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Thread: New guy. Just saying Hi...

  1. #1

    New guy. Just saying Hi...

    Hi all, my name is Al and I have been keeping one eye open on the new Sony mirror-less range. I've been using some high end cameras of another brand and like many, I found it a little hard to make a leap of faith from one brand to another. I really wanted to go the whole hog and get one of the high end Sony Mirror-less jobs but for two factors...
    1. MONEY - hahaha - isn't it funny? You seem to have all the money in the world (well, a few bucks anyway), until you really want to buy a new camera, then you try to recall just where it escaped to. Happens every time - strange...
    2. I suddenly thought - Hmmm, if I get a new camera, that means there are lenses, flashes and all those extras that go along with the territory to also get. Gently gently at first... Besides, I don't know just how good the mirror-less jobs really are...

    So, I settled for an A6000. I mean, every review, write-up, video I saw or read about that camera has told me, it is almost a mistake or even a sin NOT to get one, if you are already into taking pix and want a bang per buck ratio that goes right off the end of the scale... The last video I saw was from this site and it kind of impressed me, so joining up in here seemed a good logical step to take...

    Ok, cutting to the chase...

    What have I noticed about the A6000 so far? First,, I am no pro or expert. Oh I do know enough about digital cameras and photography, that is, enough to get me INTO trouble and I don't honestly know what I was truly expecting from the A6000. I haven't had much time to get out and shoot off a couple of hundred shots and judge what I got in the way of results. Instead, I have taken only about 20 or 30 shots in horrible weather, overcast, rainy low light,, you know,, the very worst days to try to take good photos on. I watched and read dozens of setting up advice type videos/reviews etc and got a rough idea on where to start. The first thing I did when I got the camera home (after charging the virtually lifeless battery) was to go into the menu system and try what I thought would me my own style of settings, which by and large seemed to work, then I started reading and viewing "setup" and "secrets of" type advice reviews etc to see what settings would go down best with the A6000, and it appears that my settings were, on average, almost the same as everyone else recommended as a starting point. My A6000 has only the standard kit lens, the 16 - 50mm OSS and I'd only say it yields photos of an average quality at first glimpse, nothing too hot but I have seen lots worse from lenses that cost multiples of what you'd pay for this one, though I have yet to take any pictures in direct sunlight. Under higher enlargement/magnification of the photo, I did notice, what I'd call typically Sony software digital processing of photos in some of the behind the scenes areas, for example, I took a couple of shots of a dense bushy little tree and in some of the areas under the surface of the leaves etc, I saw a bit of digitally altered areas in the shadier parts of the inner growth. I have seen this before on other cheaper Sony pocket cameras and seeing this took me straight back to what I had recalled seeing back then. At first, I was not overly impressed with this. With so many owners out there being so impressed with their results, and having not been able to fully explore many of the settings, I must reserve judgement for the time being and hope for better.. Don't get me wrong, just viewing the pictures it looked just fine but zooming right in down towards the pixel end of things, it began to look decidedly artificial, like an amateur went overboard with Photoshop. Many of the shots looked a little washed out too, a little pale. Usually there are settings to enhance this so I will have to look for them and maybe try a usual Vivid setting like many other brands have, and then hope for better...

    Battery life too was a little underwhelming. It seemed that in virtually no time at all, the battery would go from its 100% mark down to 90, 80, 70% and that was only while I was messing about in the options menus. I've charged it back to 100% 3 times in 2 days and shot off 20 - 30 shots only - Wowwww... On one of my BIGGER cameras, on a battery of similar physically sized a battery would last, well you could almost change the hours of the Sony to days in the Nikon when it comes to battery life. It doesn't hurt to always top up Lithium-ion batteries, so charging them from 50 - 80% back up to 100% is always a good thing as Lithium-ion batteries may last longer of treated this way, unlike previously used other types of rechargeable batteries... I think another battery or two is definitely on the short list along with a charger...

