A little while back B&H Photo contacted me to see if I’d be interested in doing an interview about my switch to Sony. I was a little apprehensive at first because I don’t ever want anyone to think they need to switch camera systems to get good photos. I honestly believe that I (and you) can take amazing photos with any camera. I think we’ll all agree that it matters WAY more what you choose to put your camera in front of, as well as the lighting and composition that you choose for the photo.
First, here’s a link to the interview if you want to skip all of this. It’s a fairly quick read. Probably not more than 5 minutes.
Anyway, I realized that being a little cautious about telling the story, was exactly the reason I needed to tell the story. If I don’t, then it’s left up to everyone else to fill in the blanks of why the switch happened. And I never would want anyone to think the switch happened because I think I can take a better photo with one camera than another (which believe or not, people really do ask me).
Anyway, I’m really glad I did. From the first minute that Jill (the editor at B&H) contacted me, I felt really comfortable. What you’ll read isn’t a transcript of an interview (those always seem kinda boring to me when they’re written), but more of a short story. And Jill had such a wonderful way of mixing quotes from me, with other bits of info.
So Why Did the Switch To Sony Happen?
I’m not going to give away too much here, because obviously the reason for this post is to get you to go read the interview. But I’ll say it’s a mix between the quality of the camera, the features that I like, the size, as well as some intangible things about Sony that meant a lot to me as an educator. And that last point is a really important one for me.
Random Fact: The main cover photo for this blog post is the first “portfolio” photo I ever took with a Sony camera. Meaning it’s the first shot I took, that I included in my personal portfolio.
Who Really Cares?
Folks you can read this and think “Bah! Who cares about this dude’s switch! With all that’s going on in the world, it has absolutely no impact on me. I’m happy with my gear and I don’t care who’s switching to what!”.
And if that’s you, no worries. Stop reading now. But like it or not, people are switching to mirrorless systems in droves. It’s one of the most popular questions I get asked at ANY workshop I teach. So for me, I want to set the record straight and explain it. Not to mention, people love gear. You can’t fight it. You can’t tell them not to love gear. It’s just a fact. If you’re in to photography, you’re a little techie… and if you’re a little techie in nature, then you love gear. It’s okay to wonder about other gear just… well… because 🙂
Thanks for dropping by. Here’s a link to the interview. It’s probably only a 5 minute read so it won’t take too long.
Great stuff from you as always. I have your some of your books and videos. I really like your new website too!
I also looked at the sony system, like it but the investment is too large for me to switch as the D810 is fantastic.. I carry two Nikon d810s a 24-70 , a 15-30 and a 70-200 Tamron lenses. I tried out adapters and they all had issues. I carry both cameras on my yearly trip in the Utah backcountry and several trips to Austria and Bavaria each year. As an educator I can see why you switched it makes sense for you. Being retired, it makes sense for me to stay with what I have, besides my wife wont support a switch ( good reason right?).
Keep up the wonderful info. By the way what do you think of Affinity Photo 1.5?
Hello Hans. Sounds like you made the right choice.
As for Affinity, I’m a Photoshop user so I don’t use it. I’ve tried it out and it’s a good app. If you’re a photoshop user I can’t see the need thought. But if you’re an Adobe Subscription hater then it’s a great alternative. Not as much support and community around it as Photoshop, but if you know editing well you may not need the support/tutorials.
I’ve been a huge fan for years; seen you live in Cincy, watched your videos, & used your books on Lightroom. I’ve been using LR 5 for years but finally thinking about taking the plunge with CC LR & PS and trying your course & presets. Congrats on all of your well-deserved awards & becoming your own CEO. Thanks for all of your outstanding educational materials.
Thanks Mo! I’d definitely go the CC route. You won’t regret it. And I really appreciate the kind words and wishes 🙂
I’m not usually an early acquirer of the latest & greatest equipment. I bought a used ’68 manufactured Nikon F in 1971 and a F2 in 1975 and used those cameras for “slide film” & “B&W film” until 1996. Then a N90s & later 2 F100’s switching to digital with a Nikon D300s in 2010. A D7000 & D7100 followed. At the time the A7r was introduced I was looking for a more compact, lighter interchangeable lens camera. I bought a A7r at initial offering, when the A7rll came out I bought one. I’ve also purchased a NEX-7 (converted to IR) and a a6300 as a compatible conventional camera for a lightweight travel combo. I’m well invested in lenses from wide-angle to telephoto.
