Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
ryan2007
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

jidery wrote:

I shoot Sony, the only camera maker with SLT and one of the few with EVF. Then there is Pentax, one of the few SLR's with in body stabilization. On the smaller side you have Fuji, probably the best mirror less camera out there. Olympus and Panasonic are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with a small sensor.

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

Take a look at how long Nikon and Canon have been a photographic company. Take a look at what Nikon offers outside of cameras and lens with their other division.

They have been around a very very long time.

You should educated yourself about the history of photography.

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pjman792
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to MPA1, 11 months ago

Most buyers are sheep - they buy what they are told to, either by adverts, salesmen or strangers on the net. Canikon have big budgets to ensure plenty of the sheep eat their grass!

Oh, please...

This thought pushed by some around here that people who buy Nikon or Canon do so simply because they are 'sheep' or don't know any better is just silly and tiresome. Not to mention insulting.

Why do 'Canikon' have those big budgets in the first place? Because they sell more products. Why do the sell more products? Because they have better systems.

It's really not hard to understand at all - once you allow yourself to think rationally and logically.

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vzlnc
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

jidery wrote:

I shoot Sony, the only camera maker with SLT and one of the few with EVF. Then there is Pentax, one of the few SLR's with in body stabilization. On the smaller side you have Fuji, probably the best mirror less camera out there. Olympus and Panasonic are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with a small sensor.

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

The IQ, usability, accessories etc that the cheaper nikons/canons provide is simple unmatched by mirrorless at that pricepoint. You can build a very capable system within 1000$ using a cheap Nikon/canon body, but 1000$ buys hardly anything in other brands, esp Olympus and Fuji. Even if it does, there is no roadmap for future growth.

Many Nikon buyers start out with low end bodies and lenses and then gradually swap out for higher end bodies as they learn. Other camera makers dont have this maturity and stability in technology. Every day they are coming out with something new and you really have no idea whether the mount/lenses/flashes etc that you buy today are going to be supported in couple of years.

Then come the overpriced accessories in the non canikon world. You need all kinds of stupid adapters with other brands, but with Nikon you dont, coz every type of lens needed is already present in F-mount with full autofocus and metering support which you cannot say for other brands. No only that, many lenses are simple not present in other mounts.

Canon/Nikon are boring bcoz they have mature technologies which are well supported and they dont need to fix what isnt broken. They have all kinds of lenses, flashes, accessories at a reasonable price, have third party support. They have bodies with same IQ but different capabilities for different needs, so users can pick and choose what exactly they want without compromising on the lens/flash/software compatibility.

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roby17269
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

jidery wrote:

ultimitsu wrote:

That isnt true. While weaker brands generally offer better value in camera bodies, they offer much poorer value in lenses. It holds true even among the cheapest lenses.

For example, Canon 18-55 STM has the best IQ of all 18-55 kit lenes from every maker (possible exception of fuji, but that is a much more expensive lens, $400 as a kit vs 100 as kit for everyone else). Canon 55-250 has the best IQ of all 55-2xx kit lense of all makers. So even for the basic kit buyers, Canon still produces, ultimately, more than competitive IQ.

Yet Canon and Nikon still force their users to pay extra for lenses with IS.

Reality says you're wrong

Meanwhile, IBS is just as good if not better on most other brands.

Based on what? My understanding is that IBS is equivalent to ILS for short focal lengths and inferior for long ones. Of course IBS is better than nothing when you use lenses without ILS.

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MoreorLess
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In reply to ultimitsu, 11 months ago

ultimitsu wrote:

OpticsEngineer wrote:

It puzzles me too. I think a lot of it is that people in general just do not know how great Sony and Pentax cameras are in comparison to Canon and Nikon at the same price points.

That isnt true. While weaker brands generally offer better value in camera bodies, they offer much poorer value in lenses. It holds true even among the cheapest lenses.

For example, Canon 18-55 STM has the best IQ of all 18-55 kit lenes from every maker (possible exception of fuji, but that is a much more expensive lens, $400 as a kit vs 100 as kit for everyone else). Canon 55-250 has the best IQ of all 55-2xx kit lense of all makers. So even for the basic kit buyers, Canon still produces, ultimately, more than competitive IQ.

The importance of these kinds of lenses always seems to be underestimated, you look at the amazon lens sales chart and its almost entire kit zooms, cheap tele zooms and cheap primes.

Personally I'd say that if Canon can get its mirrorless bodies sorted out then they are likely to shake up that market as well by offering the same kind of value whilst sony offer crappy kit options and overpriced high end options.

Canon kit lens - beats Sony's for performance.

Canon 35mm equivalent prime - 1 stop faster and cheaper than Sony's

Canon ultrawide zoom - Half the price of Sony's.

