Dpreview: it can cost you over $10,000 to switch to Sony

Dpreview published an interesting article breaking down the cost of switching from Canon to Sony. In most cases, Nikon's pricing is very similar and the same article can easily be applied to switching from Nikon to Sony:

Using our example, the cheapest one could go full-on Sony, with most of the same kit is $22,870. After applying the $11,820 discount from having sold off all the Canon equipment, a photojournalist would still have to cough up about $11,050 to make the switch. Or they could simply take that $11,820 and buy a couple of a9 bodies and maybe a lens.

I would not recommend anyone doing any switching before we see how the $4,500 Sony a9 performs in the field and before we see what Nikon's mirrorless solution will be (there will be one).

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  • TheRasmus

    Switching from one system to another is expensive. But what about those who do not own expensive gear and want a better camera? Then selling your current equipment and buying a camera from another brand is not a bad option, especially if you find the other system more interesting and advanced.

    For me – I am really thinking to buy Sony. Why?

    1. I shoot portraits quite often and goodies like face detection, eyeball tracking and superb. Except that autofocus area coverage in mirrorless systems is excellent – the autofocus points are spread over the whole image, whereas in DSLR the autofocus coverage is only in the center of the image.

    2. In-camera image stabilization – superb. Every lens attached to the camera will have stabilization, even the prime ones.
    3. No front/back focus issues – every lens will have perfect autofocus when attached to mirrorless. We all know how badly it is to have a front/back focus issues which is so often encountered into the DSLR systems.
    4. Focus peaking – even with manual lenses you can take exceptionally sharp and in-focus images.

    So it’s up to you to switch or not. But the moment Samyang release a 85mm 1.4f autofocus lens for E-mount, I will run to the store to pick up a Sony mirrorless camera.

    • Michiel953


      • nwcs

        They’re a bit soft wide open (85 1.4) but actually a good lens for the price. A real value.

        • Michiel953

          There’s currently, as far as I know, no autofocus 85mm Samyang, so I was baffled by the OP’s comments on AF point spread etc.

          Also, are you really looking for a “real value, soft wide open” lens for your 4500 USD “state-of-the-art” (haha) body?


          • nwcs

            I think it depends on what someone wants from a lens. I know some people who have a 1.4 but always shoot at 2 or smaller. They just want the option if they need it. Even so, the Samyang 85 1.4 is actually a really good lens for the price.

            I think Samyang is planning an AF version of the lens for Sony. They’ve done it with a few lenses so I imagine more will come along.

          • TheRasmus

            Samyang has only 2 autofocus lenses – 14mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.4, both for E-mount. It is possible to see 85 f1.4 or 135mm f2 this year.

            And no, I am not going to spend 5000euro (or even more here in Europe) for camera. I’ll simply buy something cheaper like A7 for 1000euros. Combined with 85mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4 and 14mm 2.8 Samyangs will be the perfect kit for more.

  • mariusvr

    i am saving huge amount of money with my nikon. i have been waiting for a new fx body for the last year and it has cost me 0 dollars. such a bargain.

  • audio


  • Bo Dez

    adapted lenses – hello?

    • Stuart Crowther

      Hi how you going, what about adapted lenses ?

      • nwcs

        Because you could re-use your Nikon lenses (or other brand) on the Sony body. You lose some features but it’s a solution for some.

  • It will cost you $10 000 less if you choose Sony to start with your investment. That is the key information for each amateaur who is looking for a system 🙂

    • Michiel953

      So this is an amateur camera for amateurs with no previous investment in cameras? Yes, I’m sure that’s Sony’s target group for this product; you convinced me.

    • I find it hard to believe that someone without a camera will go straight for the a9.

      • tomskyphoto

        His arithmetics are way off too: the classic PJ setup of two pro bodies, the holy trinity of f2.8 zooms, a fast prime and one or two strobes plus accessories is going to cost you an amount of around 20,000 $.

