My SDQ and its new buddy.

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
Flat view
absquatulate Forum Pro • Posts: 11,301
My SDQ and its new buddy.

My SD Quattro is my favourite camera, and the one I prefer to use over all others. However, and this probably isn’t going to shock too many people, there are times when it’s not the best tool for the job. I also have a whole selection of quality SA mount lenses I use on this camera, including the 17-50mm F2.8, 70-200mm F2.8, 18-35mm F1.8, 10-20mm F3.5 etc. These are all great lenses, but sometimes I need a second non foveon body for situations where the SDQ will struggle, such as telephoto work and lower light for instance. Ideally I want a small non foveon second body which I can carry and use when needed, which will also mount all those lenses.

The solution was fairly obvious, get the MC-11 adaptor and a Sony body, so I did exactly that, and plumped for the reasonably priced, but high performing Sony A6500. It’s a 4yr old model now, but it’s highly thought of, has excellent focusing capability and IBIS, it’s also pretty small and relatively light, so will fit in my camera bag with the SDQ and lenses no problem.

TLDR; The Sony A6500+MC-11 adaptor worked out great.

I’ve had it a few days now, and tested it on all of my lenses, and it gave me a few surprises, but not in a bad way. Firstly the MC-11 is an excellent bit of kit, it’s not cheap but it does exactly what I’d hoped. All lenses from the EX range focus fast and accurately on it, and interestingly, better than the Art and Contemporary lenses. This was good news for me, as my most used lenses are the EX versions. The A6500 has dual phase and contrast detect capability, and the phase detect element seems to work best on this camera. The 18-35mm and 30mm F1.4 do focus accurately (low light being the occasional exception) but nowhere near as fast, and there is a bit of racking going on. The 18-35mm is pretty good, the 30mm is noticeably slower, and focuses quicker on the SDQ. The most pleasant surprise was my cheapie Sigma 70-300mm APO, which won’t auto-focus at all on the SDQ, but focuses quickly and accurately on the A6500. It’s actually a pretty decent lens up to about 260mm so if I don’t want to hump the 70-200mm F2.8 it’s a much lighter option, and the A6500 IBIS makes it a much more usable lens.

Overall I’m very pleased with the MC-11/A6500 combo, it works really well and gives me ultimate flexibility. So a few words on the A6500 as a camera in it’s own right. It’s an excellent camera which is very well put together. IQ is excellent, the dynamic range at base ISO is 13.7, definitely not to be sniffed at, the IBIS is pretty effective, not as good as the Panasonic G9/Olympus OMD’s, but pretty decent. The big surprise was the quality of the jpegs, they’re excellent, very sharp with excellent detail for a bayer sensor, they're hard to beat with the raw files (dynamic range/latitude excepted) The colour is a little muted on standard but that’s easy to tweak. The grip on the camera is also surprisingly good, and handling the 70-200mm F2.8 on it is no problem for me, and that’s a chunky piece of glass. It’s a small camera but if you set it up right it’s very nice to use, I’m very impressed with it. I’m sure the A6600 would be a bit better, but it costs nearly twice as much, so I’m very happy with the A6500, and the IBIS made it a no-brainer over the A6300 and A6400.

In terms of negatives, well the battery life on the A6500 isn’t brilliant, but it’s still quite a bit better than the SDQ, and spare batteries aren’t large or expensive. The Sony menu system is a bit random and convoluted, but if you set the camera up right you don’t need to use it too often. Other than that I’m entirely happy with it, and delighted I can used another camera without having to buy any more lenses. It actually worked out better than I thought it would, definitely recommended if this is something you have considered.

Disclaimer; don’t ask me about video, it’s something I almost never shoot, but I have seen that the 18-35mm works well for video on this combo on youtube, the rest? not so much. You’re probably better off with a native Sony lens for that. The A6500 does shoot downsampled 6k to 4k video, so it’s very highly regarded for video shooting, who knows? I may try it one day. I also haven’t tried track focusing, not much use for that with landscapes, I suspect again, that Sony lenses will be much better for that. Apart from that, if anyone has any questions, fire away.

 absquatulate's gear list:absquatulate's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sigma sd Quattro Fujifilm X-S10 Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM +4 more
Sigma sd Quattro Sony a6300 Sony a6500
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Flat view
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow