« The Golden Age (an Analysis of Sony's Sensor Markets) | Main | Amazon Deals »

Tuesday, 02 December 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

It would be great if you can get Obama to order the 50000 police body cameras via the On Line Photographer.

There is much less choice in this sector for those of us old curmudgeons who must use an optical viewfinder.

I would argue that this is a fantastic bargain.


The image quality is fantastic (sharing the same sensor with the whole Fuji lineup, although they did some refreshing for the XT1 and XE2), it's small and light, and it works great all around. I know because I replaced my Canon 5D2 with it. I just came back from a week of landscape photography in Utah and the camera performed admirably. And after a year using it I already have some results in my portfolio.

Even a bigger bargain, the XA1 uses a traditional Bayer array and it's very close to the performance of the XM1 (as in, indistinguishable).


And about the lens: it's surprisingly good for a kit lens. I dismissed it when I got the combo and got three (superb, as you know) primes - but the kit lens is very very good. I almost regretted getting the primes.

I would say it's one of the biggest bargains out there. A beginner friend of mine got one of the XA1s under my advice and he's been very happy about it after a year.

I may have to try that Sigma 30mm. I bought the 35/1.8 OSS as the One Lens for the A6000 (to be used for my Digital One Year), only to discover it has astounding levels of CA, much of which even Lightroom's tools can't hope to eliminate. I think I'd prefer to deal with f/2.8 and lack of IS rather than extensive post-processing (assuming the Sigma doesn't have the same shortcoming).

"...a Sony A6000, successor to the NEX-7,...

I'm not sure that that's accurate. To be sure, the A6000 is the same size as the NEX 7 and produces largely the same image file, with low-light improvements. It also brings Sony's newer user interface (much better than the NEX 7's). But it lacks the NEX 7's very handy "Tri-Navi" 3-dial control system. I don't think Sony's anointed it as a NEX 7 successor, have they?

[From what I heard the A6000 replaces both the NEX-7 and NEX-6, which makes it a true successor to neither. --Mike]

Plus One on the Sigmas, I have the older "less well made" 19mm and 30mm for M4/3rds, and they're great...I'd buy the 60mm if I could figure out what I'd use a 120 eq lens size for?

[Right Tom, I think it makes much more sense as a 90mm-e on the Sonys. --Mike]

I very nearly went with the a6000, but as it was supposed to be the 'small camera to carry on family things because the D600 + zoom is too big', the lack of a good zoom was an issue. The lenses, in general, are an issue - the good ones cost too much, and many are just disappointing, especially when everyone else in this space is putting out really amazing glass. Going the sigma and Zeiss route, along with adapters for fun, and it's a great camera - Sony is starting to get feel for what a camera should be, the a6000 and A7II seem to show how they are at least learning from the crazy product iterations. A solid 24-28ish f2ish lens for 400 or so would make for a much more attractive option.

Allow me to stray a little from the main discussion, but you wrote something that grabbed my attention: "28-45-90 is a very classical focal-length set, not quite the current fashion but very usable."
I'd say you couldn't be more right. It's a classic, time-honoured set of focal lengths. As a matter of fact, I'd go as far as to say those are the only focal lengths most photographers really need. 28 mm is a spot-on wide-angle focal length that's neither too short (thus avoiding the kind of aberrations that are more or less inevitable with anything shorter) nor too long. And it's even useable for street photography if you can get close enough. 90 mm is the traditional portrait lens, even though a 135mm prime lens can be handy from time to time.
The controversy is still going on about what the 'normal' focal length is; having tried 45mm, 50 mm and 56 mm (the latter from a 28 mm mounted on a micro 4/3 camera via an adapter), I believe 50 mm to be my sweet spot, but 45 mm is quite manageable, if a little too short for my preferences.
Are these focal lengths unfashionable nowadays? Maybe - but if the alternative is using zooms, I'll just stick to being an old fart.
It's a good thing that Sigma offers these three focal lengths. Many dismiss the DN's for being too slow, but at the prices Sigma asks for them that's nitpicking; besides, f/2.8 is usable in most conditions - and quite good for telephotos.

If that A6000 does show up under the tree, I may, as mentioned in my comment under the previous topic, end up with the 60/2.8. I currently use a 35 & 85 with my APS-C DSLR, but my previous DSLR kit included 28, 50 and 85. I use Lightroom to look at summaries of EXIF results, and found that over the couple years I had all three of those lenses, I used the 28 & 85 each just about 45% of the time and the 50 only 10% of the time (that is, out of all the shots taken with those three primes; I also use zooms). As Mike said, I find 85mm equivalent to be a minimum; I much prefer 100mm or longer for candids (85mm on APS-C is fine, though I'd happily shoot a nice 70/2 since it would fit better on a compact mirrorless body). As nice as the Fuji 56/1.2 is, it's a bit short for my taste. Some people have proposed the Zeiss FE 55/1.8 for e mount, but aside from it still being a bit short, I have a problem spending $1000 on a lens with such modest specs - to the extent the price is justified, it's justified by its performance over a 24x36mm frame, half of which is wasted on APS-C.

