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How I turned from Canon to Sony, or why DSLR is dead

How I turned from Canon to Sony, or why DSLR is dead

Many times I was asked why I am selling all our Canon gear. In this video I explain why.

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To summarize, this is what I did not find in Canon and found in Sony:

1. Flip LCD Screen with live view Рeasy to shoot for far above, below or from waist line without doing kamasutra with a camera.
2. WiFI photo transfer to smartphone Рin 30 seconds I can post an image from Sony camera to social media.
3. Remote shooting with LIVE View using a smartphone
4.  Size and weight РSony is smaller and lightweight
5. Face focus tracking – awesome to photograph running children
6. Focus peaking  Рfor manual focus lenses and follow focus for video
7. Focus magnification Рfor manual focus lenses (like with Canon lenses via adapter)
8. Better dynamic range РSony a7II is amazing, I forgot about making exposure bracketing for HDR, with Sony it is always one shot, I jsut need to make sure that the brightest part is not overexposed too much. Shadows easily could be pulled up in ACR


Botom line:

I still use SLR and happy with it. It is Hasselblad H3D-39II camera and Cambo Ultima D view camera.
However, for all outside fun now we (me and my wife) use Sony  A7 cameras.

Update (06 July 2018)

Canon and Nikon are finally doing something about Sony’s mirrorless cameras

Two full-frame mirrorless cameras. Each.

Aapparently Canon and Nikon are just about ready to fight fire with fire by announcing their own full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Nikon Rumors reported this week that Nikon will announce not one, but two full-frame mirrorless cameras by the end of this month, shipping in August, with a 25-megapixel model rumored to cost under $3,000 complete with a lens. (A separate 45-megapixel model may cost around $4,000 with lens.)

They’ll reportedly have a relatively compact form factor (like the Sony A7) and 5-axis stabilization (ditto), plus a new mirrorless lens mount.

Read the full article here: Canon and Nikon new full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Example of an amazing dynamic range of an older SONY a7

Normally exposed image against the sun (Sony A7) and shadows pulled in Adobe Camera RAW

Few more images with a single exposure, no HDR (all against the sun, no fill-in flash were used)

Sony a7 dynamic range
Sony a7 dynamic range
Sony a7 dynamic range

Bright sunny day, sun in front of the photographer (see a shadow from a running girl) No fill flash – her face was recovered from shadows.

Sony a7

Sony a7 dynamic range

How flip-screen helped me to tool photos from below

Easy to shoot just a few inches from the ground with a camera with flip-screen 

Resulted images that I can’t take with Canon without getting wet

Low-level camera positioning with flip Screen (Sony a7II)

fast Face-tracking focus

We were walking, I was going backwards trying to take a picture of my family. Suddenly, one of the girls start running towards me.

I did not set a specific focusing point, I was not aiming a camera.. Just pressed a shutter release РSony A7 did the rest, catching a precise focus on her face. 


On the image above: Timothy Kou family visited Photigy studio in Georgia back in 2013. We are so different, and everyone loves their cameras!

Buy a camera that you love

Sony Alpha a7II

Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless Digital Camera

Sony Alpha a7RII

Sony Alpha a7RII Mirrorless Digital Camera


Canon EOS 5DS DSLR Camera

Nikon D810 DSLR

Nikon D810 DSLR Camera

24 responses on "How I turned from Canon to Sony, or why DSLR is dead"

  1. Honestly, if you’re using strobes or speed lights in the studio, what you see through the viewfinder is not what you’re going to see after you take the picture.
    Mirrorless is not quiet there yet, its almost here. The EVF has its problems compared to OVF. There is a lag, strain on the eye….etc. Mirrorless is ready to overpass DSLRs, but I’d give it 2-4 years before seriously considering it over DSLRs.

  2. Finally a man stands up in the crowd and tells the truth.

    I do believe many others are so used to their systems they simply do not want to relearn or change due to financial situations. Many are waiting for their brand to create a new train as you stated, unfortunately until now they have failed. ( ie. 50 mp 5d).

    I guess I was lucky, I came from AE-1 (film) +3 lenses which I used for 20+ years to NEX5 and thought wow, this is the future ! I got the NEX 7 and it only got better. Now I have A7II +3 lenses (again) and can take pics from my kids running in the park to portraits in the studio. (not to mention the video capabilities) which is the bonus.

    Thanks to sony, fuji, olympus and panasonic for pioneering the future of photography.

    Keep up the honest opinions and great work you are providing the world.


  3. Sir im learning photography, i do odd jobs but i like ur work , my grandpa left a sinar p with

    90mm 5.6 lens… my cousin is a wedding photographer and owns a 5dmk 2…. i want to get into

    jewellery and studio fashion photography, kindly tell me what will be the fee for ur tutorial and

    what other things i have to invest to connvert 5d on a sinar, since i have to save money
    thank you

  4. Why do I need an optic source (reflex) to setup my camera if I will use my picture in a digital environment???. It does not make any sense. With my Sony Alpha A7II and my new A7RII “my post production” settings starts in the very moment when I see through the awesome e-viewfinder *T (Zeiss coated) and setup my pictures. I am working fast, accurate, I can share my pictures in real time, come on people you have to be blind if you continue believing that DSLR have future, we are living in a digital era, leave the heavy DSLR bricks to remember one important and beautiful era in the history of photography.

  5. Thank you Alex for bringing me the passion in explaining ,

  6. Hi Alex. What lens would you recommend as a kit lens for Sony A7II? I heard that the new Sony Alpha a7RII has better focusing with canon lenses. For tethered solution – Capture One updated Sony compatibility. Also you can use in manual mode any speed-light flashes from Nikon or Canon.
    I’ve got old Minolta Bellows IV + 100mm bellow lens http://www.minoltaflashback.com/bellows.html
    It didn’t work well with Canon but I thinks it will work great with Sony.

