I've always heard, "it's not the camera, but it's the photographer." It's a yes and somewhat no. For professional photographers, it's different. Like yin and yang, it is crucial to have a professional camera that can capture the photograph in its highest quality in challenging situations. And without a solid camera setup, you could miss out on the potential outcome of what you can capture. But with an excellent camera setup, it must also have a fantastic photographer. The photographer must have a creative and depth eye to interpret the shot into a story and post-processing the photograph to its final jpeg creation. So here it is, my reviews on my current minimalist camera setup.
Lately, I've been getting many questions about what camera gear I use to shoot my photographs. I currently use a Sony a7, a 24-240mm Sony lens for landscape, and a GoPro hero 8 for underwater photography. I've had my Sony camera/lens for about seven years and my GoPro 8 for four years, which has worked well with my minimalist setup.
The Sony a7 is the first edition of the original mirrorless collection. I bought this one because it was on the black friday sale, and I read great reviews about mirrorless full-frame cameras. I loved how the camera's body was light, compact, and easy to use for my hiking and traveling adventures. My main focus was lightness (switched from a bulky canon t3i camera). I recommend this camera for amateurs in photography and those who want a little taste of a lighter basic premium mirrorless camera to start with.
However, over the seven years of using my Sony a7 camera, I have developed some issues with the camera over the last two years. First, some of the buttons (C2, Rotating spinner to view photographs, & adjusting rotating shutter button) and gears get stuck and sometimes do not work. Two is that it could be better at focusing on nighttime photography; getting my camera to focus has been difficult. Third, my camera glitches sometimes to focus, so I'd have to turn off and on my camera, which can be annoying when you're out shooting. Fourth, the camera battery sucks; it could be a lot better. Fifth, the camera panel screen could be like a canon camera screen panel so you can see yourself in the frame. Sixth, it's more challenging to connect your phone to your camera when you want to know what you look like when taking a portrait photo of yourself; it's troublesome. But having the Sony camera for seven years, using it near salt spray, backpacking in the rain, and traveling to different climates makes me understand cameras are not meant to last forever. It's time to upgrade to a more professional camera; the Sony a7iv camera has been on my mind since it came out.
The Sony FE 3.5-6.3/ 24-240mm lens is the perfect minimalist lens. Great for your all-around photography, and it does a fantastic job capturing anything. Just what I need all in one. The lens has a great range, takes excellent image quality, is quality built, and is easy to use. I bought this second-handed from best buy seven years ago, and it still works wonders.
Over time while using this lens, I found some cons I did not like: it's a little heavy, pricey, poor in low lighting conditions, and the lens does not have much depth of field and is not wide enough for me to capture more into the photograph. Therefore, I'd love to invest in the following eye candy: a Sony G 16-35 mm Lens. I borrowed my friend's lens for a little bit when we went on a hike, and wow, I am in love with it, but it sure is an investment.
As for my GoPro 8 (12 megapixels), using it for four years now, and still no issues. It is still working well through the numerous times I brought it down to 30+ feet, crashing into waves and in salt water. I like using GoPros because they are small, light, and compact. I don't have to worry about it getting destroyed or damaged like a $2500 Camera body lens and water housing. There is now a GoPro hero 11 (27 Megapixels), and it is intriguing to keep up to date with the newest things.
I look forward to upgrading to a larger megapixel to enlarge the image without losing its quality. Of course, the newer one would be better, or I could purchase a water housing for my sony camera, but that will be pricer and risky for my sony camera. Decision, decisions.
In conclusion, for an amateur photographer looking for a more minimalist gear setup and not as heavy to carry aground on their earth adventure, the Sony a7, a 24-240mm Sony lens for landscape, and any GoPro is a great places to start.
If you would love to support my work and business, feel free to explore my website, www.nataliearth.com, to purchase a photograph or two to brighten up your space. Every order allows me to continue my passions and shoot for new opportunities to grow my business.
Mahalo nui for all the love and support!