Monday, December 2, 2013

The Upgrade Dilemma

The inter web is abuzz about the Sony A7/A7r; even none Sony users are talking about them. I have been following these two cameras even before they were announced through the rumour mills. Now that they are a reality, should I upgrade my NEX-6 to the A7/A7r?

I happen to like the NEX-6 a lot. In fact, it's one of the best cameras I have used. No complains about its image quality, nor its usability; if it were a full frame sensor inside the NEX-6, I would be all set for a little while. But, there is always that little thing called money. Upgrading is usually expensive. For mortals like us who has limited funds to spend on camera upgrades, a $1700 camera is a significant chunk of disposable income to blow on a camera. So what are the options?

Get a Metabones Speedbooster -- This almost gives you the illusion of a full frame camera, but of course it isn't. I am always leery of optics that gets in the way between a lens and the camera. As good as the Speedbooster is, there are limitations; and it does optically modify the lens in front of it. What you get in image is not really exactly the same as what you would get natively on a full frame.  And, there is the problem of mounts. If you are like me, who have lenses in many mounts, you would need Speedbooster in different mounts. True, one can get the Canon version and then buy cheap Canon to whatever adapters, but that again, increases the margin of error with double adapters.

I could sell some of my existing lenses to fund the purchase. This is really something I try to avoid. I don't plan to add many more lenses to my collection, but at the same time, I don't want to reduce what I have either. However, if the upgrade urge is uncontrollable, this might be the way to go.

Another option is to sell/trade in my 5D Mark II, and sell fewer lenses. This sounds better to me.

Finally, do nothing. Keep and make use of the 5D Mark II and ignore the A7/A7r ever existed.

Yeah, I know you lucky people are laughing at my dilemma.

Men At Work - NEX-6 & 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS @50mm f5.6 [wide open]. Click for larger.


  1. There's also the option of waiting and saving.

  2. well at the risk of seeming 'conservative' I'd say: if you like the images from your NEX-6 there will only be specific situations where you'll get more out of a A7. Even then you'll have to define what "more" is. As I see it the "more" will have to be something to do with look and feel of images.

    With Telephoto you'll need longer to equal the crop effect of APS.
    With normals you'll be specifically wanting shallow depth of field
    With wides you'll need to be after edge bokeh or shallow DoF at mid distances.

    Since you already have a FF camera to cover those specific situations, you could just use that for them.

    Now if the A7 gave me a soft highlight roll off like negative with the luscious clarity of digital I'd sell quite a bit of my collection to get it .. but it doesn't

    1. Well, you are being very rational, but I am not a rational person or else won't have all this gear :)

      You are absolutely right. I would gain very little by getting an A7/A7r. It's probably better just wait for the price to drop.

  3. Hi

    > It's probably better just wait for the price to drop.

    so far I've been taking that approach. However I've noticed with full frame stuff that the prices don't seem to move. Used 5D (mk1) are still about US$600 and have been for some time, unlike say a 20D (simlar era) which is had for peanuts. The demand for full frame seems to provide an irrational allure to many (sorry, elitist assumption on my part that many photographers fit into the criticisms made in What The Duck, and rely on better gear to make 'better pictures')of full frame will see the prices stay high.

    Personally if the A7 is even "as good" as your NEX6 I'd be selling the 6, the 5D's and some lenses and what ever other bodies you've got and go grab the A7. I've already got a spread sheet with estimated sale values of my GF , GH , Nikon LS 4000 .... to see what I can raise to buy it.

    1. Most of us buy gears just because it's new and has more features, and we really WANT it, and we know it will not make us better photographers. To some degree, good gear can make better pictures, but we know better.

      There is no doubt the A7 is better than the NEX-6, that's what makes this difficult for me :)

  4. and is it just me, or since captcha has been 'cracked' (by essentially AI) is it getting more contorted now?

    1. Nothing is uncrackable. Give it time, someone will break anything.