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?
The follow up is coming next week.
Beer and Popcorn please!
Thanks for the Sony advertisement.
Quote: "Sony is at the leading edge of technology... "
That's only for those who like bad menus and bad ergonomics.
The line "You Should Switch" is identical to saying "You Should Buy."
It's a phrase used in advertising, but rare in a publication with news articles and reviews.
Every camera system has pros and cons. Shouldn't we look at those, instead of directing readers to buy Sony?
Really? What DR? That fake 13 stops DR for video that sony claims on Alpha series? hahahahaha
Or that one which is in maximum (probably 11 or less) on Slog2 at Native ISO and goes down very fast in each 1/3 stops of ISO you go higher?
With less than 5000 ISO Sony Alphas already lost all the texture, details, DR and etc... But at least, has not too much noise right? KKKKKKKKK
Please, no jokes here...
Who even goes into the menu? Anything I use often is assigned to a button. Anything I sometimes need to change is in the custom menu. The menu system has not once slowed me down. As far as ergonomics go it has never bothered me even when holding the camera pretty much all day. To be fare I'm a pipefitter by trade and have been in some pretty shitty areas with a grinder. Doing a physical job like that pretty much means no matter what the camera won't be uncomfortable. Maybe you just need to do something with your hands so you aren't so weak?
That last sentence, pathetic.
No what is pathetic is people posting the same talking points everytime anything about Sony is posted. The reality is every system won't feel right when you first use it. Also people are getting weak.
Yes, they all have a My Menu these days along with custom buttons.
Roll your own system.
You guys are killing it today with your Sony fillers. So unimpressed!
Five reasons not to switch to Sony right now: 1. I like the equipment I have now, it fits my hands and I know it inside out. 2. My present equipment does everything I want it to do. 3. I don't want to drop thousands and thousands of dollars on new lenses. 4. It's not the equipment you use, but your talent that makes good images. 5. I don't want to learn a whole new camera system that is not going to make my photography better.
Five reasons *I SHOULD* not switch to Sony right now:
I am actually a Sony fan, but I have had at least 1 of every different brand camera at some point in time, so I really don't have any brand loyalty. I must say, a lot of folks seem to get very upset that someone likes certain equipment more than whatever they have , but Michael, I think your response is great! Points 1&2 are spot on, but point 4 is the creme de la creme...well done
Michael, your comment is spot on. Unlike you, as a long time Canon user, I was not satisfied with my kit and they offered nothing I wanted, nor did Nikon.
Are Sony paying for the coverage of late?
I guess there is nothing interesting happening in the vast world of photography?
It was a slow news week combined with many of the writers at Petapixel taking some time off, there were less articles to copy.
Petapixel routinely re-writes my articles actually. Take a look.
Haha so it's not just me! I was wondering why those 2 sites are often talking about the exact same things...
Yes it has been my experience that about 3-4 days after an article on petapixel, someone here will write about it. Sorry, JT, I havnt noticed it the other way around nearly at all. I have noticed the quality of the articles is much higher on petapixel given the same topic, usually I can tell that the writer on Fstoppers literally just read the article on petapixel and gives us the cliff notes.
The main complaint I hear from the commercial industry professionals is that they don’t like the color “look” and that the cameras are problematic when tethering - both of which I agree with and are not deal breakers for many. Although they definitely are on the technological forefront that’s not always enough.
I don't have any issue tethering, I use Capture One, and it's fantastic. Also see Tony Northrop's video on blind testing for colour science, Sony finished first in this small test. Regardless people will shoot with what they like for a number of different reasons, which really is just the way it is.
No, I shouldn't and won't.
If it is ergonomics and beauty of body and how a camera should feel: Then it is LEICA M series.
If it is resolution for gallery huge prints: It is medium format cameras. ( Phase and Hassey and Leica S )
If it is accuracy of colors: It is PhaseOne Trichromatic digital backs.
You say Profoto?! XF bodies from PhaseOne have it built in.
Why I won't switch: My older Nikon lenses are much more affordable, compact and have a more pleasing look for shooting people than anything in the current Sony lineup. 24mm f2.8 AF-D - it's tiny, it's cheap and the pictures are great. How much do I need to spend on a 24mm prime for sony? Don't tell me adapting lenses is a solution because it just doesn't work that well.
That is true. It doesn't work well. I went all native glass. Its been a chunk of cash.
Sony FE 24mm f1.4 - $1400 - weight 445g
Nikon 24mm f1.4 - $2000 (on sale for $1800) - weight 620g
Canon 24mm f1.4 $1550 - weight 650g
There in lies the problem, naysayers have old outdated info on Sony. You need to remember, Sony is moving at a much faster pace than Canon/Nikon.
Dude for the price can i ask you something? why would you think you should pay more for the Nikon and Canon? and for the wight comparison why are you so concern about it are you planing to take those lenses to the moon? lol
Dude, you need to learn how to follow a thread. I was replying to marc gabor, 4 posts above. He was concerned about the price and size/weight. And, besides, lots of folks want lighter gear.
What a dumb question, "why would you think you should pay more for the Nikon and Canon?" It's not like you have choice, unless you want third-party lens. And, if you think just because you're paying more, you're getting more, now, that there is what we call a lol.
