Choosing an Ecosystem
Why you maybe missing out
Human art can be traced back to cavemen creating “art” to tell stories on cave walls and I suspect before that too of course I’m no historian on the subject. As time moved on we had renaissance artists Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo et al with some of the most amazing art in the history of man (and women).
With this in mind can anyone tell me which hammer and chisel any of the cavemen (or women, should I say cave people) used; which animal blood was best for creating a stick mammoth, optimal brown clay, or which brush was used to create the Mona Lisa with her slightly off expression. I suspect not many outside of a few historians and uber nerds that look into these things for a good old fashioned pub quiz or “University Challenge” – something for the older folk there.
Which brings me to the modern era “Which camera did you use to take that picture”, now I’m not suggesting I’m with a caveman or heavens above Hieronymus Bosch. However does it really matter which camera was used to create photos or art ?
I can imagine almost every artist reaching for the tool that got the job done, even if one brand of art brush would be chosen over another for certain qualities but would a renaissance artist ONLY use one brand of brush, or any other artists come to think of it ? No, I doubt it very much.
Which brings me back to cameras, is sticking with a single brand to get every job done the right thing to do? The opinion I have is no, it’s not. Ok this might end up costing a little more to own multiple ecosystems but it’s knowing which camera does a job over the other in certain situations, including which works best for you. Photographers are very brand loyal which I have never been able to work out why, to the point of tribalism, almost. But does this logic stifle creativity? I think it does and here is why.
Often the qualities of a camera which is not part of a photographer’s current ecosystem tool box is often dismissed, partly to reaffirm their own purchasing choices. By admitting one camera maybe better suited than their own is in someway an admittance of making the wrong choice.
Ignoring the fact say someone is trying to use what was designed as a sports camera to shoot studio or landscapes. Or to a smaller extent where one system may not focus as fast (down to the 80th of a second, slower) when the shooter is doing landscapes or travel work. For example auto-focus issues no longer scare me as an ex Pentax shooter, so anything “good” is a boon for me, so would the scaremongering over DFD over PDAF cause me to sh*t a brick ? No.
Will nerding out over dynamic range convince you to change systems, I doubt that too because those viewing your work will not care, who looks at an image and things, wow a half stop of dynamic range would have made this image. Not a soul.
I think choosing a camera to use for your different types of work load is super important. Travel does need more of an all round camera, that is light could be important to some or for me the layout of buttons beats out size every time. I can handle a larger camera and even with big lenses the camera feels balanced and easy to move.
For some commercial work I like to have lots of accessories that one ecosystem has over another. The final image quality looks identical in any case and the photography becomes less about what you shot with but how you shot it, so if that’s the case why lock yourself into a single ecosystem when there is something out there that could get the job done that little bit better.
Cameras do not ask for a divorce or care too much you are cheating on them after all. It’s ok to say I want a bigger camera, or a camera that’s not made by brand X because I like more buttons, clearer menus, anything other than “it’s pictures are superior” because any photographer worth their salt can pick up and use anything to create great pictures.
So at the end of the day, use what feels good to use, built to do the job and feels good from both an ergonomics and fits your clients needs perspective.