The digital photography marketplace is essentially divided into two main camps. One group supports Canon; the other group supports Nikon. Canon and Nikon have long competed for dominance in the photographic world. Fortunately for the consumer, their competition has lead to a wealth of innovative technology that benefits photographers. For many professional and amateur photographers Canon stands as the industry leader. This article takes a brief look at the large array of digital cameras and lenses Canon has produced in an attempt to explain why Canon is often the first choice of professional and amateur photographers.
Canon’s Digital Innovations in Professional Photography
In 1998 Canon made a serious attempt at moving the professional photography world from film to digital with the EOS-1D digital SLR. In many ways, Canon was successful. Thousands of professional photographers began to switch to digital from older film technology. Canon continued the trend of professional photographic innovation by developing on the EOS-1D series of digital SLRs. Today, the EOS-1Ds Mark III, with a 21.1 megapixel, full frame CMOS image sensor, dominates the professional digital photography market.
Canon’s Innovations in Consumer Photography
In addition to professional photographic advancements, Canon has been an industry leader in the amateur, consumer-level photography market. The EOS-300D, now succeeded by the Digital Rebel series of digital SLRs was introduced as the first sub-$1000 digital SLR camera system. The Digital Rebel series still matches the features found on Canon’s professional digital SLR systems with the affordability and usability needed in a consumer package. The Digital Rebel remains one of the most popular and most noticeable digital SLRs on the market today.
Canon spends its time as an industry leader developing lens technology. Currently Canon offers a wide range of lenses designed specifically for the amateur photographer—the EF-S mount series. These lenses are less expensive then EF mount lenses and in some cases just as effective on EF-S mount camera bodies like the Digital Rebel that utilize a 1.6x field of view crop factor image sensor.
Canon’s “L series” lenses are considered by many professionals to be the industry standard. The best part about these lenses is that some of them are within the price range of many consumers’ budgets, allowing amateur photographers to experience professional quality optics.
Canon cameras and lenses all work with each other. Even lenses with EF mounts designed for EOS film cameras in the 1990s will work on current Canon bodies. This is a huge advantage to the film photographer who already has an array of old Canon lenses and does not want to spend money to replace them all.
Aftermarket Accessories, Non-Canon Lenses and the Used Market
For many years non-Canon manufacturers have produced thousands of lenses and accessories designed to work with Canon EF mount film and digital cameras. As such, the market is full of inexpensive gear. The backward compatible nature of the Canon camera system makes used gear a little more expensive than some others but completely worth it.