I see the folks in the camera forums take sides all day long. “Canon is better than Nikon,” one guy says. The other says, “Nope Nikon is better than Canon.” Then it gets even more granular. “The D600 is better than the D7100,” one guy says. The other says, “Nope other way around.”
Some people go so far as to use screen names like “NikonShooter” or “CanonShooter.”
As I watch this back and forth I came to realize that much of my career I have been camera agnostic.
In the old days I used Hasselblad, Olympus, Mamiya, Pentax and more. In the last 15 years I’ve used primarily Canon AND Nikon. Now I primarily use the Olympus OMD-EM5 and the Fuji X100s. I like the smaller form factor and traveling with less weight. I think my images are better than ever. I don’t think my camera has as much to do with that as I do. After all these years of photography I am finally getting pretty good at it :) I’ve never cared much which camera I have in my hand. I care about the shot.
This was brought home even more to me when I looked at my 500px stream. I saw images that were in my top ten from Canon and Nikon, old and new – old as a 10D in fact. Yet the images all moved people enough that they left comments, “liked” them, made them popular, etc.
I am not defined by a camera brand. Neither is my photography. I don’t think my identity as a photographer is tied to the brand of camera I shoot. And I frankly love blowing people’s minds when they ask, “What camera do you shoot with – Nikon or Canon?” And for most of the last 15 years I said “BOTH!” Now I say “Usually neither.” I love looking at people’s expressions when they hear that.
In the nearly 15 years I’ve been publishing Photofocus, we’ve never allowed a camera company to sponsor us. I personally have never been a “Canon Explorer of Light” or one of the cool kids that Nikon gives cameras to. The reason for this is I’ve never wanted this site to be camera-centric. I prefer photo-centric.
Why mention this? Because it’s really becoming even more clear to me that if you are a good photographer, the tool you use will be the one you have nearest you.
And conversely, looking at the portfolios of people who strongly identify with their camera brand rather than their images, I see evidence that shows me they need a lot more practice with whatever camera they use.
Concentrate on your images not your camera and you’ll do yourself and the people who look at your work a big favor.
P.S. In the four decades that I have been selling photos, not one single professional photo buyer has ever asked me what camera I used, what lens I used, what filters I used, what tripod I used, what flash I used, what shutter speed I used, what f-stop I used, what ISO I used, what post-processing software I used, what kind of computer I used, etc. The folks at the camera club or in the online forum may care, but photo buyers don’t. So take notice. You are not your camera nor is your photography your camera. Nobody who matters cares what camera you use.
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