Today is a very momentous day. I invested in a new camera and used it for the first time today. The last time I purchased a camera was 2010, so I’d say I’m overdue for an upgrade. My Nikon D7000 is so used that it is literally falling apart (I had to get the shutter refurbished a few years ago after it broke in the middle of a wedding, and those bad boys see about 300,000 releases before that typically happens!) Not the Nikon becomes my backup camera and I am making the leap to this new brand. For 30 years, I’ve shot almost exclusively Nikon due to owning a good bit of their glass (lenses). It’s a big deal to start over with a totally different manufacturer.

Making it even more special, this is my first full-frame and first mirrorless digital camera. Unless you are a professional photographer, they might not mean much, but essentially, I am using the full range of a camera’s sensitivity and pixels, which will result in far higher quality images. Mirrorless is lighter to carry around and quieter to operate.

The new camera, the Sony Alpha 7 II, was revolutionary when it was first released in 2014 as the world’s first back-illuminated 35 mm full-frame CMOS image sensor with 42.4 megapixels. For comparison sake, my Nikon has 16 megapixels!

It takes image resolution, sensitivity (up to ISO 1024003) and speedy response to new heights. The Fast Hybrid AF system’s dense extra-wide focal plane phase-detection AF coverage keeps a subject in sharp focus entirely throughout the frame, while 5-axis image stabilization reduces blur which otherwise tends to affect handheld shots. High resolution is further enhanced by 4K movie recording featuring full pixel readout without pixel binning.

Even slight camera shake can risk blurring the shot. The 5-axis image stabilization system is carefully fine-tuned. I can zoom in on faraway subjects, shoot close-ups and capture night scenes with minimal camera shake blur to achieve maximum clarity.

The α7R II is optimized for recording 4K (QFHD: 3,840 x 2,160) movies, particularly in Super 35 mm format, as it processes readout data from every pixel without pixel binning, to effectively suppress jaggies and moiré. The resulting footage exhibits visibly sharper, finer, more subtle detail than typical 4K movies. Also, as the first full-frame camera that can record movies at 4K resolution in the 35 mm full-frame format, the α7R II extends your power to express qualities of vision that the newly developed, back-illuminated full-frame image sensor makes possible.

I am very excited about the thousands of images I will create with this new camera in the years to come.