Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7

Started 5 months ago | Questions
mfahim27753
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Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
5 months ago

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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MarsObserver
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to mfahim27753, 5 months ago

I think the biggest difference between the A7 and A6000 for street may be low-light and AF performance.

If you shoot in low-light the A7 would definitely be the way to go.

If you need fast AF then the A6000.

I would think that you'd want the ability to shoot in low light, and that you'd probably use MF for street so.. the A7?  And the 35mm f2.8 Zeiss when you can afford it.

Just my 2 cents  

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Ynos
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to MarsObserver, 5 months ago

MarsObserver wrote:

I think the biggest difference between the A7 and A6000 for street may be low-light and AF performance.

If you shoot in low-light the A7 would definitely be the way to go.

If you need fast AF then the A6000.

I would think that you'd want the ability to shoot in low light, and that you'd probably use MF for street so.. the A7? And the 35mm f2.8 Zeiss when you can afford it.

Just my 2 cents

If I can add: OP also mentioned unwanted attention, so camera+lens total size is an important factor too. A6000 with 16-50 is clear winner here. A7 with 35mm comes close, but with limitations of prime vs zoom on A6000.

As for money: you can buy A6000 with 16-50 kit and still add a fast lens for low-light like 35mm f1.8 OSS and still beat the price of A7 with kit lens! BTW A6000 with 35mm f1.8 for low light will be better than A7 with kit (this time A6000 will be limited by prime vs zoom on A7).

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ottonis
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to mfahim27753, 5 months ago

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.

-- hide signature --

If your main concern is being unobtrusive and unconspicuous when doing street photography, then the A6000 seems the better choice than the A7, especially when paired with a small zoom (16-50). The A7 with the 28-70 lens will be much less smaller than the A6000 + 1650PZ when compared with your D800.

However, do you really think you would need the A6000 alongside the RX100 (according to your gear list)? You do already have a high-end option (The Nikon D800) and a "street shooter" camera, which is super tiny and totally unconsipcuous. Personally, I would use the RX100 for all the stealth photography you can't use the D800 for, but that's just me.

Best

David

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www.flicker.com/davidsphotoblog777

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neil holmes
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to mfahim27753, 5 months ago

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.

-- hide signature --

For normal street photography, I would not use my A7 as it is not the stealthiest camera....not huge and you can use the tilting LCD but not silent.

A6000 might be better with smaller APSC lenses...again, not silent though.

On days like Anzac days or festivals, then A7 is the camera I would use....with fast manual focus primes.

Otherwise I would take a camera with small lenses (M4/3 GX7 is great as it has a silent mode and touch screen with a touch shutter so people don't even know you are shooting them unless you tell them.)

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blue_skies
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to mfahim27753, 5 months ago

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.

-- hide signature --

Get the A6000 with E1650 kit lens:

  • If daytime, the A6000 plus E1650 looks like a P&S, and people will mostly ignore you. 
  • If nighttime, the E1650 is too slow, consider the E35 or E50 lenses instead. 

If you like the 'Leica-look, consider the E20 with and without the VCL-ECU1 wide-angle adapter. It lets you shoot at 20 and 15mm (30 and 23mm FF equiv), you just won't get that shallow DOF that you can get with a fast lens on FF.

The A7 with E2870 is a lot larger, and 'less stealthy'. Its AF speed, albeit decent, will trail the A6000's, and to better f/1.8 on APS-C (f/2.8 on FF), you'd need f/2 lenses or faster, of which only one AF lens (FE55) is available thus far. If you use MF lenses, you can do so, but you lose AF. It is doable, but a very different technique than the A6000 would require. If you use the E2870, you are roughly one stop ahead of the A6000 with (any of the SEL) zoom lens, but behind the E35 and E50 lenses.

As to the FE35? I bet that the A7 with FE35 more or less is equivalent to the A6000 with E24Z, with the latter having faster AF. Something else to ponder...

The A7 with FE55/1.8 (no OSS), or any f/2.0 (or faster) legacy prime (no OSS), will be ahead of the A6000, when used wide open, with only the FE55 offering AF.

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Cheers,
Henry

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jpr2
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re: for SP? then a6k without a slightest grain of doubt !
In reply to mfahim27753, 5 months ago

the small frontal profile is of paramount importance on streets - discreet, unobtrusive, without any distracting humps and pretty obnoxious, white lettering !!

The Nex-7 turned about ideal for my street shooting thanks to almost exactly this set of properties, or would be if not for its non-existing AF capabilities.

Hence a6k, and then even with a somewhat larger lens, like the 16-70/4Z it will be an ideal tool = good for both generic street scenes, as well as for unposed street candids of the head & shoulders type, taken from not too close distances

jpr2

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Dandrewk
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to mfahim27753, 5 months ago

For stealthiness and unobtrusiveness, either will do.  The A6000 is a tad smaller, but if you went to a store that displayed both, you might find the difference isn't as large as you may think.  The A7 with the FE 35 is a huge difference from your Nikon setup.

