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Hello, everyone. I hope this finds you well. 

I'm currently in the process of deciding which system I'm going to be using. I'm coming from a 7D. No, not the Canon - the Minolta 7D. It's done me proud, lasting as long as it did, but it's time to move on (a point-and-shoot would give me more options to create nowadays). I've been saving (and researching) and believe I've got a finalized list of what I want to purchase. Heck, the research started a few years ago, and I just kept waiting and saving as I believed Mirrorless would be the way to go, then I had to decide between Sony, Canon, and Nikon. Canon's current line-up doesn't sway me and it's probably (moving forward) way out of my budget anyway. My feelings about Nikon are pretty much the same as my perception of their pricing structure over the past year or two is one of shock. As I'm all about bang-for-buck (and system 'maturity') I've decided then to go with Sony...I think. Probably.  Although Fuji is enticing me still.

I'm a hobbyist, I like to shoot pretty much anything except for Macro and Street.  I love learning, there's a certain sense of pride to be gleaned from it, and it starts with this post:

How is everyone finding Sony as a system? By that I mean Warranty repairs should something befall a Body or a Lens.  How good (or bad) was your experience?

Is the A.F really as good as I think it is?

Are the menu's as atrocious as I think they are or is it a case of set-up the way you want and, pretty much, never have to go back in there?

Do you trust your Sony in inclement weather or is a raincover in order?

I've done quite a bit of research regarding sd cards in Sony body's and have decided to use uhs-1 in both slots. Stupid idea?

Now, I don't mean to be crass with this next but it'll help any respondents with answers:  I have a budget of around £15000. I have a shopping list I've pretty much settled on but would welcome any changes. I would genuinely welcome and appreciate your thoughts. Obviously this might change dependent on Sony's New York event today.

Sony A7iii - VGC3 grip - Spare z100 battery - Tamron 17-28 (should it prove to be a good lens) - Tamron 28-75 - Sony 70-200 G Master - Sony 200-600 G (Ditto...) - Sony 85 1.8 - Zeiss 55 1.8 - Sony 35 1.8 (Ditto again...).  I'm also considering a second body (as the wife has expressed some interest in photography).

There's also some other items on the list but the main one's are above: Benro Mach 3 (38) tripod. Benro G3 Ballhead, Peak Design Slide strap, Sky Watcher Star Adventurer pro pack and Lowepro Flipside 300 AWii.

Filters. I originally looked at B+W but balked at the prices. Are they really that good? Would I be well-served with Hoya's Pro1 digital line?

Godox V1 - anyone used it?

Meike hand grip - terrible or....?

Screen protectors - I'm struggling to pay what Sony is asking for theirs. I have found some generic one's on Amazon that are massively less expensive (Komet brand). 

Capture one for editing?

I think that's it. Apologies for the long read, I've tried to be as concise as possible. Thanks in advance for any advice/help offered. 

 

Edited by Boomer
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How is everyone finding Sony as a system? By that I mean Warranty repairs should something befall a Body or a Lens.  How good (or bad) was your experience?

So far I’ve never needed to use the warranty so I don’t know the answer to that one.

Is the A.F really as good as I think it is? No, it’s better then you think it is.

Are the menu's as atrocious as I think they are or is it a case of set-up the way you want and, pretty much, never have to go back in there? There are a lot of functions, Many that you are unlikely to ever change, use the Function menu for often-changed values and the Favorites menu for the less frequently changed settings and you will be fine. 

 Do you trust your Sony in inclement weather or is a raincover in order? Yes, it’s been in rain and hard wind blowing sand all over it, no issues.

I've done quite a bit of research regarding sd cards in Sony body's and have decided to use uhs-1 in both slots. Stupid idea? Yes, use the fastest card that will work in the UHS II slot.

Now, I don't mean to be crass with this next but it'll help any respondents with answers:  I have a budget of around £15000. I have a shopping list I've pretty much settled on but would welcome any changes. I would genuinely welcome and appreciate your thoughts. Obviously this might change dependent on Sony's New York event today.

 Sony A7iii - VGC3 grip - Spare z100 battery - Tamron 17-28 (should it prove to be a good lens) - Tamron 28-75 - Sony 70-200 G Master - Sony 200-600 G (Ditto...) - Sony 85 1.8 - Zeiss 55 1.8 - Sony 35 1.8 (Ditto again...).  I'm also considering a second body (as the wife has expressed some interest in photography). 

I recently bought the VGC3 grip, I like that I can just put a single battery in to keep the weight down, I use it for vertical shots as it is easier to hold the camera that way. The 70-200 is an amazing lens, and one I use very often. The Swiss 55mm 1.8 is one of the sharpest lens I have ever seen, very light and compact and well made. I have the 200-600 on order.

There's also some other items on the list but the main one's are above: Benro Mach 3 (38) tripod. Benro G3 Ballhead, Peak Design Slide strap, Sky Watcher Star Adventurer pro pack and Lowepro Flipside 300 AWii.

