FROM CANON TO NIKON TO SONY | WHY I SWITCHED TO SONY
Despite what many think, the camera you use does not determine how good your photos are. That statement is especially true these days. Camera technology has come so far that it’s possible to produce stunning images with almost any camera. Given this, why did I switch from Canon to Nikon and now to Sony? Hopefully understanding why I’ve switched to Sony will help you decide which camera brand is right for you.
WHY I SWITCHED TO THE SONY MIRRORLESS SYSTEM
Sony cameras, and the mirrorless system in general, has been a talking point for many years now. God knows photographers love to chat about equipment and these new mirrorless cameras have given us a lot to debate. Most people fit into one of three categories, people who own mirrorless cameras, people who don’t, and people who just like to take photos and don’t really care. I like to keep on top of current technology releases (cameras, lenses and so on) but generally fit into the 3rd category. I just like to take photos.
In the video below, I outline each camera system I’ve owned and explain every switch. The video is not an in-depth review of each manufacturer. Instead, I wanted to give you an insight into why I choose the cameras I did. By understanding that, you should be able to decide which system is best for you.
As you can see, describing myself as loyal to any one brand is about as far from the truth as you can get. For my still life photography, the camera is just a tool. It may be one of the more complex tools I have on set but it’s still just a tool. I could create the same images with almost any other camera on the market. However, as a professional photographer, it’s logical for me to get the tool which most suits my style of photography. Given the features of the Sony A7R III that meant that Sony was now my logical choice.
Lenses, Lenses, Lenses
I don’t feel I emphasized this point enough in the video, it definitely deserves an extra paragraph or two. Cameras are great, but they’re nothing without lenses. The lack of lenses was one of my biggest concerns switching to Sony. However, as mentioned in the video, when I compared all the various options, it seemed that Sony was more than capable in this department. Make sure when you’re deciding which camera brand is right for you, to also delve deeply into lenses. Do they have the best lenses for your style of photography? How much do they cost? What are the equivalent lenses in other systems?
Every photographic discipline will push gear to it’s limits in different ways. Sports photographers require the best focusing systems, wildlife photographers need perfect weather sealing, wedding photographers will want a mix of many features. As an e-commerce and Advertising photographer, I require a camera and lens combination which will produce images of an exceptionally high quality. I want enough megapixels to allow cropping, and to produce large prints if necessary, a high-quality sensor, and equally high-quality lenses to bring out the best from that sensor. Things like the focusing system and high ISO performance are far less important.
When it comes to lenses, I need; a decent macro in the 100mm range, and then either a standard zoom (24-70mm, 24-105mm), or selection of primes. I also like to have a longer macro, 150mm-200mm ish but sadly there is no native Sony option for longer macro lenses; I will be adapting a Canon version eventually. As budget is always a factor, I ended up purchasing the following:
I was very pleased with the number of lens options for Sony and will definitely be adding to/modifying my current line-up as time goes on.
On the camera side of things, I opted for the A7R III and added an A7R II as a backup. The more I use the A7R III the more I love it and the A7R II makes the perfect backup as it has virtually the same (if not exactly the same) sensor but saves a little on cost.
What Camera Should You Buy?
Fingers crossed, if you actually watched the video and absorbed what I’ve been saying, then you’ve been scratching your head thinking about what features you need from a camera and what lenses are important to you. If that’s the case then you should have a pretty good idea of what you need and be close to deciding what camera is best for you. Here’s a few of my recommendations for still life photographers.
Personally, the canon would be bottom of my list followed by the D850. Frankly, any of these camera’s will produce wonderful images, it’s more about the lenses and camera features which should influence your decision. If video is important to you, I’d choose the Sony (obviously). If it’s not, then any of these camera’s will do. If you don’t need a high-megapixel camera then there are so many other options open to you.
The messages I want to convey in this article and video are;
- Cameras and lenses are just tools. Don’t tie yourself down to any one brand. If there’s something better out there for you, and you want to switch, do it.
- You can take amazing photos with lots of cameras. Yes, I listed some of the best, but you don’t have to get those to take good photos.
- Lenses are just as, if not more, important than the cameras you choose.
It’s so easy to get swept up in gear. I do it all the time. Obsessing about a new lens or camera. However, without question, getting that lens or camera will have a relatively small impact to the quality of my photography. It’s far more important to focus on education and honing your skills. With that said, here are the links to all my new kit!