It's been a month and a half since my birthday. Yes it was a special day, and not only because I turned 24 which is leading me to the 25 next year. That day something big happened, a crazy investment.
Everybody who follows my nonsense on twitter (@joanolleb) or in real life (poor you!, if you're reading this blog for the first time, welcome!) know that I call myself a film photographer because, well, I shoot film. Dah!
Yet this time something different came in the way (as if I hadn't spoiled it with the tittle and the picture). As I manage to find my place in the "pro" and the fine art world, I found that for the first one, speed and time are very important things as clients want extremely short time file turnarounds so after a little thinking and a big amount of craziness we headed to the camera store and yes, ended up with a Sony A7ii.
Yes I know it's not 40 gazillion mp nor shoots internal 4k. And so, what? 24mp is more than enough for the size of the prints I'll make and how the work needs to be delivered. Plus 4K it's cool, yes but yet again, for an assigment by now 1080 is what is mostly asked and if I needed something else I'd rent an a7Sii. So no problem. Plus for my videos I'm more than covered with this beast. The S-log recording and the cine modes are just bliss.
Enough of this boring text let's dive straight to what we all want: How does it feel? Do I like it?
Oh with it I bought the Sony Zeiss, Zeiss Vario-Tessar 24-70 f/4 because I thought it's a nice tool to work because for my personal photos I'll be using my Nikon legacy glass and the Hasselblad, as always. But more on that later.
The camera is bliss, it's extremely small and light (coming from the 3 ton Hasselblad it's light as a feather), so it makes for the perfect hike companion. Plus it's weather sealed and the full body is made of magnesium alloy which makes it super resistant.
As said before it has the same 24mp sensor as the a7 but with improved autofocus and IBIS.
ISO Is decent enough but I won't be shooting higher than 6400 so it's perfect for me and at base ISO the IQ is outstanding. That's what I call a WIN WIN.
The 5 axis IBIS is pretty convenient both for stills and for video, I've taken pictures at 1/10th without blur! And for video mixed with it's capabilities, recording in Slog and XAVC-S which makes its bitrate faster than the old a7s, is for me too much already to venture into the world of fine art videography or however it's called.
The EVF is superb. It's like looking at a massive TV inside of the camera, and I haven't found any drawbacks about the blackening after taking a photo whatsoever.
The flip flop back screen is gorgeous to look at but hey don't trust the film guy who only looks at his computer screen perhaps for the pixel peeper is not good. For me it's too good! Having a screen is nuts!
What about the lens? Well I've read tons of bad stuff about it and can say only one thing: Mine must be a defective one because it's stunningly sharp (perhaps a little bit soft on the edges at 24mm but nothing that I bothers me at all) and works smooth as a knife cutting through butter. Yes, the bokeh isn't comparable to anything we're used to: Loxia, Planar, summicron, etc but hey we're talking zooms here. So for a 24-70 f/4 it's decent and beautiful enough. Harsh and distracting depending on the background but overall I quite like it when the background is good.
What else is left to say? If you really want to know how does the camera work and the results of it go try it out, nobody will tell you if it suits you or not. I've had a lot of criticism because I bought this instead of the new A7Rii which has 42.4 mp and records 4K and it's just that I don't need that much at my level and for the work that people ask for, this is even too good. If some day I find myself shooting for VOGUE or ELLE I'll surely buy... LOADS OF FILM and make them drum scan it to a gazillion GB file to print!
Jokes aside, cameras are tools and we choose the tools we like to use to solve the things that our clients ask us to do. At the end of the day any review of some guy online will tell you what is like to use it and maybe what for some may be a bad ISO performance or a bad camera or lens for you can be the best you've ever shot with. Everything is relative my friends and with this I finish.
And oh! stay tuned because there are a few photos from the last 2 weeks coming later this week involving this camera and this lens, I hope you have enjoyed :)