People are Strange. The interesting world of Digital Photography.
By Steve Huff
When I started this website almost 11 years ago, it was started out of a passion for not only Photography, but yes, GEAR. I was a gearhead. I adored photography but loved the gear I could buy to practice my craft. When I started getting into reviews, I was discouraged against it as there were already, count ’em, 4 or 5 websites out there reviewing cameras. I was told the world did not need more reviewers or websites that talked about cameras.
Lol. Wow. If those who gave me that advice so long ago knew what was to come, that may have had a fit. Today there are THOUSANDS of camera reviewers. I know exactly why that is, but that is a long long story and one I may tell another day. Over these 11 years I have enjoyed testing, shooting and using ALL cameras that got my blood pumping. I was never one to review EVERYTHING as if I didn’t like a camera, I would not review it. If I was lukewarm on a popular camera, I would review it but then I would get hate for stating my true feelings (like the original Fuji X-Pro 1 which I still say was a beta product at best, when launched). In this game, you can not please everyone but that is OK with me, I have been dealing with it for a long time.
This site was one of the 1st, if not the 1st to focus solely on MIRRORLESS cameras. It was also the first to coin the term “Real World Review” as back then, 99% of all sites reviewed cameras by taking shots of newspaper text to show 100% crops. They were boring, uninspiring and was one of the reasons I started this website when I did. I created the website I always wanted to read and I never wanted to read those long “technical reviews”. Now, I know many love that kind of review, and that is cool. It just wasn’t for me, and obviously many others felt the same as soon this site started getting 1-1.3 million views per month (at the peak of mirrorless).
Over the years, many have entered the review game and I am thrilled that so many saw past the technical jargon that most old reviewers took part in (as that to me NEVER had anything to do with real photography). A camera is made to be used, taken out, and to be worked, learned and shot the hell out of. It is not for scientific test shots as that is NEVER EVER real life, no matter how you spin it.
That’s just me but I feel the process of making memories that we can look back on in the future is what it is all about. Heck, these days I look back at photos I shot for this website 10 years ago and at times, a tear has flowed from my eye. Seeing my son at a young age, seeing special moments I have forgotten about, past memories and remembering MY LIFE. THAT is what is special to me about taking pictures. It is not about tech specs, 100% crops, of the talking points to promote a camera that camera companies want us to use by posting their press releases.
The fact is this…ALL cameras today, ALL of them, can take beautiful photos. We should buy what we are drawn to for our personal use and what the smart choice is when bought for business. I see so many online these days fight, bicker, call each other names all in the name of Brand Loyalty. That is nonsense. As if this world was not divided enough we now have camera brand loyalists fighting others online to defend their brand. I mean, CAMERA COMPANIES Have us fighting with each other online, and truth be told, they love it. It feeds the traffic and creates controversies for sure. But here we are, all supposed to be on the same team, sharing the same passion and love of photography but some out there just have to attack others for what they use and shoot or talk about. It’s childish nonsense that is ridiculous. One can be brand loyal, that’s a good thing. But to trash others who use a brand you do not? That is insecurity, about something in your life.
Oh yes, Fanboys. I was labeled a fanboy many times. It’s funny but all in one year I was labeled a Leica fanboy, A Sony fanboy and an Olympus fanboy. All because I shot all three and loved them. It’s funny but then again NOT. Today it seems we can not truly love our camera and express that to others without being labeled a fanboy from someone who owns a brand you do NOT shoot. It’s sad really. That some stoops so low as to try to hurt others for what they choose to shoot. Some just enjoy hurting others as it make themselves feel better about themselves. This is very true, it’s psychological. I have never played that game of “if you shoot XXX brand then you are dumb”..attacking others who say good things about brand A because you shoot brand B. No, name calling is for the weak and always has been.
I have always said, SHOOT WITH WHAT YOU LOVE and ENJOY. Only then will you be happy with your choice of camera. If that is Fuji, Sony, Leica, Hasselblad, Olympus, Nikon, Canon or whatever then so be it! When I talk about cameras I LOVE I ooze excitement and that is genuine. Sorry, but I do not hold it back when I am pumped about a camera release, new or old.
If you guys have been keeping up with me these past couple of weeks, you may have seen I bought a couple of Canon cameras, that were the result of a business choice. For a specific purpose as I needed the toughness, the color performance and AF performance of these Canon cameras for a long-term vide project that has 2-3 more years to go. I was very happy with them (1dX II, 6DII and M50) so I decided to do videos and write ups on them, small ones, but no different from I have always done.
Woohoo! Well, it never fails! I am now being labeled a Canon fanboy, and even have been accused of being paid off by Canon, all after owning Canon for almost 2 weeks. THAT is HILARIOUS seeing that I do not even have a contact at Canon since I have been ANTI DSLR for years, lol. Canon doesn’t even like me! But it shows that many out there today are just negative souls who like to attack anyone who does not see eye to eye with them, or their choices.
In true fanboy circles (fast fact: the ones who accuse others of being a fanboys are in realty the true fanboys) if one shoots…well, let’s just say Fuji, sees that I am shooting a Sony, or Canon, or Leica..well they feel as if it is an attack on them for some reason and they feel they have to put down the brands I shoot as they label me a fanboy (yet they are the real and true fanboy as they are the ones attacking others for their brand choice)! It’s sad, and ridiculous. As I said, I shoot what I love and enjoy. These days it is a Leica SL, Hasselblad X1D (which gets minimal use) and a Sony A7III. I have the Canon stuff for 95% video that I do EVERY DAY! If the Canon works for photos as well, I will use it! I use what works for me, what I enjoy and life is about ENJOYING your time and being productive, giving back and being a kind person.
No, I do not own a Fuji as they never ticked all of my boxes. No I do not shoot Nikon, even though they make amazing cameras and lenses. I shoot cameras that do what I like and need. Nothing more or less. I am a fanboy of ALL good cameras, period. I think it is, as I said, SAD that there are those out there that attack anyone who shoots something other than they do, or praise it. (I am not speaking of anyone attacking ME, but the overall hate level today online in the camera world) But I also find it a bit funny at the same time. I even made a funny video about “fanboyism” which many took as me attacking a brand I love and use, Sony! That was not the point, it was more about those who even use the term fanboy and poking fun at THEM. See that video HERE.
My words of advice? Enjoy YOUR camera. USE IT. So not worry what others use, as it doesn’t matter. All that matters is what you enjoy and what works for you. If you use a Sony and someone says it is crap and you should shoot Fuji, ignore it and know you are using what works for you. None of the nonsense matters! At the end of the day it is all about making memories for those who really enjoy the art and craft of photography. Your camera is not your life, and shouldn’t be. Whatever brand you shoot, it’s the right choice for YOU!
Yes, I review cameras but lately I have been less and less excited about new releases simply because what we have now is so so good! I could rave on everything and make tons of cash through links, but again, I only rave about what I use and love. Makes me a bad businessman as I do not write about every release which would increase my income, but hey, I am a very happy man and that trumps money any day for me ; ) I will always review new cameras that come out that get me pumped, and nothing more. It has been a while since my last real full “real world review” of a camera but that is only because nothing new has come out to get my blood pumping, or nothing new has come out that is significantly better than what is out there already. The last camera that got me going was the X1D, and yes, it is a FANTASTIC camera for those who appreciate what it is and who it is for (it is not a camera for everyone, that is for sure). I still own it and adore it.
So yes, new reviews will be coming soon as the new Sony A7SIII should hit soon. A new Canon mirrorless should hit soon. The new Nikon, while to me was very much like the Sony A7III and RIII in Nikon form, will also be reviewed as I see some good things from it (though I doubt I will buy one for myself as it does nothing better over my current gear). So new reviews will come, as new cameras come out that I feel are worthy of a review!
Anyway, thanks to all who still read this website. I appreciate you ALL. Much more to come for the next 10 years.
I follow you for quitte Some years now and know you’re not a fanboy. I really love it that you just say what you think about a camera or lens you review.
As friends or co-workers ask my advice when they want to buy a camera, I always advice them to go to a good camerastore and try out Some different camera’s and choose the one that feels the best for them, like ergonomics and userinterface. That way they are usually not disapointed and will USD their camera.
I have used different brandstof myself, but choose Nikon in DSLR and Leica for rangefinder and mirrorless. I do have a Sony RX100III for it’s small site, love the output, but harte the UI.
I admit I’m a bit of a Leica fangirl, but the camera’s are a real you tu use.
Thank you Erica!
It’s the first time I visit your website and I’m very happy with what I read. People rely too much on the technical data reviews, this gives the illusion of making better photos.
Just try and find by yourself what it the works the best.
The documentary about your mom and the homeless people was heartbreaking. At this moment we overlook about bokeh, ISO, MTF and others technicals terms. In this society where everything must be smooth and sanitized, we forget the most important the EMOTIONS !
Hi Steve, I think that there is nothing wrong with brand loyalty when it means that you stick by one brand/system and trust that manufacturer’s design and quality, when you feel good with that. Building a lens collection over many years and learning what lens to use when and where is more important for your photography than always looking for better, especially when differences are subtle today. As to bodies, they are secondary thing,they come and go, the progress in sensor technology urged to regularly buy a new body, but that’s nearly over, where sensor technology stands today further improvement may be overkill for an amateur shooter. For bodies ,sticking to one brand means you never have to familiarise. And for me,even mirror-or-no-mirror is not a big issue (the weight.size gap is closing lately….).
Finally Steve, among the xxx photo websites yours is very special, I think that is because it radiates enjoyment and positivism.Thank you.
I’m a fan of Steve and Brandon Huff.
As far as cameras, just shoot and all those codecs, MPs , card slots and other gobble gook become meaningless if you have an eye.
Good write up and so true. My brother who is the photographer of the family went from Canon to Sony and I thought he was a Sony fan boy and then he got a Ricoh GR2 because he wanted a good pocket camera to supplement his Sony gear. So you get what works for you regardless of the brand and move on. Everyone is a fan boy of something or they appear to be but in the end they really are just getting what works for them. Anyway really enjoy your website and your photography philosophy is spot on!!!
So true, Mr. Huff, and I enjoy reading your site since many years because you focused early on real life experience and your own passion for a camera. I am grateful for this service – despite the only ML cameras I use so far are analogue (35mm and mid format).
When you started to write about some Canon gear I immediately thought, oh, maybe he should use and enjoy it but not write about it. There is so much hate against this brand out there now, in particular from ML fanboys, that I stopped reading those threads, it is like a war, and there’s enough war in this world. In fact, this is some tragedy, because one of nice things about Canon cameras is that they really can deliver nice colors just out of the box – you don’t have to lose precious lifetime for post-processing just to tweak colors. This should be standard nowadays, but it is not. I have access to different brands, so I know what I am talking about.
You are so right on the spot. Why don´t we just enjoy what we have instead of giving so much energy to things we know nothing about. I have Olympus. I know nothing about Lumix. Never used one. So why should I have an opinion about Panasonic? I love my Olympus. It is enough. Others love Lumix. Great for them. Hope we both are happy. Your advice for us is to enjoy. Let´s do that.
It seems to be human nature. I’ve been in the classic car hobby all of my adult life, and shake my head at people who drive a Chevy that has a decal of a boy peeing on a Ford emblem. Or visa-versa. Can’t you just enjoy your car without insulting somebody else’s?
I have Canons, Olympus, a Panasonic and a Fuji, because each one of them was what seemed the best for me under different circumstances. To me, brand is irrelevent, as you have often said, they’re all very good.
Steve Huff is not a fanboy.
Reviewing cameras and related gear and showcasing the work of photographers is what he does.
We have a saying in Britain Steve – don’t let the buggers grind you down! Love your reviews and I’ve never thought for one second that you’re a fanboy of any brand.
I’ve been a frequent reader of your web site, reviews and general information, since 2009, concurrent to when I began to investigate Leica cameras (the M9 had just been released). I’ve found your commentary useful and never considered it plugging one camera or lens over another; you’ve simply hopped around from brand to brand as you’ve done your job.
The recent embrace of Canon is just more of the same; another brand that meets some need being tested and the virtues and shortcomings being reported. Though I was a little surprised to see you considering using a Canon 6D on a selfie stick… that would be heavy!
I’m glad you and others do what you do and I appreciate the time put in. The info has been helpful and useful. Even saved me big bucks since I’m not the one buying and trying. I hope you’re around for another 11 years.
The fact that you have regularly used pretty much all the brands, and have no issue swapping when something better comes along, proves that you just the OPPOSITE of a fanboy. As far as I could ever see you have no allegiance to anyone and just use what you enjoy. I like when I read a review from you it comes with the experience of trying pretty much everything else out there.
My guess is that once the reviewer has paid for and reviewed the camera/lens/bag they only need 10 people to click on it at 10% affiliate rate and the cost is covered. Even if they don’t reach that the product is subsidised.
I think I’ve been reading your site from it’s very beginnings. You inspired me to get a M8.2, then the ME and finally an M10 and SL… My camera budget is exhausted, so a Hasselblad will have to wait, but I wholeheartedly agree… It didn’t matter what you choose, as long as you love working with it.
Looking forward to the next 10…
Bravo!! Exactly why I have read your site for over ten years. Also really like your son’s articles on film.
Use what you enjoy using. My previous camera was bought with work in mind – I seem to have become the official photographer at my work so I bought the kit to do that job. Then it was all stolen and I decided not to repeat that action but to get what I really wanted to use for myself. Much happier now using mostly one camera and lens for the kinds of pictures I want to take. As for what others think, I find my current camera gets no looks from anyone whereas the other type gets lots. I prefer to go unnoticed!
I didn’t look at your Canon articles simply because the brand and its cameras don’t interest me. I am surprised – though I shouldn’t be – that you had to put up with flack. My philosophy: if something is irrelevant to me, then I don’t read about it. Simple.
There should be a recognized difference between passion and tribalism. I am passionate about Leica specifically, and mirrorless and film in general. It’s cool if some people don’t want a Leica, though. I currently don’t use one. It’s cool if others don’t like film – their loss, not mine! The fewer people who use film, the more that film shooters can differentiate themselves.
Last year I got attacked simply for writing about what the future of cameras would be – by the same people who left film behind as soon as they could afford a digital camera. So I know how you feel.
Like it or not, things are going to change AGAIN. First it was film to digital. Now, it’s DSLR to mirrorless (CSC). Tomorrow, it’s probably going to be integrated cameras (e.g. RX10) or light field. Or perhaps it’s going to be a fusion of video and photo (like the RED cameras, but even smaller). You try publicly musing about *any* of these ideas and you will be shot at with live rounds.
DSLRs will be such a minority that there will be more film SLRs in use than DSLRs in the medium term future. Some people really don’t like even the thought of that, for some reason.
One thing that must hold: competition. I’ll be damned if I only have two choices of manufacturer. You’re kidding yourself if you think that we only need two brands to serve us.
True! People worry all too much about numbers and nuances. Then again maybe some of them enjoy arguing more than shooting. Anyway, it’s an interesting read for me 🙂 Thanks for all your work Steve – it’s always a breath of fresh air!