Just got an a3000.

Started Apr 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
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prodesma Senior Member • Posts: 1,727
Just got an a3000.

Hi all. Just thought I'd introduce myself here. Years ago I was a regular in the Nikon forums. I've worked a bit as a pro photographer, but no longer have any of the $10K+ in Nikon system (4 bodies/15 lenses). For years I wanted to switch to Sony, mostly for IBIS + Zeiss glass. Also for sweep pano, DRO, HDR, focus peaking, Exmor R sensors, etc.

Ironically, I got this a3000 entry kit for $250 USD- just delivered yesterday. Yeah, I know it doesn't even have IBIS (that's in-camera image stabilization around these parts, right?). I do my research, so I *kinda* know what I'm getting into. Seems there's still no 3rd party remote shutter release, just the $60+ Sony RM-VPR1, right? Yeah, menus are wonky. EVF and rear screen aren't fantastic. Not even a hot shoe cover. ha.

Don't have any sample images yet.

I'll include a few from other cameras so you can get an idea of how I like to shoot.

Shot w/ my cheap Panasonic LZ10 pocket cam that cost me under $100 new.

I hope some of you experienced with this a3000 might help chime in, with your great insight. Eventually, I hope to help contribute more as I get familiar with everything. I guess I'm asking if you'll pay it forward. Hopefully I can help reciprocate in the future.

Some questions/issues... (reading the 195-page ILCE3000 pdf + tinkering).

- I didn't realize how many functions are severely restricted.*IF* you shoot in "this" mode, you can't use "these" features/functions. e.g. no background defocus nor exposure comp in Manual Mode (MM), no manual ISO setting in HDR composites nor sweep pano, etc. Picture Effects only in "Auto" modes. In Nikon I could shoot RAW, review an image and then choose a picture effect, it would save a separate JPEG file- nice for a quick B&W conversion to show a client or whatnot.  Sure I'm comparing a $1500+ camera(s) to a $150 SLT. Oh, so true.

Nikon D300, a composite HDR of about 30-40 exposures.

- I'm still trying to figure if focus peaking can be used in Manual shooting. I can't get focus peaking enabled. Whether Clear Image Zoom is ever worth using (if I got a prime lens, might be kinda handy). Other tidbits like this I'm still trying to learn and judge usefullness.

- I like that you can custom program the 'right' button with 6 functions (WB, ISO, AF, etc). I like that the 'Soft B' button can be used to select AF point. I wish the image review had a feature (Nikon has) where you can scroll to the next image while zoomed in, and it will go to that same zoomed spot in that image. Great for checking critical sharpness between burst shots.

- The hot shoe is proprietary, right? So Sony speedlites or else I need an adapter to universal? I figure on getting a cheap slave flash, maybe this won't matter in the near-term.

- Do you a3000 owners use the custom image settings, like Portrait (for the skin softening), or Landscape for more vivid captures, or the Background Defocus? I'm fairly competent in Photoshop. Just asking. Usually I try to capture as close to what I want in-camera. But don't use presets, just manual shooting. In-camera HDR might be nice.

- How in the heck do you focus in really dark situations?  I've read here & elsewhere to just pump ISO up for focusing.  Well, that don't sound too ideal.  Obviously there are times you just set focus to infiinty.  But not always.  I'm new to SLT's or what're they called now ILC's?

Multiple exposure on film, Nikon F100.  At least 4 exposures: color target, Velvet Da Vinci street scene, AiW movie billboard...  and Big Apple paperweight.

Sorry this is so long winded.

I figure I might set my goal as: 16/2.8 pancake + UWA, 32/1.8 Zeiss Touit, 85/1.4 Rokinon/Samyang (or 85/1.5 cine, for video versatility). Eventually I could see converting this a3000 into an infrared camera body. I know E-mount won't "work" on full-frame A-mount, but the Zeiss A-mount could be great on E.

Lots of quirks to the a3000. But I got it for the hardware, APS-C CMOS sensor mostly. I like the SLR form factor for holding larger lenses w/o feeling like a slim grip will slide right out of my hand. As mentioned, some of the benefits (IBIS and remote shutter thru wifi/cell phone) I sought aren't on this entry-level camera; but then, some others are (like HDR and sweep pano).

The kit lens seems quite a solid performer. Won't know until I put it through some paces, but already appears far superior to some Canikon kits (sharpness, color rendering, fall off). I have full confidence this camera can capture images that stand up to far more feature-laden prosumers. Just learning the dang menus... Do they ever become more intuitive?

Nikon D300 or D700 with Sigma 100-300/4 at Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco, California.

Nikon D300, probably with 85/1.4 or 135/2 DC.

I've shot lots of fast setup food photography.  A wireless slave flash(or two, as used here)  is key.

I think the Sony a3000 might be the most awesomest crappy camera ever.  Except it ain't crappy, just made of junk parts (cheap LCD, EVF, shell, 4-year olds designing the user interface, battery drains faaaaassst).  And awesome CMOS sensor.  Plus, Holga is the awesomest crappy camera ever, and her name is better.  *Kinda*

$1500-ish for THIS camera, Sony 16/2.8 pancake + wide angle adapter, Zeiss 32/1.8 Touit, AND a Rokinon 85/1.4?  Seems like a perfect kit for me to strive for.  This camera way outperforms its cost, and I think can do most things (except fps) bodies 10x its cost offer.  It may take a bit more photography knowledge to coax it out of this lil' buddy.  But it's all in there, mostly the APS-C CMOS sensor with an E-mount SLR-type body.

Just getting back into photography.  I look forward to the journey.  And hopefully getting to know some of you in this forum.


 prodesma's gear list:prodesma's gear list
A3000 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 20mm F2.8 +3 more
Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Sony Alpha DSLR-A300
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