7 Things I Learned From Changing Systems Twice In One Year

7 Things I Learned From Changing Systems Twice In One Year

During the pandemic, I did some gear juggling. I'm a little embarrassed to admit I changed systems twice in the space of 12 months and even more so about the reasons I made the second switch – but I learned some surprising lessons along the way.

Why Did I Change Systems Twice in One Year?

I don't have a particularly good reason so all I can do is explain how things panned out. Shortly after the first lockdown ended in the UK, I moved to the Lake District to get away from pandemic life in a city. I hadn’t been out shooting since the first restrictions were introduced and I was craving a photography fix. So I told myself I would spend some time hiking around the lakes and mountains, turning my attention to landscape photography. To sweeten the deal, I decided to buy myself a new camera and narrowed my options down to a Nikon Z 6 or Sony a7 III.

I went with the Z 6 because I liked what Nikon was doing with its f/1.8 primes and f/4 zooms. Initially, I bought the Nikon Z 6 with the Z 24-70mm f/4 and the Z 50mm f/1.8 before moving across the country to the Lake District. After six months of disappointing photography in the Lake District, travel restrictions were eased across Europe and I booked a 6-month trip in Spain and Portugal.

I was ready to hit the streets again with the Z 6 kit, backed up by the Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF 35mm f/1.4 and XF 50mm f/2. By this point, I’d also replaced the XF 56mm f/1.2 with the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8. I spent the next six months traveling and shooting in Porto and Lisbon in Portugal, followed by Badajoz, Sevilla, and Granada in Spain.

It was during these travels that the love affair with the Z 6 started to run into teething problems. Nothing major, but minor niggles that started to frustrate me. When I was in the Lake District, the Z 6 felt like the perfect camera: robust, comfortable, reliable, and relatively compact for the quality of these lenses.

However, in the streets, I was finding the system a little cumbersome – especially paired with the Z 85mm f/1.8, which was firmly my favorite focal length at the time.

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As much as I loved its output, I realized the long, narrow barrel of the lens made it too front-heavy for me on the Z 6. I was also stumbling over settings like exposure compensation and focusing modes in the street – again, nothing major but enough to slow me down and miss shots I was used to getting.

Quite simply, I wasn’t enjoying shooting with this camera and lens combo in the streets. So, I started looking at alternatives with smaller 85mm f/1.8 primes and this led me back to Sony. I bought the Sony a7 IV with the FE 85mm f/1.8 and decided to shoot with it alongside the Nikon Z system to see if the switch was a good idea.

Lessons From Switching Systems Twice in One Year

I learned some important lessons shooting with the Nikon Z 6 but the real surprises came when I started shooting with the Sony a7 IV alongside the Nikon.

1: Image Quality Isn’t Everything

Technically, I was downgrading by swapping the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 prime to Sony’s FE 85mm f/1.8. The Sony is still a good lens but it’s the system’s entry offering at this focal length while Nikon Z is designed to be a superior lens.

It’s larger, heavier, and more expensive – and you can see the results in images. Sharpness across the frame is impressive, even wide open, and the out-of-focus rendering is smoother than the Sony – most noticeable in the bokeh of the two lenses.

With the Sony 85mm f/1.8, bokeh balls aren't always as rounded as the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 when shooting wide open.

Despite all this, I ended up selling the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 because I didn’t enjoy shooting with it. Shortly after, I also sold the rest of my Nikon Z gear because I enjoyed shooting with the Sony setup that much more.

Not for the reasons I expected, either.

2: Sometimes, You Just Want a Camera That Gets Out of the Way

Having started out with Fuji X, I was fully sold on the shooting experience. Even now, I still enjoy shooting with those dials and aperture rings but I place too much importance on the idea of a shooting experience. In fact, several years before choosing the Z 6 over the a7 III, I had already talked myself out of buying into the Sony system – and the idea of the shooting experience was definitely a factor.

Ironically, it turns out the thing I enjoy the most about shooting with Sony is the lack of a shooting experience. When you're shooting with the Fujifilm dials, the camera is very much part of the shooting experience – and this is my favorite thing about the system.

With the Z 6, I enjoyed the experience of shooting in the Lake District but I found the camera was getting in my way on the streets. I had no issue with the performance of the autofocus but I found the implementation of the AF system cumbersome, especially when switching between focus modes. I believe Nikon has changed the AF system since the Z 6 but I could only use what was available at the time.

