As a famous personal finance radio talk show host once said (in fact, often), “Don’t love something that can’t love you back.” Too many photographers, however, have an emotional attachment to the brand of DSLR that they prefer, seemingly ready to fight to the death that their camera brand is superior to all others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with preferring a Canon to a Nikon or a Nikon to a Sony, etc., but make sure the reasons are yours and not those camera manufacturers have promoted through marketing.
Manufacturers of all consumer products—whether their DSLRs or bathroom tissue—want you to create an emotional attachment with their products because they know it can be a stronger bond than a cold, logical and wise approach to deciding which to buy. To use a Star Trek analogy, they would rather you be Captain Kirk than Mr. Spock.
When deciding which DSLR camera brand to buy or which to argue vehemently with your friends is the best, consider the following points. You’ll make yourself less crazy and make better consumer choices.
Cameras are inanimate objects. They are manufactured instruments/devices. In their headlong pursuit to convince you to become a buyer of their products, manufacturers are constantly competing which each other to bring the latest technology or “whiz-bang” feature to the market. There’s no reason for you to be in the middle of their fight. Stand on the sidelines and watch what they do and the products they offer. One or more of them are likely to offer exactly what you want and need.
The “perfect” DSLR camera does not exist…or ever will. Regardless of which camera brand you prefer, it will have flaws, or competitive disadvantages when compared to its “rival.”
No brand is superior to any other. Choosing a DSLR should be based on how well it will fulfill your specific requirements, not a stubborn position of superiority.
A particular camera may have features that are superior to yours, although the brand itself is not superior. Be willing to admit to those superiorities and know what they are. They may or may not be important to you, but if they are, then don’t dismiss the camera, even though you are loyal to its competitor. If those features will help you become a better photographer or boost your professional income, then, by all means, consider switching brands.
Camera manufacturers don’t know your exact needs in a camera. They do their best to satisfy the bulk of the marketplace, but you are the only person that can decide if a particular DSLR is right for you. Be a smart consumer and spend an adequate amount of time accessing your exact needs (even making a list if necessary) before you even think about what brand to buy. With a clear and accurate description of the features, capabilities and functions a DSLR must have for you, you’ll go into the marketplace better prepared to research and investigate just those brands that can deliver the goods.
Camera reviews are excellent sources of information, but read a full spectrum of reviews, including those that don’t grade a camera very high, even though you prefer it. The best review is yours, so when you’ve narrowed your choices, rent or borrow each of them for consecutive weekends. The camera in your hands and to your eye is a much better method to decide which DSLR is best for you, not the manufacturer or the most highly read or most experienced reviewers.
Even if you’re staunchly loyal to a specific DSLR brand and model, then try others occasionally, so you know first hand what are their latest improvements and how much better they may feel in your hands compared to an earlier model that you dismissed.
Some may snicker or look down their noses at you, but the only loyalty you owe is to yourself and your photography needs. Never feel bad if you decide to sell your current equipment for a newer, better model, or even a different brand.
Remember, your goal is to be the best photographer you can be, not add to the profits of a camera manufacturer. An excellent reason for changing to another DSLR brand could be to renew your passion, experience a new challenge or discover an interest in a different type of photography.
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