Why Sony Is a Company All Photographers Should Be Supporting

Why Sony Is a Company All Photographers Should Be Supporting

About a week ago I was in New York City visiting for pleasure and decided there was no way I could leave without visiting my favorite store in the city: the B&H superstore. This was something I had been looking forward to since it would be the first time I could get my hand on the new Sony a9 and see what all the fuss was about. During my visit, I was absolutely floored by the performance of the a9 and how the Sony kiosk had way more attention than anywhere else in the store. This along with the recent announcement of Canon’s 6D Mark II and Nikon’s company woes made me realize how much the industry needs a company like Sony.

Pushing Technology and Innovation Further

As working photographers, we all know that gear isn’t everything. There’s no amount of money that can buy your way to obtaining the eye needed to succeed in this craft. Putting that aside, technology is a big part of the industry and there is no escaping that. When Sony released the a7S II and a7R II it pushed the boundaries of what we thought was possible in terms of a full-frame prosumer camera. Then directly after that they released both the a6300 and the a6500 which completely changed the game again for crop-sensor cameras. In doing so, Sony has shown that you can guarantee to get your money’s worth in every camera you buy from them. As a company, they are starting to phase out the days of having to buy a dedicated video camera and a dedicated photography camera because they can do both in one at a very high level for a solid price point. They essentially set the standard for cameras in both full-frame and crop-sensor cameras in less than two years. This is causing market pressure on all camera manufactures to keep up or be lost in the noise and will further push the industry to give us better technology at a faster pace.

Answering the Critics

I also remember first learning about the Sony E-mount camera systems and noticing the amount of push back the community was giving them. Whether it be the overheating, weatherproofing, battery life, and or dual card slots Sony, has gone above and beyond in addressing the issues and facing them head on. A prime example is the newly released a9 which practically had the entire list of features that critics had been saying was holding back the Sony ecosystem. If someone would have told you that there would be a full-frame mirrorless camera holding its own against Canon and Nikon flagships in a sports environment would you have believed them two years ago? I think things like this are the reason why the lackluster specifications of the new 6D are met with such harsh criticism. The consumers are starting to expect the features to match the price tag and I feel like personally Canon has now missed the mark on their last two full frame releases, hence the growing pushback towards Canon. While Sony has their own issues I still think that out of all the cameras on the market their cameras fit more styles of work than any other brand.

I want to be very clear that this article isn’t me trying to convince you to shoot or buy Sony products. They aren’t perfect and we should never expect any product or company to be perfect. Hell, at one point I left the Sony ecosystem because my needs had changed. I just want everyone to shoot what fits them best and what you are most comfortable with. Just simply understand that Sony is attacking the norm and pushing the boundaries of the industry. In the end this will lead to better products, more attention to consumers, and better performance-to-dollar spent for all camera manufactures. This is more than enough reason for me to continue to support the company going forward.

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No thanks my money is on FUJI. Sony has a reputation of not updating thier consumer goods, and this Carry's over to cameras. FUJI has really stepped it up with their X line notably the XT1 and now the amazing XT2. Fuji for the win.

Lane Shurtleff's picture

While not a FUJI supporter (they make great cameras, I'm just a Nikon guy), SONY has a long track record of not only ignoring their old pro level equipment, but completely dropping repairs for their products after only a few short years. This is the main reason pros still use Nikon/Canon. Those companies pro level support is still second to none for us working pros. When SONY can have a full lens lineup of fast long range optics (300 2.8, 4100 2.8, 500 4, 600 4 etc) then and only then will SONY EVER by even remotely acknowledged by pros.

What sort of tripod do you need for the 4100mm f/2.8? lol. Totally agree with you though. I do find I use my sony quite a bit now, but in a pro setting I'd have to stick with my canon.

Nobody updates their stuff likeFuji does. Fuji pretty much stands alone. But the features Sony brought to the a7II were quite nice. But it is sure an anomaly. I switched from Sony to Fuji, but it had little to do with firmware updates.

Chris Ramsey Jr.'s picture

But has Sony really had a lot of success in the industry until the E-mount? I think it would be foolish to think that they'll ever abandon the E-mount line after the success of the last 5 years.