And established market share is hard to displace.

That isnt really true, especially this day and age, Kodak, Motorola, Nokia, Blackberry all had very strong marketshare and all pretty much lost it all over very short period of time. Especially blackberry. I remember as recent as 2006 every exec I know had a blackberry. In less than 3 years iPhone took over completely.

Indeed, of course users get tied into the lens system but other the past decade I'm guessing the vast majority of new large sensor camera buyers aren't tied into any system.

The reason Canon and Nikon has been able to stay in their dominating position is that they constantly maintain their competitive edge. Canon updated its entire super telephoto prime lens line (twice) even when no one else except Nikon has them. Canon also upgraded its pro AF recently with 1DX and 5D3, despite that the only competitor that comes close is Nikon.

Perhaps its a little harsh but to me the way AF performance seems to be overlooked by certain people seems like it might reflect on them. This isn't performance its easy to get from a test chart or an online review to boast over, its performance you see by actually using the camera.

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pavi1
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

jidery wrote:

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

They make high quality cameras, not marketing gimmicks.

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Jay Jenner
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to Tony Beach, 11 months ago

Canon or Nikon are safe bets. For pros there is a huge range of lenses available and international support. Neither company is going to go away anytime soon. They will not drop an entire mount system like Sony might be about to do. Both these brands have the fastest AF (in the pro mo dels)and the best flash systems. Although in the current climate neither is being seen as particularly innovative, their past innovations have got them where they are today.

And having a huge user base and critical mass helps that along nicely. I cannot see either company losing its position as #1 and #2 DSLR maker in my lifetime.

Having said that, international prominence and visibility does not in itself equal a good product. Otherwise how would you explain the Toyota Prius?

And FWIW I shoot with Olympus and Fujifilm.

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Jay Jenner
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to pavi1, 11 months ago

pavi1 wrote:

jidery wrote:

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

They make high quality cameras, not marketing gimmicks.

I would argue that the entry level Canons and Nikons are not high quality products. They are just good enough.

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David Hull
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

jidery wrote:

I shoot Sony, the only camera maker with SLT and one of the few with EVF. Then there is Pentax, one of the few SLR's with in body stabilization. On the smaller side you have Fuji, probably the best mirror less camera out there. Olympus and Panasonic are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with a small sensor.

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

What I have trouble understanding is why everyone is so hung up on "innovation" for what seems to be nothing more than "the sake of innovation". It would appear that the market doesn't assign the same value to these particular "innovations" that you do. Maybe you should step back and take a look at what is really innovative about Canon and Nikon -- hint: it ain't the technology, never has been.  Think marketing, customer support, acceptance in the marketplace, bredth of accessories, etc. etc. etc.

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riveredger
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

Sony dominates sensor technology. You can find Sony sensors in cameras made by Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus and of course Sony's own brand. Some may not like Sony menus, controls, etc but most folks love Sony sensors.

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Aberaeron
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Economy of scale and low production costs
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

mean that Canon and Nikon can sell competitively while providing their dealers with the high margin incentive to push the product. Both these companies have long reached a critical mass in sales terms where making a new sale and retaining existing customers is relatively easy, so the financial margins are relatively easy to maintain at dealer and distributor level for most of their product range.

Existing customers are asked for advice by newbies and they tend to advise to buy the same brand that they themselves use, even if they have little, if any, experience with other brands.

This is a fantastic situation for any brand to be in. The only problem is that to maintain that leadership position means that they are under a lot of pressure. All the while the others, who perhaps cannot produce goods at comparable low costs have the incentive to innovate at a faster pace and push, push, push.

In the wise words of Van Morrison "You're only King for a day".

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John1940
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

jidery wrote:

I shoot Sony, the only camera maker with SLT and one of the few with EVF. Then there is Pentax, one of the few SLR's with in body stabilization. On the smaller side you have Fuji, probably the best mirror less camera out there. Olympus and Panasonic are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with a small sensor.

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

Read the complete review of the Canon 70D to see part of why Canon appeals to a lot of people, especially if they already have many EF or EF-S lenses. (The same applies to Nikon SLR users with their lenses.)

I woild not be surprised to see Canon and Nikon offering SLTs in the future. I wonder what that would do to Sony. Sony will probably never catch up in the lens department.

