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Saturday, 08 October 2016


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Best wishes for the treatment. Feel better ASAP.

Betrayal is a harsh word, but corporate espionage might be more the message.....or the lack of it. How did all of the "Rumor" sites and bloggers (tee hee) miss the predictions on the A6300 and the feature predictions and the A6500 totally release of 6 months later, in fact, with those features now included. These Sony people are way too much spending on confidentially agreements, (Attorneys) when they would better the consumer.

You defended your rapidly developed "addiction" to the A6500 and its IBIS exceedingly adroitly! Now go get well, be well and stay well (human body stabilization!). You give me great pleasure reading your blog almost daily but you gotta put yourself first. Best of luck as always to ya!

I do want to make an IBIS point here: I've always wanted it too and "have it" via a tripod. I've wanted lighter and stronger tripods as age has overcome me and, to a degree, my wishes have been granted.

But presently, at 73, I just want to jettison the tripod completely (or at least most of the time) because I still move far from my car and hate hefting that weight. Not only has in-body & optical stabilization improved, so has high ISO performance, among other things. I'm helped in that some of my nature photography is literally "enhanced" a little by my personal taste for what I'll call a "painterly" effect introduced by high ISO. A liability turned into an asset! So, the bottom line is I really get your desire for IBIS.

I have to applaud Sony's offering as well, not just for the feature set, but for breaking their self-imposed prohibition against putting pro video features into consumer cameras. At least on paper, the a6500 has serious video chops--really everything most working videographers would need from a camera.

For me, the big compromise/concern with Sony's mirrorless cameras has always been hand feel and ergonomics rather than file quality. They've always felt to me more like electronic devices than like cameras--far more so than other makes. I'm skeptical that this will change with the a6500, but I'm hoping.

Now, for me, spot metering was the feature that busted me loose from the Nikon system for my first excursion with Olympus (1987-1994, a pair of OM-4Tis). Especially with the multi-spot metering there it was irresistable; it seemed to me to promise near-zone system levels of exposure care in mere seconds (well...ignoring alternative processing).

The Fuji mirrorless has never seemed that attractive to me, though. Just another APS-C, and I bailed on that at the SLR level some years ago. But specific lenses, plus of course the really hot stabilization for video, caught me for Micro Four-Thirds (it was supposed to be just my point-and-shoot but with better low-light performance, replacing a Fuji F11 and then a Panasonic LX-3, but it gradually took over everything except the sports and serious low-light, plus enabled my dive into video).

People have very different needs or habits, don't we?

Hope every thing goes well for you, and you're back behind the viewfinder and computer very soon. In the meantime, dreaming about how IBIS will expand the usefulness of your favourite lenses will help you relax – at least it works for me!

Best wishes

Will the new 'Gold' standard for mirrorless video,fuji xt2, https://www.cinema5d.com/fujifilm-xt2-vs-sony-a7s-ii-best-mirrorless-video-camera/ be replaced by the a6500 sony so soon ? the pies are in the oven now...:)

Feel better soon, Mike!

Looks to me like you have found your perfect camera. Enjoy it. Please report.

All the best with your upcoming challenge. But I'm really not that sure that your habits are all that settled...

Hope you will recover soon and will be in great shape again to do what you love best: take pictures and write on your blog.
Take your time, we will be patiently wait for you

Break a leg.

From the perspective of an "active" 74: these things begin to happen more frequently as senior-hood approaches. Just go with the flow, accept it as the price of trying to live forever. Best wishes with whatever it is.

Hope the medical treatment goes well, Mike. Get well soon.

Be young, be foolish, be happy! And be well.

I wish you a full and speedy recovery.

Bottom line, Mike, is you don't have to defend your needs or requirements to us or anyone else. Your needs are as valid as anyone else's and if the A6500 is going to work best for you, more power to you.

Hope you feel better soon.

Actually quite like that and will get it if it has IBIS 3 years ago ... Still tempt for a second but practicality rule it out. All my better lens are Nikon or M3/4.

Just get a D500 yesterday for concert photography. Would like to have IBIS as well but after all these years waiting I was doggie trained not expect too much.

But using that unlimited cache like swimming in the sea instead of in the pool and hence whatever kill your money will kill it.

Gotta agree Mike, 5 axis IBIS is a huge deal, several months back in preparation for the European trip I am now on (but sadly in the last few days) I looked carefully for options to replace my aged travel camera kit.
I really wanted to go with the Sony APSC as I had several nex lenses, adapters etc and knew the system like the back of my hand. The lack if 5 axis IBIS on the A6300 sent me down the path of the Oly EM5 mk 2.

I have shot in the dark, very dim Churches, Cafes and much more, surprisingly even at speeds of 1 sec without the encumberment of a tripod, pretty much every shot is perfectly sharp. 5 axis IBIS inspires photographic confidence and for my needs its lack is a deal breaker.

A tripod is just not practical for my holiday needs, my wife and I have walked over 460k over the last month (who wants to carry heavy gear and a tripod that distance) but more importantly in most tourist locations you cannot practically use one, there are just too many other people around to trip over it (with disastrous consequences) and many places they are rightfully banned anyway.

