The mirrorless wars have been raging for several years now, with Sony going all in with its Alpha line-up of full-frame mirrorless cameras, but should you make the switch? Let’s talk about why you need to be shooting Sony mirrorless cameras and to ditch the Canikon cameras of olde.
The Sony Alpha a7R IV mirrorless camera. Yes, I’m stating a singular camera that was just announced and has yet to be in the public domain, but really, hear me out. Sony is at the leading edge of technology available right now when it comes to camera bodies with three previous iterations that it’s built on. Sony finally has a history to move forward from, and that means they have staying power. With the camera industry wars leading some to switching systems entirely based on what camera comes out next, Sony is paving the way with giving you access to the class-leading technology you crave every year without needing to jump to another camera ecosystem and lens lineup.
Professional-level bodies made for unique niches based around expansive needs. Sony has built its lineup of Alpha mirrorless cameras with a goal to reach a mass market of individuals while concentrating on their specific set of needs and not holding back technology or specifications to entice multiple camera body purchases. Look at the a7R series of cameras with the high megapixel count with their ability to add a crop mode with more than enough megapixels to still zoom in on the image. You essentially have a portrait and landscape camera that’s been crossed with a wildlife and birding camera body. You have both at the same time. You want low light and video? They do that too with the a7S line of camera bodies fulfilling your 4K cinematic dreams under starry night skies. Want the best available autofocus, 4K video, and up to 20 frames per second? The top-tier a9 camera body is what you should be looking at. Lastly, do you just want enough camera that can do what you need it to do? The a7 line is where you can hang out and enjoy the freedom with a little extra cash in your pocket.
A complete lens lineup. Sony has finally been able to increase its market presence and has had enough time to grow its lens ecosystem where it has a fully committed lens lineup for professionals, prosumers, and hobbyists to take advantage of. It’s grown beyond the expected “holy trinity” of zoom lenses and prime focal lengths that so many people adore to more specific lens needs like Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens with competitive pricing to the contemporary players in the market with their red and gold rings. There’s little reason to not jump into the Sony lens ecosystem with the high-performing and high-megapixel resolving lense,s especially when their mirrorless competition are now the ones with the even more expensive glass offerings in the mirrorless space.
Lighting manufacturers have fully embraced Sony for the camera company they are. Only a few short months ago, you would have thought one of the most highly touted lighting companies were ignoring their Sony shooters until they released the complement to their on-camera lighting setup with the Profoto A1X. Third party lighting has always stayed keen on how they offered their customers accessibility and options, but if you aren’t a player in the market in their eyes, you don’t have complete access. That’s now changed, and Sony is on a level playing field with the big names, though I would say Sony has already entered that group by claiming the number two spot from Nikon only a short time ago. The benefits of the Sony system are now just as prevalent as any other professional system and are intended to be used as such.
A company that professionals want to be a part of and work with. You will always have a group of people that couldn’t care less about what camera they use and then, the exact opposite with the “fan boy” group that cannot get enough of what their camera brand of choice can offer them. When you have storytellers wanting to partner with your company because they see the advantages of what you offer, that’s what your company should be striving to be. We recognize that technology makes working with equipment easier (and sometimes harder), but if what you are doing makes it more valuable for a storyteller to build on their vision, then you are going to create a movement. Sony has spoken to photographers and filmmakers in that regard and have helped remove the obstacles for them to tell stories that build on our imagination and excitement. It’s that which excites us as creators where our attention and pocketbook will go.
No one can tell you what to value or how to create, but it’s always valuable to keep your choices open and loyalties for camera brands checked in reality. Sony is making huge waves in the sea of camera manufacturers, and they seem to be listening to their customers directly, rather than through the filter of a few chosen professionals. They want disruption, and Sony absolutely will make money from the change they have introduced, but does this new reality fit the expectations and burgeoning developments in how we tell stories? Do we get more out of changing our kit to a different camera company than the company makes from selling you that new camera or lens? If your answer is a resounding "yes," then you should switch right now and go all in on the mirrorless camera train. It’s here and boarding, and missing out may mean more than you know.
On the other side, does changing to a different camera system mean nothing to you? You can’t tell the stories you want to or create your images faster, better, or easier. It’s only a change of equipment, and it will honestly only be a hindrance for your creative output. In that regard, then Sony may not be the change you want or need. That’s perfectly fine, and you should keep creating and building your way. The fact is it’s an exciting time to be a photographer and storyteller today with so many ways to share what you do with the world. No technology should get in the way of creating.
If you’ve jumped ship to Sony, why did you make the change and was it any of the reasons above? If you’re still with your camera brand of choice, why are you staying with them and what do they do for you that you love?