Does a Camera Brand Really Matter?
When you start shopping for a camera the first thing you think about is the brand. Some of us have a brand loyalty while others are just looking for the best features and price. While you do have some brands that are cheaper you will find the well established brands best when you are buying photography equipment. So yes, camera brands do matter but it is perhaps more important to find the right model to suit you.
Established brands obviously compete with each other so they do tend to have some similarities in their products. In fact, you will find all of the major players offering certain types of equipment:
- Entry level equipment for family photos and social events.
- Mid level equipment for amateur photographers.
- Upper/Mid level DSLRs for avid-amateurs and semi-professionals.
- Professional model Digital SLRs.
All of the major producers will offer competing lines of products all with their own pluses and minuses. Many people actually choose a brand and continue to upgrade within that company.
The Top Brands
What are the top brands that you will find in modern photography?
- Pentax – This producer has been around for some time and actually began its life producing lenses for spectacles. It has been producing cameras for both still and cinema since around World War Two.
- Canon – The current incarnation of Canon (also Japanese in origin like Pentax) began in 1947. It produces a wide variety of consumer electronics and optical electronics like video cameras and still cameras.
- Olympus – The Olympus digital camera is produced by yet another Japanese optics company. It shares a similar lineage to Pentax and has been around since 1919. It was not until 1936 that Olympus introduced its first camera.
- Nikon – An even older company than Olympus, it was founded in 1917. Like all of the other current Japanese producers of camera equipment it evolved from a general optics company.
While there are many and varied camera producers around the world going with a well known brand can give you some peace of mind.
Are there any real differences between the major camera brands? The short answer is yes but it is a lot more complicated than that. With competition being fierce in this field technology and new models means that they really do keep up with each other. However, some companies do certain types of cameras better than others.
The main difference you will see is the specialised functions that you will find within certain brands. Some companies will focus more on their lens quality while others look to producing more advanced image processing on their digital models. A few years ago it was all about mega-pixels but with average cameras having 10 or more this discussion is now mute.
Room to Move
Look to acquire a camera in a brand where you have room to upgrade if you want to in the future. You may start with a simple point and click camera but you may move up to a complicated digital SLR. Make sure you get a good balance of price, features and brand recognition.