Are photographers brand snobs ??

In Sony A7 series, technical by

Are photographers brand snobs ??

I wrote a post a little while ago about how many mega pixels do we really need as photographers…. but I think one question we also need to ask ourselves is “Are we Brand Snobs ?”

I’m sure you all know what I mean…. One of the first questions everyone asks is “Do you use Canon or Nikon ??”. Well, going back a few years there wasn’t really a lot of competition in the digital camera market. If you wanted good image quality and fast focus then it was really only Nikon or Canon but at the same time neither of these companies is without fault. My personal experiences of Nikon service are quite bad (6 weeks for a lens repair under their NPS scheme) and Canon have had the odd problem of the mirrors falling off some models of the 5d….

Deciding to change from one of the “major” brands to one of the new up and coming camera systems isn’t something that any photographer does without much though and consideration; after all our livelihoods depend on the quality of the images that we produce and our reliability. If our kit fails we need adequate backup kit available to pick up and work with immediately. Also, changing camera manufacturers is not a cheap business. Over the years we all buy additional lenses, batteries, flash units etc and we have to look at replacing all of this if we do decide to switch.

Then there is the small matter of getting to know your camera. When you are working at a wedding you don’t have time to look something up in the manual or even go through the menus on the back of the camera, you have to know how it all works and be able to set the camera up how you want it without looking ! All this takes time….

So, with the new emerging camera systems from Fuji and Olympus I started looking more seriously at them. The image quality they produce is good, very good. they have the advantage of being smaller and lighter (after a day of carrying two cameras with you and the weight of the 70-200 lens and flash units then lighter is a REAL advantage !). I don’t rush in to spending lots of money (despite anything Phill might tell you) so I have “played” with friends cameras, done low light comparisons (see my blog post on low light/high iso here) and talked to several people whose industry knowledge I respect about the options. It was Guy Thatcher from Hireacamera at the SWPP convention this year who suggested that I wait and see what Sony had lined up and I’m so glad that I did. I recently had the chance to play with the Sony A7s and was really impressed with its low light capabilities and speed of focussing in the dark.

So, today I’ve ordered one. Don’t expect to see shots from weddings on it just yet though. To start with I need to get to know it, I’ll then be using it in the studio and for engagement sessions, then introducing it at weddings alongside the Canon kit. But, if it performs the way the early indications show it will we will most look at¬†switching over to using Sony kit exclusively. Did I mention that its has a 4k video capability ?? Have a look here to see what some videographers are doing with it…

It is a while since I have felt this excited about a new camera, hopefully it will live up to my expectations, if not keep an eye on ebay !!

So, are photographers brand snobs ? Yes, to a degree we are. Buying a Sony camera to use for work does feel a bit out of my comfort zone but I really do think we are seeing a change in the market and the new products that companies like Sony, Fuji and Olympus are releasing really will give Nikon and Canon a run for their money 🙂