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06-29-2014, 05:01 PM   #1
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Arrghh! Couldn't decide between the A7s and A6000 - finally went for the A6000

Spent all weekend agonizing whether I should get the A7s or not.

I really wanted it, but the lack of native 4K capture was the major thing stopping me.

I heard it works great with adapted lenses.

Guess I will wait for Mark II.

Ended up getting the A6000 + SEL1670Z on the rebound (around the same price for the combo as the A7s).

Trying to get my partner interested in photography and I think this will be a nice starting point. Also will make a nice vacation camera.

06-29-2014, 05:17 PM   #2
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The A6000 is pretty amazing. I shot with one a few days ago, and I can see how it could be good for a beginner, once you have it set up in the most user-friendly way. Especially with the smile-detection automatic shutter firing.

The only thing I didn't like about it (and I kind of assume you can change this in the menus) is that the image in the viewfinder is static while the buffer is clearing, so you can no longer see what is happening in front of the camera. It's only an issue when shooting in hi-speed burst mode.

It's really an amazing camera, and it's amazing what they're doing in general. My immediate thought was "the rest of the industry needs to come up with an answer for this."

I also got to shoot the A6000 with the Touitt 12mm f2.8, which was interesting.
07-01-2014, 02:02 PM   #3
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imho, in order to justify the a7s, you really have to have a need for working in low-light, because the low pixel count and no internal 4k is so limiting.

tough call, but you probably did the right thing.
07-01-2014, 02:34 PM   #4
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If the A7s had internal 4K like my GH4 and fast AF like the A6000 I would have purchased it instead of the GH4 or A7r but as it is I prefer the 36mp A7r since 24x36" prints look great using the FE Zeiss 35mm and 55mm primes.

07-01-2014, 07:55 PM   #5
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I love 2014. The Arri Alexa, the current leading camera in the high-end motion picture industry, does not shoot 4k -even with external recorders. But consumer cameras that don't shoot are "limiting." It is amazing how quickly technology progresses.
07-01-2014, 10:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
I love 2014. The Arri Alexa, the current leading camera in the high-end motion picture industry, does not shoot 4k -even with external recorders. But consumer cameras that don't shoot are "limiting." It is amazing how quickly technology progresses.
LOL

I remember when 1080p was the be all and end all - because at any reasonable viewing angle in the cinema or at home the eye can't see any more detail.

But 4K is useful for postprocessing, since it gives additional latitude for stabilisation and cropping. Buying a non-4K camera NOW would be limiting, given that the technology is already here.
07-02-2014, 05:10 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
I love 2014. The Arri Alexa, the current leading camera in the high-end motion picture industry, does not shoot 4k -even with external recorders. But consumer cameras that don't shoot are "limiting." It is amazing how quickly technology progresses.
The Arri Alexa costs $80,000 and video quality from the Panasonic GH4 is much better in 4K mode than 1080p mode . Here is a 4K UHD 3840x2160 screen capture from my GH4 video.
click here

07-02-2014, 05:59 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
The only thing I didn't like about it (and I kind of assume you can change this in the menus) is that the image in the viewfinder is static while the buffer is clearing, so you can no longer see what is happening in front of the camera. It's only an issue when shooting in hi-speed burst mode.
For any wildlife or action shooter, that's would make the camera next to useless at the most critical times.

07-02-2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
For any wildlife or action shooter, that's would make the camera next to useless at the most critical times.
If you have a fast enough memory card (eg. Sandisk Extreme Pro or Sony's memory stick), the buffer will clear in a few seconds, so it's not too bad. Sony's proprietary memory sticks used to have an advantage in that they have a parallel rather than serial connection, but the latest generation SDXC cards are even better so there's no reason to go proprietary any more.

I wouldn't really consider Sony for sports/action/animal photography - there are no good telephoto lenses. The new FE 70-200 is not fast enough, the focusing speed is comparable to the DA* 50-135 - ie. mediocre. Canon is still the brand to get for sports photography - they have a really good set of telephoto lenses and a fantastic burst mode implementation on their pro bodies.

However, fairly good results can be achieved by limiting burst mode to only a few shots at a time. It's never a good idea to hold the shutter button down for more than a few seconds, even on a pro body. Good timing and judgement is important on the part of the photographer, as always. I tend to find the shot I want within the first 2-3 shots of a burst sequence, 90% of the time.
07-02-2014, 06:31 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
If you have a fast enough memory card (eg. Sandisk Extreme Pro or Sony's memory stick), the buffer will clear in a few seconds, so it's not too bad. Sony's proprietary memory sticks used to have an advantage in that they have a parallel rather than serial connection, but the latest generation SDXC cards are even better so there's no reason to go proprietary any more.

I wouldn't really consider Sony for sports/action/animal photography - there are no good telephoto lenses. The new FE 70-200 is not fast enough, the focusing speed is comparable to the DA* 50-135 - ie. mediocre. Canon is still the brand to get for sports photography - they have a really good set of telephoto lenses and a fantastic burst mode implementation on their pro bodies.

However, fairly good results can be achieved by limiting burst mode to only a few shots at a time. It's never a good idea to hold the shutter button down for more than a few seconds, even on a pro body. Good timing and judgement is important on the part of the photographer, as always. I tend to find the shot I want within the first 2-3 shots of a burst sequence, 90% of the time.
That can be true, but, my big hope for the A7s was not for low light, but to push the shutter speed up for humming birds and things like that, I was thinking of using it with my A-400. Also for early mooring and dusk wildlife.

But then I've gotten used to my K-3 which can rattle off 3 shots before you can lift your finger off the button if you accidentally leave it on burst.

