The number one question that I often get asked by anyone is: “What camera do you use?” I would have a thousand dollars more in the bank by now if I got a penny for each time somebody asked me that question. The truth of the matter is, I’ve used quite a few camera sytems in the past…Lots. So when I post a photo here and there it may have been taken with an ancient film camera or a more modern DSLR.
I’ve probably used over 34 different cameras throughout my photographic career because, like most photographers, I was chasing the “magic bullet”, hoping somehow that the quality of my photography will improve with the quality of equipment that I use. I have since, abandoned such folly and stuck to a cheaper more affordable camera system that I have now.
The Sony Mirrorless A series.
The camera I currently use, Sony A7II, is not in league with Canon or Nikon DSLRs. It not as fast or as great as the Nikon D80e that I had. In fact, I only bought the A7II because I broke the D80e and it was the cheapest FullFrame camera I could find. It did have something going for it that gave it the edge over DSLRs.
It is Mirrorless.
Doing away with the mirror of a DSLR means the camera can be smaller and more compact. No cumbersome mirrors to include inside the camera body to make it bulky and heavy. It also means less flange distance between the rear of the lens and the sensor – and this means it is very easy to make adapters to fit all the other lenses from any manufacturer to use with the camera itself. This is what eventually sold me. I wanted to be able to use the lenses I have from Canon and Nikon to one Camera body.
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The Sony A7II also had a built-in Image Stabilization Unit, built into the camera body. That means compatible lenses automatically had IS when in use. In contrast, DSLRs from Canon and Nikon don’t have IS included in the body – it can only be added to lenses. That means you would have to pay for the IS feature for EACH lens you bought, which can get very expensive.
Sony A7II, not perfect.
The Sony A7II is far from perfect. The IS would sometimes get stuck and I have to shake the camera to put it back in place. The battery life definitely sucks, by far the worst thing about the camera. Since it doesn’t have a reflex mirror, the camera uses an electronic viewfinder which in turn sucks the camera’s battery power dry.
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There’s a lot to complain about the A7II but I can’t complain about the quality of the images. Which in the end, all I really care about. This is why I’ve seen no reason to upgrade to a latest and greatest of the A series. I might have been tempted by the A7SII for its low light and 4k video performance. I might have envied the A7RII for the whopping 42 Megapixel punch that it delivers. But to me, those meager improvements are only skin deep and I’d be back to chasing the “magic bullet.”
A new camera isn’t going to improve the quality of my images. In fact, my best images come from Wooden View cameras without electronics and auto features. Those cameras took away my ability to automate or depend on computers to create a photographic image which subsequently forced me to contemplate and perfect the capture of light.
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So why now, contemplate about getting the new Sony A7III?
Well, to be honest, maybe I got shot by an invisible magic bullet through the heart. Maybe some mythical photographer’s cupid equipped with a scoped rifle instead of a bow and arrow had its sights set on me? Whatever it is, I’m excited about camera gear again for the first time in several years. Hell, I’m almost 80% sure I’m going to jump at the chance to grab the new Sony A7III.
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It’s just a rumor for now.
It won’t even be released until April 10th (2018, next month).
But check this out: The battery life will run circles around my camera, which allows it to grab lunch in Timbuktu, sit in for coffee at café in Paris, and still have time to drop a few more frames into a 64GB SD card. It’s also comes equipped with 4K video capabilities! I also heard down the grapevine that it can shoot 10fps and equipped with dual SD Slot! The screen has also been improved and gotten slightly bigger.
More features than you can swing your tripod at.
The Camera’s sensor is new, 24MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor. It has the same megapixel count at 24MP as it’s predecessor. I’m glad they kept the pixel density the same. The 21-24MP range is more than enough and anything more is a headache and overkill. I’ve never had any sales of prints larger than 30×40 and there aren’t enough people who have the wall space to accommodate such large prints anyways. Sony has always made excellent camera sensors, even Nikon, uses their sensors for their camera bodies.
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If there’s anything out there that can get me chasing the magic bullet again it’s probably this camera. It’s been a while since a new camera got me excited. It’s not cheap by any means at $2,000 for the camera body alone. I haven’t looked at other Fullframe offerings from Nikon or Canon but from a historical standpoint, it’s probably cheaper. It’s probably going to be released at inflated prices so I might wait a few weeks or even months just until the fanfare subsides.
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Should you get it too?
For newcomers to photography, I would advise against it. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t chase the magic bullet unless you have too much cash and wearing down heavy on your pockets. You don’t need a fancy camera to produce high-quality imagery. I would instead recommend you work on your techniques and for this, you are better served with a fully manual cheap camera.