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'Buy My New Presets' Said Every Targeted Ad From a Sony Shooter

'Buy My New Presets' Said Every Targeted Ad From a Sony Shooter

We've all scrolled past a targeted ad on Facebook or Instagram with a caption screaming for us to buy their new Lightroom or Photoshop presets if we want to take better photos. Is it just me, or does it usually seem these ads are often from folks shooting Sony cameras?

This is definitely not a camera brand versus brand discussion, there are already way more than enough articles trying to have that debate. This is more a humorous observation that struck me the other day when I saw yet another image on Instagram with the caption telling me if I want to learn the secret to better images it all starts with buying the photographer's new Lightroom presets. Upon checking out the profile, you guessed it, they are shooting one of the a7 models.

This situation seems to be pretty common, at least in the land of Instagram and it seems like a bit of an odd coincidence, don't you think? I sure feel like every single time someone tries to sell me presets they also make sure to bring to my attention something about an a7. Is there some kind of Sony-meets-Adobe preset conspiracy we should all be on the lookout for? If anyone is in the mood to go looking for a conspiracy theory, start here. Is it because in general Sony shooters are often a younger audience more inclined to believe that it's the color preset that make a good photo? Is it because Sony is all the rage right now (possibly rightfully so, no dispute from me that they have been on fire these last couple years) and if you want to be popular on Instagram you've gotta conform to the norm?

It's at a point where the folks selling presets have started to feel like a used car salesman (yikes). We get it, your green and gold color preset pack will bring our images right in line with every other green and gold toned image out there. At the very least, it would be nice to see advertisements that actually have something to say or a point to make other than argue that your presets equal quality work. You be the judge, all I can say is that if one more person tells me to buy their presets and asks what camera I shoot I might lose it!

In an effort to prevent anyone from taking this a bit too literally (it's the internet after all), know that this piece is written from a place of satire and good friendly humor. I've got nothing against Sony and by all accounts they are totally killing it right now and are doing tons of cool and innovative things. Truth be told, auto-eye focus makes me super jealous and I certainly would rather be able to focus near the edge of my frame rather than focus and recompose. Furthermore, if presets are your jam keep rocking, no sweat. With that said, presets and one button fix-alls have never and will never be the secret sauce. Great work isn't great because of a preset; there is always more going on behind the curtain. I get that folks are trying to earn a buck these days but the whole, “buy my new presets 2019” feels like it has already run its course. 

Evan Kane is a portrait photographer based near Seattle. He specializes in colorful location portraits with a bit of a fairy tale flair. Always looking to create something with emotion behind it, he fell backwards into photography in mid 2015 and has been pursuing this dream ever since. One if his mottos: "There is always more to learn."

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56 Comments

I'm sure Jared Polin isn't a Sony Shooter.

He's not even a photographer.

You should have put the last paragraph first. Actually, you should have put it in the title given that this is the internet and few bother to read past the title once their outrage has been triggered.

I wouldn't know, I do not browse Instagram :-)

I don’t see the same obnoxious “influencer” approach from Canon, Fuji or Nikon ambassadors. I can’t blame Sony. They really seemed to have cornered the “wedding photographers who act like they’re rock stars” market in the past few years.

Only today for $29.99, regular price $1995.

Then next month, same mind blowing deal.

But wait there's more! Buy the next preset for only $49.99 and you get a free piece of paper with matching pencil! And if you subscribe, you'll get hit with Viagra spam!

Template are waste of money in my opinion. Get some free ones, learn how they made. That's worth much more!

If you need to buy presets, then maybe it's time to consider getting out of the house and actually learn photography.

Presets do have their place.

canon shooters whinging about how all the young whipper-snappers are using sonys now know how nikon shooters felt back in the day, when today's elder canon shooters bought their first canons.

back then, nikon shooters generalized canon shooters as those who couldnt afford nikon. today, canon shooters generalize sony shooters as those who care more about a spec sheet than competence or "color science."

and no one says anything about pentax shooters because they've always been irrelevant, unless they're asked when they'll graduate to a "real" camera.

Hmm. You left out the angry Fuji shooters.

if a group of 15 people bothers you, that speaks more about you than them.

Never said it bothered me.. It was a joke.

I think it is just because most Sony shooters are new to the platform in general. Very few Sony shooters have been shooting sony more than a couple of years, even though they have made, ahem, cameras for quite some time. Most Sony shooters are prone to follow the latest and greatest, that is why they switched camera brands to begin with, and many of them will switch again in a heartbeat when the next new and great thing comes along.

Unfortunately, this likely means they put too much faith in the gear and not enough in the result.

i think most sony owners nowadays would be shocked to learn their cameras were born from the ashes of Konica-Minolta.

or maybe they wouldn't even know what minolta or konica were.

i believe the "lack of faith" in results was implied by the blogger specifically naming "instagram" as the social medium they experienced this within.

