Many people have been asking me about my cameras of choice.
While I have recently become a Sony Artisan of Imagery, it is no secret that I have been shooting with Sony DSLRs since they first came out (and Sony Cybershots before then). Before Sony entered the scene of interchangeable lens cameras, I was shooting with Minolta. Why Minolta? Great value, built-in image stabilization, and great build quality–especially comparing the same priced bodies to the Canon counterparts. I remember actually being able to squeeze a Canon DSLR at the lower price point and seeing the seam split. I still have that Minolta body today–and it works well.
I was concerned as soon as I heard that Konica Minolta started to fall into financial straits. When Sony picked them up, it was a sigh of relief. Yes, many of the Sony branded lenses appeared to be rebadged Minolta glass. But they were different. Digital coatings. Then Sony started adding some innovations to the line that many of the other brands seemed to have difficulty with. For instance, the DSLR300 series–that was the first time that we had actual, workable, Live View. The other manufacturer had this weird implementation that was just not as organic. Then when the a33/a55 came out–and you had amazing video that could be mated with excellent optics, I remember having difficulty seeing the difference between it and RED video–but keep in mind, I am not a videographer. They also had things like built-in GPS, which, unlike Nikon’s implementation, actually didn’t kill the battery when not in use. Also, I did not have to spend another $150 for a GPS mechanism to unlock that feature. They improved the in-body image stabilization and expanded features like Wifi and NFC (why would you even shoot with a camera phone now?!).
Oh, and Zeiss. And that’s a BIG one.
You know that 3D look that I have with my images. It’s tough to explain, but it’s this micro-contrast that makes the images pop more. Well, that’s Zeiss (mostly). Look at DxO Mark's top performing lenses and you'll see that Zeiss name more than once. And the fact that I could auto-focus with those lenses meant I could take those images faster and more accurately. Well, my friends, that is uniquely Sony.
Full Frame: a7RII and a7S
Crop Sensor: a5100 and a6300
Point and Shoot: RX100 IV
A-Glass: SAL2470Z, SAL135Z, SAL70200G, SAL35F18, SAL70300G, SAL16F28, SAL500F80
E-Glass: SEL55F18Z, SEL35F14Z, SEL70200G, SEL90F28, SEL28F20 (21mm adapter and 16mm fisheye), SEL1635Z, SEL1670Z, SEL30M35, SEL24240
Now we have the mirrorless arena. You take the benefits that Sony brought to the photography field, then you make it smaller AND have the ability to adapt to pretty much ANY lens that exists in the modern (and slightly less than modern) world. Have you heard about the a7 line? We’re talking full frame. It goes from everyman’s camera (a7) to an extremely high-resolution solution (a7R), to a ridiculously quiet low light monster (a7S). And with the very recent a5100 announcement, you can, for a few hundred dollars, have a small camera that can focus fast, across nearly the entire frame. Talk about a family photo tool! We’re talking sporting events, infant’s first steps, a dog running and getting that frisbee, and your daughter’s dance recital.
Want something even smaller, but not so concerned with the interchangeable lens portion? There’s the RX100mkIII. Fits in your pocket. Is about equivalent to walking around with a bright 24mm-70mm glass in your pocket and a viewfinder for those sunny days. Want to go with a larger range? The RX10. My wife has that and she uses it for everything from taking pictures at the park to capturing the milky way galaxy. And my personal favorite, the RX1. Full frame, quiet shutter, and fits in my cargo pants.
So there you have it. My experience with photography has spanned several decades and working with the Sony equipment has allowed me to excel.
By now, you can probably tell that I am a big fan of innovation and technology.
This has me constantly scouring the internet for items that help make my photographic life better. I frequent websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It was on one such website that I discovered the Capture Pro and the Peak Design team behind it.
Not only do they have the Capture Pro camera retention devices that allow me to be moving around with my cameras secure onto my body WHILE allowing me to mount directly onto my tripod--they also have different types of straps that affect every facet of my photography.
Versatile camera straps for freedom of movement and snug when I need it? That's my SLIDE.
Strap for when I'd like to improve stability while hand holding? That's the CLUTCH.
The next one, CUFF, is amazingly useful for a use case that I don't think Peak Design intended. I think they intended the CUFF to be used for fastening your camera to your wrist. Instead, I use it for tethering to my cameras to my tripods as insurance for my sometimes-loose arca swiss clamps. Rather than have a camera crashing down to the ground, it swings down while still being attached to my tripod.
I've been using their stuff for over a year and their products have made it around the world with me, from the desert to the sub-arctic circle. It has never failed on me. In fact, the only issue I've had was a weird flaking on one of my Capture device. But their customer service is friendly and swift.
Not that you'd have an issue with the Peak Design quality. The stuff is crafted beautifully. Everything from textures to materials selected. To Peak Design's designer, a heartfelt thank you.
Your stuff is badass.
Sony Imaging PRO Support:
I am fortunate enough to be one of the invited Sony PRO Support members. A collaborative effort with Precision Camera, the service can help from camera cleanings all the way to accidental repair services (which, thanks to a dropped a6000, I have needed to do).
My write-up is here.