Crunching the Numbers on the World Press Photo Photographers’ Gear


Each year, the breakdown of gear usage statistics by some of the largest news agencies and associations makes itself public; and this year is no exception, thanks to this infographic provided by hastalosmegapixeles.

Looking through the infographic, we get a great look at what gear the press photography pros prefer when they’re out in the field shooting World Press Photo award-winners.

Most will agree that while gear is certainly one element to creating an image, the mind behind the camera plays the more important role. Still, human element aside, lets indulge our natural curiosity and find out what gear is most prevalent on the professional stage.

Processed with VSCOcam with b4 preset

Leading the pack is the Canon 1DX, which takes the cake as the most used camera body, while the six-year-old 5DMII and its successor, the 5DMIII, tie for second place. Nikon manages to grab positions 4 through 6, with the D4, D700, and D800 taking those respective positions. The remaining systems are a conglomeration of Canon, Nikon, Sony, Leica, and Mamiya.

Overall, Canon is the easy frontrunner here, managing to grab up 58% of the market share and leaving only 28% for Nikon, 7% for Leica, 5% for Sony and 2% for Mamiya.

Also notable is that despite mirrorless cameras gaining market share among the masses, mirrorless systems make up only 3% of the cameras used, with SLRs making their dominance known at a whopping 88%. The remaining 9% is divided up between compact cameras (at 2%) and “others” (coming in at 7%), which represents various rangefinders and more.

Nikon D4

Interestingly, even with the insane turnaround times expected from photographers in the field, there are still a select few who use film, with 2% of the photographers making use of the analogue medium. While not an overly substantial number, it’s refreshing to see film being used, especially at some of the larger events, as we’ve shared before.

Beyond the above information, which is what we’d likely expect, there are a few anomalies worth pointing out. The first is the use of the Mamiya 7, which is a rather impressive medium format rangefinder. The second is the use of comparatively older and/or lower-end camera systems, such as Canon’s Rebels and the Nikon D80. It’s possible these systems are being used for remote situations, where a pro body is too large and cumbersome; or that since the price is lower, photographers are more apt to take them into dangerous situations — but that’s just speculation on our part.

A big thanks to hastalosmegapixeles for gathering the information and creating the infographic, as visual representations of numbers are always appreciated by us photographers. Speaking of which, be sure to let us know your thoughts on the numbers in the comments below.

(via hastalosmegapixeles via The Phoblographer)

Image credits: Infographic by hastalomegapixeles and Nikon D4 by htakashi

  • Rojak Buah

    Fu#k yeah, Mamiya 7.

  • sam

    actually…. i am curious ,.. what is “sin datos”…
    google and cant find any clue

  • Mark Brown

    Spanish for “no data.” :-)

  • Mark Brown

    Safe bet that the 2% using film are the 2% using Mamiya 7s.

  • greenarcher02

    “no data” or “no information” or I think more literally “without data”

  • alpha

    Mamiya 7 way to go!

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    Would ‘Unknown’ be better in this case since you can’t have data for no data? :D

  • Someone

    Why no D300, D300s or D200?

  • Alejandro Wirth

    The second or third place for the 5D mkll. This camera is six years old and still between the most used by pros. That triggers lots of thoughts. For instace that not many significant quality changes have been acheived in the last 5 years to oblige pros to move into newer bodies. You simply cant find one in the b&h used department since long time. Ive got one and it still performs beautifully. Ive compared the archives of the mkll and mklll produced from the same scene and i like better the mkll

  • Me

    There has also been a recession for five years and lots of organizations are working their gear into the ground.

  • Bingo

    I started following a photographer on Flickr a few months ago who had amazing images, even at larger sizes, then I noticed they were shooting a Nikon D3000 and a nifty 50. I follow another person who uses a 40D with great results.

    G.A.S. cured instantly.

  • Pete Charlesworth

    note this is only news and press agency pros… the gear is rarely owned by the photographers…. only used by them and owned by the agencies… if you had access to freelance photographer stats (who own their gear) the numbers would be entirely different – news/press photogs(agencies) are only a % of the global market for pro gear

  • nerdbomber

    Good point!

  • Lorenzzzz

    But.. Pentax?!

  • Paul

    I feel digital full frame technology may have reached a peak of some sort. Why change something that works.

  • Carl Meyer

    The only thing peaking has been Canon pricing.

    People bought the original 5D because it was FF and it was on permanent discount below $3K. 5D MKII continued being crippled but had video, more megapixels, and again was under $3K so the upgrade was justified. With the advent of Nikon’s own 5D, in the form of D800 and later the dirty and cheap D600, the perceived value of MKIII has decreased and in the end it’s the premium price the reason not to upgrade again.

