My A6000 view from an alternate view: what I like/don't like

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zackiedawg
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My A6000 view from an alternate view: what I like/don't like
10 months ago

There's a lot of opinions flying from NEX-6 users on how the A6000 looks as an upgrade, NEX-7 owners talking about whether the A6000 can replace their models sufficiently, and lots of opinions from non-NEX shooters about the A6000 - and of course tons of comments, debates, discussions, and criticisms alike about focus speed claims, comparisons to other brands' recent models, lens availability, pro-support and other various asides.

I figured, just to toss another opinion on the fire, that I'd throw my observation out there as an Alpha DSLR and NEX shooter, looking at the A6000 as a possible upgrade for my NEX-5N, and strictly coming from the features that I consider 'likes', 'dislikes' and 'don't cares' on the A6000 for my own personal shooting style and shooting needs.  If anything, it will hopefully show that not every single shooter needs or wants exactly the same set of features.

Here are the things I would gain coming from the NEX-5N, which I would like about the A6000, assuming it works as advertised:

1. Ability to load apps to camera for functions I don't have now - primarily MFNR.  Other apps could be useful as well, but the ability to add these various upgrades is something I view as positive.

2. MFNR's ability to go up to ISO 51,200.  I use very high ISO, and very frequently.  And I find MFNR to be a fantastic tool for handheld high ISO work.  Going up to ISO51,200 might not yield the greatest results, but it makes me optimistic that results at 12,800 and maybe even 25,600 may be better than what I can get out of my NEX-5N's max now.

3. The ability to go into the menu and turn off pre-focusing.  I've prayed for this since the very first time I picked up a NEX, and it looks like it has finally arrived. Thank GOD!

4 .Ability to turn off video button in menu.  Something that had been added on the NEX6, and in firmware for the 7, but never for the 5N.  I would love to be able to reprogram it to some other function, but turning it off is the next best thing.

5. Dedicated AEL button.  Now, I have this feature now on my NEX5N because I programmed it to the right-click jog-wheel button...having a dedicated button for it leaves room to use the programmable buttons for other things, which is fine by me.

6. PDAF tracking does seem to work.  I don't much care if it's the very fastest, or best in the world - just that it actually be capable of focus tracking a subject not only across focus points, but for closing focus distance as well.  As an avid bird-in-flight photographer, I can get by on my NEX-5n by cycling the shutter button to refocus constantly in AF-S mode, but to be able to stick the camera in AF-C and actually have it adjust for closing distance like a DSLR, even if not AS fast or AS good as a DSLR, would be very nice.

7. The MR setting on the dial to save preferential settings banks.  I still would like to know how many specific settings can be stored here, but it's a nice touch even if limited.  Ideally, I'd love to be able to use it to essentially have a 'BIF' setting bank ready to go: multifocus points, AF-C, 6fps, shutter priority or aperture priority, etc.

8. 5 EV bracketing ability.  I thought the expansion to 3EV was a nice touch on newer NEXes, but now a 5EV bracketing function, and it looks to be settable to 3 or 5 frames bracketed...that's really nice and flexible.

9. +/- 5 EV range.  Again, really nice expansion, and big range!

10. Ability to shoot continuous 3/5 frames on timer...nice touch...rather than being limited only to a 2 or 10 second timer, it looks like there's now a continuous setting on the timer...maybe in combination with the bracket modes?

11. NFC.  Nice addition for linking to smart phones/computers fairly effortlessly.

12. C1 and C2 custom buttons, as well as restoring the 5 custom buttons around the jog wheel.  The jog wheel programmability is something the NEX-5N already has, but looks like it was removed on the NEX6 - and now restored on the A6000.

13. New menu structure from the A7, getting rid of NEX menus.  As a NEX lover and NEX shooter, I still hate NEX menus...always have, always will.  Anything is an improvement.  On my NEX-5N I customized as many buttons as I could just to avoid ever seeing the menu - now maybe I won't mind when I have to go in there!

14. Fn button with programmable settings.  Not too different from the 'center' button on the 5N, and familiar to the Fn button on my A580 - I like it.

Then I tried to think of what I wouldn't like or would miss from the 5N.

1. Larger body compared to my NEX-5N.  I do like how slim and small the 5N can be, and found the NEX6 bulkier.  Though to be fair, when I have the EVF attached the advantage is lost..and I nearly always have my EVF attached.

2. Tiltable EVF.  That is nice to have.

3. Lower res and slightly smaller EVF, though reviews say color and brightness may be better.  I can't say for sure how this will affect me until I've looked through it.  I love the EVF on the 5N, for manual focusing and peaking use.

Now, some have touted a few things they love, and noted some missing things that impact them greatly or they hate...many of which fall into my 'I don't care' category.  Here are the things I don't really care about:

1. 24MP - nice if it can perform well at high ISO, but I was fine with 16MP.  I can take it if it does no harm, but don't need it.

2. Built in flash - I'll never need it as I don't use flash with NEX.

3. Flash Shoe - ditto above.

4. Loss of touch screen.  I disabled it on my NEX-5N on the very first day, and never used it.  So I certainly won't be missing it.

5. 11fps focus tracking/shooting. Let me clarify - I love the AF tracking and focus speed claims, if they hold true - and the ability to track focus at 11fps is awesome if true...but I don't find much need to shoot at 11fps for my needs, so I'll most likely use the 3fps or 6fps burst modes with focus tracking.  So what's important to me is whether the camera can fairly reliably focus track a subject moving towards me at 6fps.

It's nice that they worked on and advertise the 11fps part, and maybe the development of the capability at 11fps is what made the improved PDAF come along in the first place, but I'm fine if it does it at 6fps, which is plenty for me for birds in flight.

I have yet to decide if I'll move to the A6000 - I think it'll mostly come down to those AF claims.  If they do indeed finally manage to get AF-C focus mode capable of tracking a moving subject in daylight at 6fps, then I'd be very happy to move to this camera.  There are many other features I'd love to get at...but focus is probably the turning point on the decision.

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Justin
galleries: www.pbase.com/zackiedawg

 zackiedawg's gear list:zackiedawg's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony a6000 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +24 more
Sony a6000 Sony Alpha 7 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony SLT-A58
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