No IBIS, no sale!

Mike wrote, "The more logical and obvious the changes you want might seem to be, the less likely they will become reality."

In a competitive market, if something is both logical and obvious and hasn't been done it's probably because it is difficult and expensive to do. Maybe impossible.

And sometimes the manufacturer is just ... ignorant.

Wishing you a rapid recovery and a grand time with the A6500 plus whatever glass you can find for it.

The model number seems off, though. A6000, A6300 and now A6500? What's next A6600?

Or is the shorter numerical gap due to the minor (?) upgrades designed to snare yipsters and vidsters?


Best of luck with your medical treatment, Mike. I hope it goes well.

I also yearn for IBIS. As I get older, my shutter speeds get faster. I was talking to a former newspaper colleague sometime ago and he reminded me of how I had been able to shoot night time news photos at unbelievably slow shutter speeds. I did it to balance on camera flash with the ambient light in the background so there was at least some detail instead of just blackness. At the time being steady was relatively easy. Today, not at all.

The Olympus Evolt system I used for a time was what hooked me on IBIS. Canon's OIS worked well too but I only owned a couple of lenses that had that feature. Now that I'm mainly using Fuji, the Olympus system is retired and Canon is now secondary, I find the lack of stabilization to be Fuji's main limitation for me. Still I'm sticking with Fuji. I love the lenses and the various cameras, especially the X100 series. Fuji came along with sale prices just at the time I had a little extra cash for new gear so I overspent and built a nice system. Although they appear to be locked into OIS in zooms, I'm hoping for--at the least--a future X100 with IBIS.

I completely agree with your comment about waiting for a camera maker to produce exactly what "I want" AND what I think the market wants/needs.

And yes, it's been something like, since the dawn of digital photography that we've been waiting... Alright to be fair, Canon did deliver a DSLR with all the goodies back in the mid '00s, but it developed some AF hiccup. And maybe Fuji was–oh nevermind. Its been "forever" since a camera came out with all the goodies!

Be well soon, Mike.

"But an A6300 with IBIS and the Zeiss 24mm...should be just right. I can only hope the files look as good as Fuji's, or not too much worse."

I've looked at a lot of Fuji and Sony RAW files. I suspect that, to be happy with the Sony raw files, hoping may not be enough. I think you will need someone that you know and trust who is very good at creating camera profiles for Lightroom.

I make my own camera profiles using a variety of tools. This is a part of the hobby that I really enjoy, but I wouldn't rate myself as "very good" at it. One thing I have learned is that a good camera profile can make an enormous difference, both in color and tonality.

Hope your week goes well for you Mike.

Crossing my fingers the A6500 is everything you need it to be.

Hope all goes well!

Nowadays, we have an abundance of good cameras. The Internet is full of fanboys nitpicking on competitors' offerings, but truth is that all companies make very capable devices. We each then come to choose our cameras based on some relatively specific preferences. Personally, I feel that Sony has some sweet sensors, their aps-c blew me away already with the Nex-7 and nowadays the are "real" Zeiss lenses with AF available (though the Loxia 35 is so sweet only price keeps me from getting it).

I don't think a6300 owners were betrayed either; the a6500 is introduced as a more expensive model and the a6300 still works in its intended role. It also needs to be remembered that there are subjects to shoot out there everyday and an upcoming camera isn't going to take pictures right now.

Welcome to the Dark Side.

[I've been there before Alex!


Several times in fact. --Mike]

The Nex 6000 series never appealed to me at all.
They just don't look like they have any historic camera DNA to them at all, more like pure digital devices.
They may be amazing cameras though which is my loss.
I'd love to hear more about your brief flirtation with the Gx8 and what it was that didn't appeal about it.

Firstly Mike ... Though I and others over this side of the pond will miss you. Take your time and be well!
The Sony has always looked logical to me but I cant get to like the design. It looks so awkward ...though in truth the A series feels better in the hand than its looks would credit. So many improvements make little difference to me but IBIS is one. Also so is focusing and taking a photo from time to time using screen.
I love the small size of the EM5 and am off to the English Lakes with the 12-40 the 17/1.7 60 macro and 9-18 in a tiny bag. However there are limitations and last week photographing our local blacksmith Dave Denford in his forge in poor light it was SO much easier with a pentax K5 than the Olympus. I do belueve APSC does have significant advantages.

As you approach 60 which I now see disappearing through my rear view mirror can I recommend a FAB read. Travels with Epicurus: Meditations from a Greek Island on the Pleasures of Old Age .... Recommended to me .... Many lessons on appreciating autumn in ones own life as well as the time of year..

Be well soon

Regarding the Sony -- there have been a number of posts on the DPReview m43 forum about the fate of Olympus and Panasonic after the most recent Sony announcement. One guy got sick of them and posted that he was lucky, because his olympus E-M1 was still working fine despite the Sony announcement (and the imminent appearance of the E-M1 II). Someone had to take up the challenge: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58461763

ON FOOD: I just remembered something you might like, Mike, in warm salads and stews. Green pawpaw (papapya). Dice it and cook fairly lightly, to taste, like, say, squash. It's actually pretty amazing; adds body and doesn't taste anything like pawpaw.

