I have been out on many occasions photographing an event and on some of these occasions I strike up a conversation with other photographers that are also in attendance. One of the most striking responses I have had is “Oh you are one of those !”. At first I was a little miffed as to what they were talking about and then I realised that they were talking about me being a Nikon user. To me it didn’t seem to make any difference as to which camera you used, either it be a Nikon, a Canon, a Sony or a Pentax. Its what you do with that camera that makes the difference. Camera’s are like cars, designed to get you from A to B with comfort and safety where the camera is designed to take a photo regardless of the knowledge of photography that person holding camera has.
There are plenty of arguments out there as to why either a Canon or a Nikon is better than the other and I am sure that the camera manufactures love the debate and the loyalty to their brands, as this debate and loyalty more than likely drives some serious sales when they release a new model, much like when an Apple product is released. Huge line ups on release day and plenty of people talking about their latest product including news coverage. Just have a look at the Nikon Rumors and Canon Rumors websites. They are full of rumors what the new model is, what specs that camera will have and when it will be released. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing with either of these two sites, in fact not only are they full of great information but I seem to spend quite a lot of time on the Nikon Rumours site looking at what may be coming out in the future hoping that the new Nikon will delivered sooner rather than later.
Recently I was asked by a good friend who was going overseas on holidays for a month which camera should I buy and my response seemed to create a look of confusion especially being a Nikon user, maybe he was waiting for the typical response, Nikon of course but that’s not what he got. I gave him the following response:
Go to your local camera shop, don’t look at the brand (which is not that easy to do), hold the camera in your hands. The camera should feel like an extension of your body, you should be able to feel where all the buttons are with your eyes closed, you don’t have to immediately know what those buttons do but you should be able to feel them with your eyes closed. This provides you with an overall idea of what the user functionality of that particular camera.
Ask the sales attendant, if you can take a few photos with it, and it doesn’t matter if you take a photo of the guy behind counter or the rest of the shop, but you should at least take several photos to see the results even If you have to leave your drivers license or your wallet behind as security.
Is it in your budget range and what are you going to use the camera for? Happy snaps of the kids, to record your holidays or portrait photography.
Then after all of these questions have been answered have a look at the specs of that camera to assist with determining if it meets your needs or not. These decisions should help you choose the correct camera and hopefully you shouldn’t have purchased a camera based on brand loyalty.
I would love to hear what advice would you give to someone who is about to purchase a camera, either a compact or a DSLR? and would you be biased towards a brand such as Nikon or Canon?.