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02-04-2020, 12:43 PM - 4 Likes   #1
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Have you experienced pressure to switch systems?

This weekend I met a young photographer specializing in adventure photography, which is a big thing here in Colorado. He was selling off his Pentax gear and switching to Sony. Others he worked with used Sony, and he needed compatibility with various accessories, plus he was getting more into video. But already he had regrets. The stabilization in the Sony didn't work as well, and weather sealing was a question mark. "I can't tell you how many other cameras I've seen lock up in bad conditions," he said, including Nikons and Canons.

Peer pressure is also a big thing everywhere. I probably don't have enough peers to notice, but I did experience pushback from a company I work with. We do real estate listings, something I've specialized in for 15 years (ironically, transitioning from Sony TO Pentax). I got in a bit of hot water when I mentioned on an internal company forum that I seldom used tripods for my interior work. After thousands of photos, I can't remember my last shaky photo. But word came down from the top that all photos must be done on tripods, and in manual focus, because some photogs were having focus problems. None of these peers have a stabilized ultrawide zoom, except for a few Fuji users, of course. I'll go on as I have been, but I'm feeling a little bit weighed down by the weaknesses of other cameras I don't even own, or want to own.

Does anybody else have similar stories to share?

In the end, this other guy's loss was my gain. I laid $350 cash on the table and wished him well, walking out with a black 31 Limited lens he no longer could use. That may be the best Pentax bargain I've ever landed!

02-04-2020, 01:12 PM   #2
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$350 for a 31 limited - nice!

As I'm not a professional photographer, I have not had any experiences like that but have seen some pretty draconian company "standards" for the photography that make me shake my head. It seems to me that many of such things should be guidelines and not requirements. The requirements should just be on the output ("photo suitable for reproducing X size and distribution in Y format" type thing) as the process is clearly going to depend on the photographer and equipment being used. Personally I don't use my tripod a lot (except in very low light or night shooting of course and occasionally with long focal lengths) but I'm happy with the results so far.
02-04-2020, 01:17 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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Generally, the more I'm "pressured" by external forces, the more I stick with - and have confidence in - my own decisions.
02-04-2020, 01:18 PM - 4 Likes   #4
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I don't have any stories to tell, as such. I've received a few raised eyebrows, smirks and jokey comments from other photographers and shop staff when they heard or saw that I use Pentax gear, but then I've also had a couple of folks show genuine interest because they'd never used the brand.

But I do have something to say on peer pressure - at least in a non-commercial environment... and that is, it requires two to tango. Peer pressure is stripped of any power it might have had when the party it's aimed at refuses to play along. I don't believe I was ever especially affected by it, but as the years have progressed, I'm even less inclined to listen. For those who have a harder time with it, I offer a nugget of wisdom from Friedrich Nietzsche:
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
Working professionals probably need to look at it differently than enthusiasts, because the motivations are completely different... It's about making money from regular, well-paid work or sales of images. I've never been a professional photographer, but all my working life I've made compromises or done certain things contrary to my own preferences because it was expected or required by my employers. You have to, sometimes, in order to get along. So, if I wanted to work for an ad agency and they insisted I use certain brands, types and/or items of photographic equipment, I'd use them without frustration or argument (or else work for a different agency). That's not really peer pressure, though... It's simply making one's self more employable by removing barriers to engagement - like wearing a sharp suit, starched shirt and polished Oxfords to the office instead of the jeans, tee-shirt and sneakers you feel more comfortable in


Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-05-2020 at 12:45 AM.
02-04-2020, 01:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
The requirements should just be on the output ("photo suitable for reproducing X size and distribution in Y format" type thing) as the process is clearly going to depend on the photographer and equipment being used.
There may actually be language in the Service Level Agreement (or similar) that the OP's company has with clients that state or imply that a tripod is used.
02-04-2020, 01:50 PM   #6
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The camera business gets relatively large promotional money. There are a lot of so called professional photographers who are essentially making money to promote cameras systems under the cover of workshops, documentary video content in youtube channel show casing cameras and various other products (revenue via sponsoring under the agreement that the product will be shown or talked about in videos). It's the era of content marketing and use of brand evangelist to lead groups. Also the so called camera reviews are nothing less than advertising, camera reviews are produced in industrial quantity, mostly superficial with no clear conclusion so that to max out total sales of every models combined. Camera customers are completely soaked into marketing content, with great care to never address what create compelling photographs (which certainly is not the gear).
02-04-2020, 01:51 PM - 5 Likes   #7
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Peer pressure?

