I had a strange thought one day…
I have been using the same DSLR, a Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D for 10 years.
While it’s APS-C Sensor wasn’t a big deal, nor was the lack of quality lenses, the 6.1 megapixels was becoming more of an issue. Let’s face it, when my iPhone and iPad have more megapixels than this camera, you start to think it’s time for an upgrade.
I lost my taste for 35mm style cameras came when I started using large format view cameras. The sheer size of a 4″x5″ sheet of film, roughly equivalent to 15 frames of 35mm film, still to this day blows my mind. It has a look that has a lot of “wow” factor and frankly, killed my interest in 35mm style cameras for a long time. It also unleashed my inner photographic resolution junkie. The view camera became my “primary camera” and is still one I love to bring out for the right project.
As a result of falling in love with working with a view camera, 35mm style cameras took the metaphorical “back seat.” Every now and then, something would make 35mm jump to the forefront, but given the chance to bring a view camera out, I’d take it.
Heck, medium format became my “walking around camera” for a while, but that’s a tale for another post…
So in 2005, I picked up my first serious DSLR, that Maxxum 7D. It was the “twin” to my Maxxum 7. These cameras are almost completely identical, where the biggest difference was that one was digital and the other 35mm. It was an easy way to transition into digital as the cameras operate almost identically. The quality at the time was great, and took over the majority of my color photography. Chroma Lux was made with this camera.
About a year later in 2006, Konica-Minolta sold off their camera division to Sony. This to me was a crushing blow, and may have been another nail in the “35mm coffin.”
So, after having the realization that I’ve been brooding in the corner of the digital party for too long, I decided it’s time to come out of my metaphorical shell, and embrace digital photography as a larger part of my art practice. Heck, the current drought in California made me start to think twice about continuing to do film projects for the time being as well.
So, when I decided to undertake the search for a new camera, I started by formulating a list of things I was going to take under consideration:
- Resolution had to be in the 20+ megapixel sensor class.
- 35mm sensor size, not APS-C this time.
- Had to have a PC-Sync socket built into the camera body.
- A vertical grip was a mandatory accessory.
- Broaden the net to include possibly doing a brand switch.
So with this list, off to the Internet I went to start researching.