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Thread: Professional Photographers using Sony?

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    Professional Photographers using Sony?

    Hi, I have a couple of questions that have been bugging me for a while, and I hope to ask them in an honest way and avoid a flame war:
    1) I'm wondering are there any professional photographers around that shoot Sony?
    2) Are there others who have switched to or from Sony and why?

    I'm hoping to move into shooting portraits/families sometime in the next year, and thus looking to upgrade my gear. The trouble is that whilst I love my a700, I've been patiently waiting for its replacement for 3 years now. The single biggest improvement that I'm looking for being high ISO performance.

    I am also nervous about Sony's apparent focus on marketing gimick style improvements in new camera bodies i.e. inclusions that will appeal to newer dslr buyers (i.e. high megapixel count, in camera processing and others) as opposed to features that are important for pro work e.g. better weather sealing, af micro-adjust, customisation options, dual card use etc.

    I also wonder about Sony's image with my potential customers - I don't mean to sound vain, but I do want potential clients to feel that I have "the pro gear". Maybe I give the general public too much credit about this one... but at least in some photography circles, Sony has a bad name.

    All told, I'm feeling reluctant to invest more money into the Sony system - selling my CZ16-80 and beercan for 2.8 glass, another flash, then eventually going full-frame when I might end up making making the same switch later on and it costing a lot more to do so.

    I'd love to hear any thoughts, and if others have ever had teh same thoughts and which way they ended up going.

    SimonG

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    its about the results really.

    im not sure how many pro togs use sony per se, but i would say 95% use either Canon or Nikon
    Darren
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonG View Post
    I also wonder about Sony's image with my potential customers - I don't mean to sound vain, but I do want potential clients to feel that I have "the pro gear". Maybe I give the general public too much credit about this one... but at least in some photography circles, Sony has a bad name.
    I doubt very much whether most paying customers would know the difference between any of the DSLR manufacturers, or to put it the other way, most would recognise the name Sony because they have seen Sony TVs but have never seen a Canon or Nikon TV.

    But in all reality I will ask you, can you take "professional" quality photos with your Sony ( or any other brand camera) because that is the final product that people want to see and until you can produce the goods, brand x, y or z aren't going to make any difference to your reputation.
    Andrew
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    Go the Rabbitohs mudman's Avatar
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    the photographer who shot a modeling portfolio for my son used a Sony full frame. from wht I saw the results were excellent
    cc and enjoy

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    The advertising and commercial high end Photographers that I know, and still working, use either Nikon or Canon, and some use both, picking the best for the job to be done....... In the studio and some location Blad, 6x7, 645, and 5x4 formats with digital backs are the normal......

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Sounds like a legitimate concern, Simon, and you're right to ask. The replies are of interest to me as well. At some stage too, go and have a good read of the in-depth reviews at DP Review. I mean get opinions here (I can't help) and the feel of things then look at the details on your camera and some of the others mentioned. Every little bit helps. Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Given Sony is Konica/Minolta V3 and they make 35mm sensor size cameras etc. and the APS-C gear is not shabby, and there is a stack of good glass... Why not?

    I doubt any customer would/should know or care
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    I think a studio based photographer would be insane not to choose a full frame Sony as their weapon of choice, along with an assortment of good quality lenses.
    That is, in terms of 'return on investment'.

    If you're starting from fresh, and understand the concept of minimising your start up costs as a basis for long term viability... then the Sony's make the most sense

    They have the cheapest full frame body with the highest pixel count(ie. most pixels for your full frame dollar). This allows the photographer to print larger than the next best Mp camera by default.
    (the only reason you want more Mp in my view is for the purpose of printing larger)
    This allows you the flexibility to chase clients that require large prints, so you're already on a good footing.

    A850 and 900's are not too shabby, and considering they're basically 1/5th the price of the only other 25Mp 35mm DSLR... that 6K(or so) saving buys you a lot of good glass!

    The limitations of Sony gear(as I understand them) may be disadvantageous if pursuing other genres of photography... such as wildlife or sports.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    Thanks for all the thoughts and opinions so far. I agree that the image is what counts, and I am not saying that my current a700 lacks anything compared to Canon/Nikon equivalents. Interesting about the average punter probably not having much clue.

    I guess below you're comparing the a850 to the D3s etc.? I would say that they are actually closer to the 5d/d700 - in which case they're not actually better value - in genuine aus and grey market stock, the 5d MkII is only a couple of hundred dollars more - for a lot more camera e.g. high iso, video. The comparable glass/flash seems to be a more expensive at every level, despite not including IS/VR (the camera has it, so it's not needed but still one would assume some slight savings for not including it?). Other current concerns for me at least are lack of 3rd party accessories, much smaller and more expensive used market, lack of rental availability etc.

    The biggest concern though is future releases. - I don't want to spend $7000 on glass, only to have the new full frame camera come out as an oversized NEX body in 3 years time.


    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post

    If you're starting from fresh, and understand the concept of minimising your start up costs as a basis for long term viability... then the Sony's make the most sense

    A850 and 900's are not too shabby, and considering they're basically 1/5th the price of the only other 25Mp 35mm DSLR... that 6K(or so) saving buys you a lot of good glass!

