Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sony NEX-7 Review: Suitable for Clients?

Q: I am guessing that this is a camera that you'd only use for model portfolio development, and NOT a camera that you would use to shoot a client's commercial project on IN FRONT of the client, especially if it's in a studio. On location just you and a model, yes. In a studio with pro lights, a full crew, and 4 people from the client company, no... right?

A: Most photographers would answer this question based upon technical differences between the NEX-7 and whatever camera you also own. They might argue that the NEX-7 has better dynamic range, it's sharper than most cameras, has great resolving power, blah blah blah. And that if it's what you need then you should bring it to the client shoot.

I'm here to tell you the NEX-7 has no place being in a professional client environment.

Because size matters. On a client shoot you need to bring out the big guns. Perception is king. Sometimes at the cost of results. Even if the NEX-7 were a better camera on all accounts (compared to my Nikon or Hasselblad), I'd be worse off for not having the respect of the client if I pulled out what looks like a toy camera.

It's the same reason why I acquired a digital Hasselblad. I didn't want the client saying, "Hey, I have a 5DMII or D700 too!" Because what they're really saying is, "Hey, I have the same camera as this professional photographer. Is he qualified? Did I overpay? Could have done the shoot myself?"

In a nutshell, the world isn't ready to accept the possibility that a mirrorless camera can rival the DSLR/DMF (digital medium format) in many respects. And for that reason, which is all the reason you need, it does not belong in a professional environment. Given time, clients might understand.

But not yet.

Same with digital, for a long time clients still asked for film. That's because clients aren't well-educated. We have to respect that since they pay the bills.


  1. Interesting opinion..I don't entirely disagree but it simply runs counter to what we "pros" say about gear. Optics aside, I say use what works.

    BTW: Just about all of my clients have a 5D series or equivalent camera these days..they use it for BTS stuff during shoots and taking shots of their daughters at riding practice on the weekends.

  2. The surface level answer is use whatever works.

    But business is more than just "what works". There's a lot of perception, branding, and psychology at play. Most photographers take everything at "face value" because they don't understand the inner workings of client mentality. That's why most photographers need agents to take care of the business end of things for them.

    Of course each client is different. There are always exceptions to the rule. You might find a client that knows that the NEX-7 has better dynamic range than most cameras.

    But that's as likely as finding a model that understands what an f-stop is.

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