The Psychology of Photography: Interesting Things Your Choice of Camera Can Reveal About You

To be sure, correlation does not necessarily imply causation. For instance, if you happen to notice that both pollution levels in American cities and obesity among Americans rose at roughly the same rates in the past 50 years, it wouldn’t be right to jump to the conclusion that pollution causes obesity. It can be fun to make such correlations, however, and sometimes, they do make some kind of sense, as well.

If you like thinking about human personality and psychology, making these correlations can be very entertaining, and, sometimes, even educational. If this is something you like, you should try browsing YouGov Profiles LITE, a major marketing survey site that conducts surveys of regular people in every walk of life. They put together information obtained from those surveys to draw statistical pictures of consumers for marketing departments everywhere to use.

There are some fascinating correlations to make there. For instance, you can look up what the typical user of every brand or product model out there is like – what kind of restaurants find favor, what kind of politics attract and so on.

If you’re a photographer, and you’d like to know what your choice of equipment says about you, there’s lots to find on YouGov. You could go there and find out for yourself, or you could just save yourself some time and get the gist right here.


Nikon makes some of the most critically acclaimed consumer cameras in the world, and there is no reason why you wouldn’t choose one of their great models. If you have been partial to Nikon over each camera purchase, however, what does it say about you?

According to YouGov’s data, you’re probably in your 30s and female and live in a large city. You work in architecture, IT or fashion, make $100,000 a year, and are equally likely to vote Republican or Democratic. You like Steve Winwood, Bob Marley and Edith Paff (whom you listen to on Pandora), you watch Game of Thrones, Airplane Repo, and Vikings on television, and you like movies like Jungle Book and Psycho. You shop at Amazon and eat at Burger King and Buffalo Wild Wings. Finally, it’s likely that you drive an Acura, go skiing as often as you can and like cats better than dogs.


If you love Canon, according to statistics, you’re probably in engineering, architecture or interior design. You love photography as a hobby (no surprise there), and also like reading serious books and love to travel. You love technology, you prefer low-maintenance pets like fish, you listen to Madonna, Johnny Cash, and Leonard Cohen, and you like science fiction movies. At sites like you can find reviews on the various Canon cameras to help you decide which one is right for your needs.


People who love the Sony brand for their photographic purchases tend to be in IT or architecture but often belong to the highest income categories. If you’re a Sony person, you’re probably a bit nerdy — you probably care about the environment, you like science, and don’t suffer fools easily. You consider yourself more ethical than others, you aren’t particularly enthusiastic about capitalism, and you like to admire nature when you’re on vacation. You love hard rock bands like AC/DC and Motorhead and you’re particular about eating healthy. Overall, however, you’re not the happiest of people.


One of the top names in point-and-shoot cameras, Olympus finds loyalists among those who are adventurous and who love to look for challenges in everything they do. If you’re an Olympus person, you do watch television, but you don’t ever waste too much time on it. Your taste in television is somewhat questionable, however, because your favorite show is Real Housewives of Orange County. You’re analytical and nerdy, and a person who’s never on time for his appointments. You’re someone who knows his own mind and is confident, but you do mind when people don’t approve of the things you do.


The typical Fuji customer is a middle-aged woman, someone who leans towards voting Democratic. She is engaged in the performing arts, in advertising or agriculture, makes between $50,000 and $90,000 a year, and likes restaurants like Applebee’s and Jack-in-the-Box. For the average Fuji customer, shopping is all about saving – it’s mostly done at places like Walmart.

Reading through these pictures painted by statistics, you may recognize yourself in there somewhere, or, you may see nothing at all. In that case, you’ve probably really understood how correlation mostly doesn’t imply causation.

Dan Sifuentes is an entrepreneur and owner of Digital Camera Central, a hub for all things digital photography related. His purchasing guides and reviews are for those brand new to photography and seasoned photographers alike. Anyone unsure of what camera will be best for them, needs to read his articles.