Why I bought a Sony Alpha 7 Mark II in 2018

Jan 24, 2018

Yes, it is 2018 and I bought a 3 year old camera new and here is why. I've always been a Canon shooter. I started around 15 years ago with a Canon anolog single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. I took it on a couple of trips and I quickly switched to a Canon EOS 350D 2 years later, because the ability to quickly check your images was priceless. This 8 megapixel camera served me very well for a couple of years and in 2015 I switched to the Canon 5D Mark III.

The Canon 5D series cameras are awesome and together with a great lens they produce amazing images. But especially in combination with a decent zoom lens such a device is heavy and you think twice of bringing it to your hiking trip to the mountains. The Sony mirroless cameras are much lighter, especially in combination with a landscape lens like the Sony Zeiss 35mm F2.8 which only weighs 120g. This lower weight makes it possible to carry more optional gear like a travel tripod.

I sometimes shoot pictures of my family especially in the evening time when there is not a lot of light. With the Canon 5D, I always had to use a flash. While that works, the images never looked very natural. With a Sony sensor, you get by with a lot less light and a higher ISO setting. In combination with a fast lens, you get amazing images without a flash even in low light situations. Additional the Sony Alpha 7 Mark II has electronic image stabilization built-in which helps with longer exposures in handheld shooting situations, although it doesn't help with fast moving kids.

Compared to the Sony Alpha 7R series of cameras, the Alpha 7 only shoots 24 megapixels, while the 7R shoots 42. But in my mind the 24 megapixels are plenty to work with and the 42 megapixels are kind of overkill and only useful for professional landscape photographers who want every little detail in an image. For any casual photographer like me, the 24 megapixels of the Sonly Alpha 7 is more than enough and it compares to the 5D Mark III in this regard.

Before purchasing the Alpha 7, I also checked out the Sony Alpha 6500, because it has most of the features of the Alpha 7, plus it can shoot video on 4K. However since I mostly wanted a camera for stills, I liked to have a fullframe sensor over an APS-C crop sensor and all the benefits this offers. For one you get a lot more shallow depth of field with a fullframe sensor than with a crop sensor and you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to lens selection. I also bought the Fotodiox Pro E-Mount to EF-Mount adapter with auto-focus support, which allows me to use all my old, but awesome Canon lenses. You don't get the full AF performance with an adapter, but in practice I found that it's good enough.

Last I want to mention the price. I got my Sony Alpha 7 for 1300 EUR of Amazon and Sony offered 200 EUR cashback. The above mentioned Alpha 7R is around 3000 EUR and you can get the Alpha 6500 for 1300 EUR. For me the Alpha 7 Mark II simply offered the best value for the price.