When is it time to buy a new camera?


I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. My Nikon D800 is over 10 years old now. The Nikon D850 I’ve had for about 6 years. I was given the Fujifilm X-T3 in 2019 and I think I got the X-S10 in 2022, not sure. So is it time for a new one?

What makes us decide to get new cameras?

Usually it is because a camera will come out with a feature that your current one doesn’t have that you might like.

I know for the Nikon D800 it was for the ISO. I didn’t like how bad the ISO was on my previous camera. So I wanted one that I could get better night images with. I loved that camera, but then in 2017 the D850 was released. It had the stuff that the D800 didn’t like the articulated screen and it was touch as well. The ISO was even better again. One thing that I really liked too was how many frames a second you could take, it was so much faster than the one I already had.

I think I got my own D850 in December of 2017. It was also around this time that I started questioning the whole DSLR and Nikon.

I kept hearing things about mirrorless cameras so I approached a couple of companies to find out more about them. Fujifilm is the only company that responded to me.

They loaned me the X-T2 to try out and I loved how much smaller it was. When I used the D850 I would end up with a sore back from carrying it around all day, that hasn’t happened with the Fujifilm.

They loaned me a heap of gear when I went to New Zealand in 2019 and I decided not to take any Nikon gear. I knew if I could go through the whole trip without missing it then maybe it was time to switch. I didn’t miss my Nikon.

I was very lucky that later that same year I received an X-T3 from Fujifilm along with a lens. It started my transition to Fujifilm. I have bought a few more lenses and am very happy with the kit that I now have.

When I wanted to do more videos I ended up getting the X-S10 from Fujifilm because it had IBIS, I think it is, in body image stabilisation. I might have the name wrong, but the camera has it. So it makes doing video easier. I actually really like this camera. It is small and light. Easy to use and is often my go to camera. I don’t find it as easy for things like long exposure photography, but for just walking around and shooting, I like it.

I guess this is a round about way of asking myself if I need a new camera. It is a lot of money to shell out, but what can a new camera offer me that the current ones don’t? I wonder if I am just being bad in the wanting new shiny toys all the time. I know what my husband would say, lol.

I don’t really know what the answer is, so I thought I would put it out there and see what you all think. When do you decide if you want a new camera? Do you look for anything in particular? Do you like to keep up with the latest models?

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  1. I am not a photographer in the way that you are but I love my camera. My brother recommended it as he had the previous version and later bought the one that came after. It is light weight and has a macro setting and works at fairly low light levels. You can control speed aperture etc. Now it is getting physically old and the piece that helps with grip is peeling at the edge and the flap that conceals the battery and SD card has fallen off. A while ago when I looked at what had replaced it however, I found that none of the Lumix cameras did the same things as mine and there was no natural replacement. let alone something that I wanted because it was an improvement. So I am just hoping it goes on working.

    1. That is a shame about your camera, it is hard when they get old. Perhaps it will RJ, or maybe you will find another camera that works just as well. I hope so. Good luck.

  2. I have never been a ‘latest and greatest’ gear person. I stayed with Cannon 7D2 for 10 years. Ultimately between Ellen and I we had 5 bodies (more or less working). One reason for change you didn’t mention, reconnecting to photography. Not just me, but others I know. The act of learning all over again reminds us of why we went down this rabbit hole in the first place.

    I did not want to change, but carrying heavy packs and gear into the ‘hinterlands’ was not an option with a new fake neck. But now with the change to lighter OM and Leica I’m out again with the swamp critters and the act of learning again is frustrating fun 😂😂.

    BTW, I’ve always been jealous how you have had some vendors work with you, help you with gear. In the US they could care less.

    1. I have 5 bodies too, 3 Nikon and 2 Fujifilm. Though one of the Nikon ones is now an infrared camera.
      I totally get what you are talking about with the weight of the kit, that had a lot to do with me wanting to swap as well Ted. I’ve been enjoying seeing your critters, some are a bit scary.
      Thank you, it is nice that they will work with me, but then again I can get taken advantage of as well sadly.

  3. I’ve been lusting a bit after the FujiFilm GFX 100S for a couple of years. The MP count is irrelevant to me, but the 16-bit color depth is the siren song on that particular body — which is now in the range I can actually consider.

    If I don’t consider my lens needs, anyway.

    But ultimately, I’ve opted to punt on getting one… I really don’t need it and the system doesn’t really cover ALL the uses I have with my Canon gear.

    It’s a tough question and I’ve had to be really honest with myself… I keep asking myself “What does the Fuji do the Canon doesn’t?” and then “What can I do with my Canon that I couldn’t do with the Fuji?”

    It’s probably A LOT harder to make that decision when you’re already invested to some extent in the system. Thanks for coming to my TED Ramble.

    1. OH I had the GFX 50S I think it was when I went to central Australia in 2022. It is a big camera, though not as heavy as I thought it would be. The files sizes were massive. That was a little disappointing. I knew I couldn’t have one just on that.
      I get what you mean about the different between Canon and Fuji, for me it was Nikon and them. Ultimately for me it was weight, I just had enough of carrying the Nikon around.
      Thank you for the Ted Ramble, I enjoyed it.

    2. I still carry around the Canon 5DS R, so the Fuji GFX seems like it’d be more or less a straight trade for weight and size.

      I liked the 50S II initially, but it doesn’t do anything the Canon doesn’t do (Except the 4:3 ratio). Once the 100S started becoming something I could consider, with a limited lens line up, it does some stuff I am tempted by, as I mentioned.

  4. I keep wondering too, but the new versions of the Olympus have not changed in ways that would help me. Also, the OMD-EM1-M2 does not have enough changes to it but it sure does have a much higher price tag. Except for taking pictures of birds, my main camera is the Olympus Pen F which was a one-off camera that works like the old-fashioned rangefinder it closely resembles. It’s different that all my other OMDs. I use it in combo with my 12-200mm tele lens — and has turned out to be as close to an all-in-one camera as I could find. For all the years I’ve been taking pictures, I still hate changing lenses in the field. I worry about dust and dirt and I can’t change lenses without a flat surface. As long as I’m shooting in daylight, the 12-200 deals with almost anything else.

    The mirrorless cameras are relatively light and fine quality. My older Canon was working hard on dislocating my right shoulder.

    What I’d really like is a high quality pocket camera. Panasonic used to make them, but their new ones are small, but surprisingly heavy. Also, absurdly complicated. I spend more time trying to get them to work than actually taking pictures. Mind you they are great when they work, but they weight a lot more than such a small camera should. Otherwise, most small “pocket” cameras aren’t sharp enough.

    Those Fuji cameras have a brilliant reputation. A bit pricey, but I look at them and yearn. I’ve got so many 4/3 lenses, to start over with a new system would be beyond my means. I’ll have to wait for one of my friends who need to have the newest camera to sell me his previously barely used one at a friend price.

    1. I hate to tell you Marilyn but even if you never change your lens you will still get dirt and dust on your sensor. Happened to a friend of mine. I am just too lazy, I often don’t change my lens as well. I get what you mean with the price tag too, everything is becoming so expensive.

      My Nikon was killing my back. I would get such a sore back after walking around with it all day.

      Everyone here is saying they use their phones now. I don’t know. I think many people have replaced their compact cameras with their phones, but I still don’t think they are there yet.

      Starting over with a new brand is really pricey, I know what you mean. I love my Fuji gear, and am happy that I made the change. I hope one of your friends decides that soon.
      Thank you Marilyn.

  5. I have a Nikon, too, and it is heavy. I would love to try a mirrorless camera but wonder how much of a learning curve there is.

    1. To be honest Lois, there really isn’t a learning curve. The only real difference is the lack of a mirror and the sensor size is often smaller, but you still do the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. If you can use your DSLR then you can use a mirrorless. I hope that helps.

  6. The photos are beautiful, Leanne! I too find that I want a new camera once in a while even though it is not needed. I have a Nikon Z5 now, it’s a great camera but I don’t like the weight. I like using the iPhone 15 more because of how small and light it is. Phone cameras are slowly catching up with the big body cameras, I can see why so many people use them exclusively.

