A Guide to Taking Majestic Wide-Angle Tree Photos

Trees are one of the most majestic living things on our planet; capable of growing centuries old, these silent sentinels stand in one spot and watch the ages go by, capturing their grandeur is something that every nature photographer should know how to do. There are several things that one must keep in mind when capturing a tree’s photo, in order to capture them in all their glory, you need to have a wide-angle lens and you need to know how you are going to use it.

Envisioning Your Shot

The first step to taking the perfect photograph is to know what you want to capture in the photo. When it comes to taking majestic pictures of trees, there are a lot of examples that one can look at in order to figure out what they want their shot to look like. The Lord of The Rings trilogy is one of the best movies to go to when looking for tree shot ideas, the movie is abundant with forest areas and valley brimming with trees. Since the movie itself is set in a fantasy land, the trees visible in every scene are captured in a manner that makes them look incredibly grand and timeless.

Apart from the movie, you can also find great examples and ideas for tree shots in video game artwork and more, one thing that you might notice when going through photographs of trees is that in order to get that infinitely timeless and majestic feel, almost every shot is taken from a low angle.

Finding The Right Place

Once you have figured out what you want to do to make your tree shots as majestic as possible, the next step is to find a spot where you can feel the atmosphere that you want to catch, unfortunately not all of us live near to or in the middle of old forests and jungles. You should keep in mind the lighting, the shape of the tree’s branches and the background as well, the denser the tree canopy and the number of trees in the area, the more you will be able to make your photos better.

Beech trees are a great subject for practicing your tree shots on, their natural shape brings about a creepy and ominous look in them, old and towering oak trees and silver birches also look great, however you should not just restrict yourself to these trees, any tree that has an old look to it should work fine.

Search The Web For Spectacular Trees

Thanks to modern development and excessive deforestation, it is becoming harder and harder to find trees that have that centuries-old look to them, if you are having a hard time finding huge trees then it is not your fault. Fortunately, we can pretty much find anything on the internet, this includes pictures and locations of trees that are picture worthy. You can find an interactive map that pinpoints the locations of some of the best-looking trees in the world at Monumental Trees; a website that is dedicated to recognizing the everlasting beauty of nature. You can also find details about every tree that is listed on this website.


Lighting is what makes or breaks the atmosphere in any shot. When it comes to capturing tree shots you are going to want to make the most out of the lighting in the area so that your picture becomes atmospherically rich. The best time to take tree photos is early in the morning, right when the sun begins to rise; at this time, the sun’s rays penetrate the foliage at just the right angle and reflect all the moisture in the area, creating a misty effect and (if you are lucky enough) god rays, also known as crepuscular rays.

A combination of mist in the air and god rays brings an incredibly ethereal touch to your photos, instantly transforming and augmenting the atmosphere of the shot that you are capturing.

Getting The Right Angle

To make the most out of the lighting and to signify the size of the tree that you are going to capture, you need to really get in close to the tree and get as low as possible, think of it as taking a picture from a mouse’s perspective. You need to keep in mind two things when getting your angle ready; the foreground of your picture should peak the viewer’s interest and the background should be brighter.

A helpful tip for better angling would be to get so close to the tree that you will have a hard time focusing on the ground foliage, this will make the ground plants look slightly blurry, allowing them to add to the picture’s atmosphere without taking attention away from the tree.

Setting Up Your Camera

It goes without saying that you are going to have your camera set to manual mode to get the shot that you want, you should start by setting your camera’s focus to be as sharp as possible, this can be done by setting your aperture to f/22 and point your wide-angle lens in a way that the subject comes in a third of your frame. Keep in mind that with your aperture set to f/22, you are going to have to deal with diffraction which will reduce the sharpness of your image, the best way to deal with this problem is to make use of focus stacking as well.

If you are going to use aperture priority mode then you are going to want to set your aperture to f/6.3 and then manually set your focus ring to the minimum focusing distance, now take a look at your exposure amount, keeping in mind that it should not be too bright. A darker image will mean more atmosphere, if you are trying to take a picture on a windy day then you can set your ISO to a higher number in order to capture swaying leaves better.

