Illustration by Shotkit.

Earlier this year, Shotkit asked 1,000 photographers what camera equipment they used throughout the year and why they opted to use said gear. Now, it’s published the results, which proved to be more interesting than Shotkit expected.

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For context of how the survey was done, Shotkit says all submissions were made using JotForm. The link was shared across non-brand-specific Facebook Groups, Shotkit email subscribers and Shotkit Facebook accounts. Shotkit says it was careful to select 'neutral' photographer groups to minimize the chance of skewing the results in one direction or another.

As always, there is still plenty of room for discrepancy and while 1,000 is a decent sample size, it’s far from conclusive, particularly on a global level. With all of that noted, let’s dive into the results.

Illustration by Shotkit.

In a surprise to likely no one, mirrorless cameras proved much more popular than DSLRs, with 63% of professional photographers reporting they used a mirrorless camera. 36% reported using DSLRs while only 1% said they consistently used both.

Nikon was the most popular camera brand used by professional photographers, taking 31% of the market share. Canon followed very closely behind with 28%, while Sony came in third place at 20% market share. Interestingly, Sony’s a7 III was the most popular camera amongst professional photographers, while Canon’s R6 and Nikon’s D750 DSLR more or less tied for second and third position.

The leading reason for professionals using mirrorless cameras is due to their smaller and more lightweight form factor. The second biggest reason was due to faster autofocus (compared to DSLRs), according to Shotkit’s survey data.

Illustration by Shotkit.

Mirrorless cameras were also more popular than DSLRs with amateur photographers, but not by as nearly large of a margin: 54% and 46%, respectively. Amateurs also said the size and weight of mirrorless cameras was the reason they opted for them over DSLRs, but in-body image stabilization was the second-biggest reason, rather than the autofocus performance professional photographers noted.

For amateurs, Canon proved to be the most popular brand, holding 27% of the market share. Nikon followed closely behind at 25%, while Sony came in a distant third at 16%, less than one percentage point ahead of Fujifilm, who took 15% market share. As for individual cameras, Fujifilm’s X-T3 took the top spot with Sony’s a7 III following closely behind at 3.7% and 3.2%, respectively. Nikon then took the next three spots with its D850, D750 and D7100, respectively. Canon’s 5D Mark IV, 6D Mark II and R5 cameras all tied for sixth, seventh and eighth place.

You can read the full breakdown of Shotkit’s survey on its website, which has additional graphics and more detailed insight. Shotkit also has an article on industry stats and a breakdown of the most popular photo editing software photographers use.