Sorry Sony, I'm a Canon User for Life

Sorry Sony, I'm a Canon User for Life

With the mirrorless camera transition happening around us people have been switching camera manufacturers more than ever. I for one am staying put with the brand I've trusted for years. Am I wrong for doing so?

There are some things that we don't ever consider changing and accept them as fixtures. I prefer Coke over Pepsi and my favorite baseball team is the Boston Red Sox. Now I understand that these examples are a little more static than say a modern day digital single-lens reflex camera, but the commitment to sticking with something you know and like carries merit.

I grew up around what I thought was the neatest camera setup ever. My Dad had a Canon AE-1 with a camera bag and a few lenses. We took it everywhere. I can't help but think that his affinity for Canon may have been passed along to me early on without me ever even realizing it.

When my wife and I got married back in 2005, one of the first things we knew we were going to buy with some of the gift proceeds was a digital camera with a removable lens. The model we ended up with was the Canon Rebel XT. We were about to go on a honeymoon to St. Maarten and were excited to finally be able to capture digital photos with a real camera. We called it that because after coming from film, the lack of megapixels and overall quality of most digital cameras of the time left a lot to be desired. This camera was one of the coolest things we had ever bought. The focus was fast, the frames per second seemed snappy, and even the sound of the shutter compared to everything before it was something we loved.

We enjoyed the camera so much that a number of years later we bought a Canon Rebel T3i. Once again, the updated feel and performance knocked our socks off all over again. It was only then that we started investing in Canon lenses. Owning lenses is one of the main factors keeping people like me from ever switching camera manufactures. Selling a lens that you bought new is an excellent way to waste money.

Once we outgrew the Canon Rebel T3i, it was time to take the huge leap into a full-frame sensor. This came in the form of the Canon 5D Mark III. This time I would have to say the step up in quality was off the charts. This camera knew what we wanted and delivered in every way.

Our Canon 5D Mark III on a tripod. Taken from our Canon 6D. All while thinking nostalgically about the Canon T3i and the Canon Rebel XT.

Once we had one full frame beast, the Canon Rebel T3i was a bit outgunned and outclassed. This eventually lead us to purchase a Canon 6D. Once the spending floodgates were officially opened, a couple of Canon's popular zoom lenses found their way to our porch. By this point, the photographic quality of the images we were both producing went way up. This effectively helped push our confidence to exactly where it needed to be to succeed.

It has been about six years since our last purchase, and I must say the brand new Canon RP looks like a perfect new addition to our squad. While the small size is enticing, the real draw for me is all the boosted specs and being able to finally shoot with a mirrorless system from my favorite camera maker.

Brand loyalty is waveringly these days as technological advances can leave some companies out in the cold. Competition is fierce to gain the spotlight in a time where perception is as important as ever. I think Sony did a heck of a job pushing the industry forward. They put out some great products and created quite a buzz by getting their cameras in a number of talented individuals hands. I will admit there was some curiosity on my end, but at the end of the day, there is only one camera brand for me. Knowing that lets me focus on the important part, taking pictures.

Would you ever switch camera manufacturers? Would that answer change if it didn't cost anything to do so? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

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126 Comments

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

I dare you to post this article on DPReview!

As for me, my Canon gear meets my needs too.

Don't do it! You will get reamed out on DPReview! :)

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

That's putting it mildly. And probably banned from the site!

I don't like brand loyalty since it kind gets you biased and takes away from the things you want to pursue or make unnecessary purchase (well, not being brand loyal also will lead to unnecessary purchases if you are like me). Companies love brand loyalty and they reap benefits while delivering customer expectations not in full.

I started with Canon (well, briefly I did own Sony's first generation of DSLR, before Canon) and ended up (at this moment) with Fuji.

However, I did not switch from Canon to Fuji because of the latest mirrorless is everything or DSLR is doomed or Canon is doomed trend. I was using Canon 5D Mark IV previously and then I bought Fuji X-T2 as a travel camera (lugging around 5D MIV with my family during trips ain't a pleasure). I start liking the physical controls and the lightness of x-t2. Although not a FF (for my work, I don't really need a FF - I am not a professional, just a hobbyist), X-T2 was awesome for my needs.

Then I upgraded from X-T2 to X-T3 to get that bump in everything (GAS). Eventually, my lust for Mirror-less (GAS) won over me and so I dumped 5D MIV with all the lens collections (quite a few) and moved to GFX-50S, the only affordable MF around at this time (well, R does good job, but I was attracted more to the S).

I think switching brands just because they didn't release one of those feature you don't use, but all the reviewers talk about, is not good on wallet. Pick the right tools for the right job. Don't get over attached to the tool. Just make decisions financially and very pragmatically.

