I use to have some Sony mirrorless cameras. In fact, I have four of them and was seriously considering a more to the mirrorless market. The concept behind them is amazing. A smaller, lighter, more flexible system with the same sensors and image quality of a Nikon DSLR. It looks amazing…. on paper.
It is really sad because they could really be a mover and shaker in the photography world but they probably wont. One reason I question that is Sony sees their sensor business as the silver bullet to save the Sony Corporation. I do not think that the camera market will save the whole empire. Just won’t happen.
In reality, the very things that photographers go to Sony mirrorless cameras for, they find when they get there…. just marketed better. People are upset that Nikon or Canon does not innovate fast enough and we are just string along. Guess what? Sony does it just as much. They just are much better at marketing their process and not as open about it.
Simply put, I think alot of people (I was) are in love with the idea of Sony mirrorless; not really the actual shooting with them. There is just too many problems in the end. I will take a heavier but trustworthy Nikon DSLR anyday!
10. Sony is not stable
One of the major issues to look at is that Sony could go under any time. They have sold off things, quit making laptops, reduced their television footprint and basically just have cameras and phones now. They have even made their sensor business completely apart from the rest of Sony. I believe, as does others, this was to save it when (not if) Sony has to file bankruptcy in Japan. I hope the Toshiba move is not the nail in the coffin for what is now known as Sony Semiconductor Solutions.
If you want a camera system for a brand that use to exist, just go get a Kodak (that developed the DSLR) and you will have the same thing. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
9. Build Problems
The cameras themselves are build very cheaply in Ayutthaya, Thailand. I do not think I have seen such poorly made professional grade camera body in my life. They are basically made of pop medal. A small drop can completely destroy the system. This is not what you expect out of a higher end camera that professionals could use.
I was walking in Quezon City, Philippines and the Sony NEX 6 dropped out of my hand the second day I had it. It destroyed the pancake lens, shattered the EVR, broke the flash, offset the shutter assembly and cause the battery to not connect. All because of a 12-15 inch drop. To be fair, I have dropped the Nikon D7000 from 10 feet in the air and it lived to tell about it.
8. Camera shops wont touch Sony mirrorless systems
After dropping it, I was off to the local camera repair shops to see how much work it would take to get it fixed. What I found out was no one will touch them with a ten foot pole. No one knows anything about the mirrorless cameras. This is an issue when you need it worked out for some reason.
The reason this matters, especially in the Philippines, is that you will be without your camera for 1-2 weeks (or more) while it is sent to Singapore, Japan or the United States to be worked on by the technicians. A month without your tools is alot of money you are losing.
7. Sony Service Centers suck
A trip to Sony Philippines and the Sony Service Center in Makati was even worse. They do not know crap about Sony mirrorless cameras and only care about television and smartphones. One of the people working there told me so. I had figure out exactly what was happening with it and asked to speak to a technician about. Sony Philippines will not allow them to speak directly with customers. When there is a language barrier, who knows what is being translated.
In the end, one of the major problems was the camera was switched to the EVF so the LCD wouldn’t come on. However, the EVF was broke so I had no way to see anything. They wanted to send it to Singapore. I asked a few Sony mirrorless users about it. We found out that just hooking up a HDMI to a television will give access to change the settings. Really surprising that Sony Philippines and the Sony Service Center couldn’t tell me this.
6. Sony Distribution is not much better
A walk into almost any camera shop in the Philippines and if you can find a Sony mirrorless camera, there is about 75% chance that is grey market and was bought here illegally by the stores from Hong Kong. Part of the reason is business related but part of it that distribution by Sony is just horrible.
I found the same to be true in the United States. Alot of local shops just do not have the cameras. It had to be ordered at B&H or Adorama. If they ever dream of competing with Nikon; they better get fix this problem pretty quickly.
5. The Electronic View Finder is annoying
The one good thing about Sony mirrorless systems is you can use the liveview without a monopod. You have to. The electronic viewfinder is just annoying and not even that close. I have used it a few times on shoots and I must say it just does not match up like they shoot. I have tried them on a few systems as well. Not impressive.
The Optical view finder in Nikon cameras might not let you see what you get but it much easier to use in reality. I could never get on with the EVF. However, to be fair, I normally use the liveview on the Nikon D800 and attach a monopod to it.
4. Battery life is a joke
If you really use the cameras for serious work, plan to carry about a dozen batteries with you. I took the Sony A6000 on a trip to Palawan last month and I had five batteries for it with me and had to charge them up every night as well. Five Sony batteries lasted about a little longer than one Nikon battery. This is just plain unacceptable.
Having to charge five batteries every evening when you are travel gets old really fast. It means you have to stay close to the batteries so you can unplug one and plug another one in. I have better things to do with my evenings. I perfer charge one while I go eat dinner and the another one when I come home.
3. Carl Zeiss lens are crazy expensive
I love their lenses and I have a few of them for the Nikon cameras but they are not priced for the guy that wants a great camera for vacation and street photography. People will not spend $1,500 on a lens to take photos of their dinner and cats. Sorry, they just wont.
A system without native glass to put in front of it is just worthless. While the Carl Zeiss partnership is the strength of the Sony mirrorless system; it is also the biggest weakness as well. If they want to be a legit system; they better get serious about the mid-range lens market quickly.
2. Sony Flash are not all that
After looking at the len problem or what Jason Lanier mocked calling it the Lensgate; you have a bigger flash with flashes. Sony just does not have decent flashes. I have yet to see anything that competes with the Nikon SB900 yet come out of Sony. It is all simple flashes and have serious limitations.
If you say that using flashes are old school (I agree), that is fine; however, some forms of photography still require a good flash. Sony does not have them. That is a problem. Period.
1. Sony Snobs
Speaking of Jason Lanier, he is a great example of the Sony Snobs, the gear heads that worship their cameras. When someone hand me a print that they got with their Nikon; they put emphasis on the image and the editing. However, a Sony Snob is more interested in telling me about the camera they used than the image itself. No one gives a damn that you shot it with a Sony mirrorless camera! Sorry to break the news to you, bro.
In many ways, the Sony Snobs are the main reason I sold my cameras. I just can’t stand brand whores that can’t enjoy photography without comparing how big of a @#$ they have. When you care more about what camera you use than what image it produced; you are a Sony Snob and a brand whore.
What am I using now?
Well, before I tried the Sony mirrorless, I was shooting using my old Nikon D7000 (that Jason Lanier told me to marry) and was using my Nikon D800 full frame camera for professional work. I never got rid of them and really never planned to. The Nikon system is far more advanced and I can find lens for them very cheaply and quickly.
Today, I am still using the Nikon D800 but sorry, Jason, I divorced the D7000 and married the Nikon D7100. I have plans to get the Nikon D7200 as well as the Nikon D750 but that is in the works right now. I am also wondering what the next generation in the Nikon D8xx line will look like.