Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III

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SNBLR New Member • Posts: 5
Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III

Quick background - I have been a serious amateur photographer for some time. I started with a Canon 40D + Canon 100-400 Gen 1 for quite a few years as the only pics I would take would be wildlife and birding. With 2 kids, opportunities to go to the forests dwindled and I sold off my gear. Later I shifted to the Nikon Camp with a Nikon D7200 + Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 + Nikon 70-200 f/4. This served my requirement for a few years. However, I started to trek last year, and I realized the importance of lighter gear. On some of the tough days (typically a summit climb) I would end up leaving my gear back, as it would be really tough, and that really really hurt. What's the point of carrying gear, if you cannot use it to capture the most exquisite scenes. A while back I sold of my gear, looking to switch to mirrorless and now am at the crossroads, on what next.

With this background, will call out my requirements

1. Not too heavy. Enough background provided.

2. Not too pricey. This is a hobby and I do not make money from photography.

3. Primarily for landscape and nature photography, with occasional family events/portraits. Also travel photography.

4. Will start only with wide-angle lens for landscapes. Will add max 1-2 more lens in the future - typically a 70-200 equivalent focal length, plus perhaps (not in the near future) the Sony 200-600 for occasional wildlife.

Given this, I was looking at the following two options

Sony A6600 with Sigma 16mm f/1.4 Lens

Weight: 910gm (503gm + 405gm)

Price: ₹133500 (₹99000 + ₹34500)

Sony A7III (preowned but with 1.5 years warranty) with Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Lens

Weight: 865gm (650gm + 215gm)

Price: ₹140000 (₹110000 + ₹30000)

Since the price gap and weight is not too different, I am confused. I certainly do not have the budget of buying expensive (and heavy) Sony G or G Master lens, nor do I see myself doing this in the near future.  Any recommendations from the experienced members here. I am a newbie to the mirrorless world.

Canon EOS 40D Nikon D7200
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markintosh13
markintosh13 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,532
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
4

And to complicate things further, the obvious middle ground would be the 7c

With the form factor and tracking AF of the A6600 and the sensor of the 7iii

Morph1909
Morph1909 Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
4

My own requirements were not unlike yours in that I wanted a light weight systems and that includes lenses so I went APSC with the  a6600 I've added the new 16.55 and 70-350 both of which are excellent I added the Samyang 12mms for when I want wide. This gives an excellent system. However when I brought mine the Tamron lenses were not around. If I was buying now I'd probably be more tempted with the A7iii and the three Tamron zooms as the weight is not that much more and you get the FF sensors with probably better ergos of the a7iii. Having said all that i don't think the a6600 has ever let me down and is great for my needs.

 Morph1909's gear list:Morph1909's gear list
Sony a6600 Sony 50mm F2.8 Macro Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Sony E 16-55mm F2.8 G +1 more
D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 27,111
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
1

APS-C lenses will be smaller and lighter.

 D Cox's gear list:D Cox's gear list
Sigma fp
Brian Chichester
Brian Chichester Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III

I know that if you ask us to choose A or B and somebody replies "C", you don't immediately warm to the idea, but what I get from your post is that you want something small and light, and you don't want to spend a lot.

I would suggest that, as you are at the stage of dipping your toe in the Sony waters, you look at some used kit. You could start with a body from the NEX-5 range, say the 5N or the 5R, and add the Sony 16 mm pancake or the Sigma 19 mm f2.8. This is very small, very light, and very cheap, but it shows you what the Sony APS-C system is like, and after a while it could be traded up to later equipment if you find the need.

 Brian Chichester's gear list:Brian Chichester's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Olympus PEN E-PL6 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 +10 more
idsurfer Regular Member • Posts: 414
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
2

I had a handful of big canon FF cams. Then there was about two years that I realized I was leaving them behind cause of the bulk (weight never really bothered me....just bulk). I switched to the sony a6500 when it came out. I then switched it up for a6400 when it came out (for the far superior AF). I have it paired with a few aps-c primes and the sony 10-18. So 3-4 years now with sony APS-c.

Bullet point random thoughts...

