Why do I shoot Canon?

I’m often asked why I’ve chosen Canon over Nikon, or any of the other camera manufactures who are — these days, at least — manufacturing some very good equipment.

Like most photographers with their beginnings in the press, I started out using what was available to me. We had Canon, so I used Canon. That’s what was on the supply shelf, and very few kids in college or right out of college could afford a professional camera. Things were very different back then. There were no digital cameras… everything shot film, and film wasn’t cheap in the quantities consumed by a pro shooter. The bodies used for sports and any sort of action shooting were pretty damned expensive.

At the time, the Canon EOS-1 was out, and no other manufacturer had anything close to it, in terms of capabilities. Shooting 5.5 frames per second on film was amazing. When the EOS-1N came out shortly thereafter, I was hooked. But, the thing cost as much as my car! And the amount of money the newsroom at the small local newspapers where I worked went through on film and darkroom supplies every week would have fed a small town.

Sure, Nikon makes some outstanding cameras. But, once you’ve accumulated bodies and lenses, it’s hard to change, even as you make the move from film to digital. And even though I had a hiatus of several long years from the newspaper business and anything, really, to do with photography, when I jumped back in, it was back to my comfort zone with Canon.

For what it’s worth, if I had to start all over today from scratch, buying bodies and lenses based on what’s available on the market today, I’m not entirely certain I’d stick with Canon. In fact, the decision has never been more difficult. In some classes of bodies, Canon beats the competition. In other classes, Nikon seems to have the edge (for now, though that changes periodically with the introduction of new product lines). Mirrorless is evolving quickly, and Sony’s top-of-the-line professional bodies are among the best anywhere. But, I’ve got Canon gear, I know it well, so that’s what I shoot.

The Canon EOS-1N, released in 1994. Photo Credit: Rama, Creative Commons License.

The Canon EOS-1N, released in 1994. Photo Credit: Rama, Creative Commons License.