But if you want a REAL difference in obtrusiveness, you already own the perfect camera - RX100.

It all comes down to cost, and what you expect the final image quality to be.  If you want something that is close to your Nikon, the A7 fits that bill.  If you went that way, you may find (as others have) that the A7 is more of a replacement for the Nikon.  If you see that as any sort of possibility, the A7 is the way to go.

Ultimate cost issues aside - coming from a d800... and considering you already own an RX100... the A6000 doesn't make a lot of sense.

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Fredy Ross
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to Dandrewk, 5 months ago

I have the a7r too loud, I have the nex 6 and 5n not so loud but my best for street photography is my silent pocket rocket rx100ii  on a wrist strap. Never miss a chance with it even if holding with one hand. prints quite large too. check it out as it got wonderful reviews and lives up to its claims. good luck

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Digital Nigel
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to Fredy Ross, 5 months ago

Fredy Ross wrote:

I have the a7r too loud, I have the nex 6 and 5n not so loud but my best for street photography is my silent pocket rocket rx100ii on a wrist strap. Never miss a chance with it even if holding with one hand. prints quite large too. check it out as it got wonderful reviews and lives up to its claims. good luck

The flip out screen would help, too -- it lets you hold the camera at waist level (or over your head). That's not something you can do with the original RX100. I'd say it was the main advantage of the m2 over the m1.

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jpr2
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re: if only rx100...
In reply to Digital Nigel, 5 months ago

Digital Nigel wrote:

Fredy Ross wrote:

I have the a7r too loud, I have the nex 6 and 5n not so loud but my best for street photography is my silent pocket rocket rx100ii on a wrist strap. Never miss a chance with it even if holding with one hand. prints quite large too. check it out as it got wonderful reviews and lives up to its claims. good luck

The flip out screen would help, too -- it lets you hold the camera at waist level (or over your head). That's not something you can do with the original RX100. I'd say it was the main advantage of the m2 over the m1.

...could capture shallow DOF, but alas this would be too much to ask from a 1" sensored cam; because yes, silent (or less noisy) a shutter is big plus on street, as is fully articulated flippy screen

jpr2

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Digital Nigel
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Re: re: if only rx100...
In reply to jpr2, 5 months ago

jpr2 wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

Fredy Ross wrote:

I have the a7r too loud, I have the nex 6 and 5n not so loud but my best for street photography is my silent pocket rocket rx100ii on a wrist strap. Never miss a chance with it even if holding with one hand. prints quite large too. check it out as it got wonderful reviews and lives up to its claims. good luck

The flip out screen would help, too -- it lets you hold the camera at waist level (or over your head). That's not something you can do with the original RX100. I'd say it was the main advantage of the m2 over the m1.

...could capture shallow DOF, but alas this would be too much to ask from a 1" sensored cam; because yes, silent (or less noisy) a shutter is big plus on street, as is fully articulated flippy screen

Actually, for street photography, I'm not sure shallow DoF is an advantage; more often, it's a disadvantage. And if you do want it, the RX100's f/1.8 at the wide end is useful.

As for noise, the RX100's shutter is essentially silent in an outdoor context. Obviously, you should turn off all synthetic, electronic noises, but I do that with all cameras anyway.

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jpr2
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re: depends pretty much on one's style of...
In reply to Digital Nigel, 5 months ago

Digital Nigel wrote:

Actually, for street photography, I'm not sure shallow DoF is an advantage; more often, it's a disadvantage. And if you do want it, the RX100's f/1.8 at the wide end is useful.

...as in all  other photographic genres, also in street photography there are very many styles - in some the shallow DOF is quite prized Personally I like to have such an option very much. And no, f/1.8 in rx100 doesn't seem to be sufficient for my use, YMMV

jpr2

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RonFrank
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to mfahim27753, 5 months ago

If you are trying to be a stealth photographer you may want to give up on street photography with a camera. Even a camera the size of the A6000 is obvious. A phone is obvious unless you are attempting to hide it. People are aware of cameras and phones. They know what that lens looks like and understand why it is pointed at them. The reality is most folk do not care. Face it, most people use camera phones and are very aware of a lens pointing in their direction.

As for a camera purchase do you want a FF larger camera or a smaller camera. From my point of view the term FF and small do not go together. The A7 is more of a landscape tool . The A6000 seems much more suited to action including street shooting. Just do not let them see you!

a7 - 5.0 x 3.7 x 1.9" Lens kit 2.85 x 3.27" - 5"x3.7"x5.2" camera with kit lens

A6000 - 4.7 x 2.6 x 1.8" Lens kit Approx. 2.63 x 1.19" - 4.7"x2.6"x3" camera with kit lens

The A7 is quite a bit larger and the lens is a key factor bringing both length and depth over 5".

