I consider myself a creative professional first, and a photography enthusiast second. The creative design industry has been my passion for a very long time. I’ve only been shooting for about a year and a half, but I’ve fallen in love with photography and my Sony A7 camera.
With that said, I know the importance of tools in the trade. I studied cameras and lenses before I made my first purchase. I practiced with a Canon 6D for my first 2 shoots. Then, I asked around online and different forums, and was given the same recommendations. Get a Canon or a Nikon. They are the best.
With that said, I didn’t listen and decided to try another route. My first camera and still my current camera is the Sony A7 (first gen series). I wanted to stick with a small body and light-weight camera and I loved the retro body look. I knew I wasn’t going to need anything bulky, and size was a big factor for me. It was priced around the same as a Canon 6D, and had great features that the Canon didn’t at the time.
Sony A7 Camera:
Sony A7 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera
The Sony a7 has been amazing for me. It has a 24MP full-frame sensor, with face detection. Hands down all I needed to get started and some. You can look up the specs, but overall it has been great for portraits. Sony has since released many updated versions of this camera, but I love this camera.
I am thinking of upgrading in the future to the Sony A7 III if/when it gets announced, but for now this camera has helped me grow my creative passion for photography.
It works well in low-light, especially with the wide open fast apertures of 1.4 and 1.8 lenses that I have listed below. Without the grip, it is small and compact and still packs a punch with amazing quality pictures.
Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar Full Frame Prime Lens
The Sony 55 was my first lens purchase. The camera came with the Sony 28-70mm kit lens, but I quickly traded up. I wanted to shoot with a fast prime. I hated the price when I first researched the lens, but I knew I wanted to something with great quality and a small body. This lens was my only lens for the first year. I shot with nothing else. I tried renting other lenses such as the Batis 85mm F1.8, but I kept coming back to this 55mm. It has been great for lifestyle, and portrait style photos.
Sony 85mm F1.4 GMaster Full Frame Prime Lens
I was very fortunate that I had a friend who was switching camera gear from Sony to Fuji. This gave me the opportunity to purchase his used lenses for a great price break. The 85mm is an industry standard lens for portraits so I knew I was going to own one. The image quality produced with this lens is phenomenal. It is the heaviest lens I own, but I really enjoy shooting with it. I highly recommend renting this lens if you have a chance before you buy, so you can see how it works for you.
Sony 35mm F1.4 Distagon Full Frame Prime Lens
Along with the 85mm, I purchased this 35mm Distagon about 2 months later. You always hear that the 35mm is the street photographers dream, so I wanted to check it out. I rented the lens a few times and knew it would be great for capturing more of the environment that my models were in. I am still getting the hang of composition with this lens, but I love having it in my collection.
Sony 24-70 F2.8 GMaster Zoom Lens
I have shot with primes for all my portrait work. There is nothing like working with fast apertures, but I think I’m getting ready for a change. I have yet to rent the 24-70mm F2.8 but I know it’s the next logical lens for my collection. I help my wife with wedding photography, and this lens would really come in handy instead of using primes.
Expensive equipment is nice to have, but creativity is nicer
I am very blessed to be able to have this collection. I know that it’s not easy to make large purchases, but I know my future will be in the form of design, photography and video so I am investing in myself. If you can’t afford equipment like this, don’t be discouraged. Start out with a budget that works for you, and grow your skills. Learning will always be the one piece of advice I always strive to help people understand. Develop your skills and keep shooting!