Gear & Equipment

Mavic 2 Pro Digital Sensor - Does size really matter?

Does size really matter?

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Since DJI announced their new line of Mavic Drones the internet has been alive with drama. One drone, the Mavic 2 Zoom, has a swag of fancy tricks including a lens that can zoom. The other drone, the Mavic 2 Pro, doesn’t. Its lens can’t zoom, and it drops some of the cool party tricks found on the Zoom. Yet, it costs more. 

The Mavic 2 Pro, however, inherits the 1-inch digital sensor that was made famous by the Phantom 4 Pro where-as the Zoom carries over the legacy 1/2.3” CMOS sensor from its predecessor. 

What’s more, the Pro camera now features a lens with variable aperture, meaning users of the new drone are no longer stuck at f2.8 but can now adjust their aperture all the way to f11. This is an essential upgrade for photographers because camera lenses don’t perform at their best when they’re wide open. Aperture is also a vital tool used in controlling exposure. I won’t go into detail on this here but if you’re new to photography I have a blog on this very topic which would be helpful to read.

So, variable aperture and a 1-inch sensor. It’s understandable why the value in this seemingly mediocre combination may not be immediately obvious and why I thought this blog could be a good idea. I’ll leave the variable aperture where it is for now but if you’re one of the many who are wondering why the size of a camera sensor really matters than hopefully this might be of a little help.

Where it all began

The digital sensor topic has always been a crowd favourite. Die-hard photographers were coming to blows in the 90’s over the laughable suggestion that anyone could consider themselves deserving of a camera unless they shot film and had a dark room under the stairs. 

Then came the megapixel race which sparked some of the fiercest online debates ever seen outside of ‘the dress’ and now, in the last few years, we’ve seen the topic come to life again with the emergence of drones. 

Then came the drones

Pre-drones, things had calmed down in the camera world. Technology had become more affordable and good quality imaging was available in high end point and shoots, mirrorless cameras and low to high end dSLR’s. 

When the first consumer drones started appearing, the photography world was still recovering from their beloved D800 and 5D Mkll pub fights and the whole movement flew largely under the radar (pun well and truly intended) but things moved rather fast. The early drones with their strapped-on GoPro’s quickly evolved into integrated cameras and the photography community started taking note.

The problem however, was that these early camera iterations were years behind the imaging technology curve. This partitioned the drone world into those who cared about image quality and those who didn’t. 

It set in motion the tone for what has since become a successful go-to-market strategy and the convenient product differentiation which we’re seeing played out right now between the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom.

Product Differentiation

This is gripping – so what happened next?

I’m glad you’re excited because this is where it starts to get interesting. The war hardened, twice shy photographers who had survived the bruising IQ battles of days gone by simply couldn’t accept a step back in image quality. 

In 2015 DJI announced an upgrade to its Inspire 1 – the Inspire 1 Pro with a micro 4/3rds sensor and the promise of acceptable image quality in a camera that could fly! The I1Pro with its X5 camera was an expensive piece of kit but the mere availability of it was a decisive message and finally gave good reason for photographers and non-photographers alike to be excited by drones.

 The DJI Inspire 1 Pro with the X5, micro 4/3rds sensor and interchangeable lenses.

The DJI Inspire 1 Pro with the X5, micro 4/3rds sensor and interchangeable lenses.

 For the love of image quality. The DJI M600 drone with a DJI Ronin MX Gimbal was able to fly my Sony A7Rll camera with a full 35mm image sensor and a Zeiss 21mm Loxia. 

For the love of image quality. The DJI M600 drone with a DJI Ronin MX Gimbal was able to fly my Sony A7Rll camera with a full 35mm image sensor and a Zeiss 21mm Loxia. 

 Sometimes image quality comes at the expense of size. Seen here is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro and the DJI M600. 

Sometimes image quality comes at the expense of size. Seen here is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro and the DJI M600. 

Back on topic

The intention of that quick history lesson / ramble was to point out that those who care about photography, care about image quality. This is a pretty important point because many photographers invest countless hours, days, months and years learning and improving. 

They do it because it’s something they love but all that hard work, all those long nights, long hikes, cold mornings, it’s all in an effort for the one common and often elusive goal of capturing the best photo they possibly can. 

It's all about the light

The size of the sensor relates directly to how much light it is able to collect and use. Image sensors are made up of (little light sensitive spots) pixels or more accurately photosites, think of them as tiny little buckets collecting light. The bigger the photosites the more likely they are to have more photons hitting them.

