Apparently I never wrote about switching from Canon to Sony?!
Let’s fix that.
I got my first Canon back in 1988. It was an AE-1 and I loved it. I shot through rolls and rolls of film. I took a class from a photo place in town and shot school sports, portraits, wildlife, weather–anything I could think of.
That camera was stolen in the summer of 1990.
After I graduated high school, I got another Canon–I don’t remember what it was, but it was a plasticky SLR that just didn’t measure up to the AE-1. I ended up giving it to my sister.
After I moved to Portland, I saved up and put an EOS Rebel 35mm on layaway at Circuit City (remember those?) I was only making $8 an hour back then, so it took a few months, but I finally paid it off and took it home. I still have it–my neice is currently borrowing it, though.
Eventually, I needed a DSLR for work, and of course I bought a Canon. It was a Digital Rebel, and I took that thing everywhere. I ended up buying my own DSLR at some point–a 40D. I worked my way through a few models of Canon DSLRs until I picked up the 5DMkIII. It was my dream camera, and I found myself asking anyone and everyone if I they’d mind stepping in front of it for a quick portrait session.
But I rarely took it out for anything else. My walking around camera was an EOS M, then an EOS M3, and the 5D just gathered dust inbetween portrait sessions. I decided I needed something smaller–something I could pack around easily so I didn’t have to have several cameras. I was going through a simplification phase (I seem to do that every 5 years or so,) so I started looking around.
My brother had been shooting with the original a7, and loved it, so when ProPhoto had a Sony event, I ran down to take a look. I loved the size of the alpha cameras, and the fact that they’re full-frame, but I wasn’t sure they’d be able to replace my beloved 5D. The guy at ProPhoto really recommended the a7rii instead of the a7ii, since I was used to shooting with the 5D. But I still wasn’t 100% sure I would switch from Canon to Sony, so I went for the a7ii.
I wouldn’t say I regretted going for the ii instead of the Rii, but I did realize the wisdom in the Sony rep’s words. He wasn’t just trying to grab my cash–the ii was a step down from the 5D.
After a month, I was hooked on the Sony. I sold my 5D, used an adapter for my Canon lenses, and never looked back. Eventually, I realized that the adapter, while functional, wasn’t giving me the best performance, so I started investing in native Sony lenses. A 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and finally the 200-400mm. Aside from a couple nit-picky things, I had no complaints with the a7ii.
Those nit-picky things were:
- SD card write speeds
- No dedicated focus point control “joystick”
And the a7riii takes care of those two things. The UHS-II slot brings plenty of speed to the SD card writes, and there’s now a dedicated joystick for moving the focus point. The eye autofocus is insanely fast and so far seems to be pretty accurate. I updated the firmware to v3, and can confirm that the animal eye focus works well, too.
I’ve only had the a7riii for a few days, so I can’t do a full review yet, but so far I’m happy.
And that’s how I went from Canon to Sony. I have zero complaints about Canon–if someone handed me a 5D, I’d definitely shoot with it. But Sony packs a lot into a little package, and they keep improving it.
I did un-simplify a bit by buying a DSC-HX99 to use as a walking around camera. But that was mainly to relace my iPhone camera. The HX99 has an insane zoom capability.
I need to get back to blogging again. I’ve got some ideas for equipment reviews, tips and tricks, etc. I promise I’ll find the time soon, and get back to a regular schedule when I get back from this Portland trip.
Sidenote: I did end up picking up another Canon AE-1 off of Craigslist a few years ago. That one is loaned out to a high school kid who’s taking photography classes and shooting for the school paper. I love seeing kids learn on film. Film makes a photographer think before hitting the shutter button. Personally, I think everyone who’s serious about photography should start out with film.