I agree that it’s the photographer who makes the image with the assistance of the gear. I enjoy the Sony gear and the resulting images.
What prompted this comment is Mr. Swartzberg’s comment above about Sony service being one miserable experience. On warranty my 24-240mm lens began to focus unreliably above 150mm. I sent it in for service to be repaired it came back still not focusing reliably, I returned it for repair again. It came back still not being reliable, but now off warranty. I gave up; they had it twice & couldn’t fix it. I’ve learned to adapt by focusing below 150mm and then “sneaking up” on the longer focal lengths in smaller increments. I commented on it’s not being fixed properly but did not get any reply. Now off warranty I didn’t want to pay their $200-300 flat fee for them to try again.
Recently the lens hood for my 18-200mm E mount lens fell off & I found like service, parts are outsourced by Sony. They wanted $103.00 for a plastic lens hood, that’s highway robbery, my Nikon lens hood replacement was $35.00, much more reasonably overpriced. Those molded plastic parts can’t cost more than pennies to manufacture. I bought a screw-on collapsible rubber lens hood for under $10 but it vignettes below about 35mm. There may be a better one out there. I sent a comment to Sony Customer Service and have not received a reply.
My problems seem to be with lenses and unresponsive Customer Service, not the cameras. The ray of sunshine in the mix is that now third party manufacturers, Tamron, Sigma, etc. are paying attention to E & FE mounts.
I enjoyed your comments on the 24-240mm lens and The Great Smokey Mountains Photography Summit recently as I met you there last year. Your comments brought back some pleasant memories. I didn’t make the cross country trip from California this year but was glad to hear it was once again successful.
I switched from a pro Nikon to the Sony a7R ll before going on a trip to India. I had read numerous articles about this camera and looked forward to our trip. To my surprise this camera did not match up with much of anything expected.
I’ll keep it simple: Over heated to the point I could not hold it; every time it turned on the camera it reset settings; dust on the eye piece caused the rear screen to not function. Enough!
Upon returning home “my camera store” (not really) sent it in for service. I tried to connect with Sony service. One miserable experience!
I received my camera back in about a month and put it on consignment. Overall it cost me about 30% to sell my equipment.
I just purchased the D500 to go alone with my D800e.
PS: The Sony rep. blamed me for interfering with the service center.
Thanks for sharing your perspective on this. I have Nikon gear and just love it. My husband used to have Nikon gear as well but made the switch to Sony a couple years back. He absolutely loves it. I am impressed with the small size and that the gear weighs less than the Nikon gear. If I were getting into photography for the first time, I’d be looking at a mirrorless system. As it is I have a minor fortune invested in my Nikon gear and I do love it, so I have no plans at this point in changing systems. But who knows what the future will bring!
Thanks for all you do Matt. Over the years you have taught me much about my camera, Photoshop, and the biggest blessing of all, Lightroom!
I’m with you. I LOVE my Nikon gear. I shoot with Sony while traveling, and Nikons when I work. Love the look my Nikons give me.
I’ve always felt the same but for many they hear of a new camera and how it is the latest and greatest thing so they rush to get it or feel they are less of a shooter because they can’t afford the new latest and greatest system. I have always felt its the EYE not the camera that makes good, bad or great photos. Matt K – I always and still do, love all the stuff you do going back to the KelbyOne days to On1 and now in your own training business. Yes, I did buy your Lightroom course!! Never to old to learn new tricks!
Learned a lot from you and RC and the crew back in the Kelby days. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and your Sony system. All my life I’v lusted after Nikon gear (I’m 66 years old) and now that I can finally afford it, I’m loving my Nikon system and have no plans to change. Love your landscapes and you Lightroom videos. Thanks.