This past year, I learned about a new mirrorless system, that honestly is beginning to give the big camera companies (Nikon and Canon) a run for their money. Sony has made video cameras for years; but when they started getting into digital photography, it wouldn’t be long before they started making cameras that were highly video friendly; well, that was the plan. The one that interested me the most was probably the more affordable one, the Sony a6000. I purchased a used one (body only) from B&H Photo to try. It was only $420.
I became aware than Canon CPS would stop servicing the Canon 1D Mark III cameras in May 2016 and have been looking at a viable replacement solution. The 1D Mark IV has been an option, then the new 7D Mark II has caught my attention as well. Then I found out about Sony. The Sony a6000 has an impressive 11fps and has amazing autofocus system; but only if you use Sony glass – which is rather pricey in relationship to Canon glass.
I started out with an FD to NEX adapter, and found it brought new life to old manual focus lenses. This is really a great thing for filming, well, on a tripod. These old lenses have no stabilization, so without good support, the footage can be pretty shaky. He’s a few photos I did around the house. One additional note, the electronic viewfinder was actually pretty cool. You can see exposure and color in real time, without having to review the image after shooting.
For me, ultimately, I needed a new sports camera; but something that I could use my Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens with. I ordered an Commlite EF to NEX adapter and took it to the football field for some practice. I knew that AF worked; but very slow. I knew I would have to focus manually, loosing the AF system that seemed so amazing!
I was really looking more at the images after the game than anything. I thought overall, at 6400 and anything above, the camera just didn’t handle low light very well. It was worse (in my opinion) than my 1D Mark 3. I knew that in order to use the AF system on the camera, I’d need a Sony zoom. Currently, they offer a 70-200 f/4 FE lens; but I knew that f/4 may be pushing it. In fact, the above photos were shot at f/4 with my extender attached. Nice reach but really noisy. Oh, and manual focus. One more thing to consider, the Sony long lenses were almost twice the price in comparison to Canon EF glass in equivalent size and aperture.
Final Thoughts. After I got the camera, I started looking for forums and groups that had active people using the a6000, hoping to get some ideas. What I found is that because of the low price, the majority of what I was seeing was amateur photography. Newbies.
I had to look hard to find pros that were using the camera, posting samples. I decided to return the camera. I decided to get a 7D Mark 2 instead. So far, I am loving it. Sure, it is heavy; but it does the job I need it to do. I do still have my 6D full frame, which was my in between sports camera; now it can go back to filming, and portrait work. 2 thumbs down for the Sony a6000 from this photographer! Here’s a final shot with the new 7D2 from this past weekend!