Why One Photographer Left Canon

Canon has caused a bit of controversy with its stance on third-party lenses, and that has left many users pondering their future relationships with the company. This interesting video features a seasoned Canon user discussing why he has decided to sell his gear.

Coming to you from Alex Barrera, this awesome video discusses why he decided to leave Canon for Sony. While these sorts of videos might normally be skipped by many, I think this one is worth listening to, as it really ties in to the current situation with Canon, one that is affecting many photographers going forward. No doubt, the crackdown on third-party lenses has upset many, but I think that Barrera makes some interesting points beyond simply wanting more options. In particular, he makes a great point about the lack of true mid-tier performers in the Canon lineup. The company makes some spectacular lenses, but the prices of those options match their quality. On the other hand, there are some options at the lower end, but not much in between. For example, your only options at the 50mm focal length are the RF 50mm f/1.8 STM at $159 or the RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM at $2,099. The equivalent of the 50mm f/1.4 that used to be available for the EF mount is nowhere to be found for the RF mount. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Barrera. 

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Adam Rubinstein's picture

What's NCannon? As you observed Alex, these "testimonials" mean little. One can throw rocks at Nikon, Sony, or any manufacturer for their deficiencies. If he doesn't want to shoot Canon, then by all means switch. Having competition in the market place is great for consumers. BTW how is that extensive lineup of Sony mid-range lenses? As a sports/WL photographer, I'm wondering where are their 300 f/2.8, 500 f/4, 800 mm lenses? Oh, and where are their mid-range crop bodies comparable to the R7? Grass is always greener...

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

For 300 f2.8, there's the 400 f2.8. For 500 f4, there's 600 f4. If you can't make those work for you, you probably have no business in those fields.

Also, the lenses you mention are specialty. Folks are not going to leave Sony in droves because of them.

Mid-range crop bodies comparable to the R7? Now, that's just being silly. There's only like 2 lenses...and, they are both kit lenses. LOL! What are the chances people will leave Sony for this? smh

Timothy Linn's picture

"If you can't make those work for you, you probably have no business in those fields."

Whenever I see a statement like this, I laugh and picture the author sitting at a computer in his grandmother's basement.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Ditto, whenever I see statements like "sitting at a computer in his grandmother's basement." You would have be in you're still using that line. ;-)

Mike Ditz's picture

I used to have a Canon 300 2.8, and used it on a Sony, great lens that came in handy. I am a little surprised that Sony doesn't have one as they have had many years to do it.
Sold it after I looked at the LR stats showed I took 32 photos with it in 2020. And the way I shoot changed as well.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

They had it for the A-Mount. It's just a conjecture, but I think they are skipping it in favor of the 400 f2.8 since they are close enough.

Mike Ditz's picture

I used 300 with cars and people but tastes have changed. Today's squishy cars don't look that good with a long telephoto and people shots can end up looking dated, like 1980s NY fashion photos.

The super long lenses they are making are good for sports n wildlife stuff I assume.

Christian Fiore's picture

High res sports cameras mean using a 70-200 and cropping in gets you the same shot as a dedicated 300, without the weight, size, and limited flexibility.

Mike Ditz's picture

Thanks, I have never heard that term.

Kevin Harding's picture

Not exactly the same but the Sony x1.4 (superb) and x2.0 (very good) teleconvertors were made (or updated) with the 400 & 600 in mind (and the 100-400 actually).
So with today's excellent high ISO handling you get : 400/2.8 + 560/4 + 800/5.6 + 600/4 + 840/5.6 + 1,200/8. Enough for even the most ardent wildlife shooter and plenty for the sports pros (which is what they are used at the Olympics and are using at the upcoming World Cup).

Kevin Harding's picture

Not exactly the same but the Sony x1.4 (superb) and x2.0 (very good) teleconvertors were made (or updated) with the 400 & 600 in mind (and the 100-400 actually).
So with today's excellent high ISO handling you get : 400/2.8 + 560/4 + 800/5.6 + 600/4 + 840/5.6 + 1,200/8. Enough for even the most ardent wildlife shooter and plenty for the sports pros (which is what they used at the Olympics and are using at the upcoming World Cup).

James Bruton's picture

Didn't and won't watch. If you don't like Canon, fine, but stop the weekly bashing because they won't make their equipment compatible with competing lens makers. Also if you read some of the other news, Canon seems to be rolling out some lower priced lenses that some may want. E.G.: RF 85 f2 macro, RF 100-400 f5.6-8

Jon Kellett's picture

Didn't watch, doubt I'll watch. Why should people care why he moved?

Moved from Canon to Sony pre-pandemic for my own reasons. At the end of the day, a camera is a tool. Nothing more or less.

Stvart Klœ's picture

TLDW: RF lacks options at all tiers. If you can’t service a market segment, you can’t capture those consumers. EZ-PZ lemon squeezy.

Weston Edwards's picture

Lesko Brandon , I agree 100%! No really cares what brand of camera you use. A very lame article.

Mike Ditz's picture

Not really an article, just a guy sitting at a desk yapping for 10+ minutes. I scooted thru it, what kind of photography does he do?

