Sometimes I'm asked about the cameras and lenses I use and I have posted about them occasionally over the years. Yesterday I bought a new camera for the first time in many years so here, for anyone interested, are my thoughts about it.
For the last four years the Sony NEX 7 has been my main camera with an NEX 6 as backup. I'm still really pleased with the NEX 7 and although it's a little battered now I hope it'll last quite a few more years. The NEX 6 however, whilst okay as a backup, doesn't have as good image quality as the NEX 7 nor as easy to use controls and I've never been really happy with it.
Sony replaced both the NEX 6 and 7 with the a6000 a few years ago, having dropped the NEX name. At the time I didn't think it offered enough to justify upgrading. So why have I bought one now? With a big trip coming up (more on this soon) I want two 24mp cameras (the NEX 6 is 16mp) with a lens on each so I can use them alternatively and know the results will be the same quality. I did consider the a6300, Sony's latest camera in this series, but it's over twice the price of the a6000, which is currently available a real bargain, and its main advantages - 4k video and fast shooting - are not big concerns for me. It is weather resistant but my lenses aren't so that probably wouldn't be much of an advantage. From reading many reviews it seems the image quality is only marginally better than the a6000, if at all, and that's the main factor for me. I also briefly considered the full frame A7 which costs less with a 24-70 lens than the a6300 without a lens but I'm not convinced full frame has enough advantages to justify the extra weight.
I bought the camera from Jessops in Inverness - I always like to handle cameras to be sure I'm happy with them - and must praise the assistant there who gave good advice, listened patiently to my deliberations, and didn't try and push me towards the most expensive option. That's the way to get regular custom.
|NEX 7 left, a6000 right|
So my camera kit for long trips where weight matters will now be the Sony a6000 and NEX 7 bodies plus Sony E 10-18mm and 16-50mm lenses and Velbon V-Pod tripod. On other trips other lenses may come along - Sony E 55-210mm, Sony E 30mm Macro, Samyang 12mm, Sigma 30mm.
Initial tests with the a6000 suggest the image quality is much the same as that of the NEX 7 at low ISOs, as expected. Maybe at high ISOs it'll be a little better. The controls are better than those of the NEX 6 though I think I'll miss the top dual control dials of the NEX 7. The menu system is far more user friendly than that of the NEX cameras, which involves endless scrolling. I think I'm going to like this new camera, though it'll take a while to feel as familiar with it as I am with the NEX 7.