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Paulstw

Sony A7S - really? 2 grand?

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We all want to take better pictures, and by better pictures I mean, I truer representation of the scene, light contrast and colour. All of which can be done in post, however, time is money. Getting it right in camera with the correct gear is a never ending task for a lot of folk. We would like things to be easier on the body too. Mirrorless appears to be answering a lot of prayers for people, however, I can't quite grasp the sudden shift from DSLR's to the Sony mirrorless system. 

 

There's a hype about social media. The Sony A7S has hit home for a number of folk and it's seemingly the best thing since sliced bread. Is it really worth £2099 body only? I suspect that the old marketing trick of getting known names on board to get them to review your product in a great light, is at work here. I like the fact that it's light, it's full frame and it's built well. It's nostalgic in shape and I could see myself enjoying using something a bit smaller for personal use. I just can't justify spending £2000 on it. 

 

I like my 5D Mark III but I would like a smaller camera I could use for Alamy and still produce crisp files. I just don't think that spending £2000 on it will make that much of a difference. 

 

Anyone else think it's worth it or is it going to die a small death? 

 

Paul 

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I shot about 35 of the 40ish events at the Nottingham Festival of Words - all but one of them with my Fuji X-T1. The other I shot with a my Canon 1Ds3 because I needed flash. The event was readings by writers and poets, I winced every time I pressed the shutter because of the huge noise it made (and unlike the guy from the local paper I wasn't using motordrive). Many of the other events I covered I would have been stopped if I had used the Canon but the presenters barely noticed the Fuji, even those who asked specifically for no flash and discreet photography. Outdoors for sport I love the Canon speed of focus but at quiet performances; never again!

So my switch to mirrorless was definitely worth it despite the cost. Especially as it is a fraction of the weight so I can now take a full kit (15-300mm FF equivalent) including laptop for the weight of a body and walk-around lens. I had to do something as my aging shoulders and neck were objecting. Yes, I would have preferred full-frame but it is not a limitation in any real sense. The only thing I miss is speed of focus and I am sure that will catch up in the next generation or two of mirrorless cameras and lenses.

As they say the best camera is the one you have with you. I hardly go anywhere without a Fuji and its 18-135mm (or55 if I want smaller) lens.

I havn't got rid of my Canon kit, yet. But it is high on my agenda if I do not start shooting more sport pretty soon. That is despite using Canons as my main system since 1976. Frankly I believe Canon and Nikon are close to missing the boat.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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The Canon eos m is a great wee camera at just over £300.

U can also buy an adapter for £99 allowing use of all your Canon lenses.

Colin.

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Have you considered the Sony RX10, Paul?

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I have only really considered the Fuji system Martin was referring to as I heard so many great stories about it. This Sony stuff seems to be the next best thing. I just wonder where we'll be in a years time. 

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I like the Fuji X-Trans sensor for its quality, both quantifiable and subjective. Combined with Fuji’s really superb lenses, it’s a lightweight kit that delivers crisp double-truck spreads if not billboards. In a year’s time, Fuji will have a 16mm f/1.4, a 90mm macro, and a yet to be defined “super telephoto.”

http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/xf_lens/roadmap/

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I have only really considered the Fuji system Martin was referring to as I heard so many great stories about it. This Sony stuff seems to be the next best thing. I just wonder where we'll be in a years time. 

 

I considered going Sony but wasn't convinced they had a convincing long term strategy for the system and lenses - they felt too much like a consumer electronics company - new versions every year. I also considered Olympus but felt the M43 format was just too small and at the time the longer/ faster lenses were all full 43 using an adapter. Fuji seemed to have a clear strategy and a welcome approach to support so I had a dabble with an X-E1 kit. Blown away by the qaulity and lack of weight I am now close to committing fully - especially after covering last week's Nottingham Festival of Words for Alamy News and another specialist agency.

 

As I said I believe the DSLR is obsolescent and will be pretty well obsolete when mirrorless AFand EVFs (they already have some real advantages especially in low light) catch up. I expect we will see a truly professional mirrorless system within five years; whether it will be from Canon or Nikon is debatable at the moment. The next round of DSLR launches may be its swan song. I may well cancel the Canon 7D2 I will be getting on loan next month - fast AF but oh the noise!

