Social Media Wars and the Heroes They Create


Social media where opinion becomes fact. I don’t know why I let myself get sucked into these meaningless skirmishes. It always starts with a provocative (translated to mean RUDE) comment on someone’s post. This particular situation is photography related, but you can see it everywhere on social media. I was reading a well written equipment review on a new Nikon camera coming to market (I’m a Canon shooter myself), when the author got bludgeoned with the false accusation that he ONLY reviews Nikon or Canon equipment.

First of all the comment was very brash, and completely unfounded in fact. This particular site, Northrup Photography, is really good about reviewing all kinds of equipment from many manufacturers. As more and more experienced photographers came to the defense of the reviewer, the provocative commenter got increasingly defensive and belligerent. This younger photographer was pissing and moaning that only Nikon and Canon were ever considered as professional systems. More seasoned photographers were trying to point out why that perception exists.

Canon and Nikon dominate the market, because CANON AND NIKON DOMINATE THE MARKET. Other manufacturers haven’t been able to dislodge these two juggernauts. Nikon and Canon have been around for a long, long time and have built market share through innovation, quality, selection, and resourcefulness. In other words they’ve earned the top slots. THAT’S why professionals, and serious amateurs, go to these giants. Serious photographers spend thousands of dollars on their systems, and they have to know they’ll be around for a long time, and perform reliably for many years.

Any good photographer knows it’s not just about the gear. It’s the person behind the lens that gets the job done. The tech-weenies can argue gear all day long, but at the end of the day it’s the shooter who grabs the shot. I don’t know what the complainer’s issue really was, maybe just sour grapes that he’s young and can’t afford expensive gear. Or maybe he’s just contrary and wants to seem more important than he really is. I backtracked his comment to his Facebook page and could find no examples of his photography (a photographer who doesn’t post his work?).

If you want to be a photographer you can do it on a shoestring. I captured an image when I was fifteen years old with a little $12 Kodak Brownie. That image was a winner in Kodak’s prestigious 1962 Kodak National High School Photography Contest. Don’t let equipment hold you back, shoot with whatever you have. Brand loyalty is fine, but the truth is there’s hardly a micron’s difference between Canon and Nikon. You can also find other alternatives, Sony is coming on strong with their camera line, and Tamron and Sigma make some great third-party lenses and accessories.

When you’re tempted to be provocative and self-righteous on social media, think how snarky and ignorant you’re going to look. This young man presumed to present himself as an authority, and his betters called him on it. Many tried to educate him in a polite and helpful way (me included), but he wasn’t having any of it. He loses. When you shut yourself off from learning you always lose. It always seems such a waste when people close themselves off in their little insulated boxes. I have many photographer friends, split almost evenly between Canon and Nikon, we tease each other constantly but we know there’s not much difference between the two.

WB IMG_6481Stephen F. Dennstedt

Photographer, Writer, World Traveller

Cusco, Peru 


9 responses to “Social Media Wars and the Heroes They Create

  1. “The best camera is the one you have” ~Chase Jarvis. Some of my most beloved (but certainly not technically perfect) images were taken with a Kodak Instamatic 126 film cartridge camera, a 1st gen digital Point and Shoot (maybe 1.6M pix) and more recently whatever smartphone I happen to have in my pocket. At the end of my life I hope to have captured a handful of truly meaningful images that just happen to also be outstanding technically. Nikon/Canon, Ford/Chevy, TastesGreat/LessFilling these are all meaningless debates. Case in point, Stephen seems to take respectable images even though he shoots Canon. 😉

  2. Hi Stephen, I agree with you 100%. It’s not the equipment it’s how you use it. That said I’m going to get a D500 in the next few months, and put my D300s into back up mode. Safe travels my friend.

    • The review I mentioned in the article was for the D500. Up until the D500 Tony (Northrup) at Northrup Photography thought the Canon 7D Mark II was the best wildlife shooter he had tested, but has now changed his mind in favor of the Nikon D500. Sounds like you’ve made a great choice Tim. Here’s a link to the review if you’re interested:

  3. I am more of a landscape shooter. Recently switch from a canon 7d to a Sony a7ll. I really needed a lighter camera and the Sony fitted the bell, plus the a7ll is a full frame and a lot lighter than my 7d. It also costed a lot less. Instead of a ford or Chevy, I when with a dodge.

    • I’ve never used Sony, but I hear good things. I love full-frame too. No single camera or lens does it all, you have to look for a system that does “most” of what you need to do. And price, what you can afford, is a big part of that buying decision. Ford, Chevy, Dodge . . . it’s ALL good. Thanks for your comments Joe.

  4. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    I want to encourage my followers and my fellow bloggers to follow Stephen Dennstedt’s blog. Stephen is an extremely talented photographer which will appeal to those of your that love looking at beautiful photos of nature and architecture. In addition, he has a great point of view to share on many topics. Give his blog a try. You won’t be disappointed.

  5. I am entertained, I really am. I love to hear views about Tech weinies and holy than thou experts looking down on the rest of us who although we are not pros and know it and don’t need to prop ourselves up with boasts of self proclaimed innuendos of unearned successes. So humorous, really, for myself, I am an amateur photographer about Stephens age and I love to take photographs along the lines of those taken by Stephen. Knowing Stephen during his Banking days I knew Stephen would one day escape from his cage at the bank and move on to something more free and exciting. Stephen did and is now enjoying life and all the things I wish I could duplicate in my remaining years. I really am jealous and proud of him. I love the new words I learn from these comments: snarky and ignorant, etc. For myself, using and older Canon, on my shoestring I lean towards being the person behind the lens to grab that shot with what I have, that pleases me and that is my goal each day. Thanks Stephen for allowing me to travel the world and experience all the treasures that you share with us all.

  6. Ah Jimbo, I really do miss our long conversations and camaraderie. Wish you were tagging along for the ride (its been GREAT so far). Joel and I will be back in the States for a short visit (maybe a month) in about 6 to 9-months before heading to Asia. We will definitely have to hookup for a visit. Scotch & cigars? Take care amigo (I so value your friendship). 🙂

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