8. All great lenses!

    3. They all sound like good lenses. A friend has suggested the 16mm, not sure myself. Definitely considering the 16-55 though, it looks good. I have also heard good things about the 50-140. I have considered it as well, but wondering if the 100-400mm might be a better match. I will take my time thinking about them all though. Thanks for letting me know Don.

  13. Congratulations Leanne that is fantastic! I have loved my X-t10 and X-t20 and when the time comes I tend to upgrade to the X-t3! Will keenly wait to hear your thoughts and to see more of your amazing photos!

    1. Thank you so much Leanne, they are such great cameras. I loved using the X-T3 in New Zealand and I can’t wait to use it here in Australia. YOu will definitely be seeing more of the images I take with it.

  14. Leanne! I am so excited for you!
    I’m thrilled that you are getting the recognition and sponsorship you deserve!
    Your work is amazing and I look forward to seeing it through the Fujifilm camera!
    Have fun!

    1. Thank you Mary, I’m really excited too. I never thought anything like this would happen, I hoped, but you know. I am really looking forward to getting it and seeing what I can do with it. Thanks again Mary.

  15. Hi Leanne. Very interesting read. I’m having a lot of problems with my back as well as I have all the heavy Nikon gear including D850 + 200-500 + etc etc etc
    I am considering sometime soon to downsize. I was thinking the Nikon mirrorless range.
    May I ask why you didn’t go down this path?
    I am nearly 70 now and not as fit and strong as I used to be.

    1. Hi Carol. Yeah, the Nikon gear is killing my back too. I have issues with it also, so I don’t need anything else to stress it out.
      Yeah, that’s a good question. A few reasons, one is that it is new. The reviews haven’t been wonderful, or I stopped looking. Though Nikon have never shown any interest in wanting to work with me, and I’ve found Fujifilm to be very supportive and caring. They seem to love their users. I really like that. So for me there was never any other option, but to go with Fujifilm.
      I will be writing about it a lot, so you can see what I think about it. Good luck Carol and thank you.

    2. Thanks for your reply Leanne. I look forward to your updates on your new gear.

Comments are closed.

Discover more from LEANNE COLE

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading