May 13th, 2019
After several weeks of reading reviews and weighing the pros and cons of brands, sensor sizes, available lenses, and their prices, I finally settled on a Sony A7III.
The best choice would, of course, be to stick with my beloved Fuji and expand the collection. Switching brand is expensive and one always loses money. But there were some factors to consider.
At first, I was longing for a small camera with a great black and white conversion that I could bring with me all the time. I also wanted to lower the bar. By that, I mean that shooting in JPG-format would be more than sufficient. The important thing is that I take more pictures, have more fun with it and that I get more experimental. To basically find passion again.
I considered a smaller Fuji body, like the X-E3 or X-T30. I also thought about a compact like Ricoh GR or Fuji XF-10. But the smaller Fujis don’t have the greatest ergonomics, and while the compacts are great, they are very expensive and not that much smaller than a small mirrorless camera with a compact lens.
I almost made the jump back into m43 with a Panasonic GX85. The lenses are compact, not as expensive (at least many of the primes) and the selection is huge. But the sensor is small. I do enjoy being able to do some cropping in post. I also do a lot of indoor shooting, which means that I need to bump up the ISO pretty often. That will result in more noise in the picture. To compensate for this I would need lenses with wide apertures, and that means a much higher price. Often as high as, or even higher, than similar lenses from brands with bigger sensors.
The most reasonable thing to do would most likely be to stick with the Fuji and invest in more or better glass. I was missing the fast normal zoom, like a 24-70 2.8 full frame equivalent. What held me back was the price and the size and weight. It’s very big and heavy. Using it without the vertical grip on the Fuji X-T2 results in a very front heavy camera with bad ergonomics. But I loved my 55-200mm (70-300 equiv.) though. The reach is perfect for me, as I love candid shots of the kids and other family members and friends. That is a lens I will surely miss a lot. It’s brilliant.
For maximum ergonomics, I was even considering a DSLR like Canon 6D Mark II or Nikon 750. But the size and weight of those cameras would only make me leave it at home. Luckily I kept searching.
During these weeks I realized that I’ve always had to much gear. I end up using the same lenses most of the time. All the other ones stay on the shelf. For my kind of shooting, all I need is a normal zoom, a telezoom and a normal prime for going light and compact. So I started to compare lenses for the different systems and brands. That’s when I discovered the Tamron 28-75 2.8 for Sony FE-mount. A full frame lens with a small price tag compared to all the others. Granted, it’s not so wide, but it has more reach, and the reviews were all very positive. It was apparently also very compact and light. It looked like the perfect lens for my needs. The only problem was the FE-mount. That meant I had to check out the Sonys.
It didn’t take long before I found the Sony A7III. It seemed like this camera and the Tamron was made for each other (and they probably were). The Sony had a deep grip and all the buttons in the right places, so the ergonomics were great. It had tons of customizable buttons for custom setup. It had fast autofocus with a great face and eye detection (great for kids). It had a full frame sensor which means more background blur and less noisy images at high ISOs. It was even a fraction smaller than my Fuji and just as light. But there was one big con though. Most of the Sony full frame lenses are big, heavy and very expensive. It seemed to me to be the most expensive of all the other similar brands. And it’s not as many used lenses on the market compared to Canon and Nikon in particular.
But I had found the perfect normal zoom from Tamron, and I found that Samyang produces great autofocus primes that work great on the Sony. All I need now is a telezoom. The Sony can be used with adapters and Canon lenses, and many seem to achieve great results with this combo. I have to do some more research on this.
For now, I am the lucky owner of a Sony A7III, Tamron 28-75 2.8 and a Samyang 35 2.8. The shooting experience is great, and the quality of the pictures are top notch. It also feels good to let go of all the excessive gear.