I also had some minor niggles with manual focusing, the metering system, and exposure compensation. None of these were issues in the Lake District but they added up to a frustrating experience in the streets, especially in neon-lit cities at night – my favorite environment to shoot.

Then came the Sony, a camera that offers nothing in terms of a shooting experience but also never gets in the way. I don’t even know I’m using the a7 IV when I’m out with it. I’ve had photographers ask me what I’m shooting with and I have to look down at the camera to remind myself.

Honestly, I think it’s just a happy coincidence that Sony’s AF system, manual focusing implementation, metering system, etc. are optimized to suit my shooting style. The Z 6 never got in my way when I was shooting in the Lake District and I would probably buy back into the Nikon if landscape were a priority but everything changed when I hit the streets again.

3: Ergonomics Are a Funny Thing

As someone who switched systems because I didn't like the feel of a particular body and lens combo, I guess it’s fair to say that ergonomics is important to me. 

The funny thing is, the ergonomics of the Z 6 are arguably better than the a7 IV in every way. The Z 6 feels great in the hand with its deep grip, cushioned body, and button placement. The a7 IV, on the other hand, feels plasticky and awkwardly shaped. Yet, it’s the a7 IV that seems to disappear when I’m shooting with it while the Z 6 starts to weigh me down after a few hours of constant use. Holding a camera for a couple of minutes can deceive, especially if you pick up another body and compare them.

It’s a similar story with the build quality of the camera. The Nikon Z bodies feel solid and robust while the a7 IV feels flimsy in comparison. The card reader door creaks as I grip the body and the IBIS rattles as I lift and lower the camera from my face.

I still got plenty of images I was happy with using the Z 6 but I wasn't enjoying my time with the camera.

If you sit down and compare these bodies, side by side, the Z 6 looks and feels like the superior camera – by quite a margin. However, I can honestly say I haven’t once thought about ergonomics or build quality while I’m out shooting with the a7 IV.

4: Don’t Take Common Complaints Too Seriously

Before I bought the Z 6, I was deciding between Nikon Z and Sony as a long-term kit investment. I chose Nikon because I liked the lens ecosystem they were building but I was also swayed by certain complaints I’d heard about Sony.

Ergonomics was a common complaint and there was plenty of criticism about Sony colors, especially with skin tones. I’d also heard many photographers describe Sony cameras as “soulless” and similarly unflattering things.

As a dial-loving Fuji user at the time, these criticisms made an impact and influenced my buying decisions. Yet, much like the ergonomics and build quality differences, none of the common complaints I had heard about Sony have really been a factor for me – at least, not while actually using the camera.

5: The Small Things Can Make a Big Difference

Last month, landscape photographer Nigel Danson explained that none of the headline features of the Nikon Z 8 convinced him to buy the camera. Instead, it was multiple smaller features and the overall usability/ergonomics of the Z 8 that, collectively, makes a bigger difference.

Shortly after, Thomas Heaton expressed similar reasons for upgrading to the Z 8 from the Z 7II. He’s not upgrading for the autofocus, faster processor, two-way tilt screen, or anything else. He’s making the switch for the cumulative benefit of all of those upgrades and many more.

The conundrum is that you gain very little from switching systems – far less than you spend for the privilege. So you really have to value those small gains if you’re going to jump ship. In my case, it was mostly ergonomic and usability factors as I went back into street photography and I’m happy with the outcome.

6: Nobody Can Tell You Which Camera Is Right for You

When I was considering Nikon vs Sony, I spent a lot of time reading reviews and asking questions on popular photography forums. I did my research, considered my priorities, and ended up feeling quite confident about my choice, in the end.

On paper, I chose Nikon for the right reasons and everything positive I'd read about the system was 100% correct. The lenses are superb and the build quality of the bodies is undeniable. No review could have told me that the excellent ergonomics of the Z system wouldn’t quite work for me because I’m overly sensitive to the weight distribution of one body and lens combo.

I’m not sure even renting the setup before making the purchase would have helped. I liked so much about the Z 6 that it took me a good six months to start feeling frustrated by a few minor niggles.

7: You Might Be Wrong About Your Priorities

The biggest lesson from switching systems twice in one year is that I didn’t know what my real priorities were. Not all of them anyway. I was wrong about the whole shooting experience thing and I had to shoot with the a7 IV to realize this. I still love the Fuji X experience but I now appreciate the value of a camera that doesn’t get involved any more than it needs to.

