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.

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68 Comments

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Jeff McCollough's picture

He shoots landscapes. No point in switching unless he wants to go medium format.

William Howell's picture

That’s my thinking also, I am thinking of investing into the Fuji Medium format.

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). :)

Jeff McCollough's picture

It would be really expensive to not switch?

Well aside from the fact that you already have Canon lenses which are native to your body which is better than adapted lenses you really need to think about what features the A7RIII has that the Canon doesn't. Most photographers compensate for lower dynamic ranges by using filters or they blend photos in PS. I could see one thing being the higher MP count but if you study up on printing you dn't really need that amount of MP for most applications.

Francisco Hernandez's picture

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.

Jeff McCollough's picture

What in the actual heck? I don't swear so now you are also a liar. I never swore in your group. I don't even swear in real life so you need to quit lying. At most I might use "hell" which is not a swear word and some rare occasion I might use the word "*ss" but that is next to never. You did not kick me out for swearing. Idiot.

And you comments get down voted because I don't like what you say. I think you need to grow up and don't get all hurt because people are starting to not like you. You recently booted other people because they agreed with me so I was told so that is certainly very interesting.

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.

Alex Dylikowski's picture

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

Rob Mitchell's picture

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!

Bill Metallinos's picture

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 😎

Nathaniel Johnston's picture

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.

Wayne Denny's picture

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...

David Pavlich's picture

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.

David Pavlich's picture

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

Darren Loveland's picture

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.

Phil Wright's picture

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.

user-206386's picture

18 Years?! That boy is just a baby! Or extremely well preserved.

Simon Patterson's picture

Wikipedia says he's 34 years old, so he would have been shooting with Canon since he was 16.

@user-206386: you must be a very intelligent American/Irish-Prick who hasn't really got a real argument, mate. He's made it more then you, you arrogant twat! So shut up bro'.

Wes Jones's picture

The sad break up music made me laugh.

I do a lot of low light theatre photography, the thought of moving to another camera system would be a nightmare. I use 2x 1D Xmk2 and a 5ds. I know the layout and setup of the 1dx's off the back of my hand and hate the 5ds with a passion, as I have work with one series bodies for 15 years and don't have to think about use. I can and do use other camera's, just under mega pressure the thought of using a fiddly Sony is just not going to happen. For all of this canon isn't the best tech, but it still earns me money and clients like my work.

Cesare Bonazza's picture

keep your Canon and add Fuji GXF 50 R for scenery you can go wrong

After you switch please post some images showing us how much better your photos are as a result of your switch please.

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