Now here’s the important part. Photons = light. More photons = more electrons and electrons = information. This is the fundamental role of a digital sensor. It captures light, turns that light into information and uses that information to create a digital image.

Therefore, it stands to reason that if larger sensors contain more photosites than smaller sensors they can (and do) produce more information which all comes together to create a better and higher quality image file.

Understandably, this direct correlation between sensor size, information and a better image file is rather critically important part of the recipe for those chasing that afore-mentioned elusive goal. 

Dynamic Range and low light

 The 1" digital sensor in the Phantom 4 Pro provides better Dynamic Range. Allowing for more information to be retained in the highlights and shadows.

The 1" digital sensor in the Phantom 4 Pro provides better Dynamic Range. Allowing for more information to be retained in the highlights and shadows.

One of the common terms often referenced when discussing the benefits of larger sensors is Dynamic Range. Dynamic Range refers to the range of exposure stops between complete black and complete white (this is usually the point in which I would draw a little diagram to explain myself). 

If a camera can produce 14 stops of dynamic range, that’s 14 full exposure stops of information that’s available in the image file between a complete shadow and a complete highlight. Despite this common theory, dynamic range isn’t completely dependent upon sensor size, but it certainly plays a very large role in the process.

Another example that’s often referenced in this topic is ‘low light’. Again, there are other factors at play in delivering low light performance but, remember light = information. 

The less ambient light available (low light) the less information the sensor has to work with and produce. This is where larger sensors have an unfair advantage because regardless of the light, when we press the shutter butter, the camera needs to produce an image some way or another and it will demand the information from the sensor to do so, regardless of its quality. The effects of this are also known as image integrity and are most commonly realised in clipped and grainy shadows, a common dilemma in low light photography. 

What does it all mean?

This all translates into higher quality and more useable image files. When you hear the term ‘pushed in post processing’ that’s referring directly to this. The integrity of the image is pushed to it's limits to produce the best looking final output.

Moving the shadow or exposure slider to the right in Lightroom to brighten the shadows first requires that information be available in the shadows. How much detail is available in those bright pink sunrises depends on how much information is available within the highlights of the raw file. Higher quality image files also allow for more expansive colour profiling and significantly better editing. 

A quick reality check

Photography is all about light. I’ve repeated it here and elsewhere. The sensor size plays a gigantic role in aggregating a high-quality image file but it’s still at the mercy of light and the other tools needed to capture the light, such as the ability of the lens to deliver that light to the sensor in the first place. Here’s a quick analogy (Some of you might recognise this one from my Camera Settings blog).

You have a 3-litre bucket (large sensor) and the other guy has a 2-litre bucket (small sensor) and you’re both thirsty and in need of water (light) but the tap (camera lens) can only supply 1 litre of water (light). Your bigger bucket will not have an advantage here.

However, when the water is in abundance you’ll have a much higher chance of collecting more water and faster! 

So, does size really matter?

All this may come across as trivial, but a deep-sea fisherman wouldn’t use a hand real if they were fishing for marlin, an avid cyclist would arrive at the start line on their child’s bmx and a photographer wouldn’t sacrifice image quality when they’re hiking into the mountains dreaming of capturing that amazing sunrise.

All these tools will do the job and the 1/2.3” sensor in the Mavic 2 Zoom will, indeed, capture beautiful photos. However if image quality matters to you, then unfortunately size absolutely matters as well. 

Why I love the Zeiss Batis 135mm

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A quick rummage around Google will return polarising opinions on the Zeiss Batis 135mm, so I thought I’d put together a quick piece on why I decided this lens was a must have for me.

(Technical reviews are readily available, so I promise this won't be another one.)

The 135 Batis is a hardy full-frame lens developed and built specifically for Sony E-mounts. Its weather sealing makes big promises for enduring conditions and it comes with in-built stabilisation and a time-honoured Zeiss APO Sonnar optical design.  

The opponents to this lens are vocal about its cost and relative value with a maximum aperture of ‘only’ f2.8. And they’re right in doing so, the 135mm prime lens is a classic portrait led fixed focal length. Photographers buy 135mm prime lenses for their beautifully shallow DoF and bokeh, and most other comparable 135’s come in cheaper than the Batis and usually at f1.8 or f2.0. 

Landscape photography

Here’s the plot twist. I’m not a portrait photographer, well not really. Since moving away from Nikon and my trusted 70-200 VRll in 2016, my longest E-Mount lens has been the Sony 85mm f1.8. It’s good but it’s left a big gap in my arsenal. 

