In recent months I’ve been considering a change – a big change. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be without cost, but I think it’s necessary. I’m leaving the Canon system behind.
For a long time since I bought a DSLR I had dreamed of a time when I could own a 5D Mk 2. Last year, with the release of the Mk 3, I finally could afford one second-hand off eBay. It’s been a good camera – a big step up from my previous APS-C 500D – but I’ve found myself carrying it out much less. Part of that is that for “throw-away” shots the cameras on the iPhone 4S/5S were fairly reasonable, but mostly it’s the bulk of the system; it’s just not easy to be out-and-about with.
As I say, this is something I’ve thought about for months – and seeing shots from a friend’s Sony NEX-5R got me thinking about Sony’s mirrorless exchangeable lens system. They’re so much more compact and I’ve been reading a growing amount of praise for them. Still, I wasn’t keen to switch back to APS-C, having gone full-frame with the 5D. But now I won’t have to.
Sony have released the Sony A7 and A7R; two full-frame mirrorless cameras with the same E-mount used by the Sony NEX cameras (and with adapters available to take Leica M and Sony’s A-mount and legacy Minolta lenses). The A7 comes in at £1,299 – and is about half the weight of my 5D Mk 2. It’s low-light performance is excellent and is in many ways a clear upgrade (including built in WiFi and NFC). The A7R is £1,649. It’ll be sharper than the A7, thanks to losing the anti-aliasing filter on the sensor, but takes less frames per second and doesn’t really deliver anything for the extra £350 that I would benefit from.
It’s quite a big leap, and as you can see it’s not cheap; the prices above are body-only. However, thankfully the Canon stuff has held it’s price – so I’ll be able to fund the replacement by selling my existing equipment; I’ve already listed my two L-glass lenses and once they’ve sold I’ll buy the A7 and a 50mm 1.8 before putting the 5D Mk 2 and remaining gear and lens up for sale (I don’t want to be without a camera – so that’s the order that’ll allow me to avoid being cameraless). Lens availability isn’t great for the new Sony’s, but in January a 24-70mm f/4 will be coming out which the sale of the Canon will cover – in time for me to have a good walk-around before Australia – a trip which will benefit from the reduced weight I’ll be carrying onto planes!