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6 Important considerations before changing camera brands

The post 6 Important considerations before changing cameras first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Carl Spring.

Important-considerations-before-you-Change-Camera-Brands

I finally started changing camera brands. I have been photographing Canon since my first single-lens reflex camera that I got back when I was 16. I wanted to stay with Canon, but their current bodies don't do anything for me. The lens prices of the new R-mount system are also insane. After spending a lot of time on research, as well as some hands-on time with the cameras I considered (Sony, Panasonic & Fuji), I finally came to Fuji.

I bought a Fuji XT3 with the kit lens and a 35 mm f2. It has been a decision that I have made on various factors, and so far I have really enjoyed the images I get from the Fuji. I haven't sold out my Canon equipment yet (and I probably won't in the near future), but I'm sure I'm moving a lot of my kit toward Fuji.

However, the move has brought a few surprises that I wanted to share with you in this article. So without further ado, here are six things to consider before changing your camera brand.

1. Know why

The question you must ask yourself is, what are you trying to achieve by moving the camera brand? Changing brands is a long, sometimes painful experience that can be as frustrating as it is fun. It will certainly be expensive too. However, if you are considering a full brand exchange, there has never been a better time. The big two (Nikon and Canon) have changed holders. This means that even if you stay with your current brand, you will eventually change your entire kit. So for many people, when you move, the time is now.

Why did I go to Fuji? Three reasons; the weight, size and video functions.

I photograph weddings and the appeal of lighter equipment that hangs on me all day is enormous. Secondly, the size of the Fuji means that I photograph in documentary style that the camera is not as intimidating as my 5DMkIV in close situations. I have already noticed with my son that he is much more himself with the small Fuji camera, in contrast to my DSLR. I also see this with paid shoots. When shooting with the Fuji up close during a recent engagement shoot, the couple seemed to relax more. It is difficult to put into words, but there is certainly something with the smaller form factor.

Finally; video. Canon deliberately does not seem to place the video functions in its digital single lens reflex cameras, which are Sony, Fuji and Panasonic. I want to record more video and start offering it to customers. Fuji beat Canon without a doubt and was the deciding factor.

That is not to say that other things like Eye AF, a folding screen and 100% coverage with AF points are not things I want, they are, but they alone were not enough for me to make the switch.

A king on a chessboard with a young player in the bokeh

You will find that you shoot more to test your new equipment. Here I test the bokeh of the 35 mm f2, while teaching my son to play chess. The smaller size means that it behaves more naturally than when I point my DSLR at it.

2. Be prepared to start again

Unless you are willing to sell all your stuff to finance your new purchase, you will undoubtedly (like me) first dip your toe in the water. As a professional, I can't just go all-in on a new system. So it will be a switch over time. The lack of kit is quite refreshing in some respects. It also makes me think about which kit I need when I start building my new system. However, sometimes I find myself reaching for my Canon, because it has the lens option that I want.

A change of system will be expensive and in the meantime you will probably have less equipment than you had before. Remember that it's more than cameras & lenses – you'll also have to change things like flashes and flash triggers.

Small comment here. Pixapro (rebadged British version of Godox) triggers for Fuji and Canon look identical. The method I used to distinguish them is to color the small quality control sticker red on the Fuji trigger. A quick, easy way to solve an annoying little problem.

Changing brands and starting over can certainly have a positive impact. As you begin to build a new system, you will think more about what equipment you do not use and what you are missing. This means that you can save some money in the switching process and at the same time reduce the load on your bag.

Important-considerations-before-you-Change-Camera-Brands

This was my new kit for 3 weeks. No high-quality prime lenses, no countless lens options. Just a kit lens. Frustrating, but it reminded me of photography in a way that I had done in no time.

3. Further training of muscle memory

There is nothing worse than the outright fear of getting a grip on a new menu system. Trying to remember which button you have assigned to change autofocus is somewhat frustrating. Re-mapping your brain to work with your new camera system is one of the things that is fun and exciting at first.

However, that first joy soon gives way to frustration. It is surprising how difficult it can be to move systems and train your brain to work with the new menu system. It becomes easier quite quickly, but you will initially miss photos that you would have taken simply because you have forgotten which button to press.

Important-considerations-before-you-Change-Camera-Brands

This has been my workhorse for years. I can operate it in the dark without thinking. I will come there with the Fuji, but it will take time.