 

So Paul, you might want to stick with the 5D for the moment and think about your long term equipment strategy as your business develops. There will be a lot to consider over next year or two.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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In a year, Paul, we'll be into a whole new round of cameras and the year after that again . . . and again . . . and so on. I've bought my last camera. I'll stay with the RX10 and the NEX-6, with three good primes, and that is that. Alamy has been lowering their smallest acceptable image size, so I see no real need for higher and higher numbers of megapixels. I still have my NEX-7 but I'll be selling that because I don't find it user friendly. 

 

"Fuji seemed to have a clear strategy and a welcome approach to support so I had a dabble with an X-E1 kit. Blown away by the quality and lack of weight I am now close to committing fully - especially after covering last week's Nottingham Festival of Words for Alamy News and another specialist agency." -- M

 

I don't remember the exact sequence of things a few years ago, but I think I bought into the Sony NEX line before the Fuji showed up. If I were deciding on a mirrorless today I would go Fuji (the lenses are better and more affordable, for one thing). I am addicted to shooting RAW and messing with images in Post, so I can get where I need to go.

Edited by Ed Rooney

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In a year, Paul, we'll be into a whole new round of cameras and the year after that again . . . and again . . . and so on. I've bought my last camera. I'll stay with the RX10 and the NEX-6, with three good primes, and that is that. Alamy has been lowering their smallest acceptable image size, so I see no real need for a higher and higher number of megapixels. I still have my NEX-7 but I'll be selling that because I don't find it user friendly.

 

"Fuji seemed to have a clear strategy and a welcome approach to support so I had a dabble with an X-E1 kit. Blown away by the quality and lack of weight I am now close to committing fully - especially after covering last week's Nottingham Festival of Words for Alamy News and another specialist agency." -- M

 

I don't remember the exact sequence of things a few years ago, but I think I bought into the Sony NEX line before the Fuji showed up. If I were deciding on a mirrorless today I would go Fuji (the lenses are better and more affordable, for one thing). I am addicted to shooting RAW and messing with images in Post, so I can get where I need to go.

I think you are pretty much right with the timing Ed. I certainly started by considering the Sony and the Olympus but they did not have enough to tempt me to spend at the time. But the Fuji came to prominence about the time I made the decision to get serious about my photography again and to travel more, so size and weight became a much bigger issue - for carry-on luggage or in the limited space of motorhome (RV). That and my chiropractor bills!

 

Paul is in the early stages of his photographic career (2 years I believe) so it is good point to concentrate on developing that so that he has a clearer picture of where he is going as a photographer and what equipment his revenue streams justify. It's best to think: what business will this new equipment bring in that I could not achieve with my old? Otherwise it is a hobby decision, nothing wrong with that of course - just different mindset. For example I could not shoot at spoken word performances as freely with my DSLR as with my mirrorless, similarly for my approach to travel.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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I still feel ill from the day I parted with a huge sum for that Sony/Zeiss 24 f/1.8 . . . but it turned out to be the best lens I've ever owned. Sony were dragging their feet for ages with their lens collection, but the 24, the 30 macro and the 50 are great. 

 

I'm considering moving into a small RV, but after living in this little flat I don't think I could get used to all that extra room.  :rolleyes:

 

Oh, wait . . . Dr. Rooney has some advice: Get rid of that wallet in your back pocket. Switch to a front pocket wallet. And for sitting at your computer get a chair with good lumbar support and no arms. Arms on a chair encourage one to slouch. I haven't had a back problem in well over ten years.

Edited by Ed Rooney
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Ed, I've just done that, because I think your advice is good advice.

OK so far but the springs are a bit soft.

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That? Which that? I gave 15 pieces of good advice in that short post. Oh wait, I left out the one about voting even if you hate all the candidates . . . 'cause some jerk is gonna be elected. 

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The Canon eos m is a great wee camera at just over £300.

U can also buy an adapter for £99 allowing use of all your Canon lenses.

Colin.

I agree on the EOS M. I keep one in my purse at all times and it's soooo quiet.Not to mention the discreetness of the touch screen focus,framing and shutter you can use.I've gotten shots with this I would not have been able to get with a DSLR.