        Regardless whether you buy from Canon, Nikon or Sony. Just can’t see where the “10,000 $ less” claim originates from…

        • John Albino

          Today’s frugal -just-starting-out PJ doesn’t have to go top-of-the line any more. Here’s a quite competent kit for under $10K:

          1. 2x Nikon D750 = $3,800
          2. Tamron 15-30 f2.8 = $1,200
          3. Tamron 24-70 f2.8 = $1,300
          4. Tamron 70-200 f2.8 G2 = $1,300
          Total: $7,600 leaving $2,400 for other stuff to reach $10K total.

          Lots of PJs are shooting with DX gear and used gear these days. Frugality is the key across the board; we’re living in a “Good Enough” age, after all.

          • tomskyphoto

            Spot on for Nikon – but the OP claimed that such a 10K $ setup would be possible with Sony too thus beating Nikon’s and Canon’s 20K setups. And that’s something I just don’t see happening with Sony’s current line-up and pricing.

            • John Albino

              I agree with you about Sony. To a great extent, until Sony establishes a several-year record for durability and active acceptance in rough working conditions, anyone buying willy-nilly into a total Sony system is gambling on a pig-in-a-poke, IMO.

  • nicholai

    I think it’s a lot more than 1000 to average person. Especially if you’re sitting on older equipment like I am. D800, older 70-200, Sb 800 etc.

  • jeffvanjindelt

    Shoot in live view, it doesn’t make any sound at all.

  • Jeff Wunder

    Need to wait for the detailed A9 reviews to trickle in, both on handling and especially IQ and build quality to separate hype from reality. I don’t need or care too much about 20 fps. Also need Nikon’s answer ASAP in terms of products and strategy. If they actually have something, they have an opportunity to steal some A9 momentum. Fall may be too late. And it better not be a new line of KeyMission cams or something like that.

  • jason

    Not the point. What interesting or game changing things has Nikon announced lately. They keep making small improvements, but the A9 is a much greater advance for Sony than Nikon has almost ever made in a single model change. Then add in the GH5 or even the E-M1 ii. I get all the hardcore Nikon people won’t switch, but new entrants aren’t buying Nikons.
    The D800/e was huge and the D3, but really what else has Nikon done to excite photographers that weren’t waiting to upgrade their old Nikon’s?

    • Allan

      ” … but new entrants aren’t buying Nikons.”

      We know that, overall, Nikon is losing market share. It would be interesting to see what is Nikon’s market share of sales of “entrant” interchangeable lens cameras.

  • Mike

    The a9 is $6000 in CAD. Before 13% sales tax. The cost to switch is even more here. Not that I would. Not sure I’d ever pay $6000 for a Sony…. that’s before you need 5 additional batteries….

  • MB

    This why it is essential for Nikon to make their mirrorless system with F Mount …

    • tomskyphoto

      Which F-mount? AF-S E? AF-S/I? AF-D? Ai(S)? Or even older?

      Many older lenses with integrated motors are not up to the speed and precision requirements of a hybrid on-sensor PDAF and CDAF system which is typical for modern mirrorless systems. So why cater for them with an obsolete native mount?

      Mechanical diaphragm control of older lenses is slow and inaccurate too. So again, why cater for them with an obsolete native mount?

      Then the F-mount’s small diameter and long flange distance are insurmountable obstacles for more modern lens designs that are possible with mirrorless. F-mount for Nikon’s mirrorless would lock them in the same corner they are in right now with their SLR-based design: close to no adaptable lenses (one important reason for Sony’s relative success) and massive design constraints.

      Sony actually did the right thing although they picked the wrong mount. A much larger diameter than E-mount’s, which was initially designed for APS-C, would have helped immensely in easing lens design. But if Nikon chooses F-mount for their mirrorless system they could as well take a .45 and shoot themselves into both kneecaps.

