I’m glad I’m not in the market for new gear currently. Well I’m not glad, it’s because I don’t have the money. But either way I’m glad I don’t, because choosing today, especially if you like wildlife photography is a fucking mess.
Both Canon and Nikon are going to face some problems with people owning either EF or F mount glass. It’s very likely that in a few years the DSLR sales are going to be lower than mirrorless, and many people will end up with expensive glass that no longer have new bodies to attach to natively. Those lenses will have to be permanently glued to an adapter, and despite adapters are fine, it’s always better without in my opinion.
Lenses for the new mounts will come, no doubt, but in the meantime there is not much and the roadmaps for R or Z mount lenses doesn’t look like it’s going to include very short or very long focal lengths in the next year or two. Some people argue that by the Olympics in Japan (2020) both Canon and Nikon will have stepped up their mirrorless game, but it might be too soon for them to come up with professional level bodies that will be flawless for such event and what we might see (in addition to the best they can do in pro mirrorless body) is a new iteration of the 1DX and the D5 out of safety.
Why am I digressing about that? Well because if today I had a lot of money to drop on a system, I would invest in Sony. I think Sony has missed a good opportunity to cast shadow on the EOS R and the Z6/Z7 by not releasing at the same time two bodies that didn’t need new tech (they already have it). All they needed is a new A9 and companion APS-C bodies with Canikon level weather sealing and improved ergonomics. Those bodies even if quite early released compared to the last generation from Sony would have tremendously worsened the reception of the EOS R and the Z6/Z7 and at the same time made the Fuji X-T3 release less of a massive hit. Those bodies will come without a doubt, but the more the wait now the less likely Canikon users will be tempted to jump ships.
Regardless, even with imperfect weather sealing and ergonomics, I would buy Sony if I could. With no budget issue I would get an A9 now, and its companion high end crop body later. The main reason is that I believe long telephoto lenses for wildlife will inevitably come from Sony in native E mount and those lenses will already have perfectly suitable camera bodies to attach to, which is certainly not entirely the case for Canon or Nikon mirrorless bodies.
I’m very certain both Canon and Nikon will eventually come up with stellar mirrorless bodies capable of fast action shooting with perfect autofocus, but it’s a freaking shame that they started considering that mostly because an outsider (Sony) has gone all-in with mirrorless and actually succeded (the market share Sony has grabbed is nothing short of amazing considering the photographic world hasn’t questionned the Canikon supremacy for so long now, it’s not like the excellent Fuji, Olympus or Panasonic cameras have managed to be a threat to Canikon sales).
I don’t care that Sony is not an historical optics and photography company, if Nikon is praised for the D5/D500/D850 and Fuji for the X-T3, it is largely thanks to Sony sensors. Not only because they are particularly good in low light, but also because they are offering a fast readout that, for example, Canon is yet to match or even come close.
On a side note I’m curious about what Sigma next foveon full frame cameras will bring to the table although I expect those cameras will not be suitable for fast action and low light and could be used for anything BUT that.
Now if some Sony people end up reading this, I’m fine with receiving a free body+lens to step up my lame wildlife photography game using crappy entry level gear.