Sometimes I get asked why I switched from Canon to Sony for my cameras. I work at Robert's Camera in downtown Indianapolis selling and renting camera gear, so I am acquainted with the different brands of cameras including Nikon, Olympus and Fuji as well. My first D-SLR (digital-single lens reflex) camera was a Canon 20D which, along with various lens and flashes, were what I used to shoot my way through several weddings, senior and family sessions plus vacations and other fun photo times.
A few years ago I bought my first, non-traditional mirrorless camera. The D-SLRs I had been using up until that time had mirrors in them. In these cameras, after composing my picture in the optical viewfinder, the mirror swung up and out of the way and the shot was taken. In the new little Sony mirrorless camera I had purchased (my second one!) there was no mirror, so no optical viewfinder but it did come with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) instead! This meant that whatever the digital sensor saw, *I* saw as I looked through it! Being a manual settings shooter this meant as I adjusted up my exposure I was able to not only see the exposure meter rise, but also the image getting brighter. It was an amazing experience! (see images below, including some taken with the new full frame Sony α7s II mirrorless!)
By now I had a full-frame, 35mm sensor Canon 5D Mark II and a fair amount of fancy L-series (luxury) glass lenses. Until the mirrorless experience I was used to taking an image on the Canon and then holding my camera away from my face and looking at the image playback on the LED screen on the back. This was often irritating if it was a bright, sunny day out as I was not able to see the image on the screen. Even trying to shield the screen with an arm or inside a jacket was not helpful. So my outdoor professional work was often frustrating while my fun photography pleasurable! Let me say it this way: USING A LIVE VIEW ON THE BACK OF A MODERN D-SLR IS ABOUT AS EASY AS TRYING TO SEE AND TAKE PICTURES ON A BRIGHT SUNNY DAY USING OUR CELL PHONES - IT ISN'T!! If the camera does NOT offer a EVF as well as a live view screen, you are often sunk.
TIME TO UPGRADE! When the time came to update my 5D Mark II to something else, like the Canon 5D Mark III, I stopped to noodle what I should do. I was truly spoiled by my little mirrorless and since Canon did not have a big mirrorless option I looked over at Sony's larger format sensor offerings. Enter the Sony α99 (alpha 99) with its translucent mirror technology. With the translucent mirror that remained in place and allowed the image to pass right to the image sensor and be viewed live through the EVF (electronic viewfinder) I had found my Canon replacement! I sold my old Canon gear and fancy lenses, etc. to UsedPhotoPro at Robert's Camera and put the money toward a new α99 35mm full frame camera. I also needed a top shelf lens and opted for the Sony Zeiss 24-70 2.8 lens. The α99 had an image stabilized body so any lens I put on it, including old Minolta glass (Sony bought out Minolta), was stabilized too. This opened up the door for all sorts of fun. I also got an adapter for the little Sony mirrorless I had (NEX-7) so I could use the larger Sony and Minolta lenses (another topic for another post!). From this point my pro and fun photography lives experienced full convergence and I could not be happier!
The EVF is one of the biggest reasons for my switch but not the only. I do like Zeiss glass. I also enjoy the "flippy" screens - my α99 has a articulating screen that is second to none and can be easily swiveled to just about any shooting position I may desire. The low light capture, high ISO, dynamic range optimization and built-in HDR (high dynamic range) is a hallmark of Sony across the brand. It has been a WIN-WIN for my photography!
EVF images, α99. [Taken with a mobile phone so pardon the quality]
New α7S II images taken with an actual Sony α7s II mirrorless camera!
Old school Wico Atari-style joystick with Sony Zeiss e-mount 16-35 lens
Riley Towers Outdoor Lounge, Grilling & Pool area! Shot with Sony 85 1.4G lens.