Successfully Switching Camera Systems, Devin & Kathryn Robinson from Anchor & Veil Photography
from Canon to nikon and why
Devin and Kathryn met the day he bought his first Canon camera. He chose Canon because of its 'cool-kid' factor and the video capability it had. But as they grew into their own as photographers, Devin and Kathryn, realized the stylistic differences camera types could offer and decide to make the switch.
If you're an established photographer, swapping camera systems can be a big undertaking; and if you're just starting out, choosing the right type may be overwhelming. Devin and Kathryn are sharing their journey with you so you can choose the right system for your style and business.
Devin & Kathryn started Anchor & Veil 5 years ago right after they got married. They saw this as something they could do together but not as something that would become their full time jobs. Kathryn worked in HR at a shoe store and Devin was a high school coach and Bible teacher. In June 2015, Devin decided to go full-time with the business and Kathryn followed in December of that year. They did have a period of time in their business life that some of their personal life got put on the back burner, but once they realized their marriage needed to be valued along with their clients’ everything began to take off. By putting people over business, their business began to thrive.
Started with a Rebel
The first camera that Devin had was a Canon Rebel that he used to make videos for his college ministry. At the time, Nikon didn’t have the video aspect on their basic DSLR. Devin believes that different styles and types of photographers use different types of cameras (light and airy photographers typically shoot with Canons, those that shoot with more range and color are typically Nikon photographers). He put that first camera on a credit card and began shooting video right away, it also happened on the same day he met Kathryn! Friends started asking him to shoot their weddings. Unlike a lot of photographers, Devin did in fact charge for his first wedding! The funny thing is that Devin had never even been to a wedding before, but it went pretty well.
Making the move
They started purchasing all of the gear for Canon cameras. For about 3 months before they fully switched to Nikon, Devin shot with both at weddings. He wanted to test them in the same environment at the same time and saw the dynamic range Nikon cameras offered. They moved fully to Nikon in 2015 because they wanted to shoot more vibrant, bold colors and Nikon’s have a low-light capability and auto-focus sensor they love. It made a lot of sense for them to make the switch for style purposes.
What is ‘dynamic range’?
Because Paul has no idea (and neither does our VA, haha!)
There is a certain type of exposure that many people want in a photo. Some photographers will take a series of three photos of the same image - one photo will be properly exposed, one will be overexposed one stop (shadows) and the other is underexposed one stop down (highlights). Then they will layer these in Photoshop to add the highlights and details from the overexposed to the properly exposed photo. Devin feels that he can do this easier on his Nikon than he ever could on Canon so he can add the details to the photos.
The low-light capability of the Nikon is another reason he loves it. Devin can shoot a 5000ISO photo without any graininess to it. He gets asked a lot about the flash he uses, but due to the types of photos his Nikon can take, he doesn’t always need a flash and can edit properly in post-production.
The actual swap
After a few weddings shooting with both, they sold their Canon gear pretty quickly and made the full swap almost immediately. Nikon is a bit more affordable which allowed them to replace all of their equipment from the start. There was a brief moment when they considered switching again to Fuji (similar to Nikon, has a silent shutter, and weighs less) but because they love the lowlight of Nikon, they haven’t fully committed to Fuji. They care more about the photos they can produce for their clients that they are willing to work and try new things to get the best shots for their couples.
The buttons and set up are different on Nikons and Canons which Kathryn struggled with for a few weddings, but then it became second nature. Devin recommends second shooting with someone who shoots the other camera if you’re looking to make a switch so you can ask questions and learn from them.
Pro-tip: Don’t shoot an actual wedding solo with a new system without a back-up or second shooting first.
Things to consider if you’re thinking about switching
- Stylistically - how do you want your photos to look, are you shooting film?
- Comfortability - how do they feel in your hands, are they too heavy?
- Coolness factor - Devin still admits the red stripe on the Canon lenses are pretty cool.
What they're up to
They have both a podcast and a Youtube channel that focus on different things. The Youtube is full of reviews, tutorials, and behind the scenes from their weddings.
Things we mentioned
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About the Robinsons
We are International wedding photographers and educators based in Charlotte Nc. We Have a podcast and Youtube channel we love to run and help people to grow with. We also shoot around 40 weddings a year around the world and book 10K weddings. We were also nominated 2 for Rangefinders Rising top 30 Wedding Photographers in the world.