MY MOST RECENT ‘KEEPERS’
My job allows me — forces me — to buy a lot of different cameras and become intimately familiar with their strengths, peculiarities, and pecadillos. I keep many of them as reference cameras that I can use to answer questions, and sell a few others that are close duplicates of each other (few people need *both* a Sony SLT-A77 and SLT-A65, for example.)
But some cameras work their way into my semi-permanent arsenal as tools that I use all the time, either because that model does things that other cameras I own don’t do, or, I flat-out love the camera. This kind of “keeper” goes into a dedicated camera bag for that type of model. I have one each for Nikon, Canon, and Sony cameras (one for SLT and NEX varieties), all mated with my collection of lenses and accessories for that camera.
I’m often asked which cameras I use most, so here is a list of my most recent ‘keepers.’
* Nikon. The amazing 24MP Nikon D3200 has made it into my “permanent” collection, although as an inexpensive IR conversion, transformed by LifePixel. The Nikon D4 and D800 are also going to see a lot of work, but my old D5000 and D5100 models still see frequent use among family members. Originally, I saw the Nikon D600 as a useful light-weight travel camera, a role that had been previously filled by my Nikon D7000 and D700. However, it’s not much lighter or smaller than the D800, and lacks some multiple exposure and bracketing features I use a lot. I’ll have to see exactly how much I use it instead of the D800.
* Canon. I note that the lettering on the front of my PowerShot G12′s has been wiped almost clean, but it’s just returned from a three-month visit to Germany. But since I got my PowerShot G15, the G12 has become a family “pool” camera. I’ve reserved the G15 as my own permanent pocket camera. I love the smaller size, don’t miss the swiveling LCD, and the image quality is outstanding. I’m still testing and using the EOS 5D Mark III, 6D, and Rebel T4i, but as all my lenses are EF models, I can choose to keep any of them.
*Sony. I absolutely adore my NEX-7, especially since I can use both my A-mount and E-mount lenses on it, and it may continue to serve as my primary Sony for awhile longer. However, I don’t really need 24MP, so I’ll probably switch to the NEX-6, until the NEX-8 comes along. The built-in apps are very nice, and I like the old-school top-panel Mode dial. Since my NEX-7 and NEX-6 have managed to supplant my A77 as my go-to Sony, my SLT keeper has been the humble A37. I love its compact size, a feature set that rivals the A57, and ability to use all my A-mount lenses effortlessly. While its EVF is not as good as the NEX-7 or A77/A65, it’s an economical choice for someone who already has a *lot* invested in camera bodies. I have quite a few full-frame Sony/Minolta lenses, and when I am done evaluating the A99 I’ll have to decide whether or not to keep it as my favored SLT model.