    The limitations of Sony gear(as I understand them) may be disadvantageous if pursuing other genres of photography... such as wildlife or sports.

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    sony manufactures parts for nikon and helps with development for nikon
    so if nikon are using there technology they cannot be that bad
    cheers macca

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Sony would seem to Mongo to be up there with the best of them – after all, they make many of the sensors used in other cameras including some Nikons. The glass is not cheap but then again it is also pretty high quality from what Mongo has been able to gather.

    The only thing going against it for full professional use (as far as Mongo can ascertain) is the relative lack of knowledge people have about it as 35 mm gear as yet (although it is big in the TV and video areas) , the lack of really long lenses for sport and wildlife (only up to 300mm f2.8) and the relative cost over known good/established brands just to guess at three factors. BTW the 300mm f2.8 cost double what the Nikon or Canon equivalents cost.
    Last edited by mongo; 12-01-2011 at 11:47am.
    Nikon and Pentax user



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    Don't know if you know, but check out Dyxum.com which is a site dedicated to Sony/Minolta. I think you'll find some topics over there that will help you like these two.

    http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/sony-loo...596_page1.html

    http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/why-is-t...opic71438.html
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    My biggest concern at the moment involves Sony's direction for their full frame lineup. They've been rather coy about providing any form of road-map for models following the a850/a900, and with Nikon likely to be producing their own full frame sensors, Sony may find themselves in a position where they're unable to create the required number of sales to drive further full frame sensor development. That said, it's likely that Sony will release at least another full frame model (using an OVF rather than an EVF) and then gauge market response, evaluating as to whether to continue with FF development.

    I certainly hope that Sony persist with a complete APS-C and Full Frame lineup. I really believe that they've got the engineering capability to match Canon and Nikon in quality and design and they've got some excellent ideas which if properly executed, will move the entire DSLR industry forward. That said, I've recently given up on Sony and have moved to Nikon, shooting with a D7000 and making a heavy investment in some beautiful Nikkor glass. I own many Sony products and I have a strong attachment to the brand, but as photography will likely be a long term hobby of mine, I've opted for a system that I'm confident will still be around in 20 years time. Sony seem to be chopping and changing in their direction in an attempt to drive up sales and it's not overly confidence inspiring.
    <Impressive gear listing goes here>

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    Skunky - Yes, I feel exactly the same way.

    Sarge - Thanks for those links. I do know dyxum, and it's a great site for Sony info. Interesting that from the interviews from your 1st link, it sounds like the a700 successor will likely be an a77 (EVF)? I thought I saw some mockup/demos around a year ago, that looked like the same form factor as a700, but I guess they scrapped it.

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    I suspect if you offered retail portrait clients a choice between being shot with Sony and say Hasselblad Gear many would opt for Sony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonG View Post
    Interesting that from the interviews from your 1st link, it sounds like the a700 successor will likely be an a77 (EVF)? I thought I saw some mockup/demos around a year ago, that looked like the same form factor as a700, but I guess they scrapped it.
    Sony have confirmed that the A700 replacement (the A77) will indeed have an EVF. What they havent confirmed at this point however is if the EVF will use a hybrid optical/electronic or whether it will be a straight electronic design as found in the A33/A55. My bets are that it will remain an electronic, but potentially using an OLED display with a higher resolution than the existing AXX models.

    Theres also a strong rumor doing the rounds that the A77, and with that the Nikon D300S replacement will also be sporting a 24MP sensor!

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    Most punters wouldn't know a good camera from a bad one.

    I was at a weeding a while ago, and the photographer had 2 Hasselblads he was using.
    A friend of mine said to me that they looked like funny cameras to him and must be very cheap!
    I told him that these cameras were worth over $20K each - and he almost had a heart attack!

    The fact is, punters don't know one brand from another, but if you have an SLR, especially with a large lens and a battery grip on it, they will be assured that you are professional, regardless of the brand of the camera.

    Nothing wrong with Sonys either, even though I shoot Canon, but my father has a few Sonys, as he used to love his Minolta stuff and still has lots of Minolta lenses, and he takes great photos with it, and he loves the smaller form factor too.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Must have been some garden :-)

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I think if Sony wants to be top dog among Pros, they should start with service. Professional support I mean and working closely with their top pros.
    I have no doubts they have the know how and engineering to make superb products but that in itself won't be enough I think.
    If they're really in tune with pro needs, their products range will reflect it.
    I'm not saying it doesn't atm btw, I don't know Sony's range well enough. My above comments really apply to any manufacturer.
    Nikon FX

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    from a full time professional point of view, I do not use Sony because of the lack of support such as servicing and lens hire around the world - for example in London or Sydney or Hong Kong when I needed to hire lenses or accessories or even bodies to use during photoshoots, no pro studios or shops have them for hire/loan.

    also, as good as a Sony full frame and razor sharp Zeiss prime lenses are - they are not that great for anything other than studio/fashion and landscape stuff - the subpar medium to high ISO performance leaves it far behind for weddings, sports, photojournalism etc. This is from my experiences of using them.

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