Nikon cameras are apparently more popular than Canon among professional photographers, according to survey data published by Australian-based photography gear resource, Shotkit.
Shotkit, owned and operated by Tweed Coast wedding photographer Mark Condon, surveyed 1000 photographers from around the world – 720 amateurs and 280 professionals – about what gear they use and why.
While 1000 photographers is a reasonable sample size, surveying 280 professional photographers isn’t going to be a completely accurate representation of the global industry. Although there isn’t a great deal of quality survey data about the photo industry, so it’s always worth tuning in to see what information can be revealed.
The survey reached respondents through Shotkit’s e-mail list and Facebook profile, as well as non-brand-specific Facebook groups.
‘Obviously, there are various limitations and assumptions when conducting a survey of this type on a relatively small scale,’ writes Condon in the Survey data page. ‘Next time, for example, we will collect data from a larger number of photographers and devise a way to display more responses in a concise format. We will also go more in-depth regarding the various reasons photographers choose one camera over the other.’
According to the Shotkit data, the majority of professional photographers – 63 percent – have migrated over to mirrorless cameras, with only 36 percent hanging on to their beloved pentaprisms. The amateur respondents are more balanced with 54 percent shooting with mirrorless while 46 still use a DSLR.
It’s worth noting that Shotkit is focused entirely on camera gear, and its audience have an interest in the latest technology. This means the results may be more tilted toward photographers who regularly upgrade, and all camera companies, except Pentax, are now fully committed to mirrorless. Although this doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon, so expect the majority to keep growing.
The top reason by far as to why professionals use mirrorless cameras is due to the small/lighter camera body, followed by ‘better autofocus’, and then ‘silent shooting’ and ‘in-body stabilisation’.
Professionals sticking with their DSLR do it for reasons unrelated to perceived superiority, but rather by necessity. First and foremost is the lens selection, followed by the ‘switch’ being too expensive – two reasons which seem intertwined. Although, some do believe the DSLR has a ‘more robust/durable body’, and ‘better battery life’.
What brands are most popular? The top spot for professionals is surprising, with Nikon accounting for 31 percent of respondents, followed closely by Canon at 28 percent. While only three percentage points, it’s a surprise given Canon’s position as market leader.
Following behind Canon is Sony – no surprise there – with 20 percent. And then Fujifilm at 12 percent. The rest are split between two or one percent.
As for the amateurs, they are majority Canon owners with 27 percent, but Nikon trails behind by just two percentage points. And then Sony at 16 percent, Fujifilm at 15 percent, and Olympus at seven percent.
The enthusiast/semi pro Sony A7III is most used by survey respondents who identify as professional, with seven percent owning one. While undoubtedly a quality camera – one half of Inside Imaging’s editorial team uses an A7 III – it’s an unexpected result when considering the other high-end cameras out there.
Although perhaps more surprising is the tie for second position, with five percent each being the Canon R5 and Nikon D750. The Canon is no surprise, but the Nikon D750 is eight-years old and pretty retro by today’s standards.
But it just goes to show how a great product can have a lasting impression.
Click here for Shotkit’s full page of results.