As a landscape photographer, I needed more reach but with the best image quality available in the lightest package possible (after all, weight is one of the main reasons for choosing mirrorless). I also needed a longer lens that could informally cross over for casual portraits of the kids out and about. 

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A summary of my requirements

1.    More reach

2.    Image Quality 

3.    Low weight / bulk

4.    Casual portraits

5.    Auto-focus (for candid shots when the kids are playing)

Reach, quality and weight

Being ‘only’ an f2.8 doesn’t position the Batis strongly against its 135mm portrait competitors, however it does make it much lighter. As a landscape photographer this is ideal, especially when the majority of my landscape shots will be taken on a tripod between f5.6 – f11.

Prime lenses are optimised to deliver the ultimate image quality at that focal length and here I have a 135mm prime lens without the weight of a 135mm prime lens. That’s requirement number 1, 2 and 3 taken care of, perfectly and without compromise.

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Zoom zoom zoom

I needed more reach and I wanted to get it with a native E-mount lens. The obvious contender to the 135mm Batis was the Sony 70-200 f2.8 G Master. I would have loved the zoom but at 1480g it was over twice the weight of the 614g Batis. 

What’s more, when it comes to image quality (my second most important requirement) the Batis is simply untouchable. I promised not to make this a technical review, so I’ll stop short at describing the image quality of the Batis as nothing short of spectacular. 

As a portrait lens

The interweb forums exploded into frustration when a 135 of this price-point was announced with a maximum aperture of just f2.8. The complaint that many had - at f2.8, the lens couldn’t dissolve backgrounds as well as other f1.8 or f2.0 135’s. To some degree, this is true, but the question to be asked is, does it dissolve them enough? 

For me, absolutely. Remember, portraiture only ranked as my fourth most important requirement. None-the-less, for my needs, it over delivers with beautifully well controlled and smooth bokeh, characteristic of its timeless Sonnar design. 

Focus

The focus on the Batis isn’t terribly slow, but it’s also not terribly accurate. It does the job, for me, but if I were buying it for use at events and weddings, I’d certainly be placing a little more emphasis on this point. The lens also focuses by wire. Some loathe this technical approach, but I don’t mind its unique and smooth tactile feel. 

As with the other Batis lenses, this lens also features a very slick OLED distance display. It’s a cool party trick and earns the lens some extra swagger points. Surprisingly, I've already found myself using it - so it might earn some practical points as well. 

Conclusion

There’s no denying that this isn’t a cheap lens, but it is a classic lens for true lovers of ultra-high quality fixed focal lengths.

As a landscape photographer, it meets every need I have and it does so with more image quality than I have possibly ever achieved from any lens before it.  

Lume Cubes - My initial review

Haukland Aurora_Blog.jpg

A few years ago, I heard some whispers about a new company building a super portable and customisable little light called Lume Cube - quick here. I loved the idea and on paper they looked good so it’s been great to finally have some time with them.

I took a set of two x cubes and two x DJI Phantom 4 Brackets to Norway with the hope of getting some serious air time with them on my DJI Phantom 4 Pro in the arctic mountains but, alas, the weather wasn’t playing ball and some serious wind kept me grounded during some prime opportunities. None-the-less I managed to trial them out and have plenty of thoughts to share.

I’ve spent a lot of time with lights over the years and am pretty comfortable in saying I know my way around a good set of flashes and some pocket wizards so let’s begin there.

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A flash alternative?

Creative lighting has always been an intimidating game. There’s a tonne of variables at play and knowing how to really optimise a set of flashes required a fair amount of photographic understanding. 1/250th curtain speeds, aperture ambience control v shutter speed, dialling up or down by stop ratios. Tripping wireless lights with triggers (like a pocket wizard) was never straight forward either.

The Cubes can be triggered as a slave from an external flash (identical to the standard speed light slave mode many would have used before). Their flash mode can also be controlled from within the app.

Compared with a high end and high price flash, the cubes are comparable in power (up to 1,500 lumens a piece) however the light temperature is just slightly too white for my liking and a little 'crisp' but it's absolutely manageable - especially for the price. 

If I were on assignment in the field I could easily get by with a set of these in the bag to use for any off camera lighting work that might come up. The Lume Cubes come real close to being a genuine alternative to flashes and so much easier.

The app

I’ll jump right to this now because, in my opinion, this is a game changer. The Lume Cube has two buttons for adjusting the mode of the light and the brightness without grabbing for your phone, the buttons are discreet but I had no problem using them even with thick winter gloves.