The peers only want you to make the same mistake they made....
02-04-2020, 02:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
The peers only want you to make the same mistake they made....
Misery loves company

02-04-2020, 02:25 PM - 1 Like   #9
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No... but I'm no pro.

Before I bought anything, back in 2012 or so, we were at my brother's house and my sister-in-law's brother, who was starting with a photography business at the time, was all excited about his Canon Rebel and kit lens... at the time I had been considering buying a camera and someone brought it up, and the guy asked me what I was going to get... I said I was thinking about Panasonic because I had seen great results from the little micro 4/3 lenses, and this guy basically freaks out. He's loudly and obnoxiously saying anything other than Canon or Nikon is absolute trash and I would make the biggest fool of myself.
Needless to say I just ignored him, left the conversation and have never considered what he said. Especially after I saw his pictures - he wasn't really that good...
02-04-2020, 02:35 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Zealots are the worst...
02-04-2020, 02:54 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
There are two ways of looking at that, depending on your disposable income. I have never excited any comment, let alone come under pressure. But the only photographers I associate with (occasionally) are field naturalists and they are more interested in what they are looking at - either pic or in the flesh - that what gear you are using. I am sure there is merit in some of the debate at the pixel-peeping level but if I have learned anything it is that it doesn't affect my photography and therefore it doesn't affect me. I would need to have a lot more disposable income to ever begin thinking "well, maybe ..." But I think I would still be eccentric (or perverse) enough to go my own way.
02-04-2020, 02:55 PM - 1 Like   #12
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As a non-pro photographer, I've never experienced such pressure to change systems in real-life interactions. And, given that I'm not at all confused about what I like about the Pentax system and how it has benefited my photography, I'm pretty immune to it anyway.
02-04-2020, 02:57 PM - 1 Like   #13
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The great thing about all brands' DSLR and mirrorless systems these days is that they're all capable of doing 99% of what the photographer could ever wish for (at least so far as full frame and crop formats are concerned). Sure, some are better at certain things than others, but none - so far as I'm aware - is best at everything, no matter the brand name or how much you spend. We're awfully fortunate to have such a wide range of highly capable equipment from which to choose.

So, for the enthusiast, it really comes down to use cases, personal preferences, likes and dislikes, total cost of ownership, etc. as to which system is best. I like Pentax for a number of reasons, so that's what I mostly shoot. But I also have Sony gear that's generally just as capable, better at some things (which is partially why I own it), worse at others. It's all good.

For the professional looking to secure engagements and sales, it may be that shooting something other than your preferred system is warranted; unless, or until, you're so well-established and in demand that you can dictate what you use and folks won't care...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-04-2020 at 03:36 PM.
02-04-2020, 03:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
There are two ways of looking at that, depending on your disposable income.
I hadn't considered that I looked at it in the non-financial sense, as I believe old Freddy intended

That said, cost is an important factor for most of us, and a valid aspect in shooting the right system. There's no point choosing or switching to a particular system if it compromises us financially, enthusiast or professional alike... and Heaven forbid we should allow peer pressure to send us down that particular road, of all things. I cringe when I see folks switching systems every year or two... That's an expensive journey, and the destination (in many cases, at least) is unlikely to be all that much sweeter than the starting point

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-04-2020 at 03:43 PM.
02-04-2020, 03:26 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
... this other guy's loss was my gain. I laid $350 cash on the table and wished him well, walking out with a black 31 Limited lens he no longer could use.
A mug and his Limited are soon parted.
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