It’s a rat race for the world’s top camera brands to hold the title of “best camera.” But what is sometimes considered the “best” is based on personal bias—like sentiments for a brand or general lack of knowledge about another competitor. Or, we may succumb to the cliché that bigger is better, which in the camera world, usually means a price tag with an extra zero or two tacked onto the end.
As photographers, we want to produce the best images possible; sometimes that means looking beyond brand names and doing our homework to find the most suitable instrument for the job. For Jason Lanier (a longtime proud Nikon shooter) it meant switching to Sony:
Lanier holds no regrets about his seemingly controversial switch from Nikon to Sony. To be fair, he also made it quite clear that he will forever be a Nikon fan. In the end it came down to facts and functionality which would help Jason get what he needs done. These are the top 10 reasons reasons why Lanier switched from Nikon DSLRs to mirrorless Sony cameras. (Via PetaPixel)
10 Reasons a Pro Switched From Nikon to Sony
1. Price. Being a photographer is expensive. For every type of reason, including breaking the bank or worries of theft, we all wish we could pay a smaller price for our gear. A good DSLR costs anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000 for a body, and another $1,200 to $2,000 for a high quality lens. That’s an easy $5,000 hanging around your neck—not to mention the price of the rest of your gear. The Sony A6000 runs at a mere $650. The Sony A7s, with a native ISO range of 100,000, costs only $2,500—a fraction of the cost of its competitor, the Nikon D4s, at about $6,500, which only has a native ISO range of 25,000.
2. Weight. A mirrorless sensor means a more compact and lightweight body. A lighter camera means more freedom and maneuverability—especially while traveling or shooting long hours. “When you are not bogged down by huge, heavy cameras, it unleashes you creatively…I can shoot all day like I used to shoot at the beginning of my shoots.”
3. Electronic view finder. There are no optical viewfinders on mirrorless cameras, and to some this may seem like a huge disadvantage. However, it does mean that you can see the output on the digital screen before you even take the picture. All adjustments made on camera will be compensated for on the screen, so you know exactly what you’re going to be getting—unlike with optical viewfinders.
4. Tilt screen. Twist and angle that screen any way you want—and be proud of such a simple and important function. This allows you to take pictures at obscure angles and still see what you’ve got in the frame.
5. Focus peaking & zebra lines. There’s nothing worse than an unintentional blurry photograph—capturing a wonderful moment and later realizing the most important part is out of focus. The Sonys have a built in function which shows red marks on the screen where the camera is in perfect focus. ‘Zebra’ lines also appear on the screen when a photograph is overexposed.
6. Memory card compatibility. You can view any type of file on the SD card, from any type of camera. This just makes sense.
7. Upload to phone. Easily transfer photos over a WiFi network that the camera sets up to connect with your mobile. In the age of social media, quick and easy updates are extremely useful; keeping your fans and followers happy, while remaining a competitive contender.
8. Start remote. Using a Sony application, your smartphone can become a remote for your camera. A live view from the camera displays on your phone. The function allows the remote release of the shutter and some adjustments like exposure compensation.
9. Cross brand compatibility. When you buy a camera, usually you get gear from the same brand, for compatibility’s sake. But the new Sony models are compatible with any type of gear, whether it’s a Nikon flash, or a Canon lens. This opens up a lot of new possibilities.
10. Expanded focus. A simple button click will digitally zoom into your picture so you can get the perfect focus without having to switch back and forth between focal lengths.
Lanier wanted a camera that was professional, light, compact and easy to use. He seems to have found it in the A6000 with its 24 megapixels, 11 frames per second, raw shooting, full function control, and a large sensor (comparable to cropped Nikon sensors). He sacrificed his love of Nikon in order to go with the better camera—the camera which delivered best for his needs.
Lest you think this is just an advertisement, we aren’t trying to get you to give up your Nikon—or switch to Sony, for that matter. The moral of the story is to be open minded, do your homework on specs, and try out as many cameras as possible in order to choose the right camera for YOU.
“If you’re worried about the size of my camera, you’re worried about the wrong thing. Look at my shots. Look at what I produce.”