Daniel R writes:
Thanks to all the information from your tests and evaluations, my biggest system change is now a fact. Switching from DSLR to mirrorless.
There is no camera system that is perfect for everyone, it all comes down to the kind of work you do and the conditions you work in and other personal preferences. I know that your reviews here at Diglloyd are more centered around landscape photography. Knowing that, I still get a lot out of your reviews. You have challenges that I do not have, like carrying around equipment for days in the bush. Making bulk and weight an issue. Not so much for me, I mostly have to transport me gears from my car to the location, mostly short distance and I use Think Tank rolling bags. And my camera equipment are just a small piece of my arsenal, with ProPhoto flashes, lightstands and light shapers being the bulky stuff. For the record I work as a professional photographer, mainly portraits for papers, magazines and corporate assignments. I also do some interior and architecture photography.
I was at first considering the Fujifilm GFX system. I really wanted that medium format look and quality, but because of lack in precision in AF and focus shift issue, it was not the right camera system for me, despite the amazing sensor quality.
The reason for me to change from the Canon 5Dmk4 was to get an even higher AF accuracy when shooting portraits. I have over time calibrated the autofocus on all my lenses and also learned what aperture to avoid due to focus shift. My AF hit rate is quite good and use tripod as much as possible. For my type of photography, perfect focus on the iris of the eye is crucial. Anyway, I wanted an even higher in focus hit rate and was also tiered of moving AF-points and/or focus and recomposing before taking the picture. I missed so many shoots trying to find spot on focus. So I began looking in to others systems like Sony and the (at the time) yet to come mirrorless from Nikon and Canon.
When Nikon and Canon finally released their mirrorless I waited out your tests and then made my decision to go with Sony mirrorless with the now 1 year old Sony 7R III. There are many factors that play in but some more crucial than others. For me, the major decisive factor is perfect sharpness on iris in portraits, even with large apertures. Nothing beats Sony’s Eye AF today for that task. Another crucial factor was obviously the lens range and Sony also had a clear advantage, especially for me as a lover of the Sigma DG HSM Art lens range that now comes with native Sony mount. I do not like lens adapters and I’m no big fan of zoom lenses. Just give me a state of the art prime lens that delivers and I’m satisfied. Bulk and weight are not a problem for my style of work because I do not have to hike around.
So right now the Sony A7R III is on its way with a total of 8 Sigma DG HMS Art prime lenses all the way from 14mm to 135mm. It will be a heavy camera bag, but for the way I work, it's no problem as I do not have to move so long distances with my equipment. What I'm most skeptical of is the ergonomics and I'm afraid the camera will feel small compared to my Canon 5D Mark IV with battery pack. That is why I equip my Sony with a battery pack and an Really Right Stuff L-plate for that combo.
Without a subscription to your tests, I would had probably have bought, for me, the wrong camera system. Making Sharp Images I would say is the best of your work and and eye opener for me. My clients today often comments on the exceptional sharpnes and micro contrast in my work. Your articles are a big reason to that, giving me all the tools to achieve that.
BTW, if somebody had told me 5 years ago that in a few years I would have a camera from Sony and only Sigma lenses I would have laugh!
DIGLLOYD: in addition to my publications and reviews like Making Sharp Images (an essential eye-opening primer that every photographer can benefit from), I offer one-on-one consulting when choosing a camera system