This morn­ing I woke up to a Day One no­ti­fi­ca­tion let­ting me know that a year ago to­day, my Sony α7 III ar­rived. The Sony α7 III is a full frame, 24-megapixel mir­ror­less cam­era. It has in-cam­era im­age sta­bi­liza­tion, USB-C con­nec­tiv­ity, and can shoot 4K video in up to 30 frames per sec­ond. On pa­per, it’s a fan­tas­tic cam­era, and af­ter a year of real-world use, I en­joy the hell out of every mo­ment I shoot with it.

Before this, I’d been us­ing a Canon T7i DSLR. Nothing against it. It took great im­ages and pretty solid video, but DSLRs aren’t easy to use. For those of us who came up in the smart­phone era, us­ing an op­ti­cal viewfinder—which does­n’t rep­re­sent the im­age you’ll get when you take the pic­ture—can be pretty con­fus­ing. Nailing your ex­po­sure means tak­ing all these test shots to make sure you’re di­aled in cor­rectly. The Canon T7i does­n’t have a joy­stick to move the fo­cus point quickly, which meant hav­ing to fo­cus and then re­frame. These an­noy­ances re­sulted in a lot of missed shots for me. We went on a trip where I took over 300 pho­tos, and only about 75 of those were ex­posed cor­rectly and in fo­cus.

I’m not try­ing to tell you that with my Sony I au­to­mat­i­cally nail ex­po­sure every time or that every shot I take is some­how in fo­cus. But it is a lot eas­ier, and I miss fewer shots. In fair­ness, I only had a DSLR for about a year, but I knew pretty early on it was­n’t for me. Some more ex­pe­ri­enced pho­tog­ra­phers may say I did­n’t give it enough time, and that may be true, but it’s es­sen­tial to use a cam­era you’re com­fort­able with.

In the past year, I’ve taken more pho­tos than prob­a­bly the pre­vi­ous two years com­bined. One fac­tor is that I love the cam­era, and learn­ing its ins and outs has­n’t been too dif­fi­cult. Second, is that I force my­self to take it every­where I go. Sometimes that’s in­con­ve­nient and an­noy­ing, but I never re­gret it. In fact, I whole­heart­edly re­gret the few times I’ve con­vinced my­self to leave the cam­era at home.

Up Next