About 3 months ago, I brought a Sony a6000 kit because it was on sale (About 550 Euros) to replace my Nikon D7000. Now when I look back I can totally see that I did not really think about if I need a new camera, just that I have read the reviews online, plus it was on sale. And after a few day trips, I guess I have made the right decision, but I am also not 100% sure about it.
The biggest reason why I was looking for a new camera is because one time I time I brought the D7000 + 18–105 to like a day trip or something, I feel stupid to whip out a ~1kg big block of black object and stand in the middle of the road to take some photos, and then put it back in. I end up just carrying this block of awesome gadget in my backpack for the whole day. After that I start looking for better camera and I fall in love with mirrorless camera, especially the Sony ones. I don’t think the Canon mirrorless is bad, but I guess my inner Nikon instinct affects my judgement a little bit; I thought about m4/3 from Olympus or Panasonic but the thought of having a smaller sensor just does not excite me; I would love to try Fujifilm but all of their camera are relatively expensive and most of them have a retro vibe to how they look, which I don’t really like (Remember, one reason why I want a new camera is to be more discreet and I don’t really get the old school camera style and stuff). That basically leaves me Sony, which keeps pumping out crazy good camera like the whole a7 series, while the older models are surprisingly affordable (turns out that’s because their lens are often more expensive), and a6000 probably has one of the best price/how much I like it.
Now, after a half-day trip to an event call IGA Berlin 2017, and another day trip to Frankfurt, I definitely appreciate the reduced size and weight. It was small enough to put it in my jacket pocket so that my hands don’t freeze, and it makes it easier to get it out from my backpack/put more of other useful stuff in my backpack (like food or jacket or condom). However, there are also things that I definitely missed:
- Dual SD card slot. I like the idea of “your picture will be safe unless you drop your whole camera into the water than it is just your fault” in a camera
- More buttons, easier control. Having more buttons on a camera just makes things much easier to use.
- A record button that is not in a crazy place. WTF are you thinking Sony? Please tell me the reason why you put that button on the side of the camera is because you guys are running out of space, instead of “Oh we tried other places and that is the best place to put it”. No one in the right mind thinks that is a good place to put a freaking record button!
- Comes with all the necessary accessories: flash mount cap, battery charger (not camera charger), a strap that does not cut into my flesh, you know, the usual.
- I don’t know if there is some problem with my card or what, but the image saving takes a really long time!?
And there are also things that surprisingly does not bother me (too much):
- Battery life. Usually when I take the D7000 I don’t even need to charge it for a multi-day trip with just one battery, and for the a6000 I cannot do that, but it is still definitely enough to last me for 1 whole day with like 20–30% juice left. I guess that’s because I am already used to turning off the camera right after I took the picture. Yes the start-up time on the a6000 is not that great (because it has to fire up the lens and everything), but it is still mostly acceptable for me. Your milage might vary.
- Kit lens. I kinda have an idea of what I am getting myself into with this tiny kit lens: it takes time to fire up; the electrical zoom mechanism means when I am trying to zoom there will always be some delay; and the optics probably is not going to be great. But so after after editing about 500 photos on Lightroom, they are mostly good enough and the most annoying stuff like lens distortion and vignetting can be easily dealt with.
- EVF. From what I can tell I will still prefer OVF’s quality more in the next few years, but this EVF is definitely not too bad, and the added benefit of it capturing all the info directly from the sensor with all the adjustment for the current exposure settings kinda helps when constructing a shot.
So I guess the conclusion is that the a6000 is “Good Enough”, but I will be keeping both camera, with a6000 being the primary camera and the D7000 as spare (or when I really want to use my 50mm f/1.8D to do some low-light or need some bokeh). Hopefully in a few yeas I can take similar quality photos from a smartphone, so that I can have finally stop wasting my money on cameras. It is definitely an expensive hobby.