4. The costs of switching

It's easy to get carried away by thinking that if you sell your stuff, you can change systems without a huge expense. Unfortunately that is usually not the case. Moving a camera system will entail financial costs and it will probably be more than you think. To move the system and a new body and a set of lenses (24-70 mm f2.8, 70-200 mm f2.8 and a fast prime), look in the margin of £ 1000- £ 4000. You can adjust the costs reduce this by buying second-hand glass. However, with the new mirrorless systems from both Nikon and Canon, the price of second-hand glass is still incredibly high and hard to find.

To give an example, I own the Canon 70-200 mm f2.8 IS I lens. I could look to get around £ 700 for this second-hand at the current value. To go to the new Sony G Master with the same focal length, I would need an additional £ 1700. To collect a second-hand copy, I would need another £ 1000, and that's just for one lens.

If you look at such numbers, you have to ask yourself: is a system change for this function worth £ 3000? Are autofocus in the eye, stabilization in the body and 100% coverage of AF points really worth so much? Maybe for you, but don't think there are any costs involved to get the functions you need.

Many of you (like me) will consider switching to a system without a mirror. Even the switch to the same brand will now entail considerable costs, since both Canon and Nikon have new lens mounts. I know that you can modify existing glass for both systems, but it will not work as well as the new glass specially designed for the new holders.

In both cases, the lenses for these systems have the best prices. Over time, these will fall and there will be a larger second-hand market. But at the moment, switching to a mirrorless Canon or Nikon system, complete with native lenses for the system, is no cheaper than a complete change of brand.

I think the mirrorless camera revolution will see many people jump with different brands. Switching from a 5D Mk IV to an EOS-R is actually the same type of investment that you will make when switching to Sony or Nikon.

Again, most brands now have good quality adapters to use glass from other systems, so it helps you to take those baby steps. The native glass, however, always gives the best performance. Unless you have a great relationship with your bank manager (and / or partner), you may need to switch slowly to absorb the financial impact.

A cow in a field at sunset

This was meant to be shot at my Fuji. However, the battery died and I had no spare parts. Fortunately my trusted Canon (and 4 spare batteries) come to the rescue.

5. Is the grass greener?

There is the honeymoon phase in every relationship. I'm currently in it with my Fuji. Whatever the sensible part of your brain says, with new equipment you have to go out and use it. The more photos you take, the more your photography improves. So, changing camera devices will make things better right? Perhaps. If you have changed for a specific reason and your new equipment tackles it, then it might be better.

More likely, however, is that after the honeymoon your camera won't get used to more than your current kit. Your photography will not improve just because of your choice to change system. You will find things that you don't like about your new system and things that you don't like about your old one. This is simply because there is no perfect camera.

6. Could you spend money more wisely to promote your photography?

The biggest reason to pause and think about changing systems is whether you could make another investment that will improve your photography more than a change of brand. It is well documented that lenses are a smarter investment than a new camera case. I have seen countless photographers move toward a full-frame camera, rather than investing in lenses, which is definitely a mistake. Lenses retain their value, give you better results immediately and last much longer than a new camera housing.

If you look at at least £ 1000 to change your camera brand, think about where you could invest that money even more to improve your photography. Portrait photographers, who can buy you a great off-camera flash system with modifications that take your portraits to a new level. You can invest in new lenses for your current camera that help you to photograph better in low light, or give you more range as a nature photographer.

However, look beyond your equipment. What can £ 1000 worth of education mean for your photography? How about spending £ 1000 on a trip to locations you've always wanted to photograph? In many cases, changing your camera system is probably the least likely to advance your photography.

For most of us, we just got caught up in the hype and Facebook talked about a new camera. We think it will be a magic bullet that will allow us to take more photos or better photos. But in reality that will not be the case. You will have a shiny new toy that you love until the Mark 2 comes out and you will once again convince yourself that you need to upgrade.

There are many legitimate reasons for changing systems. There is also absolutely nothing wrong with switching to a new camera system simply because you want to. Beware of the hype that your photos are better because it is not.

A teepee at a pond from which a tree grows.

The Fuji will earn me money. Will I earn more money than if I had saved my Canon? No. However, my back will thank me for the lighter weight.

I'm not trying to convince you anyway (you probably wouldn't listen if I did). I just give you a few things to think about if you want to move away from your current camera system. Happy shopping.

Have you made the switch to a new camera system or considered? Share it with us in the comments below!

Important-considerations-before-you-Change-Camera-Brands

The post 6 Important considerations before changing cameras first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Carl Spring.

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