Camera brand loyalty: We fight, we argue and we take photos

Camera Brand Loyalty

Camera brand loyalty is a pretty trivial thing among photographers. I don’t completely understand it. For many, it’s a love-hate relationship with camera brands. 

Photographers love Canon but hate Nikon and vise-versa. They love Canon and Nikon but hate Sony with a passion. Don’t even get me started with Fuji.

I thought maybe it was a friendly rivalry, but some people take this to the max and are even borderline rude and obnoxious.

Reasons photographers are loyal to camera brands

  1. Hard-earned money is spent on equipment and gear
  2. Brand loyalty is passed down from generation to generation
  3. You learn to use specific gear in school

Hard-earned money is spent on investments

One of the main reasons I believe photographers are loyal to a camera brand is because they are making significant investments in equipment and gear. This creates a quick attachment to the brand. 

They worked hard for their money and want to feel like they are purchasing the best for their work. 

Once you have bought into a certain brand, it can be difficult to make a switch.

Camera gear can get expensive quickly and add up based on the type of photography you do.

I didn’t realize how significant the investment in photography would be until I started shooting myself and got deeper into gear.

Camera kits usually come with a camera body and kit lens, and you continue to purchase more lenses from the same manufacturer if you are looking to upgrade.

It’s safe to say you could easily invest $2,500 to $5,000 quickly and this is no chump change for most beginners.

You tend to have more options on lenses from third-party manufacturers, but many photographers tend to use the same camera body brand.

Staying in the eco-system from the camera manufacturer makes you believe your getting the best results from your camera.

Brand loyalty is passed down

For many photographers, their first camera was gifted, and the rest is history.

Camera equipment is often passed down from generation to generation, and they tend to stay with this brand out of loyalty to the people that gifted them.

Yes, some do change, and I would love to see how many people actually sell the equipment and switch brands.

When the gear is passed down, it tends to hold sentimental value and not just monetary value for the photographer.

This adds another layer of loyalty even if the photographer is not aware of it in the beginning.

Photography schools teach with specific gear

Another reason photographers are loyal to a particular brand is that this is what they learned.

Many technical schools invest in a certain camera eco-system and this is what students learn to love.

imagine you’re 18 years old and the first camera you hold is a Canon 5D. You use this for years until graduation.

Once you graduate, there is a good chance you will stick to something that is familiar and you will go right back to that Canon 5D for your work.

This type of loyalty is not intentional, and it sometimes can be hard to make a change to something else you do not know.

Are you loyal to the business or the artform

At the end of the day, a camera company is in business to do one thing. That is to sell you gear.

Look past the feel-good mission statement, and look past the clever marketing, and remember you are dealing with a business. The goal is to convert you to a customer and keep you as long as possible.

the same can be said for pretty much any brand.

That’s not to say they are all the same, but they’re all in the business of making money, and keeping people on their systems is a great way of keeping you longer.

This isn’t a positive or negative thing. It’s just business. Numbers must be met, and goals hit for any company.

These goals are just easier to hit with loyal fans of the brand looking to get the newest and best from the brand.

Good or Bad: Social media has given us a platform for opinions

Social media has given rise to camera bashing and other negative opinions that one could make behind the comfort of their computer or mobile screen. 

Every post bringing up new specs or rumors of new cameras also solicits without warning major criticism. 

Social media is a double-edged sword for creative professionals, as I have written about in this article here.

Somewhat childish, but I decided to take the leap and talk about why photographers love their camera brands so much.

To be clear, I have friends that shoot Sony, Nikon, Canon, Fuji, and other camera systems.

I find that they’re all great camera brands that have fiercely loyal followers.

I do love Sony, but I’ve used and tested other equipment during my photography learning. All brands have pros and cons. 

What about hybrid photographers

The term Hybrid Photographer is fairly new, but this type of photographer has been around a while.

A hybrid photographer is a creative that owns 2 or more cameras from different manufactures. A hybrid photographer can also be a photographer that shoots both film and digital.

The photographer has two or more camera brands and uses them all for shooting. For example, you can have a Canon 5d for your primary camera and a Fuji mirrorless as a backup.

Yes, believe it or not, this is becoming more common. Having different cameras for unique situations allows for more specific creative results.

In a way, we are all hybrid photographers because we use our phones as cameras and use more expensive equipment for larger projects. Just a thought. 

I would not recommend using a phone to shoot a wedding, but it’s good to have it on hand for traveling.

Do you have to stick with one brand?

No, you do not have to stick with one camera brand. 

Photographers should remember that a camera is a tool, and your creativity will set you apart.

Not the type of camera body you have, even though they do help create your unique style.

It’s not considered cheating if you shoot with something else, and consider it a good learning experience to venture out and try something new.

Sony Camera Gear
Sony Camera Gear

What gear do I use

As I write this article, I’ve been shooting portraits now for about 5 years. I have a passion for photography and design.

I started photography with the first Sony a7 (1st generation) full-frame camera, but I have since moved on from this camera body. 

My main camera bodies are the Sony a7iii and Sony a7riii. I also use the Sony a6600 and Sony a6400 as backup cameras.

Yes, I mix full-frame and crop sensor cameras for my work.

Would I change cameras to another manufacturer? Honestly, I probably would not as I have already made a big investment in lenses and gear with Sony.

Learning more than one camera brand

As a photographer, I recommend learning as many tools as you see fit to help you with your photography projects.

There is no right or wrong answer to the best brands. You need to get out and practice to see what camera brand will work best for you.

Rent a camera online and explore for the weekend. You will be surprised by the new technology offered by other camera manufacturers.

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