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Camera Survey

A Landscape Photographer's Tools

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Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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Just over a month ago we asked our readers to tell us what cameras they used for their landscape photography and we had a great response. We've spent a bit of time analysing the results (my programming skills come in useful still occasionally) and here they are!

SLRs-by-brand

 

Well this isn't too much of a surprise - the Nikon/Canon thing is pretty much a toss up. Pentax come in third but we should add that we got spammed by the Pentax forums when word got out that we accidentally classed the K as a compact.

CSCs-by-brand

 

On the compact side it's probably no surprise that panasonic have got the vast majority of the market but the balance between Canon and Olympus surprised me. We'll look at individual cameras in a later chart.

fullframe-or-crop

So I wondered just how many people were shooting crop sensor cameras as opposed to full frame. It turns out it's pretty close but the majority own larger sensor cameras.

film-cameras

 

Let's add film cameras to the mix to see just how many people are still in the analog market. Well it turns out to be quite significant! This is obviously self selecting to an extent as there aren't many places online that cater to film and digital but even so the number of people that also have film cameras is substantial. However the following diagram shows that people using film are also using digital and very few only own film cameras.

filmdig

 

So there are a large number of people using both film and digital. How about the individual cameras that were used.

SLRs-by-name

 

The old classic the 5Dmk2 is still incredibly popular but the D800 has taken the landscape photography world. When you take the D800 and D800E together they're the most popular camera by some margin.

It does appear that a lot of people have moved to the 5Dmk3 though but there are a significant number of people happily using the original 5D and the origina Nikon D700.

Let's take a look at the compact camera market.

CSCs-by-name-v2

The LX series is still very strong but Fuji have take a large part of the market and Sony are doing well but the OMD E-5 in particular has been an incredible win for Olympus considering the struggle it's had recently.

So how many cameras are people using?

num-cams

 

OK it looks like I'm in the minority here with my 14 cameras. Most people seem to be quite sane and only own a few. Most people seem to have a main camera and a compact support camera or two.

So there you go - if anybody can think of any other questions we can write some custom code to add a few more graphs. You can get to the interactive infographic here.

Thanks to everyone who took part and the winner of the Michael Kenna retrospective book is Douglas Bruce! Owner of the original 5D Mark I. Thanks for submitting Doug and congratulations!

 



  • chrisschmidphoto

    Thanks for this interesting article Tim. CSCs by name: X100 is listed twice.

  • ADB

    In CSCs by name, the X100 shows up twice at 23 & 18 – does that mean it is the most popular at 41?

    Not having a high spec camera I’ll fall back on the ‘best is the one I have with me’ and go drool over a spec sheet or two NOT!

    One question I would ask is ‘New or Second user body’, ‘New or second user lens’?

    The results are interesting and thanks for pulling this together.

    • I’ve updated the list – the Sony RX100 came out as X100 for some reason

  • Douglas Salteri

    It might be interesting to see how the votes would stack if you asked in three months to repeat the survey, I for one missed the original request.
    It’s a very interesting survey and nice to see that Pentax still have such a large following, likewise the medium and large format categories, it’s an expensive way to do things in this digital world.

    Dougie

  • rnwhalley

    Great survey. I think it will be interesting to see how this develops and if there are any trends.

    I have just sold my Canon 5D MKII and switched entirely to Micro 43. I found I was using the Micro 43 much more so invested in an Olympus OMD. I know quite a few who have or are considering doing the same.

    My Medium Format kit hasn’t been out of the house for around 3 years now. I’m not sure now why I am hanging on to it.

    I think you should make this an annual survey and lets watch the trends.

  • Traveller

    I too missed the survey, but find the results facinating.
    Landscape has always been my subject, and always monochrome. The kit I use has moved from – late 60’s Pentax spotmatic to the 70’s Nikon F, Bronica, Hasselblad, and the 80’s/90’s/2000’s, Canon moving from film to digital with EOS cameras about 12 years ago.

    I have finally found the camera I am most keen to use due to its intuitive, (to those of us brought up on film and manual SLR’s) and adaptive set of controls combined with the level of digital quality that is excellent, the Fuji X-E1.
    I have sold all my Canon gear and “downsized” but the most important point is that the X-E1 has become an extention of my hand and eye like the DSLR’s never were and it is a pleasure, not a chore to work with, it does not get in the way.

  • John Lamont

    What I find surprising is how many digerati are using crop sensors. Considering the gains a full frame brings and the relative slow nature of Landscape photography, why are so many compromising on the format? I think it proves for many people today’s crop cameras are ‘good enough’. The more serious shooters will invest in the big and dense sensor D800 and Canon equivalent when it appears. However the croppers seem to be happy shooting on smaller silicon. This is echoed by earlier comments of people switching to CSC systems. I’m somewhat baffled so many accept the compromised crop in Landscapes, but It may prove that the convenience of a ‘good enough’ lightweight camera is compelling. Just as the smartphone has eaten the compact camera’s lunch.

    • My ambition has always been and always will be to be the best Artist I can be with the equipment that helps me attain that goal and that does not get in the way.
      I work in many mediums and have sought and developed processes that help me, bulky DSLRS or medium format or plate cameras and indeed film itself I have rejected in favour of a camera that fulfills my personal way of working.
      It has nothing to do with wanting the most expensive and the “top of the range” full frame cameras and being fooled into thinking that that is the path to better photography.
      I do not dance to the full frame tune because the bulk of the cameras etc. actually prevent me taking them out and using them, how would that help me create?
      I am 66 and have been involved in photography since 1965 in various forms and guises. it has at times been a back up to other forms of expression, such as Printmaking, Painting and drawing, and at times an end in itself, but however I am working, and whatever I am working on, the equipment is a means to an end, rather than owning the best as an end in itself, apart from the fact I cannot afford, and do not need to afford the high cost of full frame. It is not that it “will do” it is that “it will do what I want it to” and to a high standard.

      • Glenn Mount

        I echo this sentiment. I use a now old Pentax dslr, combined with vintage Pentax and other glass from my film days. It simply does what I want it to do without costing a fortune.

  • Douglas Salteri

    “The more serious shooters will invest in the big and dense sensor D800 and Canon equivalent when it appears. ” to quote John Lamont.
    Investment is the key word here, not everybody can afford the investment in glass good enough to match the D800 and the Canon when it comes. Decent glass and a good crop sensor will produce tremendous image quality as good as 90% of photographers will ever need I’m quite sure.
    It’s nice to have a full frame sensor and high quality glass but it’s horribly expensive.

  • Geoboy

    Many thanks for the interesting article Tim! And a great analysis.
    Slightly off topic question, but I was wondering what program you used to plot all the results? I’m assuming Matlab. In some work I’m doing I often generate parameter space plots, which look kind of similar to the plots you have for ‘SLRs by name’… However, it would be nice to try something a little different and I really like the plots you’ve used here. Thanks in advance! Guy

    • I used infogram which you can get to by clicking the link at the end of the article. Quite a nice set of visualisations and dead easy to import data.

      • Geoboy

        Ah, thank you Tim (not sure how I missed that link!)

  • I can’t believe I’m in such a minority! So much so I don’t even figure on some of those plots :-)

  • Guess I’m a ‘cropper’.

  • thingy

    I’ve modified my kit since this was taken. I have given away my Olympus kit to a local artist & replaced it with the D800 (& a Hassy…). It would be interesting to repeat this and add a section finding out what film makes & types are most used by us film users, and the most popular lenses for landscape photography, for each format & media type. For those of us who use both film & digital media, do people use different lenses for different media? For example I use wider lenses with my D800 than I used with my F4.

  • supernewtent

    I’ve also come to this article very late and found it very interesting… I used to have a Pentax K5 but have since changed to a Leica M, yes it cost a lot but it gives great results and is small (I wouldn’t say that light, it’s like a brick…) and most importantly I love using it out in the field, and I love the simplicity of the camera. Am I the only one using a digital Leica?

    • Not quite the only Leica user. My M9 was the mainstay of my landscape work for a while but I have to confess that my tools of choice more recently have been my Fuji X-E2 and X-T1. I love the Leica lenses but my view of the simplicity of the M9 body is that it borders on being primitive. Metering and high ISO performance in particular are considerable weaknesses. And it is easier to focus Leica M and R lenses on the X-T1 than it is when they are mounted on their respective Leica bodies. It has to be confessed though the Leica glass wider than 35 mm really doesn’t work on the Fuji – so one has to fall back on Fuji lenses for wide images. This however is not really much of a sacrifice as the Fuji lenses perform exceptionally well.

  • jason lee charles hurst

    Hi all! I am new on here, but for the record I use a Hasselblad 500 ELX, NIKON D2X,NIKON F3,NIKON F4S, NIKON D2HS, and any camera I can my hands on should if the rare occasion arises I don’t have my cameras with me. remember its not the nail, its the hammer that bangs it in!

    • Charlotte Parkin

      Welcome Jason and thanks for leaving a comment.

      • jason lee charles hurst

        your welcome. check my link above, I leave a few landscapes on the said site. enjoy

  • Recently invested in the Sony A7r, with the new 24-70mm Sony/Zeiss lens. Haven’t had the time to really test out the rather negative review of the lens. But, I’ve also bought the Samyang 14mm and an old Minolta 100-300mm zoom, that I’m using with an adaptor (I do already have a Minolta 28-135 from way back). Hoping to get a trip to Skye later in the year to give the kit a real testing.

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