- I will NEVER go back to a big bulky system. I have no prob taking the 6400 and a lens or two anywhere. Most of the time they can just get stuffed somewhere in a pack. Just did a 3 hour cruise around town on the bike. Took the 6400 and 10-18 hanging around my neck/shoulder. Never knew it was there. I actually only snapped one shot and was still glad I brought it with me.

- APS-c is less expensive, both cams and lenses.

- I do miss FF low light performance. Just can't get away with super mega high ISO with aps-c. I start getting a little nervous above 1600 if I want real clean shots (please no one hijack the thread to argue this point). Beyond that I start thinking about OCF.

- APS-c would not get you quite as shallow Dof. So if obliterated BG's in all your shots is important than consider sticking with FF and big ling. lenses. That  said, I use mainly 1.4-1.8 lenses and get plenty of subject separation and creamy bokeh with my current set up.

- Re the Sigma 16/1.4. I had one for a year or so. It was nice. Colors didn't blow me away but that's subjective. What I will say (and I hope your still reading cause this is something you should seriously think about) is that the siggy 16/1.4 is not small. I was the largest lens I have used with my current set up...by far. Honestly, I've left it behind many times in favor of bringing 12 and 24mm primes. Sold it.

For myself, I'm pretty happy with APS-c. Prolly won't go back to FF unless the A7c line ends up with a really nice option along with some really small fast primes (the latter is is crucial). I would really like to have bought the a6600 for the IBIS. If I could do it again I'd go that route.

Hope this helps.

 idsurfer's gear list:idsurfer's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN
Super_T Regular Member • Posts: 371
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III

D Cox wrote:

APS-C lenses will be smaller and lighter.

Not the Sigma 16mm that he wants... 

 Super_T's gear list:Super_T's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS Samyang 21mm F1.4 Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Samyang 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS +7 more
Super_T Regular Member • Posts: 371
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
2

You kind of ruin the concept by choosing the biggest wide angle APS-C - lens available.
I pretty much have the same needs as you. The Sigma was too big to drag around, and after buying the Samyang 21mm/1.4 I never used it so I sold it.
Yes it's very sharp, but if ultimate sharpness over practicality is your goal, go the FF route. If practicality is a key, there are other and better lens choises.

I love my Samyang 21mm, and I rather do a 4 photo panorama with this than dragging the Sigma along, and the result is even sharper.
However it's manual, so it is not everyones cup of tea.
When not having the time for manual shooting I use the 18-135. It does everything well (except from low light) - and is still considerably smaller and lighter than the Sigma 16mm.

 Super_T's gear list:Super_T's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS Samyang 21mm F1.4 Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Samyang 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS +7 more
jjdp Contributing Member • Posts: 500
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III

The Samyang AF 24mm f/2.8 is smaller and lighter than that Tamron and about the same price.

Still a tough choice.

OP SNBLR New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III

markintosh13 wrote:

And to complicate things further, the obvious middle ground would be the 7c

With the form factor and tracking AF of the A6600 and the sensor of the 7iii

Thankfully, the 7c does not add to the confusion. It is not launched as yet in India, or even if it gets launched, the prices will be high. The only reason A7III comes into the picture as there are many used cameras up for sale, specially with the A7IV release.

Another option, that is slightly over budget but certainly an option is A6400 + Sony 16-55 f/2.8 G Lens. Cost wise it is a little bit over-budget but stacks up interestingly.

Option 3: A6400 + Sony 16-55 f/2.8 G Lens.

Weight: 897gm (403gm + 494gm)

Price: ₹157500 (₹67000 + ₹90000)

Two cons of with this combination - Over budget by 12-15% and lack of image stabilization (within body or lens)

HOWEVER

This covers me for a good time, without needing a second lens. With the Sigma 16 f/1.4 I would certainly need another lens (sooner than later) e.g. Sigma 56 f/1.4. The Sony G lens covers me on that front. And more money goes into the lens than the camera (which depreciates its value much rapidly).

OP SNBLR New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
1

Thanks everyone for your inputs. I certainly have been all over the place, given I am looking for a balance between weight/practicality vs sharpness vs budget. Apologies.

The Sigma 16 f/1.4 was in the list primarily coz it was touted as the sharpest lens around. But then typically for landscapes do I really need such a wide aperture? Perhaps not. But focal lengths greater than 18mm (max) on an APS-C sensor, would not be a good option for landscapes.

Would the A6400/A6600, with the Sony 18-135 f3.5-5.6 be a reasonable midpoint, without needing to compromise on a lot.

Sony A6600 with Sony 18-135 f3.5-5.6
Weight: 828gm (503gm + 325gm)
Price: ₹138500

Since this lens has OSS, can opt for the A6400 body and save some more money and weight. That combo would weigh only 730 gm and cost around ₹100000.

Weight / Size becomes an important factor for me, as I intend to attach this to my backpack strap with a Peak Design Capture clip. Manual focus options are currently not being considered, given the extremely cold weather typically on treks (I would not want to get my gloves out often).

The Sony 10-18 lens is a good wide angle option, but very pricey (in India). Also the used camera market here is not very mature specially for anything outside the traditional Canon/Nikon options. So exploring used gear is always a little tricky. In fact, when I wanted to sell my gear, could sell off the Nikon Body/Lenses in a jiffy, but am still unable to sell my very capable Sigma lens.

BTW, I did not mention earlier, but am looking primarily for still photography and not videos (at least not in the near future).

Super_T Regular Member • Posts: 371
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III

SNBLR wrote:

Thanks everyone for your inputs. I certainly have been all over the place, given I am looking for a balance between weight/practicality vs sharpness vs budget. Apologies.

The Sigma 16 f/1.4 was in the list primarily coz it was touted as the sharpest lens around. But then typically for landscapes do I really need such a wide aperture? Perhaps not. But focal lengths greater than 18mm (max) on an APS-C sensor, would not be a good option for landscapes.

Would the A6400/A6600, with the Sony 18-135 f3.5-5.6 be a reasonable midpoint, without needing to compromise on a lot.

Sony A6600 with Sony 18-135 f3.5-5.6
Weight: 828gm (503gm + 325gm)
Price: ₹138500

Since this lens has OSS, can opt for the A6400 body and save some more money and weight. That combo would weigh only 730 gm and cost around ₹100000.

Weight / Size becomes an important factor for me, as I intend to attach this to my backpack strap with a Peak Design Capture clip. Manual focus options are currently not being considered, given the extremely cold weather typically on treks (I would not want to get my gloves out often).

The Sony 10-18 lens is a good wide angle option, but very pricey (in India). Also the used camera market here is not very mature specially for anything outside the traditional Canon/Nikon options. So exploring used gear is always a little tricky. In fact, when I wanted to sell my gear, could sell off the Nikon Body/Lenses in a jiffy, but am still unable to sell my very capable Sigma lens.

BTW, I did not mention earlier, but am looking primarily for still photography and not videos (at least not in the near future).

I think you're on to something. The 18-135 does a quite decent allround job, and after using that one for a while it'll be easier to identify what's lacking and what options you have.
BTW: The 10-18 seem very nice on paper, but it has quite a bit of copy variation. Some love theirs - I sold mine, it had a red/green color problem that was hard to correct in post. And it was quite helpless in low light even with OSS, so I ended up using the Samyang 12mm and the 18-135 instead.

 Super_T's gear list:Super_T's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS Samyang 21mm F1.4 Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Samyang 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS +7 more
James Shelton New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
3

I had the same consternation in choosing between these three options, in upgrading from A6000. Ultimately, my “wants” leaned more to the following, in order:

1.) Better video options (resolution, AF, etc.), mostly for shooting my children’s sporting events (baseball, softball, football).

2.) Budget. We all know how these times are, and while we’re doing ok right now, it’s very tough to know what the near term outlook is. So, the less I have to fork out, the better...

