Randy Van Duinen
I'm Going To Sony!!!
Ok here is the big news; well if you have been around me lately it’s not that big. I am switching from my Canon 5D Mark III to Sony a7r II. There, I said it and it feels good, I feel the weight lifting off my shoulders. I am architectural photographer and have been with Canon ever since I whet digital and sold my 4x5 camera and now it is time for a change.
This all started when I had Brian Matiash as a guest instructor on one of our “The Digital Photo Workshops” in Tetons National Park. I started looking at the quality of his images and how he was archiving them. I want to give Brian credit first, he is an incredible photographer and one I really respect. I saw some of the things he could do with his Sony and I decided I needed to get my hands on one.
I started with an NEX-7 with a few lenses and took the camera to Italy with me. It was nice and compact, but not the right fit for my type of photography. I sold it when I got back from Italy and bought a Sony a7r with a Megabones adaptor so I could use my Canon lenses. I decided to test the camera on two shoots that I had planned, one locally and the other on a trip to Salt Lake City.
The first was testing it on a photo shoot at Florida Polytechnic University. I wanted to see how the Sony a7r would work with the Canon Tilt/Shit lens, as they are the lenses I use the most. They worked great, matter of fact so great that I entered two images into PPA’s “International Print Competition and both went loan and one made it into the “World Photographic Cup” USA team.
The second test was on a trip to Salt Lake City to work on one of Scott Kelby’s KelbyOne workshops. When I travel for these trips with KelbyOne I need to travel light and thought this would be a great test for the Sony on a road. I had the Sony a7r and a 24-70mm lens and both of my tilt/shit lenses all in a small Think Tank Turnstyle 10 bag, which worked well.
The two images I wanted in Salt Lake City were of the Utah State Capital and the Mormon Church. I have to say that walking around with a small bag was a nice feature that I was not concerned with when I decided to go to a mirror less system, but it was a great surprise that I enjoyed.
The other feature that I really like is the ability to use my phone as a shutter release and view the image on it also. This is all done because Sony had Wi-Fi built into the camera, one of the things that I had always wished Canon had done with their high-end cameras. Having Wi-Fi is great for social media as you can transfer an image to your smart phone, do a few adjustments and have it posted in the field in minutes is wonderful.
There are a few negatives that I would be remiss if I did not talk about them. Sony’s menu needs some work, it’s not as intuitive as the Canon, but they’re still new at this and listen to their users so I expect this will get better with time. I can connect to an iPad, but I like to be tethered to my laptop and use live view. The Sony a7r will tether to the computer, but not let me use live view to focus. That has changed with the Sony a7r II and was my last concern before switching from Canon to Sony. I will let you know how I progress with a new camera.