I'm switching from Nikon to Sony mirrorless

First let me be clear: I'm not, nor have I ever been, sponsored by Sony, Nikon or any other camera manufacturer, and all my photography gear has been purchased with my own money (usually used since I'm not made of money).

With that out of the way, after waffling on the decision for over a year, I'm selling all my Nikon FX DSLR camera gear, and switching to Sony's APS-C mirrorless camera system.

Jeff Geerling's Nikon DSLR photo gear

But why?

For me, there are two major reasons:

  • COVID-19 practically ended event photography for me. I never did it full-time, but there were enough gigs through a given year that I made a significant amount of income from that work—enough to justify the lenses and cameras I owned.
  • COVID-19 also caused me to focus on video work, most notably for my YouTube channel, and in video, my needs were wildly different than event stills photography.

And so I should begin this post by saying you are not me, and I can only offer my story; if you are considering switching systems or getting into a system as a new photographer, you have to figure out what features and properties are best for you.

If COVID-19 never happened, I'm almost 100% sure I'd have stuck with Nikon and slowly migrated to their full-frame Z system. But since it happened, and I don't do any stills photography except for family snapshots, controlled-lighting headshots, and macro studio shots anymore, I don't really need the features Nikon offers, and I'm willing to put up with the annoying things I hate about Sony's system for the video benefits it offers.

I put most of my thoughts into the following video on my YouTube channel:

I want to highlight the fact the main reason I'm not sticking with Nikon's system (even though their full-frame Z lenses are amazing) is the lackluster offerings Nikon provides in the 'DX' (crop sensor) range. Since their first FX camera—the legendary D3—Nikon has basically treated the crop sensor format as 'beginner' level, only really building consumer-level slow DX lenses. Sony seems to understand that APS-C (their DX equivalent) is a relevant sensor size pros can use independent of (or to augment) a full-frame system!

I've already sold about half my Nikon lenses (including one of my favorite F-mount lenses of all time, a Sigma 135mm f/1.8—I don't typically enjoy 3rd party lenses but this one was special). And I haven't yet found suitable replacements in Sony's lineup for everything... but doing video, maybe I can cut back on my GAS a little, since video is more forgiving in low light!

I'm not a photographer by trade, though I have done a small amount of paid photojournalism and a decent number of events (weddings, parties, Masses, and conferences) before.

I hope my thoughts may be able to help you if you're also considering making a change—whether that's to Sony, to Nikon, or maybe even to another system (I hear Canon makes some decent cameras too 😛).