Also, remember that these settings are not going to be easy to set, take your time and twiddle with your camera till you find the perfect combination, every time you set your exposure you are going to want to rotate your focus ring a bit further and then repeat everything again. The number of times you are going to have to do this will depend on the focal length of your camera.

Reviewing Your Shots

Unless you have a camera with a tilting screen, you are going to find reviewing your photos to be quite painstaking, the best you can do is take multiple shots and then review them at once, the more you will practice the better you will become at getting better photos based on estimates and guesswork.


Overall, in order to master tree photography that captures trees in a majestic and ethereal manner, you need to have a wide-angle lens, other lenses can work as well but a wide-angle lens produces better results.

You will also need to get in as close as possible to get the right feeling, however, the closer you get to a subject the harder it becomes to get the right amount of focus and exposure. Through practice, you will be able to develop a “feel” for capturing photos at odd angles such as these.

Also, timing is key if you want to have the lighting on your side, trees look their best right when the sun rises.

Having a camera with a tilting screen will help, and if you are having a hard time finding the right place to capture your photos, go online for help, you are bound to find a good looking tree or two with the help of websites such as Monumental Trees.

Best Mirrorless Cameras in 2017/2018 – The Ultimate Buyers Guide

Panasonic Lumix GX800

To most of us, the DSLR is the best way to take good pictures but there is another kind of camera that’s growing in popularity because it offers photographers with a few things that their DSLRs can’t. The Mirrorless camera is smaller than the DSLR, which makes it easier to carry on you but that’s not all it’s good for; it offers you a means to maximise the potential of your style of photography. In this roundup review, we’ll walk you through some of the best mirrorless cameras available on the market today, but first, let’s talk a little more about what makes these so great in the first place.

Traditional DLSR cameras have a mirror on the inside that reflects the image captured by the lens towards the ceiling of the camera before it can be seen through your optical viewfinder. There’s a phase-detection module in the ceiling that Auto Focuses the image before you see it and once you have the right focus and you click the button, the mirror shifts upwards to expose the sensor beneath it so that the image you see is captured (this is why your viewfinder goes dark for a split second while the image is being captured).

Mirrorless cameras don’t have this mirror mechanism that first presents the image to you and then to the sensor; the light passes through the lens and straight to the sensor. Since they didn’t have a phase detector, the mirrorless cameras had to rely on really good contrast detection technology to get a good focus. This technology was a bit slower than the phase detector in DSLR cameras and in the beginning, this was a problem with mirrorless cameras but these days mirrorless cameras come with sensors that have phase detection AF and they work in combination with the old-fashioned contrast detection AF. As a result of these two autofocus technologies working side by side and with the absence of the mirror mechanism, mirrorless cameras now have way faster AF and shooting speeds than their DSLR counterparts.

Understanding The EVF And The Sensor

Early mirrorless cameras had an issue that put a lot of photographers off; they didn’t come with an inbuilt optical viewfinder (since there was no mirror) and that meant that you had to install an EVF or Electronic View Finder in its place. These were big and clunky and at the same time, they also offered a very pixelated view that didn’t really offer a good idea about the focus of the image. The good news is that the EVFs that come with today’s mirrorless cameras have a much higher resolution and they can show you almost the same kind of results as an optical viewfinder on a DSLR.

Another thing that’s improved with mirrorless cameras is how they were initially fitted with micro four third sensors which were smaller but these days you get many different sizes of sensors to choose from, including FF and APS-C. You have more options now but what you choose from those options depends on your photography requirements and your budget.

We understand that there’s a lot of weird photography jargon that we’re tossing round in this roundup and since we’ll be doing that quite some while reviewing the cameras, we’ve included a segment that’ll make understanding this jargon easier for you.

