Carmine Bee-eater captures an insect on the wing

Having been a Canon shooter for 19 years, in 2017 I read about the Sony A9i which literally got my blood racing! If the specifications and hype were all true, I knew that this technology would be a game changer, and an important inflection point in the history of modern photography.

This equipment was not yet available in South Africa (My home), so I imported an A9i and the 70mm-200mm f2.8 GM together with a 2x tele converter as the supplier hadn’t yet received any 100mm-400mm GM lenses.

Long story short: Testing the new mirrorless against my 1D MKii / 200mm-400mm f4+BI 1.4xTC, I was absolutely blown away by the small size, it’s ability to acquire focus, and tracking ability which enabled me to capture literally hundreds of sharp images of these crazy, erratic-flying birds over a six day visit to one of their traditional nesting and breeding sites along the Zambezi River on the Namibian side.

Returning to Ballito (Our home in South Africa) I immediately contacted the leading photographic supplies outlet in Cape Town which were the first to stock Sony mirrorless equipment in South Africa. They now had what I wanted and also agreed to trade-in all my old Canon equipment…

My photographic life changed dramatically from that time…

Settings: 1/2,500th f7.1 ISO 640

Sony A9i / Sony 70mm-200mm f2.8 GM + 2xTC

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Really nice shot, Tim. Love the color and that you shot it fast enough to stop the action in flight with excellent focus! Been a Nikon shooter for most of my life, but lots of friends who are Nikon or Canon shooters are migrating (expensive change) to Sony mirrorless. I may consider the Nikon mirrorless sometime in the future.