I hear you can get the ultimate street medium format camera for $6000!

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hyenadog
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to mfahim27753, 5 months ago

check out the Fuji X-T1 as well, its a great APSC with a great lens range/roadmap, if you want a NEX make sure you try it first - if you are going to use autoiso remember the NEX/A7 algorithm has no user settable min shutter speed and goes down to 1/60 sec before iso'ing up so unless you take precautions youre gonna get motion blur and if using non OIS lenses potentially camera shake

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Dandrewk
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to RonFrank, 5 months ago

RonFrank wrote:

If you are trying to be a stealth photographer you may want to give up on street photography with a camera. Even a camera the size of the A6000 is obvious. A phone is obvious unless you are attempting to hide it. People are aware of cameras and phones. They know what that lens looks like and understand why it is pointed at them. The reality is most folk do not care. Face it, most people use camera phones and are very aware of a lens pointing in their direction.

Using speed and a certain amount discretion, candid shots are quite possible.  Having a smaller, quiet camera that has good AF can make or break the shot.  An RX100 cupped in a palm can do amazing things.

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dave92029
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to Dandrewk, 5 months ago

I agree with most of the comments BUT,...

The reason I recently acquired an A7 was because it has a Full Frame sensor.

The FF sensor generally has a higher Dynamic Range plus often times there is an impression that the FF image looks more 3d than smaller sensor images. This may be because of the greater DOF  or because the pixels are larger on a FF sensor.

IMHO FF images have a quality that the smaller sensors can not duplicate.

When comparing a f3.5 in FF lens to APS-C lens, you would need f2.3 in APS-C  to give you a comparable DOF (f3.5/1.5 = f2.3)

Yes, the FF lens are larger than APS-C, and the shutter is a bit noiser, but the images are much better looking IMHO.

If you want small street camera I would get an Olympus E-M1 or M10 plus an Olympus prime lens. Hope this doesn't confuse this discussion. :>)

Dave

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jpr2
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Dave: ah, yes!! but only if S. would decide to give us...
In reply to dave92029, 5 months ago

...a RF-style FF camera - something like RX-1, yet a true MILC and with a built-in, hump-less VF;

or at worst with a fixed lens, but somewhat longer than 35/2 = say, a collapsible Zeiss 70/1.4 would be ideal for my street use

jpr2

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David Wyman
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Re: Street and Casual photography: A6000 or A7
In reply to dave92029, 5 months ago

dave92029 wrote:

..there is an impression that the FF image looks more 3d than smaller sensor images. This may be because of the greater DOF or because the pixels are larger on a FF sensor.

I think you mean less DOF - that is, less appears to be in focus. The larger the lens/sensor size the less is in focus. That's why smaller cameras with smaller sensors/lenses have greater DOF.

With FF, background will go out of focus in a shorter distance than they will with APS and smaller sized cameras.

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Jawed
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Shoot for 1 month with RX100
In reply to mfahim27753, 5 months ago

I looked at your website and I see that you have nothing in your street gallery.

Before you buy a camera, go out with the RX100. Shoot it intensively. Work out how to make it work. It's very fast (faster than my a6000) when it comes to getting grab shots in tight spaces. Once you've spent a while being active in the street you'll get a feel for the technical priorities that are meaningful to you.

I have RX100 and a6000. The a6000 I've bought for 3 reasons:

  1. technical quality - for its size it'll deliver great results - A7 is too large and a small lens like the APS-C 16-50 power zoom (not a prime) is not available. It's a solid stop better than m4/3 cameras, which are not meaningfully smaller with equivalent lenses. When I want smaller I use the RX100. I used to use Sony R1, which is huge and I don't ever want to shoot with such a large camera again (mostly the weight, at least it is silent).
  2. I want to shoot with super wide lenses (I have an 8mm fisheye and will probably buy the 10-18mm lens, too)
  3. I like to use a viewfinder for certain kinds of photographs, and the RX100 doesn't provide that option - though RX100 mk 2 does, with the very expensive add-on viewfinder

I don't think you need to spend money on a new camera. I've been doing street for over 10 years with very clunky, by modern standards, digital cameras. As well as various film cameras including a medium format folding camera from the 1930s.

In the end you can make any camera do street photography. I suggest you spend some time with the gear you have to see what happens.

The a6000 shutter is very noisy, which I find a barrier to making certain kinds of close-in pictures.

The RX100 is great for very close street pix, especially as when held upside down in my hand, with my middle finger to fire the shutter, the lens pokes through between thumb and index finger, with the body mostly hidden inside my hand.

I have no idea whether she realised I took two pix as she tried to persuade me to accept the gift

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