The unexpected benefit of using borrowed camera gear

I recently had the opportunity to spend three days on a photographic adventure, mainly capturing the night sky at Lake Tyrrell (Country Victoria, Australia). I was also allowed to borrow and try out two new cameras from Sony. The Sony A1 and the new Alfa A7RV, as well as some lenses. While I enjoyed the opportunity, I found some unexpected results.

Captured with the Sony A7RV and the FE 16-35mm lens

Explore new horizons

Double excitement, visiting this fabulous region of my home state, we’ve been here at least three times before and you never know what conditions you’re going to get. We have the perfect amount of water for reflections, without making it difficult to move around. We also had perfect weather during the day and clear skies at night. I was super excited about trying out the two new cameras as I was toying with the idea of ​​getting the new SonyA7RV. I wanted to test drive it.

Unfortunately I didn’t have both cameras all weekend, I had to share. That meant not enough time to learn all the menus and functions. but i get the gist. I also tried the Sony FE14mm f/1.8 lens and the Sony FE16-35mm f/2.8 lens (I currently have the 16-35mm f/4 lens). I worried about how my shoulder would handle the extra weight and my PC the extra size. I’m happy to say that both were handled well. But both noticed the difference in size.

Night sky captured with Sony A1 and FE 14mm lens

Improving skills

I was eager to explore advanced eye tracking, but never got the chance. Loved the Brightview Monitoring, but discovered it’s also available on my Sony A7RIII. The other option I wanted to try but never got the chance to do was the wireless tethering. However, by chatting with other SonyA7RV users over the weekend, I was assured that it’s actually so slow with Capture One that they’re still using a cable anyway. So scrap that idea too. Although Capture One just made an update to supposedly make that faster? So I’m back to cable tethering for now. It works fine, just don’t have a cable.

Captured with my trusty Sony A7RIII sand 16-35mm lens

Discover appreciation

So what did I discover after using this loaner equipment? Funnily enough, I found a whole new appreciation for my current gear. Although I did like that new wide-angle lens. I just can’t justify replacing my current one. I don’t capture that many landscapes. My favorite photos from the weekend were actually taken with my old camera. Apart from a few astro shots with the A1, 14mm lens and Bright Monitoring.

Captured with my trusty Sony A7RIII sand 16-35mm lens

Final thoughts

While new technology is always fun, I think I’ll stick with my camera for a while. It still does a great job, I know it so well and if it ain’t broke why try to fix (or replace) it? I think the other acceptable idea would be to borrow the gear for a slightly longer period of time and use it to shoot what you normally do.