Picking a New System

WookehWookeh Registered Users Posts: 3 Big grins
The story of how I got here is long and tortured, but I find myself picking a new system. I'm an amateur with delusions of adequacy. I started my photography with a Nikon D100, and then switched to a Canon 1Ds Mk II. That 1Ds was a workhorse for me. The batteries died more than 10 years ago and I haven't been able to find replacements. Even if I could the thing is a boat anchor, and is like 20 years old. Plus, I was never able to get color out of the 1Ds that I liked as much as the D100, and I tried so very hard. In the end I took photography classes to learn this, and those classes ended up destroying my desire to do the kind of photography I was doing. But 10 years later, I'm thinking I need me a camera again.

I imagine I'll mostly do "F8 and be there" kind of photography; auto focus and battery life are important. I'm looking for a flagship mirrorless body, and just one lens (ha!), probably a 50mm F1.4. I do mostly stills and don't care about the video capabilities, I don't have the patience to edit video. Pixels in the neighborhood of 50 MP seems pretty easy in this range.

I was just going to jump back to Nikon for their look. While reviews of the Z7's picture quality and galleries look really good, it seems the auto-focus eye/face tracking is badly broken. I've seen mention of Z8 and Z9 coming, and maybe I'll wait to see how they look when they finally turn up. This made me realize I needed to maybe look at all the current systems and not just blindly go with Nikon. And that caused me to lock up due to too much choice.

A small part of me wants to fork out for the Hasselbald X1D II 50C. The galleries all look out of this world. Sadly, it would appear to be the worst possible choice. Other than the occasional fine art shots for my mother's and her friends paintings. Not enough of that do justify it tho. I can't take the Fuji medium format cameras seriously, I can't explain why.

The Canon R5 looks like a beast, an amazing piece of kit. But we come back to my disappointment with Canon in the past. I do have a lot of L series glass laying around here tho, also 20 years old mostly, tho.

The Sony Alpha 7R IV also looks amazing. I have no experience with the Sony system, but it seems to be highly respected. Seems like choosing between the R5 and the 7R comes down to darts at the wall.

I'm not looking for the community here to pick me a new format, but if there's new ideas I haven't had, misconceptions that could be corrected, info I might have missed, or just commiseration, I'd appreciate hearing from you all. And if you're all sick and tired of these kinds of "help me pick a camera" posts, well, I understand. I've read all the other ones here. But I still want to add one of my own.

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,542 moderator
    edited September 12, 2021

    I have camera systems in Canon, Nikon and Sony. The Sony User Interface is pretty difficult for me to navigate, compared to Canon and Nikon.

    I have a preference for Canon, mostly because of Canon colors which bias towards great people images. Canon color science is some of the best in the business, followed by Nikon and Fujifilm, although Sony colors have improved dramatically with the recent models.

    Canon and Sony have the best autofocus systems in the business of photography. However, all mirrorless bodies, that I have used and researched, suffer in low-light autofocus. I still value autofocus accuracy and dependability above all other traits, and my Canon 5D Mark IV bodies do not let me down in any endeavor. I shot a sports sequence yesterday and out of 14 continuous frames of American football only 2 were OOF, and they were my fault. (I didn't properly follow the subject matter, and the background became the focal point. Mea Culpa!)
    In a really dark basement, using flashes with AF Assist patterned light, focus on the 5D Mark IV is no problem either. (At a relatives' house for a birthday party, for instance.)

    You have Canon "L" series glass, and a factory-refurbished 5D Mark IV, with full 1-year warranty, is currently $2,429.00 to get you back in the game. 30MP is more than enough for perfect 30" x 20" poster-sized prints. (My attorney has one of my 30" x 20" prints in their conference room and I'm pretty proud of it. ... and that is from a 5D Mark II body.)

    EOS 5D Mark IV Body Refurbished

    I have no affiliation with any dealer or manufacturer, so the above are my own personal observations. I can make good images with any of the photographic equipment I own, but my 5D Mark IV cameras have that certain something to make the process straightforward and, dare I say, "fun."

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • WookehWookeh Registered Users Posts: 3 Big grins
    I hadn't considered something like that, Ziggy. That's not a bad idea at all. And your right about pixels, a friend has a 20x30 on his wall of his dog that I did with my 17 MP 1Ds Mk II that make me proud every time I look at it.
  • LornceLornce Learning To See British Columbia, CanadaRegistered Users Posts: 129 Major grins

    Sorry to impose, no intel to add here, just a curious reader looking for similar information.