I also underestimated how important it is to me that a body and lens combo balances right in the hand.

By shooting two new systems in such a short space of time, I learned that some things didn’t matter to me as much as I thought. More importantly, I also found out that certain things I had never considered before matter to me a lot. My list of priorities now looks very different from the one I would have had before buying into the Nikon Z system.

In the End, Was It All Worth It?

I wish I could say, no, I regret switching systems twice and I should have concentrated on my photography instead of buying gear. Unfortunately, I don't regret it, though. Although I've gained almost nothing in terms of features for the money I've spent and I'm, arguably, using an inferior lens now, every session with the Sony setup is more enjoyable. This is far more valuable to me than any feature or slight improvement in image quality.

Sure, part of me wishes I could have reached this point without switching twice but I had to go through this process to understand what my real priorities are. No camera setup is perfect and I would still urge anyone to try and work with the limitations of your current gear before switching or even upgrading within the same system.

That being said, some things are non-negotiable and if you feel the equipment getting in the way of enjoyment, switching might be the only answer.

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Thanks for sharing. I would consider myself a hard-core Nikon fan-boy, having invested substantially in F-mount and Z-mount lenses.
Nevertheless, I started exploring the Hasselblad X system about 6 months ago. And I have to say it is offering something that neither Nikon (nor Sony I suppose) can offer: a different workflow, different colour space, different composition. I recently shot with my Z 9 and was highly pleased with the results. Nevertheless, I shot some pictures with my 907X and they are just a different dimension. Not that one is better than the other, they have their particular strengths, but I feel by being able to use both of these systems, it makes me more complete.
I wouldn't quit the Nikon system, but I think the Hasselblad is quite complementary.
Anyway, I thought I share my $0.02

The thing I love most with a camera is reliability. Take it up, maybe set a user mode or make some small adjustment, and get a good image, reliably. Part of this is the quality of the lens and the sensor which both need to deliver more than you need. The other part is getting used to the system you are operating, blindly. Nikon never disappointed me here. It's just the both of us having grown together.

I switched from Canon to Sony, so I can understand the motivations of switching ecosystems. Of all these major players, one cannot really go wrong at all. It becomes a matter of personal preference and confirmation bias to reinforce such a major decision.

I am poised to do the same thing you did - switch from Canon to Sony. If you have any specific advice or anything you think I should be aware of, feel free to let me know.

When we switched we (my wife and I) found some differences in post processing, and in mastering the focus modes. This is adapting to the camera, not a criticism. Mark Galer has been a great source of insight in high detail. And the 90mm macro is stellar. Sony has a great system, though my only gripe is their arcane software update system. Would I change to Sony today? Absolutely.

Number 7 - You Might Be Wrong About Your Priorities - resonates with me and causes me to think more carefully about what I am about to do.

I have shot only Canon since I first went digital in 2007. But I still haven't gotten a mirrorless body and am thus still using DSLRs. The DSLRs are preventing me from getting images that I really want, so it's time to finally go mirrorless. So, if I was ever going to change systems, this is the time to do it.

I have a huge problem with Canon's policy on refusing to allow 3rd party lens makers to make autofocus lenses for their new RF mount. Most of the lenses I use are 3rd party lenses that Canon has no equivalent for, such as the Sigma 60-600mm. I don't like Canon's array of lenses because they are too traditional in terms of focal length (for primes) and focal length range (for zooms).

I do like some of the 3rd party lens options because they have focal lengths and ranges that vary wildly from tradition and fit obscure niche needs much better. But I want these 3rd party lenses to autofocus so I can take advantage of animal eye detect AF and subject detect AF. Canon will not allow that. So solely because of that policy of theirs, I plan to change systems as soon as I can find a good price on a used Sony A7 IV.

So that brings me back to point number 7 in the article - Am I wrong about my priority? Specifically, the priority of an "open system" that allows 3rd party lenses to autofocus?

If I don't like Canon's lens options, and I really need animal eye and subject detect for my needs, then why would I stick with Canon? At least that's my thinking at this time. But #7 says I could be wrong, so I am carefully thinking this thru again to make sure that I do not make a mistake by switching over to Sony.

I use a Sigma 150-600C on my R5. It is able to detect the eye of a chicadee...black eye, black head. I thought that was a pretty good test as to what an adapted 3rd party lens can do. This lens isn't the sharpest at 600mm and f6.3, but it does make for pretty nice shots and at around $1000, it's not bad.

