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Does brand loyalty still exist, amongst enthusiasts, in the fast-moving world of digital photography?
I have been a user of Canon equipment since 1986, as regards interchangeable-lens camera systems and a little earlier than that with compacts. Even when I switched, in 2011 to Olympus, I still owned Canon lenses and/or compacts. But - at (very) long last - I am finally Canon-free! I have replaced my one remaining Canon device - a Canon S100 compact - with a Panasonic TZ30.
Personally I no longer feel drawn to any particular brand although it could be said I am now committed to the M4/3 format, which covers two brands of camera body and several brands of lenses. For compacts I feel no loyalty at all.
Do others still feel brand loyalty (= tied in to a particular brand's system)?
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If finances allowed then I think I would switch my brand of digital camera without any consideration of brand loyalty.
I do like the Zeiss lenses though, so I would go for system that had a range of appropriately mounted Zeiss lenses
So, the answer to your question is no.
On the other hand, if they have the product that I want, then am I loyal to my local camera shop which I have been using since 1983 even though some internet " shops " may be a little cheaper.
Interesting question, I guess there will be people in both camps.
I was very loyal to the 35mm SLR Rollieflex SL35 cameras as the Carl Zeiss lenses available were superb and just about affordable. I later moved over to Minolta SLR cameras which I still have and use occasionally.
I was fairly loyal to my local camera shop, but if I saw an ad in one of the magazines for a bargain price on some thing, then I bought from there.
Since I moved from 35mm I have accumilated a collection of digital cameras, Olympus E-510 and 450, Panasonic G3, Nikon D5100, Sony A37 and a Fuji X10. I know its sad isn't it and my wife has said I should get rid of what I don't use.
I just find it hard to let some go as I have a fondness for all of them. I'm still trying to figure out which of these I should stay loyal to and its not easy.
I think with 35mm, brand loyalty was a myth as it was forced on us more out of compatability and convenience than anything: you can't mount a Canon lens on a Nikon body, and if you want to put a Nikon lens on Canon body you need an adapter and you lose AF and metering (some Canon landscapers consider Nikon wide-angle lenses superior to Canon equivalents and will accept this trade-off). This meant that once you buy into a 35mm system it is generally damned expensive to change. If the two were interchangable I think many more people would have done it and the flexibility of the Panasonic/Olympus MFT shows this.
I am not sure there was ever a brand loyalty regards 35mm/compact because the functions of compacts are so different to 35mm you would have to learn a new set of menus anyway, and I know of several die-hard Nikonistas who happily buy Canon compacts.
I've only changed brand once and that was something over 30 years ago - from Pentax screw to Nikon - and it was painfully expensive. Not an experience to be repeated!
When Leica adopted the M mount, they made sure that LTM lenses could be used with adapters and retain full functionality. What a pity that Pentax didn't do the same because their lenses were superb.
One friend went through Nikon, Canon, Leica and Bronica within a year because they didn't give him the pictures that he wanted. Finally, he twigged that the problem lay within himself.
Back in those old Pentax screw mount days, Pentax were big amongst the pros and the Takumar lenses were superb. I borrowed my mates Pentax Spotmatic fitted with a Takumar standard screw fit lens and the Kodachrome slides I got back blew me away. Sadly, I was then committed to my Rolleiflex system.
The only people I came across in those days who were largely loyal to a brand were the Pros.
For many of us, sticking to the same brand is a practical matter rather than brand loyalty.
The major brands play a game of leap frog. Where Nikon has the edge today, Canon has been superior and will probably regain the crown next month. Except for a few specialists, changing brands is generally a complete waste of money. Most professionals don't need to ultimate kit: we need something that works reliably.
Just as in many sports, a millisecond can make the difference between success and failure. So it is for freelance sports photographers because they need the fastest autofocus. Having the second-best camera can mean getting pictures that come second in the picture editor's selection and so don't put food on the table.
If as a Pro you rent the expensive kit when you need it, then you only need to be loyal to each shoot as long as you know how to use each brand.
Loyalty is sometimes an excuse for over charging, whether its Apple trying to lock you in or you lifetime bank taking advantage, Insurance companies creeping up the premiums etc. Canon printers with totally over priced INK for amateur use.
