The reason for not going to the newer bodies - mostly the uncertainty about adapters, in particular the lack of support for A6100/6400 with the LAEA5, so far. I don't consider the A6600 to be a worthwhile purchase at it's current price. I paid 460 euro for the A6300 with 12 month warranty which is significantly less than a grey market A6400. A6100 is out of stock most places, and priced far too high for an entry level body IMO. The A7ii offers not much over the A99, aside from worse battery life - so it's a non runner for me
In the past the A6000 I have used a few times, the woeful AF with in lens motors on the LAEA3 is one reason to avoid it (you need the updated bodies to get good performance, and there isn't much reason in terms of sensor performance to use it over the A77ii.
At the moment I ordered a K&F adapter for A to E, I was considering the LAEA4, but I don't want to purchase a new one I'd rather pick up a used one if it's a body I will keep. This is the only real option if you must have AF with A mount lenses, I don't expect the new adapter to support it, and it's unclear what other bodies will work with it (Sony don't seem to be in a rush to push firmware out)
I have a feeling this might be a make or break moment, or it could be just a useful test platform. My thinking is..
1: If I hate it I might be tempted to abandon Sony entirely and start offloading all my gear with a view to a new platform
2: I might like it so much that I will transition to E Mount (this is a wild card considering my mixed feelings on Sony)
3: It could find a place in addition to my A mount gear, in other words I use it for video/testing and don't expand the E mount system
4: It's possible I just don't like it and sell it off, keeping my original equipment
I will update the thread with some thoughts once I have had more time to use it, and when it turns up
I would say, if Canon come out with something a bit more on the ball aka RP price level, with IBIS and a better sensor - that would probably be enough to push me over the edge for a switch. Reason being I can lay my hands on quite a bit of EF glass, at good prices and borrow gear as needed - just adapt them. Will see how this goes though
I could get a D610 grey market for under 700 euros new, which is crazy - however to get equivalent Nikon lenses would be costly and in some cases they are not better than the Minolta ones.
Over time I think Canon will pull ahead, if they do it right. Cost of native MILC lenses is not attractive, just you can adapt lenses far easier on Canon v Nikon, which makes the Z mount less attractive unless you use adapted F mount more recent lenses (ie AFS). Evidently there are third party compatibility issues with Nikon F to Z - another potential put off.
I will have to see if the lack of IBIS is a show stopper on the A6300, if it's on a tripod mostly it obviously won't be - it is unfortunate that IBIS is now a pay for feature, where it was a no cost one with A Mount and other makers. This is perhaps another reason why people are slow to migrate to MILC - I know a lot of DSLR users who are not that interested, even less so when they price up the cost. Some have added a body/adapter and use their old glass
I have used a few before so I had a brief experience, and no I didn't like it much in terms of ergo/grip/placement of buttons
Now that I have this kind of the same feeling comes back - small and uncomfortable So nope I don't like it much holding it that is
Still I will keep trying with it, perhaps it might work for video. My thinking was simply to use it as that a video cam and a lens test platform for reviews, not because I want to invest in E Mount, just don't have a lot of options for reviewing lenses. The other MILC mounts have less third party support, no doubt a Z50 would be a ton better in the hand or anything else out there.
Worst case I could sell it and probably get a bit back on top for what I paid, so there wasn't a lot of risk involved. It's in nice condition, and came with the external charger, But nope eye to viewfinder shooting it's not even close to the A Mount bodies for handling and feel.
Sensor is good I can see that
Build: Pretty good being fair it's mag alloy body (just about everywhere), aside from the somewhat weedy output pop up flash, button requires a fair bit of pressure to release that. Still at least it has one, better than nothing
Controls: Top plate could be better, if they had the exp comp/ISO there and took off the rear dial added a joystick, I'd much prefer that. It can feel a bit cramped on the back, as this is where most of the controls are. The top rear dial is set back more than I would like, main mode dial is fairly stiff I assume to prevent moving it by accident. It's a completely different experience to any A Mount body, which I think could be improved smoothing over the edges, and making better button placement. The grip is reasonable, though with limited clearance to the mount -which is a common complaint by some. Sony were clearly going for "it must be small", and there are compromises with that in handling, it's similar in size to the Fuji X10, so for an APS-C ILC that's pretty small.
Sensor: No complaints on this, it's a newer generation compared to the A77ii, and without the SLT mirror it's probably near a stop better in low light (I'd say 2/3 stop but I've not extensively tested it). You have to bear in mind that you've no IBIS on this, so unless you've OIS you will for non moving subjects beat it out with the A77ii due to the steady shot. DR looks quite similar it's perhaps a touch better on the A6300, there isn't much in it really. Like the A77ii jpeg NR off shows some chroma noise, low might be the best option if that bothers you.
EVF: Slightly low magnification, loads better than the A6000 one, but for some reason I find the A77ii a bit more detailed - there is a setting for high quality, and a faster refresh. Even with this I think the A77ii looks slightly better, though not as good for full mag focus when zoomed in. Size difference isn't significant IMO. Less blackout compared to the SLT cameras I have, no shocks newer sensor
Focus peaking is way stronger, even on low. This is good and bad, easier when zoomed in - more distracting when not. I think the magnification might be a better choice for manual focus. I set the C1 button near the shutter for this
Shutter: I got a low count one under 4K, the mechanical is sharper than the SLT's - perhaps the smaller body changes the sound. The fully electronic one is good, it means you can snap away without any wear fears, I've yet to determine at what point it's not usual ie action/movement. It's certainly fine for normal shooting though. This is a feature which I don't think the A99ii ever had (strange). I like this quite a bit
Video quality: Excellent, if there is one reason I think it might be popular this is probably it. I've not delved deep into this, however compared to the A77ii, it is clearly better. Though I would say the A77ii was quite good in my experience, and usable in low light say ISO 3200, possibly a touch more. With this you wouldn't sweat it ISO 6400 or even more. Noise is very well controlled, I suspect some is the newer sensor, but more likely better processing to remove the "dancing noise" patterns. There are a lot of picture profiles, of which I'm not that interested in. 4K is very good detail, I find 1080p fine (despite moans online it's more than good enough if you use the newer codec). 4K has strong rolling shutter as many reviews mention, not a camera for fast panning. I didn't get this for 4K I think 1080p is good enough for what I do, still it's there if you want it and have the patience to dig into those big files. Not done any heating tests yet, there is a high option for the heat management firmware added
LCD: OK though not as good as the A77ii or A99, as it's widescreen it's less suited to stills. I'm OK with it but at the initial price I would have expected better, it dims in 4K shooting no doubt a power management feature. Sony are not known for awesome LCD's compared to other makers I would tend to agree, serviceable but no more.
Battery: I got 2 used Sony cells, but also picked up a few myself as I will be using this for a while. So far I'd say it's more efficient with battery power, v the A77ii, but it has a smaller (quite a bit) cell, so you still end up behind in shots/screen time. It seems to depend a lot on settings if you start pumping that higher quality EVF and fast refresh it hits it fairly hard. I'd call it acceptable, no question the 77ii is better thank to the bigger cells. I'd be OK with one charged spare, video shooters would want to carry quite a few!
You can charge it via micro USB, and you can also power it via a power bank and the same port. Useful perhaps, though I did get a Sony external charge with the kit I bought. For home use I wouldn't use the micro USB much, just the charger. Still for video shooters you can connect it to a power bank
Menus: Much the same as the A77ii except some more stuff added, in other words I found the A77 was alright it got steadily worse in newer cameras. Never quite understood why they took out the video tab or the card one, both were fairly obvious what they did! Why is card format in the tool box icon page 5, 5 down? Odd stuff but I also found the 77ii pretty weird too.
Otherwise your quick nav are the same, and you also have the Fn button that brings up the quick access boxes which you can set yourself.
App: I did give it another try like the A77ii it was a flop! I managed to get some files to the phone and that's about it really. Set up is a pain, didn't work well, had to enter the Wi-Fi manually. I don't think it's going to be useful. As with the 77ii airplane mode is on all the time!
More to come later...
It's ongoing at the moment. It take some getting used to if I am frank.
Some hints of things that might have been in an A77iii if they had bothered to make one, the silent/electronic shutter is something I like, they beefed up the video if that's something people would want (and some do)
As a test camera I think it's alright, useful. It's not a camera for me you pick up and love using - it's a box with buttons on it (some of the placement could be better) - which also kinda of applies to the FF bodies on E Mount, boxes with buttons. I can see what Sony were going for, ultra compact, which is fine. However I'm not sure it's smart to just repeat the same designs over and over again with no variety of body types. The new ones are pretty much the same with the A6600 having a bit more of a grip with the larger battery.
Do I think it's something A77ii users will fall in love with? No really I don't (even the A57 is nicer for a compact SLR type style). I wouldn't want to use this as my main camera. It's mostly down to using it for lens testing and other accessories, which I get sent or buy to make content on YouTube. I wouldn't switch over to E Mount as a preference over A mount, the ergos are just not even remotely as good IMO. I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. For what I paid I got a pretty good deal, but this is no way a €1000 at launch camera. It is true I could use a Fuji or Micro 4/3 for a small test camera, just there is a degree of compatibility on these cameras ie flashes/adapters. And there are things I'd def prefer on those cameras, but also some areas I don't like (not an XTrans fan at all with Fuji wish they'd drop it). As a souped up X10 sized camera, it's quite good as you can fit lots of things to it aka compact system camera - as a full blown SLR replacement it's not. I think that's the problem with Sony's strategy it's the same thing re-cycled over and over again, they really need to offer several body types for crop and full frame, so far they seem to have no new ideas which is a shame
I am playing around with the UFO lens for review I picked it up from Austria and a 50mm F1.2
Graham Parker - Waiting For The UFOs (1979)
Does anyone else feel like we can stop waiting for the UFOs? I think they have already arrived. This is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The aliens have landed and are taking over!
