So some BIG news in the world of photography just happened and the back story is such- A few months ago Trey Ratcliff’s, the most famous HDR photographer in the world, Nikon D800 broke and so he had to find a substitute while Nikon took their sweet time fixing it. So for the past month or so he has been shooting with the NEX 7 to trial it’s system versus the D800 and today he officially announced he is leaving his Nikon D800 behind for his Sony NEX 7 camera system. As a HDR photographer myself I feel obliged to share the news and to pass on my own personal thoughts on the matter.

For the complete Blog post by trey please visit this link: HELLO SONY. GOODBYE NIKON. THE STORY OF WHY I AM SWITCHING FROM NIKON TO SONY

Stuckincustoms also has some awesome photography products here and Trey lets my readers have 10% off with the discount code LukeZemePhotography.

Let me firstly state that his change in cameras won’t affect me and my HDR work as I will still continue shooting with my Nikon D800. In his announcement he listed all the reasons why he changed cameras along with the settings and features on his new camera that he liked and that were also lacking or missing in it. I think he is in a situation that many photographers simply can’t afford to be in and dont have the money or time to take on such a project as there photography business requires that they are producing the best work they can rather than being out their experimenting. I mean *tongue in cheek* “Who has the money to spend a month in China experimenting ? with a 2nd camera system… ” So there are many people who might be a little jealous of his circumstances and others as well who feel like they were cheated for buying into the Nikon camera line under Trey’s advice and so also direct anger and outrage towards Trey. After all we need to remember that the guy has about 11 million followers world wide so these decisions he makes affect a lot of people out there

Trey-Ratcliff-China-2013-acbd-800x800 Image: by Trey Ratcliff from stuckincustoms, HDR shot on Sony NEX 7. 

His blog post on the decision change was in depth and a good read as I discovered a few things about the mirrorless system I was unaware of. But it was the section where he compared the two cameras and how this related to me that I found the most interesting in regards to my own HDR shooting. Personally, I feel Trey is buying into Sony not for a system that he is currently happy with now but a system he sees will work for him better down the road, namely it is the size and weight that are the game changes for him. DSLR’s are bulky and cumbersome whilst mirrorless cameras are small and compact with lenses that fit right into your pocket and I see the huge advantage in this. The main reason I want a mirrorless is for these size and weight advantages as there have been times where I haven’t taken my D800 + 14-24mm lens with me because it’s just too darn heavy and inconvenient. For now though  I can handle those times where I don’t have it as most of my shots are planned anyways where I explore and watch the weather and time of day etc.

Major Reasons why I won’t change to a Sony NEX 7 system

Trey wrote about Autobracketing on the NEX 7


The autobracketing on the Sony NEX sounds terrible compared to the D800 for a few reasons.

  • You have to hold down the shutter button !!! Wow that is a bad play from Sony and even if you are using a tripod you aren’t going to get any shots over a second shutter speed without some camera shake in them. 
  • They only shoot 3 shots in their brackets where the nikon D800 can do 5,7 and 9 frames. 
  • All the options for Autobracketing on Nikon professional Cameras are amazing, that said the Canon 5D mark III is also just as good now 🙂 Go Canon ! hehe. You can set a 2 second timer on the NEX 7 and take a single frame and then take the other shots yourself by calculating the exposure times based on your zero value. I used to do this manually on my Nikon D5100 two years ago and found the whole process so tedious especially in busy areas in public spaces. I don’t want to go from the ease of my current autobracketing on my D800 to something which is much harder to use.


Smaller sensor 

  • Having a Full Frame sensor for me is important as it means I can print huge sized images with tonnes of detail in them and I like having that option for my customers. I don’t mean the 36MP vs 24MP either, what Im talking about is the sensor size is a APS-C sensor and the D800 is a “Full Frame” Sensor. I’d be interested in a full frame mirrorless camera for sure though but the price of those is very expensive with not much options in the glass department, yet !


Build Quality

Trey wrote in his blog…

buildThe waterproof body of the Nikon D800 is one of the things I love most about it and find myself standing out in the rain being able to take shots exciting !!! If rain drops start to fall I don’t want to have to go undercover because Im worried my +$1000 Sony NEX 7 will break.


The 3 deal breakers for me are the better Autobracketing on a Nikon D800, weather proof body and the smaller sized sensor of an NEX 7.

I would jump ship to a mirrorless if it had the features I just listed as these along with my current D800 features are what I need to produce my HDR images. I’m not a Nikon only or nothing guy but I do really like the big bad nikkor 14-24mm lens and along with the 36MP full frame sensor it was a no brainer for landscape HDR images. I think definitely in my future I will be purchasing a mirrorless camera but it could be 2-3 years down the track before I completely switch over. I see myself purchasing a mirrorless next year as a back up for my current system and then transitioning into a mirrorless only system as there are so many advantages to having such a tiny camera and lens setup.

What are your thoughts ? you can leave them below… 

Author: Luke Zeme.

Thanks Everyone 🙂




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2 Comments on "Trey Ratcliff switches from Nikon to Sony, my thoughts"

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I think that the d800 and lense kit is great but to big to carry around when travelling I am also switching to the nex-7 shortly , but will keep the d800 !

Luke Zeme

Wow you are switching to nex 7 andrew ? Im going to wait for the next generation before I switch 🙂 Definitely love my D800 too much.

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