It has been well over a month since I made a decision to shrink my photo gear, and managed to create a shortlist of cameras that I was considering.
Well, votes have been counted (there was one – mine), and a decision has been made.
Behold! The Sony A7R:
Let’s remind ourselves of the candidates: Leica, Sony, and Fujifilm.
Leica managed to price themselves out of the game early on. I believe that I would truly love a Leica, but at the end of the day I am simply insufficiently wealthy.
In fact, I am scared of Leicas now. I have avoided even handling a Leica camera for fear that I would like it too much. I tried not to look at them for too long when in the shop.
That left me with Sony and Fujifilm.
Sony won out after some handling on three criteria:
In my original comparison, I was comparing the size of the latest version of the Sony and Fujifilm cameras. Sony was definitely bigger – and that was a big drawback.
My analysis was faulty, however.
Sony’s first generation of mirrorless full frame cameras is still recent, still cutting edge, still has better specifications than Fuji or Leica … and is also smaller. My camera is approximately the same size (and perhaps a bit smaller) than its Fujifilm rivals. A Fuji advantage … gone.
One of Fuji’s big advantages was that it was less expensive.
Again, that comparison was with Sony’s second generation alpha 7 line. First generation? Not so much. The camera cost me a little more than a Fujifilm would have, but not by the significant margin I was originally expecting.
Surprisingly, I didn’t enjoy the way the Fujifilm cameras handled. I had expected I would, given that there are reviewers out there saying that Sony cameras were soulless machines that might have better specifications, but are definitely less fun.
Perhaps I didn’t give myself enough time in store to get accustomed to the controls. Perhaps it’s just not for me. But Fujis weren’t fun.
I love the way the Sony handles — I read lots of complaints online indicating that the second generation corrects an uncomfortable first generation design. I didn’t feel that way at all. I absolutely love the handling of this camera.
None of the above were the ‘nail in the coffin’, however – they all served to pull Sony even with Fuji, addressing most of the reasons I initially believed the Fujifilm cameras to be better.
The reason why Sony won out?
Sony have designed their cameras with other manufacturer’s lenses in mind. So I can just put my Nikon lenses on my new camera. And I can put Canon lenses on it, if there’s one I want. And Leica lenses.
Any lens for any SLR or DSLR camera ever made, I can use.
That’s wonderful, and that’s why I’ve ended up here.
And what kind of photos does it take? Pretty good ones, I think …