I have for the last 15 years been a avid Nikon Camera user. I have to say still love my D610 but I needed to move to the next level. For a year my wife has had a Sony A6300 and I have been so impressed with the images and I have to admit to being a little jealous. Well for my upgrade I made a huge jump to join the Sony users and go mirrorless. I do think Nikon have missed a beat here with not having a professional mirrorless camera. So I purchased a Sony A7Riii and the FE24-105mm F4 G lens.
This blog is about my first month and the tests that the camera has flown through and after this period i am in love with my Sony!!!!!!!
We were in Italy visiting our apartment there in Lake Garda so a lot of the images are from there. My first set of images are Landscapes. I found the camera’s extra dynamic range which really helped with my landscape photography. Also love the live view so shot all the landscapes and night shots completely in manual. As you see your picture live before you press the shutter this really is a big advantage, even with a 10 stop filter.
This next image was taken at quite a distance from the Paddle Boarders but the focusing was quick and precise. I have set up the camera for rear button focusing with one button for eye focus and the other for area focusing. Another function I love about the A7Riii is that the ways that the custom buttons can be used are almost endless. The picture below is about a 50% crop but is still 3600 x 2200 pixels.
Next we look at the amazing dynamic range with two very different images. No bracketing here but a huge contrast range. I have always liked to shoot at the bottom end of the Histogram. With the A7Riii even where you think you have black there is so much detail in the dark areas that you can recover in the RAW image.
With landscape photography you have the possibility of Pixel Shift. This can only be done on a very stable tripod as the camera takes 4 image one after another. Then with Sony’s software you combine them into 1 image which gives you in effect 4 x 42 megapixel. This as a word of warning produces huge files . The full size image for this is 47Mb so I can’t upload the full image. The second image below is a crop of the first image to show more detail. As I said this can only be done with a steady tripod and an external release. I used the Sony phone app. and I must say I love the ability to see the live view on your phone or iPad, then change all your settings and then fire the shutter – love it!!!!!
Next on two occasions I have had the opportunity to shoot moving people on bikes and running. The auto focus locks on to a person and almost all my images were in focus. Previously I stated that I use 2 buttons for focusing. Here I used the button focus on an area selecting the person I wanted in focus. Holding the button and firing at 10 frames per second as the person approached, the face reconiction box came on then the eye focus. The tracking was amazing. I am not a sport photographer in any way but might think about it now 🙂
Another test was night photography, another of my favourite things. Again as previously stated, the fact that you see on the back of the camera the image you are taking before shooting really helps. ( A word of warning though also look at the histogram which can be displayed on your live view as in the low ambient light your screen will appear brighter than it actually is).
During the trip in Italy a photographer friend, Kevin Roche, came out with a wonderful model Rebecca . So I got a chance to see how the camera and lens performed in what is my field. I love location model shoots and the Sony lived up to my expectations.
Finally I got to shoot in the studio – more of this shoot to come with the amazing Angharad. Of course in the dark of the studio the live view is black. This did confuse me but eventually I found the menu function to change this ( live view display then “Setting Effect Off”). I have to admit there are a large number of menu items. But there is one function that helps and that is My Menu which allows you to select our favourite menu items – a life saver. Also the Customs buttons – you have 3 on the main dial and I have set up the camera for a studio and saved the functions. This means that now I only need to turn the dial from Aperture or Manual etc to Custom 2 and my camera is set.
All in all, my first weeks shooting with my new Sony A7Riii are a great success. Now I just need to get some more lenses.