Yep, definitely an alien.
I was going to write a lot about the A6300, but I will just add this. I picked up the LAEA4 super cheap on an Amazon deal it's alright (for what it is) you get A57 AF no group AF sadly but it works about as well as that camera.
I think over time I'll hold onto the A6300 for a bit, but if a FF body turns up at the right price it will be out the door as such. Not that it's bad but I miss the sensor IS. If the A7iii drops in price as it hopefully should, that might be an option later on.
Other than a test camera or for video (where it's really quite good), I can't say I warm to the design that much, I don''t mind it being small just the layout is not really what I would call great ergonomics.
I suppose I live in hope some day Sony might try new designs rather than rehashing the same ones over and over.
It's an OK camera at the low price I paid, but the lack of steadyshot means the other A mount crop bodies are more useful in low light for photography
There are a few "oddities", small points which are slightly annoying
The lens release in the left side, I'm not convinced it's the right place as accidentally pressing it could release a lens. It would have been better to put it on the other side. Another point here is by putting the lens release there, means you could have had a button for a custom function on the grip side (aka DOF preview). A strange choice
No E mount body I've used has an auto locking battery door! You have to manually close it, are springs in scarce supply?
Card goes in the wrong way around, you can't see the label
I miss the direct AF control selection knob on the left side (or multi function controller on the A99), seems a waste to have nothing there. But I note most MILC don't have this either, weird indeed.
Battery life with more use I have to say it's alright for still photos, and OK for HD video. 4K chews into the battery life fairly quickly, hence I think the complaints about battery are from heavy video users in 4K. A spare wouldn't cut it at all, you'd want 3/4 extras for a days video shooting perhaps more. A single spare would probably do you for photos.
It is nice you can charge it in camera, USB-C would be better, though it's an older model (I note the new ones don't have it either)
Lack of steadyshot continues to bother me a bit, less so for video where it's usually tripod mounted.
I'm pretty pleased I didn't buy the A6400, the extra cost for a few additional things would have been wasted money. If it has the steadyshot it might have been worthwhile. Cost of A6600 is IMO not worth it even with the better battery and steadyshot - FF would make a lot more sense
There is a tab in the menus for the play memories app, this is now defunct - seems a waste to have had this
It will be interesting this year to see if Sony do anything with APS-C, I'm still of the view most A Mount users won't particularly warm to it. I certainly don't, but I couldn't say I hate it. It's just as if it's come from an entirely different development team.
Video quality is good, but shooting more 4K - it does heat up, not yet to the point it has shut down (a firmware did allow an extra high heat warning)
Performance with the LAEA4 is quite good, though the lack of AF assist means it can't match the A77 or A99, the A77ii can beat it for low light focus levels
Electronic shutter I'm using it quite a bit, I like it. However long term the A6300 will have to justify it's existence ie as a test camera for lenses and other things, if so I will hang onto it. If not I think we'll be parting ways in a few months. It's less about the small size (IMO the grip design isn't nearly as good as it could be), but the layout is just nowhere near as intuitive as the A Mount bodies. You can get used to it, to a degree. It is never enjoyable, merely functional.
Using the A6300 further and comparing the IQ to the A77ii, I can't see any obvious difference in terms of DR, there is some improvement in low light as expected as there is no light sucking SLT mirror.
What I do notice is the AWB in daylight is consistently "cooler" on the A6300, not really a problem as such just the out of camera shots seem a bit more pleasing on the SLT one due to this. I previously found the A57 to be a bit off on the AWB in daylight (some shifts) not hugely but enough to see it was for some strange reason not as good for AWB as the first A77
Metering the A6300 has a tendency to somewhat overexpose in multi segment metering. We're not talking D7000 crazy overexposure here, but I often find myself dialing it back down 0.7EV, I don't often make adjustments to the A77ii in daylight perhaps -0.3EV in hard lighting
Again nothing there to scare people away, just something I noted
The card write LED is probably in the dumbest position ever conceived on a camera, on the bottom so you will never ever see it unless it's on a tripod pointing downwards, they might as well not have bothered including it! Despite this I am playing around still and using the electronic shutter for tests/reviews I am making and for that it's doing a reasonable job.
It's a Jekyll and Hyde camera if there ever was one a capable machine/sensor wrapped up in a crushingly mediocre designed body. If I could shoehorn that sensor in the 5d body it would be a winner. One reason I've been using the 5d more and more,despite it's old tech it just feels good in the hand/comfortable and secure
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