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  • There is currently 40 tags with word Canon in it.
  • And 19 tags with word Nikon in it.
  • Panasonic is mentioned in two tags.
  • Olympus is mentioned also in two tags.
  • Pentax has only one tag.
  • Sony has only one tag.
  • Leica has one.
  • Sigma has one.
  • Fuji is mentioned in three tags.

Is this the true level of interest divided between camera brands, or how should one think about these numbers? Of course Canon and Nikon rule, but i'm still wondering if those two camera makers are really that overpowering. I've been lost in the land of point-and-shooters for so many years, and now when trying to update my brains i find old quality brands sunk into having two or one tag only.

Are the owners of those lesser brands talking among themselves on another forums? And leaving this site for Canon-Nikon enthusiasts? The width of tag selections can be the result or reason for this happening.

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Canon and Nikon are definitely more popular by an order of magnitude or so than the other brands. Canon is several times more popular than Nikon on a similar scale.

That said, I wouldn't use PhotoSE tags as a fundamental basis for determining popularity of camera brands. We are a very low volume site, and the distribution of questions tagged with brands is not going to be statistically relevant (or even correct...I know we have had several questions pertaining to each of those brands that have only one brand tag over the years, so people are not tagging them correctly it seems.)

If you want a better measure of brand popularity, I would use Amazon's top sellers lists. Based on that, Canon is top dog by miles, followed by Nikon, distantly followed by the other brands (outside of a few individual very popular models like the Pentax K5 or the like.)

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  • That's about so as i thought it be. I had been looking for info and whatever talk about Nikon models, when i realised a Sony A37 would perhaps be my kind of camera. So i typed "Sony" in Tags search, and was surprised to get only one hit. Most market-share reports count all cameras instead of having statistics over DSLR s. Whatever, i'm curious about the tags count now that i noticed how they are spread between camera makers. – Esa Paulasto Mar 10 '13 at 19:23
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These aren't global numbers, but this is the breakdown for sales of interchangeable lens cameras in Japan in 2012:

Canon     27%
Nikon     25%
Olympus   14%
Sony      13%
Panasonic 11%

I don't think smaller brands are being pushed away from this site, though. We have a larger-than-market-share representation of Pentax users among the active site users, for example (Pentax being at something like 3% in the above).

So, that's a lot of it. It's also somewhat down to proliferation of models — Nikon and Canon have larger lineups, and tend to refresh frequently (especially at the lower end.) So that's another big chunk of it.

And finally, a lot of those Canon and Nikon model-specific tags are kind of gratuitous and not really helpful on the questions tagged with them, like https://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/35466/imported-photos-have-much-better-saturation-before-lightroom-completes-loading or Will the 18-55 and 55-250mm kit zoom lenses cover my requirements in Europe?. Or Will keeping the lens on-camera help protect from dust and fungus?.

One can make more or less charitable explanations for that, but a middle-of-the-road explanation might be that since these cameras are more popular in the mass market, there tend to be more questions from newer users who aren't really sure if the specific camera model really matter to the question. On the other side of the same coin, users with less common models may quickly learn that making the question overly-narrow is less likely to get results.

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Nikon and Canon are "over-tagged" perhaps. But if you do a search on the brands ("Nikon" rather than [Nikon]) the number of questions returned is 4200 for Canon, 2800 Nikon, and 300-600 each for Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic.

So around 10x the number of questions for Canon/Nikon over the other brands, and 10-20x the tags, so maybe not so out of balance as you might think. Still, the number of questions is not closely correlated with the overall market shares.

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  • Search results then include both questions and answers, but thanks for the numbers anyway. Questions about Nikon get many answers because there is many members who know Nikon, thus multiplying the search hit count. While questions about Leica get few answers because there is fewer members familiar with Leica. Of course this is only partial explanation to the numbers not reflecting true market shares. – Esa Paulasto Mar 12 '13 at 4:56
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    If you add is:question, it will restrict to questions only. That yields about 1750 for Canon, 1300 for Nikon, 200 for Sony, 150 for Pentax, and 100 each for Panasonic and Olympus. – Please Read My Profile Mar 12 '13 at 13:31
  • So still an order of magnitude difference in questions in line with the order of magnitude difference in tags. Canon 44 questions per tag, Nikon 68 questions per tag, Panasonic/Olympus 50 questions per tag. Sony/Pentax 150-200 questions/tag, but only 1 tag. – MikeW Mar 13 '13 at 22:36
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    But there are so many general questions that have "by the way I have a Nikon D5100" (irrelevant to the question, but tagged with Nikon-d5100 – MikeW Mar 13 '13 at 22:37
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Now, how about the site promotion aspect?

A new member comes to PhotoSE with interest in Olympus, since he owns an Olympus himself. First reading the existing Q&As and noticing how half of the Canon models have got dedicated tags, he then writes his first question about something related to his own camera. But when adding tags to his question he finds out there is no tag suited to his model of Olympus. Conclusion, this is not the site to ask questions about his dear camera, and he leaves the site.

Why not give each of those lesser brands a few more tags to choose from? Surely there will not be much activity on most, and some tags may be left untouched, but it would give the signal out, this site is not biased, each make and model gets noticed here. No?

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  • Just asking.. See, i'm not leaving, even though two of my cameras are Olympuses and my next buy will be a Sony. – Esa Paulasto Mar 12 '13 at 5:35
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    Once you have 150 reputation, you can create tags. At that point, feel free to add Olympus-specific tags to any questions where they are appropriate. But, please don't over tag — questions shouldn't be tagged with a camera model when the answers do not have to be specific to that model. – Please Read My Profile Mar 12 '13 at 11:34
  • Thanks. I had been wondering what is the process to make new tags, cause i could not find the info how to make a suggestion. Then again, this morning i stumbled across the info about creating new tags and the main site says 300 reputation is needed. That will take me a loong time. – Esa Paulasto Mar 16 '13 at 5:43

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