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Bob Topp
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

As many have already pointed out, the OP does take a short view of things.  To fill in the blanks a bit, Sony has been innovative for years, but those innovations have often fallen flat.  To cite just a few: 1) Reversible reel-to-reel tape machine (ca 1972): Sony rotates the entire tape head instead of just putting in two extra heads- system fails to align or complete its rotation all-too-often, and reversal is slow, slow, slow. 2) Beta-max video recorders- great technology, but poor marketing by holding too tight to proprietary approach; blown away by inferior, but much more affordable VHS.  3) digital cameras beyond the Mavica (which was simply caught in a tough time of technological transition): Sony opted for proprietary flash memory instead of the dominant CF systems- cameras were pretty good, but the memory thing was a dead-end for anyone who shopped around. 4) apparent dead-ends with recent interchangeable lens models, both DSLRs and non.   Beating your way through the woods with a machete may offer the satisfaction of trail-blazing, but it doesn't make much sense when you're running parallel to a paved highway a few feet away.

For what it's worth, I shoot two Nikons, an EM-5 and soon (hopefully) an EM-1.  They all have a place for me.  At present, the EM-5 can't come close to the AF speed and accuracy of the D300 and D700, but it is still a pleasure to carry, and image quality is quite competitive for what I shoot.  With practice and improved technique, I have been able to use the EM-5 in most of the places I use my D700, but will always expect more OOF shots, especially in low light.  I have hopes for improved AF with the EM-1, but won't junk the Nikons until they wear out completely, probably a long time coming.

What I really don't understand is the rabid fandom that blinds people to the usefulness of multiple shooting platforms.

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Ed B
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Re: Good cameras sell.
In reply to howardroark, 11 months ago

howardroark wrote:

jidery wrote:

I shoot Sony, the only camera maker with SLT and one of the few with EVF. Then there is Pentax, one of the few SLR's with in body stabilization. On the smaller side you have Fuji, probably the best mirror less camera out there. Olympus and Panasonic are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with a small sensor.

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

SLT is fine is you have to have an EVF. Why do I personally need an EVF? I don't need it and I don't really want it. Why do I need "mirrorless"? I don't. Why do I need someone to tell me what is and is not innovation? You know what I need? I need what I need and not what you need. Sorry, but there is a center to the world and you're not it, pal.

I'm almost ashamed to admit it but I've owned about every type of camera available, within the 35mm and digital category. Part of that might be due to my age and part might be due to the fact that I'm always looking for something better. I suppose it's a disease or some type of psychological problem.

I can honestly say that, in today's modern world of photography, it's hard to find a camera that's not excellent. Almost any brand or model will allow a person to take outstanding pictures and features are the only things that really distinguish one brand or model from another.

Size, ergonomics, OVF vs. EVF, touchscreens, menus, sensor size/type, etc. It's all a matter of personal preference, need and affordability.

Why are Canon and Nikon considered the most popular brands among both professionals and average consumers? Availability, pricing, selection, dependability, reputation and service. There simply aren't any negative aspects to buying one of their products.

Yes, other companies are also excellent and make great cameras but, in the world of photography, they don't have the brand recognition that Canon and Nikon have.

During the last year I've used a Fuji X-E1, more than any other camera. Is it the best camera in the world? Of course not. Is it better than a top-of-the-line Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Sony? Nope, not even close. Is it the best camera for me? Yes it is ( at least until something I like better comes along). Would I recommend it to everyone else? No way.

Well if it's not the best in the world, not as good as some Nikon, Canon, Pentax or Sony cameras and I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. Why is it the best camera for me?

I just like it! And, I can't think of a better reason for a person to buy whatever brand or model they choose.

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JMCO
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In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

Well, yes, we DO need more brands that are more equal and lead to more innovation. Sony is chipping away with innovation which will be good for all of the remaining camera makers.

The old school view (from late 80s to mid 2000s) was that only Canon and Nikon made good stuff. Despite Minolta being a very innovative, one of the oldest on the planet, and popular camera makers.

This brand worship has slid over a bit to the digital era because, people had nothing else to go on when looking. Uncle Jeb, who is a hobby photographer, uses Nikon. He says get a Nikon. OK.

Also because of the brand fanatics (which I think is unhealthy and strange) that now abound on the internet.

But the cliche is true. The best camera is the one you have on you to take the picture. With that in mind, I have used virtually every brand out there. Nikon (my first camera EM to fav FM), Canon (love my G10), Pentax (SLRs and P&S), Minolta/Sony (KM and Alpha plus lenses), Leica (1930s I stupidly sold decades ago for a few hundred), Bronica, Mamiya, Rolleiflex, Fuji (lenses and cameras), Agfa (1920s 4 x 5), Apple (they made one of the first digital cameras not an iPhone!), Chinon, Yashica, Minox, Schneider (lenses), Kodak, Zeiss (lenses), Polaroid, Contax, Samsung (first digital P&S), Vivitar, Pinholes, and more I can't remember. Never a Hasselblad though…

Guess what? They were all great! I can also say that, today, all the remaining brands are all great too!