I think that a lot of sony shooters are new to the photography market in general and will leapfrog from brand to brand until they find the one they like so much, they buy enough glass to make it no longer feasible to switch brands. I am a Nikon shooter because that is what I started with, and got very used to, so when I switched to digital, of course, I went nikon. I will admit that I have eyed canon from time to time because of their greater selection in TS lenses.

I do think that the old trend to stay with what you have glass for is becoming less relevant though with the advent of mirrorless and being able to adapt your older non-native DSLR lenses to your new mirrorless bodies.

Just how the world works though, older shooters will bitch about the younger ones, and the new technology, just like how 35mm was destroying the world of photography before digital was even a thing. Younger shooters will bitch about the older ones. If there is one thing certain, us photographers are bitchy people.

You need to put your brain into gear. Where do you think all of these 'new' Sony users came from ? Yes that's right, Canon & Nikon with a smattering of Fuji, Pentax etc. and on the forums I inhabit many were indeed Minolta / Pentax / Nikon users from the film era (and continue to adapt those excellent Minolta/Konica lenses).

Note that most youngsters (newbies) wouldn't be able to afford the cameras, and even more so the lenses since Sony, Zeiss and Voigtlander (who between them produce the majority of the 150 or so E mount lenses available for Sony users) are definitely not at the 'budget' end of the market.

I have the opportunity on a daily basis to see 600 or so people from all around the world that come to photograph. Just for fun I always take note of what they are shooting with. The majority have point and shoot cameras or the in-between cameras in-between a PAS and a DSLR. Majority of them are in the Sony range. I think you need to put your brain in gear and realize there is more to the world of photography than the friends you have around you. You inhabit forums, which will certainly have a very specific group of people in them. Open your eyes in the real world and you will see the majority of people do not inhabit those forums. You are basing your entire belief off of a very tiny subsection of a specific group of people, making it even smaller. And you are using that to form your entire world beliefs.

OK Let's forget about the forums I inhabit for a moment (the reason I referenced them in the first place is because it is only photographers at that sort of level that would produce pre-sets for sale) and instead look at global sales, which I'm sure you can admit are factual (without even taking historical data and stock into account - where Sony are not the strongest by far, Canon and Nikon are).

Sony are currently the highest sellers (as of 2018-1019, not before) of FULL FRAME ILC cameras ONLY (we're not concerned with P&S). This doesn't even account for total sales of all cameras falling off a cliff in the past few years, making historical sales (let's say the past 5 years) an even greater percentage of current stock.
To put that into perspective (cut and pasted from a FS link to DCW): In 2010, the height of the industry, 121 million cameras were produced. In 2018, however, that number had eroded to just 19 million. Also Canon CEO Fujio Mitarai said (FS in 2018) : professional and [advanced] amateurs use about 5 to 6 million units.

P&S sales now account for just 44% of the market (2018) compared to 74% in 2013 (CIPA).

Just go and check CIPAs sales records (Sony isn't even #1 in the ILC market). So how does your seeing 600 new users daily (haha yeah right, that equates to 200,000 individual users per annum) measure up to global statistics ? To say nothing of logic (clearly my brain is fully engaged unlike some others). So yeah Logan, open your eyes to the real world.

BTW I am a Sony user (A9 & A7rii and have been using their cameras since the A7 and A7r) and greatly enjoy their cameras but let's not go overboard here with the love.

This is absolutely logical. Historical sales must be taken into account as they provide the bulk of all camera stock. Sony are the #1 sellers of FF cameras as of today, but that obviously doesn't mean the majority of all camera users out there use Sony, because as you demonstrated, they clearly aren't and it's illogical to think they could be.

Sony says they are the #1 seller of FF cameras and just like every other time Sony has inflated their numbers in the past, Sony shooters believe it. Sony’s numbers say they are #1. But only under a very specific period of time selected to skew the stats. Believe it or not, they are still not #1 in anything for either fiscal year or calendar year.

Do you even know what CIPA is ? It seems not otherwise you wouldn't have written that inane comment. Sony didn't decide they sold the most FF cameras (which isn't disputed by anyone, except you it seems). CIPA publish quarterly updates on the camera market and their results show Sony now sell more FF cameras than anyone else (in 2018, with the trend continuing in 2019).

Here's CIPA's own statement : Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) is an international industry association consisting of members engaged in the development, production or sale of imaging related devices including digital cameras. The association's mission is to contribute to the business success of its members through various activities in securing fair business environments and by hosting events such as the world premier shows of camera and imaging devices, in addition to formulating worldwide industry standards to enhance the convenience of consumers.

Well, my first d-slr was a Minolta 5d and afterwards I started with the Sony a100.
I think many new buyers want to best bang for the buck and if you don't own any lenses and flashes, it is easy to see why people buy the best camera for the money.

Canon is way behind, Nikon is struggling, Fuji does a good job but Sony is the choice for many people.
Don't put down Sony users. They are a lot smarter than many people who stay loyal to a brand that lags behind and offers less and less for the price.