The majority of operation isn’t by these buttons but rather an app (ios and android). The level of control and customisation is huge and the ease of use is staggering (see ‘flash alternative’). Apparently 5 Lume Cubes can be controlled

 Stills and video can be shot directly from within the app. 

Stills and video can be shot directly from within the app. 

 All aspects of each cube can be controlled from within the app.

All aspects of each cube can be controlled from within the app.

 Mounting a set of Lume Cubes on the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is seriously cool.  Get it? ;)

Mounting a set of Lume Cubes on the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is seriously cool.

Get it? ;)

Airborne

A year or so ago I had the idea of putting some lights in the sky and rigged up a little make-shift mount on the bottom of my DJI M600 with 3 x Nikon SB910 speed lights + Pocket Wizards. The results were cool but it took work.

Fast forward and here’s the future. These lights are bright but what’s more, they’re small, light and seriously easy to mount. I used the DJI Phantom 4 mount which clipped into the landing gear easily and attached to the cubes via a standard ¼ thread.

 The Phantom 4 mounting bars are simple to attach and easy to manoeuvre directionally.

The Phantom 4 mounting bars are simple to attach and easy to manoeuvre directionally.

The first time I flew with the cubes I was using my iPhone as the flight controller and this was also the same device I had the Lume Cube controller app installed on which was a little inconvenient to flick between. From then onwards I used my iPad for the drone which kept my phone free to control the lights – easy.

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro didn’t seem to labour with the added payload, I did notice it’s pitch was slightly exaggerated with the extra weight to momentum but overall it accommodated for them very easily. The flight time would unquestionably be impacted with the added payload but given I was already flying in sub-zero temperatures I wasn't able to isolate the payload variable for comparative measurements. 

As of writing my Phantom is in the shop for some signal issues (unrelated) but the creative opportunities here are really endless and I’ve got some terrific ideas to come.

 

My initial thoughts - the good 

I wish I had more time in the air whilst in Norway but my initial impressions have been very positive.

  • Compact, light, waterproof and super durable.
  • Bright. 0-1,500 lumens
  • Standard mount for attaching to almost anything
  • Very fast recycle time between flashes
  • Optical sensor for triggering
  • Inbuilt, rechargeable battery with USB recharging port – I was charging these in them car.
  • The app – seriously cool
  • Easy to use

 

The not so good:

Cube Aurora_small.jpg
  • The colour temp on these is rated at 5600K but the light seemed cool and very white.
  • Battery life is acceptable but unlike mainstream flashes, you can’t simply switch out batteries when one is done.

As you can see, the good definitely outweighs the not so good and with logical application across both video and stills as well as in the air and under the water, these lights have some serious possibilities.

If you’re interested in purchasing a Lume Cube please use this link here to click through – it’ll help support this blog and be much appreciated!

Update

Since publishing this review the good folks at LumeCube have told me about the their Light House product. Lighthouse is a modular light modifying system for the Lume Cubes and was bought out to directly address the light balancing issue I mentioned above. 

I haven't tested the Lighthouse kit but I do give kudos to LC for listening to their customers - this is a refreshing change. 

Here's a link to the lighthouse kit

Filters on drones?

Are drone filters worth it for photography?

I often see a lot of people asking “what filters did you use?” and also spending money to buy them. Therefore to help clear up any confusion, set the right expectations and hopefully save some peeps a few bucks here’s a quick little brain dump on filters. It might be of some help to those who may be new to photography. 

I tend to think of filters in two groups. Optically altering and non-optically altering. Filters such as UV and polarising filters literally change or modify the light. ND and Grad ND Filters do not modify the light. 

 A standard screw in UV lens filter

A standard screw in UV lens filter

 Just part of my personal Lee Filters landscape  kit.

Just part of my personal Lee Filters landscape  kit.

Whilst there’s literally hundreds of filter variants not all of them are applicable to aerial photography so I’ll explain the four different types of filters I often see people ask about or buy for drones. 

1. UV. A UV filter was traditionally used to block UV rays from the film. Digital camera sensors have an IR or UV filter built in making UV filters completely redundant for this purpose. Many still like using a UV filter to protect the lens of their camera from scratches. Personally, I’ve never used a UV / clear filter for protection.

I’ve never scratched a lens and the lens of a drone camera would be even harder to scratch (given they’re used in the air). I’ve seen a lot of people buy UV / Clear filters for their drones and IMO this is of no benefit and in-fact will degrade image quality. 

