I consider myself a Canon shooter through and through. This article isn’t about one camera manufacturer being objectively better or worse than another.
The basics of photography are the same on any camera: aperture, shutter speed, ISO. Different brands and models offer a variety of features, such as greater image resolution or lighter weight, but what is more difficult to gauge is the "feel" of a camera. How I adjust one setting on a Canon might be very different than how that same setting is adjusted on a Sony.
This is how a particular camera feels in your hands. Where are the different buttons? Do you work live events like weddings or shows and prefer to constantly adjust your exposure settings? Then, you might need something where these settings are easily accessible (even in the dark). Are you happy to put exposure on auto or have it be in aperture priority? Then, you might need a camera that makes good adjustments to exposure.
Maybe you need an LCD screen that swivels or maybe you don’t. Perhaps you prefer something with a rounder body or more edges; these aren’t things that are wrong or right, but genuine preferences that differ from user to user.
Similar to ergonomics is the weight of the camera. If you are a studio photographer, then it’s well and good to not consider weight. Or perhaps you even prefer something with a bit of heft. I know I do.
But imagine if you have to carry multiple bodies around for a wedding. Every gram will matter at the end of an 8- or 12-hour wedding shoot, so you’ll want something lighter. Additionally, consider whether a particular brand has certain lenses available. I’m personally well and good at working with primes, but someone else might prefer zooms. Having to carry additional lenses might also add to the overall weight of your kit.
For example, I know that Capture One, my preferred post-production program, only offers suites for certain manufacturers and not others.
Another example is my lighting kit only takes specific connecting cables, which don’t work for one of my film cameras. The point is to think about what else you own or plan to use with your camera and see if it even works with the camera body you have.
This isn’t by any means an exhaustive list; I’m sure many others might factor into which camera or model you prefer. This article is an introduction to some of these things to consider when purchasing a new camera. One practical way to navigate these choices might be to borrow a camera or a body either from a friend or to rent it from a rental place. Often, these features are difficult to write or explain without having personally tried them out.