My only wish is that it focused quicker and had better high iso capability. The 22mm f2 lens is my fave.

 

L

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Some good advice there folks thanks. I will still own canon equipment I think I may trade off my 5D3 for a 1D Mark IV because the sports thing is getting very interesting indeed. Getting games a lot now. Loads of opportunities. I would like a mirrorless for playing about with and as long as it accepted in the alamy camera list then that's a bonus. 

 

EOS M has been mentioned a few times to me. There's a lot to consider in that camp. 

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Hmmm... let's see, £2099 is almost $4000 CAN. I'd want something with wheels on it that I could drive home for that price.

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I like the Fuji X-Trans sensor for its quality, both quantifiable and subjective. Combined with Fuji’s really superb lenses, it’s a lightweight kit that delivers crisp double-truck spreads if not billboards. In a year’s time, Fuji will have a 16mm f/1.4, a 90mm macro, and a yet to be defined “super telephoto.”

http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/xf_lens/roadmap/

 

The long lens has been defined. Initially it was thought to be 120-400 but it seems like it is a 140-400 !

!!

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Paul, I've been considering it seriously for quite some time. 

 

I shoot with a Canon 5DM2 and like it's IQ but I don't like the size and weight of it.  So then I purchased a NEX 6 for a discrete carry around camera.  Unfortunately the results from the NEX 6 are not keeping me happy - I miss the full frame sensor plus it doesn't handle low light conditions very well.  As a result I've been eying the A7R to replace the NEX 6, figuring if I really like it then it could replace the Canon as well.  However, $2000 is a tough nut to crack plus they don't have very many lens options.  The A7 is a bit cheaper but has fewer megapixels (supposedly this makes it better for noise in low light conditions).  As for lenses, the Sony A7 fully integrates with Minolta lenses (auto focus, etc.) so I could get relatively inexpensive lenses to work with it.

 

The truth is, I've bought nothing because I can't decide which way to go.

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Interestingly David K seems to be getting so frustrated with Sony and its system that he suggested, in his Nov/Dec F2 Freelance Photographer magazine Photokina report, he was "on the verge of abandoning it" despite have invested many thousands over the years since its inception (and before, he was previously a Minolta user).

 

He seems to be suggesting that Sony are more interested in wooing the general market rather than the specialist photographty market. That might be my own interpretation.  I have felt for a long time, expressed in theses forums, that Sony behaves like a mass-market electronics business (which it has always been) rather than a photographic equipment business. Might be OK for the casual photographer (a declining market with growth of phone cameras?) but it does suggest disinterest in the serious and professional photographer. It was one of the factors that led me to Fuji.

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My view is at present there are some things only advanced DSLRs will do eg  high speed flash, speed of autofocus for instance. To cover a full frame sensors or APS/DX sensor the lenses have to be a certain size to accomodate all the stuff for autofocus, VR/IS etc so the size of the camera body is neither here nor there. Do without autofocus [Leica M] and everything changes. It's worth reminding ourselves of this by looking at some of the sites that show the actual amount of glass in disasembled autofocus lenses ! - not a lot. Yo can see where the bulk is.

I am great fan of mirrorless for much of the stuff I do but to me not much use having a tiny camera body and a huge lens. For me Fuji-X is optimum and they don't attract attention like a DSLR. I don't use the longer lenses.

I've also kept a MFT body since the Panasonic GF-1 through to the GX7 with a few primes but in truth [with the exception of the latest bodies] there is not a huge size advantage over the Fuji so they get less and less use.

In summary, for me it's DSLR for wildlife and events and Fuji [ with a bit of MFT] for the 80% rest. Until there is a major  & worthwhile technological step change I'm sticking with this and having a major cull of my stuff

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I get the impression that Sony has abandoned the smaller format for semi pro use and is concentrating on the FF range, with recent releases of Zeiss badged lenses to form a system, while there has not been a satisfactory replacement for the NEX 6 or 7.  The Zeiss zoom intended for the 6 and 7 has garnered some negative reviews relating to quality assurance and soft edges etc.

 

Unfortunately I don't make enough from stock to justify spending big on a new FF system, and the NEX 6 does most of what I require. I really don't think that you need a FF camera for stock shooting, indeed the smaller format has the considerable advantage of greater depth of field. 