I very much like the fact that Samsung and GE are now also in the camera supply chain, as without global competition our equipment will have less features and cost more.
I've an investment in Canon, but with lenses holding their value quite well, bodies on the replace cycle can be switched fairly easily.
I don't really dislike any of the major brands so not much to choose against really.
I am brand loyal with respect to my SLR (Nikon) but have no loyalty with respect to compacts, having owned various Canons, Fujis and Pentaxs. My loyalty to Nikon primarily stems from the cost of switching. I can't imagine such a compelling system being created that would have me considering switching away from Nikon - my current cam does everything reasonably well; if I were to upgrade I only need to upgrade part of my kit (body).
 Actually, that said, I can see myself investing in a M4/3 at some stage in the future and at that point I suspect I might ditch Nikon, but if they had a compelling camera in the space at that time, I would likely choose it over the competition.
Have been a loyal Canon slr user for 21 years until recently, a few reasons for me deciding on a different brand. Though the brand itself is not important, its what you do with it once you buy it.
I just thought it silly to stick with Canon when there are so many alternatives out there now, there always has been alternatives, but nowadays the alternatives seem aplenty compared to 21 years ago.
As it is, i am glad i made the change, i am seeing photography in a whole new light and exploring possibilities which didnt interest me 12 months ago. Who knows, i may even end up with my dream camera in another 12 months time, a bespoke Leica x2 with yellow leather and chrome body, it was love at first sight, nothing else, its yellow, what more can i ask for?
Anyway, seeing as i cant afford an x2 right now, i decided to tart my samsung galaxy phone up with a snazzy skin
Image taken using the free Lomo Camera app.
I do have one confession to make, if i had waited a few more weeks to buy a new camera, i probably would have gone for the Fuji x10, i am rather envious of anyone who owns one now, so who knows, my dislike of Fuji seems to have evaporated with time, i could well end up buying one by the end of 2013
For now though i am more than content with the v-lux3, there is so much to consider before pressing the shutter but in time i will get my head around every little aspect of the camera and its inner workings. But i wont be ditching my Canon DSLR just yet, there is still life in her so it would be silly not to use it when the situation arises.
I never imagined a camera could actually inspire me but it has, after using the 350D since the stone age the v-lux3 feels like a camera with CS5 already installed! I knew 3 weeks in advance what the camera had to offer, i downloaded the user manual and read the whole lot in a single sitting, fascinated by these custom settings and creative modes, so i knew this would be a camera to experiment with, and i was not wrong.
I guess most photographers go with their heart when choosing a camera, price is always a factor of course, there is mostly always a compromise, but we rarely settle for second best when it comes to bodies, and with todays saturated camera market with so many features on offer, sticking to one brand just seems old fashioned now.
I'm absolutely loyal to all three digital camera brands that I currently use, and all the vintage and antique brands, and will continue steadfastly loyal to all of them until something new comes along that catches my fancy and fits my budget.
I don't expect I will change DSLR brand, as it would mean changing lenses, adapters etc., probably for no gain.
But with micro 4/3 there are choices, and with a compact, it wouldn't make any difference. I just don't have a reason to change them.
Its not so much loyalty I have with my different cameras, more fondness, may be even some sentimentality for my first DSLR's, but its the Fuji X10 which I feel most attached to because it reminds me so much of the early all metal Leica range finder cameras which I once used, plus it performs superbly for the type of photography I do.
I`ve gone full circle in thirty years.
Started out with Olympus and the OM10 finishing with the OM4, then I switched to Nikon.
Along came the digital revolution and started out with the 300D and hated the thing so switched back to Olympus with the E1, followed by the E330 and four years ago the E3.
I no longer use dslr`s and now favour M4/3, sold all my dslr kit last summer, best move I`ve ever made.
I now use a mix of Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus.
I've only had photography as a hobby for 9 years, and in that time I guess you could say I've been very fickle, but then, a few years ago one summer, I bought 4 new cars till I found one that suited me, and lost $10,000 + in the process. In the past 9 years I've switched brands 6 times. However, unless some company developes something more convenient, and better suited to my needs, I can see myself using Olympus and Panasonic's M4/3 kit for a long time to come.
PS: I'm always looking, though.
Anyone planning a major switch in 2013?
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