I also use a Sigma - the 60-600mm. Really enjoy the 10x range and the super close minimum focus distance! Sigma has a new version of the 60-600mm in the Sony E mount, so I would opt for that instead of using an adaptor when I switch to Sony.

That depends on what you shoot. I love long lenses and wildlife, so those priorities ring true for me. I have access on a daily basis to both OM-System and Sony. There are advantages to both for field and wildlife, but I can work with one or both equally well. And both results are superb.

Interesting that you mention the OM system. Just one month ago, I was poised to acquire Olympus Micro 4/3 gear to use alongside of my Canon DSLRs ..... but I couldn't find a suitable lens in the MFT mount, and everyone on the Micro Four Thirds forum told me that although it's a great system, it would not be right for me and what I wanted to use it for. So that is why I pivoted my plans and decided to go with Sony instead of MFT.

We should never underestimate the small things when looking into gear acquisition. The biggest problem with this, as you found out, is that it may take some time to realize the affects these small things bring. Then, of course, you may be stuck with another decision of whether or not to redo everything and get what you feel is best. Remember though, you went back to street photography which allowed you to experience the actual differences. And don't say, unfortunately, I don't regret it. You learned something valuable from this and will understand its usefulness in the future. I have very many cameras and, depending on what I'm going to shoot, I can make a more informed choice as to which one(s) I will be taking with me. I never took the Fuji GX 680 with me to Russia or other European countries for obvious reasons. Instead, I took the Hasselblad 500CM for its portability and weight. If I am going to shoot people or models I know which cameras suit this venue better. Same for landscapes, street photography, human interest, etc. But this all took me several years to figure out. Sometimes the hard way. Be happy with your choices. It'll only help you in the future.

I started with Nikon in 2002 (yep, that far back) after much deliberation between Nikon and Canon at the time. On paper, they were totally even. So I went to the store and tried both in hand and chose the one that felt better. But with Nikon, I've always had trouble focussing for whatever reason. So many years later, a photographer convinced me to try the 5D Mark II that had just come out. So I bought into a second system. A camera that basically had "Rebel" class autofocus. And to my surprise, I never missed even ONE shot, shooting snowboarding! It was insane and I just couldn't figure it out. I've been with Canon since. Once you find your system, you just know it's the right one. Now with the R6 Mark II, Canon still won't let me down even if I make mistakes!

I miss my Nikons... oh well, it wasn't my system...

"But with Nikon, I've always had trouble focusing for whatever reason"

Oh my god. I'm not crazy!! I started shooting Nikon back in 2004 and although I love the build quality, image quality, and reliability of all of my Nikon cameras I too have had some major issues with their auto focus. I have shot the D100, D90, D700, D610, D800E, D810, D40, and D200. I have had issues focusing on all of them except the D100. The D100 auto focus worked amazingly well for me for some reason. The lenses I used were the 70-200mm f2.8G VRII, the Nikon 50mm f1.8D and G versions, as well as the Nikon 85mm f1.8D and G versions, and the Nikon 18-35mm f3.5-5.6G (criminally underrated lens). I had issues with all of them. I always thought it was something I was doing wrong but I just could not get the things have a snappy focus. They would hunt all the time. I also used several of those lenses on Nikon Film Cameras like the Nikon F5, F100, and N80 and never had any issues with auto focus. They focused on exactly what it was that I pointed at. It was great. It seemed to me as they added more and more focus points the focus kept getting worse and worse. The D100 only has like 4 or 5 auto focus points but focused the best out of all of my DLSR's. Friggin weird stuffs. I did have two canon 60D's and the auto focus was actually really good. I shot mostly with the Canon EF 85mm f1.8 (one of my favorite lenses of all time) It's also one of my favorite cameras.

"A camera that just gets out of the way". This article was perfect timing for me. I have been waffling over the decision to drop my Z6 for the A7IV mostly because I feel like autofocus cause me to miss a lot of good shots. I say waffling because I am firmly in the amateur category. So this could possibly be a skill problem. I appreciate your perspective on the Sony just getting out of your way. Maybe that is the experience I need. I'm going to rent an A7IV over the next couple of weekends to see if it solves any problems for me before I make any rash decisions.

Good decision. Also keep into account that the type of photos you're shooting could affect your choice. The Z6 is better for landscapes whereas the Sony is better for street use. But it's all relative to what feels good to you while you're using it. You're making goid decisions. Since we're at it, the lens/camera combo issue could come into play as it did for the author.