      They still have the opportunity to go for an all new, all electronic mount with large diameter (54+ mm, i.e. as large or larger than today’s best SLR-mount Canon EF) but short registration or flange distance. If they waste that chance for sticking to the obsolete F-mount they probably can’t be helped anymore.

      For old F-mount lenses there’s no reason why a Nikon designed and manufactured adapter for their mirrorless mount shouldn’t work as good or as bad as a native F-mount mirrorless camera would, because that performance mainly depends on the design limitations of the individual lens.

      • Antonio

        This can be a false problem as Nikon has already developed an adapter for the 1 system that proved to work, so they can do the same for a FX mirrorless camera and even to extend its capabilities or manufacture a separate version incorporating an AF motor to allow autofocus with the AF and AF-D lenses.

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    I’m the worst of all, I’m an unpaid shill! (^_^)

  • Member

    I’m not a sports photographer, but what I have seen is that photographers (and spectators) keep a moderate distant to the golfers using telelenses.
    Even with silent shutters it could be pretty distracting, maybe even irritating, to have photographers near seeking the ideal angle, distant, light chasing the sellable pictures.

  • Bob Cozzi

    Jumping typically occurs when your life/job circumstances change. Say you’re a Nature Photographer and now you have to do video. You end up getting (for example) the Sony a6500 for video and keep you Nikon gear as normal. Now after a while you start fiddling with the a6500 and find its short comings for photography, but you ALSO see the shortcomings in the Nikon gear for viideo work. Now you see the a9 and think, wow, maybe Sony fixed it and I can have one set of gear for both environments.

    But for me, I would stick with the a6500 and my Nikon gear for photography, and as an aside, the D750 and D5 shoot very good 1080p video, sure not the 4k of the little mirrorless Sony a6500, but not bad.
    But Sony sure has thrown down the glove on this a9. If it becomes what they claim, and all the other products they announces… they’re comin’ for you Nikon and Canon.

  • TL Robinson

    Past experience with Sony on multiple fronts would make me steer clear of anything of theirs even if I had incentive to switch which I don’t.

    I have a substantial investment in Nikon gear, and have been using Nikon since I got back into photography in 2008 after a 20 year hiatus (Minolta film back in the day)…5 bodies, 20+ lenses (tho not all Nikon, all F-mount) – there would be -0- incentive for me to make any change. I don’t make any substantial amount of money shooting right now, mostly because I haven’t put a lot of effort into it, but even if I did it would take *alot* to get me to change from something that works for me.

    Sony could give me the camera and I’d still use the gear I’ve already invested in.

  • Ric of The LBC

    Best thing I never did was start with an A200. I was close but went with a D80 instead.

  • fotofanda

    And how much would cost me to switch from Ca to Nikon?

  • Zainb

    Some people will still make a switch, like one here did

    “I just sold my Nikon D5 and made the jump to Sony!”


  • Chad Hsieh

    Somtimes you just want to use new and better gear, simple as that. As a pro, even if you know the near gear won’t drastically improve your photos visible to the clients, it may very well drastically improve your desire and passion to work more. I shoot as a hobby and I know very well I take better photos with new lens not because the lens are sharper, but they reignite my desire to go on a photo shoot, more seriously.

  • Anthony Burns

    As a full time freelance event photographer what I want from a camera outfit is reliability and backup service.

    So is it worth the swap to Sony in one hit or to buy 1 body and build from there or not change at all?.

    Nikon and Canon have a great pro service system in place.
    They both really understand that the show must go on and supply replacement gear while yours is being serviced.

    Sony have said that you need 2 full kits to get this type of service.

    I cant risk that. And no I wont buy two full kits in one hit.

    The smart move from Sony to entice pro’s to switch would be to back them while they build up there gear.
    All they need to do is ask you “do you belong to either Canon or Nikon Pro Service”… Simple.

    As for the better camera system.

    You can hand me any of them and I will start working.
    The only big plus with Sony for me is the silent shutter.
    But as I have shot with mirror slap for 33 years it’s no big deal.

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