The Mirrorless Camera Mumbo Jumbo Explained

Hybrid AF Systems:

This mode of autofocus is being used in more and more models of Mirrorless cameras. It combines the on-sensor phase detection we talked about earlier with the contrast detection focus that was once a weakness of the mirrorless camera into very fast Hybrid AF system. With Hybrid AF and the faster processors that these cameras have for focus, the mirrorless camera has outrivaled the DSLR in terms of Auto Focus speeds.

Rear Display:

More and more mirrorless cameras now feature a touch compatible rear screen that allows you to operate your camera faster and more effectively since you can view your images as well. Some screens are fitted into the camera, while others can be pulled out and tilted to get a better angle.


In the start, capturing videos wasn’t really within the domain of mirrorless cameras but over time, that’s changed. A lot of mirrorless cameras on the market today are offering 4K video capture with broadcast quality; the Panasonic Lumix GH5 stands out in this regard and offers 10-bit 10:2:2 4k video capture. If you’re looking for a model that excels at video capture, be sure to look for dedicated microphones for sound input.

Media Slot:

As a standard, all mirrorless camera models come with at least one slot for a micro SD card; however, higher end sports models are starting to feature two slots as well. You can configure multiple card slots in a number of ways; you can use one card to store all your raw shots and the other for your videos and stills. Right now only the highest end models support the faster UHS-II SD cards but we’re hoping to see more of these sometime soon.


In a broad sense, mirrorless cameras are designed in two ways; they’re either modeled and styled after classic rangefinder cameras while others seem like attempts to look more like slimmer DSLR cameras with similar handling. Ultimately, when you’re choosing a camera, what design you go for depends on your preferences but do keep build quality in mind while making your purchase.

Panasonic Lumix GX800 – The Best Entry Level Mirrorless Camera

Notable Features:

  • 16 megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • 4k Video recording
  • Continuous shooting of 5 frames per second
  • 3’’ flip-up LCD
  • No EVF
  • ISO 200-25,600 (expandable to ISO 100 as well)

Panasonic Lumix GX800Panasonic has a great variety of Mirrorless cameras available on the market right now and they cover pretty much every price point and skill level of the photographer. The GX800 was released at the start of 2017 and is classed as an entry-level model. It’s aimed at casual photographers who are looking for a camera with interchangeable lenses, that’s easy to use and offers them better images than what their smartphone’s camera is capable of.

Like the GX80, the GX800 features the same 16 megapixels Live MOS sensor, which means that you can expect the same high-quality images. The low-pass filter, however, has been removed in the GX800 for a finer detail, which is definitely a plus point. Panasonic’s Venus Engine handles the image processing pretty well and can shoot at a continuous speed of 5 frames per second with a sensitivity range of IS0 200 – 25,600 with an option of extending the range further to ISO 100 as well.

On top of that, the GX800 can also record 4K video at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. There’s also a 4K photo mode that lets you capture 8 megapixel still images from the 4K footage you’re shooting; you won’t miss a single photo op this way.

Moreover, the GX800 is the smallest and lightest model that we’ve seen in the Lumix line up right now. Additionally, it boasts that retro rangefinder aesthetic that gives it quite the character. The camera does lack an EVF and there’s no option to attach an aftermarket one either and there are very few buttons that you can use to interact with your camera but there’s a touchscreen that flips out at 180 degrees so that you have a good view while capturing images and it also offers you an intuitive means of controlling your camera, for the lack of buttons.

Sony A6000

Notable Features:

  • 1080p video recording
  • 11 frames per second continuous shooting speed
  • APS-C CMOS sensor 24.3 megapixel
  • 3 inch tiltable LCD screen
  • 44m-dot EVF
  • ISO 100-12,800 sensitivity (expandable to ISO 25,600)

best mirrorless cameraThe A6000 came out in 2014 but it still holds its place in Sony’s current line-up of mirrorless cameras; it’s cheaper than its succeeding models, the A6300 and A6500. It’s a great camera still but there are some areas in which you can kind of tell that it’s an old timer but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still very relevant and offers an amazing value for money.

