In 2013, I wrote a piece on Medium about fanboys when the Sony A7 was announced.
I’m ‘reheating’ the post here because Canon announced new cameras, and this time Sony users are raging.
During college, I volunteered as a photographer for a youth symphony orchestra that performed music scores from video games and Animes.
The first time I arrived at an assignment, even though I was the ‘official’ photographer, that didn’t stop other volunteers from bringing their own cameras that were harder, better, faster, stronger.
A constant reoccurrence later in my wedding photography career.
But that was my first encounter with fanboys.
“Ooh. You’re a Nikon boy.”
“Your focus ring turns the other way.”
“What’s your stop? 1.8? Not bad, but no Image Stabilisation? Tsk tsk.”
It was a confusing situation for me.
The camera belonged to my dad.
He gave it to me as a goodbye-to-college gift because it was just sitting there at home.
(Even our own parents bought shit they didn’t need in the 90s, but that’s for another post.)
I was just happy to have a camera of my own, regardless of the brand.
Yet there I was being teased for owning a piece of equipment with a sticker I had no control of.
I vowed not to touch a single piece of Canon equipment, ever.
Fast forward to the present day, I shoot with three Canon bodies for weddings.
I borrow my friend’s Nikon D850 if I need more megapixels from time to time.
I love my Leica M6, but I rock out the medium format Hasselblad and Pentax for special occasions.
My daughter has my tiny Ricoh to play around.
Any lens I don’t have, I rent.
And I absolutely adore fanboys.
Love them to bits.
Why? Because they seldom become professional photographers.
I have never come across a piece of communication from an established photographer (or anyone important, really) dissing equipment.
” Oh yea, while that soldier was falling, I was really glad I didn’t go the other camera which could only shoot 4fps rather 6fps.”
Because photographers don’t have time to troll the internet.
And if you’re not happy with a 2013 full-frame mirrorless, you will not be happy with a 2020 full-frame mirrorless.
Having said that, the fanboys, with their brand wars and insecurities, are important for the industry because they support the industry.
They fight, they switch gears, the acquire more gears, and they fight again.
Companies have money and data to fund R&D, and therefore are able to keep producing.
Can you imagine if everyone were to wait for Apple to fix all the bugs before buying their phones?
Or be level-headed and pick second-hand instead of brand new?
What if everyone just decided to ditch cameras as a whole and go with their 58-lens smartphone?
Imagine flower girls and puppies with a go-pro on their foreheads, drone weddings, anyone?
That’s right. We need fanboys.
We are fighting the good fight, that shooting with a camera to preserve memories still means something.
So Nikon, good.
Sony, Fuji, cameras.