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.
Photographer, Writer, World Traveller