  • Alejandro Wirth

    Oh, Carl Mayer, maybe it is that I didm´t catch an expression there, english is not my native language, what did you meant by calling the 5dmkll crippled? I don´t understand. Thanks.

  • Sky

    “Also notable is that despite mirrorless cameras gaining market share among the masses,”
    According to CIPA global market share of mirrorless cameras is DROPPING.

  • Carl Meyer

    By crippled I meant the lack in speed and features compared to 1D series.

  • alealeale ale

    because they’re old

  • Chin Weng Lon

    Canon ROCKS!!! Yes indeed the king as always !
    Press photography still strong with Canon’s assistance. =D

  • Alejandro Wirth

    Thanks Carl, I agree, its a powerful turtle.

  • JP

    By “masses,” I assume they mean advertisers…lol

  • Mike Langille

    So is a D80

  • Richard

    More people are driving Prius’s than Mercedes, does that make the Prius the King over Mercedes? LOL nooooo

  • Jan Mulders

    Dream camera!

  • Mario Liedtke

    Are you serious?
    Isn’t the database a bit to small with only 41 known and 13 unknown cameras? Or did I get this wrong?

  • tewart

    I think that this is a great way to represent the numbers for Canon. They do make some less expensive options. We know sometimes budget really plays a factor in purchasing for both independent photographers and especially for larger organizations. I think it would be interesting to ask “what do you use?” and also “what would you like to use?” Working in this industry for over 26 years, I understand both of the top two companies’ lines of equipment, and also know this preference is usually dictated by who has the latest model out there, both companies are fairly close competitors. It’s kind of like that from 10 years ago when Epson ruled the minds of most photographers, and I still contend HP had a similar and better product in some categories, but I didn’t dare try to convince a photographer that was drinking the Kool-Aide that Epson was serving. This is kind of like asking what kind of car do you drive. We would all like to answer with some thing like like Mercerdes, BMW or Lexus, but in reality we drive Honda’s, Fords, Chevy and Suburu. Just think a minute about that.

  • Jan Mulders

    By the way, this is the mamiya 7 series we are talking about.

  • rickbooker

    it’s a good thing Rembrandt used Acme brushes. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to paint for crap. What the artist is holding is not the art.

  • Patrick Downs

    Fanboy. :(

  • Patrick Downs

    Many photojournalists are poor, and don’t have the money to upgrade.

  • AliNoorani

    Where’s Canon 7D??? (or maybe my eyes are weaker now?)
    You mean press photographers who use a Mamiya or Leica are more than those who own a Canon 7D? Why don’t photographers understand that 5D MkII was never meant for journalism but 7D was?! It’s actually more recent too.

  • AbinSur

    That’s why I only look at the pictures taken with Canon’s ..because everybody knows lens’s painted white take better photos.

  • Evan Forget

    Déçu de voir qu’il n’y a pas un seul Fuji :(

  • Scott McClarin

    Mamiya 7 !! 2014!!! YES!!

  • BenHillPhoto

    That’s pretty badass. Who is that guy or girl, I wonder?

  • sam

    Thanks Mark

  • bellinR

    Nikon is the better camera and Canon is the largest camera company.

  • Renato Valenzuela

    i think it has more to do with Canon’s reputation for video. to me it’s flip-a-coin between which is better. glad to see the D700 still having its fair share of that pie chart. they should just re-release that camera with a D4 sensor and call it a day. in the meantime, i’ll keep using mine.

  • alealeale ale

    maybe they need really cheap cameras for remote work so they chose d80s.

  • stubaw

    A far more appropriate comparison would be to compare the car of choice for professional (F1, WRC etc.) drivers.

  • Auto Motive

    My old Mamiya RB67 and full lens package sits in a climate controlled room to be sold one day. I bought it back over 30 years ago hoping to get back into photography only to work 14 hr days 6 days a week and raise a family. My Brownline lighting equipt is used once a year to keep it in top condition. Years have passed, finally retired after 41 years in the steel industry. Recently bought a Nikon and ready to hit the trails this spring and take some images missing from my albums for a long time. Going to DSLR was an easy transition since computers have been in my life since 1974. If your are young and working like did you will reap the benefits of a good life and always continue your education, be successful and if you are luck raise a family. In the end you will enjoy life, afford the better camera and smile more than ever.

  • Farah

    Hi All What Do you know about the Sony A7 ? I am in search for a
    Camera I was advise the the Canon 70D in better and the quality is not
    much different from a ff and affordable for a prosumer. However A Known Photographer who is also on fb “Tray Ratcliff” advise me on the Sony A7, It takes great pictures. What are your feedbacks guys ? Thank Much.