Sony A7ii Wedding Photography Year-End Review
Sony A7ii Wedding Photography Year-End Review
This is probably (hopefully) the last Sony A7ii wedding photography review for this blog, yay! On the one hand, by the time I get around to writing a second blog post we will be using the Sony A7SII or Sony A7RII for wedding photography and videography, or I’ll be using whatever the next iteration of the standard model, the Sony A7III or whatever it will be called, when it comes out next! The second main reason that I’m writing this THIRD review of the Sony A7ii is that it seems google is ranking me highly for some keyword there and more people are reading this blog post than the ones about actual wedding photography and weddings that I’ve photographed :). Come on Sony Artisans of Imagery, don’t you want to add an Indian wedding photographer in New York to your roster and hook me up with some more lenses and cameras to really switch 100% to the Sony A7-series for wedding photos and wedding videos???
Anywho, dreams of being sponsored aside, here are my year-end thoughts with using the Sony A7II! In addition to wedding photography, I’ve been using the Sony A72 for 90% of my casual and travel photography as well. From shots around New York City to taking the Sony A7II with us on our trip to China last Summer, this camera has seen some mileage! Some time in the Spring/Summer I also picked up the Sony Sonnar T FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA lens and oh man, what a sweet lens that is! I kind of miss my old FE 35mm f/2.8 just for the compact-ness but since I acquired the 16-35mm f/4 OSS I didn’t really want too many lenses with overlapping focal lengths since this is my secondary kit, after all. But the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 is truly a dream lens, quick auto focus and a very natural focal length in the 50mm range make this a perfect all day lens, especially on wedding days! I still love the ultra wide look for random travel stuff but during a wedding the Sony A7II’s sensor can really shine when you open the 55mm up to 1.8. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves as I jump all over the place in this review, because first I wanted to share some of those travel/landscape photos I’ve taken over the year with the Sony A7ii and give some quick thoughts on editing after this quick photo section:
Sony A7II New York City & Travel Photography
New York City and Central Park from the Top of the Rock with the Sony A7ii and FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS
Midtown Manhattan with the Sony A7II
New York City with the Sony A7II and Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS
Grand Central Terminal
“Looking Up” by Tom Friedman on Park Avenue, Manhattan
Sony A7II Wedding Photography Editing
After a break from NYC photos with the A7ii, here’s my biggest advancement since my last review of the Sony A72 – finally getting the editing looking how I want it to in Lightroom! As a Canon shooter for wedding photography, I process thousands upon thousands of Canon RAW files every month, I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on just how to push around those pixels in Lightroom to get them to be how I want the final photo to look. Switching to Sony… those first few months were just rough. Applying the same initial mix I do for my Canon 5D Mark III to a Sony A7R or A7II RAW file just yields a totally different result. Through trial and error, and frankly just working with them long enough, I feel like I’m FINALLY understanding how the Sony RAWs react and can be manipulated in post. The other big “breakthrough” for me, for editing Sony A7II RAW files, was finding out that VSCO had included the Sony A7 series in one of it’s recent updates! Okay, this might have happened a while ago but I don’t really follow the news when VSCO releases a new preset bundle. As for most wedding photographers, I don’t just hit a file with the VSCO preset and call it a day, but it gives you a nice starting point to start manipulating the RAW data. Now that VSCO camera profiles were available, I started really just trying out all of the presets and seeing how they worked with the Sony files until I landed on something that can kinda sorta start looking like my beloved Canon RAW files. From the nice bokeh on these photos you can probably guess they were taken with the 55mm f/1.8 lens rather than the wide angle 16-35.
And of course as with everything, my editing tastes will probably change another 6 months from now as well as I get even more into the files. Using the Sony A7ii wedding photography lately I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere with editing, after a lot of frustration initially that I couldn’t just apply my standard import preset and be 90% of the way to a final wedding image.
The other editing style I’ve changed up a bit as well has been my travel and landscape photos. Going for a more Instagram-friendly edit I suppose you could say? Just something slightly different, as I play around with the Sony RAW files more and more. With a couple of thousand photos taken in China during the Summer of 2015, this was more practice with editing!
Ok a lot of Shanghai photos, of course! The Sony A7II was a great travel camera for it’s compact size and still a full frame sensor. Hiking around the countryside in Xiamen and Wuyishan, it definitely saved my back by only having the lighter body in my backpack!
Back to Sony A7ii wedding photography though! Here’s so more photos showing just how much I love the 55mm f/1.8 basically
Lastly to round out this interview, which I know was supposed to be about using the A72 for weddings, here’s a testament to the rugged nature of this camera… Winter storm Jonas!
We had to go out and play in the snow of course, as we got about 2 feet here on Long Island New York.
Overall, still loving the Sony A7II for both wedding and travel photography after a serious year of using it for both. I played with the A7Sii and A7Rii a few times at B&H and I’m still lusting after both of those cameras, as they seem to take the best parts of the A7 and expand on them with ISO and megapixels. My only complaint with the A7 (after seeing the A7S2) is the ISO performance, and that’s really only when shooting video indoors during wedding receptions. I usually throw the 16-35 on for videography and yeah f/4 with only DJ lights is a little bit too much for the A7 to handle, cranking it up to ISO 6400. Still though, for over $1000 less than the A7RII and A7SII, you can’t beat the value of the Sony A7II (link to B&H page, not an affiliate link).
So I think that’s about it, and you can read some more of my thoughts on my first 2 reviews of the Sony A7II: First impressions of the Sony A7 here and this second review after using it for the first time seriously during a full Indian wedding.