    1. Thank you John. I think weight seems to get more important as we get older. I haven’t really seen the Z series, so I don’t know what the weight is. I try not to get interested in brands that I don’t use anymore. lol. I find my phone is great for just snapping stuff, but hopeless if I want to zoom in, and a lot of my stuff that phone is just not good for. I see why people like them, but I find it a bit frustrating.

    2. I uno, the iPhone 15 still pixelates badly with a heavy zoom. There’s only so much image data that can be collected by such a small sensor. Still, I can’t see the iPhone for a post today. I don’t always want to grab the Nikon.

    3. yeah the zooming in really lets them down. I know what you mean, one thing I love about my phone is that I always have a camera with me.

  7. I can only speak from my experience Leanne but I started my transition to Fujifilm from a Nikon D610 full frame with the original X100. With all of the X100’s quirks it still was a camera that made me want to go out and be creative. One of the things I loved about it was that I could set my aperture and shutter speed like an old school film camera before turning the camera on. I have owned just about every Fujifilm camera since then by my favorites by far are the XT series of cameras. I have owned an X-T1, a couple of X-T2’s, an X-T3, and X-T4 and I now own a Fuji X-T5. I also owned a couple of X-H1 cameras for a while and they turned me on to Fuji’s fantastic IBIS. I can tell you that the X-T5 has a processor and focusing system that is worlds ahead of their previous generation X-T4. For a street shooter like myself the tilt/flip screen on the X-T5 is much better than the fully articulating screen that was on the X-T4 (some people will of course disagree about the screens). They also reduced the size of the X-T5 and concentrated on making it a still photo orientated camera instead of a camera that aims to please photographers and videographer’s. They are making the X-H2 and X-H2s for serious videographer’s. The X-H1 was the perfect size for my hands but I couldn’t get past the location of the Q menu button because I was always inadvertently pressing it. I also didn’t care for the controls on the X-H1. They reminded me too much of other run of the mill DSLR cameras where everything was menu driven and controlled by scroll wheels instead of actual shutter speed dials, ISO dials and aperture rings on the lenses. If you were thinking of making the leap from an X-T3 to an X-T5 it will be a considerable upgrade (meaning the processing speed, focusing and face and eye detection). With all previous generation XT series cameras I never was able to use eye detection with the first generation Fuji lenses such as the 60mm macro or 56mm 1.2. With the X-T5 it has breathed new life into any of my Fuji first generation lenses. I hope my long winded response might help you in any decision you might make 😊

    1. Interesting Joe, I have thought about the X-T5, but I don’t know that it has what I want really, not in a bad way. I don’t photograph people so face and eye detection would be useless to me. I probably need to stick with what I have for now. I probably couldn’t afford a new camera anyway. It is good to hear why people have or haven’t upgraded. It isn’t long winded at all Joe and good to hear. Thank you.

  8. I take the simple approach, when the camera stops working in some respect I replace it.
    Chasing the latest feature, or thinking you just can’t live without a taking an enormous burst of photographs or having to have a tilting screen I think is a mugs game.
    Yes, if your camera breaks and your new one has these features, wonderful.
    I use a Nikon D7200, I have had it forever, it doesn’t have the best iso range or huge burst speed and no tilting screen but it takes good sports photos, which is what I use it for.
    For 90% of my photography I use a compact or my phone.
    They both take excellent photos and I don’t think you could tell the difference between a top compact and an SLR for every day photography that lives on a computer screen or for modest enlarging.
    Relax and enjoy what you have.

    1. The simple approach is definitely the cheaper one.
      I think it depends on what sort of photography you do. The tilting screen was a game changer for me because I use a tripod a lot and being able to correctly see what I was photographing was good. All my cameras have them now.
      I still use my old cameras, though my oldest I had converted to infrared. If you are doing sports I can see why you don’t need a tilt screen. I did sports for a few years.
      I like my phone for snaps, but it is crap for zooming and I definitely can’t do long exposures with it. Thank you Mike.

