A6400 or other choice for great AF (based on previous buy)?

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Lancs Junior Member • Posts: 40
A6400 or other choice for great AF (based on previous buy)?

Hi,

Based on recommendations on this forum in spring, I purchased a Pansonic Lumix GX-9, with the cool 14-140 lens. I wasn't sure about it at the time, but found a great price and am now pondering selling it and "up"- or "cross"-grade to Sony. Having used the camera for six months has taught me a lot about what I like and what I miss, so based on my experiences, I'd be grateful for buying advice

A features list, based on my efforts with the Lumix GX-9 and the 14-140mm lens:

I don't care about video at all.

I don't care about macro for flowers, insects and such (I have that sorted).

I have tried doing bird photo, thinking the lens would suffice, but it really doesn't: the birds are too far away to give good results. Others may be more patient, but for me, I really want a few nice pics after a few hours at a bird sanctuary (6-8 meters seem to be max for the 140mm 4/3 lens, that is, 280 FF equivalent, though a smaller pixel count of course).

I am happy with the image quality. If anything, I think the lens is not super sharp. The image quality capabilities of the camera itself are certainly good enough for me. I really like the jpgs. I always shoot jpg+RAW, but since I don't really enjoy post-processing, I am pondering if shooting RAW is really of interest - to me and my limited ambitions, that is.

I would really want good eye AF, and also animal eye AF. My best shots with the Lumix would have been great rather than good if the focus had been better. I'm sure a better photographer could have worked around this, but I am looking for something that brings me joy, and either getting off-focus shots or taking twenty shots of the same pose to find the lucky shot does not bring me much joy honestly.

I also want a system that is lightweight and small in size (which is why I got this particular combo). The system I own is great in this aspect.

I think the system is not very good in low light. Could be because of 4/3 or the long-range lens (or me!), but it's not impressive, honestly.

Image stabilisation is great, but I could sacrifice this, I guess. I usually try to place the camera on top of something, and then press the shutter with 1s delay, so there is no handshake issue.

*

With all of this said, I now have a few hundred pics of wildlife, nature and a few cities, and of these photos, I am happy with the detail and IQ - like, the pics look much more finegrained than the ones from my (good) smartphone, but they are not laser sharp, and I especially miss good animal eye AF. So I end up with a pile of files that usually are not that fun, and sorting through them is therefore tedious, meaning I don't want to take so many photos as I thought I would.

This brought me to ponder the Sony a6400 (to be bought used with guarantee to bring price down). It's now been out for three years, but there seems to be no alternative really, in that price range (except for the Sony RX-100vii, which is too expensive too feel like a good buy for me). I've owned a couple of Sony RX cameras, and have no issues with the menu layouts.

Any thoughts or other recommendations? I would also appreciate ideas for an appropriate lens for the Sony, if that's the way I'm going. Since the longest range of the 14-140mm is not what I expected, I guess I just forget bird photo for now and instead get a nice lens for landscapes, pets, buildings, people (in that order).

Many thanks!

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