As most of you have probably noticed my Mirrorless kit has grown once more. I now have a few more lenses in the arsenal as well as the new Sony A7s. When I announced that I bought the A7s I received dozens of messages asking why I had changed from Fuji and Olympus to Sony.
To clear this up I am not switching to Sony but rather adding the Sony to my kit.
So why did I buy a Sony A7s? Do remember prior to making the switch to Mirrorless I was shooting with Sony DSLR gear and I still have a soft spot for some of those amazing Zeiss lenses (and I particularly miss the Zeiss Sonnar T* 1,8/135ZA)
I have had a few commissions lately where I have needed extra resolution due to the size of prints being made from the images. For this type of work, which is a very very small percentage of what I do, I usually rent or borrow a Medium Format Camera. For my most recent job I borrowed a Phase One IQ250. I probably only shoot a handful of jobs each year that require such a camera so I find it hard to justify outlaying around $45K for a setup that gets used so infrequently.
When the Nikon D810 was announced a few months ago I began to reconsider my setup and thought that the Nikon may be a cost effective solution for when I did need the extra resolution.
When the D810 was released I went into my local camera store with the intention of walking away with that particular camera and a number of lenses. The prospect of owning a DSLR again didn’t excite me at all, but I convinced myself that it is simply a tool and serves a specific purpose.
That’s not what happened. So uninspired was I with the D810 (and don’t get me wrong, it is stellar camera), I started looking around the store at what else was new.
I ended up walking out with a Sony A7s and a couple of lenses (the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 1,8/55mm and a Sony G 4/70-200mm OSS). I was so blown away by the camera that I couldn’t help myself. I had read the specs online when it was released but never really gave it a second thought. However, the way it felt in my hand, the size and weight, the build quality and amazing image quality (from the few frames I shot in the store) meant I had to have it. I was SOLD.
So here is a little bit about my current setup. (You can see a complete list of my Gear here).
The Olympus O-MD E-M1 is a great little camera. Small, compact, fully weather sealed (with the Olympus 2,8/12-40mm), has blazing fast AF, can shoot at 10FPS (with a 50 frame buffer), has a flash sync speed of 1/320s, and has the best image stabilisation I have ever used. Apart from the size of the sensor, the spec sheet reads very much like a Nikon D4s. I love the Image Quality and it is truly a joy to shoot with.
The other lens I have and love is the Olympus 1,8/75mm. This is probably my favourite Olympus lens and although it has an effective focal length of a 150mm, it’s perfect for portraits and many other applications. It actually reminds me of my old Zeiss Sonnar T* 1,8/135ZA Lens. I recently added a Battery Grip to the camera as I do shoot lots of portraits and its made the shooting experience just that little more comfortable.
The Olympus O-MD E-M1 is also a great travel camera, especially in combination with the Olympus 2,8/12-40mm lens. If Olympus do in fact build the rumoured 4/300mm telephoto lens (and I really hope they do) it will also make it a great sports/wildlife camera… and yes that lens will definitely be on my shopping list.
My current lenses include the Fuji 2,8/14mm, Carl Zeiss Touit Planar T* 1,8/32mm, Fuji 1,4/35mm, Fuji 1,2/56mm and the Fuji 3,5-4,8/55-200mm. I also added a VG-XT1 Vertical Battery Grip to the X-T1, for the same reasons I mentioned above, but it especially makes a difference, in terms of balance, when using the heavier lenses such as the Fuji 1,2/56mm and Fuji 3,5-4,8/55-200mm.
The Sony A7s is a camera I had to have. A full frame 12MP sensor in a compact mirrorless body. As with my other 2 cameras it is lightweight and very easy to live with. The Sony sensor is a low-light monster. I have never used a camera before that can lock focus in almost complete darkness, shoot at ridiculously high ISO’s and produce not just usable, but stunning images. Images shot at ISO 3200 look like images shot at ISO 200 on most other cameras… it is that good!
Looking at the marketing it seems Sony has pretty much aimed this camera at video shooters as it is capable of recording 4K with all the bells and whistles, but to me its all about the stills… they are out of this world!
I currently have 2 lenses, the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 1,8/55mm and the Sony G 4/70-200mm OSS. As with the Fuji system there are a couple of holes in the lens line up and I would like a fast 85mm and/or a 135mm prime lens, but at this stage the only way to make that happen is to buy Sony’s A-mount DSLR lenses (which are awesome BTW) and adapt them to the A7s. Not ideal from a size point of view, but I may just end up doing it.
I have organised to do an epic head to head shoot-out/comparo with all of my cameras and lenses later this week so keep an eye out for the images. My aim is for it to be real world and I hope compare cameras, sensors and lenses in both natural and artificial light. I will do my best to shoot with equivalent focal lengths to make it easier to see the differences between each camera/lens combo.
I honestly believe Mirrorless Cameras are the future and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the DSLR become all but extinct in the not too distant future. As mirrorless cameras get better and better I can see no logical reason why DLSR’s will continue to exist. It means companies like Canon and Nikon will have to start innovating which can only be good news for us photographers.