The A6000 boasts some very impressive specs that tell us that it’s not ready to go off of the shelves anytime soon; it’s using a 2.4 megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, coupled with Sony’s iconic BIONZ X processor. The A6000 offers a wide sensitivity range of ISO 100 – 25,600 and the setting can be extended up to ISO 51,000 as well. On top of that, the continuous shooting speed of 11 frames per second is also on par with many recent models.

An area where the A6000 falls short as an old camera is the fact that its video recording capabilities haven’t yet evolved to the 4K mark. However, it can still record 1080p video at 60 frames per second, which is great news for most of us. Another neat thing that this camera is packing is the fact that it supports NFC and WiFi connectivity and you get a whole slew of neat shooting features and additional functionality from Sony’s PlayMemories apps for their cameras.

When the A600 was first launched, one of its most immediate eye-catching features was the fact that it had a Hybrid AF system that combines 179 phase detection point AF and 25 points in contrast detect AF. This meant that it had the fastest focusing speeds and covered amazing ground with its viewfinder. These days, we find Hybrid AF systems in many of the best mirrorless cameras but the one in A6000 still stands out.

The 3 inch LCD screen tilts out to give you a better and adjustable view but unlike the A6500 that succeeded it, the A6000 doesn’t feature a touchscreen but it could have since 2014 was still not outside the touchscreen era. The 1.44m-dot EVF doesn’t have a resolution as high as the succeeding mirrorless cameras from Sony that have 2.36m-dot EVF, but it still offers a view that’s perfectly workable.

We’re also pleased with the build quality of the A6000; the magnesium alloy and polycarbonate shell of the camera is definitely robust but it’s not weather sealed so that’s something to keep in mind.

Fujifilm X-T20

Notable Features:

  • Can capture 4K video
  • Electronic shutter 14 frames per second continuous shooting speed
  • 3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II Sensor
  • ISO 200-12,800 with an extendable range of ISO 100-51,200
  • 04m-dot/3” tiltable LCD touchscreen
  • High resolution 2.36m-dot EVF with 100{5a6225552c8d664a9f43d813aeeaecd3f03bdf639eec698785f645283e5c750e} coverage at 0.62x

In the start of 2017, the X-T20 succeeded its predecessor, the Fujifilm X-T10 from 2015. There are quite a few notable upgrades that step the newer model up from the older one and a lot of these are influenced by the X-T2, which is Fujifilm’s flagship mirrorless camera model. Here are some of the major updates that we saw in the X-T20; the outgoing model had a 16-megapixel resolution which got improved upon by the 24.3-megapixel resolution in the X-T20’s X-Trans CMOS II sensor.

The X-T20 also has a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-51,200 after expansion, thanks to Fujifilm’s X Processor Pro. The mechanical shutter of the X-T20 enables it to shoot continuously at the speed of 8 frames per second which isn’t all that impressive but if you switch to the electronic shutter, you can achieve speeds of up to 14 frames per second.

Another area where the X-T20 improves upon its predecessor is its improved Hybrid AF system; it incorporates 91 AF points as compared to the 49 points that the X-T10 covered, the newer module in the central portion of the viewfinder also includes 49 points of phase detection AF. The LCD screen at the back also enjoys a higher resolution of 1.04m-dots over the 922k-dots in the older model and on top of that, it also features touchscreen controls which make it more intuitive to use. The 4K video recording is an improvement over the 1080p full HD capture that we saw in the X-T10.

A lot has changed but some of the good things still remain unchanged; both cameras still have the same 2.36m-dot EVF which provides full coverage even when zoomed up to 0.62x. Both cameras boast the rangefinder-like aesthetic, in terms of design and the build quality is pretty great thanks to the magnesium alloy construction but there’s a lack of weather sealing on the X-T20 which is something that the X-T2 features. We also like the aluminum dials on the top of the camera; they add to the retro look and feel and are pretty nice and tactile to use too.

