Seems especially prevalent in the photography community. Symptoms are irrational wants for new equipment. If you have more lenses than images or more photos of your equipment than images taken with said equipment, then you may be diagnosed with G.A.S.

It comes and goes for me personally. I have written about two cameras I have bought and returned: the Fujifilm X-E4 and the Fujifilm X-Pro3. In both cases I concluded that all things considered they did not offer enough over my current Fujifilm X-T2. I regularly look out for the old Fuji 23mm F1.4 lens and try to decide whether it will provide something over the Fuji 23mm F2 I already own. All things considered I would have had a million times less worry by just buying a copy and returning it or selling it again if it did not live up to my expectations. The cost of the trade-up on the used market from my 23mm F2 is not that big after all.

Trip to Japan

But recently my G.A.S. was activated with the release of the new Nikon ZF. It coincided with a trip I had to Japan, where I was lucky to be able to try out a copy at a Nikon store. What impressed me was the image quality and “full-frame” look compared to my X-T2 as well as build quality. It was as well built as my X-T2. It was bigger and heavier, even with the 40mm F2 lens. But not cumbersome.

What I did not like was the implementation of aperture-control that Nikon had to go with. There are no lenses with aperture rings in their current line-up of lenses, meaning that unlike Fujifilm, aperture must be controlled “digitally”. This means a small display on top of the camera next to the exposure compensation dial. While I totally understand the reasons behind it and given the constraints it had to be done like that to fit the “ethos” of old manual film camera where you can see the exposure triangle from looking down on the camera, then it still feels out of place.

“Luckily” the camera was not in stock in stores in Japan yet, because even given the constraints mentioned above I would probably have bought it. There would have been a massive discount instead of buying it back home.

Back home

When I got home, I kept researching the camera. Looking for comparisons with Fujifilm X-T5 as that camera also looked like a potential upgrade from my X-T2. My main gripe with the X-T5 is the larger files. I would never use them and do not want to deal with them. The Nikon ZF made the right choice for me in sticking with smaller resolution.

Reading endless reviews – very few of them being good ones – I ended up questioning my reasoning behind wanting the Nikon ZF. I could clearly see the potential gain in image quality, easily compared with my old X-T2, but also over the X-T5. But I struggled to find a specific situation where I would have “gained” anything by a bit better image quality. Shots that were now useless but would have been great if only the image quality was a bit higher? I could not find those images or situations.

My main motivation for selecting Fujifilm cameras in the first place was their size and feel. I love the mechanical dials, the aperture rings – everything about the philosophy behind it. I love to pick up my X-T2. When it is just between you and me, then I even sometimes pick it up just to feel the “clickiness” of the aperture rings. Other modern mirrorless or dslr cameras does not speak to me in the same way. I also love the fact that you can get impressive image quality from very small and light lenses.

So all of this thinking about the Nikon ZF made me realize that perhaps it is not the right camera for me. At least not at the moment.

Fujifilm X-Pro3

This could then be where I would conclude that I have fought G.A.S. and won. But in a strange turn of events and thoughts I have actually ended up looking for a camera that I had bought and returned.

Yes, that is right. My strange brain has convinced me to give the Fujifilm X-Pro3 another try. The ethos behind that camera should be right up my alley. It is extremely well built, looks amazing and offers a small step-up in terms of image quality compared with my X-T2, without giving me overly large files to deal with.

Compared with last time I think I am in a better position to fall in love with it. This time I will keep my X-T2 and use the X-Pro3 more as it was intended. My brief experience with it last time also included a lot of trying out different film simulations and that did not help the process. This time I have a good idea about what I like and I know what to expect – and not expect from it.

So now I am back in the search for a used X-Pro3 locally. I can only kick myself repeatedly for returning the copy I got the first time around as that was almost brand new at a very good price. I doubt my luck will be as good this time.

But who knows. Perhaps I will return it a second time as well.