 

Like others posting here, and while still preferring my NEX 6 and old manual primes to my Canon 5DII, I now wish that I had gone down the Fuji route

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I get the impression that Sony has abandoned the smaller format for semi pro use and is concentrating on the FF range, with recent releases of Zeiss badged lenses to form a system, while there has not been a satisfactory replacement for the NEX 6 or 7.  The Zeiss zoom intended for the 6 and 7 has garnered some negative reviews relating to quality assurance and soft edges etc.

 

Unfortunately I don't make enough from stock to justify spending big on a new FF system, and the NEX 6 does most of what I require. I really don't think that you need a FF camera for stock shooting, indeed the smaller format has the considerable advantage of greater depth of field. 

 

Like others posting here, and while still preferring my NEX 6 and old manual primes to my Canon 5DII, I now wish that I had gone down the Fuji route

 

I'm still happy with the NEX-6 and also don't need FF, which is a good thing because I don't have the means to keep switching systems. Too bad about the Zeiss 16-70 getting mixed reviews. If it weren't so overpriced, I'd still go out and buy one, though, since I much prefer zooms for most of what I do. Personally, I haven't given up totally on Sony. Being such an unpredictable company, they could easily backtrack at some point and offer additional lenses for their smaller format cameras. However, Sigma and Tamron appear to have bowed out at this point. The Fuji route sounds as if it would probably be the better way to go, but frankly I'd rather concentrate on photography than on new equipment. There is something to be said for learning how to work with what you have and can afford IMO.

 

Edit: Wouldn't you know it, an A7000 (with NEX-6 viewfinder) is rumoured to be on the way.

Edited by John Mitchell

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There is something to be said for learning how to work with what you have and can afford IMO.

 

Edit: Wouldn't you know it, an A7000 (with NEX-6 viewfinder) is rumoured to be on the way.

 

 

Wise words John and, all is not lost, perhaps!

Edited by Bryan

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There is something to be said for learning how to work with what you have and can afford IMO.

 

Edit: Wouldn't you know it, an A7000 (with NEX-6 viewfinder) is rumoured to be on the way.

 

 

Wise words John and, all is not lost, perhaps!

 

 

With my budget (or lack thereof), I have to be "wise." B)

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There is something to be said for learning how to work with what you have and can afford IMO.

 

Edit: Wouldn't you know it, an A7000 (with NEX-6 viewfinder) is rumoured to be on the way.

 

 

Wise words John and, all is not lost, perhaps!

 

 

With my budget (or lack thereof), I have to be "wise." B)

 

 

So do I. I used some of an inheritance to buy the Fuji, it now has to earn its keep. I had to change because I could no longer carry a pro DSLR outfit as my everday kit - I could not afford the chiropractor bills. Once I am sure a Fuji can do everything I need (at the moment it won't do sport) all the Canon kit will go to complete the Fuji system.

 

Going mirrorless has rejuvenated my photography - it is fun again now I don't have an aching neck. The best camera is the one you have with you, and a Fuji goes everywhere with me these days.

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There is something to be said for learning how to work with what you have and can afford IMO.

 

Edit: Wouldn't you know it, an A7000 (with NEX-6 viewfinder) is rumoured to be on the way.

 

 

Wise words John and, all is not lost, perhaps!

 

 

With my budget (or lack thereof), I have to be "wise." B)

 

 

So do I. I used some of an inheritance to buy the Fuji, it now has to earn its keep. I had to change because I could no longer carry a pro DSLR outfit as my everday kit - I could not afford the chiropractor bills. Once I am sure a Fuji can do everything I need (at the moment it won't do sport) all the Canon kit will go to complete the Fuji system.

 

Going mirrorless has rejuvenated my photography - it is fun again now I don't have an aching neck. The best camera is the one you have with you, and a Fuji goes everywhere with me these days.

 

 

I wrecked my left hip traipsing around Latin America with a bag full of DSLR equipment draped over my shoulder, so mirrorless is a boon for me too. I do miss those nice big hand grips and increased stability of larger camera bodies, but I'm happy to accept the tradeoff at this stage of the journey.

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