Camera advice - switching Canon to Sony for wildlife + people


Active Member
I do a mixture of people/event, landscape, car and wildlife photography. Previously, the following kit worked well for me:
Canon 6d + 50d
Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC
Canon 70-200 2.8
Canon 135L
Canon 50 1.4

I thoroughly enjoyed this setup and took it with me across many countries, getting lots of good pictures. It was quite a heavy setup and now given I'm also carrying a DJI Mavic and potentially an Osmo, needs to be changed. I sold all my kit a while back, and moved to Samsung. The 6d was lacking in the AF department and too bulky for my needs.

I have been using the Samsung NX system (NX500 + 45mm 1.8 + 85mm 1.4) for a while, and am on the lookout for a 16-50 2-2.8 as my main "portable" combination. The flaw in this system is a) not having adapters to use other lenses, and b) lack of any lenses 150mm+ with decent IQ and large apertures.

I did keep the 70-200 and 50d, but feel these will be inadequate for safari next month.

The following are the options I'm considering:
Buy a 100-400mm Canon or Tamron, or even a 150-600mm and take this with the 50d. NX stays for general purpose. Could also consider a 7d or 7d II for their speed, but then even short video clips would be a pain.
Buy a Sony A99 II or A7 III (A9 is also possible but stretches the budget significantly) and a Tamron 100-400 or 150-600mm, sell the Samsung setup when I'm back and buy some additional (wider) lenses for the Sony.

I do like the shutterless time lapse functionality of the Samsung - do Sony cameras offer this?

The two main questions:
What's the focus speed in the real world of the A7 III vs A99 II vs A9 - people seem to say A9 > A99 II > A7 III but having rented an A9 briefly I wasn't impressed, and think the A99 II may suit me better. I also owned an A7 II for a while but it was extremely sluggish for me, even compared to the
Which of the two options above (expand Canon system vs. switch to Sony) sounds more sensible? Video is definitely much better on Samsung and Sony, and I do like a lot of the newer Sony features.


If you go Sony just be aware that AF will not be as fast as native lenses, and also with some adapters/bodies/lenses you lose some functionality such as eye focus.

I'm surprised that you found that with the A9, I would guess that you hadn't got it set up right. There's some very sophisticated AF settings that can take a while to master and pick the right one for a given scenario.

I very nearly ditched Nikon for the Sony A7RIII but the ergonomics (grip and there's very little room between the grip and lens) were a deal breaker, as was the slight EVF lag (even with the higher refresh rate and preview etc turned off). The A7iii's EVF is not as good as the A7RIII's or A9's so would imagine that it's going to be even more noticeable (although haven't used one so can't say for sure). It's only slight though and may not be enough to put you off. I haven't used the A99-II so can't comment on lag, but can only imagine it's the same tech as the A7/A9. I don't know abut shutterless time-lapse, but I'm pretty sure the Sony doesn't have an intervalometer in which case it won't do any time lapse.

Where the Sony will be better is in Autofocus (with native glass, and some adapted) as the 6D's AF system isn't the best.


Distinguished Member
I used a 70-200 F4 IS L on a 550D for a safari in Kenya a few years back, for 90% of the shots this was fine, particularly for the big animals (but not for small or birds most of the time), in fact at one point we encountered a lone elephant and 70mm was even too long (112mm FF equivalent) ! So your 50D and 70-200 combo may be OK depending on where you are going.

Examples of my 550D and 70-200 (most pics) - Kenya Holiday Snaps

Also just got back from India and went on Tiger safari with my 6D and the new Sigma 100-400 C (traded in my 70-200 for it a I needed the extra reach with the FF camera) and found it a very good lens for the price. Bit limited in max aperture but it is sharpest wide open and is very portable. This would work well on the 50D I think giving the extra 1.6x magnification over what I had on the 6D. 95% of the performance of the Canon 100-400 but at 30% of the price (new prices).

Examples my 6D and Sigma 100-400 (tiger and wildlife pics only) - India Trip March 2018 (Picture Heavy)

Sigma links

Sigma C 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM review - Introduction -

Currently £649 at jessops (Quidco 2% cashback) Sigma 100-400mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM (Canon Fit) C Lens Best UK Price - Compare Prices Here - UK Stock.


Well-known Member
The Sony A99II is their flagship A-Mount camera, so will NOT work with adapted lenses in the way the E-Mount A7III will - so really it's just the A7III you're looking at.

(The A99II is still a good camera, but you'd need to get a full set of A-Mount lenses, and you'd be buying into a system for which there is very little new development these days).

What is it about the A9 that failed to impress, as most reviewers seem to think it's excellent?


Active Member
The A99 should have less lag than the A7/9 series - according to a few reviews I've read. I think the next step is for me to try these cameras in person / rent them for testing in better environments.

The A9 failed to impress in low light autofocus. I went to a small gig and it really struggled, but that could have been a lack of time spent on learning the system and settings.

The A-mount lens lineup isn't too bad - there are plenty of good options out there (potentially more than FE at the moment?)

I may go for an interim solution of a 7d2 for an upcoming trip - I wanted to sort out my cameras for the medium/long term but I may be cutting it fine and sticking to what I know might be best until I save enough to really take a large plunge into a new system.

The other appeal is around the dedicated AF sensor for video, as I do a fair bit of video as well and that would have worked out well for me. One day soon!

How interesting - I visited the very same elephant sanctuary and giraffe park! Here are a few of mine (6d + Tamron 24-70 + Canon 135L, and now I'm really missing that kit! AF was a pain and doubt it would do on safari.







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