Why Sony and not another Nikon?
I recently purchased the Sony a7r with the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA. I had the opportunity to see a preproduction model of the camera long before the camera was available for purchase. Only having a brief time with the preproduction model it only took about 3 seconds to fall in love with the camera. This post will be on the long side, but is hard to say everything that is amazing about this camera in only a few paragraphs
The reason why this camera made me so excited is in my view this is the first time in a while where there is true innovation in the camera industry without the trade off of image quality. The camera is small, but packs a professional punch.
I currently own a Nikon D800 with all the lenses I could want, but this camera really got my attention. It was painful for me at first to think I would be buying a Sony and not a Nikon, compact full frame camera. The Nikon DF missed the mark on being a direct competitor to the Sony A7/7r market. I also believe there will be very little direct competition for at least a year for the Sony from any company. Fuji will be the most likely first competitor. My hope is Sony keeps the momentum up.
F2.8 1/20 sec ISO 3200
Going forward there are many companies besides Sony working on lenses for the full frame Sony E-mount. Without getting into all the math I believe it will be possible on these smaller cameras to make fairly compact mirrored telephoto lenses with fast apertures because of Sony’s choice to use the smaller E-mount and not the A- Mount.
With the Nikon DF using the F mount though you have the large benefit of using any F mount lens there is no room for making the lenses smaller in diameter because of the mount. I still have no plans of getting rid of my Nikon gear anytime soon, but for once in the market I feel Nikon and Canon are soon going have to play catch up with Sony. Using Pentax as an example when the film industry was disrupted with the invention of the digital camera Pentax was slow to adapt and to invest into the digital market and have been struggling for market share ever since. If Nikon and Canon do not adapt to the changing digital market and continue to rely on there full size DSLR’s they will soon be taken over by cameras like the Sony A7r once more lenses are available for all ranges.
F2.8 1/20 sec ISO 3200
Like I said earlier I still have no intention to get rid of my Nikon system, but one thing to keep in mind for people who don’t already know this is a lot of Nikon cameras use Sony sensors, including my D800.
Using my camera last night at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg was a perfect test for lowlight conditions.
I was blown away that I was getting the image quality I was out of such a small system. Though I didn’t do a direct comparison it would be hard to say the image quality would have been any better coming out of my Nikon D800.
All the pictures I took are handheld! Though some of the pictures I am sure would have turned out a bit better with a tripod I wanted to see what I could do with the camera without one.
When originally buying the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA I cringed at the price considering how affordable the Sony A7r was compared to the Nikon D800E. I originally felt this lens was over price. In practice this lens is worth its money. The sharpness that comes out of the little guy is unbelievable.
The viewfinder itself is very high quality even in lowlight conditions. It is easier to manually focus with the EF in the Sony A7/A7r because it magnifies the image for you before taking the picture to insure accurate focus.
The dials to change aperture, shutter speed and ISO are very easy to use and are in a great location.
F2.8 1/20sec ISO 3200
The only complaints I have about the camera is the fact it doesn’t come with an external charger! To think of how well thought out this system is and they give you a small usb cord and a charger block to charge the camera that will take roughly 6 hours for a full charge vs about 2 hours for their external wall charger.
This might be a setting issue I don’t know about but the zoom in button when reviewing pictures on the camera automatically goes to 100%. I wish (and there might be and I just haven’t figured it out yet) there was a way to change it and reverse where the zoom in and zoom out are located.
F2.8 1/13 sec ISO 3200
After all this being said in summary after shooting with the Sony last night it is hard to see myself using my Nikon anytime soon for personal photography. If you are reading this as a potential buyer of the Sony A7/7r the only real disadvantage is the amount of FE lenses currently available for this system. The Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA is worth the money. As much as it doesn’t seem like it is at first glance it is worth it in practice.
I know many people who have already picked up their Sony a7/7r and they are all just as excited as I am as the capabilities and potential of this system. I never thought I would own a Sony and it be the most favourite camera I own.