From Canon to Sony
Athens Georgia Photographer

November 27, 2020

Random fact: Black Friday is my least favorite day of the year. Throw Cyber Monday in with it. The whole weekend stresses me out. Why? Because I care deeply about saving every cent possible and always getting the best deals. I was raised that way. And so when Black Friday rolls around, I feel so much pressure to open every email, research every company I follow to see what they’re offering, find out what the newest technology is, check my yearly subscription renewal rates, and jump on purchasing things that I probably do not need. And let me tell you — I get INUNDATED with photography emails after putting my name in the basket at too many trade shows. So all this combined = a VERY overwhelming and stressful (and often expensive) weekend.

And last year? Last year I dropped $9k in camera equipment on Black Friday when I decided to switch from Canon to Sony. :) That’s what this blog post is actually about.

claire diana photography sony camera

After 9 years of being a VERY loyal and passionate Canon user, I made the switch to Sony at the start of 2020 (bought on Black Friday 2019 but didn’t use for client work till the new year). 

If you had told me just months before the switch that I’d move away from Canon, I would’ve laughed at the thought.  I adore Canon.  Their customer service is top notch.  As a company, it doesn’t get any better.  And over the years I’ve built up a complete arsenal of all of the best Canon L series lenses.  I was 150% invested.  But toward the end of 2019, when everything in my life was changing, I followed a whim and switched to Sony.

I’ll be totally honest and admit that the main reason for the switch was a feeling of simply needing CHANGE. Needing a challenge. Not being inspired to pick up a camera unless I was getting paid to do so. And switching to a whole new system sounded like an exciting challenge. 

And the second reason for the switch was finally finding a camera that was my DREAM camera, which is the Sony A7iii.

Before we get any further, I want to note that I’ve always believed that cameras do not take great photos. YOU take great photos. Gear only gets you so far. If I handed a $4k camera to a non-photographer, they probably wouldn’t take very good photos. If I handed an entry-level camera to a professional photographer, they could still take great photos. It’s all about learning the gear, settings, lighting, posing, etc. that makes a great photographer.  

This is why I roll my eyes when I hear photographers arguing which brand is best: Canon? Sony? Nikon? Fuji? etc. — I believe all create fantastic cameras that can produce fantastic images if you know what you’re doing.  I’ve been shooting on a relatively old Canon DSLR up until the switch to Sony, and it never held me back from creating the images I wanted to create.  I think what’s most important is finding what camera works for what YOU want to do with it… And that’s what I found with the new Sony A7iii.  Are there more expensive / “better” cameras I could’ve upgraded to?  Yes. But the A7iii was exactly what I personally was looking for. 

claire diana photography behind the scenes

Both of the above photos were taken at weddings this year, where I was shooting with 2 Sony A7iii’s on me (one always connected to a Spider Holster).

Things I love about the A7iii: 

It’s mirrorless. I really believe the future of photography is mirrorless cameras. 

*** I should note that I made this switch before Canon dropped their new mirrorless options, which are pretty bomb. Had the timing been different, I might still be a Canon girl. 

It’s small and lightweight, which has become increasingly important to me over the years. I’m tired of being that photographer that doesn’t bring my camera on trips or to personal events because I simply don’t want to lug it around. With the smaller and lighter body, I can now throw it in a purse and almost forget that I have it with me. I can capture the little joys of life when I’m not on a paid assignment, and truly practice what I preach: that documenting life’s moments is IMPORTANT.

It has dual card slots, the perfect file sizes for my needs, an incredible eye-tracking tool that makes shooting movement so much easier (a huge focus in my work), and wonderful customization options so that every button does what I want. And it’s SO STINKING SHARP with its focus.

It has given me the JOY of shooting again, and I’m 150% sold on the switch. Like… EONS happier than I was shooting with my Canon DSLRs.  

claire diana photography bts sony

But let me tell you — It was a ROUGH transition. Anyone who was around me through the process knows that I ran into EVERY problem in the book when making the switch from Canon to Sony. Let’s see… 

  • My computer software didn’t work with Sony files, so I had to learn new programs and go through all the technological updates imaginable, including getting a new computer with a new operating system all just to run the updated software that can read my Sony files. Ridiculous. And expensive. But probably overdue. 
  • Then I had the bad luck of receiving a faulty camera and spent months frustratedly thinking that blurry pictures were “user-error” until a photographer friend convinced me to send it back and get a new one. I was pulling out my hair over this until I figured it out. 
  • My new camera froze up for no reason in the middle of the FIRST wedding I ever shot with it and refused to work for HOURS (don’t worry, I had 3 backup cameras with me because I don’t mess around with someone’s wedding day). But THAT was stressful and terrifying. 
  • I had to completely re-learn how to edit, because the colors work so differently. I even paid for an editing course specifically geared toward people making the switch from Canon to Sony. Again, this switch wasn’t cheap. :)
  • Oh, and did you know that everything with Sony is completely opposite of Canon? The battery inserts in the opposite direction, the SD cards insert in the opposite direction, the lenses zoom in the opposite direction, etc. etc.  Talk about rewiring your brain after 9 years of doing the same thing.

sony camera claire diana

So anyway, after about 3 months (December 2019 – February 2020) of feeling like pulling my hair out and wondering if switching was a stupid idea, I finally found my groove. I’m finally creating better work than ever and having so much fun doing it. 

And the best part? No one has noticed. A lot of photographers say they can tell the difference between Sony colors & Canon colors, but not a single person noticed when I made the switch (and it was a very specific moment when everything went from Canon to Sony in my Instagram feed — can you find it??). 

If you want to read more of the TECHNICAL aspects of the Canon to Sony switch, Heather Larkin of Fairyography wrote a blog post about her experience & findings. She has become a dear friend over the past year and held my hand through the transition (THANK YOU HEATHER). Also you should follow her, because she’s EXTREMELY talented and brilliant.

And I also want to say a big thank you to Phillip Blume, who also switched to Sony recently, and who sped up my learning curve by sitting down with me & helping me get my camera set up the day I unboxed it.

So now… My next project is to finish selling my Canon gear. I still have lots of Canon lenses sitting on my shelves collecting dust — whoops!

And will I fall for Black Friday pressure this year and go all in with something else? What are y’all excited about this year? Drop me a line and let me know!

Claire Diana