As you may recall, a few years back, I moved from Canon to Panasonic’s Lumix line of Micro Four-Thirds cameras. I made this decision for two reasons: 1) I’d just trekked around the Alaskan Panhandle carrying a EOS body and a 100-400mm lens for a week and the size and weight just about killed me and 2) Canon seemed to not be innovating (similar to Apple and its Mac platform) but both Panasonic and its partner in the m43 system, Olympus, were coming out with all sorts of cool features.
So, I started looking at smaller systems. Fujifilm’s X Series was intriguing, especially since they offered an ASP-C-sized sensor, but the buy-in to the platform was expensive and I’d had a not-excellent experience with my x100 (though, to be fair, that was the first model of the X Series and it’s improved a helluva lot since then). So, my options limited, I bought a Panasonic Lumix G6.
And I loved it.
Small, lightweight, lots of good, fairly-inexpensive glass. I could carry a body and three lenses in the roughly the same amount of space that my EOS and a 24-105L would take up in my backpack, Color was excellent, it was responsive enough for the type of photos I take and, because of the aforementioned size, I could take it anywhere. Especially once I bought a second body, the tiny GM-1.
Eventually, I invested in more lenses and another body, the GX8. I was completely into the m43 ecosystem and these cameras went everywhere with me. Las Vegas, San Francisco, the Mojave Desert, Utah, Idaho, all over Texas, Mexico, the Caribbean…pretty much anywhere I went over the last five years, at least one of my Lumix cameras came with me.
But then something interesting happened.
I started to get a lot of customers licensing photos for giant installations. And not your typical billboard-type installations where resolution doesn’t really matter, but installations in offices and retail spaces that needed fine details. So, to support this business line going forward, I needed something with higher resolution. Hasselblad or other medium format solutions were out of the question as they were out of budget. Luckily, Sony had a solution: the A7rii boasted 41 megapixels and was full-frame to boot.
So I bought one. And a couple of lenses.
And I’m loving it so far. While bigger than my m43 bodies and lenses, it’s still smaller than the legacy dSLR systems from Canon or Nikon. The image quality is excellent…great dynamic range and color (if occasionally over-saturated, though nothing that Lightroom can’t fix), splendid details because of the resolution and a great community of fellow photographers that have really helped me understand and appreciate how far the platform can be pushed.
Even though I’ve had the a7rii for roughly six months now, I’m still slowly entering the system. My gear wishlist on Amazon has grown pretty long. I haven’t given up on m43 yet…still a great system to carry around, but for the most part, new photos I create going forward will by Sony Full Frame. Can’t wait to see what I create.