So many things to think about.
07-02-2014, 06:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That can be true, but, my big hope for the A7s was not for low light, but to push the shutter speed up for humming birds and things like that, I was thinking of using it with my A-400. Also for early mooring and dusk wildlife.

But then I've gotten used to my K-3 which can rattle off 3 shots before you can lift your finger off the button if you accidentally leave it on burst.

So many things to think about.
LOL - I leave ALL my cameras in burst mode, so I am used to being very light with the shutter finger to control precisely how many shots I take. I can manage to take just one shot in burst mode even on the Canon EOS 1D Mk IV (many people take at least 2 shots in burst mode).

Based on my limited experience with the A7s, I wouldn't really recommend it for wildlife. Yes, it has negligible shutter lag (especially in electronic first curtain shutter) and the quiet shutter could come in useful, but I don't think the focusing speed will be fast enough.

Sony claims it's faster than the A7r, but to be honest I am not really noticing a difference. The A7r is plenty fast for me, but not for humming birds I suspect. Should be okay for dusk wildlife if you are quick on the trigger.

Would I would like is a A7s Mark II with the AF from the A6000, plus a decent buffer size, and 4K capture. I told Sony that's what they need to do to get a purchase from me. According to the Sony product specialist the holdup with 4K is apparently heat dissipation on the current chipset - he said they are working very hard to address the issue.
07-02-2014, 09:10 PM   #12
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Christine, what autofocus modes do you like in the A6000? When I tried it, which was briefly, I didn't feel like I had great control over what points it was selecting, or that I could always tell where it was focusing. Based on my brief usage, I felt like Pentax has made it easier to select points.

And I wasn't dissing 4K, I like, and I have shot motion pictures on 4K cameras dating back to the original RED One. I'm just saying that if you can't make something great with a camera that isn't 4K, the camera isn't the problem. If all other factors are equal, I'd prefer more resolution to less in every case.
07-02-2014, 10:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
Christine, what autofocus modes do you like in the A6000? When I tried it, which was briefly, I didn't feel like I had great control over what points it was selecting, or that I could always tell where it was focusing. Based on my brief usage, I felt like Pentax has made it easier to select points.
My advice, for what it's worth for cameras with advanced AF (I am including Canon and Nikon since I have experience with their systems) is:

TRY AND LET GO OF THE NOTION THAT YOU NEED TO CONTROL WHAT AF POINT IS BEING SELECTED. Let the camera make the decision.

I know this is strange to Pentax users - we are used to very few focus points, and the camera seemingly choosing focus points by random. Hence the tendency to manually select a focus point, or to choose the centre focus point, and use pan and frame, leading to the potential for focusing errors.

My experience with older NEX models, as well as the A6000 (and including Canon and Nikon models) is: press the shutter button half way and see what the camera selects. Most of the time (over 75%) the camera WILL GET IT RIGHT. TRUST THE CAMERA.

On the odd occasion when the camera does not get it right, let go the shutter button, and press it half way again. The camera interprets this as "Oh, I see you did not like what I selected, let me select a different point for you." If you do this several times, the camera will cycle through potential subject targets - it's a really easy way to get it right eventually.

Now, there will be occasions where the camera simply won't select the right focus point. For me, this is usually macro shots where I am quite picky about what area of the subject I want in focus, or very busy compositions where the camera doesn't really know I just want to focus on a tiny little thing off centre. This is the time to switch focus modes to centre AF, or AF point select.

The other extreme is go manual focus and use focus peaking to determine what areas are in focus. I find (particularly using Leica lenses) often I can focus faster and more accurately than AF for difficult compositions. Don't be afraid of MF - your eyes are a better judge of what you want than a camera in some cases. Focus peaking does not deliver 100% accuracy (I use focus zoom to confirm focus) but with a bit of experience I learn what the "play" is and I can often guesstimate the correct focus from the way related areas "shimmer" without resorting to focus zooming.
07-03-2014, 04:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
TRY AND LET GO OF THE NOTION THAT YOU NEED TO CONTROL WHAT AF POINT IS BEING SELECTED. Let the camera make the decision.
For the K200D through to K5, I would have objected to that. I used centre-point AF and focus-recompose with them 95% of the time. The K3, however, is smarter, and works much as you describe. Now not only do I confidently let it choose the AF point(s) out of the 27, but I am also now much more comfortable leaving the AE metering on Auto too.

My experience of using several NEX's matches yours. I never individually select AF points on NEX. I'm not even sure I know how to do so, at a pinch. As you say, most of the time AF just works fine, and if not at once, usually on the 2nd shutter press. If all else fails, I usually go straight into manual focus.

So yes, cameras are generally getting better at AF. Driving the AF manually point-by-AF-point seems to be becoming redundant.
07-03-2014, 04:48 AM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
For the K200D through to K5, I would have objected to that. I used centre-point AF and focus-recompose with them 95% of the time.
I'm with you there, especially for macros, the 27 focus points give you a lot of flexibility in framing, and I find I rarely turn off the AF and manual focus with the K-3.

QuoteQuote:
Based on my limited experience with the A7s, I wouldn't really recommend it for wildlife. Yes, it has negligible shutter lag (especially in electronic first curtain shutter) and the quiet shutter could come in useful, but I don't think the focusing speed will be fast enough.
I find with Hummers, I use the manual focus A-400, and usually pre-focus on a spot then, only do minor adjustments. So it wouldn't have to be fast focussing. It's more the 12 MP that holds me back. I did OK with my 12 Mp K-x, but I preferred my K-5. With the K-5 to K-3 I'm not as picky. The jump from 12 tp 16 was way more important than the jump from 16-24, at least that's my take.

But then the Nikon D4s is 7k.... pretty much out of my league and I can't use my Pentax FF lenses.
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