OM-D E-M10 Mark III By Olympus

Notable Features:

  • Micro Four Thirds sensor (16 megapixels)
  • ISO 200-25,600 (expandable to ISO 100)
  • Continuous shooting speed of 8.6 frames per second
  • 3’’ tilting LCD touchscreen 1.04m-dot resolution
  • 36m-dot Electronic View Finder
  • 4K video recording

Two years back, we had the OM-D E-M10 Mark II from Olympus, the Mark III is basically the newer, updated version of that. There’s a lot of similarities in features and even specs between the two cameras but there are quite a few new additions as well, which we’re going to go over. The most notable upgrade is how they’ve overhauled the entire UI of the camera, making it more intuitive and therefore easier to use.

The Newer Mark III has the same resolution as the outgoing model but the 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor makes all the difference; the low light performance is stellar. This has a lot to do with Olympus’s new TruePic III image processor as well; this is the same processor that they are using in their flagship camera, OM-G E-M1 MK. II. This also means another thing for the E-m10 Mark III and that’s superior video recording; it can record 4K video at 30 frames per second and slow-motion video at 120 frames per second but capped at 720p resolution, which is still fair. However, we do wish that there was an option to attach an aftermarket microphone to the camera for better sound recording with the video, but we can’t and there’s no option of attaching headphones either so that’s a bit of a let-down.

Coming back to improvements, the AF module has greatly been upgraded; it incorporates a remarkable 121 – point contrast detect system, which far outshines the older model’s 81 – point AF. This system isn’t as fast as a lot of Hybrid AF systems that we’ve seen in mirrorless cameras out there but it’s still pretty quick; however, it’s plenitude of AF points means that it has a wider coverage than most models as well. Another reason why we feel like this camera is great for enthusiasts is because of its image stabilization even without the use of a separate stabilized lens; it uses a 5 – axis image stabilization technology which allows shutter compensation of four points.

Moving on to design, the Mark III doesn’t have weather sealing, which a lot of high-end Olympus models have but despite that, we’re pleased with how the camera feels and sits in the hand; the grip is very nice and ergonomic and the camera itself feels very durable. If you’ve used an older model from Olympus in the past, then you’ll be really pleased to know that the button configuration is the same and you won’t have to get used to something new; however, there have been massive improvements on top of that to make the user interface more intuitive and more effective to use; it’s much simpler to navigate the menu now. Overall, this is a great camera that both newcomers to mirrorless cameras as well as enthusiasts can enjoy using.

X-T2 From Fujifilm

Notable Features:

  • 3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS III
  • ISO 200-12,800 (can be expanded to ISO 51,200)
  • 8 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 3’’/1.04m-dot vari-angle LCD
  • 36-million-dot EVF
  • 4K video capture

Right now, there are two available flagship mirrorless camera models from Fujifilm; the X-Pro 2, which is a camera that’s seemingly built for those of us who enjoy still photography with small prime lenses and then there’s the X-T2, which is a more versatile camera with great video capture and better optimization for larger lenses.

The X-T2 has a number of advantages over its little brother, the X-Pro 2; 4K video recording, a better EVF and an articulated LCD screen, to name a few. However, there are also a certain number of things where it falls short, in comparison to the X-Pro 2; the XT-2 isn’t blessed with the hybrid viewfinder of the X-Pro 2 which combines EVF with an actual optical viewfinder. Yes, an optical viewfinder on a mirrorless camera! Remember how we talked about the two basic kinds of mirrorless camera designs? The X-Pro 2 follows the retro aesthetic of the rangefinder design while the X-T2 follows the same DSLR like look with a sculpted rubber grip and a raised viewfinder on the top, like the 2014 X-T1 before it. Both the current flagship cameras have a very durable magnesium alloy build and the good news is that they’re both weather sealed as well.