I wouldn't chalk it all up to a skill issue. The Z6 does have some pretty "meh" auto focus performance. I guarantee if you get the A7IV you'll have a much better time with auto focus performance and I'm a life long Nikon Shooter lol. good idea on renting one but make sure you get a lens that also has good auto focus. I know there are some Sony lenses out that with lackluster AF performance.

Thanks for the article. I appreciate the need for a little context setting but feel it could have been written as a brand agnostic article and still remained focused on the areas for consideration when looking at alternate systems. It feels like an subjective Sony vs Nikon article over an objective System A vs Sytem B piece.
Just my 2 cents' worth - I've been wrong in the past in occasion and will, no doubt, continue this trend...

I had been using a pair of Nikon D500s for wildlife and aviation but was looking for a full frame body for improved IQ and lower noise. I went for the Z6ii and I echo many of your comments including the quality feel and nice grip (just not quite deep enough for me and my little finger dropped off the bottom of the body). The thing which put me off the Z6ii was the auto focus. It felt lethargic by comparison to all the DSLRs I'd used, it stubornly refused to focus on subjects in reasonable lighting and when it did find it, if it moved it lost it again. I tried all the modes with varying degrees of success but not really to my liking. When it did nail it, the images were lovely and so much better that the D500s.
Along came a friend with a Sony A7iv and I had a play with it and adored its responsiveness, zippy focus and tenacious tracking. I was sold within the hour and started saving up for a Sony body. My wife loves the Z6ii and has rehomed it but she is more into landscapes and general photography. I'm now a happy Sony owner having previously used the A mount A99 and A77 which I loved but it wasn't possible to get the longer lenses so I started my Nikon journey and to be fair very much enjoyed it.

I switched to a Sony camera from a Nikon a decade ago before mirrorless, and the Nikon was truly bad, and the Sony was very liberating.

I was actually ashamed of owning a Sony and would often point the camera to the ground because of the Sony label being exposed for people to see. But as time went on I as happier and happier with how well it performed, that I lost the shame, and thought that this is an awesome camera that was liberating over the clunky Nikon.

Unfortunately I also bought a Pentax K-5 and was comparing the two systems, and by the end of the year the Sony stayed in its bag and I eventually sold all my Sony gear off - sort of regrettably. I spent a tonne of time playing with other brands in stores, and Nikons and Canons are clunky to use.

Pentax is arguably the best user experience I've ever had and went all in on Pentax lenses and bodies. The feature set of the IBIS alone is the best in the industry with: Astrotracer; tilt shift; horizon correction; Pixel Shift that's Foveon sensor style/true color; GPS-less Astrotracer; hand held pixel shift. The Pentax K3iii has come out and the new user interface system was cleaned up and now it's even more user friendly.

I even bought Fujifilm cameras and a few lenses next to my Pentax gear. I ended up being extremely disappointed with Fujifilm and very upset with the brand, because I bought that 56mm 1.2 mark 1 and it came with a rubbish lens pouch that was more a cheap slip cover you wouldn't put your smart phone in. Comparing image quality to Pentax, it was no contest with Pentax defeating my Fujifilm gear IQ. First test my worst kit of a Pentax k-x with 18-135 vs XE1 with 56mm 1.2 and the 12mp K-X beat the Fuji IQ easily. The Fuji was sharper but was clinical and boring with little 3D pop and ambience..........

But regarding Fujifilm dials and rings. I found that the dials and rings counterintuitive, because DSLR already had a quicker "front and rear dial" implementation that's quicker. The worst part was the aperture ring which had no lock to it, so that was a worry and I always had to keep an eye on something that I shouldn't and rarely had to on DSLR. I could run ISO and shutter speed on auto, and rear dial the aperture, unless I accidentally moved the aperture ring off of "A". So the dials and ring on Fujifilm was completely superfluous and more of an impediment. So I could sort of make it work like a DSLR except for that lockless aperture ring that could be bumped into f16 all of a sudden from f1.2 - which is completely unacceptable. Also no distance scale on lenses is just terrible, but a price paid for linear motors.....