DUDE, rest assured that i know way more things than following a thread, Marc said "compact" the man never mentioned anything about the wight crap, so please don't get upset over my reply, more important please keep your manner, i was just expressing my opinion which is "wight DOS NOT matter.. it is not NASA.." what matter is what image you could get with the gear and not it's mass.K? Dude??!!
True, if you compare apples to apples then Sony has similar lenses that compete well with Nikon and Canon. My point is that you can some used Nikon glass that's way cheaper and way smaller. For what I shoot I don't need all my lenses to go to 1.4 - f2.8 or even f4 will do just fine. If all you could put on your Nikon was new Nikon glass I wouldn't think it would be that big a deal but the fact that you can find so much great legacy glass at such an affordable price is not to be ignored. Especially since there are lenses that I maybe only use 5-10 percent of the time and I'd rather not pay top dollar for them. For example I mainly shoot primes between 24-105 but every once in a while a longer zoom comes in handy. Nikon 70-210 AF-D costs about 100 bucks used and is as sharp as I'll ever want someone's face to be.
one word to say SONY is still young in this domain, i am not saying it is not good, but it just don't have the same legacy. end of story :D
I just came for the comments, don't even need to read the article with a title and lead-in like that... I mean I SHOULD read the article, but I didn't as it is obviously worthless clickbait. But the comments were less entertaining than I would have hoped.
Me to, just saw the article and clicked 'comments' section
--"But the comments were less entertaining than I would have hoped."
Make up your mind. First, you complain folks are "quarreling", https://fstoppers.com/originals/why-sony-giving-us-61-megapixels-when-th... ,
,,,now, you're complaining there's not enough drama. Bitch, get in there then.
My friend, that is not a complaint, it was a joke that clearly flew over your head. An easy way to tell a joke, is if the word "Pentax" is used.
Pentax who? haha joking joking.
After all is said and done, every time I ask myself, "yeah, but would I still rather have a Nikon, just with feature XYZ added?" ...the answer is always YES.
Simply put, Sony has barely listened to the key requests and complaints of all the earliest adopters who tried the old generation NEX cameras and the early generation 7-series cameras, along the lines of terrible ergonomics and menu interfaces. Sony has poured almost all of their R&D $$$ into the autofocus tech and the image quality, and then thrown in a few extra bells and whistles that they know will make the hype machine go nuts. (Admittedly, the A7R4 does look like it's got vastly improved ergonomics, not sure about the menus though.)
I stuck with Nikon during their "dark days" when DSLRs first came out and full-frame wasn't even a thing for Nikon, and was rewarded with the best full-frame sensors that DSLRs had ever seen.
I think I'll do the same with full-frame mirrorless- Nikon will figure things out, and when they do, they'll deliver a system that just works amazingly well. (Actually, who am I kidding- as a camera geek, I'd love to own ALL three systems, just for fun. I don't care about brands, I just like to play with new cameras.)
Being the first to market with new tech isn't always the best thing. Being second or third to market with fully matured, smooth-operating tech is a great way to keep customers happy in the long run.
Having said all that, the clock is ticking, and Sony's A7R4 is another generation ahead. I don't hesitate to recommend that people try Sony out, since it's currently the best option out there from a sheer spec sheet standpoint. But anyone who already knows and loves Canon/Nikon should probably not go jumping ship right now just as their new systems are about to hit puberty/reach maturity, hopefully soon...
If you're a fitness person, you don't dump an out-of-shape significant other on the very day they say "alright let's go to the gym, I'm ready to change." ;-)
Let's go with why not...
1) ergos are still not great
2) menus are not great but better than the horrible it was
3) no flip out screen...like how hard is this?
4) no 10-bit video....SLOG has sky banding without this and it has been asked for multiple times
5) weather sealing is terrible... Only the high end bodies have passable weather sealing...go look up tests on the A7III
That said, it's nice that they're pushing the envelope along with Panasonic and Fuji (but Pentax no longer).
Otherwise, Canikon would lag even further....wait, Canon still lags 😂
Oh, my. I'm going to go back to all my paying clients and tell them to not hire me again until I switch to Sony.
Obviously the only way I can take a proper image is to use Sony gear because I must suck for using Nikon.
In case my sarcasm isn't evident- That so-called "article" is a lovely advertisement for Sony.
Reason 6- Eye-AF. For anyone who shoots people (or animals, with the newest cameras/firmware) this feature is an actual, absolute game-changer. Yes, the other camera manufacturers are now implementing their own eye-AF systems, but Sony has a huge head start, and their version is still the best available- by a substantial margin. This one feature allows you to shoot more quickly, with a (much) higher keeper-rate, but the biggest advantage may be that you simply don't have to think about focusing anymore! You can dedicate that part of your brain to posing, composition, or any of the other essential aspects of a quality portrait. If you've ever missed a genuine, spontaneous expression, or had to tell your subject to "hold still" or "don't move" while you grabbed focus and recomposed (and I know you have) go rent a Sony for your next shoot and thank me later.
Why, you lookin' to do self portrait?
Yes, I looked at his gear list. You act like this is some "aahhaa" moment. If anything, it's more perceived damaging to Canon. Sorry, not sorry to break it to 'ya.