canon vs. sony | why I'm sticking with canon

I had read so many reviews and watched videos raving about the Sony A7RII, about the amazing focus accuracy, killer low light performance, and of course that Eye AF. So when it arrived at 3pm I took it right out to my scheduled shoot that day with a model from Next Models Miami. With all those amazing reviews you can image my surprise to be, well...very underwhelmed. Now as a Canon user since I started in photography, I knew there would be a little learning curve (I do have the Sony RX100 III as well so maybe not a huge learning curve but some just the same). Even with that I knew how to set it up for best results and I just wasn't impressed with the results. The focus  detection, face detection etc. was solid but somehow I still had missed/out of focus shots (which I never have on the Canon using center point focus)....maybe that was something I just needed time to get used to. But then there was the main thing....the color is just...yuk. Especially skin tones. Here's the thing....the colors with a Canon are just beautiful straight out of the camera. Doesn't really matter what lens you use but with the 70-200mm or a prime like the 135mm, 200mm etc. are just amazing...skin tones are soft and perfect...greens pop etc. The sony colors were just blah...and I tried the different settings to no avail. So frustrating and so disappointing. I came home after the shoot...googled something about Sony colors in the A series cameras and wow...quite of bit of discussion from others complaining about the same issue and all sorts of sony fans with their ways to fix it in post. Hmm...truth is, it is much harder and much more work to try and add good coloring in post than it is to have great color straight out of the camera and desaturated in post if that's the look you're going for. I'm not looking for anything that makes me work harder. If I'm going to pay $3000 for the A7RII and an FE 85mm 1.8 and make the switch, it has to, in the very least be as good as my 6D and my 70-200mm 2.8 AND have a couple bells and whistles that my Canon doesn't have. For me, this was not the case. My Canon set up blew the doors off the Sony (at least in my every day outdoor, fashion work environment). Maybe the low light ability or tracking focus was better but those weren't the reasons I was thinking of switching. So, with a disappointed and heavy heart, I packed it up, filled out the return info and took the whole package off to UPS. That's my little story of 1 day with the Sony A7RII and why I am sticking with Canon. You'll have to decide on your own for your work environment, taste etc. but for me it just doesn't come close to a Canon full frame and some beautiful Canon glass.

 

CLICK TO SCROLL THROUGH SOME IMAGES FROM THIS SHOOT.....

Fashion editorial shoot with HSS (high speed sync) using a variable ND filter and a single speed light

Strobist set up...single speed light in a flash disc on a stand using HSS (high speed sync) and a variable ND filter 

Shot by Kaunis Hetki, Fashion photographer serving Stuart, Jupiter, Palm Beach, Vero, Orlando, Miami, Boca, Naples

Neewer 24"x24 collapsible softbox test

For years I've used a 22" beauty dish for most of my fashion work and while I love the light, it's a little heavy, somewhat cumbersome etc. So I picked up this Neewer 24"x24" collapsible softbox. I love it...super easy to set up and love the light. Here are some samples from a test shoot

 

click image to right to scroll through all images

powerful impactful speed light strobist photography

What can I say...I'll take my little cheap speed lights over mono lights any day. Not that I'd want to do this with either one but...which would you want to drag out to this type of location, knock over and have it fall off that cliff? the heavy mono light that cost $500-3000 and weighs a ton carrying it across that sand with a big stand and battery pack....or 2 little $75 speed lights and a couple lightweight stands. Ok the question is kind of rhetorical...the thing is however, we as photographers have been convinced that power is king and that we can only get those impactful, powerful images with an expensive moonlight. Well, I left my mono light in the car for this one...went back to what I do best. Here you have 2 Yonguo 560 III speed lights -bare, no modifiers...simple, cheap and effective.

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more with the mettle 600w and a phottix 27.5" collapsible beauty dish

Took the Mettle 600w mono light and the Phottix 27.5" beauty dish out for a fashion shoot at night...here are some samples. The lights in the background are 560 III speed lights on low and bare...the main light here is the Mettle on about 1/8 into a socked Phottix beauty dish.

mettle mono light

fashion editorial on a chris craft launch 32

Fashion editorial shoot from the other night....simple gear: Canon 6D, Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L and believe it or not, some shot with a T2i and an 18-55mm! Most were done in natural light but those that are clearly done with a speed light were done with a single bare yongnuo speed light. Shot for Josh at Grande Yachts International in Palm Beach Gardens. Kaunis Hetki Photographer.

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High Speed Sync (HSS) with a single speed light

Recently picked up the Yongnuo 622c and having a 6D that has a sync speed limit of 180 before getting those 'black bars', I was looking forward to testing it out. The goal really for me was to be able to shoot with a pretty wide open aperture like F/2.8 to get a nice DOF while still using off camera lighting in the daylight. You can also get this effect with a ND filter but I wanted to go with speed lights. Below are a few examples from some recent shoots..all shot at least an hour before sunset so the light was actually still pretty bright out (and all shot with the sun behind the model)

f/3.5, 1/500, ISO 250

f/3.5, 1/500, ISO 250

f/2.8, 1/350, ISO 160

f/2.8, 1/350, ISO 160

F/2.8, 1/350, ISO 100

F/2.8, 1/350, ISO 100

A midsummer night's dream...an editorial

How to do a simple editorial with no team and basic gear

One model, one photographer, one hour shoot...no MUA, no stylist...no team. Strobist info: done with a single bare 430ex (no modifier). All 20 edits from this session done and back to client in 12 hours.

Shoots don't have to be complicated or have a whole team working on them to be great. I would MUCH rather work alone with a model and with simple gear....that said, there are some things that really are required. First, the right model for the shoot...and also one who knows how to come prepared with her makeup, hair and nails done. She also has to have access to the right wardrobe...in this case, it was a Sue Wong dress, Versace scarf, Tory Burch handbag and Louboutin shoes

real estate photography natural light vs. strobes

Shooting real estate interiors and exteriors on a regular basis, I thought I'd post some work demonstrating natural light vs. strobes. For interior work, I always use strobes...and can't think of an exception where I haven't. Strobes or speed lights just give it that extra pop that draws your attention to the room. I usually only use a single YN 560 III wireless speed light to light up an area. The exception would be in the case of the photo displayed of a very large room where I used 3 (actually just one moved around 3 times) since this is a composite image made up of 4 images. The speed light was in the upstairs and then 3 spots in the downstairs...the 4th image was an underexposed shot just for the window. I merged all 4 images in photoshop to produce this final result.

As for the outside image....100% natural light with some shadows and highlights managed in LR. Had I done this one at night, I would have again done a composite image and moved my single speed light around the pool area to light up every little plant and detail.

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exterior natural light real estate

high fashion editorial in palm beach

The other night I had to shoot a band to get them some updated shots for their new tour and decided I'd try to squeeze in a short fashion shoot with a model I had been meaning to work with for a couple weeks. Turns out we only had a little time...in fact, when I looked back at the time stamp on the photos, it was 18 minutes from first to last. I called her just an hour before so there was no planning at all....we didn't discuss makeup, outfits and neither of us had even been to the exact location before...we never even met before. Gia showed up and within 5 min after a quick hello and a pick of which dress we should use that she brought we were shooting. We started with a few natural light ones as the sun hit the horizon over the city across the water and then moved to a banyan tree for a one light set up (Yongnuo 560 III bare to camera right).
That's it...super quick and super simple. Hopefully we got some shots for her portfolio her agent will love to add.