3.) Size matters to me... I went with the APS-C long ago to get what I felt was the best mix of portability and performance, so I do care about how large my bag has to be. I’ve already got to cart a ton of other stuff around for the kids, so anything smaller is definitely better. This is doubly important when talking lens reach. I MUST have as long of a zoom as I can get for most of these photos/videos, so to get there...the size of those lenses matters to me.

4.) I “wanted” something with better battery life. The A6000 was a good workhorse for quite a while, but on many occasions I felt I was constantly chasing the battery gauge.

So, knowing those things, I went with the A6600 even with all of the noise of the pro-FF camp in full effect. In the end, I just couldn’t justify the expense that would be required to get an equivalent lens setup nor could I get over the additional girth, weight and overall expense of truly compatible FF lenses. For me, I think the A6600 is good enough. My only “real” complaint is having to give up an onboard flash, these growing my bag to have to add an outboard flash. But for me, the need for flash is rather rare, so it’s something I’ll just have to live with. I’m sure the A7 iii and the A7C are fine cameras, but right now it’s just not the time for me to make the move there. Maybe in another 5 years...

I haven’t had a chance to use the combo that I got yet. I got the A6600 body only, and I picked up the SEL70350G to go with it. For now, I’ll continue to use my SELP1650 from my existing setup until I can save up to move up to the SEL1655G. These two new lenses are already going to be much larger physically than my prior pair (I also have the SEL55210, but I’m going to sell that one as soon as possible), but I think I’ll be able to live with that given the likely better quality and additional reach at 350mm. Here’s hoping that this setup works for me for a few years...

-- hide signature --

J.S.

OP SNBLR New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
2

Thanks everyone for your valuable inputs.  Based on the inputs and some research and going through a lot of online reviews (along with a lot of pixel-peeping) put this table together that summarizes my thought process right now.

Priority List

I am very strongly leaning towards the Sony A6600 with the Sony 18-135 f/3.5-5-6 Lens at this point of time. This seems to be the best bang for the buck. However, the prices of the Sony A6600 body is quite high in India. In USA, the A6600 has a 33% price premium over the A6400 (with even sweater package deals on Adorama). However, in India, the A6600 commands a steep 50% premium over the A6400.

Will perhaps wait for the A6600 prices to drop, or worst case would go for the A6400 body instead. Would certainly miss the IBIS and better battery capacity, but that's Plan B. That said, am in no rush to buy right away (though I have already sold my Nikon gear). With the pandemic situation, there is not much travel planned anyways.

Thanks everyone and please let me know if I have missed out something.

PS - In the meanwhile am also considering a Samyang 12mm f/2 (as a manual UWA option). Will pick up only if I get a good deal (new or used). Focal length of 18mm is not wide enough and anything wider would certainly help.

mcslsk Veteran Member • Posts: 5,773
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
1

a6500 and 18135 or Sigma 1.4 trio and Sony E70350. You will be more than happy and not bankrupt.

 mcslsk's gear list:mcslsk's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a6500 Sony a7R III Canon EF 135mm F2L USM +53 more
losC41 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
1

I bought an A6600 last month and have been very disappointed with the camera.  I was coming from the A6000 and before that a NEX5.  I shoot product stills and record church service videos.  I upgraded primarily for the 4K video and thought the other features would future proof the purchase.

My biggest problem with the camera has been the viewfinder.  It is the worst viewfinder I've ever seen on a modern camera, and had I been able to see one in person before buying,  it would have been a deal breaker.  I will post a thread  on this with more details later.

My second problem is the poor 1080p video. I was using my A6000 as a webcam with a capture card and hoped to do the same with the A6600.  The HDMI out at 1080 is very compressed and shows very noticeable banding in areas that should be smooth gradients. Fortunately the this does not show when recording to the SD card, but I don't remember my A6000 showing this at all.

A buddy sent me an A7III to try before I made my purchase.  That camera was an order of magnitude better than the A6000.  I passed on it because it was a little too big for me and, more importantly, all my lenses were aps-c and the crop mode on the A7III would cost me a significant resolution hit.  I looked at the A7rII as a solution, but wanted to get something smaller and not so old.

