After posting a short Tool Kit article titled 'Leica Cameras Have Eye-Popping Prices, With Photos To Match,' New York Times writer Nick Bilton was surprised by the aggressive influx of 'vehement messages from all kinds of photographers and camera fans' that filled his email inbox. Not only did Canon and Nikon fans attack him for not writing a similar piece about their favorite brands, but many Leica fans were also quite critical of his very positive article, as well as his selection of 'experts' quoted in the piece, including Christopher Michel and Ken Rockwell. 

In his story, Bilton declared his appreciation for the manual-focus lenses on Leica cameras, saying, 'The control I have with a manual Leica makes me realize that today's abundance of buttons and features on most cameras often makes people take poorer pictures.'

This was about the extent of the article's content that could be considered controversial. The story reads more like a brief overview of Leica's history and what it's like to own a Leica camera. Bilton acknowledges that Leica gear is expensive, but he likes his enough that he won't part with it. That last comment is a familiar refrain of Leica fans.

'Fog breaking through trees at midnight in San Francisco's Holly Park.' One of Bilton's sample photos taken with the Leica M Monochrom and 50mm Noctilux F1 lens.

Here at DPReview we, of course, were not surprised by the revelation that camera enthusiasts can be quite direct and passionate about their favorite brands. Because we experience that passion with nearly everything we post, we've had some time to think about it.

One theory is that camera fans come to love their cameras as members of the family, conferring upon them the status of a beloved child. Anyone criticizing a favored camera brand is therefore attacked with the same primal fervor normally reserved for defending the most vulnerable of family members. Since cameras assist us in capturing some of the best moments of our lives, usually spent with our real families and friends, the attachment isn't all that surprising.

Or perhaps it's the simple fact that camera owners have invested a great deal of money in their system, and want their purchases justified. They'll react negatively not just to reviews, but also to any criticism from other users.

But we're quite sure our readers have an opinion on the matter. Do you think camera fans are more passionate about their favorite brands? If so, why?