Claude B.'s picture

I agree! There is more and more E Mount lenses on the market, just think of Sigma who made fantastic lenses for many types of camera.
The there is so much different great quality adapters. I have adapters for my old Nikon lens mount, Mamiya 645 lens adapter. My Sony A600 is a small champion. I never regret to get rid of my Nikon.

when Sony can match what Canon does with CPS then talk to me. Good product but poor support doesn't make for a good professional experience.

Daniel Lee's picture

As a Sony shooter, this is one of my biggest fears. I've received great support from NPS and CPS in the past and can only hope that Sony Pro Support comes close.

Chris Ramsey Jr.'s picture

I can completely relate to this but only time and experience will tell. I don't think Sony really had a dog in the fight until they released the E-mount line. They are doing the best they can to build the infrastructure they need to take care of their people.

this times a thousand. CPS has saved my bacon more than once...I hear nothing but bad things about Sony pro services or repairs.

Mr Hogwallop's picture

I had NPS and CPS from the time when you needed to have a sponsor and tearsheets to join. Not just a valid CC. CPS used to be great and now it is still pretty darn good. I had to use Sony Pro Support once and it went sell. A lens AF went wonky so they sent me (through Lensrental IIRC) the same lens that I had to send in at no cost for me to use until mine was repaired. CPS has better discount for repair $ though.
So that time it worked well. I think that Sony has the potential to step up their pro service but will take some time to catch up to the 30+ years experience that NPS and CPS has.

Claude B.'s picture

Canon is years behind the mirorless. The future is the mirorless and is gaining every year new professional adept.

Nissor Abdourazakov's picture

Nikon is my choice. Never had a problem with any lens or camera body.

Must not have had the D600 or one of the funky D750's or D810's. Nikon has had some really bad luck/whatever recently with bodies.

Thomas Starlit's picture

What makes you say D810 is "funky"? It hasn't been recalled once

Sure has. Service advisory for some odd noise artifacts. Limited, but was still an issue they could identify and fix mechanically.

From Nikon's website.
"We have received a few reports from some users of the Nikon D810 digital SLR camera indicating that noise (bright spots) are sometimes noticeable in long exposures, and in some images captured at an Image area setting of 1.2× (30×20).
After looking into the matter, we have determined that some noise (bright spots) may on occasion be noticeable when shooting long exposures, and in images captured at an Image area setting of 1.2× (30×20).
Nikon service centers will service these cameras that have already been purchased as needed free of charge to the customer. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused."

Dan Howell's picture

D810 delivers exceptional files, consistantly. My only problem has been peeling off the eyepiece with heavy use of a right-angle finder. Hardly funky. So much so that they are keeping it in production with the D850.

Chris Ramsey Jr.'s picture

The D810 is an amazing camera, I'm really looking forward to seeing the innovation in the D850.

And Panasonic is pushing Sony in video and should be supported

Chris Ramsey Jr.'s picture

I completely agree, Panasonic is killing it with the GH5.

20 FPS is amazing! And full frame. Plus, they added a 100-400mm lens, so they are adding to their lens portfolio. Will sports photographers start using them at NFL games and the Olympics?

Lane Shurtleff's picture

NOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See my rant above.

Chris Ramsey Jr.'s picture

Give it 2 years and look on the sidelines of sporting events Sony will be holding it's own, plus I'm sure the A9ii will be out by then too haha.

Daniel Lee's picture

Same could be said of Fujifilm and Hasselblad.

Also, weatherproofing? Please.

Chris Ramsey Jr.'s picture

Hasselblad is aimed at a different market but yes Fuji is doing great things as well and have really enjoyed all the times I've shot with one.

On the weatherproofing I've taken my a7rii out hiking in downpours and never had an issue with weatherproofing even in South Carolina's insane humidity. I'm currently moving to Colorado and eager to test how it is in the snow.

LOL..... This article must be a joke!

Chris Ramsey Jr.'s picture

It's absolutely not a joke, Sony is pushing the boundaries for photography.

Spike S's picture

Sony is not pushing the boundaries of photography. They may be pushing the boundaries of camera gear features, but that's different. Speaking as someone who shoots professionally with short turnaround times, Canon's CPS is far more important to me than any new features. And I see the boundaries of my photography being pushed more generally but how I look at what I'm doing, not what equipment I have.

Actually, they're pretty conservative compared to Panasonic. The GX85 is a rough match for the A6500, is only half a stop behind for sensor performance when you shoot at matched dof, and costs 1/4 as much...

Jacob Jexmark's picture

An utterly incorrect comment.

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