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A Camera that Defies Expectations

Started May 14, 2014 | Discussions thread
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A Camera that Defies Expectations
May 14, 2014

There are some cameras that defy expectations. For me that would be the Sony A6000. There may be others.

The Sony A6000 is the successor to the NEX series of cameras. Now the NEX was always a pretty good camera, especially for novices. It is lightweight and had lots of features that make it rather easy to use. The A6000 improves on the original NEX series by introducing a vastly improved hybrid autofocus. Happily, they kept the superb APS-C sensor from the NEX.

The reason it defies my expectations is that I have always believed in the primacy of lenses. Invest in glass, not metal, has been my motto. In that regard, the A6000 would be a poor choice. The E-mount system by Sony has nary a f/2.8 constant zoom, and even the primes are somewhat lacking (the fastest prime is f/1.8 and the price for these primes are high by industry standards). Having been used to the Canon system, it was quite an adjustment to realize that there simply isn't the range of lenses that Canon has at any price (unless using an adapter), and the ones that are available can cost 50% more than the Canon equivalent.

Since selective subject focus and ability to stop motion are rather important to me, this would suggest the Sony system to be a poor choice even if the A6000 itself is a great one. However, to my great surprise the Sony A6000 performs quite admirably even with the kit lens (a 16-50mm standard zoom with aperture ranges 3.5-5.6). This isn't a terrible configuration but what is surprising is the quality of images that I get and the high percentage of keepers with what seems like an unimpressive setup. Is this the excellent Sony sensor coming to the rescue of unimpressive glass? Or is the glass better than the specifications would suggest?

I don't know the answer to these questions. As I mentioned, I would not have bought the A6000 based on what I know of the specs. I do not expect fast AF and APS-C sensor to compensate for the lack of quality lens. But after using it for a while, I find myself being drawn into the system, and the A6000 just might replace the J1 as my mirrorless camera of choice.

Nikon 1 J1 Sony a6000
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