Why did I leave Canon after 20+ years?

Before you get all excited, this isn’t a dramatic read… but I do think you’ll appreciate the end reason when making any choice of photography gear.

Since making the switch, I have gotten the question about camera systems quite often.

The difference between camera systems is a conversation I welcome!!

I am not writing to influence any specific camera system. In fact, I still love Canon (their lenses have always been my favorite part of their gear). This is also a non technical post, as I’m not wired as a technologically advanced person. 

But times have changed, and I’ve evolved. Not to mention I agonized over this decision for 2 years… (thank you to the countless of people who discussed it with me as I struggled over the pros and cons).

I won’t make you read to the end to learn the final result: I became a better photographer.

The truth was, I had become complacent.

I was using my iPhone more than my larger cameras (except on professional shoots) and I was so familiar with the Canon cameras that I simply wasn’t trying new things.

While we can all agree that is not a reason to go out and transition your entire lineup to a new system, there are other ways to get out of a creative rut, there were definitely more factors. 

6 Reasons Why I Switched Camera Systems (from Canon to Sony):

1. Cost

All cameras are expensive— when I consider cost I consider the pre-owned market value as a major factor. I’m a huge advocate for buying used camera gear.

While it was expensive to switch camera systems (I sold almost every Canon compatible item I had) I was able to purchase so much of the new-to-me Sony items used. 

And because Canon has been behind in the mirrorless market, I found much better deals with used Sony mirrorless gear. 

My third party lenses also didn’t work with the Canon R6 mirrorless (that I have kept for transitioning purposes). Not only that, by the time I was looking to switch the rumors were out: Canon would be discontinuing the use of less expensive third party lenses on their cameras. I’ve used amazing Sigma and Tamron lenses so for them to make even consider this decision really sealed my decision to move on. 

(I have heard Canon may walk back their decisions but timing is everything!)

2. Weight

With something that is convenient, you’ll always use it more. 

On paper the Sony cameras I have aren’t necessarily that much smaller. The lenses are though, and the weight is just considerably less overall. 

While my Canon lenses are incredible, they weigh significantly more than the Sony lenses. (And of course see above about 3rd party lenses). 

I carried my Sony A7R V, 20-70 f/4 and 70-200 f/2.8 + 2x extender walking almost 20 miles over a few days in Southern California and barely noticed the weight. This for me was a huge win. 

sony-a7rv-70-200-2x-extender-la-jolla-cove

3. Forced to learn something new

The color science on Sony is different from Canon, and it forced me to relook at how I was shooting and editing. 

The menu is different. The options are different. I am learning each feature and how to utilize it – or if I even want to! But the process has been fun. 

4. My photos aren’t necessarily as good. 

Hear me out on this one..

I have to work harder to get good photos. But the photos I end up with that aren’t rejects? They are better than the photos I’ve captured in a long time. 

That isn’t because of the camera. It’s because I’m no longer able to be complacent. 

5. Lifestyle 

The ultimate decision to search for a new system was based on my love of traveling and exploring new places (this plays a factor in why I chose Sony – more below).

I’m multi-passionate, and having diverse interests actually makes me crave simplicity. This wasn’t a huge factor for switching to Sony but the below were bonuses for me:

  • Charging the camera via USB-C and not needing a battery charger. I am so tired of chargers! Can we all please just switch to the USB-C only so I can have just one cord?!?
  • Transferring a few photos to my phone for quick edits on the go. I personally found the Sony app to be much easier to use. 

6. I became a better photographer 

All in all, in the process of switching systems I became a better photographer. And it was a process! 

It also gave me the confidence at the same time to learn to fly a drone and stop resisting learning how to capture better videos. 

Rachel Carter beach sunset sony camera

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Why did I ultimately pick Sony over Canon?

I laugh when I get this question because I now know I really just want to use ALL cameras!

It seems absurd now, but I was so ingrained to the Canon ecosystem. I was in high school when I started with a Canon film DSLR. My first digital camera was the Canon Elph. And thinking back, while transitioning to DSLR it still took me a few years. I guess I am uncomfortable with new technology and learning new things! 

When I first started reluctantly considering a change, I borrowed my friend Erin’s Fuji X-T1 and I was instantly hooked. It was a 9 year old camera but it was tiny and made me see my photos differently almost from the first shot. I ended up purchasing it from her, along with 2 lenses. I also tried out a couple other lenses and purchased a used Fuji X-T3 and 10-24 wide angle (crop sensor).

There is so much about the Fuji I love. And I still will throw it in my bag for a quick work trip if I think I can only take a couple photos. 

What I found, though, is that there’s a reason people joke about Fuji shooters only using one lens. Because it’s true. You really don’t need much more than that (I still have 3 though in full disclosure).

sony fuji cameras

Fuji simply wasn’t versatile enough for my photography interests to use it as my main camera system.

When I decided to plan a 3 week trip traveling to Greece, Turkey, and Israel… I knew I had to start making a decision. I rented some Sony equipment before purchasing, and it took me at least 9 months to be comfortable transitioning most of my gear.

Here are some images I’ve captured with my Sony A7 IV & Sony A7R V:


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