• Steve Ball

February 2019 – Gear Changes!

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

After a number of months of soul searching and intensive research I finally decided to make the switch from Canon to Sony, and from a DSLR to a mirrorless camera system. Unfortunately not an inexpensive switch, however one that I thought was necessary. So why did I make the change?

I have been using the Canon 5d MkIII for around 5 years and generally have been more than satisfied with its performance, and that of the L-series lenses. The introduction of the 5D MkIV addressed some of the shortcomings of the 5D MkIII, and that may have been the natural choice for my upgrade. I could easily have changed the body and continued to use my three Canon lenses, without needing to learn a completely new system. However, the more research I carried out, and the more people I discussed the issue with, the more a mirrorless system started to appeal to me.

I gave much thought to what I wanted my equipment to deliver for me, and also did some analysis on the frequency of use of each of my lenses. I was surprised to find that nearly 80% of my images were taken on a 24-70mm lens, which made me realise that I could potentially rationalise the number of lenses I used and therefore reduce the weight of my kit, an important factor for a mountain photographer who is not getting any younger. After much consideration I decided to opt for a mirrorless system, and a rationalisation of lenses from three to two. I decided to give up carrying an ultra wide-angle lens, and just carry the two lenses that give me the focal length range that aligns with the type of image I like to produce, a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm.

So, earlier this month I crossed the line with a wee bit of hesitation and trepidation, and traded in all my Canon gear for the Sony A7 RIII and two of their lenses. It is early days to judge whether I have made the right choice but the signs are positive. I have a couple of niggles with the Sony such as the size of the histogram, and that the focus point is hard to distinguish when using ‘live view’, however image quality is fantastic, and the camera is so enjoyable to use. Battery life is fantastic, much improved on previous Alpha series models, and the much criticised menu system is far easier to navigate than reported if you take a little bit of time to acquaint yourself with it. Overall I am really pleased and am looking forward to capturing more images of the landscape in the months ahead.