Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
locke42
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to mfahim27753, 4 months ago

I use an A7 + Zeiss 55mm/1.8 combo for my (admittedly very beginner) street photography. I also have an RX100m2 which I got last year (also for the purposes of street photography). Here are a couple of things I noticed

  • The shutter sound is immaterial. Unless you're in a place that's really sound sensitive, there will usually be many other things making much louder sounds that the A7's shutter will just blend in.
  • People will (usually) ignore someone with a camera that doesn't look like you bought it from Best Buy (e.g. overly stylized mirrorless cameras, point & shoots, budget-level DSLRs, etc.). Maybe it's just because I'm in LA, but the assumption seems to be if you have a professional-looking camera, then you have a business reason to be taking pictures. But if you have an obviously consumer-oriented camera, then it's more likely to be assumed that you're a tourist (if taking pictures of surroundings) or a creeper (if taking pictures of people).
  • I feel like people who are TRYING to be discreet are, in some ways, more conspicuous. I think that your intentions are reflected in your body language, and if you look like you're not trying to be discreet or deceptive in your intentions, people will subconsciously give you the benefit of the doubt and continue about their business, allowing you to capture them. That said, you still don't want a gigantic DSLR for street photography. IMO, the A7+55mm is just about perfect; it can't be mistaken as a consumer-grade camera that creepers might use for creepshots, but it's also much much smaller than a DSLR kit.
  • I highly recommend using a prime. After a while you start to "see" the framelines of your chosen focal length naturally, allowing you to compose a shot in your head before ever raising the camera to your eye. You can then keep your camera slung behind you (and thus hidden from view) until you need to take the shot. Primes are also much smaller than zooms.
  • I actually don't like to use the articulating screen for street. This is related to the previous point: I've gotten used to framing for 55mm in my mind, and when I take a shot I just quickly raise my camera to my eye and snap it. Using anything but an eye-level VF requires very different framing, which requires more time composing on the camera than in my head, which means more time using my camera, which means a higher chance of being noticed. This is the same reason I never quite got into using my RX100m2 for street photography.

mfahim27753 wrote:

Hello everyone,

I am thinking of purchasing a camera for casual walk out and about and for street photography. I have Nikon D800e but that and a lens is not very suitable for street photography, as it attracts attention anywhere I take it. Not that I like to show off but it is a problem for street photography where I really don't want any attention.

So I was thinking of getting a NEX camera, but now that the A6000 came out, as well these small little full frame cameras, I am a bit confused between these two models. I can just about stretch my budget to get a A7 with 28-70 kit lens, or I can get an A6000 with either 16-50 or 18-55 lens.

So I want your advise, and what would you choose for street photography? Both has articulated screen which is a major plus for street photography.

Please advise. I really appreciate your input.

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