I am a Canon shooter from day one, but I’m not exclusive, I will always try the other side…heck I’m shooting Nikon in the office and even use Win PC so I tried both sides. And now the time has come to try the third side – Sony.
When I started with photography Sony was a camera you don’t want in your bag, it was not even close to holy Canikon. Friend of mine had some old Sony model and after he sold everything and switched to Canon he became new man. But now the things have changed and I was even tempted to switch to Sony.
A year ago it was time for me to upgrade my old Canon 5D MK II and I was making my biggest photo decision so I had to go through all the options. One of these options was rumored Sony Alpha a99 II.
On paper everything looked great – full frame sensor, 42 MP, 12 fps, 4K video, weather sealed body, Wi-Fi with NFC, dual card slot a lot of focusing points, optical stabilization….it is even almost half a price of Canon 1DX MK II.
But..there is always a but. It’s relatively easy to change the camera, but when you change complete system it’s pain in the ass or pain in the wallet to be precise. Especially if you need to buy expensive Zeiss lenses for Sony. When I put two and two together conclusion was that I just don’t have enough money to make that switch.
But I still wanted to try this beast so my fellow photographer Vedran Tolić find some time in his busy schedule to give me his camera for a short walk in Zagreb center.
With the camera he also gave me amazing Sony Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 ZA and Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II Lens.
Whenever you take another photographer camera it’s a bit weird because we all have our own preferences, shortcuts, setup etc. But when you take in hand brand you never used before you need some time to figure out how thing are working.
First thing when I was making first photo was WTF is that picture in front of me. I forgot it has electronic viewfinder so you see picture on a screen. Great thing about that is that every exposure, aperture or ISO change you made is visible in the viewfinder. You don’t have to chimp anymore; basically what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG). Bad thing about electronic viewfinder is that it has some time lag which was very annoying to me.
Next thing was why display is not showing picture after I pressed play button. Well that’s because a99 II has a rotating screen so you need to open it, rotate it and now you can see real screen, not a back of it. Lesson learned.
Things got worse when I was shooting in burst because there was some time lag I was losing real time picture during the burst shootout and that is a big problem.
One other time lag related thing is when you rotate those exposure/aperture wheels a bit faster you also get that lag. You have to do it slowly so the camera can follow you. Again, not the great thing.
But when I transferred photos to my computer I was amazed with the quality of it. Sharpness is great, that creamy bokeh on 135mm is simply mmmmm and I barely didn’t made any color corrections.
What I especially appreciate as a photographer with 200 mm as a maximum of reach is a 42 MP sensor which gives you enough space to crop without making a mess out of photos. Great thing if you are shooting sport and don’t have 400mm lens.
Camera is big enough, nice quality, ergonomic, and if you can forget or get used to time lag on viewfinder and commands I’m sure you won’t regret buying this beast.
This was my one hour experience with the camera so keep that in mind, this was not a real test you are used to read in photo magazines and portals, just a Canon user hanging out with Sony for one hour 🙂 And once again, thanks Vedran for this opportunity.
And off course, sample gallery at the end.