Switching from Canon to Sony (I have questions)

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by danharend-oliver, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Hi guys,

    I am considering switching to Sony from Canon (mostly due to Canon's high price points, slow progress and lack of innovation in their products). However, there are some things that frighten me off the switch.

    My work is in news (online and print) and the following features are imperative for me to have.

    1. Ruggedness and weather sealing:

    I have taken my Canon 5D Mark IV out into freezing (-17c) conditions with no issues at all. It works well in the rain (although I try to avoid this) and it has been bashed through travel to come out working fine. Will Sony stand up to the same environments? I know all manufacturers will not offer guarantees but does anyone have experience working in similar conditions?

    2. Dedicated focus point button:

    In the middle of chaos, it is handy having a back button dedicated to a quick selection of focus points when people are running and/or quickly moving. I have a Sony a6000 (used as a 'take with me everywhere cam') but I find it frustrating having to create a custom setting for the custom button, then having to select the option I want from another set of buttons to get to manual focus points.

    Once more, the Sony a6000 is very slow to move from point to point, whereas Canon's is very fast. Is this the same on the FF A series?

    If I create a custom button on the Sony a7r iii and a7 iii will I have to jump through an extra hoop to get to this function? This is kind of a deal breaker.

    3. Weight:

    I know Sony bodies are much smaller and lighter, but when the lenses are added on - they look the same size as DSLRs. Can anyone moving from Canon to Sony confirm a weight difference?

    I feel moving with the times is important which led me to consider mirrorless cameras and I do not understand why Canon has not jumped into mirrorless Full Frame technology sooner. Number 1 & 2 are important to me, so I hope this forum can offer clarity to this.

    Thank you!

  2. Have you looked at Sony prices?

    Sony A7 bodies are lighter, some lenses are, some aren't.

    Those two cameras (and the A9) have a joystick and a dedicated AF-On button so things should have improved over previous versions.

  3. Ok great - have you made the jump? Is it worth it or a little bit of hype and branding? Using the a6000 I think Sony falls short considering most photos are shrunk. However that said I wil use photos for print blown up occasionally. Iā€™m guessing the full frames are way different but I will need to try one out for a week to see.
  4. No, I have not but I do have an A7II and a few lenses. Coming from the Nikon side, things aren't as rosy as I can't keep using my current lenses the same way a Canon user can and would be forced to purchase all new (native) glass for the Sony (which I highly recommend doing over using adapted lenses). I don't think any Sony APS-C camera gives a good impression of what their full-frame cameras can do; Sony neglected APS-C for some time now. For landscape and such, the A7R II is already doing fairly well and the A7R III certainly improves upon its predecessor. The A7 III seems to be shaping up as quite an improvement over the A7 II and for many may be sufficient to not have to go to the expense of purchasing an A9, which certainly takes the crown in the mirrorless realm for speed. In general terms, with their third generation bodies (Mk III and the A9), Sony's mirrorless has matured into a very capable system.

    It all depends on what you are shooting and what your priorities are. For me, I could easily see me replacing my Nikon FX system with one based on the Sony A7R III; the lenses I would need for landscape/travel are all available from Sony and of excellent quality; to boot I would shed some weight from the pack. For DX/APS-C - which I use for airshow and avian photography - I rather stick with the Nikon D500, 80-400, and 200-500 lenses than dealing with the too small Sony APS mirrorless bodies and their only lens suitable for that kind of photography, the 100-400. That could change if Sony decides to bring the A9 technology into an APS-C body.

    One of the main differences is that between using an optical vs an electronic viewfinder. Both have their pluses and minuses; for the time being, I still prefer optical; YMMV.

    FWIW, I do believe that before the end of this year, both Nikon and Canon will have their own full-frame mirrorless systems revealed. Since I am quite content with what I currently have, I have no problem taking a "wait and see" approach. I certainly won't switch for "hype and branding"; there has to be a real advantage for me to consider such a rather expensive move.
  5. I have an extensive Nikon system, and one Sony A7 original version with a few FE lenses. My Nikons almost always seem ready to respond to what I want, and deliver predictably. Maybe it is because I am not as used to it, but the Sony seems to sense when I am in a hurry, and balks then. Its fine in the normal flow of things, and coupled with some small older rangefinder lenses, makes a great travel kit for casual photography. But I am sticking with Nikon for serious work and waiting for Nikon future products.

    If I had an extensive Canon rig, I think I would wait for Canon to expand its mirrorless system. On the other hand, one advantage you have is that the Canon to Sony AF adapter is supposed to work fairly well, so maybe your lenses could continue to be useful, but AF likely would not be as fast.