I use a Manfrotto tripod, I like to use a heavy one as I usually operate it remotely from a  distance and this helps to prevent the wind from blowing it over.

Filters. I originally looked at B+W but balked at the prices. Are they really that good? Would I be well-served with Hoya's Pro1 digital line? Don't know, I just use a UV or plain glass filter to protect front element (personal choice).

Godox V1 - anyone used it?  No

Meike hand grip - terrible or....? I use the Sony grip

 Screen protectors - I'm struggling to pay what Sony is asking for theirs. I have found some generic one's on Amazon that are massively less expensive (Komet brand). Never used one but it can’t hurt to buy one, I don’t use the monitor much. I wish Sony would use the same style as the a77 and allow to to flip around so the screen is against the camera body.

Capture one for editing? Yes

I think that's it. Apologies for the long read, I've tried to be as concise as possible. Thanks in advance for any advice/help offered. 

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37 minutes ago, LiveShots said:

Now that the a7RIV is out you may want to consider getting that instead of the a7III.

While it costs $1500 more you can drop some of the lenses and just crop in that 61Mp image.

I'm considering the IV, but can't help thinking what that's going to do to III prices. That'd still have a, what, 18mp super 35 image? (42 / 2.36). I reckon the a7Riii would be more than enough camera for me. Also, are there any current lenses that can resolve 61mp? I am getting a second body now.

As for dropping lenses, I'm not so keen as bodies come and go, lenses don't, not for me anyway and not if I choose wisely.

I'm also curious as to these other 3 camera's Sony are apparently bringing out in the next 4-6 weeks. There's been massive reductions on the RIII with Cashback and free extended warranties, on top of a reduced price - and now we have the mark IV. It's been the same for the A7iii so I have to wonder if a mark IV of that is coming too. I've waited 3 or so years, I can wait a few more weeks.

I should have been clearer that the Hoya filters I was referring to are protector filters. 

Same with the Meike handgrip. It's not a battery grip, it's the alternative to Sony's pinky grip.

Thanks for the interest, LiveShots. Appreciated. 

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I got the ATG DSC-RX10 IV Kim X.

The def is the ATG has a 24-600@ F2.8. A bit pricey but well worth from carrying 70-200, 300/2.8, 400/2.8, 500/4.0 & 600/4.0

So a Sony DSC-RX10 IV will do you right for under $2,000.00. Affordable for beginners and senior citizens to use and enjoy.  

 

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13 hours ago, eyeseeyou2 said:

I got the ATG DSC-RX10 IV Kim X.

The def is the ATG has a 24-600@ F2.8. A bit pricey but well worth from carrying 70-200, 300/2.8, 400/2.8, 500/4.0 & 600/4.0

So a Sony DSC-RX10 IV will do you right for under $2,000.00. Affordable for beginners and senior citizens to use and enjoy.  

 

Thanks for the post, eyeseeyou2. But that camera is a 1" sensor and has a very long zoom, advantageous in some situations sure but I'd rather buy a full frame camera and lenses to cover that focal range.

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If you are not printing anything over 16 X 20, then the 8.8mm sensor would be fine.

You and many people have been fooled in thinking that the camera has 25.4mm (one inch) sensor.

The camera sensor has/measured at 8.8mm (tall) X 13.2mm (wide).

If you do the math, the answer is 15.86. Nowhere close to 25.4mm, which is close to 1 inch.

Do you have 400/2.8, 500/4.0 or 600/4.0? Or even can afford one?  Many pros surly can afford one but not all three.

Then you got to worry about your back, food and water.

My staff, experienced scientists/law enforcement/special forces & I use the ATG DSC-RX10 IV Kim X.

For many the 24-600/4.0 is fine.

But one stop brighter is a godsend!

We are able to zoom wide with ATG/Zeiss 24/2.8 all the way up to 600/2.8.

Our 500 or 600 lenses are well over $10,000.00. And they are only at F4.0

Our 400/2.8 lenses is well over $12,000.00. But this is over 10 pounds!

Again, give the Sony DSC-RX10 IV a try, I am sure your wife will love this camera and you will soon be too.

And when you are willing, like me /or many other, come up to ATG's. The price has going up since I got it for $14,500.00.

 

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Ended up going for the A9 and A7iii.  Looking at an A7ii for the wife, or Rii. Not sure yet. Waiting to see how interested she really is before deciding as her subject interests seem to vary greatly.

Binned the Tamron 17-28 (for now). Binned the 55 1.8; the 85 and 35 has me covered I think.

Going with B+W Protector filters as I'm seeing too many reports of bad QC by Hoya to make me confident enough in them. Happy to be proved wrong though as B+W are expensive. 

Considering changing the 28-75 Tamron for the 24-70 GM, not convinced it's worth over twice the price though, even with that extra 4mm at the wide end.

Everything else remains the same. Except the cards (thanks Liveshots), gone with Sony tough uhs-ii's and Sony uhs-1.