So Fujifilm for me failed badly on IQ, dodgy build quality, poor lens pouch and hokey and poorly implemented retro dials and ring. The retro dials and ring was to me more of a marketing gimmick then an actual thing. But Fujifilm is not a retro camera because those dials and ring are not mechanical but are all electronic. Distance scales need to be mechanical and linear motors can't really do so some implement LCD screens on the lens barrel. The lost of a tactile mechanical focus ring and distance scales are a backwards step. So Fuji got a very big F for fail from me. The only thing good Fuji has is very sharp lenses, but lack character, 3d pop and ambience and are too clinical and bland. But sharpness isn't everything, I mean it helps, but a lens should deliver on all the criteria I like.

So mirrorless Sony would be a choice for me in the future as not all of its lenses are without mechanical distance scales, plus I could adapt other lenses to it.

The Sony user experience is different to other brands, because it's originally Minolta. The same can be said for Pentax - Sony/Minolta and Pentax are not Nikon or Canon. Sony and Pentax ARE better camera brands over Nikon and Canon, hands down. Fujifilm IMO is the great pretender pretending to be retro with gimmicky and hokey electronic dials and rings, and when you spend $1000 on a.lens and get a rubbish slip cover ,they can forget it.

Some people say that Sony cameras feel like they are made by PlayStation programmer's, and the menu is like a video game. I never felt that, it was definitely more of a colourful menu as opposed to the black and white of most brands. The menus are large with Sony because they are feature packed.

I'm happy to see Sony cameras doing very well in the market, and they do deserve their position because they are definitely superior to Nikons and Canons which cling to tradition, while Sony embraces the high tech, and balances it with tradition. On some this is lost.

I'm not happy to see that Sony stopped with using the multi-connector on their A6700! This means using a smartphone for remote controle gets almost forced upon you. To make matters worse - the software kit to write software for (F)E-mount camera's keeps dropping older models like the still sold A7II, A7RII, A7III, A7RIII(a)... In fact i don't like even the Multi-connector, and i'm not keen on the USB-C either. So please Sony give us the old minolta remote-connector back! That's sturdier and keeps things simple.
Who wants to play around with smartphones when you can just press one or two buttons on a remote?
I don't. The KIS-principle is something that should get rammed into those engeneers designing camera's. And the marketeers pretending that we want apps - (i hate marketeers no matter what they do - their interference waste my time! - they make it only difficult to me to find technical data - and what i't ll cost me - whey i can not find it in seconds there's NEVER a sale). I decide - not marketteers.
So i'm a difficult person. But never forget - the difficult people are the ones getting results for the general buyers.
Me being a longtime Sony user after converting from Minolta - i see it getting worser and worser. The Apple-minimalism and golden jail techniques are more and more being implemented. We're being milked - but i'm shutting down the supply of milk-cash!

Sony brought out a LA-EA5 years ago. No complete support on lower models (and not the cheapest ones too). A9, A9II, A7III, A7RIII(a), A7c nada for screw driven lenses! The article on this site that's harsh on lots of camera producers is truly and correct (i enjoyed reading it). Backporting of firmware forget it. So i had to buy 2 used LA-EA4's and adapt those with a monster hack (made in china). Works good enough for me (not usable for video - but i can live with that). So Sony - every $ that goes into that - won't flow to a new camera. Is that understood???

I woundn't be suprised to find the same kind of practices with other manufacturers, though. Maybe we should stop buying that kind of incomplete camera's, so that this unit can be used in stand-alone. I don't want to make it more vulnerable to attach smartphones to it - and my back is getting older. And what about Bluetooth - well, do you want thieves to be informed there's a camera in the trunc? Oh no. All my camera's are in flight mode, permanently. There's a limit on the battery capacity you may take into your hand luggage to into a plane, by the way (and it's about 15000mAh).

The a6700 should be top of the line on the APS-C mount - now it's like a camera returning from Bachmoet, Ukraine (sadly enough we have to mention that awful battlefield - one of the worst in history - maybe with the exeption of Stalingrad & Leningrad) with amputated functionality.

I'm nobody's fan - and i can be pretty direct. You 're of course entitled to your own opinion.

I used a smartphone connected to my Canon 6D via Bluetooth or WIFI or whatever, and it was a gazillion times more useful than a hard wired remote ever was. I don't ever want to use the remote shutter release again, now that I have experienced the superior capability of the smart phone connection.

You're of course entitled to your own opinion.

I think sometimes it’s best to swap and stay.

I was swapped from Canon to Sony, stayed with the latter for 3 years then swapped back to Canon for the R6. The bodies are amazing but the lens selection/pricing and lack of third party support pushed me to go back to Sony which I’m determined to stay with.

