Canon is the most Popular Camera brand according to Consumers

Back in 1685, a man by the name of Johann Zahn created the first camera that was small and portable enough to be practical for photography. However, it would be another 150 years before technology caught up and it was actually possible for his vision to be built. Today, over 300 years later, not only is a hand-held camera an essential product in most households, but consumers have multiple options of brands and types to choose from. But how do people know what to pick?

In 2010, Sortable, a Waterloo-based startup company, launched, devoted to helping consumers find the right camera for them. Sortable surveyed more than 275,000 people over a six month period and found that: In the ever-growing market for cameras, many brands have joined the war to become the best product. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm and Olympus are among the many companies vying to come out on top. However, according to consumers, it is Canon that is winning the camera war. The survey shows that 33% of consumers favour Canon to the competition, among the favourite types being the Canon T2i, T3i, 7D, the new 5D Mark III the Powershot S95 and the SX40. Trailing close in second place is Nikon, favoured by 27% of consumers. Nikon has produced many popular brands such as the D5100, D7000 and D3100 DSLRs, the Coolpix P500 and S9100.

Today, not only do consumers have multiple camera brands that they can choose from, but they also have the option of choosing a type of camera that is right for them. During Sortable’s research, they found that consumers’ favourite types of cameras are DSLR’s and Point and Shoots. DSLRs are versatile cameras with interchangeable lenses that are traditionally used by professional photographers, but are becoming increasingly more popular among entry level users. In contrast, Point and Shoots allow the everyday person to quickly and easily capture the photos they want, without having to make many adjustments. It’s not surprising that these two types come out on top. What is really surprising is the surge in popularity of the Mirrorless cameras. A relatively new technology, Mirrorless cameras stuff a DSLR size sensor into a small portable package, with interchangeable lenses for greater flexibility. Canon has yet to enter the Mirrorless market, and Nikon has just entered, with the Nikon V1 and J1. As this type of camera becomes more popular, Canon and Nikon will have to step up their game in order to keep their market share in comparison to Sony, Panasonic and Olympus, who have grabbed the early lead in this Mirrorless market.

So, how do you know which camera is right for you? Well, you can take the advice of other consumers and of your family and friends, but ultimately, the choice is yours. Each brand of camera and each type all have their perks and flaws. It’s up to you to find your camera (and a little help from Snapsort and Sortable might be handy). Here, in 2012, our world has certainly come a long way since Zahn’s initial camera concepts.

Attack of The Mirrorless Cameras

Olympus Pen E-P3
Olympus Pen E-P3 one of the new breed of mirrorless cameras

For as long as most photographers have been taking pictures with SLR cameras the process has been familiar, whether they were shooting film or the newer all digital cameras:  Push the button and the mirror would flip up out of the way, the shutter would fire, then the mirror would drop back into place allowing you to once again see through the viewfinder.  That second of blackness after pushing the button has been there as long as most of have been in the business.That’s about to change with the advent of a new breed of mirrorless cameras.  Not long ago “mirrorless” meant either a small sight lens on one side of the camera or using the LCD screen on the back to frame the shot.  Now comes the trend of TTL electronic viewfinders that may someday do away with flip-up mirrors all together.The missing mirror assembly gives manufacturers the ability to make smaller cameras that still sport a big chip behind good glass without a complicated mechanical mechanism for moving the mirror.  The new mirrorless cameras are smaller, lighter, faster and still take amazing pictures.

One of the new upstarts is the Olympus Pen E-P3, sporting one of the new micro 4/3’s chips that Olympus jointly developed with Panasonic.  The E-P3 is smaller, lighter and faster than its big brother DSLR cousins, but is handicapped by the $899 price point, which puts in the same price range as the Canon T3i.

The Sony Alpha NEX-C3 sports an APS-C chip behind interchangeable glass on a small frame camera.  At $600, the Sony hits the sweets spot between portability and price.  You get all the advantages of the smaller frame, electronic viewfinder, at price point that’s below the intro level DSLRs from Canon and Nikon.