If you don't know my story then let me quickly give you some background.
I've used Nikon since 1993. It's now part of who I am and when I finally got the chance to become a professional wedding photographer in 2013 I obviously used the Nikon cameras I had at the time.
Since then I've used many Nikon cameras.
Nikon D7000, D600, D800, D810, D750 and my beloved D700 which still lives up to it's iconic place in history and still goes to every shoot I do. So 2018 saw me using a Nikon D750 with a D800 as well. More "arty" shoots saw me using the D700 not the D800 as second camera. This was the start of the mirrorless camera revolution with Sony releasing their amazing A7iii. This camera set the benchmark for what a mirrorless camera should be. No way I was changing all my gear to Sony of course and I planned on waiting for the rumoured Nikon mirrorless offering later in 2018.
By mid 2018 everyone was raving about the Sony A7iii and how this was the only route for professional photographers - mirrorless would soon replace DLSR's completely. Nikon then announced the Z6 & 7 but no specs - I pre-ordered a Z6 as mirrorless HAS to be the way to go. Then the specs arrived - ONE card slot - NO battery grip - poor battery life - rubbish face tracking and zero eye af.
What a Disappontment!
Very reluctantly I had to start thinking about Sony A7iii. At the end of the wedidng season - around October, I finally decided to switch over to Sony. By mid December 2018 I had a shiny new Sony A7iii and a couple of lenses to start with.
What a shock!
The Sony was designed by aliens who had 12 year
old girls hands and who were on class A drugs when they got to the menu!
It was so different from, what for me over the years, was a professional camera. ie. a NIKON
Tiny, buttons lacking feedback, no ergonomics, and totally un-intuitive. Yet technology speaking a marvel.
It took me weeks to get anywhere close to having it set-up for professional use - I remember having to set one of the buttons as a "get out of jail free " card which instantly set everything to "Auto" so I could get myself out of any hole I'd dug for myself.
Honestly it was about 6 weddings before I had any confidence in me and the camera at all. To be fair it took great photos with superb focusing and very fast. But horrible to use (in my opinion!) - I'd kept my Nikon D700 (thank goodness) as my back-up with just 2 lenses and often found myself using this 12 year old camera instead.
To be fair - the Sony A7iii IS a great camera.
Yet I found I missed the size and ergonomics of a Nikon; I longed for a camera where I could just use it without having to think about what button, what Fn item and where in the crazy menu system is some item I need to change.
Photography, even as a professional is about more than just the photos. I believe there's some Zen somewhere - it's ART and the creation of that should be satisfying. The Sony was never satisfying to use. Sure the photos afterwards were good, but the "process" of creation was not satisfying or exciting.
I longed for a Nikon again.......
That was a real problem as what Nikon camera could I go back to?
The Nikon D850 - as a wedding photographer I need need - or want - 46 Mp. I have to edit and process many hundreds of images after a wedding and the file sizes would slow me down enormously. The D750? That really would feel like a backwards step.
Finally in Feb 2020 Nikon Announced the D780.
A melange of DLSR and Mirrorless. I looked back at hundreds of images from the D750 days and my beloved Nikon 135 F2d defocus lens. I was in love again.
And so it came to pass that in December 2020 I sold all my Sony gear and got back into Nikon. A brand new D780 and several lenses including my favourite 135 F2d defocus.
So how does a dinosaur DLSR compare to a totally modern Sony Mirrorless ?
I'm happy again!!
Ok nothing is perfect but it's close. I love an optical viewfinder - I love the simplicity and responsiveness. I love a camera that seems to know what I want and delivers.
And most I love the image quality - NOT the incredible sharpness of the Sony images (although the D780 matches that easily) but the "QUALITY" of the image - the depth - the feeling. It's impossible to explain but Sony images, for me, lack feel and emotion. They're a perfect copy of reality - Nikon seems to create images that in some way are more arty, more emotional and for weddings are just perfect.
Yesterday I did my first paid photoshoot - a Boudoir shoot at my studio - within a minute I'd forgetten all about the camera (which NEVER happened with Sony) and focused on the photography and the client, the lighting and pose.
YET IT WASN'T PERFECT!! (sorry the camera was - I mean the overall set-up)
I've discovered the Nikon 50mm F1.4G lens is soft - barely any images are what I expect in terms of sharpness and not even as sharp as my Nikon 35mm F2d lens which is many years older. So as I write this I'm awaiting delivery of a Sigma 50mm FG1.4 ART Lens.
Meanwhile here's one shot with the Nikon 50mm F1.4G Lens