Why One Photographer is Considering Switching From Canon

Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony vs. Fujifilm vs. insert camera manufacturer name here. In the current atmosphere of fierce competition driven by faster cycles of next-generation technology, it seems there are more photographers switching brands than ever. Here is why one photographer is considering switching from Canon after eighteen years.

Landscape photographer and popular YouTuber Thomas Heaton begins his discussion of the Canon EOS-R mirrorless camera by making it clear that his video is not in the slightest way a comprehensive review of the camera. Heaton has not used a number of the features including the video mode, but has put the camera through its paces with a week of landscape photography in Iceland and his opinion is that Canon has nothing new to offer with this product. While the camera worked well for Heaton in Iceland, he finds that everything he likes about the EOS-R can be found in Canon's other offerings. 

Heaton is so disillusioned by Canon's lack of innovation that he is considering switching to another brand after eighteen years of dedicated Canon use. There are numerous articles and think pieces out there, including many fine ones on this site, comparing the leading manufacturers as they continue to try and jockey for position with each new camera release. While the switching cost can be high for photographers who have invested significant money in a particular brand, it's clear that innovation is driving increasing market share for those companies willing to invest in it. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the EOS-R, Canon's latest offerings compared to its competitors, or the state of the industry in general. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Aneesh Kothari's picture

Aneesh Kothari is a Houston-based travel, landscape, and cityscape photographer. He enjoys reading Fstoppers.com, traveling with his family, and making lists of things he enjoys. He yearns to be a Civil War buff but has yet to finish the Ken Burns series.

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I'm always curious about these guys who are constantly getting the newest, latest, greatest camera - not just professionals, either. What exactly do you think a new camera is going to do that your 'old' one couldn't accomplish?

There's lots of new improvements with new cameras. I'm not a fan of the EOS-R but they introduced eye-af with it, the EOSR with their newest 50 1.2 can focus really great at night, and although not well executed they also made a new multi function bar. New cameras definitely have their place. I shoot Sony and the A7RII has somewhat low battery. I now have the A7RIII and among the many improvements was the way longer battery life.

New cameras have their place, and we all know that image sensors, AF tech and battery life keep on improving, but the brand switching videos have reached almost hysterical proportions. A couple of years ago, I thought we were done with the «I'm switching to Sony/Fujifilm»-videos, but it never stops.

I'm happy to see YouTube creators like you delivering way more useful content, like for instance your recent «Building the shot» series. Aspiring photographers are so much better off watching that, than letting themselves get distracted by gearswitchers.


And just for the record: Thomas Heathon is usually also worth watching, and does not deserve to be mocked for this video (sorry), he just happened to remind me just how much I've come to dislike this genre.

Thanks, man. Yeah, not too long ago I was accused of manipulating photographers into thinking better gear = better photographs and was so confused. I tell people all the time that I use my gear because of personal preference but I could use other gear and get the same images. I'm trying my best to make that even clearer now and want to create new content that shows that as well.

Interesting way to start a comment about a video by a professional photographer who isn't the things you describe.

Watch the video, and you'll notice that Heaton's camera is completely brassed (is it still called brassing when it's not made from brass?). In any case, he's been using the same camera for years.

Huh? His camera is the current, excellent 5D4. How many years could he possibly own it?

Huh? It's still brassed and well used

"The Mark IV went on sale in September 2016" so longest time is 2ish years, potentially. Depends on use, I guess,

Well if a camera comes out new and it's worse than most of the old ones that is why they're switching. Canon R does not have image stabilization that is very important for a low light photography but then if you're not a photographer you wouldn't know that. having switch from Canon to Sony but still have a few Canon bodies I prefer the Sony because of the in-body stabilization on its mirrorless camera.

I agree. What a modern camera can do more that a https://www.keh.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/1800x/040ec09b1e...

It's not just cameras. It's applicable to everything.

What do you think iPhone 8 can do iPhone 7 couldn't. What do you think the newest Porsche can you the previous model couldn't?

There is only handful of industries where there is actual progress between two consecutive product cycles. Maybe if you skip one or two cycles you'll get actual progress.

it will look good on their business cards. :)

Dude, if can't single point the many advantages that newer tech has over Canon, you have been in cave the past 5 years...this is so obvious, Canon is still counting that their users buy old tech at higher prices...

I think that the endless stream of articles and videos about camera brand switching are doing exactly nothing to make me a better photographer. If I had been into the slightly different hobby of camera ownership, this genre is obviously spot on for your needs.

I also think I wouldn't be this snarky if it wasn't for the fact that I'm stupid enough to keep clicking on this kind of content, and always end up regretting the waste of my time. Sorry about that.

Even Cannon didn't think it was anything special. The CEO came right out at launch and said it wasn't meant to replace anything. I don't know who is making the business decisions at Cannon but they need to be fired.