All the best in the "haus sik", Mike. Just relax and heal. We'll be here, when you get back, revved up and ready to enjoy your columns all the more for the break.

Cheers, Geoff

That was actually "papaya". I hold the world record for typos/minute.

Cheers, Geoff

Looking forward to having you back feeling well soon Mike - note that "well" comes before "soon". Investment in your health (i.e. looking after your body and mind) follows the same principle as investing in your photographic vision (Peter Turnley's workshop): in both cases the dividends are worthwhile and tangible.

Sony are class leaders when it comes to ticking the check boxes on buyers' wish lists.

They are also incredibly proud of their corporate heritage as an innovative company. Since buyers usually wish for next-level features, this becomes a natural playground for Sony innovation.

The result should be a match made in heaven, and indeed, more than any other company, it seems that Sony's top-shelf product releases trigger a spate of soul-searching by photographers who are using other brands but hearing the Sirens' call.

Good on Sony. I think we are all grateful for their presence in the camera market, for what they have achieved, and for what their competitive pressure has created.

And yet, to continue the analogy with the myth of the Sirens, it seems that among the continuous stream of hypnotically entranced photographers marching into camera stores while holding their fully-ticked wish lists (and Mike, is that you I see approaching in the distance?), there is a significant number who seem to snap out of their reverie once they handle, hold, or own and work with the cameras themselves. The files are rarely the issue; it is more the user experience.

And of said user experience, sometimes the (literally) disenchanted have cold and clear issues to complain about in camera operation or performance, but at least as often it seems to be their inability to make that connection between man and machine that sometimes says 'this is the one for me, I am seamless with it in my hands: imperfect be thee but connected to me'. I close with E.M. Forster, "Only connect".

Get well again soon. Best wishes.

Having spent years throwing laundry lists of improvement requests at Pentax (and being ignored), I finally just gave up and switched to Fuji mirrorless.

Now I have a new list of improvements; they're just different ones. But I'm older, and wiser, so I mostly just complain under my breath instead of making the list public or sending it to Fuji.

That doesn't mean I don't pray to the gods on Mount Fuji that I might one day get an AF button that works outside of Manual Focus mode, or that the low shutter speed limit in Auto ISO isn't overridden by the camera.

So, Fuji has no plans to incorporate IBIS?

[They've said they don't, but then at one time Nikon said they would stick with APS-C and not go FF. So ultimately it depends what the market demands. --Mike]

I'd say the same about the G82½±2½ and/or GX8: my ideal camera with the right features. As a Pentax user the splashproof/IS in a small form factor (and without the baffling Olympus menu system) hits a sweet spot for me. Sadly I am not camera-comfortable; perhaps after the refinance just short of Christmas? Your earlier GX8+12-60 would be most suitable if the G-eightysomething is not.

Get well soon, Mike - I'll be looking for the new posts..

Hi Mike,

Best wishes with your health. You have been doing a lot of things to remain healthy and I hope these efforts are paying off.

Your GF1 story resonates. Mine is still in daily use by my daughter. A really good camera, and a solid foundation that could have been great. Panasonic lost me there.

I'm really glad your dream camera and lens combination is available to you. Mine arrived a few years ago (a Fuji and a few primes) and it was worth the wait. Enjoy. You deserve the fun and wonderful photographs that will result.

One thing I didn't think about before today was that the IBIS in the a6300 is likely to work better than in the A7II simply because the sensor is less than half the size, thus less mass to move around making faster reaction possible in the stabilization mechanism. Another advantage is lower power requirements from both the sensor and the IBIS, which is particularly significant as Sony uses the same batteries in aps-c and full frame mirrorless cameras. It will be interesting to see how this works out in practice.

All my best for a speedy and uneventful healing.

A quick note to those who don't like the "look" of Sony RAW files in Lightroom: try Capture One Pro (currently version 9.x). There's a free "Express" version for Sony users that'll give you an idea of how things look. It's actually quite capable for a freebie, but if you want things like correction layers and keystone correction, you'll have to upgrade to the Pro version. There's a 30-day free trial of the Pro version so you can check that out too. The interface can seem a bit opaque coming from Lightroom, but once you "get" it, it can be even more versatile.

I've had it with Lightroom. Great program, know it inside-out, but am just not happy with the direction Adobe has chosen. And I really like the way Sony files "look" in Capture One Pro.

The equivalent of A6500 and Zeiss 24 lens has been available for a while: A7II and Zeiss 35 f1.4.

There's always going to be another "perfect" camera around the corner ....

That said, my preferred kit for the past two years (a lifetime in today's photography market!) has been the Olympus E-M1 which means I've been able to enjoy the benefits of 5-axis stabilization for those two years. And Olympus is always refining it. Maybe 16-Megapixels in a micro 4/3rds sensor isn't enough, but it suits my needs just fine.

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