The new Sony a9 mirrorless camera is capable of shooting at up to 20 fps, recording UHD 4K video internally, and shooting with an expanded sensitivity range to ISO 204,800, making it an excellent choice for pro sports photographers and photojournalists, and it is cheaper ($4,498) than both the Canon 1DX Mark II ($5,999) and the Nikon D5 ($6,497). So, is it financially smart to switch? Not so fast…
The Photographer Dan Bracaglia at DPReview published an interesting article breaking down the actual cost of switching from Canon to Sony for sports photographers. And it reveals that it will cost a pro photog over $11,000 to switch from Canon to Sony:
Using our example, the cheapest one could go full-on Sony, with most of the same kit is $22,870. After applying the $11,820 discount from having sold off all the Canon equipment, a photojournalist would still have to cough up about $11,050 to make the switch. Or they could simply take that $11,820 and buy a couple of a9 bodies and maybe a lens.
“A photojournalist would still have to cough up about $11,050 to make the switch.“
And DPReview also said “Switching systems is a headache and sports photography gear is crazy expensive.”
But at the end, despite those costs they report:
One thing is for certain: Sony is pushing deep into territory previously only inhabited by Canon and Nikon and it is only a matter of time before making the switch to mirrorless doesn’t seem so crazy – even for pro sports shooters. Then again, the camera is only one part of the equation. A 20 fps bursts with continuous AF and no black out seems nice, but if you don’t have the right glass for the job, that spec won’t get you far.
You can read the full, item-by-item cost breakdown at DPReview.