Most Popular Disney Photography Gear

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The results from our Disney Photography Survey are in! The purpose of the survey was to get some information so that I can write photography content that will appeal to readers more in the future, but I thought the results were pretty interesting and worth sharing. All told, we have had 287 people respond to the survey.

I was a bit surprised by the results, mostly because I expected there to be a bit more of a selection bias, especially since so many people indicate to me that they bought X camera/lens/etc. on my recommendation. I guess my recommendations don’t carry quite as much weight as I thought! 😉 This is best evidenced by the fact that 56% of those polled use Canon versus only 34% who use Nikon. However, as I’ll explain below, this gap might be partly “explained away” by scrutinizing the numbers a bit. More people reported regularly using an Apple iPhone for photography than Sony, Pentax, and Olympus combined. Not to disparage the latter three brands (as they make some great cameras), but that market share among readers suggests that you probably won’t ever see coverage of those brands on this website.

More broadly, it does appear that those responding to the poll take photography more seriously than the general public. A whopping 71% of respondents identified as regularly using DSLRs. 53% regularly use phones and 50% regularly use point and shoots, with Micro 4/3s, Mirrorless cameras, and “Other” combining to only account for 5% of those polled. I was surprised that these systems frequently identified as the future of photography barely registered a blip on the radar. I do think there’s some selection bias in this breakdown. Because of the tone of the photography writing on this website, I think DSLR users were more likely to respond to this survey. Novice point and shoot users have told me that they are often confused or intimidated by the photography talk on this website, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if many of them simply didn’t bother responding to the survey. This is reinforced by the fact that only 4% of respondents indicated that there’s not too much photography content on this Disney general interest blog.

This is also reinforced by the fact that fact that 96% of you want to see more photography content (including two people who want to see both more and less photography content…that will be tricky to pull off!). There’s no way on earth 96% of all readers want to see more photography content, but even if the real number is 50%, it’s much higher than I expected. The photography topics you want to see most are information on capturing the photos and post processing. 71% and 66%, respectively, of you want to see more on these two topics. That will prove challenging, but I think I can weave some of this into the photos of the day. One of you would like to see more posts about “mommy blogging, cool rims for my car, the whereabouts of the hamburglar who is still at large.” I’ll work on that.

Several of you also wrote in that you’d like to see my EXIF data for each photo. The great news is that this is already available for each photo. Just click the image, and click the “Info” (I) button on SmugMug, where the photos are hosted.

As for which cameras and lenses were most popular? Let’s break that down by brand.

Canon DSLRs:

5. Canon T2i (write-in “other”) – A few write-in options were popular on the Canon side of things. The T2i, XS, and XSi all received a fair number of write-in votes. This should come as no surprise, as all of these were very popular entry or novice level cameras at one time. Given that, it was a bit surprising to not see much love for the Canon T1i.

3. Canon EOS 60D (tie) – The equivalent to the Nikon D7000 was a popular choice, but less than half as popular as the Nikon D7000. Although I don’t use Canon cameras, I’m not too surprised by this despite the 60D costing about half as much as the 7D, since I’ve pretty consistently heard that the 7D is a great camera and the 60D is just so-so.

3. Canon EOS 7D (tie) – No surprise to see the highly-praised 7D on this list. It is a bit surprising that it didn’t place higher given the Nikon D7000 claiming the top spot (by a landslide) on the Nikon list, but it does retail for a bit more than the D7000, so maybe that explains this?

2. Canon EOS Rebel T3 – It should come as no surprise that this sub-$400 camera kit ranks highly with readers (and the public in general). It’s frequently the top-selling DSLR on Amazon, so it makes sense that it’s the #2 Canon for readers.

1. Canon EOS Rebel T3i – By far the most popular Canon DSLR for those who responded to the survey. This is not too surprising, as it’s a solid “step up” DSLR camera that Canon promotes heavily. If I ran this survey again after Christmas, I suspect it would take an even greater lead, as the Canon has offered some aggressive deals on this camera this Christmas season.

Nikon DSLRs:

5. Nikon D90 – Even though it’s now a few years old, the Nikon D90 has aged very well, causing many of its owners to (justifiably) not feel a need to upgrade. It being in the top 5 is not surprising to me. (Note: I recently dropped the Nikon D90 and D40 from my recommended DSLRs list due to their age.)

