Once you dive into photography, even as a hobbyist, if you start diving into gear, it’s an expensive rabbit-hole you can easily get lost in. Case in point , lenses. Good lenses can go for $1000 to $2500 easily. For most people of modest means, easily tethers you to one ecosystem.
When I bought my first camera, it was a Canon 5D. I bought it from a photographer friend who was leaving town. After that, I bought the Mark ii, and eventually the 5D Mark iii. During those years I ran through all the lenses. Initially having a 50, then swapping for the 35, then eventually a 24 for general street photography. I also had the 85 1/2 on loan from a friend for an extended time, the 125 for till I dropped it in Portugal which led me to get the 70-200. All L series lenses. Not exactly thrifty.
I’m not going to lie, my canon was good to me. I traveled around the world with it, documenting street art, people, landscapes, and even some portraits. I researched nothing and I made a point to just figure things out for myself.
Normal photographers do not do this. Half the photographers I met obsessed over the importance of getting the latest gear.
When I have my equipment, I learn my equipment through use, and I don’t learn anything beyond that. I don’t learn about other companies, and I don’t chase gear.
However, in talking to some gearhead photographer friends of mine back in 2013, they really drove home the point that mirrorless cameras were going to be the future. I remember looking at it like an event horizon that I couldn’t see past. How would things play out?
I also got active in social media, started noticing Sony cameras, and noticed that there was a look to pictures produced by Sony cameras. I enjoyed the aesthetic, I knew it was different from my Canon, and I’m not going to lie, I was a little jealous.
The Sony A7ii was the camera I heard most about, and while I was the look that the camera captured. However, the most common complaint I heard was about the autofocus.
That’ll change in 2017, with A7Riii came out. Everybody talked about how the auto focus was a game changer, and me, being the ever impulsive, creative that I am, I decided to just make the jump.
Before so he was around, the idea of making a jump is very daunting, and it all really boils down to the glass. You’re not just selling your body, it’s all the lenses that you have spent money and time investing in and learning. You won’t get your money back for these lenses, however, L series lenses do retain a strong, resale value. Still that relies heavily on finding a buyer in your area.
In 2017, I made the jump. I purchased the Sony A7riii. My original plan was to just buy a Sony body, and use that with all the Canon glass that I had. There was an adapter that people mentioned, the Metabones, and that was the route I was going to take. It didn’t take long to realize that things were not gonna work out like I wanted them to. The fact that the lenses were not native to Sony introduced a huge disadvantage when it came to auto focus and performance speed in general. The Metabones just wasn’t going to cut it. This was a handicap I was not use to, nor would I tolerate.
Living in Brooklyn, but also living in Bushwick, put me in somewhat of an epicenter of an artist community, and it did not take long for me to sell all my Canon glass, and that was the only thing holding me back from diving into the Sony ecosystem.
Once you commit to a migration of this magnitude, it can easily take a year or so. But the fact is that mirrorless cameras seem to be taking over, and traditional full frame. Camera’s are being phased out. Sony has been the company at the forefront of this, and, they have the biggest selection of native glass. Not only that, but the sensor is something that Sony was making for other companies as well, and now they make for their own cameras. Which gives them a huge advantage.
But the verdict is clear, I love the performance, I love the field, I love the colors, and I love the sharpness of the lenses. I love the dynamic range of the camera, and above, and beyond all that, migrating has been pretty seamless.
I now have the A7iv, and the auto focus is world beyond with their new AI technology that they have implemented. Whether you are a new photographer, or considering migrating away from Nikon or canon, the Sony ecosystem has a lot to offer if you were willing to explore and learn.
Verdict, the transition was well worth it.