Linas Laukevicius's picture

Hobbyist with 5K MF camera? Sounds crazy.

Yeah, that's GAS. But it produces amazing pictures for printing though :-)

Johnny Rico's picture

Brand loyalty is idiotic. It's a balance of the inconvenience of switching brands (Cost, time, learning) vs the pro's of switching to another brand.

Michael B. Stuart's picture

I'm fine with passing up on a bullet list of pros when I'm doing just fine with what I have. The grass isn't always greener so by ignoring gear temptation I can focus on shooting without excuses.

Kenneth O. Soto's picture

Ignoring gear temptation and focusing on shooting without excuses have no correlation whatsoever. You can focus on shooting without excuses with better, and more capable equipment as well, while at the same time ignoring temptation knowing that you have the most capable gear, so I'm at a loss as to why you're trying to justify your own bias.

I get it though, you're attached to them because of familiarity, as well as some nostalgic reasons which are totally understandable, but brand loyalty is just a form of cognitive dissonance, and you shouldn't feel proud of that.

Michael B. Stuart's picture

Okay. So hypothetically you get this better more capable equipment all while... Etc. And newer gear comes out! From brand X that does X, y, z that your, now outdated gear, does not. When do you say what I have is enough and spend energy and money on the many other aspects of photography?

Kenneth O. Soto's picture

I won't insult your intelligence as I think you're smart enough to make sense of what I meant. However, if I wasn't clear enough, I do apologize and I'll make it simpler for you.

I was specifically referring to current and latest generation cameras. Let's use the latest generation of entry-level mirrorless for instance. Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic all have a new FF camera in the $2,000-$2,500 price bracket with "similar" specs, right? Okay, hopefully you've been following up to this point, and are not confused as to what we're talking about here.

Then, can you give me a logical (not emotional) reason why you would get the EOS R over any other camera in this category knowing that they're charging more for less? How do you reasonably pass up on a "bullet list" of pros and stick to a lesser-spec'd camera?

I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

There is the additional angle, that the top cameras are pretty close in real world capability. You can find lab level spec differences, or convenience of control differences, but in the end you could probably shoot just as well with any of them.

Whether the attachment is emotional or comfort with the familiar, it's not a big deal either way.

Kenneth O. Soto's picture

Agreed. That, however, wasn't what I was referring to in this case. I'm not criticizing the EOS R image quality here.

And yes, having an emotional attachment, brand loyalty or comfort with the familiar isn't bad, but that doesn't make it a solid argument either. Basing things on emotion can lead to some pretty bad decisions, and that can be applied to most (if not all) things in life. Additionally, admitting that you are okay with what you have isn't bad either, but is most certainly not a compelling argument, and not convincing in any way.

My issue with the author is that in this "persuasive argument", the type of appeal, or lack thereof, isn't based on logos or ethos, which would solidify any claims he might make. But rather, he uses a pseudo-pathos type of appeal that will only find supporters who themselves have the same confirmation bias. What's more, he evidently shows some severe cognitive dissonance that makes me question whether he should've even written this article in the first place.

But that's just my opinion.

Kirk Darling's picture

"Then, can you give me a logical (not emotional) reason why you would get the EOS R over any other camera in this category knowing that they're charging more for less? How do you reasonably pass up on a "bullet list" of pros and stick to a lesser-spec'd camera?"

A. Need to upgrade for one or two specific reasons that the EOS R provides for studio portraits. Specifically, my 5DII cameras are just old, I like touch controls, I really--really-really like touch and drag focusing.

B. Want to stick with a similar operation and feel to the 80D cameras that I use for multi-camera videos.

C. Don't need anything else the other cameras provide.

D. Don't intend to buy new lenses for the next few years, but buying a couple of adapters is okay. EF lenses are operable on all the cameras.

E. The other cameras feel like suck--personal opinion, but it counts when it's my money.

I'm replacing a camera, I'm not changing my life.

Kenneth O. Soto's picture

A. Any of the other competitors have been offering that, for some time now.

B. You're afraid of the unknown, got it.

C. You may think so, but since you haven't tried them I highly doubt you truly know that.

D. Fair point. That being said, having switched systems myself, it isn't as some photographers make it out to be. In fact, replacing all of your gear will not cost a fortune. You might lose a few hundred dollars, but you'll recoup that anyway.

E. True, it's your money, and you can buy whatever you want. Being a good investment is, another point entirely.

Replacing your camera won't change the way you shoot, but it can most definitely enhance your shooting experience.

Kirk Darling's picture

My GAS experiences are predominantly with lighting, not cameras and lenses. I've got more studio flash units, modifiers, stands, et cetera than I can get into my studio. I literally rent a storage facility for the lighting equipment I can't get into my studio. I enhance my shooting experience with more lights.

I know what I need to do what I want to do.