I am also beginning to switch from Canon to Sony. I am interested in knowing what it was about the R6 body that you thought was worth switching back for. Doesn't the A7 IV offer just as much everything for the same price? But even better autofocus, right?

I really relate to your disappointment over 3rd party options for Canon. This is the reason I am acquiring Sony gear now, after being with Canon for the past 16 years.

So for me I still do feel the R6 is a better body. The AF had the slight advantage and the high iso is quite a bit better on the R6 IMO, although there is a 13mp difference so that would make a difference.

For me it was purely about the lenses. EF lenses in Australia are the same price as brand new Sony GM lenses if not more. For example I got my 35GM for $1899 AUD whereas the EF 35L II is $2899 AUD which is insane. I could give 10 examples but the sad fact is Canon prices just aren’t competitive outside the US and to me a system is made up more on its lenses than the body so I couldn’t help but swap.


Thanks for explaining.

I am also switching from Canon to Sony because of the lenses. Specifically because Sony is permitting 3rd party manufacturers to make fully functional lenses for their mirrorless mount. And that has little to do with price. Canon and Sony don't make most of the lenses I want, so I am forced to use 3rd party lenses. So with Sony I get 3rd party AF functionality and with Canon I don't. That makes it a no-brainer to switch.

I did this ONCE. And I deeply regret it.

I blew alot of money on a move that although I had ALOT of fun with, cost me THOUSANDS.

I shot with (mostly) Nikon's for about 15 years, then picked up a used E-M1 and was BLOWN AWAY with what I could do in Micro 4/3rds vs my D800 and D4. Went WHOLE HOG into an E-M1X, E-M1II, and every PRO lens in the portfolio. Bought everything (except the 7-14 and E-M1X) used, so there was at least that.

Wireless tether was awesome, hand holding 4 second long exposures with the 7-14 was awesome, the E-M1X AF and ergonomics was awesome, the 17, 25, and 45mm f/1.2's are all awesome....

But at the end of the day, the brass tax image quality and tethered shooting experience was still WELL BELOW that of a Z6 and the cheap Nikon f/1.8 primes. Seriously the Nikon 50mm f/1.8S makes the Oly 25mm f/1.2 look BROKEN.

When I rented a Z7, 50 1.8S and 105 2.8S for a job where I really needed single-capture resolution, I immediately realized the mistake I had made. Nikon's 50mm f/1.8 is a perfect lens. Seriously the only two lenses I've seen that are better, are the Zeiss Otus, RF 50 1.2, and the 50 1.2S. The 105MC, also perfect.

Within 3 weeks, I had sold off every bit of Olympus gear, bought a Z6, Z9, 14-24, 28-75, 70-200, 35, 50, 85 1,8's, and 105MC, and I will NEVER change systems again.

The ROI simply SUCKS, and I made a stupid mistake thinking that a new system would improve my photography.

Jon the Baptist wrote:

"I did this ONCE. And I deeply regret it.

I blew alot of money on a move that although I had ALOT of fun with, cost me THOUSANDS."

Jon, if you buy used, as you said you did, and then if you only buy at the very lowest prices you can find, then I don't understand how you lost thousands of dollars. I mean, if the best price you can find anywhere on a used lens is $1,000, then when you sell it a year or two later you should be able to sell it for the price you paid, and entirely recoup the $1,000 that you spend. Of course there's a tad of inflation and a bit for shipping and sales tax, but those things don't add up to thousands of dollars.

I am in the process of acquiring a new system, and I will be able to switch from Canon to Sony with it costing me very little after it's all said and done.

Through a series of negotiations I paid $1,100 for my Sigma 60-600mm, and MPB will give me $1340 for it.

I bought my 15mm f4 macro for $300, and I can get $300 for it easily ... and I just bought the Sony E mount replacement for $250, tax and shipping included. So actually a net benefit to me for switching.

I got my 5D Mark 4 for $1,500 4 years ago, and I will be able to get at least $1,200 for it and maybe even a little more.

And the A6600 I just bought I found for only $700, after hours spent online and negotiating with sellers. I am also going to purchase a full frame A7 IV, but am holding out until I find one for no more than $1600. Sticking with Canon would actually cost me a lot more to upgrade to mirrorless, as the 6D 2 is a close equivalent to the A7 IV and would cost me a couple hundred more. And the R7 is an equivalent to the A6600 I just bought for $700, but would cost me almost $400 more for one in the same condition.

