• I posted this on a Facebook forum that I frequent and wanted to share it with my blog readers: 

I hope you don’t mind a follow up on Judy’s post about leaving Canon. Sorry it’s kind of long.

I was a Canon shooter for a long time (since 1986) and loved the gear too.

I just got to the point though where I was needing to retool and that meant new bodies and new v2 lenses. I didn’t want to do it from the expense side of things as well as I dreaded having to carry them — especially for an 8-10 hours wedding.

Nearly 3 years ago I started hearing about mirrorless and I was surprised — I had totally pooh-poohed them thinking they weren’t serious.

Then they were rather new but since starting that journey I’ve been blown away by how quickly and how responsive the development has been with them.

I tried Samsung, Lumix, Olympus, Sony and Fuji and it wasn’t til a friend said: “Just try the a6000”, that I was a convert.

Within minutes of picking up that camera along with the 70-200 f4 lens (both rented from Lensrentals.com) I knew this was a special little camera.

Testing it, I knew that it could track focus — and track it a lot better than me and even better than the DSLRs I was using at the time (5d and 5d2s). Plus it was 11 fps and I had forgotten how much of a difference that can make especially.

I decided to switch to the Sony system and have expanded it to using the A7 and A7II (a BIG improvement from the first A7).

Last summer I wanted to take on a project that would put me and them to the test.

Also, I had wanted to document a season with a high school football since first reading the book “Friday Night Lights” in 1990. Seeing the movie and the show that followed with the same name kept reminding me to do it.

The coach of the local Tesoro HS football team is also the Dad of one of my daughter’s soccer friends and we talked about the project.

The goal was to: produce a coffee table quality book covering the entire season, and create a video to go with it. Not a lot to ask from these little cameras but I figured I might as well try.

If nothing, I would get better at working the cameras and learning the secrets you only get from hours of use. It was well worth it.

TBH I was totally scared s-less about doing the video. I had done a little but this was going to be a lot more than I had been doing before (which were mostly controlled interviews and snippets of our life — nothing this involved). Plus with audio, lighting and, oh yeah, shooting stills, it was a bit disconcerting.

But boy am I glad I did do this project. For one, I found out that these little cameras can and do keep up with the big boys — even shooting sports and the proof is in the pudding. Sure I didn’t have a 300 f2.8 or a 400 2.8 but adapted to the situation and the 70-200 f4 worked well and was used for action primarily on the a6000. The A7 was my “Hail Mary” camera — the camera dangling on the side for that “in your lap” play along the sideline.

I’ve always loved shooting sports, ever since I was in high school, but this was probably the most fun and in the end I totally fell in love with video.

It’s daunting but not like it once was. And, after spending a lot of hours in Premiere editing the piece I’m about to show, I began to get a real confidence about it. Just like it was when we learned Photoshop for our stills and Lightroom for the RAWS, it took a bit of time to get comfortable. But having that familiarity with the Adobe family seemed to help and I was finding myself actually looking forward to the process. Go figure.

I also think, to tie this back in with weddings, is that if these cameras can shoot action on dimly lit Friday Night Lights football fields, it can handle just about anything. Even a wedding.

It renewed my eagerness to get back into weddings because now I can do it for less, with gear that weighs a TON less and also allows me some advantages in terms of wi-fi from the event and even video if I so choose.

Thanks for reading this far and please enjoy the book and the video:

To view a copy of the video please click on the link below:

To view a copy of the Book, please click on the link below: