May 13, 2006 by Allen George
Today I was reminded again about why I avoided TPMG meetups.
During today’s 36 Exposure challenge a girl rode up on her bike and asked why there were 30 photographers milling about. During the course of our conversation she pulled out her Canon Rebel XT and said “I bought this because I was told that Canon optics were the best”. Patrick concurred. I, I was taken aback. Canon is an excellent camera manufacturer, but I’m sure the legions of Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Leica owners would bitterly challenge that statement. I disagreed with her assessment, voiced my opinion and was promptly shot down.
I have a tendency to overcompensate when it comes to opinions. It’s a trait I’ve been trying to change. As we continued talking, I mentioned that the Canon bodies would “kill the Nikon bodies” when it came to high ISOs. Even as I said that, warning signals went off, but it’s embarassing to backtrack like that. I let this fib, this slur against the Nikon bodies lie, even though the truth is nuanced. I worry that my statement will be repeated blindly, dissuading legions of would-be Nikon owners. Paraphrasing Edward Norton in Fight Club, “I am Allen’s fevered imagination”.
First off, the Canon bodies have superior high ISO performance – they are the leaders in the DSLR marketplace in this characteristic. But my saying that they “kill the Nikon bodies” is a gross mis-generalization of the facts. I don’t know how I can quantify their superiority, but we’re not talking about orders of magnitude here.
Knowing the characteristics of your equipment and compensating for it is crucial. Many of my best shots are taken at ISO 1600 because I don’t always carry my tripod, and taking the shot is better than not.
TPMG brings out the “worst” in me because it’s such a Canon dominated group. In many ways photographers mimic audiophiles and computer geeks. Everyone says “equipment doesn’t matter” but we’re human, and having vested serious dollars in our gear, we tend to be brand loyalists. At the last meetup I attended, I heard many a disparaging comment against non-Canon gear and that’s part of the reason I took a long hiatus from the group.
This post is self-flagellation.