Edited by Boomer
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I have been with Sony A7 system for over two years now so I’ll offer a few observations:

  • The Sony A7R m3 is a superb camera.  With the m4 available later this year, prices on the m3 will drop.  You might want to just go ahead and buy a m3 now and move it to back-up role when the m4 is available.  I suspect the m4 will be in short supply even into next year.  Another possibility is the A7 m3 for backup.  An excellent camera in all regards except 26MP vs 42MP for A7R m3 or 61MP for m4.
  • When I first got into the Sony A7 system, there were not as many Sony lens options available as now.  I adapted Canon EF lenses with Metabones IV adapter.  Adapted lenses will work, but autofocus is slow.  Just this month I have sold all my Canon lenses.  Overall you will get better results with Sony E-mount lenses than anything else.  The Zeiss Batis E-mount lenses work very well on Sony.  
  • Your lens ideas will work.  I don’t own the 24-70GM...too heavy.  I just started using the 24-105 f4 last fall and love it.  For travel, it is outstanding.  If I had to bet, I think the 24-70GM will be updated soon.  For landscape shooting, you just can’t beat the 16-35 f2.8 GM.  I used to own the f4, but the f2.8 is so much more versatile.  To keep from wasting money, start slow on lenses, then add as you see what you like.  You never know when a current lens will be updated.  Start with the 24-105 f4 and 16-35 f2.8 GM.  That will keep you busy for months.  Then add the 85mm f1.8GM for portraits, and 100-400 for wildlife.
  • Why would you spend thousands on top-of-the-line GM lenses and then put a cheap filter on the front?  Yes B+W filters are expensive, but they are excellent quality.  A good quality filter is not cheap.
  • You mention a battery grip.  I prefer a SmallRig L bracket instead.  Early Sony A7 cameras all had small capacity batteries.  All newer models have excellent battery life so you don’t need a grip with two batteries.  Needless extra weight.
  • I have had my camera out in light rain, but it is best to use a camera raincoat I believe.  A PeakDesign medium works great.
  • As for SD cards, get at least one UHS II cards for filming children, animals, and wildlife.  
  • As for flash, I just rarely use one.  I just set ISO at auto up to 6000.  The Sony newest sensors are great and take excellent photos even at high ISO.  I do occasionally use the Godox V860II S with a rechargeable battery.  You can get almost 1000 flashes on a single charge. Amazing.
  • Sony auto focus is just amazing.  The eye AF will surprise you.  I just took some photos of my grandson running around kicking the soccer ball.  I did high speed shooting and the camera nailed the focus.  Last fall at his birthday party, I was in a “bouncing house”.  He was moving, I was moving independently, and the camera was still able to nail the focus. Amazing once again.
  • Sony authorized service did me well.  The shutter on my A7m2 failed while I was on a photo expedition.  I sent to the repair facility and had the camera back in about a week.  I don’t think you can get better service than that.
  • For editing, I use Lightroom/Photoshop on the laptop.  When I travel, I only take an iPad Pro.  I use LR Mobile and Affinity PRO for iPad.  A very capable app and not expensive.

Sorry for the long post, but lots to cover.  Message me if you need more details.

 

Edited by steve of stonehenge
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Thanks for taking the time to type all that, Steve, it's greatly appreciated. Pics below if you're interested. Taken with my phone (there might be some irony in there somewhere)

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.

The majority of the goods arrived yesterday, I have to say I'm absolutely stoked. Had a long and hard think about lenses and bodies (after my initial post) and I changed the list around a bit. 

You guys were not kidding about the AF.  I'm in awe of it. It's crazy how far camera's have come. It's also shocking me just how small the bodies are, even with a battery grip. I must have small hands because they fit perfectly into mine, I guess I lucked out on that one.

I'm still waiting on a few bits (on back-order), the 50 f1.4 Planar being the most anticipated. But the majority of the order has arrived. Godox's V1 should arrive tomorrow.

I absolutely take your point regarding the Riii. Actually, it's nice to read it as it ties in with my own thoughts.  We are getting one, we're waiting until the RIV has been released, and it's for the wife (in the meantime she'll be using the A7iii). She wants the 16-35 GM but I'm holding off until we see/read more complete reviews on the new Tamron. 

She's told me she's interested in shooting landscapes (hence the Riii) and "bugs". So I guess I'm looking at the 90mm Macro lens too, but the Tamron 28-75 we have doesn't half do bad on that score so far and she has latitude to crop on the Riii.

It was great to see the bodies come with the latest firmware (showing 5.01), nice touch that. 

After some discussion with the guy at the store I've ended up going with Capture one Pro. 

I did get some fast UHS-ii cards as well.

Ended up going with Hoya filters. After some testing I have to say I'm satisfied. The chap at the store did say if I wasn't happy I could return and get the B+W, so I'm covered either way.

Thanks for the heads up re the PD raincoat. I'll be looking at that.

 

Edited by Boomer
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