Canon is doing fine. And learn how to spell.

It is almost funny how much you have to defend Cannonn in all of your comments.

With the latest mirrorless Camera from Canon they could have wipe Sony off the map but protecting their high-end cameras they forgot to put dual card slots, image stabilization,and many other items it's sad it's like they're just trying to not make a decent low price camera. they just want us to pay through the nose for their high-end cameras that Sony can blow out of the water with the $2,000 a7iii.

Utterly boring video. Way too long. Couldn't watch it to the end. I gather there's something he didn't like about the camera. It didn't improve his pictures, or something ... But I did see the part where he didn't know how much it costs. Very strange.

The GFX is one of the best cameras made so far. The lenses are probably some of the best on the market if not the best. The 63mm f2.8, for example, makes the sigma art 50mm look soft. the 110mm f/2.0 performs very closely to the Zeiss 135mm f2.0 which is saying a lot.

In short, if it's image quality you're after, there's nothing quite as good below 10k.

There are usability issues and battery life is a little crappy. Focusing isn't the best but works fine for most instances. I wouldn't recommend it at all for video but in a pinch it's fine. Sync speed is quite slow at 1/125 but you can use HSS.

Focus by wire is a pain for me but some people don't mind. Uses and EVF so that's either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your preferences.

Finally one of the best things about this camera is that you can adapt EF mount lenses to it. This is where you can have a tonne of fun. Tilt-shift lenses, for example, work incredibly well with the GFX.

Get the R version if you don't want the big uglier camera.

In short, I can't think of any major reason as to why you wouldn't be happy with the GFX.


Who cares? Constantly hearing how the new camera (insert brand) is garbage and "I'm" jumping ship. Do it then who cares? I can make a great image with a pin hole camera made from a shoe box. The fact of the matter is there is not a bad camera being made today. Any one will make a great image in the right hands. It's exciting as all of these cameras just keep getting better and better.

As a Canon shooter of 12 years it was a difficult decision for me, but about 6 years ago I sold all my 5DII/III's, all my L primes, and everything else Canon I'd accumulated. The system made great images and I loved shooting it, but once I had picked up Fuji's cameras and glass there was no going back.

The Fuji cameras and lenses are nearly half the cost and in most cases produce images that are subjectively as good as the Canon stuff, and in some respects better. Key places where the Fuji cameras were notably better: The Fuji system is nearly half the size and weight. My X-T2 and X-H1 shoot superior video and can shoot 4K. The Fuji system has built in features like timelapse, bluetooth/wifi control, and in the case of the X-H1 in-body 5-axis IS. Plus I'm a big fan of the external manual controls on the Fuji cameras. Having an aperture ring, ISO knob, shutter speed knob, etc. is a breath of fresh air vs. the DSLR world where it's not quite as tactile and external. And lastly the Fuji X-Trans sensors have ISO noise performance as good or better than the Canon offerings—including such heavyweights as the 5DIV.

The real gems of the Fuji lineup though are it's extensive line of large aperture primes. They cost half of what Canon or Nikon glass cost, yet produce an image as good or better, particularly corner to corner. The Fuji stuff also has noticeably less CA towards the edges.

In any case, the move away from a large DSLR system ended up not being a difficult one. Fuji checked all the boxes: A more compact and affordable system with fantastic image quality, many large aperture primes, better video quality, half the weight, and great controls and features. Now when I pick up a Canon DSLR with an L lens mounted I think to myself, "What took me so long?"

Whatever works for you is fine. Nobody cares how many years you shot what.

I find it strange that he, as a landscape user who doesn't care much about the 1.3x crop when doing 4k, IBIS, etc feels disillusioned that the R doesn't have that many bells and whistles that are are incredibly innovative. At the end of the day, if he wants to jump ship to another brand, it's his money and time. But I found his video to be silly.

I'm *this* close to switching simply because no Canon camera can come close to matching the D850 IQ. I stay because of 1) the glass 2) the interface and ergonomics, and the fact they haven't changed in *10 years* 3) the colors 4) the consistent battery which also hasn't changed in *10 years,* other than backward-compatible improvements (I have four bodies and one inactive one all with the same battery) and 5) their incredible service both in their CPS centers and on the phone.

Still, it's been 10 years since their last Oh-Wow-Everyone-Else-Is-Now-Behind-And-Jealous offering, the 5D2.


Please elaborate. I'm currently in the same situation where I'm planning to switch from my 5DMIII to A7RIII but would love to hear any argument for not switching (since it would be really expensive). :)


Gonna keep downvoting all my comments, Jeff? You really gotta let it go, man. I booted you from my photo group a long time ago (2 years?) because you were swearing at someone in my group and ever since you've just been disliking and downvoting everything I do. Go focus on being more productive. It'll benefit you a lot more.


