Nikon to SONY change -1

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NordquistSNY Junior Member • Posts: 46
Nikon to SONY change -1

I waited several years for the long expected Nikon mirrorless.

It arrived at last in 2018 .. and was a big disappointment .. Z7 and Z6.

The Nikon Z7 and Z6 were not competitive with, the already successful, Sony a7RIII, a7III, as well as the sporty a9.

They came with a new, long-awaited, Z-mount, which is the future for Nikon lenses, and a several years road map for lens change-over.

I tested the Z7 twice at least, and when compared to the a7RIII, it felt like a pale imitation. It lacked the finesse and the speed of AF, the customization, and above all the available lenses. It was also bigger and heavier.

That’s when I decided to move to Sony, and I was not disappointed ..

My problems with the Nikon mirrorless Z7 and z6 were as follows:

  1. A new Z-mount. So, I would have had to use my lenses (Phase AF detect only), with an adapter. So, will not get all the functions, and would struggle above f8 (CD_AF). I would have had to eventually change all my lenses to the new mount lenses.
  2. AF is next to useless. It had a lag, compared to my Nikon D850, and to the Sony a7 and a9, and also to other APS-C mirrorless cameras. Tracking was at best a matter of luck.
  3. The AF lacked 3D tracking, and didn’t have a similar replacement.
  4. Changing from one AF mode to another was very clunky and long-winded. Getting to face-detection or eye-AF was terrible.
  5. Customisation was not OK when compared to Sony a7 and a9 cameras.

Because of all the above I decided to move ..

The logical move was to Sony, for many reasons:

  1. Sony have been producing and refining full frame mirrorless cameras for several years, and they were good
  2. Sony had a line-up of lenses from wide angle to tele zoom, and they were good
  3. Sony was gaining a bigger share of the market, and was receiving excellent reviews by professionals and test sites
  4. Sony had a full complement of accessories
  5. Sony a7RIII had dual card slots (Z7 and Z6 had only one, XQD card, very expensive and mainly available from Sony)
  6. Sony did a good job with video

I now had the choice of going to one of the following cameras from Sony

  1. a7R iii
  2. a7 iii
  3. a9

Compared to my Nikon D850, the a7R III was the best contender, for a several reasons:

  1. High resolution. This produces the best results for landscapes and architecture, as well as portraits. Allows cropping to a decent size.
  2. It is still fast enough for the occasional sports and birds photos.
  3. Has all other advantages of the a7 and a9 cameras, including high ISO and Dynamic range, although may not be as good for low light photography, which I do very little of

Next I had to decide, whether to keep my Nikon lenses for a while, and use with an adapter, or make the big leap, and change to Sony glass.

I first tried one of the better AF adapters (Nikon F to Sony FE-mount)

It was useless, especially in low light. I used my Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 E VR, and could not achieve reasonable focus.

I decided to go for Sony glass.

Nest question was, which lenses in FE mount. It was all new to me.

I decided, after a lot of research, to get get rid of all my Nikon glass, and get the following lenses eventually as I go:

  1. Sony 24-105mm f4 G OSS. Walkabout, travel, and on all the time.
  2. Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f2.8 AF FE for wide angle work.
  3. 35mm f2.8 Zeiss T*, for going light, indoors and travel, as well as for low light.
  4. Sony 90mm f2.8 G OSS Macro, for macro and portrait work.
  5. Sony 100-400mm f4.5-f5.6 for sports and tele-zoom work.
  6. Sony SEL14TC 1.4x teleconverter to use with 100-400mm lens (140-560mm f5.6-f8).
  7. Samyang 24mm f3.5 Tilt-shift MF and manual aperture, with a cheap manual adapter.

This should cover all sorts of my photography work.

Some people may prefer the 24-70mm f2.8 GM and 70-200mm f2.8 GM + 2.0x teleconverter. Others may prefer the 50mm f1.8mm. Those doing a lot of wide angle work may prefer the 16-35mm f2.8 or f4.

I found the cheaper 50mm f1.8 very noisy and extremely slow in AF, and therefore prefered the 35mm Samyang, quiet and speedy AF, option.

Mapping my Nikon camera experience to the Sony camera took me a while.

Sony have the AF options/areas in one place. Nikon have them in two places.

With Sony you have focusing modes as follows:

  1. AF-S single
  2. AF-A automatic
  3. AF-C continuous
  4. DMF will start with AF and fine tune with MF
  5. Manual AF

The AF area and tracking can be

  1. Automatic AF (Wide area and Zone)
  2. Centre AF is fixed as implied
  3. Flexible spot and Expand Flexible spot, are user movable point-spot or expanded 9-point-spot
  4. Lock-on AF is tracking AF, and can be any of the above with tracking on

All of the above can have face detection and eye-AF

Customization galore in Sony a7R iii

I managed to customize all the buttons, so I do not need to take my eyes off the EVF, to change most of the common settings.

I have set buttons for AF-on, AE-hold, AF mode, AF area, ISO, WB, drive, AE mode, FF to APS toggle, and viewer setting (EVF or LCD).

There are 3 setting on the mode dial to save settings for the whole camera, including stills, video and playback, and 4 more universal settings that are saved to the card.

 NordquistSNY's gear list:NordquistSNY's gear list
Sony a7R III
Nikon D850 Nikon Z6 Nikon Z7 Sony a7 Sony a7 III Sony a7R III Sony a9
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