Pixel counters and lens peepers will say one is better than another and, be right. But, that's for pros and fanatics. For 95% of the human population, a Pentax or a Nikon or a Olympus or Sony or Canon or Fuji or iPhone or other brand you recognize, is going to be great!

If every person on the planet wanted a Porsche or Ferrari or Lexus, sure - go get the top lenses and body and blow a ton of money. If you make over 150 USD a year and loved photography, you could. But if you want a Honda or Ford or Hyundai or a thing to drive you around photographically, there are virtually no bad choices now and performance begins to exceed the costlier brands. Like with the innovative Sony A7r. Considerably cheaper than a Leica but at least equal or better in performance by low or high measures.

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MisterBG
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

jidery wrote:

I shoot Sony, the only camera maker with SLT and one of the few with EVF. Then there is Pentax, one of the few SLR's with in body stabilization. On the smaller side you have Fuji, probably the best mirror less camera out there. Olympus and Panasonic are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with a small sensor.

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

Don't worry about it.

I'm sure Canon and Nikon can survive without you.

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jkoch2
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In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

jidery wrote:

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

Most cameras sold and used, these days, are in smart phones made by Apple, Samsung, Nokia, or one of the others.  The sales volume and revenues are a vast multiple of all global sales of dedicated cameras by Canon, Nikon, and all your favorites.  The margin by which the phones dominate grows every quarter.

Curiously, the phone makers achieve this without bothering with large sensors, fancy lenses, manual controls, or any sort of stabilization.

Canon and Nikon's P&S business, plus most of its ventures into "innovative" mid-range cameras, will vanish in a few years.  They will continue to rule a smaller market for traditional DSLRs purchased by a graying quotient of the population and the at-risk business of commercial photography.

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peevee1
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

jidery wrote:

I shoot Sony, the only camera maker with SLT and one of the few with EVF. Then there is Pentax, one of the few SLR's with in body stabilization. On the smaller side you have Fuji, probably the best mirror less camera out there. Olympus and Panasonic are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with a small sensor.

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

For historical reasons. In their time, they innovated pretty well, among the first, and provided modern high-quality (for the price) products. For example, as recently as 2009, Canon started selling 7D - probably still the best APS-C camera for sports shooters (maybe Pentax K-3 is better now - depends how good its AF tracking is).

Yeah, for the last 4 years they seem to be sleeping in money-saving mode. But maybe they secretly prepare a revolution behind closed doors. Some bits and pieces of information suggest they might.

Take the sensor in 70D with the 2nd generation of OSPDAF - full-sensor (not just a few pixels) and working this time. And it potentially can give depth information in every pixel - meaning you can dial in as much oof blur (which is in vogue for some reason, probably just as the only way to show off expensive equipment in good light) as you want.

Or their patents showing sensors with what looks like fiberoptic array on top - emulating curved sensors. If that works out, this gives potential for radically simpler, cheaper and smaller lenses.

New mirrorless system with 70D sensor with this array on top (and the set of small $100-$200 f/1.4 lenses) and faster processor to get all the depth information and AF beyond 1Dx would be SICK and leave all competitors bankrupt very quickly.

Another EOS M with 3 lenses and another "model name innovation" in their bread-and-butter Rebel line - and they might starting losing market share and eventually money (although cost base doing just this is very small).

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peevee1
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to ultimitsu, 11 months ago

ultimitsu wrote:

jidery wrote:

I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

You are wrong if you think they lack innovation.

Innovation is not just what they launch over the last 12 month, it is what they have, collectively as a system, over their competitors. You should recognise that they both have huge amount of competitive edge over everyone else. That did not happen by magic, they were all innovations.

You seem to be redefining meaning of innovation.

For example, every lens that they have and their competitors dont, is an innovation at some point of time which their competitors still has not caught up. Both Nikon and Canon have complete line up of 200/2, 300/2.8, 400/2.8, 500/4, 600/4. You think they are easy to design and to manufacture?

Yes, pretty easy, nothing truly innovative in them. But so few people actually buy those, if you have small market share, the fixed costs of producing such lenses will never pay for themselves. People who buy Rebels (making up absolute bulk of DSLR purchases) don't buy those lenses either, so their availability makes absolutely no difference for them.

If Canon and Nikon had to rely only on 1Dx and D4, they would be smaller than Leica now, if not bankrupt altogether.

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InterestedParty
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Re: Canon and Nikon dominate the photo world, but I don't understand why.
In reply to jidery, 11 months ago

jidery wrote:

...

Canon and Nikon are just boring compared to Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, and Fuji. I don't understand why Canon and Nikon dominate with their lack of innovation.

Their huge selection of fabulous lenses?

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