Canonites and non-Canonites alike may deplore Canon’s lack of innovation. World’s market leader in cameras and imaging technology churns out serious gear at snail’s pace while the likes of Sony, Fujifilm and Olympus keep on innovating to gain new market share. For Canon, it seems, photography is not so much about innovation. It’s more about reliability, brand recognition and legacy, so all Canon really has to do is offering proven, reliable tools that just do the job without adding much excitement to doing the job. Who cares if a camera is beautiful, feels great and enriches the experience of photographing. Canon chooses a completely pragmatic approach — and not that it’s leader position is endangered:
This widely circulated, self-explanatory infographic by Spanish-language photography site hastalosmegapixeles.com on the cameras used for the World Press Photo 2014 awards does show one thing clearly: world’s leading photojournalists mostly use Canon. Mirrorless? Keep on dreaming.
Alright, the infographic might not be entirely representative. Nearly 100,000 photos were submitted. Only 42 of the 55 winning photographs offer gear data, showing the Canon EOS 1D X is the model most commonly used by winning reporters. Of the 42 photos that information is offered, eight of them are made with this bulky, nearly $7k pro DSLR.
- 58% of the winning photographs are shot with a Canon.
- 86% of the winners work with Canon or Nikon (28%).
- Leica achieves a respectable 7% share. To be fair, in terms of real market share that’s a dramatic achievement.
- And it doesn’t always have to be the latest and greatest camera to shoot great imagery. The Canon 5D Mark II is as popular as the 5D Mark III successor in this list, and even veteran cameras such as the cheapo Canon Rebel T3/1100D, Nikon D80 and Sony NEX-5N made it into the awards.
- There’s the occasional Sony RX1 and Olympus OM-D EM-5. Occasional.
The moral of the story? Canons still rule. Albeit statistically a Canon therefore might improve one’s photography, even redundant gear still delivers.
Oops, and which camera maker again sponsors the World Press Photo awards? Take a wild guess. I don’t suggest they have any influence on the judging. They just sponsor what they do best. A World Fashion Photo or World Art Photo award would have a different sponsor.
Fact is, world’s best photojournalists do care what gear they’re using. Still, most cameras could have taken the winning photographs. But not most photographers.