Now that we’ve gone over the design of the camera, let’s talk about what’s inside it. The X-T2 contains a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor that’s powered by Fujifilm’s powerful image processor, the X-Processor Pro. The shutter speed of the camera using the mechanical shutter lands at about 1/8000sec with a continuous shooting speed of 8 frames per second, but if you use the electronic shutter instead, you can amp this speed up to even 1/32,000sec and shoot continuously at 14 frames per second provided that you attach the VPB-TX2 power booster grip (this is sold separately).

Moving on to focus; the Hybrid AF system on board the X-T2 makes use of a whopping 325 AF points with 169 points of phase detection; basically what this means is that the focus speeds are absolutely spectacular on this camera, provided that the lighting is good, but the viewfinder coverage doesn’t stretch to a full. The X-T2 also allows you to track moving objects with a multitude of options in its AF-C customisation modes, making it an excellent choice for sports photographers and anyone who wants to shoot things in action.

And finally, the X-T2 was also the first model in its domain to support 4K video recording and what makes the video recording experience even better is the fact that you also have the option of attaching an external microphone for better sound recording. The X-T2 is truly a camera that’s fit for high-end photography; it’s a looker and an all-around performer at the same time.

OM-D E-M1 II By Olympus

Notable Features:

  • 4 megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
  • ISO 200-25,600 (can be extended to ISO 64)
  • Continuous shooting speed of 18 frames per second
  • 3’’ vari-angle touchscreen LCD with 1.03m-dots resolution
  • 36m-dot Electronic View Finder
  • 4K video recording

Not too long ago, the image processors used in digital cameras weren’t capable of processing the larger amounts of data that high-resolution images produce. As a result, these older processors were much slower when it came to capturing bigger images and would hold photographers back from being able to shoot bursts of photos at faster speeds. Fortunately, the industry for cameras has started paying more attention to the kind of processors they use and are now using ultra-fast image processors that can handle high-resolution pictures as if they were nothing.

This new trend in processors is especially good news for sports photographers and those of us who want to shoot things in action – this includes wildlife photography as well. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 II takes advantage of these speed and performance upgrades and presents itself as a high-end camera that’s perfect for speed photography (this means fast moving objects and faster capture speeds in general).

The original iteration of the OM-D E-M1 model used a 16 MP sensor, which the 2016 OM-D E-M1 II improves on with its 20.4-megapixel sensor coupled with Olympus’s TruePic VIII processor; this processor packs a dual quad-core chipset. One of the chipsets handles the camera’s image processing while its counterpart takes care of the camera’s Auto Focus system. This genius layout is what enables this camera to shoot at an incredible speed of 18 frames per second and that’s just with the mechanical shutter. By now you probably know what’s coming next; yes, with the electronic shutter you can get even high speeds – we’re talking 60 frames per second of continuous shooting. This speed is incredible, to say the least, but all the frames will have the same focus of the first frame.

The autofocus of the OM-D E-M1 II is another area that proves that it’s the best mirrorless camera out there in there as far as speed is concerned. The OM-D E-M1 II uses a remarkable 121 focus points and cross-type phase detection AF points; altogether, it can cover pretty much 80{5a6225552c8d664a9f43d813aeeaecd3f03bdf639eec698785f645283e5c750e} of the frame. This Auto Focus system excels at capturing moving objects in focus pretty well with no blur; the 5 axis image stabilization technology plays a hand here as well with about 6.5 compensation stops.

Asides from all that, you get built-in WiFi, twin SD card slots for better-managed storage and you can record 4K video at 30 frames per second. The magnesium alloy construction promises durability and there’s weather sealing as well, which means that you can shoot in all kinds of conditions without having to worry about your camera getting ruined. This is the best camera out there for those who want to shoot at speed.

