As a photojournalist – in the vein of William Albert Allard, Eugene Richards and Alex Web – I strove to layer content in many parts of my images, and as such find obsession with overly thin depth of field (DOF) and the out of focus areas of a photograph, well, thin.. So what the heck am I doing with a lens that is the true bokeh grand master?
The digital camera industry is as fast paced as any other digital manufacturing industry. We are now on the 10th iteration of the iPhone, after its debut in 2007; similarly since the Nex-7 in 2011 we have gone moved through the A6k and A7 series several times over, with no indication that the A9 or A7RIII will be their definitive/iconic models in the same way that the Nikon F3 was more or less The Nikon from 1980 to 2001.
The Sony A5100 is by many accounts a great little camera. It’s very small, it does pretty decent quality video, it has very fast autofocus, a flippy-uppy screen and is compatible with an increasingly excellent selection of lenses from Sony and the likes of Zeiss and Sigma. If all this is what you’re looking for, it has a lot to offer. Which worked out quite well for me, since these are the attributes I was looking for. That being said, what I also expected – especially since this is a Sony – was to also find considerable compromises. Quite surprisingly, what I’ve actually found is a digital camera that pretty much perfectly fits a few of my specific needs.
I really enjoyed Hamish’s recent articles about the Sony A7RII, and the one regarding the never ending “film vs digital” debate. To me, these two articles felt as though they were interconnected. In reading them I decided I wanted to add to the conversation myself. This article is a story about both how I feel I have decreased the gap between digital and film photography, and how I have turned all-bells-and-whistles-superphotographer-all-megamode-dad-camera Sony A7Rii into a slightly more “ZEN” minimalistic tool.
Let me just start by saying, it doesn’t matter which way you look at the Sony A7Rii, it is a ridiculous thing. Ridiculous in every sense. If you view it as bad, it’s ridiculously bad, yet entirely simultaneously it can be viewed as ridiculously good! I know this for a fact, since I myself have both views depending on the day you ask me. In the extremes, the Sony A7Rii is a camera I love to hate and hate to love, and through this relationship with it, it manages to perfectly illustrate the worst of the problems I have with modern digital cameras… So I thought I’d write a post about it…