    I have a dilemma now with choosing the first macro lens:
    – canon 100mm 900$ B&H
    – Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro $1,098.00 B&H
    Ah! What will be better choice? Steam machine Canon 5d II but durable as a steel or new Sony A7II. I’ve seen some complains and motherboard replacements.

  7. Switched to Sony 7R about 1+year and I’ve been so happy – all the reasons Alex mentioned plus the biggest one – with adapters, you can use any lens and these adapters DO work. I have a Metabones Mark 2 Canon EF to Sony E and it never failed, absolutely no problems – autofocus works very well (slower but it does work), aperture works and the contacts work every time. I can use all my Canon lenses so I won’t have to spend a $ more unless I want some native Sony Lens.
    Another brilliant feature – Sony Cameras can use Apps (not many apps developed so far but that will change). You can pay a few $$ and get an app which will do Focus Stacking, or HDR or effects … the sky is the limit.

  8. Did the same for exactly the same reasons, but with Nikon gear. One comment: zeiss/sony are great lenses imho. Sharper than what I had with Nikon. Have A7R, 35, 55, 90 macro and 16~35 and a sony flash Hvlf32m. Sony repair service sucks though… Eventually problem solved. New motherboard.

  9. I love my Sony a7ii. I just received an adapter for my Canon lenses this weekend. They kept telling me I had to spend $1900 for the lens I wanted. Then they said I could use a Metabones adapter for $600+. I found one that had hundreds of satisfied customers. So what if I have to use manual focus. It’s slow in low light conditions but so is the Sony lens. The photos I took this weekend with my Sony with the Canon 18-135mm lens attached. Beautiful. Cost of adapter $79. It’s well built. And it works great. I can now use my favorite Canon lens with my favorite camera – Sony a7ii.

  10. The sad thing about Canon is that they do have some of the features you listed. On my 60D I had flip screen and I loved it! It’s the biggest thing I miss since I moved to a 6D. 6D which, btw, has WiFi and GPS included.
    So it’s not technical but marketing bad decisions that will hurt Canon, imho :-)

  11. Great points, my Sony is my walk-around camera and my backup camera and I love it.
    However, this is my very big concern:
    – as soon as you stop down to f/7 or below and you’re using flashes in studio you ARE NOT ABLE to see anything, so you can’t focus!!!
    I’m still missing these things, but I guess they will come
    – double SD card for redundancy
    – fast autofocus
    – quick change of position for autofocus points (very cumbersome in A7R)
    – longer battery life
    – tethering possibilities with Lightroom

  12. I agree with all you say and – especially – with the logic behind it.
    When I follow this train of thoughts though I also include two points that you omitted.
    First: the emotional involvement. All the points that you mention are rational. It seems to me that mirrorless cameras (Sony ones above all) are lacking in emotional connection. My mirrorless camera is a Fujifilm X-T1 that I chose mostly for the (irrational) appeal. I think many people are ready to admit that holding and using a Nikon Df or a Canon 1DX is more “satisfying” in many situations.
    Second: I also love shooting film. Any lens that I buy for my Canon EOS 5D will work on my Canon EOS 1n film camera. I can say the same for Nikon lenses. As you know, there are no mirrorless cameras that use a lens series that can be used on film cameras (natively, not adapted).

  13. Interesting! I switched from DSLR to Fuji X-Trans and couldn’t be happier – I can use it in the studio and outside with family. I did look at Sony but found the range of lenses to be less and the quality not too different. However the Sony is far better for video which still makes me consider it.

    I wonder if you tried the Fuji’s and what your thought of them? They are so much Fun to shoot with.

  14. You can do the same with a Nikon body that has a Sony sensor & get a bigger lens range & better AF.

    • Yeah, Ive heard that Nikon cameras has more features than Canon.. but I do not want to switch to another “steam machine” :-)

      • I think to call the DSLR a steam engine simply because Canon is sub standard in the particular range of cameras isn’t valid. The D750 as an example meets all of the criteria listed above (including facial recognition), and the only item it would be sub standard on would be size, but conversely, the D750 would have 3-4 times the battery life of the Sony so you have to pick the greater of two evils. If you were headed out for an entire day of shooting, having to carry and keep charged 4 batteries to match the battery life and take over a thousand photos would be more than an annoyance and I’m willing to be most people would rather carry a slightly heavier camera than have to carry and remember to charge multiple batteries. I can carry an extra battery and get in excess of 2000 photos on a day which is invaluable for event photography for example.

        It’s not to say mirrorless is substandard, or that any particular direction is better, I think it’s all about compromise and size will inevitably come at a compromise, much the same as size of sensor comes with a compromise, as do number of pixels. I.e. Less pixels on the same size sensor – less noise.

        If I was a new photographer getting into photography, I would be hard pressed to choose, but the reality is that mirrorless still cannot match DSLR for peak performance in some situations which is why many pro photographers have stayed with it. Mirrorless might better this at some point, but focus under some situations is still problematic (low contrast, directly towards camera) which is relevant to sports photography.

  15. What made you choose sony over fuji? Full frame and high megapixel?

  16. I am a Canon adanced shooter. I really like the new Sony camera line. If I purchase a Sony, what is your opinion of purchasing Sony lens versus using an adapter with my Canon lenses? I am interested in your take on quality, compatably, and usage.

    • Laary,
      I’ve tried Fotodiox adapter and it was too slow for autofocus ( it will work only for landscape, nothing should move:-), also there are flare issues with Sony and Canon lenses via adapter.
      So, I went with Sony lenses, as a focus speed is essential for me, I shoot my children a lot, and they run fast:-)

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