The Sony A5100 is still my main camera in 2019 after owning with EOS R, A9, Df

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Miki Nemeth
Miki Nemeth Senior Member • Posts: 1,494
The Sony A5100 is still my main camera in 2019 after owning with EOS R, A9, Df
7

DPReview is mainly about camera gear, and I love photography/videography gear. This is my 5th year with digital photography, a kind of progressing photography/videography (gear) enthusiast.

After my recent disappointment with Canon EOS R, I decided to sell all my Canon gear, and buy back two of the lenses I used with my A9.

Sony PZ28135f4OSS on Sony A5100

A couple of years ago there were times when I had twenty or so lenses; today I have only four, and I use three of them regularly:

  • Sony PZ1650OSS (kit) lens absolutely versatile lens for the size and price.
  • Sony PZ28135f4OSS videography dream lens (from 2014). It's relatively modern lens with tons of excellent features.
  • Canon TSE17f4L lens (from 2009) on Metabones adapter for architecture/landscape.
  • Olympus film-era PEN-F 38mm/f1.8 for shallow DoF retro looking photo/video

A year ago I (blatantly) sold all my expensive gear including the A9, and recently I bought back the PZ28135 and TSE17. I think these are the two lenses along with the 1650 I'd ever need. Maybe later I'd buy the FE90f2.8OSS for macro, too.

The PZ28135 has 95mm filter, which is a challenge, but when I used it with my A9 I learned to handle. Despite the size, this lens is super silent and smooth when autofocusing and power-zooming. The A5100 is the only Sony ILC with zoom lever on the body. The lens has its own zoom rocker switch, but the zoom lever on the A5100 body gives super slow nice creeping zooming. I used to work with jaw-dropping 4K when I had the A9 and EOS R, but, honestly, I am pretty happy with the 50Mbps 1080p 25/50fps XAVC-S from the A5100.

The A5100 overheats like hell, but it's not an issue at all with the way I use the camera. The A5100, sadly, has no microphone jack, but I've learned to work with my Zoom H1 smoothly; being forced to use an external sound recorder has a number of advantages, frankly.

I have an excellent Atomos Ninja2, which is absolutely OK for long recordings with the A5100 without overheating. The Ninja has microphone and headphone jacks, too. But, it's really rare when I use the Ninja; I'll do my best to avoid cumbersome setups.

The PZ28135 is an impressive lens, and grabs attention, sure, when I pull out my camera from the bag.

Canon TS-E 17mm/f4L on Sony A5100

The other lens, I realized, I cannot live without is the TSE17. On the A5100 it gives 25.5mm equivalent FoV with super convenient and cool tilt-shift functions. Normally, I use the tiny 1650, but when top-notch image quality is required, I mount my TSE17. I learned to used the TSE17 when I had the A9. When the TSE is shifted on a FF camera (both Sony and Canon, no difference) to its extremes, I've noticed a sensible degradation of image quality on the edges. I was a bit disappointed, and I was thinking for a while to go for the amazing-reviewed Laowa 12mm/f2.8 ZeroD (from 2016) with its Magic Shift Adapter instead, but the Laowa + shift adapter was more expensive than an excellent condition second hand TSE17, and the Laowa has no tilting.

Since the TSE17 has no IS, I'd prefer that my new/next camera should have IBIS; this is the main reason I skipped buying an A6400, actually. I am not stuck to Sony APS-C, no way, but my next camera should have:

  • IBIS, microphone jack, tilting screen,
  • no-overheating unlimited video recording,
  • log profiles, USB-C, no black-out screen upon external 4K monitoring,
  • and superfast A6400/A9-like AF performance,.

Since the PZ28135f4 is absolutely a unique (still affordable with its $1500 street price) lens, and no other makers have anything even remotely similar (Sony has the super expensive PZ18110, too), I am stuck to Sony E-mount.

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 Miki Nemeth's gear list:Miki Nemeth's gear list
Sony a5100 Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS
Comment & critique:
Please provide me constructive critique and criticism.
Nikon Df Olympus PEN-F Sony a5100 Sony a9
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