Dear Reader (2021-09-18),
I am not a member of any religious cult, technology cult (Apple vs Android, Oracle vs SQL Server, etc.), or photography gear cult. I have got to a point in my approach to technology that can be summarized as: I want it to meet my needs, and I want the damn think to work. Years ago, I had Nikon equipment, and sort of fell into buying my present camera (Nikon D7100). Parts of that camera are now held together with gaffer’s tape, and some things just don’t’ work the way they once did. So, it is time to think about next steps.
Only one of my current lenses is appropriate for a full frame camera. This means I am not really beholden to any particular brand. After wandering through the morass of gear guides on the Interweb, I had learned enough to speak semi-intelligently to a salesperson. He suggested I might be interested in the Aardvark 3000 with 60 megapixels of resolution. A camera with that sort of a specification, means my current computer, storage, and backup solutions would all have to be replaced or upgraded. Furthermore, I would now have the ability to produce billboard size images. Really! That is just silly! I don’t need an Aardvark 3000. I am just a simple (?) photographer trying to get better at my art and craft. I would like a camera that is lighter than the one I have, has a good range of high-quality lighter lenses, and I envisage printing some of my images large (maybe up to 30 inches on the long edge).
The next step in my research was thanks to the good people at The Camera Store. They were kind enough to lend me a Sony mirrorless camera and a 100-400 mm lens for three days. To be perfectly honest, they did take over $3,500 off my credit card (don’t drop the camera), and when I returned the camera all in working order they returned my money. I decided hiking (remember – don’t drop the camera) was out of the question. But driving, well that was doable. Keith (click here for his post on the day) joined me on Monday’s drive to the East, and on Wednesday I drove West.
The drive East took us as far as Drumheller, with stops at Horseshoe Canyon, and whatever seemed photographically appealing. For instance, many have been to London, and many have been to Paris, but have you been to Dorothy? Wednesday’s drive took me West past Lake Louise.
I loved the camera and the lens. The camera (Sony A7R iii-A ) is a contender / the winner. The lens is gorgeous, heavy, costs more than the camera, and is not a contender. I had never used a lens with that sort of reach before – what fun – new possibilities. My only complaint is that I am not a fan of Sony’s approach to colour. I am a fan of Nikon’s colour straight out of the camera. In practice I could adjust accordingly in post-processing, or adjust Sony’s colour profile in camera. Like any new tool, there is a learning curve, and this meant focus or exposure was not always correct (my problem not the camera’s).
Both days were phenomenal, and I am pleased to report that there is even a new 5 in my collection. These images are presented in the approximate order they were captured, and as usual they are more rewarding on a monitor.
FYI: As you are scrolling through the filmstrip please note that you can click on any image and see the image with a nice dark background and no annoying band across the top.
As always, all comments are welcome and sought.
All rights for all material on any media reserved – © Sean P Drysdale 2021