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Thread: New flash today - hope it does well...

  1. #1

    New flash today - hope it does well...

    First, I don't know what happened to SaF (this forum) over the past few days, as I haven't been able to connect to it - can today though - great...!!!

    Anyway - On with the subject...

    I managed to get out the other day and give the A6000 a good shoot'em up workout. Anything and everything was the target, just like I've done with any camera I have owned in the past 'x' amount of years - just to set my mind at ease and to expose any "limits" or parameters that I'd have to work inside of... Conditions were excellent for taking photos - bright blue sky, little or no cloud, and the scenery was as good as it gets => the beach, hills and hilltops, and the surrounding gulf with islands etc in the background, you know, the picturesque type scenery that some dream of, and it's all within a few minutes of my backdoor (by car of course), so the days shoot was looking good for me. The equipment was the A6000 with kit 15-50mm & 55-210mm lenses only - that's it...!!!

    Things that I discovered about the A6000 during that day...
    1. The A6000 can take some very average photos with this setup.
    2. The A6000 can take some very good photos with this setup.
    3. At times it is quite sensitive to the direction you point it with regards to the suns direction. Other cameras I have are much less sensitive. The angle of the sun does determine much of the quality of the ensuing shot at times.
    4. The number of photos from the battery life was not as many as as I was led to believe by YouTube (who swore just then..??) and some written reviews that may have been just pushing the product.
    5. The LED viewfinder and the LED screen were actually a lot better then I had previously encountered (I'll explain)

    Now before you fly off the handle and correct me for my poor assumptions, I will say that I have not really had the time to try out many different settings, so I am sure that many of the above features can be modified by settings etc. That's the purpose of getting out there and setting the ground for future work. I simply try to expose some standout features... I used exclusively 'Mode A', my personal favourite, and set aperture to middle ground from 5.6 to 8'ish, that should be a fair setting to average work. I also used Fine JPG in 16:9 only so there is no RAW to compare to and took a grand total of only 71 photos. Once again, simply to 'expose' (a great word to use when talking photography - isn't it?)...

    Ex above...
    1. At times, especially with the larger lens, some photos could have been better. None were that bad that I would send them straight to the recycle bin but they could have been a bit crisper. I especially noticed this at full zoom or close to at times when focusing on distant houses on the hillsides with the 55-210mm lens. Mind you heatwave and general haziness of the day and being coastal with the salty air (very common) did not help, but I just felt that it could have been a little better.

    2. Some shots though were VERY good, very crisp, and clear, showing great colour and detail and surprisingly enough, with the 55-210mm set to at least 60% of its zoom. This camera loves the common brighter colours when they are in contrast with others in the background, and for some strange reason I get the feeling it handles 'white' very well. Many other cameras fall over with white. They go berserk trying to work out just what white "is" and many times when you look your pics later on a screen, the white bits look either washed out or too much in your face. With the A6000, yellow and white are more than OK, they stick out as 'well handled'... Don't ask me to explain - hahaha - I have no idea either. I just noticed it...

    3. I noticed on angles with the sun over your shoulder(s) to directly behind you, the A6000 can take some spectacular photos and appear less fussy about focal length or lens used. Start pointing at "some" subjects with the sun forward from shoulder right angles to directly in front of you and you may have to begin to alter settings to bring out your style of shot. It may also try too hard to compensate adjusting the brightness of the pending shot, quite often over compensating and going dark, and I often found myself focusing on something beside the subject to ease up in the brightness or darkness of the shot, when shooting subject against a darker background. I am sure we have all been challenged with this.. A professional may know how to handle this straight away. A professional I am NOT. I just love taking photos for my own pleasure, no more, no less...

    4. After taking just 71 shots from a full 100% charge that morning, and quickly viewing a fair percentage of the shots on LED the screen, I found the battery was down less than 50% of life. Right from Day One I could see that I was never going to get the claimed over 300 shots as the battery in mine never ever looked like doing so. At a pinch, I'd say maybe 200 or a few more was the order of the day, so what they all say about having spare batteries is "true". I now have two spares... That's not a real problem though, more, to be expected. Never expect everything that is "claimed"...

    5. Viewfinder and LED screen... I originally set up the A6000 in the day I bought,, wow - surprise,, and that with the following week or so was dull, overcast or downright rainy days. In other words you could be forgiven for setting up viewfinders and LED screen brightnesses very low as they were easily seen on those days. Ahhhh, then came along a bright sunshine day and its first outing. What's this..?? I can't see the LED screen at all unless I turn my back towards the sun and shelter the view, and I had to cup my hand over my eye and over the viewfinder to see anything worth seeing at all. So, I turned up the brightness on both to the default setting - Much better now... So that was my fault... the viewfinder is by no means perfect but it is actually quite good once you get used to it. I had absolutely no problem using it a couple of days ago...

    5a. Having said this, I did noticed that the viewfinder/LED auto switching between the two as you look into the viewfinder can play up a little at times and on some angles, once again, with the sun.. Why..?? Because there's a sensor just to the right side of the viewfinder which senses an eye or anything else that blocks out incoming light, then switches off the LED screen and diverts the view to the viewfinder. Sometimes while viewing shots you've just taken, when you stand with your back to the sun and sheltering the LED screen from direct sunlight, you inadvertently cast a shadow across the v/f and that light sensor and the view switches rapidly between the two, causing you to wonder what the heck is going on, or sometimes you might hold your hand too close to the sensor, covering or partially covering it and wallop, away goes your viewed picture - where the heck has it gone to..?? so you go to look into the v/f and you move your hand away and back it comes but by this time your eye is almost on top of the v/f so you quickly see the LED screen light up again then it blanks out as you get closer to the v/f so you are confused as to what is going on. I had a bout of this the other day, moving back and forth to the v/f trying to catch up with the image I was trying to view, then I quickly figured out what was transpiring and simply turned side on to the sun and making sure not to cover the light sensor - problem fixed...

    Well, that's just a quick summary of what I have found since I bought the A6000 and I am absolutely sure that much of the above can be taken care of by understanding the settings and adjusting accordingly on the spot. I feel very confident with the A6000 and seeing some results albeit "claimed" results, I feel that better, much better is to come, but for some of the topnotch results, that may lead to expensive lenses etc being purchased, so I will have to probably run the middle ground and live with "next thing to best" as I don't have unlimited funds. I am a hobbyist who loves taking pictures, as I said earlier, and have to put a cap on my indulgences at times, like this time...

    Today I added a flash to the camera - a Metz 44 AF-1. I was going to try out the Sony HVL-F60 but all that traffic in the city prevented me from getting to the shop I was heading to. I just got ****'ed off with city traffic so I diverted to another great photography shop and ended up buying the Metz after some discussion. I was not pressured into buying but it seemed a great deal at about half the cost of the F60.. I hope to give that a try. Actually I feel I could have used this on the big day out at the beach and hilltops... Next time, I swear...

    How do I rank the Sony A6000 at this point in time...???

    I'd give it a good solid 8 out of 10 right now, with the expectation of that possibly going higher. It 'IS' a great little unit and I can see why all the hype is there...

    Al...
    Last edited by AlSony; Oct 3 2015 at 12:22 AM.

  2. #2
    I have lots to learn about the use of flashes and only have a limited knowledge of them, but I can say that the Metz 44AF-1 appears to have plenty of power behind it. Indoors I had to run it down at 1/64 in manual mode to get it to give, actually, quite a nice shot or two. I only had time for a couple of trial shots before dinner was dished up. I was hungry at the time, so my tummy got the better of me... Next time I guess...!!!

    Al

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