Second look at the Sony

Okay so I’ve used the a6000 a bit more in varying conditions and not always the best weather. Sunshine is occasional around here and when it is clear it gets cold. That’s as may be.

I’ve found a couple of things I don’t like. The first is that the SD card is right up against the hinge side of the access door, which makes it very difficult to remove/replace. Oh sure you’re supposed to use the wifi connection or a USB cable to download your pictures. No thanks. I like being able to change cards. It’s one thing to grasp the simple economics of putting it with the battery under one bottom door (unlike certain other cameras that give memory a separate, side-access compartment as it should be). It’s quite another to grasp that tiny card with big fingers and wiggle it in/out when it’s so close to the door. Something is going to break there. Beyond my patience.

Another problem is the camera’s tiny size. The pad of my thumb keeps hitting the controls on the back and suddenly it thinks I want to change the ISO or it brings up one of the other functions connected with the various buttons which on this camera are quite close to the edge. Along that same line, the knurled adjustment knob on top which is easily moved with the thumb when in shooting position is right next to the ‘PASM’ knob which is also easily moved with the thumb – when you’re trying to adjust the other. Like so many things these days it is not designed for operation by people with large hands.

I’ve had some trouble with the EVF too, in that it needs a proper eye cup to block light when the sun is low and coming from the side. Likewise the fold-up LCD isn’t much good as a waist-level finder because the automatic eye-detection is too close to your body then, blocking the light that triggers it. I’m sure there’s a menu option somewhere to turn that off.

So let’s see how the lens evaluation went. I’d rate it as “good”, but not “very good” and certainly not “excellent”. That power zoom switch is a nuisance, and I kept forgetting to use the zoom ring. Two ways to do one thing is redundant, and redundancy is only needed as a safety against failure (which this isn’t). Let’s look at the pictures:

It can be artistic in B&W. But then so can the Lumix ZS60.
“I am big. It’s the pictures that got small!”
Wild rose. Medium sharpness.
Segment of the previous shot at 100%.
There’s a bird.
Again a segment of the previous shot at 100%.

Let’s discuss the last two images. My intention for this camera was to use it for ‘birding’, hoping the 24MP sensor would allow enough digital zooming to make up for the limited lens range. Now if you know birds you can see from the segment that is a bald eagle. But you wouldn’t want to hang that picture on your wall. The kit lens only goes to 50mm (75mm equivalent). The full size frame of the picture looks sharp enough, but that sharpness vanishes when cropped this much. How much could we get away with? Good question. At any rate this lens is clearly inadequate for the task. Lenses are available up to 200-ish mm (300mm equivalent) and I have an experiment planned to see how that works before plonking down the outrageous price for one.

One more picture with this lens to see how it does on close-up:

Rose thorns again.

Unremarkable.

Oh yes, I almost forgot: there is already dirt on the sensor (a more frequent problem with mirror-less than with DSLR cameras).

(Note: this post and the next one are pre-planned as I’m going in hospital for a procedure and probably won’t be up to doing much for a while.)

One thought on “Second look at the Sony

  1. I don’t think the kit lens on the Sony is rated very high. Had Sony put a better lens on the camera it would be more popular even than it is. I tried it with the 50mm 1.8 and like you I found the sensor noisy above 800 ISO.

    My walkabout camera – Fuji X-E3 – is about the same size. The SD card slot is hard up against the hinge of the door that houses the card and the battery. Twice now I have pressed the card to release it, and the card has sailed out onto the floor. Yet there is no way to cup the card to prevent it launching into space because it requires just one finger to find that spot between the door hinge and the battery. Other than that it’s a nice camera.

    Like

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