How to Switch Camera Brands
Any photographer will let you know picking the right camera brand is akin to a wizard selecting their wand. That’s why the words “switch brands” can seem so daunting. Some of the woes that come to mind are the learning curve of new gear, recouping the money you’ve invested in the equipment you already own, and making sure the new brand is an investment in the future of your work. Sometimes switching camera brands is a well-thought-out process over time, and other times you’re forced to make the switch due to circumstances outside of your control (like me!).
In my instance, my primary camera began to slowly have unresolvable issues that the manufacturer could not fix. This led to an “if you give a mouse a cookie” situation because if I changed my primary camera, then I would have to change my lenses, and if I changed my lenses, then I would have to get a different secondary camera too. Here’s what happened in a nutshell:
- Canon was my go-to brand
- I had a Canon 7D as my secondary camera, and a new Canon Mark IV as my primary
- I was shooting a wedding when after the getting-ready photos my Canon Mark IV completely shut down. The shutter would not open, and eventually, the camera itself would not turn on for more than a few seconds.
- I tried everything under the sun to troubleshoot during the moment:
- Checked and changed batteries
- Changed SD cards
- Changed lenses
- Checked all of my settings
- Changed shooting modes
- Factory reset
- My primary camera completely failed, and I ended up shooting the rest of the wedding with my backup camera which only had one SD card slot.
- Contacted Canon and did more deep diving the next day, and saw that this was an issue other people seemed to have as well.
- Sent my camera to Canon to have it inspected.
- They could not replicate the problem and said they could not fix anything so they sent it back to me.
- My Canon Mark IV miraculously began to work again
- Two portrait sessions later, towards the end of the session the same issue occurred, and I could not revive it.
- Contacted Canon again, with no luck and no response back to what may be going on. I even sent over a forum on their website where others had the same issue, and there was little acknowledgment.
This is when I was put in the position to switch my camera brand altogether. The lack of customer service on Canon’s behalf, and the failure of one of their newest cameras after very light use made my trust in Canon’s brand evaporate. My research began and I started the trial-and-error process by renting different cameras to get a feel for my next jump. I fell head-over-heels for Fuji’s X Series, and decided to go all-in for these reasons:
- The cameras were mirrorless! (the way of the future)
- Fuji’s XT-3 and XT-4 were intuitive to use, lightweight, and very durable since they’re made out of metal.
- The camera bodies mirrored older SLR cameras, making the experience fun and minimalistic which I loved.
- Both had dual SD card slots and an electronic viewfinder.
Next, I had to figure out a way to sell my gear without losing a ton of money and switch from Canon to Fuji:
- I found KEH to be the best resource when selling gear/whole camera systems. They’re very fair with their ratings for gear and what they will pay for used gear.
- Gear Focus is also another good site if you’re selling an item at a time and don’t mind waiting for buyers to pop up.
After receiving payments from selling my gear, I went ahead and bought the Fuji X-4 as my primary camera, and then a few months later invested in the Fuji XT-3 as a backup. For my lenses, I went with Fuji’s 23 mm f/2, 35 mm f/2, and Viltrox’s 56 mm f/1.4.
Overall, while switching brands can be stressful, at some point or another it may become necessary in your business, and given the right tools and resources, it won’t put a huge dent in your wallet.