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From Nikon to Sony, then to Samsung, and back to Nikon and now to...

posted Mar 18, 2015, 5:16 PM by Jose Velasquez   [ updated Mar 26, 2015, 5:13 AM ]
You guessed it! Sony! Although my original affair with Sony left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, I think Sony has finally done something right with the a7II. For those of you who don't know my original a7 became a paperweight 3 months after I bought it. It was a sad day. All I did was install the firmware and followed Sony's instructions to a T; a few weeks later the camera would turn on but it wouldn't take any photographs. The AF worked, the LCDs worked (intermittently) and everything seemed fine, but I couldn't access any of the menus and, like I said, the darn camera wouldn't take any photos. It sounded like it took photos; I could trip the shutter, but nothing saved and I could review nothing! So I sent it in to Sony who was kind enough to fix it and within a week I had it back in my hands. I have to admit I was impressed with their quick turn-around time. However, I was not impressed that after 3 months the camera had failed. 

Here's a little video showing what happened a few weeks after I installed the firmware...



At least Sony was kind enough to fix it and it worked great after that, but the experience left me rather doubting Sony's longevity. And I'm no Luddite so I do know what I was doing when I installed the firmware. In any case I sold it and the person who bought it got one heck of a deal because they also got a grip, the kit lens, and a Sony mic and three extra OEM batteries. I lost that day and I didn't like it.

I didn't hold on to my a7 for very long. After I sold my a7 I gave Samsung a shot. Samsung is cute. But cute doesn't cut it for me. I thought about Fuji, but Fuji seems to be a cult! Not to mention their prices are way more than Samsung, so no Fuji then and no Fuji now. That's not to say that Sony's glass is any cheaper, but given that Fuji's an APS-C sensor I was expecting lower prices on their glass. Samsung was a fun little fling, but I had to go back to my workhorse. So what's my workhorse? It's my D700 that no one wants to buy. I don't know why, but it just seems to want to stick around. I've had my D700 since 2010 and it's still going strong.  

Having said all of that why am I looking at Sony again? Well besides the IBIS, better video codecs, and a slightly larger lens selection, I have come to the point where I've realized that I create photographs for myself and for my wife (who uses them to create her custom cards). I don't run a business and I have no plans to do so. My wife loves to make her own cards rather than buy them at the store. If Hallmark or American Greetings comes calling (because I'll admit her work is very nice), then we'll have something to show them. But that's neither here nor there. 

Another reason I'm looking at the a7II is I miss manual focus glass and Sony has most of the tools to satisfy my appetite for manual focus glass and it also has decent high ISO performance. Thus without further ado, after a few months with Samsung I have decided it's time to head back to Sony and give their a7II a try. My D700 will probably end up at Adorama or BH since no one I know wants to buy mine. All of my FX AF glass will also go on the chopping block as will my PCB gear. Like I said I've come to the point where I'm doing this for myself and creating digital artwork is something that I find therapeutic (and that's the entire process from shoot to final print).   

I'll let you know how Sony works out this time. I'm actually going to use it with some native FE lenses to get the full 5-axis IBIS and I am definitely going to use it with my MF Nikkor glass. 

Till my next review, rambling, or post, this is hey,hey...
~jsv
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