Camera Gear

I shoot with the full-frame Sony α7R IV.

Updated Oct 2019 · RSS

Sony α7R IV

About 15 years ago I became interested in larger DSLR cameras from Nikon and Canon, most recently shooting with a Canon 5DMk3. They did the job well but were so large and bulky that it was hard to resist the migration to mirrorless cameras as they became more capable. I had become familiar with old Sony point and shoot digital cameras in the early 2000s, then moved to an APS-C Sony NEX-5 camera in 2010 and began to like mirrorless. Eventually I went back to Sony with the full-frame RX1R, Sony α7S, Sony α7R II, Sony α7R III and now the Sony α7R IV.

The Sony α7 formula is simple: use a high-quality sensor with extremely high dynamic range and built-in sensor stabilization then pack it with features rivaling or besting larger DSLRs. It's a fantastic travel camera system. I love the size, build quality, image quality, insanely high resolution (42MP 61MP!) as well as the Wi-Fi connectivity to Sony mobile apps for sharing photo previews on the go.

Sony α7R IV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILCE7RM4/B)

Sony α7R IV

61MP, 5-axis stabilization, 567 AF points

Sony HVLF60M Flash for Alpha Cameras

Sony HVLF60M flash

Big flash with LED light for video

Newmowa Dual USB Charger for Sony NP-FZ100, BC-QZ1 and Sony Alpha 9, Sony A9, Sony Alpha 9R, Sony A9R, Sony Alpha 9S, Sony A7RIII A7R3, Sony a7 III Digital Camera

Newmowa dual charger

Tiny, USB-powered

Sony NPFZ100 Z-series Rechargeable Battery Pack

Extra Sony batteries

I got 3 extras

Sony PCK-LG1 Screen Protect Glass Sheet

Sony glass screen protector

Must-have protection

Hoodman Hoodeye - Hypoallergenic silicon rubber eyecup

Hoodman Hoodeye

Larger eyecup to block out more light

I last upgraded from the α7R II to the α7R III. While the upgrades seem incremental, for me this latest revision is a game changer for two reasons: it uses a much larger battery and it has two SD card slots. The previous generation used a small battery that was so insufficient I used to travel with handful of batteries. On my most active day of shooting while on a safari game drive in Tanzania with the α7R III, I barely got close to using 2 batteries. As for the double SD card slot situation: while on a trip I can set them up to mirror the cards for redundancy if I'm not traveling with a laptop or larger hard drive to backup the shots.

I rarely shoot with a flash (and never travel with one) but ended up getting Sony's largest flash for the occasional nighttime indoor events, team outings and such that I attend and want to shoot.

Fuji X-T30

While my Sony a7R IV is a phenomenal powerhouse that can take on just about any challenge, it does fall short in one category: size. Paired with full-frame lenses, the Sony rig can get a bit heavy and bulky. I find this a bit funny as I came from even larger Canon DSLRs and thought the full-frame Sony cameras were a breath of fresh air.

It wasn't until I moved to New York that I found myself wanting something smaller, even at the expense of performance and image quality. A camera I could casually have in my bag that wouldn't weigh me down, just in case I see interesting things throughout the city.

Enter the Fuji X-T30. It's one of the smallest interchangeable lens cameras Fuji makes and I'm loving it. It's the perfect size to always have in my backpack and not worry about. It's doesn't have the horsepower of its big brother, the larger X-T3, which has a higher quality EVF, faster continuous shooting speed and the ability to record 60fps 4K video. But the goal for me was a compact and light camera and at under a pound, the X-T30 was just the ticket!

Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/XC15-45mm Kit

Fuji X-T30 mirrorless camera

26MP, 4K30 video, tiny

Fuji Fujinon XF 23mmF2 R WR lens

Fuji 23mm R WR lens

ƒ/2.0

Fujifilm Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR - Black

Fuji 35mm R WR lens

ƒ/2.0

Fuji XC15-45mm lens

Fuji XC15-45mm lens

Kit lens. Electric zoom feels slow and gets annoying. ƒ/3.5-5.6

Fuji lens hood

Fuji lens hood

Classic style and more protection than included hoods. Fits 23mm & 35mm

JJC Bayonet Square Metal Lens Hood Shade for Fuji Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35mm F2 & 23mm F2 Lens

JJC lens hood

Bayonet style for 35 f/2, 23 f/2

JJC Soft release button

JJC release button

Makes shutter easier to click

Vello LCD Screen Protector Ultra for Fuji cameras

Screen protector

ultra-thin optical glass

B+W 43mm HTC Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Coating

B+W circular polarizer

43mm, HTC Kaesemann w/ MRC

B+W 43mm Clear UV Haze Filter with Multi-Resistant Coating (010M)

B+W UV filter

43mm, UV haze w/ MRC

I purchased it with the relatively small-for-a-zoom XC15-45 kit lens but quickly learned I did not like its sluggish electric zoom, so I strongly advise not getting that lens as part of a kit. I quickly added on the 23mm f/2.0 and 35mm f/2.0 lenses. I purposefully did not go for the higher end f/1.4 versions of the 23mm and 35mm that Fuji sells for a reason: they're larger and heavier.

The 23mm and 35mm f/2.0 feel exceptionally well-built and sturdy. And I absolutely love the aperture control ring. The only lens I am considering for the future is the XF 18mm f/2.0 R pancake lens for something even smaller. However, that lens has been out for a long time now and there have been rumors that a new model may be around the corner, so I'll wait and see what happens.

I haven't owned the X-T30 for too long but I only really have one annoyance with it so far: low light performance. It isn't great; autofocus speed in particular. But honestly, my perspective is coming from a much more expensive full-frame camera, so I'm not exactly sure what I should expect for a sub-$1000 camera. It's not a huge issue though and for the most part the X-T30 autofocus performance is very solid, especially at finding faces.

Something to keep in mind about Fuji cameras...

While Fuji cameras are known for their great straight-out-of-camera JPEG image quality with built-in film simulation modes, editing the RAW files from Fuji cameras is another beast entirely. Long story short, Fuji cameras use what they call the X-Trans sensor (the X-T30 uses X-Trans 4). This sensor uses a 6x6 filter array to capture RGB light. Conventional CMOS camera sensors use a simpler 2x2 "Bayer" filter array. Most third-party raw processing engines, in particular those by Adobe, are only good at demosaicing Bayer sensor data to create the final image.

As a result, editing Fuji RAW files in Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW can tend to feel a bit less sharp than it should and may require more fiddling on your part. Adobe had a recent software update to improve this, but there are also other viable options like Fuji's own RAW converter app, Capture One, RawTherapee, or a converter called X-Transformer (can be used as a Lightroom plugin).