Client applies reality to thoughts of camera system change.

Good enough for any scenario? Hmmmmm.

I'm in the honeymoon period with my Panasonic GH5. The camera is shiny and new and all the little stuff like the EVF and the dials seem so just right. After shooting the first thousand photos with the camera I started to entertain the idea of taking my vast collection of Sony cameras out to the camera store and trading them in on a total immersion into the micro four thirds system. I'd get a second GH5 body for those seamless two camera shots. Toss in a bunch of cool, new lenses like the 8-18mm Pro lens and the 42.5mm Nocticron. Add the 25mm f1.2 from Olympus and maybe even spring for the 100-400mm Panasonic. I keep talking about the transition to video. In my fevered mind it was starting to make so much sense. 

Then I went to a meeting with one of my long term, medical practice clients and we started talking about Fall projects. Video came up but one of the partners in the group is hesitant to use video. What they do love using is photography. Lots and lots of photography. And when they use it they seem to embrace the idea that bigger is always better. 

One of the images that we'll be re-doing this Fall is a group shot of the doctors on the plaza of the Long Center with the downtown skyline in the background. The last time we shot this particular shot we had fourteen doctors in the the line up and shot them with lots of space around them and an ample amount to dramatic skyline in the background. They made lots of fun, large 30x40 inch prints. They made a large banner with the shot. Essentially, anything they could think of that would challenge the limits of resolution and detail was fair game. 

I went back and researched to see what camera I was using at the time. It was a Nikon D810. So that sets the bar for future shoots. What it really means to me is that the Sony cameras; and the A7Rii in particular, aren't going anywhere. There's always a need in the tool box for sheer, overwhelming detail for some shots and that line of thought extinguished my brief flirtation with crazy system change at this time. 

Thank goodness we have clients around to keep us sane.


  1. You once wrote a blog about the benefits of renting...

    Just saying... seems like this is the type of job with that written all over it!

    Hope yoi are keeping well.

  2. I applaud your decision... selfishly. I sensed another system zigzag coming, and felt some whiplash anxiety building.

  3. Maybe do the M4/3 thing and keep one Sony full frame body and a couple suitable lenses for those clients that request such equipment?

  4. It seems to me that a few years ago you picked up a high-pixel full frame camera (the D810?), ultimately causing you to move to Nikon for a while, to satisfy a client's perceived need. It seems to me that the GH5 excels at video, and does a decent job with stills, whereas the Sony excels at stills and does a decent job with video. There is some sense to keeping both systems. Of course that leads to this question - what will you do with the G85, RX10 iii, and FX2500? Do they still have a future in your gear collection, which is getting more complicated as time goes on?

  5. Well, back in the day we kept different format camera systems for just such circumstances. We all probably had 4x5, 120 and 35mm systems keeping company in the equipment cabinet. Horses for courses as they say.

    But like ODL mentioned, for when I need something more than what M4/3 has to offer, which is so far never, I'll just rent it and plop one of my various Canon FD lenses on it. For the kind of job you mentioned more megapickles over a larger area sounds like just what's needed to achieve that nano-acuity that a 30x40 demands. However I probably wouldn't keep a whole system around for use on a sometimes basis.

  6. Back to the optical/mechanical dinosaurs?
    Well, if it pays the rent...

  7. I don't think you would have left m 4/3 the first time if you had the PL and Pro lenses in your kit the first time. If you really think video is the future a full m4 /3 kit might might be the way to go either keeping some of your Sony stuff or renting for the old clients.

    Myself, I am all m 4/3 but rent once in a blue moon when I need something different.

  8. In looking at decades of older and newer large group images I see one thing that speaks to reality.
    Olf 3 to 5 foot wide 'panoramic' and Swing lens prints are sharper than the newer stuff printed that size from digital. Not sure about film as these schools used the Circuit Cameras/Swing Lens photographers for a long time before switching to folks using smaller gear.
    A 3 foot wide panoramic with the Circuit camera produced a 5 to 9 inch high negative that was 3 to 5 feet wide. Risers were set up for the group. Set up in a semi-circle to match the swing of the lens. Then the negative was contact printed on the long roll paper. Fun part was the few individuals who appear at both ends of the stands. One end they stood while the exposure started - then ran behind the stands to be at the other end when the lens got there. They were in the finished image twice.

    A lot to be said for "old school" or "old fashioned" stuff. Not better and no argument on convenience but when something works, it works.

  9. Seems to me you have it pretty well covered - Panasonic/M43 for motion jobs as well as still jobs you could have shot with 35mm SLRs or rangefinders - Sony A7r for still jobs you would have shot with medium format cameras.


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