Lumix GH5 By Panasonic

Notable Features:

  • 3-megapixel sensor
  • ISO 200-25,600 native sensitivity (can be expanded to ISO 100)
  • 12 frames per second of continuous shooting speed
  • 2’’ vari-angle touchscreen 1.62 million-dots resolution
  • 68 million dot resolution Electronic View Finder
  • 4K video recording at 10-bit

Video enthusiasts have been turning to the GH series by Panasonic for a long time and the new GH5 takes the success of the GH series up a notch with 4K video recording support at 60 frames per second. Oh, and that’s not nearly all, you can record broadcast level 10-bit video at an aspect ratio of 10:2:2 and 30 frames per second. This means that the GH5 is capable of recording about 64 times more data than the previous 8-bit standard; this makes it an absolute treat for videographers who are looking for more flexibility in their production work. The GH5 is also capable of recording at 1080p and 720p qualities a well and just so you can make the audio recording even better, you have the option of including a microphone and you can also attach headphones. There’s also an HDMI port so you can view your video on larger screens.

Overall, the video recording capabilities of this mirrorless camera are definitely as good as it gets but the image capturing ability of this camera is no joke either. The Live MOS series sensor of 20.3-megapixel resolution coupled with the Venus Engine 10 processor makes this a fast focusing shooter as well. The AF module incorporates 225-points of focus and the defocus contrast detection technology working alongside this means that it can focus on times as fast as 0.05secs. You also get 5 points lof shutter speed compensation thanks to the GH5’s Dual IS two 5 axis image stabilization; no need to use a stabilization lens here but you can for even crazier stability.

There’s also a 6K photo capture mode which allows you to capture still images at 30 frames per second and if you want to capture even faster stills, then you have the option of switching to 4K photo capture mode to capture 8-megapixel images at 60 frames per second as well. Moving on, the camera has a very premium looking design but it’s not small or lightweight at all. The sturdy magnesium alloy construction and the weather sealing make it a camera that you can take around without having it break easily. The GH5 is the ultimate mirrorless camera for stills and videos at the same time – if that’s what you’re after then don’t pass on this camera.

The A7 II By Sony

Notable Features:

  • 3 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-25,600 native sensitivity (can be expanded to ISO 50)
  • 5 frames per second of continuous shooting speed
  • 3’’/1.22m-dot resolution LCD
  • 4m-dot resolution Electronic View Finder
  • 1080p high definition video recording

Right now, Sony’s FF A7 camera range consists of three models, each with their own specialties. First, the 12.2 megapixels A7S II, the photojournalist camera that offers extended ISO sensitivity ranges and wide dynamic ranges. Second, we have the 42.4 megapixel A7R II that offers bigger images over other things due to its high resolutions, making it perfect for commercial photography for large signs and boards. Last but certainly not the least in any way, we have the 23.3 megapixel A7 II, which brings you a balance between the abilities of its other two siblings, making it a jack of all trades. The A7 II is all about flexibility and customization with high-resolution capabilities.

The A7 II was introduced in 2015 and it improves over the 2014 A7 model thanks to its FF sensor, which proved to be a breakthrough for mirrorless cameras since no other mirrorless camera used an FF sensor at the time. However, despite the good press it got, there were some handling issues with the A7 that are worth mentioning; these were improved in the newer A7 II while keeping all the goodies from the older model. Other improvements include how the hande is reshaped to provide a better and more secure hold on the camera and the buttons layout has also been revised a bit to make interactions with the camera easier.

Both the new and old A7 models share the same BIONZ X powered 24 megapixel FF sensor with native sensitivity ranges between ISO 100-25,000 with the option to go down to ISO 50 as well. Both of them also feature continuous shooting speeds of 5 frames per second. The A7 II does, however, boast a hybrid 124-point AF system with 99 points in phase detection AF and 25 points in contrast detect AF; altogether it’s a very speedy focus. Neither of the two models offer 4K video recording but there’s a plenitude of recording options at 1080p and 720p resolutions.

One area that improved the handling issues of the older model was how the A7 II offers a better image stabilization technology; the 5 axis Sony SteadyShot provides 4.5 compensation stops that make it great to use with slow shutter speeds. The A7 II is also very durable thanks to its magnesium alloy construction that’s further secured by weather sealing.

