Hey Nikon – Why I Almost Got A Sony A7 & Why It Was Sent Back

Hey Nikon - Why I Almost Got A Sony A7 & Why It Was Sent BackThis was intended to be a review, but because of what you are about to read, it won’t be a review. Instead it is a sort of public service announcement to anyone considering the Sony camera system and using a Mac.

Nikon and Canon are both feeling the pain caused by Sony releasing the A7 series. These cameras are compact yet full frame. To kick Nikon and Canon when they’re down, companies like Metabones have created adapters to accept lenses from other brands.

For Canon users, the Metabones adapter will allow you to use your lenses normally, with autofocus, image stabilization and so on. For Nikon users, you are stuck with only manual focus. But that’s not the end of the world because focus peaking is amazing, and Sony did a fantastic job with it.

With that said, it shocks me that Sony did not include a method to specify which lens is attached to the camera and what the F-stop range is. Because without it, the EXIF data has no clue what aperture is set. Not super important, but useful at certain points. In addition, software like that exists because Leica includes it in each of their cameras because none of their lenses have autofocus.

Sony did take the step to put Wifi in the camera, but why no GPS? In fact, Sony has their own App system where you can log into their store and install effects, wireless remotes and more. So why not software that syncs the GPS from a phone? That would make geotagging easy? Well, it doesn’t exist currently, but that’s where GPS4Cam comes into play.

The biggest issue at hand, and the one that caused me to write this is that the camera I received crapped out on me within an hour.  I noticed the firmware version was not up to date so I downloaded the latest firmware and after the first try installing it, the camera died.

Sony designed its firmware updates so that you have to plug the camera into your computer via USB instead of putting the firmware on the memory card.  Why try to change a system that camera companies have been successfully doing for years?  Well, I guess they figured they innovated with the full frame mirrorless camera that they would try with their software too.  They failed.  The camera went from functioning hardware to a really beautiful looking paperweight.

Turns out that Sony didn’t think ahead with their firmware software.  So if you are running a 64-bit Mac computer (which is most new computers these days), then the update will brick your camera. Sony apparently didn’t leave this as an issue for 64bit Windows. Maybe they’re trying to sell more computers.

So the camera was sent back.

The lesson I learned here is this.

Sony might have innovated with the camera design, but they failed on so many fronts.  The camera could have been perfect in so many ways, but it’s missing very important things for photographers.  Some of which I mentioned her and some I haven’t brought up.

It is time for Nikon and Canon to listen up.  Your financial charts are going on a downward slope.  You know it and we all know it.  So start paying attention to what your customers want.  Your customers are buying Sony A7 series cameras with the intention of using their Nikon and Canon lenses on it.

You know this.

So why would you not design a camera to compete with it? Why allow your customers to go somewhere else?

Stop being ignorant and failing hard.  Start opening your eyes, listening to your loyal shooters, and release a fullframe mirrorless camera that has all the features that people want.  Keep the menu systems the same, make fantastic products and watch your financial scale change direction.

Nikon, I have been using your equipment since I was little.  My father and grandfather also used your equipment.  In fact, both of their cameras are sitting behind me as I type this. So when I tell you all of this, it’s from the heart.  It’s because I want to stay using your cameras.  I do not want to go to Sony.  I want to use my amazing Nikon glass on a Nikon body that is compact and fullframe… not a tiny sensor like what’s in the Nikon 1.  I also want that camera to be included in NPS, which I am a member of.

So please listen to what I’ve shared.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions.  I am happy to talk.

However you do it – be smart about it.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

New Jersey Photographer

Thank you for reading the Scott Wyden Imagery blog. I am a Manalapan, New Jersey Photographer sharing my passion for photography any way I can. I am also the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati, teaching other photographers on how to increase business with their website.

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16 Comments

  1. Chris Lord July 8, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    I agree with you almost entirely. I own a Sony A7r and a Sony A6000 along with my Canon 5D MKII and a series of Canon glass. I love the Sonys as much as my Canon and only keep the Canon for fast moving subjects like the airshows I visit in England every year. The one area I disagree with you is in upgrading the firmware on the Sony. I have used both methods of upgrading firmware and the Sony method of connecting the camera directly is quicker than copying to cards. It worked for me using a 64bit machine with no problems whatsoever. I owned a Canon EOS M but sold it recently due to it’s shortcomings and the fact that I really need a viewfinder. If Canon made a decent mirrorless full frame camera I would jump on it right away. Meanwhile the Sony is a great camera and the 36mp output is fabulous.