    On the flip side, I love the look and feel of this camera. The grip is a little small for my not so large hand (so I pity guys with large hands) but it fits relatively neatly into my hand and just about everything said about its ergonomics (layout and usage), I can agree with. Once set up, it is super easy to use, light as heck and oh boy, the lightning fast A/F is simply amazing. I kind of like the viewfinder vs LED screen relationship,, as soon as you look through the viewfinder the LED screen goes off then as soon as you move your eye away from the viewfinder it goes off and the LED screen lights back up. The viewfinder is not that bad, a little pale but it will do more than adequately... Menu vs Fn controls are very nicely co-ordinated with each other and you get to know this relationship very quickly.

    What more can I say right now? I've only had it for two and a half days and on the whole I already like it. I can see that new, or at least, more lenses are on the cards and I am positive this will do wonders for better photos to come. Having a camera this small and being able to do so much with it is something new to me. Usually, you'd just pull it out of your pocket, point and as the name says - shoot...!!! With the A6000 however, taking it out of your pocket or bag, is just the beginning. Setting up a camera is half the fun and I just love to try different settings when I have a new camera...

    At this early point, I can say it is no high end DSLR, both in features and performance but, I feel like I've grabbed ahold of a live wire here and it may jolt me into a different realm - the Mirrorless Realm...

    Overall - I'm impressed...!!!

    Al

  2. #2
    The A6000 is a damn fine Camera, but they might not be for everybody. Lucille had a loaner one for a few days, I'll have to try and find those files because I would put her work up against any APS-C DSLR on the market in terms of IQ. Though she
    was using her 24mm Zeiss f/1.8.

    Lu

  3. #3
    Hello Al,
    Welcome to SonyAlphaLab. Hope you enjoy this community.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlSony View Post
    I've been using some high end cameras of another brand and like many, I found it a little hard to make a leap of faith from one brand to another.
    I've been a 100% Mac user for last 10+ years A few months back, I decided to buy myself Microsoft Surface Pro 3. I still find it hard to use.


    Quote Originally Posted by AlSony View Post
    Under higher enlargement/magnification of the photo, I did notice, what I'd call typically Sony software digital processing of photos in some of the behind the scenes areas, for example, I took a couple of shots of a dense bushy little tree and in some of the areas under the surface of the leaves etc, I saw a bit of digitally altered areas in the shadier parts of the inner growth. I have seen this before on other cheaper Sony pocket cameras and seeing this took me straight back to what I had recalled seeing back then.
    Did you shoot RAW?

    From my head, there are factors making images less than satisfactory such as: JPEG compression algorithm, sensor's sensitivity and limitation, and optical limitation (aberration etc) which cannot be eliminated completely.
    Amateur and unskilled photographer with a very small collection of gears.

  4. #4
    Hardcore Member Tikcus's Avatar
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    On the Alpha 5000 I was generally happy with the jpg compression, however I do believe condensed green bushes/trees were over processed, shooting in raw and applying some post processing fixed it though.
    I used to own stuff

  5. #5
    Welcome Al and terrific intro I agree the jpegs look over procesed, especially int he shadow highly dense brush areas as you said. Shooting raw is best for detail retention, because the Sony cameras process to much in a lot of cases I feel. You can turn off the noise reduction a bit and that helps, but shooting raw is the way to go for the best possible quality and detail. If you are a jpeg shooter, then getting the perfect exposure and white balance is really critical to IQ. As Lusan said, Lucille and many others have gotten killer IQ with the A6000 using good glass and even with the 16-50mm kit lens. Lighting is critical to good IQ and a tri-pod helps also as I'm sure you know.

    Keep up the efforts learning the camera and I think you be more than satisfied with the results over time. Low light shooting never shows off the best of what a camera can do and same with busy overcast style shots will look bla or dull'ish. The vivid mode does work pretty good when combined with Auto HDR @ 4ev mode. Love using that for fun, and handholding is possible if your steady!

    Thanks again for joining and I look forward to more,

    Jay
    Jay - Comments, Questions, and Critiques always welcomed and encouraged!