    Ten years ago I bought a used D300S and some "pro" glass... and I've hardly used them. Just too much bulk and effort to cart around. I'm no pro, just an old amateur who enjoys a bit of dramatic lighting now and then. The D300S and heavy lenses had me missing my old D100 and consumer grade zooms which went with me everywhere - because they were comparatively light and unobtrusive.

    Fast forward to '18 and I acquired a mirrorless Sony "point and shootish" Alpha 6000 and a few lenses in a package for a reasonable sum. Now I was cooking again as it's small, light-weightness made it a breeze to drag along just about anywhere, (even and especially on the motorcycles, which is when I usually get the biggest urge to make pictures). However, it wasn't long before I wished for a little more lens quality...

    Which brings me to NOW and ads I keep seeing for discounted full-frame Sony A7II's with 24-70mm consumer grade lenses which have me imagining they may be the way back to the old D100 days.

    Would love to hear what the learned and esteemed think on the matter?

    With all due respect,
    Lornce

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,542 moderator

    I also have a Sony a6000 system. If you are satisfied with the crop factor and low-light capabilities of the a6000, and looking for nice optics recommendations, I can recommend:

    Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS E-mount
    I can confirm that it's a splendid super-wide lens for the Sony mirrorless crop cameras. Cannot stress enough the "manual" nature of the lens, but if you have experience with manual-everything bodies it's like 'coming home'. Slow down and enjoy the ride. Results are worth the time. I prefer to use this lens on a tripod.

    I can recommend the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN Lens for Sony E-mount prime
    A wide-angle lens; autofocus and auto-aperture. One of the Sigma "Art" series lenses, image quality is very nice and the f2.8 is reasonably fast.

    Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS E-mount Prime
    Excellent image quality, fairly affordable, good in low-light, no appreciable distortions and pretty lightweight. A short telephoto on the a6000 (75mm FF equivalence), so a good choice for head and head-and-shoulder portraits. Optical stabilization extends low-light freehand use.

    For a compact telephoto setup, Olympus TCON-17C 1.7x Teleconverter Accessory Lens/diopter
    Added to the Sony 50mm, f1.8 above, this provides decent reach without affecting aperture. (Approximately 127mm FF equivalence, but you do have to crop some to get rid of corner and some edge distortion). (For better results you can also use this diopter lens in front of the Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS E-mount Zoom @ 200mm to yield birding focal lengths. See SmugMugger, "kgravett", for some image samples with this combination:
    https://kgravett.smugmug.com/Other/Nex-6-w-Sony-55-210mm-w/

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,542 moderator
    edited November 6, 2021

    Additionally, while I don't own one and reviews are pretty new and a bit sparse ...

    Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Sony E

    ... looks interesting and worthy of research.

    https://bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1667228-REG/sigma_18_50mm_f_2_8_dg_dn.html/overview

    https://adorama.com/sg1850soe.html

    Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Contemporary Review | PCMag

    Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Contemporary Review - Imaging Resource

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • LornceLornce Learning To See British Columbia, CanadaRegistered Users Posts: 129 Major grins

    Thank you, Ziggy. That's a wealth of information and gives me something to think about.

    Best regards,

    Lornce

  • LornceLornce Learning To See British Columbia, CanadaRegistered Users Posts: 129 Major grins

    @ziggy53 said:
    I also have a Sony a6000 system. If you are satisfied with the crop factor and low-light capabilities of the a6000, and looking for nice optics recommendations, I can recommend:

    Actually, that's more or less why I've been considering the full frame Sony A7II that I keep seeing advertised with a consumer grade (does anyone still use that descriptor?) 28-70mm lens.

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,542 moderator
    edited November 9, 2021

    @Lornce said:

    Actually, that's more or less why I've been considering the full frame Sony A7II that I keep seeing advertised with a consumer grade (does anyone still use that descriptor?) 28-70mm lens.

    I agree that the "Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless Camera with FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens" kits are a remarkable value. Image quality that most find very nice in a relatively inexpensive package that's also pretty lightweight. The optical lens stabilization is effective and helps to compensate for the somewhat smaller maximum apertures of the lens.

    If you later decide the lens in insufficient for your needs, you could probably sell it alone for the amount the kit costs versus the camera alone, then use the proceeds to help fund something in an upgrade lens.

    I would recommend also purchasing a 50mm, f1.8 prime lens to use for indoors and when light fades outdoors. You'd still have a very compact kit and be able to cover more use cases.

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • LornceLornce Learning To See British Columbia, CanadaRegistered Users Posts: 129 Major grins

    Encouraged to read your endorsement of the A7II. Seemed good full frame value from my limited knowledge of the market.

    Am currently in a bit of back and forth with a Canadian retailer, trying to hold them to an advertised price. Wish me luck.

    B)

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