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Wednesday, 12 May 2021


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I'm a bit surprised you liked this camera, Mike. I know I've enjoyed using this body style for some years. But you're typically a fan of the old-tried-and-true-slr-style-bristling-with-knobs-and-buttons-if-it-don't-look-like-a-camera-it-ain't-no-real-camera guy. But those NEX-type bodies quickly become like prosthetic devices. (BTW, I think the A6500 has apparently been officially discontinued today.)

RENTING cameras and lenses from LensRentals has just become standard practice for me during the past few years. It's a model that was not readily or widely available just a few years ago. But it's powerful. I've done lots of business with LensRentals and never once have they disappointed me. Plus their service has often saved me lots of money (by avoiding costly buying errors).

I've owned a series of Sony NEX and A6XXX cameras that I use as carry-around point-and-shoot devices. They occupy the IQ, size and complexity spaces between my phone and my (non-Sony) DSLR. And in this role they have been terrific.

My brain ran out of room for more than one set of camera commands/controls several years ago.

Dear Mr,Johnston,
a shot for the Dog costs 60$ in Switzerland,
one of the most expensive Countries.
Kind regards

"I really want someone to switch camera setup to interactive screens online which you then transfer to the camera."

I had to stop reading to comment what a brilliant idea this is. That or a phone app--same idea (does this really not exist yet?). The best thing about it IMO is the potential to allow customization; and not just colors and fonts, but menu design: categories and hierarchies, depth, help level, confirmation, presets, etc. etc.

“screens online which you then transfer to the camera. That way everything could be explained adequately and systematically. Cameras are just too complicated now for paper manuals and mazes of menus.”

I have never understood why this was not done long ago. I would like to not only set up the options, but remove all the menu clutter (video modes, etc) that I don’t want to see. It’s not as if the makers think the camera is independent of the computer – need to transfer the card somehow – and most cameras now even have some sort of near field communications, so not even a cable is needed.

I've never used a Sony camera, but is the menu system as obtuse as that of Olympus? I had one once. If ever there was a camera that would make me swear ...

As for that focus tracking magic: I just tested it on my Samsung Galaxy S10, tapped on the focus object, moved the phone around until the object was out of frame, then back in, and the focus frame was still on the object. It's not going to happen this year, but it won't be long before my image count swings to majority smartphone.

You may love the Sony a6600. But I’m sticking with Nikon. I am planning on getting a Z50 at some point. Maybe a Z6, if I can get one at a good price.

What a dilemma. It’s good to note however that the vast majority of potential camera buyers do not have an option to check out a camera for a week. And in fact with so few full service camera stores left most of us cannot even hold one in our hands before it is bought, sight unseen, and delivered to our door.
Probably a good thing as it saves us from overspending our budget and, it is less likely we will be dissatisfied with what we already own.
Personally, a ‘bottom feeder’, which in digital means buying used, two to four models old. Have (my only digital except for phone) practically a dinosaur in a Olympus EM10. My lust is directed toward only a mark II version of same, basically because of a higher rez viewfinder and five axis IBIS. But dang, used prices are still way high, at least compared to the mark 1 version.

Adding a specific point to your comments on the A6600, the eye-autofocus capabilities that match the A9/A9II are a HUGE benefit of this camera.

The autofocus in general is great. But the eye-autofocus of the A9/A9II rendered the way I shot with Nikon and previous Sony bodies for 22 years obsolete. The A6500 was also a great camera, but was not capable of this new tech that was a complete gamechanger. It was an easy decision to upgrade from the 6500 to the 6600 for the eye-autofocus alone. If you photograph people, eye-autofocus is a non-negotiable feature of any camera at this point. If it's not, I would bet a lot of money that you haven't used a Sony camera or a body from another manufacturer that has a great eye-af system.

Online settings config.? That is the best idea ever.

Or, having you or Thom Hogan sit down with them and their current models. Patiently go through the ergonomics and menu system and fix them. Once and for all.

I can dream, can't I?

Audiophile Mike doesn't know that a switch for an audio signal would be in "Audio Settings"? I don't know how you will live that one down. :)

The bane of menu systems is right up there with a colonoscopy and people who get in the 10 item or less grocery line with a full shopping cart, as things that I loathe. Pure speculation on my part, but why can't cameras be enabled with voice recognition? Heh Siri, F5.6 please. It seems things like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, metering(Siri spot metering please)and EV could be doable. Maybe, algorithms are already being written?Enquiring minds want to know.

I guess US canine vaccination costs mirror human health cost. U.K. vaccinations are around £60 for puppies and £30 for 2-3 year boosters. We don’t need rabies jabs of course and maybe US has a much longer list of diseases than we have, besides rabies.

I like the idea of configuring the camera, including all the various display modes, online, and transferring the settings to the camera.

You can imagine the whiners, though:
"You need a computer just to go through the menus!

MikeR, I know what you mean - and I am, broadly speaking, an Olympus enthusiast: check the posting name. Things went downhill at Olympus when they skipped the E-2, built an unnecessarily large, heavy and uncomfortable E-3 and then abandoned DSLRs altogether.

I use an Olympus E-420. It is a gem of a camera. Put a 16mp or 20mp sensor in it and it would be competitive now.

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