    The one feature of the latest Sony A7 series that I think I envy is (possibly) better AF accuracy: increased AF points, area covered, and on sensor focus vs my 51pt Nikon. A little too often the potential image quality of 36MP is compromised somewhat by very slightly out of focus delivery, say eyebrow vs pupil at head & shoulder distance.. I'm not really sure the Sony is actually better, but in theory it could be.

    Lastly to one of the OP's questions, I don't think my A7 is as rugged as a D810. I do note that the bayonet on the A7III now has 6 screws vs 4, so maybe the camera is more solid now. With around 40K clicks, the Sony just looks and feels more worn than one D810 I have with similar clicks.
  6. The latest Sony A7 and A9 have improved their weather resistance, but probably not to the level of the Canon 5D. Cold is not an issue, since the only moving part is the shutter, and even that is not employed if the electronic (silent) shutter is used. The most vulnerable part in wet weather is the flash shoe, and Sony recommends you keep the shoe cap in place. If you travel, carry a spare flash shoe cap. The bodies on the top-line Sony's are cast magnesium, and as rugged as any Canon or Nikon I've used.

    As noted, the A9 and model 3 A7's have a joy stick to control the focus point. There are also many options for focus patterns, tracking and subject recognition, even particular faces. Since focus sensors are embedded in the sensor, they are active all the time, not just when the mirror is down. While the active focusing area of a Nikon D5 covers about 25% of the image area, it is over 90% for Sony A7Rii and newer models. Different situations work best with different focus options. It is incumbent on the photographer to know his gear, what it can do, and when.

    Sony bodies are roughly the same size and weight of a Leica M - much less than even a Canon 5D. Lens size and weight varies, but in general the top-line Sony/Zeiss lenses are comparable to similar lenses for Canon/Nikon systems. My Sony 24-70/2.8 GM lens is heavier than my Nikon 28-70/2.8, and a little longer. The Sony has much better image quality than the Nikon, and is more solidly built. My Sony 70-200/4 is much smaller and lighter than my Nikon f/2.8 version, and has better image quality. Lens speed in an era of excellent high-ISO capability is probably moot. I get publishable quality at ISO 25,600, and that's not even the limit.

    The OP hasn't said anything about the intended use or budget. The cost of switching entire systems can be staggering. With Sony, however, you can take smaller steps in the transition. Nikon and Canon lenses can be used on a Sony body, but not with all the features and speed. Canon lenses come close, and some have claimed they focus as quickly aa on a Canon body. There is a strong incentive to develop a native Sony system, for better connectivity and more important, image quality. DSLR lenses were developed around 12 MP cameras, not 24 MP, 42 MP or (rumored) 70 MP.
  7. It needs to be pointed out that both comparisons pitch decade-old lenses from Nikon against current Sony developments; hardly "comparing similar lenses". The 28-70 is from 1999 and the first version of the 70-200/2.8 from 2003. The current Nikon 70-200/4 looses nothing against the Sony f/4 version, not in size, weight, or optically and certainly not in cost.
  8. I switched from the Canon 5D MkIV and 5DS-R to Sony a9 and a7RIII. The AF system of the Sony blows away the 5D-series AF, with more AF points, quicker acquisition and better "lock-on" functionality. The a7RIII has almost as much resolution as the 5DS-R and considerably more dynamic range. My Sony lenses (FE 100-400mm GM OSS, FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM and FE 12-24mm f/4 G) ae all smaller and lighter than their Canon equivalents. I still use my Canon EF 500/f4 II on both my Sony bodies via a Metabones EF-to-E T-adapter MkV, with excellent results, but some occasional trouble with initial acquisition vs. the 5D bodies.

    Here's a great example from the Sony/Canon combo, with Canon's EF 1.4x TC-III thrown in the mix:

    [​IMG]Red-tail Portrait by David Stephens, on Flickr

    The Sony 6000 is three-generations old.
    davecaz likes this.
  9. Nikon D300, old 80-200/2.8 D :)

    davecaz and dcstep like this.
  10. That's funny to me, because I made the switch from Sony to Canon for exactly the same reason; the comparable Sony lenses were much more expensive than the Canon equivalents. Nikon lenses were in the middle. I don't remember exactly when that was, but it was 10 or 12 years ago. Things may have changed, but I doubt it. Sony has always charged premium prices for all their consumer goods.
  11. I agree. I went from Canon to Sony, for performance, not price points. Every equivalent Sony piece that I bought cost more than the "equivalent" Canon piece; however, the item was usually lighter and better performing, particularly the bodies. I moved with the introduction of the a9 and didn't particularly care for the prior Sony offerings.
  12. Prepare to be shunned, Canon traitor. lol. Just kidding. I've been looking at the A7RIII also. Just waiting to see what Canon's release of an 5DsR replacement looks like sporting that 120-megapixel sensor. LINK
  13. File size really becomes an issue. Just when some of got used to 80mb files, now they're be 150mb, or so, unless Canon comes up with some magic lossless compression.
  14. Hmmmm. hard drive space on a laptop is not huge, dual 1T SSDs f - pretty fast and fill up fast too, the USB 3 drives slower and an 8 TB NAS drive, though the NAS is not as fast as one would think, not an enterprise-class NAS in my house. So 150 MB RAWs and I am used to 30MB RAWs (outside my experience), so I assume file transfer will take 5 times longer. So I wonder how will lightroom handle 150 MB files when they finally get around to updating the RAW support and DNG converter. I will probably not be the Beta tester this time as I was for the 5D MK IV. I will let others give a report and hear pros and cons, I am in no hurry, I have a perfectly good 5D MK IV. Also, I don't know if I am going to be willing to spend what this new camera may go for. Still 150 MB resolution crosses into a realm I can only dream of. Interesting, I saw a 5Ds used at the local camera store for only $1900, ah but the 5Ds, not the 5DsR. It was mildly tempting but it has the AA filter. Will have to wait and see, and who knows Sony may have the A7RIV by then and the entire paradigm shifts again. lol.
  15. Mark, there are many factors that affect data transfer speed to the drive, and some of it requires digging.

    First you could be limited by the interface to the drive if not internal; USB-2 or 3, or ?
    USB2 = 480Mb/sec = 60MB/sec - overhead.
    USB3 = 5Gb/sec = 625MB/sec - overhead​
    If it is going or coming from the buffer on the drive, you are at full interface speed, probably SATA-2 or 3.
    SATA2 = 300MB/sec,
    SATA3 = 600MB/sec​
    But the data going to/from the platter, it is at a much slower speed. This is sometimes labeled the "maximum SUSTAINED transfer speed". This comes into effect when you fill the buffer and have to write to the disk platters, or when the data is not in the buffer and has to be read from the disk platters.
    The WD drives specs that I Iooked at did not list this number (marketing, to hide a low number) :-(
    For the Seagate Baracuda 3.5" drive it is 185MB/sec
    Note that the Seagate Baracuda drive max sustained transfer speed is significantly lower than the USB3 max speed, or even the SATA2 speed, but faster than a Gigabit network.​
    Max transfer speed in the real world is affected by several variables; disk RPM (faster is better), recording density (higher is better), location on the disk, file size (many small files transfer much slower than a few big files), file fragmentation, etc. So your actual real world number will be lower than the max number.​

    Network speed
    Gigabit = 1,000 MBits/sec = 100MB/sec
    • BUT, you don't get the labeled speed. As I remember (from the old days of 10bT) there is about a 20% ethernet network overhead, so instead of 100MB/sec, you get 20% less or 80MB/sec, on a Gigabit network. The more traffic the higher the overhead from "collisions," but I would not expect much collisions on a home network.
    • Note that even at max theoretical speed, the Gigabit network is slower than the Segate Baracuda
    • Gigabit network is SLOWER than a USB3 connection directly to the computer.
    Examples of capping of transfer speeds:
    • Example1. I have a SATA-3 SSD drive in my laptop, but the laptop only supports SATA-2. So my max interface transfer is limited to the slowest speed, of SATA-2.
    • Example2. If the NAS mfg went cheap and put a slower 5,400 rpm drive into the NAS, it will top out at a lower transfer rate, than with a faster 7,000 or 10,000 rpm drive.
    • Example3. Similarly the manufacture could put a cheap slow 5,200 rpm drive into a case with a USB3 external interface, to sell it as a USB3 drive at a cheap price. The drive is slower than the USB3 interface.
    • Example4. If you connect a Seagate Baracuda through a USB2 port, you choke the transfer down to 60MB/sec.
    • Example5. A Gigabit network is slower than the theoretical max sustained speed off the drive.
    Mark Keefer likes this.
  16. Well Dave, I see what you mean. The files are big. They take a while to transfer from camera to hard drive. I didn't think it would happen, but I was able to sell enough old gear, cameras and lenses and came across a very very good deal where between what I have saved from selling off old gear and trade up, I got an A7RIII with Metabones V Canon EF to Sony E mount without spending any new money. This isn't so much as switching from Canon to Sony as dipping my feet into the Sony water. There is going to be a lot of side by side testing. I will be looking for detail differences in the cameras like on wildlife, will I see detail in the fine feathers of birds and in the fur on animals. I have a lot of work ahead of me on this. :)

