Hello from a 5 year mirrorless shooter

Discussion in 'Welcomes and Introductions' started by Hamsong, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hello-

    I've been shooting weddings for 18 years, portraits and newspaper work before that. I've used nearly everything, switching to Fuji mirrorless in late 2012 with the now primitive X-Pro1. I stuck with Fuji for 4 years, tried Olympus (and preferred it), but it wasn't until I was lent an A7 that I considered Sony (I was worried their lenses were too large). I now have THREE A7II bodies and the 35/55/85 Sony primes and have been using them for the past 5 weeks. I've been enjoying the experience with some minor caveats: battery life even worse than Fuji, the grip is still too small for my hands, and why why why can't Sony update the Auto ISO via firmware to include ISO range and shutter speed preference like everyone else? That aside, I love the files.

    I look forward to what's coming and hope Sony keep the system accessible to all price ranges, keeping small lenses, and eventually migrating A9 features to the A7 series.

    Attached is one of the first photos I took with the original A7 + 55mm f1.8

    Best,
    Bradley
    www.bradleyhanson.com
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    :Welcome:, looking forward to your work.
     
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  3. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    Welcome! It looks like A7 series are growing at each model release. Most probably next releases will have the A9 body shape with the larger grip and the battery. I have been using the same batteries since nex days which simplified my life esp for traveling compared to m43 which has different batteries with each body size...
     
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  4. Mus Aziz

    Mus Aziz TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 3, 2015
    Mus
    Welcome to Talkemount :Welcome:
     
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  5. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    425
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    Welcome to Talkemount and I really like your attached image! Great work! Thanks for sharing.
     
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  6. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    The battery life is not a deal breaker. It's similar to Fuji, not as good as Olympus, but I now have 7 batteries between the 3 bodies and 2 wall chargers, so I can charge during the reception. I didn't use all 7 during a 12 hour wedding, so I feel like I'm covered. I completely support the slightly larger bodies, though I'd love a small grip that doesn't need to be removed to swap batteries. The battery grip is a little too large for my taste...
     
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  7. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
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  8. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
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  9. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thank you!
     
  10. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    glad you found us
     
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  11. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Welcome aboard! And a great B&W image!
    The solution is to have many batteries if you shoot Sony! :D Like you, I have 6 batteries for a day's shoot and chargers to take 4 at a time.

    As for the grip, two possible solutions with one being a A7ii specific aftermarket L-bracket. They usually have a 15mm extra extension to the bottom of the grip to make it more comfortable for the pinky. The 'L' portion of the bracket on some are bolted onto the plate and can be removed if you don't want it protruding on you during shoots.
    The 2nd solution is one I spotted in a video and being discussed about improving the grip feel of the A9 and mentioned the add-on was also available for the A7xii series.
    It is a right-hand grip extension screwed on only to the grip area and apparently IIRC, is made by Sony. May be worth investigating.

    Looking forward to more great work from you!
     
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  12. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks. I do get pinky cramps at the end of the day. With Fuji and Olympus, I used metal grips that made the camera easier to hold and extended the height just enough. The Sony stock grip is fine, just not long enough. I did check out the Sony screw on grip. It looks a little weird and requires removal for battery changes (hope for another design someday), but it IS really comfortable, so we'll see...

    I do like that all of the A7 bodies use the same battery, though we can probably expect that the A9 size will become the standard for future models. I'm covered for now as long as I can find a space to charge and don't have another gig early in the morning!
     
  13. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Welcome fellow wedding photographer :drinks:- although I'm actually a 2nd shooter not the main photographer so I guess my job is easier lol :rofl:

    I have 8 batteries total and usually spend about 5 for a wedding.
    As far as the grip goes, I use an aftermarket L bracket (I dislike how the oem Sony VG-c... grip looks) which IMO doesn't solve the "problem" but makes it a little better. You are right - for long period of times (like weddings), the A7/A7II grip is not ideal - especially if you use bigger lenses or on camera flash :( Never handled an A9 but I imagine it would be improved.

    I'm curious to hear your thoughts specifically since you are a wedding photographer and from that point of view about moving from the original A7 to an A7II. I'm at the stage where I want to get an A7ii and "retire" my A7 as a backup body :) Thanks!
     
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  14. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've been debating the VG-C2EM, but also the $50 knockoff for sale on Amazon. I don't want to make the camera Nikon/Canon sized, but there is a point at which smaller cameras are simply less comfortable if your pinky doesn't fit, especially with larger lenses that make the camera front heavy. The original Sony A7 is a surprisingly great camera as is, but *that* really has a terrible grip. It's too shallow and so wide that you can barely get adult fingers between it and the lens/mount. The new A7XII series of bodies is much better, but I'd still like to see a taller grip or an OEM one that didn't require removal to replace the battery; essential with 275 shot battery life. The grip on the Olympus EM1 was really great, and perfect with aftermarket brackets.

    They say the A7II is "30% faster" AF, but it doesn't feel quite that dramatic to me. It is VERY good. I haven't played with facial registration, though the face recognition is better than Olympus, which has faster AF but the CDAF is prone to focus on backgrounds and faces in the background. The Sony seems to recognize that you are more likely to want to focus on the faces in the foreground.

    I've debated the A7RII for the slight boost in high ISO performance, but honestly, I can't deal with files that large right now. I have a full hard drive and 20TB of full hard drives on my desk from film scans/Canon/Nikon/Fuji/Olympus/Sony files already... I'm sure with Sony's release cycle, I'll get the A7RII someday for $1500 or so when the III version comes out...
     
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  15. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    PS. The A7 was a BARGAIN for a like new one for $699, but I returned it get another A7II when they had the trade-in bonus. I like to use the same cameras so I don't have to lose the muscle memory for button/dial location. the A7 is a great camera, especially for the modest price they sell for now, but it's just different enough (and that weird grip!) to make having all A7II bodies worthwhile...
     
  16. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Welcome! Checked out the wedding blog you linked... very nice images!
     
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  17. Hamsong

    Hamsong TalkEmount Rookie

    21
    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thank you. I've repeatedly stated that I take the same photos regardless of the gear I'm using, but I'm finding the face recognition in the A7II bodies to be very useful, and nicely biased toward foreground faces rather than the background, one of the only problems I had with the Olympus bodies. I need to learn more about using Eye AF. It's my understanding that it requires a specific button push from an assigned button, so I also assume that it requires back button focus as the shutter focus push would change the AF selection prior to shooting...
     
  18. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Veteran

    226
    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
    Welcome, looking forward to seeing more of your pictures!
     
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  19. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    True. I always use back-button focus and I've set the button for "AF/MF" to back-button focus and when the switch around it is set to "AEL" I have set it to do Eye AF.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
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  20. Mus Aziz

    Mus Aziz TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 3, 2015
    Mus
    +1
     
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