If Circumstances Required You to Buy a New Camera, What Would You Do?

If all of a sudden you found yourself in the market for a new camera, would you know what you'd be looking at first? This video poses an interesting hypothetical question that I until now, I had not given much thought. 

First things first, I'm not in the market for new gear. Maybe you're in the same boat or maybe you're all about what's currently top of the line. The question is, if all of a sudden you found yourself needing to replace your gear, do you know what you would do? If someone broke into your car and stole your gear or if you had an accident on a hiking trail and completely destroyed your camera, what would you do for replacement? Would you get the same camera body again or would you use the circumstance to look at something different?

In one of his recent videos, Benjamin Jaworskyj via his YouTube channel breaks down some of the different options that are on the market. Obviously there are many different factors that go into making your decision, like your lens setup (would you be able to make a switch to another brand very effectively?), your personal preferences on various brands, what your shooting needs are (whether you shoot stills, video, or both), and of course what your price range and budget would be. 

I know there are some people out there who are all about brand loyalty, but personally I think that whatever meets your needs and gets the job done accordingly is the best way to go. I've been incredibly pleased with my Nikon D750 and in the event that I had to switch to another brand's camera body there would be some growing pains as my hands had to re-learn where all the buttons are but I think I'd survive. At the same time, the D750 has really impressed me and definitely does everything that I need my camera to do, so my initial reaction would be to stick with what I know (though I'll be honest and say that the Sony mirrorless options are always increasingly attractive). 

Check out the video and chime in, leave a comment with your thoughts. Whether you're in the market or not, if for one reason or another you suddenly found yourself needing to replace your setup, would you go with what you had or would you consider something different? What are the biggest factors that would go affect your decision?

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Simon Patterson's picture

It is a good question and I have thought about it before. I think that considering lens selections is essential in considering which camera to buy.

It would be difficult for me to consider sony E mount when the 14-24 and 150-600 lens options won't attach to a Sony without an adaptor. So I'd get a Nikon d850, which seems far superior to the Canon alternatives.

Evan Kane's picture

I definitely think that one of the biggest factors for most people would come down to lens options. How many different lenses a person has, could they be economically swapped, etc, etc.

Quite frankly, I think the reason most people develop brand loyalty is because they get invested in glass to the point where they can't realistically look at other brands even if they wanted to.

Simon Patterson's picture

I agree - brand loyalty usually boils down to the fact we're heavily invested in glass. The beauty of the way this question was framed is that it assumes you've lost everything through fire, theft or the like. So, theoretically at least, our previous investment in glass is taken out of the equation.

For me, I'd still want the lenses that I'd grown to know and love already, which I guess most people would do. So, practically, we're still likely to go with the same brand we had before our loss, anyway.

michael buehrle's picture

if i had the scratch i would get a D5, if not a good used D4 or low shutter D3 if i couldn't afford the others. i have no interest in changing brands. only way i would change is if i took on a partner and they shot canon and we wanted to combine glass.

Matthew Saville's picture

I would buy multiple systems. As a timelapse photographer and vlogger, having multiple systems wouldn't be too annoying for me. I'd love to have a Pentax K-1, a Fuji GFX, a Sony A7S(mk3?) ...and probably a couple others. Each would have its place in my adventures.

If on a budget, I'd stick with the Nikon D750 I already have, since it's really the best all-around camera for anyone who doesn't yet need 4K video. Something the D750 mk2 will probably offer anyway...

Yep. People often have different other brands of electronics so cameras shouldn't be treated differently. My TV is a Hitachi, my HD video disc players are Panasonic and Toshiba, my VHS/DVD player is Samsung and I also use an Apple TV. As for cameras I currently own three, two Sigmas and one Sony.

It seems like a silly question to me. If someone hasn't thought about it already, what they have is probably best. They're used to it and it must suit them well since it's never caused their eyes to roam. If you have thought about it, you probably know what you would pick. I think most people who jump around are into the tech and not so much the photography. Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;-)

Even though I try to maximize image quality, especially detail, I care most about portability these days. If I'm unwilling to carry a camera outside of a pocket, as I now am, everything else about the camera is meaningless since it would never get used. I would buy another RX100 if I lost the one I bought over Christmas since it is the most capable of the small pocketable cameras with a reasonable size sensor.

This is actually a question I ask myself all the time.
It does come down to lenses. I am a still photographer and need my 11-24, and 17TS-E. The rest can all be replicated in other mounts and formats. So I guess I am sticking with Canon until I retire and can just play with only a couple of lenses on a body of my choosing.

