The Road to Mirrorless

In this blog post, we shall be discussing my move from my DSLR (a Nikon D5200) to the mirrorless realm of digital cameras.

Before I finished college for the summer, I had decided that I was going to buy a Sony Alpha A7 mirrorless Camera. It is a full frame digital camera, and is considerably cheaper than full frame DSLR’s. After shooting with a crop bodied camera for the first year of photography and shooting with a Canon 5D Mark 2 in the studio; I was really warming up to the prospect of owning a full frame camera.

Before I was going to purchase a Sony A7, I wanted to see if mirrorless was the direction that I wanted to move too. I decided to sell my Nikon D5200 to fund my purchase of a Sony NEX 7.

This is the Sony NEX 7 s small camera that packs an APS-C crop sized sensor that is able to capture 24 megapixels, similar to my Nikon D5200.

This is the Sony NEX 7 small camera that packs an APS-C crop sized sensor that is able to capture 24 megapixels, similar to my Nikon D5200.

The Sony NEX 7 and my old Nikon D5200 have a considerable amount in common such as their APS-C Crop Sized Sensor, which both stand at 24 megapixels, and are both CMOS type sensors. They both can shoot 24p and have external microphone jacks.

However, the Sony can also shoot in 50p and 60p (progressive frames) but records all footage in AVCHD. While the Nikon shoots with a H.264 encoding, which has a better bitrate than the Sony NEX 7. To me as an amateur film maker it’s not as big of a deal as its made out to be. However, if you were too do some serious grading, the footage can fall apart.

Image quality between the two is very similar, and was very hard to distinguish a real winner. But if I am nit picking noise, performance was better on the Nikon D5200. However, I could also say the Dynamic Range on the Sony NEX 7 could excel the Nikon in certain lighting situations while the Nikon could surpass the Sony in others. They are both great cameras which both take good images in colour or black and white.

Over the summer I had saved up enough money from work to be able to purchase a Sony Alpha A7 earlier than anticipated. So I decided to purchase a Body Only option (and instantly regretted that decision). I found the Sony A7 to feel even more exquisite than Sony NEX 7. They also moved the SD card under its own flap which makes the Sony A7 more inline of a DSLR which is more convenient to swap SD Cards. On the topic of memory cards within the Sony A7 you have to create an image database file for the camera to see where images are located on the card. If you were then to remove files with a computer and then put the card back in the camera, it asks you to check the database file. This is a slight annoyance for when working with multiple cards and working on the files else where.

The Sony Alpha A7 a formidable camera, which makes this owner very happy.

The Sony Alpha A7 a formidable camera, which makes this owner very happy.

The battery life is somewhat improved in some regards over the Sony NEX 7. First of all, the Sony NEX 7 and Sony A7 use the same batteries which is fantastic; this means I have spare batteries for the Sony NEX 7, and secondly the charger for the Sony NEX 7 charges the batteries externally, whereas the Sony A7 provides a charger to charge the batteries internally. It isn’t so bad, but it means you can’t use the camera while it is being charged.

The overall performance is better than the Sony NEX 7, but that is not surprising since one is a full frame camera and the other is cropped. They also have an age difference of roughly 2 years, which has allowed Sony to improve on a lot of things.

My first and last DLSR it was an excellent purchase and put the standards high for the purchase of my next camera.

My first and last DLSR it was an excellent purchase and put the standards high for the purchase of my next camera.

In conclusion I am very happy with my purchases of the Sony NEX 7 and Sony Alpha A7. I will miss my old Nikon D5200 DSLR it was an excellent camera and never failed to impress me and set a high standard for my next camera.

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