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A year with Sony

A year with Sony

A year after switching to Sony from Canon, how has it been? Right now I have the Sony a7iii body with three e-mount sigma lenses and one old adapted sigma lens.


Flower Swing Mini SessionsBallerina Contortionist Athens GA

The Great

Something I knew I'd like before the switch was Eye-AF. I had no idea just HOW MUCH I'd love it. It's so magical that it's nearly sorcery. I mean, I just hold down a button and it finds the eye. Every time. Moving or still, near or far, slow or fast... it's in focus. Even without Eye-AF on, the images are still actually in focus far more often than my Canon was.

The main reason I switched was because Sony was the sharpness that I had been wishing for from Canon for the last 15 years. It's nearly too sharp, actually. I love it so much. I can see every eyelash and every freckle now.

One shocking thing that I ended of loving was the silent shooting mode! I don't mean quieter shooting, I mean SILENT. It makes zero noise. This has been a HUGE advantage to me when shooting dance recitals in a small theater because I was positioned right over a guest's head. Had I been using a dslr, the shutter noise would have kept that guest from enjoying the show. It's also been nice to have when chasing lizards, as they get frightened by the noise of the shutter. I can just turn it off now and not scare them anymore!

I also really love being able to program any button to whatever I want it to do. As I have used the camera more over the year, I have changed the position of a few things I'd initially programmed. I am cross-dominant, so I am right handed but I shoot with my left eye. This means my dang nose keeps hitting the buttons in the back of the camera when I have it up to my face. I just simply turned those off. Easy peasy.

One of the main reasons I switched was that the Canon color science tends to turn the greens into very lime green, especially here in Georgia where we have a lot of new greens instead of deep greens. The grass can literally be the shade of a lime, and it's not cute in any way. I wanted a less yellow lime green so I could spend less time editing grass. This also had an unforeseen advantage in Lightroom as well, because the greens can be changed more than the Canon greens could before they start looking crunchy or weird. I don't know why, but it seems to have a better range in there.

The low light capabilities still keep surprising me. This thing can nearly see in the dark!


To recap:

  • Eye-AF remains utterly magical.
  • Images are still sharper.
  • Completely silent shooting.
  • I can program totally any button to do anything I want.
  • The greens are still stunningly un-yellow.
  • The greens can be pulled further down than Canon could.
  • Low light capability is whoa.
Christmas tree photo shoot for family in Athens GeorgiaDance recital photographerGreen anole macro

The Not So Good

The main complaint that I have currently is that there is a delay when shooting action in the studio. When the live view setting display is off, it will show you want it sees through the lens so you can focus on your subject. So it's still 'thinking' when you press the shutter to take a shot. This isn't an issue when you've got a still subject. But when you have ballerinas jumping, you miss a LOT of shots because the camera is still thinking about things as she's in the air. If it were a consistent amount of time, I could time that.. but it changes every shot because sometimes it takes less time to think about it. I find that it's especially prevalent when shooting on black, as the camera will try to figure out your exposure, even though it's not set to. I'm not sure why it needs to think about proper exposure when I'm on fully manual, but there is no way to tell it to not do that. This was extremely frustrating to both myself ond my dancer on more than on occasion. So I did a LOT of google searches and I stumbled across a fix. Turn e-front curtain OFF and it'll make that delay much much less.

My second issue is that Sony doesn't record the camera body's serial number in its images. This is a huge issue if you have two of the same body model and want to figure out what image was shot by which camera. Yes, I know you can rename the file prefix in body, but if you haven't done that yet or an associate uses the same prefix then it's impossible to know.

My third complaint is that the grip is still painful. A year later and I've gotten used to it, but I have huge long fingers and the way I hold the camera puts all of that weight on one knuckle. Ow! After a few hours, I start to really feel it.

Number four: I still can't tether directly into Lightroom. I have to install Sony software which doesn't work unless you follow a very specific set of instructions in order, and it's still slow to show those in Lightroom as a watched folder. It's a clunky method and I don't know why Sony and Adobe can't work this out.

Five is not really a Sony issue but still irritating.. adapted lenses still suck. They do. They don't work right, they're slow, they do weird things... just save yourself the heartache and get native lenses.

To recap:

  • There is a delay when shooting flash in studio, especially on black. Mostly fixable with e-front curtain off.
  • Sony does not record the serial number in the image EXIF.
  • Grip is not comfortable for all day shooting.
  • Still can't tether directly to Lightroom.
  • Adapted lenses still suck.
Male ballet studio photographerSigma 50mm macro lens on an adapter with the sony a7iiiSmall family photographer Athens GA


Overall

Overall a year later, I am still loving it and very very glad I switched! The a7iii makes my life so much easier and my editing time so much shorter.

Heather Lickliter Larkin - 706-338-4414 - 1720 South Lumpkin Ave Athens GA 30606

Athens, Watkinsville, and into Atlanta - Available for travel to Seattle, Portland, and New Orleans

heather@fairyography.com - info@stylizedportraiture.com