You seem to have a need to justify your actions by proving everyone else should do the same as you've done.

Sorry you feel that way.

Matthew Saville's picture

In that particular instance, (the $2-2.5K range) ...the EOS R itself is only the tip of the RF iceberg. Canon's existing (and teased) RF lenses are showing already that Canon means business, and are determined to deliver the amazing Canon "glass experience" as it were, to those who already know they love Canon, both the lenses and the camera body ergonomics and menus.

Sure, maybe the Sony is better at some things, but it also has major drawbacks in its ergonomics and interface/customization that anyone who has shot Canon for years will find extremely difficult to consider "preferable", let alone "superior". For this reason, I only recommend Sony to those people who have already tried it out and know they're OK with the system, and also are absolutely needing both photo and video features, not just photo. (Believe it or not, there are still tons of photographers who just don't care about video features.)

In short, you have a very good point about Canon seeming to offer "more for less" in the EOS R. But a few highlighted specs are only part of the story. Having personally reviewed the EOS R/RP, A7III/RIII, and Z6/7, I can say that Canon's RF system has a lot going for it, and anyone who is already familiar with the Canon system will do well to either be an "early adopter" of this new RF system, or wait for the "high-end" RF body to come.

Kenneth O. Soto's picture

I have to agree with you, the glass they're coming out with is truly amazing. That being said, your lens is as good as the body you mount it to, so take that as you will.

It may be difficult to comprehend the significance of this point, but the quality of a camera system is determined by whether it is "good enough" to meet one's artistic and commercial needs as well as whether the system fits within one's budget. If a camera system is that good that it is "good enough" for the individual who owns it, then it is irrelevant whether that camera is the best at everything or anything. Put differently, incremental and small differences in camera capacity do not easily translate into income differences or differences in personal satisfaction, unless, of course, having the better or best camera means something to the owner.

Technology switching needs to pay for itself in some manner.

Kirk Darling's picture

Canon since 1975. Although I've also extensively used medium and large format, switching from Canon wouldn't have changed what I do with Canon.

Robert Tran's picture

Your article illustrates an increasingly popular and practical approach to gear - shoot what you like and don’t fixate on what others are doing as long as it is bringing the enjoyment, results, and income in some cases, from shooting. From my standpoint, the reason(s) motivating brand preference doesn’t even really matter in the end, as long as it is not holding a person back as a photographer in any way. Your one statement about being able to focus on taking pictures because you know Canon is your brand, is a little confusing to me though. I’ve never met a person, myself included, who failed to focus on the art of photography because of preoccupation with brands. I get your underlying point that we shouldn’t blame gear for results, however, it just came across as a little hokey. Best wishes for continued success and making quality content.

Andrew Morse's picture

Honestly, I'm a Canon shooter and I'd switch if I thought it was worthwhile. I'm not really interested in switching at this time because even though you can recoup most of your investment in the switch, that comes with time, effort and risk. I just don't see the benefits posed by other brands as being worth it for my need. My camera has yet to fail me, I'm familiar with how everything works, and I know what it will and will not tolerate - I'd rather not fix something that isn't broken. The day I can blame a lost photo on the camera and not a decision I made is very likely the day I switch. To each their own though!

Michael B. Stuart's picture

Well put. Thank you! You better go knock on wood though after the "hasn't failed me yet..." statement!

That is a sound point of view.

Benton Lam's picture

I think a "blind" loyalty without trying out other cameras is silly, but if you have tried what's out there, and still prefer one over another, then sure.

In my case, for film, I like Olympuses a lot. I like my OM-1. I like the 35 SPn. I like the XA (even though the electronics is giving out). But then I've tried the AE-1 (didn't like the shutter priority only option). The Nikon F3 didn't speak to me quite the same way. The Canonet QL17 is great, so is the Pentax 645. I even like my Praktica M42.

But overall, I lean heavily towards Olympus for film.

I do have the EM-10ii for digital, in fact that's the first camera that I got, and I have a bunch of lenses. I'm mostly happy with it, except for low light noise and AF. But recently I tried the X-E3, and love it. I prefer rangefinder style bodies, because it's a little less threatening / obvious as a SLR style when shooting on the street. But I do miss IBIS, so I don't have a clear pick per se in digital.

I do like the controls on both the EM-10ii and the X-E3, over the more command style approaches of the DSLR world.

I would shy away from brand loyalty for the sake of it, not until you've tried other gear and make an informed choice.

Michael Holst's picture

Brand loyalty is a marketers equivalent of a sucker. I'd happily switch brands when getting a new camera. The name on the camera isn't even a thought when I purchase. It's how the camera makes me feel with I shoot with it.

Nathan McMahon's picture

Already did the switch from Canon to Fuji and haven't looked back.

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