I know for a long time there has been the 'big two' camera brands in Canon and Nikon. Many people swear by their products and having tried a few models I have no issue with them. They definitely provide the largest range of lenses and professional bodies and support for the big time professionals.
I'm a trained pro who did a heap of research and actually moved away from the big two. I found other brands offered more 'bang for your buck' as they needed to work harder to win market share.
Sandgate Foreshore at Dusk
Ultimately though I chose a brand, and a camera based on the tools and factors it offered that best suited my needs. It is wise to do the research before you purchase a new camera as there is now so much on offer.
So what about the amateurs and hobbyists? There are many brands out there on the market now. It doesn't matter if you use a digital SLR or a superzoom, a compact or even a phone camera, I am interested to know what camera you chose and how you made your decision.
Shornecliffe Pier in Brisbane
My advice is don't just listen to the salespeople. Research the internet, there are many great photography review sites such as www.dpreview.com where you can find in depth review and advice, along with forums where you can get other users opinions who actually own the model you may be looking at.
So I'd love to hear what everyone uses to take photographs, and what made you choose this brand?
I have just acquired a Olympus Stylus 1 which I am loving to use, I use my phone when I want to be discreet such as in restaurants. But the learning curve is steep trying to learn how to use it. But I love it it's not too large or heavy, but I still have so much more to learn about how to use it!