Camera System Cost Comparison

Camera Cost Comparison 2018

Everybody agrees that photography can be expensive but, how much does it cost to own a camera from brand to brand? Some time ago I made a camera system cost comparison, so I decided to update it.

Background

Back in July 2016 I shot with Canon but was wondering about switching to Fujifilm. The technical considerations were attractive, but so was the cost. I imagined a scenario of an experienced photographer using a high end camera but not the brand’s flagship, with a battery grip and an additional battery.

Assumptions

This photographer also uses some popular lenses, like the 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 and a 50mm f/1.4 or equivalent. This person uses a smaller camera body with a kit lens with variable aperture and another fixed lens between 30 and 50mm and f/2.8 to travel, but could also use it as a backup body in case it was needed.

Finally, this photographer uses two flashes with a guide number of 45m or higher, from the camera manufacturer. (Please notice I changed this assumption from my original analysis).

Up to March 2018, with prices from the B&H website, the updated cost table looks like this:

Camera Cost Comparison (March 2018)

ItemCanonNikonSonyFujifilm
SLR-style Body, Non Flagship$3,299$3,297$3,198$1,599
24-70mm f/2.8$1,749$2,397$2,198$1,199
70-200mm f/4$1,949$2,797$2,598$1,599
50mm f/1.4$329$447$1,398$599
Vertical Grip$297$397$298$329
Battery$64$60$78$67
Small Body w/kit lens$1049$1847$1,498$1299
35 or 40mm (equiv)$149$287$448$449
43 GN Flash$299$327$328$450
Total$9,483$12,183$12,370$8,040

The gear used for this comparison was the following:

Canon

EOS 5D Mark IV Camera Body
BG-E20 Battery Grip
LP-E6N Battery
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II Lens
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II Lens
EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens
EOS 77D Camera Body with EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USM Lens
EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash

Nikon

D850 Camera Body
MB-D18 Battery Grip
EN-EL15a Battery
AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens
AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens
AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Lens
D7500 Camera Body with 16-80mm f/2.8-4 Lens
AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8D Lens
SB-700 AF Speedlight Flash

Sony

Alpha A7R III Camera Body
VG-C3EM Battery Grip
NP-FZ100 Battery
FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens
Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZALens
Alpha a6500 Camera Body with 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens
FE 28mm f/2 Lens
HVL-F43M Flash

Fujifilm

X-T2 Camera Body
VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster Grip
NP-W126S Battery
XF 16-55mm f/2.8R LM WR Lens
XF 50-140mm f/2.8R LM OIS WR Lens
XF 35mm f/1.4R Lens
X-E3 Camera Body with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 Lens
XF 27mm f/2.8 Lens
EF-X500 Flash (this flash exceeds the 44m guide number)

Summary

In general terms, we could say that Fujifilm is still the least expensive system and Sony is the most expensive. However, this is not a rule. These costs apply to the considerations and assumptions made at the beginning of the post and you can save by using third party lenses, batteries, grips and flashes.

I really hope this camera system cost comparison was helpful to you, so I’ll keep updating it regularly.

Would you like to add to the conversation? Leave a comment below!