Sunday, August 13, 2017

New Camera, New Outlook

Been awhile since I last posted.
Pretty sure nobody comes here anymore but I should keep on doing this, and more often.

My 55th birthday happened 2 weeks ago, and I finally got a new main camera.
The Sony Alpha 300 (then a used 200 when I dropped it) was made in like 2007, and I grew to loathe using it (them). The 300's sensor-shift image stabilization system was thrown way to one corner and got stuck there, so framing was a guessing game and a quarter of the image was soft.
Big, heavy, with a dim and small viewfinder. I had expected the 300's "Live View" feature to mimic my original F717, in that you could frame shots on the LCD instead of the viewfinder--even at night. But came to find out that it didn't "gain up" the screen to mirror your settings, so it was as useless at night as the viewfinder.
Also, only 10.4 megapickles.
Usable ISO was around 1600.
I liked the "look" of my bigger zoom and 50mm prime even though they are the cheapest in Sony's line, but over the years I decided that big heavy DSLRs weren't for me.
I've been looking at the Sony A6000 since it came out in 2014. I liked how it stayed in the line even after newer versions with higher #s in the name came out, and the price dropped a bit.
I liked how it was very small and light.
I liked that it didn't have image stabilization in the body, but many lenses including the "kit" lens had optical stabilization.
So we got me one from B&H Photo, ordered through the link at The Online Photographer blog so he would get a kickback to help pay for his dental work.

I went with the graphite finish because I'm tired of black, silver is too conspicuous, and white is just a fashion statement. I think it looks badass, and it does it's job SO well. 
24 mp, electronic OLED viewfinder, flip-up/down LCD screen that gains-up (which rules on a tripod at night!) and even 4K video at 60fps. 
Instead of buying more lenses for it, I'm leaning towards getting an adapter so I can use a couple of my old lenses on rare occasions. Save about $1000 that way. 
I'm glad it has a normal hotshoe for flash and triggers, as the weird Sony/Minolta shoe was a pain in the ass. 

I really love this camera, and making pictures is fun again. 

Went to The Pearl complex last weekend, where I found out how much easier this camera is to use at night. 
Had very little practice under my belt by then, but found that all the controls are very logically placed and intuitive so it was effortless right off the bat. 


Today I shot this leopard from hanging out on the fountain of a friend's pool. 

To use the best codec for 4K video requires an SDXC card of 64gb or more. 
I had written that off at first because of the cost, but then found a SanDisk of the correct specs for $30, reduced from $100. Had a giftcard, so it all fell into place. 

My first camera--Sony F717--came with a 32mb card. Megabytes! 
I soon found that every year the card capacities would double, while staying at the same price of around $35. In the F717 and later F828 I doubled every year until making it to 1gb. 
For the Alpha DSLRs I had a pair of 4gb CF cards and never needed more. 
This one uses SD, and also Sony Memory Stick Duo, so I already have some spares for stills. 

Smaller and lighter camera bags! Very nice.