Contemplating carrying my 7D and 4 heavy lenses around Florence in 35 C heat persuaded me to make the jump not just to mirrorless, but full-frame.
I am now the proud owner of a Sony A7 II.
There have been pros and cons. I have been both delighted and frustrated. I’m not selling my 7D yet.
So what are the pros?
The obvious one, and the one which made up my mind was weight. With the 28-70mm kit lens I had a walk-around camera that weighed about half of the equivalent configuration on my 7D.
I set off for Italy with the A7 II and the kit lens and my Canon 10-18mm and the Canon nifty-fifty and a Fotodiox Pro adapter. In fact, I never used the 50mm, which is a shame in retrospect.
The 28-70mm is ok. Not the sharpest lens ever but a good compromise on price and weight.
The camera itself proved very easy to use once I got used to it. With focus peeking for accurate focus in manual mode and seeing exactly what you shoot through the electronic viewfinder it’s a big step up.
The full-frame of 24 MP creates very detailed images.
The dynamic range of the A7 II also allows for lots of tolerance and shadow detail in post processing.
The ability to adapt non-native lenses very easily is a big plus if you already have a set of lenses such as Canon or Nikon. I have a Tamron 70-300mm which is designed for both full-frame and crop-frame sensors and it works very nicely with the Sony (see Robin picture below). I didn’t take this on my holiday as it’s way too heavy and in the narrow streets of Florence I thought opportunities to use it would be infrequent.
And the cons?
I don’t particularly like the EVF. Yes, sure, it gives you a lot of information but I don’t find the image as clear as a ‘normal’ viewfinder.
Sony native lenses are expensive and the range of lenses available is very small compared to Canon.
My 10-18mm would not auto-focus if you switched the camera off to save battery. You had to disengage and re-engage it with the adaptor. The results were very distorted.
Setting it up to change focusing points and not having a ‘joystick’ combine to be less versatile than the Canon but more practice will help, I feel.
Full-frame means my lenses have less reach. It took a lot of getting used to the fact that 28-70mm meant 28-70mm. On my Canon I have 18-85 which is effectively 28-135 so a big reduction in zoom with the Sony.
My Sony flash will only work in manual mode.
I’m warming to my Sony mainly because of the extra quality I can get with this camera and its portability. But the 7D is going to be a better bet for wildlife, I think, as the crop factor with a 300mm max on the Tamron gives me 480mm.
Oh, and, battery life? I took the precaution of buying 3 but only ever got on to number two in any one day. Probably because I don’t shoot video. I really didn’t find it a problem – you just need to remember to recharge every night.