Interior photography - Upgrade from Sony α900

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
CrispinG New Member • Posts: 3
Interior photography - Upgrade from Sony α900

Hello! I'm new and would like to welcome everyone.

I really need a piece of advice and I'd appreciate it if someone could steer me in the right direction.

Although I'm not a professional photographer, I enjoy taking pictures because it helps me grow my business. I run a bespoke furniture workshop. We are producing all kinds of built-in furniture like kitchens or wardrobes. The majority of the projects we complete are luxurious, so I'd like to have the same quality level of photos to show my other clients.

Right now I am using the Sony A900 with a second hand Sigma 12-24 mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG
I've come a long way to finally achieve a reasonable quality of my photos, but there are a lot of thing that should be improved.

Here is a list of the existing issues I am experiencing:
1. I think the lens I am using is not so sharp. I don't think there is a point in investing in a dead A mount system. In my country there are really not many offers for those lenses.
2. This camera doesn't have a live view. I am usually shooting from tripod on my chest level. It's terrible for my back to get to the viewfinder all the time. Not having a live view is maybe nothing bad for the pro photographers, but how can I know where the sharpness is, etc. It's so time costuming to go to gallery and check each photo.
3. I can't spend as much time as I would need at customers house. I don't want to sit on somebody's head the whole day.
The problem is that this camera is a little outdated and it's not so easy to shoot remotely. I have to use many 3rd party equipment. The Sony remote doesn't work good. For the Godox flash I have to use Canon shoe adapter + sync cord. Many cords and Chinese equipment that sometimes stops working during the session.

Conclusion: I know many people say that Sony A900 is still a great camera... maybe it is for pro's, but for me as a part time photographer is just a hard camera. Or perhaps is just for the type of photography I am doing.

I think that I don't want to spend a lot of money for the new gear since, I don't take pictures for a living. However, I really enjoy technology and my photos will generate some kind of an income.

In short words - what would you recommend for interior photography (kitchens, small and large bathrooms, rooms with huge windows and lots of natural light, rooms without nature light, etc.) Additionally I would like to start taking a "studio-like" photos of my smaller furniture projects. 
Regarding the outcome for the photos - I am using them for social media, my website. However I would love to use them for a real printed brochure to promote my company. Although for that one I would have to improve my skills.
I also have a Sony A6300 as a "hobby" camera, it's great but maybe full format would be a better choice in therms of quality. I think that I would like to stay with Sony. I know the system so that a plus.
I am looking for a camera and lenses recommendation. Personally I was thinking about Sony A7 III, but I am not so oriented in lenses.

Perhaps I am just terrible photographer and blaming all on a camera. You tell me

Here is an example of my skills.

Nikon Coolpix A900 Sony a6300 Sony a7 III
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Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 3,906
Re: Interior photography - Upgrade from Sony α900

I think, that it's nothing wrong with your photo. But hard to say for sure as it's 1Mpx downsize from 25Mpx camera. If it's your standard web size, I would not worry about point 1.)

Points 2.) and 3.) will be solved by purchasing any mirrorless camera with native accessory. No need for fullframe system IMHO.

 Martin_99's gear list:Martin_99's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN | C (X-mount) Sony E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS +2 more
OP CrispinG New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Interior photography - Upgrade from Sony α900

Thank you! I forgot that this one was prepared for Instagram. Well in that case I might try doing some upcoming sessions with my A6300. Until now, I was just using it for some detail shots.
However, would you recommend further investment in APSC system over buying a FF system? The thing is... I just don't want to be left behind in the same situation as with my Sony A900 and A-mount lenses.

Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 3,906
Re: Interior photography - Upgrade from Sony α900
1

CrispinG wrote:

Thank you! I forgot that this one was prepared for Instagram. Well in that case I might try doing some upcoming sessions with my A6300. Until now, I was just using it for some detail shots.
However, would you recommend further investment in APSC system over buying a FF system? The thing is... I just don't want to be left behind in the same situation as with my Sony A900 and A-mount lenses.