Igal Pronin's picture

Actually I've encountered that inner self debate very recently. My prime gear (Canon 6D + Canon 16-35 f/4) has died in an unfortunate event (aka submerged in the waters of the Dead Sea... yeah yeah).
I'm not a pro, just an amateur, I've got several EF-mount lenses and my wife has Canon (70D) as well.

Some thoughts in the process:
Sony A7RII/III - too expensive and short battery life + native lenses are too expensive and from what I heard, not as good as Canon's.
Canon 6D MII - almost twice the price of the original 6D, worse images.
Nikon - D850 is expensive, D750 is quite old.

After considering all available options, I've bought the same Canon 6D and a Tamron 15-30 as my new ultra wide lens. I loved my 6D, it served me well for what I shoot and the new one cost me pennies and it won't be too painful to sell it in a couple of years, in case Canon come with some exciting mirrorless FF camera.

"D750 is quite old"

*proceeds to purchase a camera released two years earlier...

Igal Pronin's picture

True, but I already have the lenses. D750 FOR ME doesn't justify the switch.

Ben Lockett's picture

I'd think long and hard about switching to Nikon (second hand d810...), especially after experiencing Sony's sensors in their mirrorless (that I've never used native lenses on so I wouldn't know much about), although I'd miss my 11-24mm and my 85mm 1.2, which between then are on my 6D 90% of the time.

I was faced with this decision a few years back due to circumstances. For me I'd still probably go with Canon mainly because the lens selection is still better than the competition and cheaper (at least in my country). I also shoot tethered and my experience with other brands hasn't been great to be frank. If it wasn't for the tethering I'd probably go with the Fuji X series. I've recently had the chance to use a X-Pro 2, and the glass and image quality is great but it forces me to relearn how to edit RAW files as they handle different but for JPG work it beats the Canon hands down.

Also for the lighting I use I'm forced to use either Nikon/Canon as Elinchrom still hasn't released a HS trigger for Fuji.

If my entire portfolio of gear were lost or destroyed, I'd switch teams and get the D850.

Harry lener's picture

Honestly I use both 5D & 5DII Actually on 2015 send the 5D for shutter replacement. By mistake they return it back undo after my complain Cannon , took the step & full refurbished. Love them both MARK II has been for fashion , portraits, landscapes 5D is product photog & personal creations. Besides I have 3 top of the line primes + top of the line 3 zooms it will be very difficult to leave the Brand but maybe next year or 2020 5D Mark IV Anyway love both of cameras also love smartphone shootings :) BTW with the original Speedlites 600EX-RT + couple new LED's 500 & 1000 I m truly happy with my Gear!!!

As an event and studio photographer, my requirements to cameras and lenses are quite sleek: 2 cameras + 24-70 + 70-200. Same lenses can be used for studio work and give nice quality as you close them any way.

That raises a question - why do I have 14/2.8, 35/1.4, 50/1.4, 85/1.4 (main studio lens, in fact) and 105/2.8 macro? :)

I've twice switched systems due to unfortunate events.

I bought my first serious camera around 1996 - a Canon Rebel S (entry level film SLR). Less than a year later, it was stolen out of my car. I had only one lens and a third-party flash - basically all of my Canon gear was in that bag, all stolen. Having to start over from naught, I went with a Nikon 6006, a mid-eighties model - because it was the best deal at the local pawnshop, and I felt that I might as well try the other leading system. That led to twenty-plus years of using Nikon.

I still have Nikon gear and love it - the D750 with 24-70 f2.8 is my favourite - but in 2015 I was looking for something lightweight to take on hiking and camping trips - and to see what this newfangled "mirrorless" thing was all about. Around "Black Friday", I found a good deal on a Sony a6000 with two lenses included - midrange kit zoom and tele zoom - and bought it, and started using it for casual walking around the city, liking how lightweight it was.

But, just like my time as a Canon user lasted less than a year, my time as a Sony user was equally short. I was stupid and clumsy and careless; photographing rocks on the beach I lost my balance and fell forward into the salt water of Puget Sound. The water wasn't deep there, less than a foot, but it was enough to destroy my Sony and the attached lens.

Now without a mirrorless, I felt the need for one again, and about 8 months later bought another - this time I went with Fujifilm. The Sony was a good little camera, but the controls annoyed me - too much button pushing, and the kit lens was a power zoom, which I hate. The Fuji X-T20 is controlled with knobs, just like a 1950s camera, and I really like the look and feel of it.

Now I use my Nikon and Fuji gear about equally, depending on whether I expect to do a lot of walking around and need something lightweight or not.

Matthijs Bettman's picture

If I have to start over, I'll go with Sony A7r ii/iii with the simple 24-105/4 and bulk down the real money for the 16-35/2.8. :)

This is so much lighter than my current set-up. My back will love me for it ;-)