camera gear

My thoughts on the new a6100 and a6600

As an APS-C shooter, I was interested in what Sony had to announce today. These are some of my thoughts on the new a6100 and a6600:

  • Both cameras have 1:1 aspect ratio!!! Finally, after all these years.
  • The a6100 looks like a wonderful camera, a true successor to my beloved a6000. The pricing and the feature set put it too close to the supposedly superior a6400, though. Should we expect a price decrease soon after launch?
  • The a6600 is a minor update to the a6500. Price was expected, but I was hoping for a price drop on the a6500.
  • Nice to see the Z battery making it to APS-C, but I don't understand why they didn't use it in the a6100 and a6400 as well. Now we have models within the same line that use incompatible batteries. Being able to use the same batteries is one of the greatest advantages of my combo a6000 + a6500. Maybe they see the a6600 as a b-camera to a full-frame body?

I have no need for a new camera as of right now, but if I had to buy one (for stills)... which one would it be?

To be honest, I'd just go for another a6000. At $400 is half the price of the a6100, I think it's still one of the best deals in photography. Now, it's still unclear how much they've improved the sensor and the processing capabilities. The a6000 does suffer of some banding, and it'd be nice to know those issues are fixed in the new entry-level body. With what I know now, though, I'd have to go with the a6000 as my choice.

That lens, though

Something I'd been thinking about was to add a longer telephoto lens to my system. I really like the compactness of the 55-210mm, but sometimes I just wish I had more reach. The only choice I had was the full frame 70-300mm... until today. Sony announced the APS-C 70-350mm f/5.6-6.3 lens, a very nice 105-525mm equivalent range!

I'm seriously considering it for when it comes out in November. My only concerns are the size and the weight, it is definitely bigger and heavier than my compact telephoto, and I think twice and three times before increasing the size and weight of my backpack. We'll see.

Lastly, the 16-55mm f/2.8 looks like the dream lens for APS-C cameras but it's not something I need (neither the optics nor the speed). I'm very happy with my 16-70 f/4, a slower lens but much cheaper, more compact and with longer reach.

Camera gear I use to record myself and document my work

Camera gear I use to record myself and document my work

I've talked about the importance of documenting your work before. I believe that documenting and sharing your processes and workflows can only help you to improve them.

One the mediums I choose to document and share my work is video. I've been uploading video content to YouTube for a few years now, and I've learned quite a few things on the way.

I will be sharing some advice, tips and tricks in the next few days. Today, we'll talk about the camera gear I use to make those videos.

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Photography doesn't start with a camera

While it's totally possible to get a camera and then find a subject to photograph, it's definitely much easier to find something you are passionate about and then start capturing it.

If you gave me a camera 10 years ago, I wouldn't have known what to do with it.

Instead, photography came naturally to me when I discovered my passion for the outdoors after moving to the Pacific Northwest.

A camera is a tool to capture what we see. I didn't see anything 10 years ago. I do now.

Downgrading my camera gear

I've been feeling a little bit uninspired lately. It's normal, everyone has highs and lows in photography.

When I struggle with creativity, there's one thing that almost always comes to my mind: camera gear.

"If only I had this camera or this lens... I could create something different"

I only recently realized that it's not a new piece of gear that I want to buy. I want a better version of myself, a better photographer making better images than the ones I'm making right now.

But it's not about the equipment we have, it's about the use we make of that equipment. A new camera or lens might inspire you to get out, but it will still be you who has to make the images.

A few weeks ago, I started shooting with my old Sony a6000. It's an almost 4-year-old camera, able to create beautiful images. It's always been a backup camera so I used to look down on it.

Not anymore. From now on, it will be my main camera for photography (digital, this is, the Bronica is not going anywhere!).

I also downgraded my 70-200mm big and heavy telephoto lens to the 55-210mm that came in my a6000 kit. The quality coming out of them isn't even in the same league and still, I've made more images I like with the latter. That's due to the size, weight... and also price. Being cheap means I'm more willing to risk it in rough conditions.

This kit should enable me to create most of what I want to create with my photography. Thinking otherwise has only led me to dwell and waste time looking at new gear.

Let's get out and enjoy what we have, let's get out and create something.