Capitalism at its finest! Now everyone shut up and buy MY presets! :D

Photography should be about imagination, creativity and the process of translating an idea into an image. What you created it with means Jack Dickelson unless you are still a noob thinking that the camera did all the work. But then you would think those phone pics are straight out of the camera too and we know that's a lie.

And in about 22 months, Jan will still be waiting for Canon to introduce a really competitive camera. Keep waiting Jan.

What's wrong with Canon cameras now? :o

Canon cameras are fine for non-hybrid shooters (everything is wrong with video: strong crop multiplier, low quality, rolling shutter) who are not landscape photographers or who like to do HDR shot merging.

I.e. Canon cameras are great for weddings and portraits. That's a big part of the business so Canon has found their niche. Canon cameras are not good for photographers pushing boundaries: wide dynamic range shooting; manual focus (triple button press in and out of an image); video.

I've left Canon for Nikon. I still have a 5DS R and most of my glass. It will all go if by the end of the year if Canon doesn't turn over a new leaf and put out a first rate mirrorless camera without an idiotic touchbar interface and crippled video.

I shoot stills and wildlife with full Canon gear, and videos with a Sony A7s (because of its low light capabilities). I tried once to snap a still with the Sony, I could never make it look as nice as a Canon image taken right at the same time with the same settings (all in RAW obviously).

I had the same situation of dual Canon/Sony. I got so tired of it and Sony's cameras that once I'd tried a Nikon Z6 and enjoyed the interface and almost equally good image quality as Canon, along with the wide dynamic range of a Sony sensor, I jumped over to Nikon almost completely.

Not because I don't like my Canon lenses or Canon image quality but I know that Canon will continue to rip photographers off with slow incremental upgrades of camera bodies, forcing us to buy every generation to get features which are five or seven years old on Sony and now Nikon. Nikon seems to be on the photographers' side by issuing good ergonomic and fully featured bodies at fair prices, with a great respect for legacy compatibility.

Physical product design is not as attractive at Nikon as Canon (Canon lenses are nicer to look at and handle) but it's not bad. On the Z6, Nikon designers hit it out of the park. There is literally nothing this camera is missing in terms of functionality or design, besides rolling shutter (which itself is very good in S35 mode).

If Canon wants to attract me back, they'll have to issue an uncrippled full frame EOS R with a 5D III type interface very soon.

If you can't get the same look out of two different camera brands, it's not the camera, it's your lack of ability to edit photos. Unless you are talking .jpg files, the difference is miniscule AT BEST.

First of all, please read my entire message: I did write RAW, didn't I? Second, yes, I came close... But at the cost of huge efforts that would probably not be replicable from shot to shot with a preset. Really not worth the time. I'll keep my Sony though for night time videos, which was anyway the primary goal of my purchase.

They really have not kept up with modern technology. Like, at all.

Oh. Ok then. I will put the 1DX2 and the 5D4 in the trash tonight. What a bunch of outdated crap that's just weighing me down. That's all what they deserve.

I've got a 5d4, and like, I like it, it's a huge step up from what I was using, but compared to other camera manufacturers, canon is VERY behind the times in a lot of ways.

To be honest, in a studio with studio lights practically every modern camera is capable of taking excellent shots. You'd be hard pressed to distinguish camera brands.

But if you really shot with a Sony, which I find very hard to believe, it is a wonder you didn't burst into flames or died of instant hart failure. I mean, if you touched a Sony. How could you survive?

The main question is: Why did you use a Sony? (if you did, which I have a hard time believing) after all the insults at Sony and people who shot Sony.

Judging by the yellow skin tones of the last picture, I bet 5 bucks this was shot on a Canon.

I really like the first picture though. Nice shot.

But I suspect both were shot on a Canon. They are too warm to be shot on a Sony unless you did that on purpose.

Well, to be sure, I downloaded them both after my post and the exif said Canon 5DMk4. The colours aren't Sony colours. Lying isn't necessary.

Studiolighting at iso100 makes for good and eady shots.

I have never said you cannot take great pictures with a Canon. I said that they are lagging more and more behind in technology.

"Which technology?" Lots of technology. See my replies above to Rayann Elzein. If video or shooting with manual lenses and mirrorless ergonomics don't matter to you, Canon still makes a mean stills only camera. Nikon Z6 at last fulfills the photographic and hybrid promise which Sony's technology mirrorless originally tempted photographers in a body which is genuinely a joy to use. I have nothing bad to say about the Z6 after three months of ownership. In fact, I like the Z6 enough to have just bought a second body for B-roll. I like the Z6 enough to add a D4 for sports instead of Canon 1DX Mark II so they can all share the same lenses, including a long planned 70-200mm upgrade which ended up being Nikon FL rather than Canon L.

Canon has angered enough long time fans. If they are losing long time Canon shooters like me to Nikon, they've really blown it. Sony was a crappy alternative to Canon due to ergonomics. Nikon is not.

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