4. Nikon D40 – I am a little surprised about this one, but not too much. When this camera was released, it was touted as a break-through DSLR by many online, and it gained a strong reputation thanks to folks like Ken Rockwell. That said, it’s several years old now and newer DSLRs make it a bit antiquated.

3. Nikon D5100 – The D5100 has been Nikon’s newest enthusiast camera for a couple of years now, so it being on the list should come as no surprise.

2. Nikon D3100 – No shock at all here, either. The Nikon D3100 is an incredible entry-level camera that has now been out a couple of years, and the Nikon D3200 is still too new to have much traction.

1. Nikon D7000 – Far and away the most popular Nikon DSLR, the Nikon D7000 is popular in general because it’s a great camera, but definitely a bit more popular with readers of this blog than the general public. That could be because I’ve highly recommended it in the past, or it could be coincidence. I’ve also highly recommended the Nikon D600, and it wasn’t a very popular camera with readers, so it’s likely that my recommendations aren’t all that influential (or at least aren’t influential on really expensive cameras!).

No non-Canon or Nikon DSLRs were even remotely popular with survey respondents. Interestingly, while Canon enjoyed a significant overall lead as the top camera brand used, when considering just DSLRs cameras, Canon only edged out Nikon 51% to 46%. This is fairly easily explained by Canon’s dominance in the point and shoot market, where several top point and shoot cameras are Canon, butvery few are Nikon (I’ve never used a Nikon point and shoot that I’ve liked).

The list of first party lenses is not at all interesting. Kit lenses and the 50mm f/1.8 prime dominate the top of both lists, with the 55-200mm (or 55-250mm in Canon’s case) taking up the number three spots. The final two slots are predictably rounded out with higher end kit lenses, except the Nikon #4 slot, which contains the sole interesting entry to the list: the Nikon 35mm f/1.8. Third party lenses are much more interesting…

Third Party DSLR Lenses:

5. Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens – This lens has some of the best bokeh known to man, and it’s a lens I far prefer over the (in my opinion) overrated Nikon 35mm f/1.8. In the photography at large, I don’t think this lens is quite as popular as it is in the Disney photography community. But it should be.

4. Sigma 10-20mm Lens – I knew this was a popular lens, but I never knew it was this popular. Personally, I’d rather have the wider Sigma 8-16mm lens or the f/2.8, tack sharp Tokina 11-16mm lens. Not that this is a bad lens by any means…

3. Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens – One of the most highly regarded third party lenses of all time, this lens was difficult to find in stock for over a year after it came out. No shock at all that it ranks so highly.

2. Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Lens – The second most popular lens is a great value lens (as compared to its first party counterparts) and a versatile choice, so it’s no surprise it landed in the #2 spot…despite me mistyping it’s name on the survey!

1. Rokinon 8mm Fisheye Lens – Not only was this the most popular third party lens amongst those surveyed, it was the most popular lens by 11 responses–11% of DSLR owners who responded to the survey own this lens! This lens has exploded in popularity throughout the photography community in general, and is especially popular in the Disney photography community, but still…a fisheye as #1? I’m surprised.

It would be interesting to see the results of this same survey from a larger sample size, as there’s not a whole lot that can be concluded from statistically insignificant differences in the raw number of one less popular lens being used as compared to another less popular lens. But I’m sure the gaps become meaningful once you have a few thousand people respond.

Overall, the survey was really helpful for me even without the detailed results because the general tone of responses suggests that a lotof you are coming to this site, at least in part, because of the photography content. Site analytics hinted at this, but I thought there was a strong possibility that those clicking on the photography content might just be interested in the Disney sample photos that accompany the various reviews. That’s clearly not the case.

The difficulty going forward will be balancing the photography content with the general Disney content. The group primarily interested in the photography content also seems to be interested in the Disney content, but it remains unclear whether the group primarily interested in the Disney content has a secondary interest in photography content. My intuition says no, even if the results to this survey suggest otherwise.

Anyway, thanks to all those who participated in the survey! If you have any comments on the results or other suggestions, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

20 Responses to “Most Popular Disney Photography Gear”
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