    • Scott July 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

      Hi Chris,

      The main issue with Sony’s firmware upgrade is they advise to only use 32bit Mac or a Windows computer, but they don’t advise that when actually doing the firmware upgrade. Only when the camera dies. Go figure.

  2. Jacob Miller July 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    Wow. So disappointing. Scary actually.

    • Scott July 8, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

      I was disappointed as well. It was fun for the hour it worked.

  3. Daniel July 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    I had mine die as well. After running it as a 32-bit app 3 or 4 times, it updated. It’s a known issue but with a little work, you probably could have gotten through it and gained a really great camera.

    • Scott July 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      Running on 32bit didn’t help for this one. It was a lost cause.

  4. Sowerby Smith July 9, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi Scott
    You have hit the nail on the head when you say that both Canon and Nikon are not listening. At least Nikon has the great D800 and 810 Canon keeps telling me that 18 megapixels is enough or really push the envelope and get 22 with the 5D3. Not worth the trouble as I have a 1Ds3. A camera with an interface I hate. The 5 series leaves it for dead. About 2 weeks ago I purchased an A7r. The image quality, image size, dynamic range and colour leave Canon about 3 years behind. The A7r is a camera with outstanding image quality and a nice large file size. When used with Canon Tilt shift lenses and stitching it is truly fantastic. All that for $2000.00 including the Metabones adaptor! I use PC so I have no issues with the bios update.
    The Auto Focus is pathetic in the A7r and apparently much better in the A7. I focus using the magnified live view most of the time. I use mine tethered 90% of the time and view the captured images in Silkypix version 6 or Capture One. There is third party plug-in for Lightroom to provide control and image viewing. I don’t use Lightroom so cannot comment on it’s usefulness. The age of the dinosaur is with us and Canon is leading the charge. There will be no mirrors in cameras in a few years.

  5. Stewart July 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    Thanks for the info – I am in the Canon 5D “world” but severely tempted by the FF mirror-less (I use an OMD as well). I agree that Nikon/Canon need to get into this mirrorless world properly. We all love our glass ;-) Though the Olympus 45mm 1.8 is a thing of beauty…

  6. Spencer July 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    I agree with you that the a7 series is a pretty innovative camera. However, you are looking at the Sony cameras with an external to Sony perspective. By indicating that they’re also trying something new with the firmware update being tethered to a computer–that’s ignoring the fact that it’s been that way with Sony for as long as I can remember. I do, however, have not-so-fond recollections of trying to recover my old Canon camera with a bad firmware update over a bad compact flash card back in the day. The USB connection has its merits.

    Also, you have the line “So if you are running a 64-bit computer (which is most new computers these days), then the update will brick your camera” which untruthfully indicates that the camera cannot do a firmware update over a 64-bit PC, and in fact, breaks the device. Simply incorrect. It may not work on your machine, but to make a general statement like that is doing your readers a disservice. It most certainly worked on my 64-bit PC.

    As for the paragraph on GPS support–I, too, am hoping that they somehow have an app that allows for GPS-syncing with a mobile device. Maybe soon.

    • Scott July 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

      The issue is for Mac users :)

  7. Yesh July 21, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    Or …Just wait for Sony to read this whole list and release the new version with everything better………
    Even though I am a Canon shooter, I am hoping Sony is going to do this….lol

  8. Chaine Anais August 14, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    Thanks Scott for this article, so interesting when I need to buy a new camera and am a Nikon user. Which one to get remains the question.

  9. Robert Wisbey August 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    I agree with your comments, especially about not being able to configure manual lens settings. However, I had no issue with the FW update on my Mac. One thing to also add is this camera has no soul. It’s great fun with old lenses though :-)

  10. MATT September 13, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Great article. Thank you. Although, I had no issues at all updating firmware on my a7R using my MacBook Pro 13″.

  11. Hans September 13, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    I had no issues updating any of my Sony cameras (including A7r) on my MacBook Pro Retina 64bit. It takes 2-5 minutes, don’t give up early and make sure your camera and mac have enough battery.

    • Scott September 13, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      Unless Sony updated their firmware software since I published this they don’t officially support 64 bit Mac which means you were lucky if it upgraded at 64 bit. It works for some people but not all and not consistent.

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