My first post with my new camera, so exciting! I’m very happy to report that I’m already in love with my new Sony A7II and my Zeiss 35mm lens (thank you Jen & Natasha for the recommendations for a fixed lens)! I have yet to try out my new 24-70mm or the external flash, but one piece of gear at a time =)
After carefully unpacking everything & charging the battery, I did a quick perusal of the owners manual then tossed it over my shoulder and gleefully started snapping away… only to realize there were so many features that I was just getting in my own way. So I turned to YouTube videos to walk me through the menus and settings options (such nice people who post free tutorials!) and in short order I was back on my way. Here is a quick review of the A7II…
Love the compact body design! The lack of mirror saves size/weight, and the electronic view finder is pretty awesome (at first I complained that it lagged between shots, only to realize I had a “feature” turned on that would display the last photo taken for a moment, just had to turn it off). I love being able to see exactly how my shot is going to look without having to snap/glance at the LCD/adjust settings/snap again/repeat… The smart settings are definitely proving to be smarter than me. No matter what adjustments I made in manual mode, I always ended up liking the way the shots turned out more on the smart settings (favorites so far are Portrait and Sports mode… great for capturing fast moving toddlers)!
And true to my style I already have a backlog of photos, but I’ve come up with a new work flow process that I think is going to work a lot better for me… (1. Save raw files to hard drive & backup to external, 2. Import ones I want to edit to Lightroom & edit, 3. Export high & low res final images, 4. Backup finals). I also came up with a new filename structure to better stay organized.
One note about post processing… I upgraded to Lightroom 5! I was previously using a combo of Aperture & Lightroom 3 (I liked the organizational ease of Aperture, but my libraries kept crashing and I liked the editing features in Lightroom better), but LR3 wouldn’t support Sony’s RAW file structure. I’m doing the free trial of LR5 right now, will decide later if it’s worth the purchase! My only big complaint so far is that auto tone (my go to feature for quick improvements) seems to be creating a lot of noise in my images, so I ended up doing a lot more manual adjustments. This yielded better results but was much more time consuming (see if you can tell the difference on some of these… my first batch of editing used auto tone, I might go back to the RAW files and start over on some of them)! But so far I’m loving the quality of shots from the new camera that overall very little post processing seems needed, hooray =)
Here are some of my proudest moments with my new camera… from home & from a trip to Dallas to visit family last weekend. My next post will feature maternity photos of my sister… hopefully they’ll get posted before my nephew arrives!!