    Current Everyday Gear: Sony A7r, Sony A6400, Sony Nex-6, Sigma 56mm f/1.4 Lens, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens, Sony E 18-55mm, Sony E 55-210mm OSS Lens, Sony E 16mm f/2.8 Pancake, Rainbow Imagining MC/MD Lens Adapter w/ Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor Lens

  6. #6
    Thanks guys,,

    Yesterday, for the first time since I bought the A6000, I managed to get off a few shots in the sunlight. I was very pleasantly surprised. They really were quite good and the lens actually out-performed what I was expecting of it... Quite crisp and sharp. The only noticeable feature of all shots taken at 16mm was the slight distortion - you know where straight vertical lines tend to angle away from the centre line.. Left of centre tends to slope away to the left and vice versa to the right. We all know this one don't we (the onset of pincushioning or the fish-eyed effect with some low f/l lenses etc)..?? In that respect, I can't say I didn't expect this to happen... I was shooting a few shots inside an old house we are doing up for a customer and of course doors walls and all manner of other straight lines, both vertical and horizontal, are riddled throughout houses, aren't they? I suppose straight lines and NOT natural are they, so it's a man-made problem that plagues photographers, unless you can take advantage of the effect..!!

    Right now, I am more impressed than a day ago and now have a good reason to get more usable good lenses for this camera. Yeah, I really do like this camera, but first, the budget has to get a bit healthier than it is right now - Hahahaha...!!!

    Nice to meet you all..

    Al

  7. #7
    WELCOME!
    I have the a6000, yes battery life and kit lenses are a weak spot and it took me a bit to get used to a EVF, and no in body stabilization.
    But the EVF is among the best i have ever seen, it is a real pleasure using it in dark situations.
    The mirror-less design has proven to lend itself to more dust accumulation on the sensor filter.
    Still, it is truly the sharpest APS sized sensor i have ever used even with its AA filter.
    Using a good prime lens will truly let this camera shine.
    An i must reluctantly confess i am truly impressed with the "Superior Auto" setting. I almost always shoot Aperture Priority so at first i was in doubt of The camera's AI ability, but recently I've been using it more and finding it is doing a better job than me.
    Last edited by OldNoob; Sep 21 2015 at 05:19 PM.
    a6300, a6000 , x700 wMD-1, Pentax k30, a580, a560 , a100 (stollen), 650si Date, 9000+MD90/BP90, XG-M, srTmcII,Nikon EM, Nikon N80, Hanimex Practica, Konica AutoreflexA, Ricoh KR5 super
    Peacock Designs

  8. #8
    Hey Al, My budget is lean & I've found that some excellent results can be obtained for next to nothing if you're willing to play around with old manual lenses and an inexpensive adapter. You can find decent adapters for around $20 (give or take) and if you have any old lenses with manual aperture and focus, you're set to go. Using aperture priority, focus peaking and focus magnification, you can get some real nice results with older glass.
    I think the best bang for the buck native emount lens would be one of the sigma f/2.8 lenses. I have the 30mm and was really surprised how sharp it is and the autofocus is accurate & pretty fast. Think the 60mm and 19mm sigmas would also produce very good results from what I've seen. For $200 new I don't think there is a better deal out there.

    Willie

  9. #9
    Hardcore Member Tikcus's Avatar
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    In the UK the sigma lenses are priced similar to the 3 "cheap" Sony lenses, the SEL16F28, SEL30M35, and the fantastic SEL50F18

    If I owned an alpha 5/6000 and could only have 1 lens it would be the SEL50F18, a 2nd and I'd have SEL55210, then personally I'd get the macro, only because I was really enjoying the SEL30M35 before I lost everything.

    I have never used the sigma lenses but there are some fantastic shots on this forum from the 30mm F2.8

    If you are on a budget and not in a rush, Sony quite often has some generous cash back offers, so far in the UK they have had them in January and August. I got £30 cash back on the SEL30M35 in august and either £30 or £50 cash back of the SEL50F18 in January.
    I used to own stuff

  10. #10
    Well it sounds like all of you have found your spot with the A6000 or the A5000 and I have already seen a wealth of info passed back to me, so I have obviously got lots of room to play in so I am looking forward to "playing". I took a few more pics this morning at work (I'm a builder an usually take progress pics) and again I am quite impressed... I have yet to try the Auto mode,, that might me an interesting move...

    The adapter and even manual operation of other lenses might be a good option to look into. I'd love to try out a few of my bigger lenses (physically bigger) which I know will yield good results. I will just have to find the right adapter and a list of usable lenses. I'm not such a great fan of tele-converters though. I've had a few and it's quite hit and miss with results, sometime more miss than hit...

    Nice to meet you guys...

    Al

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