E-mount is the same for both apsc and FF system and will be here for many years. There is no reason to be worried. You are probably interested in ultrawide lenses, you already can choose from Sony 10-18, Sony 10-20, Tamron 11-20, Sony 11f1.8, Samyang 12f2, Viltrox 13f1.4.

Yes, fullframe will offer you even bigger selection of lenses and better image quality, but for significant price and weight/size increase.

I think, that if you buy proper lens and accessory for your A6300, you will be satisfied.

 Martin_99's gear list:Martin_99's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN | C (X-mount) Sony E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS +2 more
Fujix100vuseruk Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: Interior photography - Upgrade from Sony α900

Grab yourself a mirrorless camera with tilting screen . If you like Sony then any A6000 series camera will do you or if you want high detail grab a high megapixel count full frame but might be overkill .

Also seriously consider adding an high end smartphone and get yourself a high end LiDAR scanning app as this can scan a room in minutes, give you 2D / 3D layouts .

It can even scan your products and using VR allow your client to a preview your product in place before installing.

 Fujix100vuseruk's gear list:Fujix100vuseruk's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M1X Fujifilm FinePix IS-1 Fujifilm X-S1 Sony RX10 II Huawei P30 Pro +1 more
Ido Scharf
Ido Scharf Veteran Member • Posts: 5,216
Re: Interior photography - Upgrade from Sony α900

The a6300 should be great for your needs, at least as far as image quality is concerned. So as long as it meets your needs (in ergonomics, a useful screen, etc.) you should at the very least give it a shot with an appropriate lens. That would be a whole lot cheaper than buying a Sony a7 III and a new lens.

There's nothing special about the full-frame format. There's nothing "full" about it, either. It's just another set of dimensions to cut silicon in a rectangle. There are cameras with even bigger sensors on the market, too.

Some recommended reading:

  1. Equivalence is useful if you have any interest in light (and as a photographer, you probably should)
  2. What is equivalence and why should I care?

So it's totally fine to use an APS-C sensor, even for professional use, as long as it suits your needs. The differences are smaller than you may have been led to believe, and are always at the margins. For your usage, that goalpost is likely in dynamic range, but the a6300 is already better than the a900 in that regard, and it seems like you're working around that very well with controlled lighting. You can add exposure-blending techniques to your toolkit as well.

Seeing as you prefer a wide-angle zoom lens (which makes a lot of sense for your use), there are three lenses for the a6300 that you should look into:

  1. brand new Sony 10-20mm f/4
  2. old but gold Sony 10-18mm f/4
  3. Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8
 Ido Scharf's gear list:Ido Scharf's gear list
Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8 Panasonic 8-18mm F2.8-4
OP CrispinG New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Interior photography - Upgrade from Sony α900

I want to thank everyone for contributing to the conversation.

Fujix100vuseruk wrote:

Also seriously consider adding an high end smartphone and get yourself a high end LiDAR scanning app as this can scan a room in minutes, give you 2D / 3D layouts .

It can even scan your products and using VR allow your client to a preview your product in place before installing.

Thank you. I've tried, but our traditional workflow works much better for now (or perhaps I just spent not enough time trying to get into it). As we sell quite custom furniture, we need to be extremely accurate. We often do building that where build in early 1900s, so you can imagine how walls are living their own life there.

Ido Scharf wrote:

The a6300 should be great for your needs, at least as far as image quality is concerned. So as long as it meets your needs (in ergonomics, a useful screen, etc.) you should at the very least give it a shot with an appropriate lens. That would be a whole lot cheaper than buying a Sony a7 III and a new lens.

I really like quality photos as well as quality products. The A6300 is quite limited in terms of ergonomy, but I will definitely try switching. If I like it I can always upgrade to something bigger.
Thank you for some literature. Will definitely get into it in a free time.
Great community you are creating here guys, so different than my home country. The only advice from them was to hire a professional photographer.

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