Camera System Tribalism

I sometimes make the mistake of heading into the camera forums. I generally leave filling angry at all the self justification of my system is the best. People treat camera systems like their football clubs, only one can win.

The last time I went into the camera forums it was to look at the affect of flash sync speed and power settings of some for some of the cheaper Chinese made flash units. You then get drawn into other corners and regret it.

Part of the problem seems to be that some of the camera companies have really got their social media campaigns working well with well know social media celebrities using their cameras and promoting them. Sony are possibly the best at this with Nikon being the worse.

The problem is this seems to feed online tribalism, and its a shame. Some hobbies like pen and stationary collecting, and also watch collecting seem to attract people that can appreciate other brands and other peoples choices, but in the camera forums its ‘my camera is the best, yours is crap’.

Everyone should appreciate the technical tour-de-force that is the Sony camera systems. Canon also like Sony with the ability to design great cameras, great sensors but also build the sensors and cameras and glass all in house. Nikon on the other hand are with Leica one of the great glass manufactures, designing new types of glass to solve new issues. Nikon and Leica are also getting into sensor design but are reliant on other sensor manufactures to produce these sensors for them. For a long time the cheaper Nikon cameras have used off the shelf Sony sensors but with Nikon electronics around them, while the high end pro cameras have had Nikon designed sensors and are manufactured by several sensor companies including Sony, but also Toshiba and Aptina.

I have always said that there is little difference now in the quality coming out of the cameras from the different manufactures. Despite the claims on the forums, Nikon is not behind in the focusing department, it just needs setting up differently, Leica do not have the best menus, just a different take on what’s important to offer and how.

Depending on what’s important to you and what feels to good in your hand, how you work etc should guide your camera choice.

For some the technical options all available in the Sony menus is a help, for me I hate not being able to find anything, but if I was a Sony user I would get used to it. I love the simplicity of the Hasselblad and Leica menu system, they are a breath of fresh air to me.

Some will have arguments about technical choices the manufactures have made. I dislike the way some lens artefact processing and noise reduction is done and baked into the Sony RAW files, but then I also dislike the low level noise reduction that the Canon R range do at low ISO, in my opinion its unnecessary. I am a Nikon fan boy and I would also argue that some the processing of white balance they do pre-writing out the RAW file is also detrimental, but then I like post processing my images my way.

Often many people will choice a camera for the way a default file comes out of a camera, the image from a Sony, Canon or Leica do look different and sometimes its this that draws people to them.

So camera choice, this is not my camera is better then yours, its more that the camera I choose suites me and the way I work and the way I want my images to look.

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