  9. It’s a complicated answer as Tec is getting better but in some ways going in the wrong direction. Unless you want big prints smart phones are catching up with most cameras. I recently brought an XT-30 the main reason was my X100F and XPro2 do not have a rear tilting screen. I am tempted by a Leica Q2 as a lot of my friends are getting some lovely images from it. I buy most of my cameras now from friends who have used them for 5 minutes and now want to sell them or here in the UK we have MPB online used camera dealer. In my case I don’t want or need a new camera I have 3 great cameras and I use my smartphone a lot. So this year I will get the iphone16 for my carry around everywhere camera. The reason I might buy my next camera is unknown. Probably if something comes out or becomes available that interests me and might inspire me to shoot more ! Who knows !

    1. YOu are right it is complicated. Leica are so expensive. I have quite a few good cameras too, and don’t think I need another just yet. Though I have to say that I don’t think phones are there yet. Great if you just want to point and click, crap if you want to zoom in. The photos when you zoom in are so bad. I couldn’t do a lot of my photography with it. Though my phone was heaps better at night shots than my camera when I couldn’t use a tripod. I don’t know either, thank you.

  10. For me that is a simple question, I switched from Pentax to Fujifilm – also because my Pentax K-3 was old – And after a year I switched again, to Olympus – now OM System. The reason: Olympus was much better for photographing birds and wildlife, more powerful, smaller, lighter and very good image stabilization.

    1. That is interesting to hear, I don’t photograph birds or wildlife very much, but if it is what you love doing then definitely the way to go. Thank you.

  11. I switched to Fujifilm because I was ready for a better camera. My friend had gotten an XT2 and I loved the color Fuji produced. So I bought the XT3 and have been happy I switched. Now I would like to get the XT5 because it has IBIS and is supposed to be smaller than the XT4. But at my age, how many years of photography do I have left? I made the decision to stick with the XT3.

    1. Oh yes, I like the way the fujifilm does colour too. I have got some really interesting shots because it has picked up a colour I can’t see. You aren’t that old Anne. I get what you mean though. Smaller is good. Thank you.

  12. I’m attracted to shiny new things too, BUT in the last couple of years I’ve tried hard to restrain myself from spending money unless there’s a really good reason. I’m also a Fuji girl – I started with the X-T1, then the X-T3 and now the X-T5. (See the pattern? Every other iteration?). I have to say that the X-T5 is worth every penny. My intention is to wear it out before even thinking about another model. I don’t do video so I really don’t care about that aspect, so I will get another Fuji IF this one wears out or develops mechanical problems and/or IF a future model has some whiz-bang feature that will somehow magically enhance my photography. As long as the body is working, I’ll spend my money on lenses (although, even there I think I have all I need).

    I was going to sell my older bodies and a few other things via MPB in the States, but they don’t buy used gear outside of the contiguous USA. We can buy from them, but not the other way around. SO disappointing. I really wanted to avoid the whole advertise, dicker, ship routine to sell the stuff myself. Oh well, chest la vie!

    BTW, I love your photos. They are so evocative.

    1. Hello to another Fuji girl. That is good to hear what you have said about the X-T5, if I were going to buy another camera that is what I would have to get now. Though I was thinking of waiting until the X-T6 comes out but that could be years away. I might just stick with the X-T3 and the X-S10, I like them both. I get what you mean about the whizz bang. The 3 doesn’t have the IBIS and I would like to have my main camera have that.

      That is really disappointing about not being able to sell them. Selling gear can be such a pain. Thank you so much Ceci.

    1. I remember you have the D750. It is a shame that they didn’t make the Z series so they would fit your current lenses, probably so people would have to buy new lenses with it. I think it just means if people are going to change to mirrorles then having to buy an all new kit gives you the option to completely change brands as well. My rant. When I went mirrorless the Nikon one was getting bad reviews so it wasn’t an option for me, and I think Fujifilm giving me the camera was great, kind of helped me make the move. I am glad you like the Z series Sherry. Thank you.

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