    I am in the learning curve phase and there is a lot to figure out, like what modes you have to be in to get things to work like eye detect with the Metabones. It does work. So far it seems to work with all my Canon, Sigma, and Tamron lenses. Eye detect does not work in all camera modes which is puzzling and since I have no Sony native glass, and I am too new to Sony to know everything, I will take it slow to comment. All my Canon lenses work. There is an occasional freeze up now and then that takes what seems like 60 seconds till the camera works again. Maybe this is some kind of slow buffer bottleneck issue related to using the Metabones. I am shooting in uncompressed RAW. But this is a subject for another thread.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  17. Make sure you have the latest firmware (v1.01) installed. The A7M3 has had issues regarding AF, supposedly now resolved.

    There are two confusing terms related "eye." Eye AF is a menu option in the A7Riii which activates auto focus when you bring the viewfinder to your eye. Eye Focus is a function which can only be assigned to a programmable button. It defaults to the center button in the 4-way dial, but I assign it to a lens focus-lock button too. When pressed, the camera identifies an eye of the closest subject as the focus point. The button must be pressed continuously, hence the recommended placements. If you press it first, it works in both single and continuous AF mode. I only know that it works with native E-mount lenses, but the A-mount and Canon adapters will probably work too. I don't use Eye AF and Pre-AF because they slow down acquisition of the intended subject and use battery power.

    I haven't experienced a 60 sec lockup. I have had to remove the battery in my A7M2 to un-freeze it, but not the A7M3 (yet). I don't have an AF adapter, so can't comment about its operation.

    The buffer will clear faster if you use a fast UHC2 card in slot 1, but you lose the advantage if you record in parallel to Slot 2, which is only UHC1. If you shoot action or video, consider getting a fast (300 MB/S) UHC2 card and record in "transfer" mode. In that mode, the camera writes to slot 1 (selectable) until it's full, then switches to slot 2. When that's full, it switches back to slot 1, ad infinitum. A plain-vanilla 90 MB/S SanDisk card writes in about a second. Not bad for an 84 MB file.

    There at least 3 distinct options for AF in addition to the pattern. That's at least 16 combinations (2^n), and some work better than others in a given situation.

    Good luck. I'll bet you're already loving results from the A7M3.
  18. Dan
    #3 - If weight is an issue, have you looked at the micro 4/3 system from Olympus and Panasonic.
    They both have high end pro gear.
    But you are going down to a 4/3 size sensor.
    #1 - And they both (Olympus and Panasonic) have weather proofed gear. You have to check as not all are weather proofed.
    #2 - The Olympus E-M1 can do back button AF, I think the high end Panasonic can do that as well.

    The A6000 is not a current camera and has been surpassed by later versions of the A6xxx series.
  19. My source says, if you're looking for a A6xxx series, wait a bit more for the 6700. I'm doing that.

    Mark, the file quality will blow your socks off. The high-ISO performance for animals and the low-ISO performance for landscapes and shadow detail are simply amazing. I only use a "Compressed" RAW format if I need to shoot something at 20-fps with the a9, which is seldom. You will see file degradation with the compressed RAW files on the a9, most apparent with highlights and fringing. In many shots, you will not see it, except at extreme magnification. I just haven't shot my a7RIII enough in compressed mode to gain an opinion.

    The a7RIII AF is excellent, but the a9 is better. It's kind of like comparing a 5D MkIV to a 1D-X MkII. Things are pretty close, but add extenders and you start seeing differences. I had lots of missed shots with the G-Master 100-400mm with 2.0x teleconverter with the a7RIII, but a great keeper rate with the same combo on my a9. I may not make much difference with your lenses. You will NOT see top performance possible from the camera until you use it with a G-Master lens. Still, for most people, they don't need that much AF performance. For birds in flight, it's a God send, but for children's' sports, you will not have much problem.

    SSD and USB-3 and 4mHz processors solve most of the file size transfer and processing issues.

    Oh, I've found fastrawviewer much better than Photo Mechanic for previewing and selecting Sony files. The PM previews suck.

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