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Some of the most controversial, riveting images come from the White House. Most of them are presidents making gripping phone calls to someone important halfway across the world. We’d like to assume that they’re always discussing nail-biting issues. But the reality is, they could just be making dinner plans.

Kidding aside, every official government photo is worth looking into. There’s a chance that something will pop-up that wasn’t meant for the eyes of the average citizen.

Souza’s New Toy 

Pete Souza, the Chief Official White House photographer, recently uploaded a photo of US President Barrack Obama talking on the phone with Cuba President Raúl Castro in the Oval Office. Here’s the picture that was beamed up to Flickr’s servers:


Photo Credit: Pete Souza

The interesting bit isn’t in the oddly symmetrical image (Souza’s picture-taking skills are off the charts). Instead, it’s located in the camera data that was captured with the photo. A closer look at the EXIF section shows that the head photographer used a Sony a7r II. That’s right folks, it seems that Souza is a fan of using mirrorless shooters. Furthermore, he applied a Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA lens for the shot.

As Michael Zhang from PetaPixel pointed out in his latest blog post, the team may be switching from DSLR to mirrorless cameras. For now, it’s still too early to jump to any conclusions about the change in preference. The next series of uploads from the White House will indicate whether or not they pulled a classic switcheroo on their main photography tool.

Good Times with Canon

In the past, the crew had a reputation for wielding the mighty Canon 5D Mark II. This was confirmed back in May 1, 2009 from this image of Obama having a staring contest with White House Counsel Gregory Craig, while chatting on the phone:


Photo Credit: Pete Souza

That period was the first time EXIF data appeared in Flickr. The team could’ve been using the shooter way before the photo was taken. A year later, Souza upgraded to a Canon 5D Mark III.

How does the Canon 5D compare with Sony’s mirrorless camera? According to Chris Gampatt from ThePhoBlographer, the tech giant’s latest offering is showing serious potential against some of the industry’s biggest DSLR brands:

“Sony is very close to catching up with all that Canon and Nikon can do; but it’s still not totally there. In many ways, they’re far ahead of what Canon and Nikon are capable of–and those ways appeal most to the non-professional photographers. For working pros in the wedding and photojournalism world that need TTL flash and more lens selections; we’re going to need to wait.”

Another theory for the use of the Sony shooter is repairs. Souza could be using the mirrorless device as a secondary backup for the Canon. It is noteworthy that both cameras received the stamp of approval from the White House. So if you’re basing your next purchase on what Souza’s using, simply choose between any of the two!

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