The A7R II By Sony

Notable Features:

  • 4 megapixel FF BSI CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-25,600 native sensitivity (can be expanded to ISO 50-1-2,400)
  • 5 frames per second of continuous shooting speeds
  • 3’’/1.23m-dot tiltable LCD
  • 46m-dot OLED Electronic View Finder
  • 4K video recording

The A7 II that we talked about just prior to this was poised at providing a balance between the other two A7 models from Sony but its other two siblings are made to be perfect in what they do; the A7S II is perfect when it comes to low light photography and the A7R II, which we’re concerned with, is all about high resolution and the ultimate image quality. The A7R II seems to improve on the original A7 in pretty much every way we can think of; the resolution has been amped up from 36.2 megapixels to a staggering 42.4 megapixel but without any compromises in performance, which we saw in the older model. The shooting speed is the same as the A7 II that we talked about earlier but the resolution is almost twice as high with more native sensitivity and two exposure value stops higher.

The A7R II is the only one of the three cameras in Sony’s current A7 line up that lacks a low pass optical filter but it does have a more refined Hybrid AF system than its siblings that can use 399 phase detection and 25 contrast detection points; the viewfinder coverage is also much larger and the focus is instantaneous. The A7R II and the A7S II both offer 4K video recording at 30 frames per second, which the A7 II doesn’t. The flat result of the 4K capture is great material to work for while grading, which is good news for videographers.

The 42.4-megapixel resolution of the A7R II would seem to be its biggest selling point and it definitely is its biggest strength but that’s not all it can do for you. You have various APS-C cropping mode options that let you create spectacular images at lower resolutions. Aside from that, you’ll see all kinds of goodies you’d expect from a high-end mirrorless camera; this includes magnesium alloy build which is weather sealed, a high-resolution OLED EVF that’s easier on the eyes and a tiltable screen for better viewing angles. You also have a lot of controls that let you customise your camera to your desired settings.

The A9 By Sony

Notable Features:

  • 24 megapixel FF Exmor RS sensor
  • ISO 100-51,200 native sensitivity (expandable to ISO 50-204,800)
  • 20 frames per second of continuous shooting speed
  • 3’’/1.44m-dot touchscreen LCD
  • 68m-dot OLED EVF
  • 4K video

The A9 by was released by Sony in Mid 2017 and is designed to hold its own against DLSR cameras by Nikon and Canon’s high-grade cameras with its high-speed FF features. The A9 is pretty much ideal for wildlife and sport photography thanks to its incredible tracking abilities and high burst shooting speeds. The extended range of its native sensitivity draws event photographers to it as well.

The A9 is only capable of this kind of versatile performance thanks to the Sony 24 megapixel FF Exmor RS sensor which it’s built around. The BIONZ X image processor is able to handle the images about 20 times faster than ordinary chips because of the camera’s stacked design; the sensor is mounted underneath the photo-diodes and the DRAM chip for faster data transference to the processor. Putting this configuration to real life use, this means that the A9 can shoot at a continuous speed of 20 frames per second while using AF-C and the electronic shutter without any kind of shutter related distortion. The max shutter speed with the electronic option is 1/32,000 sec while the mechanical option operates at 1/8000sec with a continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second.

Another area in which the A9 is a winner is its stellar AF system that incorporates a whopping 693 phase detection points that pretty much cover the entire frame. The tracking abilities are crazy and the camera can refocus as much as 60 times in a single second, meaning that it’s actually hard to lose focus. Sony’s SteadyShot is also present as a 5 axis image stabilizing system, making sure that images are sharp all the time and even when the shutter speed is slow.

The A9 is a flagship camera in every little aspect and the build quality is up to that high mark, where we wanted it to be. The camera is completely dust and moisture proof and there are a lot of physical controls that you can tinker with to place your AF points where you need them. The A9 uses a 3.68m-dot resolution EVF which is the sharpest available in the market right now. Like all the flagship cameras out there, the 3 inch LCD features touchscreen functionality and there’s support for 4k video recording as well at 30 frames per second. The result of the video capture is pretty clean but not flat enough for videographers to use for grading, however.