Big Brain Little Camera And My Move To Mirrorless

So as you may or may not know I am a bit of a Sony fanboy and shot on Sony ever since the beginning.

The A77 proving itself a rock solid platform to work with and never failing on me but like most photographers after a while i fancied a change and this feeling persisted for a little while.

And then my lens broke!

I was out on a shoot and it got too the end and suddenly my 24-70 suddenly started to vibrate uncontrollably!

needless to say it was time to make a choice:  Spend money to get the lens fixed or consider a new system.

 

The trouble with me finding a new system was that it had to match if not better what i had which was a tough thing to do for the Sony A77.

The main things i needed to match was:

  • above 14MP
  • decent shooting rate at 7FPS or higher
  • APS-C or Full Frame
  • Video Capability

What i chose?

Z-sony-a6000-front-right

The Sony Alpha 6000

At the risk of making this a review which is not my intention ill cover the main points.

  • 24 MP
  • 11 FPS
  • Killer autofocus system
  • E Mount Lens system
  • APS-C Size sensor

All of that in a body the size of a point and shoot got me all excited!

 

It's all about the 3 percent ?

As photographers we often have a tenancy to knock down other brands or new systems and one of the first places we go to are the what I like to call the three percent market.

That being the 3% of photographers who shoot sports and the 3% who do extreme outdoors stuff and need that super weather sealing.

Get over it! really annoys me that these are the first things that get knocked down.

Well the A6000 has the fastest autofocus system of any mirrorless camera so could in theory be used for sports and if the weather is that extreme then the underwater housing is just over 100 bucks.

I am not a 3 percent shooter. I rarely shoot sports and i have no immediate plans to go to antartica!

rant over lets get back to the good stuff and my use so far.

 

In Use

So once i ran through and got comfy with the usage i took the camera on a customer shoot and i decided to use a kit lens just to really try the camera out.

You get the reviewers shove the Zeiss glass on and i must confess i have purchased the G lens for the camera but for this test i wanted to see what was the results on a basic set-up before i improved things with the decent glass.

The shoot was a studio shoot using off camera flash.

the first shot is the overall shot completely fresh out of camera no edits.

11653848_10152872412987882_614861197_oNext up I will show you the 1:1 crop of the same image

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Now I need to remind you that this is with a 16-55 F3.5-5.6 Kit lens that's totally fine for my customer work.  The only reason i chose to buy the G lens is because of the constant aperture but the extra quality glass is welcome also.

 

Video performance 

Well one of the reasons for getting the camera was i wanted to do more video work and with the xavc codec now available to this camera the more detail for business clients the better.

the initial main video i created with the camera was done using the G lens and on the standard avchd codec but i like how it came out

Apps Apps Apps!

The A6000 is the first camera that ive owned that not only has WiFi capability which allows me to transfer photos to the web or to my phone but you can also download extra functions to the camera!

 

Time-lapse 

It does exactly as it says on the tin and more with ability to lock the exposure or have it change over time.

Along with presets for sunrise and sunsets plus a couple others it makes for a really good app.

here are a couple of time lapses i created.

 

Smooth Water App

This has been a surprise of an app that i have really come to like.

Essentially this app is a digital ND filter.  It works by having the camera take multiple pictures and combine them all and anything that moves becomes blended and anything that is static is ignored.

The 'smoothing' is user controllable and works well on most subjects where you would use an ND filter on movement rather than to just drop the overall exposure.

The best thing is the app outputs the image as a single RAW file!

Below are a few shots i took in experimentation ill say how many shots were fired to create it on each.

 

95 shots

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25 shots

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16 shots

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6 shots

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In conclusion

This is an incredible camera with a huge feature set that leaves most cameras to shame.

Does this mean that everyone should ditch their DSLR's and switch to a mirrorless system?  Well that really depends on the person who is going to switch.

It is not going to be for everyone one of course. DSLR users still have a major advantage to this mirrorless system in battery life which is the Achilles Heel of this system but these batteries are small so for me personally its not an issue to carry more but for some people it will be and that is totally understandable.

Is this a 3% camera? probably not at least in terms of the extreme nature photographer who battles seas and driving rain in any sort of regularity.

From a sports photographer point of view i believe this system is perfectly capable of shooting most sports with suitable glass of which Sony has Paired with the awesome autofocus system. would it be a 3% sports shooters camera who shoots the big games? probably not as there just isn't the infrastructure there to support those shooters.

Who is it for?

Well just about everyone else who shoots people and landscapes. its not full frame and there are those people who view that as a lesser system rather than an alternative system  and regardless of how good a system is that fact will never win them over.

best view is to try before you buy. i love the camera enough to sell my dslr and use this system.