I’m a user of various camera systems. If you’re on the Phoblographer’s reviews team, then you’re bound to be a brand agnostic. You can use pretty much any camera and camera system that’s thrown at you. And over the years, I’ve seen cults of camera fans become a very ugly part of photography. For anyone that’s shot for years, this isn’t anything new. But the culture around camera fans and loyalties are awful, divisive things that get in the way of making better pictures and having a more sustainable photo industry.
Let me make a few statements that are bound to anger a ton of different camera fans.
- I am an active Sony camera user, sometimes. But I don’t want to be associated with the frat-boy cult of camera fans that are the Sony camera users. And I seriously just wish that Sony camera users didn’t feed into all the stereotypes and jargon that the industry has forced down their throats. Why is it that you can never explain what makes their cameras so perfect for you? It is just peer pressure?
- I am an active Canon camera user, sometimes. But I wish their camera fans realized that no, they don’t do everything perfectly. A red ring around your lens isn’t everything.
- I am not an active Nikon camera user. And I wish that, well, I honestly don’t know many Nikon Z camera users. But the DSLR camera fans often blindly swear by the products.
- I am an active Leica camera user. And I wish that Leica understood better that most of its fans aren’t celebrities and football stars. Most of their fans actually apprecaite ergonomics and tactile things.
- I am an active OM system user. And I wish that camera fans understood more about what makes this sytem so fantastic instead of sitting there set in their own ways.
- I am not an active Panasonic camera user, but I own a few of their lenses. And I wish that folks understood that their cameras are for more than just video.
- I am not an active Pentax user. And let’s just stop there.
- I am an active Fujifilm camera user. And I wish that photographers understood that the point of the system isn’t to sit there in post-production all day and night. It’s to actually get out and shoot.
So what’s the problem here? Well, the camera fans are the worst things about cameras. And a lot of the time it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Many of these camera manufacturers use the same components and share items with one another. But they’ll backstab each other in public while greasing each others hands in private. How many times have you seen a Sony sensor in a camera? Or what about when an OM System tech finds itself in another camera in some way or another? Have you ever wondered how technology improves and then spreads to the other camera manufacturers when there are so many patents protecting intellectual property?
At the end of the day, they’re all more or less the same cameras out there with tweaks to one thing or another. But yet camera fans sit there and pound their chests for an almost Nationalist level of culture.
So what do we do about this?
Just go take pictures. Stop trying to bring everyone into your cult when there are ways that we can all shoot in both similar and different ways. Instead, focus more on creating instead of trying to justify to yourself why you’re buying a camera.