Is what I got asked by rääm on Flork, and I suppose it’s a point of consternation for quite a few people, because I get asked similar questions quite a lot. Therefore I felt it time to put the record straight, from my end at least, to this matter, so we can all get on with taking our pictures. Plus it’s about time I made a photography post on here!
“Hi rääm, it’s funny you should ask as I don’t usually use that strap in the picture anyway. As you did, I think I should give some context into why I use the cameras I have. When I first got into digital photography it was using my friend’s Nikon Coolpix 5700 which was a good introduction but because it was essentially a compact camera with a built in telephoto zoom lens it really didn’t have much power to it and it soon became evident that it was extremely slow.
Part of this realisation was due to the fact that my friend, Stan, had already bought a second-hand Canon 300D, which, although large and chunky, was so much more advanced (as you’d expect a DSLR to be). After using this for quite a while, I soon found that comparing it to a 20D, which another friend (John) had, gave the impression that there were more functions and capabilities I was missing out on which I could make use of. As with all technologies, a lot of what it is that attracts us into the market is something we don’t have but we’ve seen.
At the same time, when I was looking into buying my own DSLR, I really had to weight up all sorts of pros and cons because I still wasn’t very familiar with the range of options offered by various brands and specific models. I’d been looking at the Olympus range for a while because I used an OM-1n throughout University and something about them felt very comfortable, but because they were digital now I didn’t feel familiar enough with the functionality to just dive into it - plus it wasn’t until later that I knew all about the smaller sensors etc., which would have been limiting (but I would still appreciate a built in image stabiliser!)
I did look into Nikons when I played around with a D200 (belonging to Gary) which was really impressive but the model was well beyond my price range and there was nothing second-hand I could lay my hands on. Which is essentially why I ended up with a Canon 30D, because I knew the layout of its buttons and software AND because I discovered someone was selling their kit with 3 lenses at a price I could manage to pay off. It felt like the practical option, and it served me well - I recently bought a 50D body partly as an upgrade and also to have two bodies.
So in my case the answer is because I feel like I know what I’m doing with it - I know that was a very long-winded way of saying it (sorry), but there’s usually a reason for everything!
I don’t think it’s strictly true to say “everybody’s got a canon,” as I see plenty of Nikons and Sony Alphas around too. I think it’s unfortunate that the market isn’t more spread out around other good brands like Sigma and Pentax but then they rely on their other selling strengths, respectively: lenses and compact systems.
I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with Nikon, they do their thing very well and I’ve not heard any complaints from their users (if anything, they’re probably a bit too used to defending themselves against rabid Canon fan-boys!). If I’d known their system first and realised their advantages, I probably would have gone down the Nikon route, but the truth is that the two main brands have plenty of similarities that make selecting one system or another nothing more than a toss of a coin or other random twist of fate.