So this week SONY is releasing a new member of it’s A7 line. This has been a really popular and well received line of full frame mirrors cameras from the Japanese super corp. I am happy to see camera technology progressing and have even made a small investment in the mirrors world myself with the Panasonic Lumix GH4. That being said the mirrorless fanboy cry of “The DSLR is DEAD! “ is utter nonsense.
These new cameras have some interesting features. I am liking the “flippy screens” and I am getting used to the Electronic ViewFinders (EVF). The size is definitely smaller as far as the body goes and on my micro four thirds GH4 the lenses are also pretty tiny compared to the Nikon full frame glass I am used to. However the still image quality of the GH4 is not what I get from my D800. Not even by a long shot. That, however is to be expected. I left the crop sensor world for a full frame 36 megapixel sensor for detail and image quality. That is what I got. The stills from the G4 aren’t terrible and if they were only ever to be used online or maybe a small print then they’re fine. They are not pro quality 8x10 or magazine material. IMHO of course.
How about the SONY. Well I have looked at it. The body is lighter. The features are interesting but there is very little glass. I already own great glass. It has taken me years to scrimp and save for that great glass. SONY would have me go out and sell all my great glass at a loss and then re-buy their glass. The alternative is to buy a rather pricey adapter and just not use all the features of my current great glass. These options are not optimal. Actually they’re terrible.
So if you are looking to buy your first full frame camera. Consider the SONY as an option. Also consider how many folks you know who own one and can help out if you get stuck. Also consider what SONY gear and accessories you can find on the used market at a discount. Also consider SONY’s track record with proprietary gear.
I think the summary here is stick with what you have for now. The Canon and Nikon boys make really nice cameras that do pro work all over the world every day. They have been doing it for a long time and they are at this time the best. SONY, Panasonic, FUJI and Olympus are definitely nipping at their heels but no matter what the pundits say they are not there yet.
PS. This is all about stills. Video is a very different story. The GH4 OWNS VIDEO. Video cameras have always been “mirrorless” ; )