2. Polarising filters. Of all the filters available for drones, a polarising filter is the single filter I agree has the most value for photography. The type of polariser filter used is a circular polariser (circ.pol) 

These could be seen to benefit aerial photography in a number of ways. They remove reflected light waves, reducing glare and helping improve clarity in things such as water and clouds. They can also help improve the natural saturation of colours. 

There are a lot of people who swear by polarises but IMO they’re not worth it for aerial photography. Here’s why:
-They work when they are perpendicular to the direction of the sun. This is controlled by manually rotating the filter which obviously one cannot do when their lens is in the air. 
-The guessing game of ‘putting her on and sending her up’ can impair the image with uneven areas of polar reduction. 
-Photographers compose their shots to ensure uniformed saturation with polarises. Again, this isn’t possible when the lens is in the sky. 
-Polarises reduce approx. 2 exposure stops of light which has subsequent impacts when your camera is airborne (I’ll get to this below). 

So – I agree, circ.pol filters can absolutely have an impact on the photo. IMO, the results aren’t worth it and with the above limitations in mind, are probably better achieved in post-production. This is a personal preference though 🙂

3. Neutral Density (ND) filters. I think ND filters are one of the more misunderstood filters in the drone community. ND filters are optically neutral, meaning, they don’t change the light like polarises or UV filters do. ND filters are literally just darkened glass (perspex, plastic etc). Landscape photographers will have many times when they need to reduce the amount of light entering their lens. This comes down to the basic principles of exposure. Ie. Exposure is a product of three variables. Shutter speed, aperture and ISO (film sensitivity). 

If a photographer wishes to reduce their shutter speed they are then allowing more light into their lens, this is compensated by closing the aperture. For example. 1/1000th of a second and f2 is the same exposure as 1/500th second and f2.8 and the same exposure as 1/250th second and f4 and so on. All variables work in sync. So if a photographer needs their shutter speed to be slow (ie 1/8th second) they need to compensate this with their aperture. In the above example 1/8th sec would be an aperture of f22). 

This isn’t always achievable or ideal, so, enter ND filters. 

IMO, this isn’t valuable in drone photography because the only value of slowing the shutter speed would be for long exposures (to blur water for example) which requires a tripod. Some might say their gimbals are magic and can allow for this, and whilst it’s a fun novelty, the image won’t be sharp or useable for anything other than phone size screens.

So why do ND filters serve no other purpose? Some drone camera’s such as the P4P and Inspire camera’s allow for aperture control. Even on drones without aperture control and fixed at f2.8, if you need to reduce the exposure you can simply dial up the shutter speed. 

(I'll pause here to make it clear I'm talking to photography and not videography. I absolutely agree some videographers will want ND filters for many other reasons). 

4. Grad ND. Grad ND’s are filters which gradually change from clear to a darker number of exposure stops. These are invaluable for landscape photographers when they want to balance their foreground light with the higher exposure of the sky. 

Could you do that on a drone when airborne? I guess maybe. Would I spend money on a filter for it for my drone. Nope. I’d take two exposures and blend them. It’d be easier than trying to balance the horizon along the grad line in the air.

What's in the bag?

I’m sitting at the airport in Paris on my way to Norway and thought this would probably be a good time to write another blog post.

It was Maya Angelou who said, “we are only as blind as we want to be” and sitting beside me is my camera bag so, here’s a blog post on what’s in it. To my defence though, I have had a few ask for examples of the gear I travel with so this isn’t entirely fortuitous.

Without further ado – let’s get started. 

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Cameras

First things first, I am travelling to take photos so in order of priority are my cameras. 2 x Sony A7Rll in this case. 

Lenses

 

 

15mm f2 Laowa E-mount

I haven’t had a chance to properly put this lens through its paces yet though I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far. Well built. Well sized (especially on the Sony) and f2 giving it some very compelling astro cred. Fingers crossed it stacks up. I’ll let you know!

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21mm f2.8 Zeiss Loxia

Quite possibly the best sunstar lens I’ve ever owned. It’s also a fantastic optical performer – especially from around f5.6 onwards. 

35mm f2.8 Sony Zeiss Sonnar T*

I love this lens. So compact, light and optically awesome. Did I mention it's compact? It weighs 120g!!

55mm f1.8 Sony Zeiss Sonnar T*

Possibly the sharpest lens I’ve ever owned. Nothing more to say. 