Hi Jeff, hello Francisco 🍿 😂

EOS R sucks. The handling, full manual exposure controls, autofocus, colours, resolution, file malleability, battery life, touchscreen, EVF, lens selection and adapting, reliability, build quality... all trash. -The internet.

I am a Canon user. I would love to have Nikon D850, but I am not going to switch just yet. Canon has best lenses. Just look at what canon released for R mount and compare with Nikon and Z mount. If Nikon was as strong with lenses, I would be gone

Another day, another attempt to justify a choice to the world.

You want attention? Create a "Why I switch from X to Y" video. Sure shot!

Since you are already use an adaptor... perhaps you will have no problem to adapt to a new camera using an EF-Adaptor to that one.
Perhaps the new Sony A7SIII will be a WOW upgrade to 16bit color image and 2+ dynamic range up! Wait for it

Another one bites the dust 😎

This ongoing, masturbatory, gear-fetish is for hobbyists. Pros are too busy making money with the tools they have in their kits. It doesn’t matter what camera body you use. What matters is you, the photographer.

First, I have a lot of respect for Thomas; he has has inspired my photography as well as introduced many new ideas and techniques to my evolving level of craft. Being on a limited budget and typically disinterested in brand switching articles or brand comparisons I appreciated where Thomas was going with his video. His observations were more a rebuke of Canon’s deaf ear to its base which is suicidal in this crowding marketplace. Everyone assumes that because Canon is so big that they know what they are doing; go ask Sears/Kmart about that ( and yes, I know there is much more to that story). I am currently replacing my canon printer because it finally pooped after six months of reporting b203 ( or maybe it was b204) errors. I know the printer market is vastly different but what a piece of crap. Thomas was not extolling the virtues of Nikon or Sony; he was lamenting the short sightedness of Canon.

What I liked about Thomas's perspective was that it wasn’t a spec sheet rant. It was “does this camera inspire me to take pictures in a more creative way or better workflow?” He was sincere and himself ( for those that know his style of conversation).

For those that suggest that Thomas was looking at the wrong camera for his level of photography and should be discussing medium format consider that he is an avid hiker and places portability as one of his desirables.

My comments are scattered but these are simply random thoughts. Last one: I may not be able to switch from Canon ever, but their continued approach to the marketplace certainly slows down when I care to invest. And Canon, in this smartphone world we live the in I may be all you got.

To all those bashing the guy... just check the rest of his Youtube channel and see how many of em are about gear, and especially about manufacturer war. Answer: almost none, most of the time he's talking about "real photography" or soaking in rain trying to get a shot so... don't bash him.

I wasn't really bashing the guy above, I too really enjoy his channel along with Sean Tucker's. It's almost more about the philosophy of photography than anything else. I guess I just didn't understand the need to switch brands just because the latest camera didn't meet his expectations. I'm not going to give up my D800 & switch to Sony just because the Z7 only had one card slot...

Here's a question to ask anyone that uses a camera professionally; have you received complaints about the quality of your images? My guess is no, he/she hasn't. But human nature being what it is, because Camera A has better whatever, the images are not up to snuff or the old stuff is now too slow or doesn't focus fast enough or.....

I think there would be a lot of chuckling if Heaton changed all of his gear only to have Canon come out with their pro body mirror less that actually has all of the goodies that he needs. But, I also like to hear when people decide to rid themselves of their 'albatross' gear and buy new stuff. I want all of the camera companies to continue to prosper. Buying new gear for whatever reason will help that along.

Well, if someone belives your portfolio quality isn't up to their standards, they won't hire you.

Which is true, but I would say that 99% of bad portfolios are due to the photographer and not the gear.

Not sure why so many people are up in arms about the Canon EOS R. It is their introductory full frame mirrorless body, far from what the professional model will offer when it's released. Anyone who is a pro or semi pro and purchased this camera with the intention of incorporating it as their go-to frame for paid work, is just setting themselves up for disappointment. Creating a video to rage on about "switching away from Canon" due to the release of this camera is just click-bait.

It's really interesting how many people have made a comment here that quite obviously haven't watched the video from Thomas. If you HAD watched it, you would've seen that throughout the video he stated that it wasn't a review video and that it was only created because he had been specifically asked in the comments of previous videos for his OPINION of the camera. Nothing else.

He has also been with Canon for 18 years, so he's hardly 'constantly jumping ship'.

I'd suggest that you watch the video again and listen to his reasoning. It isn't really anything to do with the EOS R. He says it's an ok camera. Middle of the pack; however, Canon could've really done something special. They USED to do things special with things like the 5Dii, but now their products are just a little lackluster. Small upgrades rather than the big jumps that other manufacturers are making in the camera market.

TL:DR, watch the video.

That makes more sense, and IMO that's a legit reason for his video. I think most people just feel like it doesn't warrant an fstoppers article though... but I suppose if it leads more people to a useful youtube channel that's at least one positive that comes out of it.

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