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Sony A6000


pierces
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I gave up after doing a lot of research and pulled the trigger on an A6000 to compliment the NEX-7 for daily use and travel.

 

More of a first impressions review than a full-blown test but it might be of interest to some of the other NEX shooters or anyone on the fence about downsizing from a DSLR for travel.

 

http://www.pptphoto.com/articles/a6000.html

 

Dave

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I won't say I knew you would, but I knew you would. Congratulations. Use the pre-paid shipping label to return your angel wings, and your new devil horns are in the mail. Welcome to the dark side...you chose well! {demonic laugh]Ha ha ha ha ha ha[/demonic laugh]

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I won't say I knew you would, but I knew you would. Congratulations. Use the pre-paid shipping label to return your angel wings, and your new devil horns are in the mail. Welcome to the dark side...you chose well! {demonic laugh]Ha ha ha ha ha ha[/demonic laugh]

 

The wings went back a while ago. I'm skipping the horns and ordering a Vader helmet and mask. It matches the A6000! :D

 

Dave

Edited by pierces
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Great review, thanks for sharing.

I even briefly considered trading my A99 system for a full-fledged A6000 system.. Though I'm not doing it, you have confirmed it wasn't a ridiculous consideration.

 

Add an A6000 with the 16-50 kit and a 55-210 zoom to the bag for when you don't want to haul the big brick around.

 

The best camera for all situations is usually two or three cameras...;)

 

 

Dave

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Add an A6000 with the 16-50 kit and a 55-210 zoom to the bag for when you don't want to haul the big brick around.

 

The best camera for all situations is usually two or three cameras...;)

 

 

Dave

 

Not an untrue statement, but I spend enough without the need to invest in two full systems. So my "other" camera is the RX100. Sticking to one system camera, I have the A99, for which I own a ton of mid-level glass. (No $2000 zeiss lenses, but some pretty good lenses).

The IQ of the A6000 seems very close to the full frame A99, so my thought was.. for the price of selling my A99 kit, I could probably get the A6000 with the top level premium glass (the Zeiss 16-70, the 70-200g, the 55/1.8).

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Not an untrue statement, but I spend enough without the need to invest in two full systems. So my "other" camera is the RX100. Sticking to one system camera, I have the A99, for which I own a ton of mid-level glass. (No $2000 zeiss lenses, but some pretty good lenses).

The IQ of the A6000 seems very close to the full frame A99, so my thought was.. for the price of selling my A99 kit, I could probably get the A6000 with the top level premium glass (the Zeiss 16-70, the 70-200g, the 55/1.8).

 

I forgot you had an RX100. That is a formidable small travel kit unto itself. The mark III was a close second choice when I hit the "process order" button.

 

It's nice to know that whatever we choose these days, it's all good stuff out there!

 

Dave

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I forgot you had an RX100. That is a formidable small travel kit unto itself. The mark III was a close second choice when I hit the "process order" button.

 

It's nice to know that whatever we choose these days, it's all good stuff out there!

 

I agree. It's a great time to be a photographer. I'm amused when someone comes on to the forums and asks, "can anyone recommend a camera that takes good pictures and can take video too?" Umm.. any camera.

 

I have the original RX100.... still a solid performer. I've been good at not spending much money lately.... So I was tempted by the RX100iii, and also by a refurb RX10. But I'm trying to restrain myself.. higher on my wish list, a top quality ultra-wide for my A99 (I have the KM 17-35 which is eh) and/or the A99ii (depending on price and features, IF it is even coming soon, if they don't kill the A-mount).

 

So speaking of multiple cameras, lenses etc... I leave for my DCL Caribbean cruise in less than 48 hours....

 

I'll bring:

A99, KM 17-35, Sony 28-75, Sony 50/1.4, Minolta 200/2.8 APO.

RX100

Tripod

External flash.

 

Leaving home: 100/2.8 macro, 85/2.8, 135/2.8, Minolta 70-210 beercan, Tamron 70-300 usd.

 

So first question... think anything I'm leaving home, should be in the camera bag, or vice versa?

 

2nd question --- Cameras on the beach. Last year, when I did a Bermuda cruise, I took the RX100 to the beach, but left the dSLR set-up on the ship. (But it was a cheaper dSLR, A55).

 

So really between taking the ferry to Trunk Bay on St. John, where the family will do some snorkeling, and also to a day at the Disney Island of Castaway Cay.... for fear of water and sand, should I just bring the RX100 which is easier to protect...

Or what I was leaning towards: Bringing the RX100 for 28-75 shots. Bringing the A99 with the 17-35 for ultrawide shots. And not really changing lenses anywhere near the beach. Though I'd be tempted to bring my 200/2.8 with the option of carefully changing lenses. Of course, the A99 has some weather resistance, but I'm still scared of sand and water.

 

Certainly, I was happy with the RX100 shots in Bermuda --- But the more I rely on my A99, I've become pickier. So I'm really not sure what I want to bring to the beach.. whether to go light.. or go heavier, being careful, and renting a locker if I want to swim.

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Looks like you have it pretty well covered though I might trade the 200 for the beercan just for versatility. Despite never using it, I always drag the tripod along too.

 

Beaches are scenery for me. Taking pictures of turquoise waters trumps sunburn, salt water and sand in my shorts so I never have to decide. If it's any help, I feel the 28-75 on the RX100 would be safe for scenery and family poses.

 

If you're looking for an ultrawide and don't mind giving up autofocus, the Rokinon/Samyang 14mm f/2.8 is a pretty amazing lens, never mind a great deal. SLRGear.com was impressed with it's performance on full-frame. As I mentioned in my review, I just got their e-mount 12mm f/2.0 and it is really nice.

 

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1640/cat/110/date/1352410424

 

Overnight shipping from Amazon Prime?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Rokinon-FE14M-E-Ultra-E-mount-Cameras/dp/B00HAF167Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1408650065&sr=8-2&keywords=14+mm+sony

 

Enjoy your cruise!

 

Dave

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Looks like you have it pretty well covered though I might trade the 200 for the beercan just for versatility. Despite never using it, I always drag the tripod along too.

 

Beaches are scenery for me. Taking pictures of turquoise waters trumps sunburn, salt water and sand in my shorts so I never have to decide. If it's any help, I feel the 28-75 on the RX100 would be safe for scenery and family poses.

 

If you're looking for an ultrawide and don't mind giving up autofocus, the Rokinon/Samyang 14mm f/2.8 is a pretty amazing lens, never mind a great deal. SLRGear.com was impressed with it's performance on full-frame. As I mentioned in my review, I just got their e-mount 12mm f/2.0 and it is really nice.

 

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1640/cat/110/date/1352410424

 

Overnight shipping from Amazon Prime?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Rokinon-FE14M-E-Ultra-E-mount-Cameras/dp/B00HAF167Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1408650065&sr=8-2&keywords=14+mm+sony

 

Enjoy your cruise!

 

Dave

 

If I want a budget ultrawide, I'll consider it. I do like a zoom for my ultrawide purposes though. I am considering the Sigma 12-24. Considering the Zeiss 16-35, but I've never spent that much on one lens.

 

I am not going to take the beercan over the Minolta 200/2.8 Since I got the 200 -- I don't use anything else for telephoto. The IQ is really just that much better. And it's actually about the same size as the beercan, 2.8 aperture, and vastly superior IQ. I can live without the 75-199 range being covered.

And technically, the RX100 is 28-100. So I'm just missing 100-200.

 

Samples from the 200/2.8:

 

This is practically a 1:1 crop:

 

14952573245_df7937dc61_b.jpgDragonfly by Havoc315, on Flickr

 

14656627212_e4a1d0844e_b.jpgSun Flowers at the Pool by Havoc315, on Flickr

 

With 2x converter:

 

14367512982_f85c124a35_b.jpgBeaver by Havoc315, on Flickr

 

14173857865_513998a449_b.jpgzoo-113.jpg by Havoc315, on Flickr

 

Low light:

 

13812711104_47e782167c_b.jpgdance-101.jpg by Havoc315, on Flickr

 

I know you shoot A and E mount..... If you like primes, I highly recommend this lens for both cameras. Much smaller than a 70-200/2.8, but even better IQ.

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I have a 70-200 Sigma which is actually quite good but that 200 f/2.8 Minolta is a legend. I can see why.

 

A pox on you for posting these! ;)

 

Dave

 

A 70-200 is certainly more convenient.. with very very good IQ... But twice the size.. and really, from what I've seen, still falls behind this 28 year old lens in IQ.

 

In fairness, the lens isn't perfect -- It get some very slight CA wide open. And when using the Minolta 2x converter, it gets massive CA.

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Minolta/Rokkor was good enough for Leica SLRs back in the day. I still have and use my 25 year old 100mm macro and 20mm f/2.8 Maxxum lenses. They are still near the top of the list in their respective categories.

 

With computer designs and 21st century materials, lenses can be better than older designs but it doesn't always mean they always are .

 

Dave

Edited by pierces
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Minolta/Rokkor was good enough for Leica SLRs back in the day. I still have and use my 25 year old 100mm macro and 20mm f/2.8 Maxxum lenses. They are still near the top of the list in their respective categories.

 

With computer designs and 21st century materials, lenses can be better than older designs but it doesn't always mean they always are .

 

Dave

 

I have the 100 macro as well, great lens.

 

Newer lenses are designed for digital, with coatings that won't show as much CA.

Newer lenses (at least from Canon and Nikon) are more likely to have stabilization.

Newer lenses will have niceties like silent internal focus mechanisms.

 

In terms of pure image quality -- Physics doesn't change. Technology was just as capable of making a great lens design 25 years ago, as today.

 

If anything, advancements in technology have allowed for better design of zoom lenses. But for a "simpler" lens like a prime -- You really can't much improve on a really great prime. Many of those older lenses have better build quality than the new stuff as well, less reliance on plastics.

 

I'll put the Minolta 100 macro and 200/2.8, and a few other lenses.. up against anything "new." (In fact, the design of the macro hasn't changed in 25 years)

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I have the 100 macro as well, great lens.

 

Newer lenses are designed for digital, with coatings that won't show as much CA.

Newer lenses (at least from Canon and Nikon) are more likely to have stabilization.

Newer lenses will have niceties like silent internal focus mechanisms.

 

In terms of pure image quality -- Physics doesn't change. Technology was just as capable of making a great lens design 25 years ago, as today.

 

If anything, advancements in technology have allowed for better design of zoom lenses. But for a "simpler" lens like a prime -- You really can't much improve on a really great prime. Many of those older lenses have better build quality than the new stuff as well, less reliance on plastics.

 

I'll put the Minolta 100 macro and 200/2.8, and a few other lenses.. up against anything "new." (In fact, the design of the macro hasn't changed in 25 years)

 

Speaking of lens design changing...

 

You realize the new curved field sensors from Sony will eliminate the massive complexity needed to produce a flat focus field. Lenses naturally produce a curved field of focus and the advent of curved digital sensors eliminates the need to warp a curved image to a flat field. There will still be a need to modify the field of focus for different focal lengths but it would be greatly reduced.

 

Fewer groups, smaller, lighter and therefore less expensive (well...maybe).

 

 

Hopefully they will give us a few years to fill the piggy bank...

 

Dave

Edited by pierces
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I just bought the A6000 so that I do not have to carry my Nikon D300 with the 18-200 zoom.

 

I am trying to decide between the 55-210 and one of the 18-200 lenses. The 55-200 does not overlap my A6000 kit lens and it is very small. It is also much cheaper than the others. I have no objection to spending more money for a better lens but I also have no objection to saving some money.

 

Also, there are 3 models with a focal length range of 18-200. They are SEL18200 @ $900, the SEL18200LE @ $850, and the SELP18200 @ $1200. Does anyone have any idea what the difference between the lenses are.

 

DON

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I just bought the A6000 so that I do not have to carry my Nikon D300 with the 18-200 zoom.

 

I am trying to decide between the 55-210 and one of the 18-200 lenses. The 55-200 does not overlap my A6000 kit lens and it is very small. It is also much cheaper than the others. I have no objection to spending more money for a better lens but I also have no objection to saving some money.

 

Also, there are 3 models with a focal length range of 18-200. They are SEL18200 @ $900, the SEL18200LE @ $850, and the SELP18200 @ $1200. Does anyone have any idea what the difference between the lenses are.

 

DON

 

The 18-200s are generational with the straight barreled LE one being the middle model. The older one has better image quality and is heavier but may actually be $100 better. The last one, the SELP is a silent power-zoom version of the LE that leans towards video users. In case you missed it in the listings, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC is the same lens as the LE without the Sony branding.

 

 

The 55-210 has good image quality and is a bargain compared to the others but requires a lens change to cover the range. It works fine for me but I carry two bodies when out for a day of shooting.

 

Hope that helped.

 

Dave

Edited by pierces
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Speaking of lens design changing...

 

You realize the new curved field sensors from Sony will eliminate the massive complexity needed to produce a flat focus field. Lenses naturally produce a curved field of focus and the advent of curved digital sensors eliminates the need to warp a curved image to a flat field. There will still be a need to modify the field of focus for different focal lengths but it would be greatly reduced.

 

Fewer groups, smaller, lighter and therefore less expensive (well...maybe).

 

 

Hopefully they will give us a few years to fill the piggy bank...

 

Dave

 

Not less expensive, if we need to start buying all new lenses.

 

My lens investments is 1 of the reasons I have stuck with Sony A-mount, and my I get paranoid about them discontinuing the mount. (As mentioned.. I've been tempted by E-mount, but constantly held back by things like lack of IBIS and slower lenses.... I've considered switching systems to Canon and Nikon, but realize it would be a very expensive switch to keep anything near my current image quality and lens selections... No easy affordable replacement for my 200/2.8!... I like that I'm shooting with 25 year old lenses on my A99 which are stabilized.. buying stabilized lenses for Canon and Nikon would get expensive fast... and while I'm not an EVF die hard, I have come to prefer it).

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Thank you so much for posting your review and to the other posters for their comments. I am considering an alpha a6000. I first started looking at the NEX-6 because of the current attractive pricing. But after having read reviews, I am pretty much convinced that the a6000 is worth the upcharge for the simpler menus, ability to save settings, better AF and a few other features.

 

In your opinion is the kit lens a reasonable option for daily casual use? I have read critiques about it being soft around the edges. I wonder if it's better to get the body only and customize lens choice. I have looked at the Sigma 19/2.8 and the Sony 35/1.8 as alternatives.

 

However, after seeing what the Minolta 200/2.8 and the Rokinon 12/2.0 can do, I have new items on my wish list!

 

And to think I started out looking for a bargain upgrade....

 

Edited to add that I have used old style SLRs in the past. I don't want the bulk of a full DSLR, but am looking to upgrade from point and shoot. A viewfinder of some sort is a must.

Edited by notsodesperatehousewife
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Thank you so much for posting your review and to the other posters for their comments. I am considering an alpha a6000. I first started looking at the NEX-6 because of the current attractive pricing. But after having read reviews, I am pretty much convinced that the a6000 is worth the upcharge for the simpler menus, ability to save settings, better AF and a few other features.

 

In your opinion is the kit lens a reasonable option for daily casual use? I have read critiques about it being soft around the edges. I wonder if it's better to get the body only and customize lens choice. I have looked at the Sigma 19/2.8 and the Sony 35/1.8 as alternatives.

 

However, after seeing what the Minolta 200/2.8 and the Rokinon 12/2.0 can do, I have new items on my wish list!