85mm f1.8 Sony FE

I’ve always been a lover of 85’s and was feeling a little spoilt for choice between the incredible Batis, Loxia, Sony and Sony GM. In the end, I opted for the Sony FE. I’ve always had f1.4 85’s so the Loxia’s relatively slow f2.8 ruled it out for me. The GM looked terrific but it’s marginal gains over the Batis could justify it for me given my days of portraits are mostly behind me. 

Drone

Next on the optical list is the bird-camera. The only option for me here is the Phantom 4 Pro.

There's a thousand reasons why I would love to be travelling with a Mavic Pro or even a Spark but for me it's all about the IQ and the loss in portability is easily justified with the 1inch Sony Exmor sensor in the P4P. 

The Zenmuse cameras on the Inspire 2 are another compelling option but for still image quality the P4P is the perfect balance of value and portability. 

Bag

I put a lot of value on the bags I've used for photography over the years - they're a vital tool and one you really need to be comfortable with. With the drone now coming along on most trips I've moved away from my tried and tested F-stops and, beside me now, is a ThinkTank Helipak. It's the version 1 (the version 2 has a tripod strap seen here and would be highly recommended over the V1). It's harness is acceptable but it's by no means a hiking bag. It does fit my Phantom and gear nicely though. 

 Sandisk Extreme Pro 2x64GB + 2x32GB

Sandisk Extreme Pro 2x64GB + 2x32GB

 2 x Sandisk Extreme Micro SDs (Drone)

2 x Sandisk Extreme Micro SDs (Drone)

 2 spare NPFW50 Sony Batteries

2 spare NPFW50 Sony Batteries

 Spare DJI Phantom 4 Pro Battery

Spare DJI Phantom 4 Pro Battery

 SunwayFoto A7Rll       L-Bracket

SunwayFoto A7Rll       L-Bracket

 Spare set of props

Spare set of props

 Sirui t 2205x Tripod

Sirui t 2205x Tripod

 RRS BH30 Ballhead

RRS BH30 Ballhead

 Seagate ultra Slim 2TB Hardrive

Seagate ultra Slim 2TB Hardrive

 15inch Macbook Pro

15inch Macbook Pro

 Lumecubes with Phantom brackets

Lumecubes with Phantom brackets

 Dustblower

Dustblower

 LED Lenser MT10 Torch

LED Lenser MT10 Torch

 LED Lenser MH10 Headlamp

LED Lenser MH10 Headlamp

Why I didn't upgrade to the awesome A7RIII

I’ve loved my move from the Nikon D810 to the Sony A7Rll but there is still a lot that bugs me about the A7Rll. It’s those little annoyances which excited me for the new A7Rlll.

It was great to see Sony actually consider the photographer and put their focus on upgrading what was wrong with the A7Rll rather than packing in some more resolution and calling it a day.

I was singing praises the moment it was announced. So, of-course, here’s why I decided not to upgrade.

Landscape photographers ask a lot from their gear but also very little. Back when I was shooting weddings and events I was constantly reminded of why I loved my Nikon D4s. Auto-focus, metering, frame rates, buffer rates, battery life – the camera was a workhorse tool and forever felt like it was ready to go.

As a landscape tog, I just don’t need a camera to do that.

Landscape photography is about two things. Getting to the right place at the right time and getting the best shot of it you can. So, in order of priority, here is a long and exhaustive list what features of the A7Rll really matter to me:

1.     Image Quality

……

Ok ok, so that might be a slight exaggeration, there are a few other things I care about but they come a distant second to IQ. Here’s a pretty picture to explain.

Here in Australia the A7Rlll averages between $4,600 - $4,800. That’s about $1,200 - $1,800 more than the current going rate of a new A7Rll. Let’s be conservative with $1,200 and go back to our pretty picture and see how much of that premium each of my requirements are worth:

Of what’s important to me, the A7Rlll is worth $186 more than the A7Rll.

I know I know, the real-life experience has got to be worth something. Right? Of-course, but these days, I’m fairly simple. Here’s another pretty picture to explain how I use the A7Rll in the field:

Of-course there is a truck load more involved with both cameras but at a fundamental level, no part of my workflow in the field would be greatly changed with the A7Rlll.

So, back to the upgrade. The A7Rlll is a terrific camera and I congratulate Sony for really rounding off the rougher edges of the A7Rll. The 3 is now a far more complete and capable camera.

But the upgrades are just not of value to me given my use. So, I bought a second A7Rll.

Happy shooting peeps!