Camera upgrade – how I made my choice

This is my new Sony A77 ii (which I already love). How did I choose this make and model? Well, it wasn’t a quick decision, that’s for sure.


My new Sony A77ii and Sony 16-50mm lens

When I was a travel writer, I used a company-issued DSLR. It was a versatile machine, and that was before DSLRs were capable of the high-quality video recording they are today. Keeping in mind that I want to create both video and still image content going forward, a DSLR seemed like the best option. But which one?

I’d been trying to decide on a specific make and model for months. This camera is an investment and I wanted to make sure I chose wisely. That meant research. I read more blog posts and articles, and watched more videos, than I care to recall. It was important to figure out what features I wanted, what I didn’t need, and what was in my price range.

I ended up with a long list of options based on recommendations from many different kinds of users. I struggled to narrow down this list, but then I came across a very useful website – CameraDecision.

This site provides direct comparisons between a massive number of different makes, models, and types of camera – whether you’re looking for a DSLR, mirrorless, compact, and so on. It lists lots of different features for each camera, from street photography to video settings to portability, and more. When in comparison mode, it outlines the key strengths and weaknesses of each of the models, which I used to compare and contrast possible purchases in a quick and easy way.

Using this site, I whittled down my list until I was left with the best option for me – the Sony A77 ii.

Then I had to see if it was available in New Zealand for a price I could afford. For a while that looked dicey, but then I sent a hopeful email to Southern Cameras, who were super helpful and efficient, providing information and lens advice (I ended up going with the Sony 16-50mm f2.8), and placing my order. The camera arrived with no hassle and I collected it just over a week ago.

As it was a busy week, I didn’t get to take the camera for a test drive until a couple of days ago, when we went on an impromptu road trip to Invercargill and Bluff. Here are just a few of the photos I took.

DSLRs have moved on a lot since I last used them regularly, so there are lots of new features I’ll need to learn to use. I’m hoping to enrol in an evening class to help fill in my knowledge gaps so I can get the most out of the camera.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep clicking away! For any of you photographers out there, how did you choose the camera you’re using?


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