 

And to think I started out looking for a bargain upgrade....

 

Edited to add that I have used old style SLRs in the past. I don't want the bulk of a full DSLR, but am looking to upgrade from point and shoot. A viewfinder of some sort is a must.

 

I have been very happy with the kit lens. The pictures in my review not specifically tagged as from the Rokinon are from the kit lens. It can be a little soft on the edges but since I seldom put the main subject on the edge of the fame, I see no issue. ;)

 

Most of the shots in my gallery from our Pacific coast cruise were shot with the 16-50 kit.

 

http://galleries.pptphoto.com/century2014

 

I have both the Sigma 19mm and the 30mm and they are indeed sharper. I use them when I am specifically out shooting landscapes and such but for daily use, the stabilized 16-50 is more than acceptable. Rather good actually.

 

Good luck! I say that because with so many excellent options, actually making a choice is the hard part of getting an excellent piece of equipment!

 

Dave

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And if for any reason you found the kit lens to be less than expected, there's another very cheap option you can consider - picking up the 'old' 18-55mm e-mount kit lens. It doesn't compact, so it's a little larger...but not big by any means...and it has some followers who feel it is a little better than the 16-50mm kit lens (I can't say whether any of that is true or not). I bought my A6000 as body-only since I already had the 18-55mm kit lens from my NEX-5N, and I've been quite happy using that kit with it.

 

And to the prior question, I've found the 55-210mm to be a great lens for the money - I use it extensively for birding and wildlife photography, and it doesn't embarrass itself even though I also shoot with my DSLR and some very big, very expensive lenses. Stabilization is excellent, lens is a good size, price is great, and it even works well when adding external teleextenders for more reach (which can't easily be done on the 18-200mm lenses due to their filter-thread size).

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Thanks Dave and Justin for your input!

 

Amazon currently has an offer which bundles the a6000 with additional lenses at a substantial discount. I believe they do this periodically. I am still budgeting but will keep your advice in mind.

 

Dave, I can see that in your hands the camera did a very nice job in a variety of conditions, even aquarium shots which can be tricky. Justin, your wildlife shots are beautiful.

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Thanks Dave and Justin for your input!

 

Amazon currently has an offer which bundles the a6000 with additional lenses at a substantial discount. I believe they do this periodically. I am still budgeting but will keep your advice in mind.

 

Dave, I can see that in your hands the camera did a very nice job in a variety of conditions, even aquarium shots which can be tricky. Justin, your wildlife shots are beautiful.

 

Those were shot with the NEX-7 which has the same resolution but is a generation behind the sensor tech in the A6000. I am very excited to see what the new camera can do under "heavy use" during a trip. We'll probably hit Disneyland a couple of times next week and I'll post some shots from there.

 

 

Dave

Edited by pierces
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My A6000 loved Disney World...I'm sure yours will enjoy Disneyland. Greatest thing about it is the versatility - the additional resolution during the day and the additional high ISO ability at night and indoors, plus all those great trick features we love on Sony cameras like the HDR and MFNR...just make it a near-perfect trip camera. I brought my A6000 and left the DSLR home last Disney trip - though I felt bad for my DSLR, I must admit I never missed it.

 

ISO8000 on the dark rides (with the SEL35mm F1.8):

original.jpg

 

Wildlife on the Kilimanjaro Safari (with the 55-210mm lens and DH1758 1.7x teleextender):

original.jpg

 

Handheld nighttime using in-camera HDR (ISO3200), so I didn't have to bring the tripod (SEl18-55 lens):

original.jpg

 

original.jpg

 

Ultrawide night high ISO using the MFNR stacking ISO mode at ISO6400 - again avoiding the tripod (SEL10-18mm lens):

original.jpg

 

In cooler weather, I'll still probably bring the DSLR, and the tripod, but when it's hot and humid and miserable, it's so nice to travel with a light, small camera plus 4 lenses that can all fit in one small bag, no tripod, and still shoot just about any type of photography that comes along.

Edited by zackiedawg
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