There is a lot of hype surrounding the A6600 - mostly "influencers" reviewing/marketing the camera.  It feels like a sheep in wolf's clothing to me.

idsurfer Regular Member • Posts: 414
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III

I’m really interested in your comments re the viewfinder.

IMO  the 6600 is far from future proof.

 idsurfer's gear list:idsurfer's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN
Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 10,584
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III

I'd check on the Digital Video form for questions on the video issues.  Not sure how many here do a lot of video as opposed to stills.  As to the finder, aside from higher resolution, seems to be very similar to the A6000?

wine540 Contributing Member • Posts: 508
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III

I have both cameras- a6600 and a7iii. The a7iii is such an easy camera to use - it has the buttons, dials and joystick that I miss on the a6600, but with the glass it is definitely heavier, bulkier and more of a problem to lug around. I use the the a6600 mostly for travel and wildlife. For travel the kit is so much more compact- wide angle 10-18 versus the ff f4 16-35 -feels like a ton! Using the 200-600 on the a6600 has offered me the most versatile camera/lens combo with real out to 900 mm equivalent - amazing! One date I grabbed the a6600 and mounted the Sony-Zeiss 55mm f1.8 for portraits-amazing results, but not better than the a7iii and certainly not for landscapes. Right now if I had to keep only one camera I would keep the a6600 mainly for the travel and wildlife use- fortunately I don't have to make the choice. Sony, when are the APC bodies going to have the functional ease of the a7's? Please soon!

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Dan W

 wine540's gear list:wine540's gear list
Sony a6500 Sony a7 III
cxsparc
cxsparc Veteran Member • Posts: 3,638
Re: Need help choosing between Sony A6600 and A7III
5

losC41 wrote:

I bought an A6600 last month and have been very disappointed with the camera. I was coming from the A6000 and before that a NEX5. I shoot product stills and record church service videos. I upgraded primarily for the 4K video and thought the other features would future proof the purchase.

My biggest problem with the camera has been the viewfinder. It is the worst viewfinder I've ever seen on a modern camera, and had I been able to see one in person before buying, it would have been a deal breaker. I will post a thread on this with more details later.

My second problem is the poor 1080p video. I was using my A6000 as a webcam with a capture card and hoped to do the same with the A6600. The HDMI out at 1080 is very compressed and shows very noticeable banding in areas that should be smooth gradients. Fortunately the this does not show when recording to the SD card, but I don't remember my A6000 showing this at all.

A buddy sent me an A7III to try before I made my purchase. That camera was an order of magnitude better than the A6000. I passed on it because it was a little too big for me and, more importantly, all my lenses were aps-c and the crop mode on the A7III would cost me a significant resolution hit. I looked at the A7rII as a solution, but wanted to get something smaller and not so old.

There is a lot of hype surrounding the A6600 - mostly "influencers" reviewing/marketing the camera. It feels like a sheep in wolf's clothing to me.

What nonsense. The EVF of the A6600 is not worse in any way than that of the A6000. It is actually a bit better. Also, if you want HD video why not stick with the A6000? If you want strikingly better HD, record in 4k and downsize and n Handbrake. I sometimes even use video snapshots of 4k video as stills.

And what drivel to claim there is any hype or influencers about the A6600. If any, this camera had a lot of bad press due to the high initial price and lack of significant features.

I chose it due to an offer with the 1655 for 2300 Euros. That makes it a 1150 Euro price and that is good for a camera I can shot with for 3-5 days on one battery, with the improved AF tracking the A6400 has but the A6500 doesn't, a really fast startup time, a mechanical build the best of the A6x00 series and a good grip for the heavier lenses. And lastly, the Ibis makes it a good match for my 1655 and Sigma 56, both unstabilized.

If you are price limited and intend to use the 18135, get it bundled with the A6400.

If you can get a good bundle with the 1655 and have the money to waste, get the A6600.

The A6500 has the older AF and the small battery, and the older OOC jpg color rendering.

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German/English Nex/A6000-Blog: http://luxorphotoart.blogspot.de/

 cxsparc's gear list:cxsparc's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony a6600 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +3 more
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