I really never thought I would look in my camera bag and not see any Nikon gear. I have been shooting Nikon forever. But, with the addition of the SonyA7RII I have come to realize that the future of photography is with mirrorless cameras. Jason Lanier is a Sony Artisan (sort of like a Nikon Ambassador or NPS member) and his switch to Sony has shown that mirrorless is a far better system in many ways. It is certainly not for everyone, but the technology is there and each day makes the traditional DSLR camera look and feel like a dinosaur.
First, the Electronic Viewfinder. Oh my. Words cannot really convey how much better the EVF is for composing, reviewing, etc. I will use the images below to show the difference. The first image represents a traditional DSLR optical viewfinder. The second image is an EVF. Oh, and the newer EVFs are faster and essentially real-time. There is no significant lag in the Sony. Even better, you are looking ‘through’ the sensor, not a mirror. You can compose and see real-time exposure changes before taking the photo. Ever look into a dark room through an optical viewfinder? You see what your eyes can see. With the EVF, it is like Navy SEAL night vision. The sensor boosts any ambient light so you can almost see in the dark. That helps focus.
There are a ton of sites that compare mirrorless to traditional DSLRs. I will not make this a boring comparison. But, there are significant advantages. There are also some negatives too. But, in my opinion, not many. The Autofocus is not quite as fast as a flagship Nikon or Canon. Does that make a difference to me? No. I don’t shoot sports professionally. The AF is plenty fast for weddings and you don’t even need AF for portraits. I am more impressed with the Eye detection technology. Yes, hold down a back button and the EVF with autofocus on the actual eye, and track it. MIND BLOWN! It works perfectly.
Below is my current gear. The Sony 70-200 f/4 and 24-70 f/4 are not pictured.
Sony A7RII (42mp)
Sony A7II (24mp)
Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8
Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2
Zeiss/sony 55mm f/1.8
Zeiss/Sony 24-70mm f/4
Sony 70-200mm f/4
Sony G 70-200 f/4 (not pictured)
Domke bag (Made in USA)
Take a look HERE and you will see the top 5 lenses in the world. The Zeiss/sony 55mm f/1.8 is ranked 5th in the world in overall performance. The sharpness is astounding. In fact you have to scroll down 14 spots to finally see a Nikon lens and Canon enters in the 21st position. Both The Zeiss 25mm and 85mm above are in the top 12.
Below is a simple snapshot of my daughter’s little princess toy in direct sunlight on the car dash with the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 lens. Look at the colors and 3D pop. That bokeh (out of focus area for non-photographers) is nothing I have ever experienced with any Nikon lens. Where is the flare? Very cinematic. Astounding.
A small, but powerful system that continues to improve.
Sony and Zeiss work very well together. Not just stills. Tomorrowland was filmed with Sony cameras and Zeiss lenses. The visuals in that film were spectacular. Despite the massive price difference, the cinema technology trickles down.
I am sure that some will disagree and remain loyal to their trusty DSLR. I was one of those too. But, after shooting with the Sony A7RII for awhile, I just cannot pick up my DSLR without feeling like it is more of a toy (excluding the flagships) in it’s build, size, and antiquated optical viewfinder. Even the Nikon lenses are becoming more plastic, while Zeiss and Sony are built more towards Leica’s standards. Solid metal.
I am in love. It has been awhile since anything in the camera world has got me this excited and even better these cameras are always with me. A 42mp camera that shoots 4K video at 100mb in XAVC S format that is with me at all times? It’s like having a massively advanced iPhone, LOL.
…oh, and did I mention it can connect to the internet and download apps and image software too? (it really does)