Timothy Linn's picture

It's hard to argue that Sony isn't a good overall choice. It has pros and cons like Canon, Nikon, and Fujifilm. I would say the same thing about Canon's choice not to let third parties build autofocusing RF lenses. Canon is giving up marketshare in favor of recovering R&D costs through sales of their own lenses. It's a tradeoff that Canon understands better than end users. Obviously, end users benefit from more options but they also benefit from a profitable Canon that is motivated to continue investing R&D into a shrinking market. Fujifilm did something similar for the first decade of their X-Series system. Now they've started supporting third-party lens manufacturers. It wouldn't surprise me to see Canon do the same thing eventually.

Sony was in a different situation when they introduced their first FF mirrorless bodies. There were very few good native Sony lenses. There was no large pool of legacy lenses like Canon users have with older EF lenses. Sony users were buying Canon lenses and adapting them because that was their best option at the time. It was to Sony's advantage to encourage third-party manufacturers to build E-mount lenses.

Edo Photo's picture

I would love to hear the business reasoning for not updating 50/1.4. apparently that lovely yet dinosaur lens that does not even have an RF mount version, is one of the nine EF lenses still in production. That simply means that it's very profitable for them.

I'd love to see a video of a person picking up a RF body just to be told they could get the super cheap nifty fifty or a $2,400 lens. Not fighting? Okay buy an adapter and pop this old 50 on it.

Good job canon.

Stvart Klœ's picture

Yeah, that one’s always been a head scratcher. They’re still making that lens, really? It launched in 1993…

Looking back, I had a couple L lenses here and there but most of what I would consider my best performers in the EF DSLR days were Sigma ART lenses.

I can’t imagine being stonewalled in while other systems have mountains of choices.

Even Pentax has a more modern 50mm f/1.4!

Reginald Walton's picture

Like I always say when these type of videos/blogs come out, "if you can't make decent videos and/or pics with the gear that's on the market today, you should probably find a new profession/hobby. Just my 2 cents.

Mike Ditz's picture

I am not sure that he is unhappy with the quality of images but more about the option of using a wider variety of 3rd party lenses. Also mentioned smaller sized cameras.

Stvart Klœ's picture

Sure. Which he did, when he switched to a system that gave him access to the largest market of equipment available today.

Your statement is a non-sequitur.

The actual gripe is that some people want affordable options that aren’t available from Canon. Others want innovative options besides that one $3100 28-70/2. Yet others want quality mid-range options, like f/1.4 primes.

Take me as an example. For much of the photography that I do, I just flat out can’t use Canon because they don’t have wide-enough fast-enough lenses to do the job. Other brands do, so I buy those tools instead. I used to buy mostly Canon, now I buy more from other brands. They lost my money by not providing me with good options.

David Pavlich's picture

Good! Gotta' love it when people switch. That means they're spending money in the photo industry. And the chances are good that this guy will switch again. Kaching!

M Hector's picture

I live a polymanufacturerous life, Sony and Canon. If I could also have an OM-1, life would be even more fun! I don't think that people truly *leave* a manufacturer, since a new sexy device will undoubtedly come along eventually that gets our attention.

Edo Photo's picture

I've been making the exact same point in these articles comments for weeks. Also on Canon rumors forums and DP review. This is almost never talked about. And it has me being a very frustrated and customer right now.

I keep bringing up the point of the 50/1.4. it is the most clear example of this lack of mid-tier options. A nearly 30 year old design has not been replaced, and there seems to be no plan to. There hasn't been a single example of media discussion with Canon about a new version of this lens.

The RF 50 mm example is the same one ive mentioned previously. Canon has kneecapped our third party choices, but there's a lot of len's designs they just refuse to make...we're supposed to be fine with that?

Non L RF lenses are mostly 'junk', slow, weak optics, etc.

Stvart Klœ's picture

Yep. The people who most directly feel the deleterious effects of Canon’s strategy are Canon’s own consumers. Said it once, said it a 100 times.

Even so, there’s always a handful of brand faithful to tell you to “just adapt EF lenses” like that’s a good solution. Adapt a 29 year old 50/1.4 designed for film SLRs, eh? Or, more likely, a newer yet still long in the tooth Sigma Art 50/1.4…

David Pavlich's picture

Well, I guess you shouldn't be using Canon since it's clear that a new 50mm f1.4 is something that you can't live without.

Stvart Klœ's picture

What’s the intention behind your comment?

I can’t use RF because it’s lacks many of the focal lengths I need at the maximum apertures I need. It’s not a matter of “should” it’s a matter of “can’t”

Other systems have the combination of features I need, my only good options are with other systems. Thus I use other systems.

David Pavlich's picture


Theodore Marks's picture

I've had the privilege of attending 2 Ansel Adam's workshops back in the late 70's. In both workshop he always had someone ask " What's the best camera " His response was the same in both workshops, " The one you have in your hands ".

Mike Ditz's picture

That answer alway annoys me, because I hear it so often. It has a tone of superiority to it.

It is usually said by people who have very good gear. Adams used Deardorff, Leica, Zeiss and Hasselblad cameras.

Christian Fiore's picture

I really hate shooting with my smartphone. It's in no way best at anything, and I regret every time I use it because I didn't have a real camera with me. Solved that with an RX100 VA. Still won't go everywhere with me, but 1000x easier than carrying any ILC.

Mindrinos Dimitris's picture

I'll be the next one to make the switch

KDB .'s picture

Please do...

Alan Fletcher's picture

I own the best camera in the world. Not because is brand x or y. The reason it is the best camera in the world, it is because it is my camera. And one of this days I'll get tired of it and buy the next world's best camera. Please!