For me, this camera would not be intended to replace a DSLR, so AF was never really a concern. The AF on the original NEX-5 was generally sufficient, at least as far as acquisition speed. The frustrating thing was the fact that it had to reacquire focus with every shot; there was no way to lock focus over multiple shots short of switching to manual focus, and that required menu diving. So I assume I'd be content with the 60. For that matter, with focus peaking and an EVF, I might play around a little with legacy lenses. Not that those are common in the 60-70mm range.

I'm enjoying my new a6000; not much bigger than the ancient Canon G9 it's replacing. (I'm slow on the upgrade) The kit lens has issues, though software corrects many of them,JPG mainly, and in the learning phase I'm in it's size is a blessing. Two other issues; the LCD seems "delicate", and the manual is comically concise, to be gentle. There is a pretty good guide book by Gary Friedman and Ross Warner, however. Oh, and dealing with lens caps again; 6 years since I've owned ans SLR type camera. I can never remember where I put them. 8-). Just waiting for the 35 1.8 to go on sale.

Forgot to mention, Amazon has a large discount on PS Elements 13 for Prime members, and yes Mike, I just bought it and some other doo-wahs through your linxz

Yes, that is the number one bargain, and to my shame I caved.

Another big bargain right now: The Nikon D7100 package. Add the current discounts on the Nikon A and B&H's on the Ricoh GR. And the recent $400-500 discounts on the brand new Sigma DP2 Quattro.

We used to think the battle was between DSLR and mirrorless. It's not.

It's between Nikon, Canon, Sony moving up, vs. everyone else.

Is Sony buying the mirrorless market, while Olympus and Fuji stagger around at 16MP? Well, yeah.

I really wish sigma would make some full frame E mount lenses like their NEX lenses.

I've used the 30mm in my a7 a couple times and it covers about a 24x24 mm square crop. I don't know why people get so upset a out the clunk but are ok with all the slop in most autofocus lenses.

Mike, this was the conventional wisdom I had originally planned on following. It's still sound if you're a prime shooter (I am).

But, I recently got a NEX 5T and the 19mm Sigma and found I disliked the combination. Fine lens, but after using this big lens/small body camera, I began to see what some people say about the Sony NEX system's "odd" weight/size distribution. It's less about a pocketable camera and more about packable-lens, for me.

I shot with a couple other zoom lenses and also the 20mm pancake. None of the lens/5T combinations kept pace with my Canon S110 which easily equals or beats all but one NEX lens for sharpness. (And fits in a pocket.)

The final deal-breaker was that with the hood, the Sigma 19mm is almost as big as the Zeiss 16-70mm f/4.

Thus I realized that a prime lens on the NEX system didn't suit my style, so all the lenses went back except for one--I kept the Zeiss. A nice little kit for when I don't want to tote the DSLR, but want a little more than the S110.

As you've said, we have many choice these days.

I've never really liked Toyotas...but now that Canon has become the 'Toyota' of the camera world ( according to TOP which then must make it true ) perhaps its time to have another look.....(...mmmm but maybe not)

But Mike do you really perceive Canon to be THAT bland and middle of the road?? Wouldn't you say at least a Lexus perhaps, even just to spare my feelings? No? Ok then...(not that I am a fan of that either)...

Sheesh, I am beginning to feel what its like to be a Leica owner....

I had Canon DSLR gear in the 2003-2005 time period. A 10D and a brace of their better lenses. It all worked very well, and I could not fault the lenses for being poor, but I found it utterly uninspiring. The quirky little Pentax *ist DS that followed it and a few of their top lenses was much more to my liking, the Panasonic L1/Olympus E-1 and some of those stunning FT SLR lenses went way beyond that.

For whatever reasons, the NEX kit has not appealed to me as much as the modern Oly Pen and OM-D lines. The A7 as a surrogate digital Leica R body works well, but is clunky.

But, with an open mind, the A6000 seems a nice body. Perhaps with the right lens or two it would do it.

It's the a5100 that's the bargain in the UK market. No viewfinder, but a touchscreen (nice for pulling focus in video mode), and the latest video codec a la other recent Sony cams. BTW I have a Sigma 19mm f/2.8. Unlike on my departed NEX6, it uses PDAF in a tiny central portion of the screen, lighting up 5 PDAF points in AF-C. Outside of this zone, it's slow and clunky CDAF. From what I can recall, the same lens was CDAF only on the NEX6.

I can't remember a nicer kit. An A6000 and all three Sigma DN lenses really works the treat.

I'm glad Sony put a std hotshoe on that foetid thing. My (by comparison) large, massive (as in mass) 5D MkII/24-105L studio kit has been kicked to the curb and sold. My arms and fingers thank me each and every shoot now.

Even with contrast detect AF the Sigs focus quickly and accurately. Even under somewhat low studio lighting conditions.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007