I simply can't afford to stay with the same system, and switching systems will net me more money left in my pocket.

If one is wise with their resources and not afraid to spend effort searching and negotiating for the lowest possible prices, then there is no need for a system switch to be costly in terms of dollars.

It is interesting that two people can reach two completely different conclusions.. I went from Nikon DSLR's to Sony Mirrorless and then to Nikon Mirrorless. I found mirrorless liberating and more interesting, as I could mix and match lenses on the Sony. However the ergonomics were atrocious, the colour horrible and mostly unpredictable, and file sizes obscenly huge. I was using a Sony A7RIII, their top prosumer camera at the time. On so many levels I found the build inferior to the prosumer Nikons (DSLR's.. Nikon was yet to release their mirrorless). When Nikon did eventually come out with the Z6/Z7 combo.. I was tempted, but not wholly convinced, as their 1st generation product was slightly behind the Sonys, however the ergonimics were unquestionably Nikon and unquestionably practical and photo-centric. No hard angles, buttons where you expected then, a manu system that was organised and familiar. There was just too much congnative dissonance with the Sony. And I am not a Nikon fanboy, having used Canon DSLR's extensively, and previous to that Pentax film cameras. I've done my fair share of mixing and matching over the years.. I eventually sold the Sony A7RII and picked up a Z7II, and then sold that for the Z8, which is almost too much camera for me. But one I'm glad I purchased, as I can see myself growing old with it, and learning to use it's many features and settings. A camera that can do pretty much anything.. (1/32000th of a second anyone! 120 fps.. mindboggling). But aside from all the ridiculous features, it is a camera that fits nicely in the hand, produces perfect quality images and colours I can depend on. So.. a different view. As they say, different strokes for different folks.

Mario Traversi wrote,

"the Z8 ..... camera that can do pretty much anything ..... 1/32000th of a second anyone! 120 fps ..... mindboggling"

120 FPS?! Seriously? Sounds more like a video setting than anything that a stills camera would be capable of.

Are you sure that isn't only when shooting video? I mean 120 FPS would be amazing to capture full resolution RAW files at, but I honestly didn't think any camera was anywhere even close to that.

Canon R3 does 195 FPS Raw. But not with autofocus.

Marco Birri wrote:

"Canon R3 does 195 FPS Raw. But not with autofocus."

I don't know where you are getting this information, but the official specs are nowhere even remotely close to your claim.

Are you sure you're not confusing frames per second with total number of images per burst before it has to stop to buffer?

Seriously!? Your source for specs is B&H ?!? Man, we're not on the same level, sorry... How about you try to get it from the manufacturer: Canon?

Changes in (firmware) version 1.2.1:
1. Adds the ability to set "Custom high speed continuous" to the Drive mode. It is possible to shoot from 2 to 50 images continuously at a speed of approximately 30 to 195 fps.

Yes I trust B&H to give me accurate specs far more than I trust any of the manufacturers to get it accurate. Canon as a corporation is so inept they can't even fix my lens or body properly, so why would I trust them to have accurate info on their websites?

"from approximately 30 to 195 FPS" ..... hmmmmm ..... why would you believe that the upper end, 195, could possibly be referring to full resolution RAW files? When you see such a wide range, isn't it sensible to think that the low end, 30 FPS, refers to RAW files, and the high end, 195, refers to the lowest resolution jpegs, which none of us here would ever even think of shooting?

So the takeaway is that we can ignore anything but the 30 FPS because we're not interested in low quality jpeg crap. We're far better that.

As I said to Jon The Baptist, because photographers are using it...

Z8/9 can do 20fps in RAW, 120fps is 11MP JPEG's (but retains AF and AE, unlike Canon). Kinda worthless outside of maybe scientific use IMO.

Jared Polin used it for baseball. You absolutely nail the shot when the batter hits the ball AND doesn't move. That's one application. But I get where you're going... maybe Canon crippled that one for the R1 🤣

Hilarious that you didn't try a Canon camera. Amazing how so many go Nikon to Sony and back and forth and seem to avoid Canon.
Where the Nikons are just rebranded Sony cameras with the same sensors and tech.

Hahaha it's interesting that you say that, because I know a bunch of Canon photographers who have switched to Sony, but not a single one who has switched from Canon to Nikon. Weird how there is hardly any Canon - Nikon crossover.