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The DJI Air 2S is exactly what many drone enthusiasts have been asking for: a consumerdrone with a 1"-type camera sensor that's budget-friendly. Does it live up to the hype? In our opinion, yes.
While shooting with the Sony a6000, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what aspects of photography I enjoy, and about what I demand from a camera as a consequence. Every day I read comments about how 'Camera X' is best because of the capability of its sensor or 'Camera Y' is, because of the lenses available for it. These are mostly arguments that relate either to specifications or the image quality that a camera produces. But what of ergonomics, handling, user-interface and shooting experience?
I found myself wondering whether the truism about 'the best camera is the one you have with you' shouldn't really be something like: 'the best camera is the one you enjoy shooting with enough to have with you.' The point being that, for me at least, the process of taking the photo is almost as important as the final result. Of course I want the results to be as good as possible, but I also want to enjoy the time spent using a camera, as well as the images I come back with.
The icon-swamped rear plate of the a6000 made me worry that I was about to face the same disorientating, rather distancing, shooting experience I had with the original NEX models.
I needn't have worried.
So what has this questioning got to do with the a6000? Mainly that I didn't really like the original NEX-3 and NEX-5 and some of their more recent descendents. I admired them from an engineering point of view, I respected the fact that they offered one of the best balances of size, price and image quality, but I never enjoyed shooting with them. So before I started shooting with the a6000, I wanted to think about why it mattered to me how fussy and fiddly I found the Ur-NEXs, or whether I should have just worried about the pictures...
It turns out I needn't have worried. The a6000 is good in all the ways that previous E-mount cameras would have you expect: it's small, it fits nicely in the hand and it takes really nice pictures. The specifications are excellent - the viewfinder is really good, and the inclusion of a built-in flash, Wi-Fi and one of the best APS-C sensors in a small body make the a6000 pretty attractive. But the nicest discovery was that, with a bit of playing around with the settings, the a6000 is more than just a refreshed and rebranded NEX: it's also camera I found rather pleasant to use.
After generations of improvements, the 'simplified' user interface of the early NEXs, that I always found distinctly enthusiast-unfriendly has evolved into something rather more conventional. And it's all the better for it. All the buttons now have defined functions, so there's no need to keep checking the screen to find out what button 'B' is about to do if you press it.
The a6000 also gains a more conventional menu - which has been harmonized across Sony's latest interchangeable lens cameras. It looks like the older Alpha menus, which are easier to navigate (and semi-memorize) than the NEX menus were, particularly in setup tab, which is now split into six pages, rather than a looping, seemingly infinitely scrolling list.
The a6000's DRO+ system for handling dynamic range has done a really good job of balancing the extremely wide tonal range between the bright exterior of the building and the low lighting inside, without the image as a whole losing too much contrast.
The four-way/dial on the back of the camera is one of the better examples of its type - it's quite stiff, with well-defined detents as you try to turn it, meaning it can be operated with more precision than is usual. However, since you end up having to control both this and the primary control dial at the top right of the camera with your thumb, it's not quite the same a having a full twin-dial camera. There's a reason the twin-dial arrangement (with thumb and forefinger controlling different functions) has become standard on just about all high-end DSLRs and mirrorless cameras and I would personally prefer to remove the exposure mode dial if it meant gaining a second control wheel. As it is, though, the a6000 comes close.
Another aspect I liked about the a6000 was its 16-50mm power zoom. It's one of the nicest electronic zoom lenses to use, thanks to its responsiveness - turn the ring when it's in zoom mode and the lens moves quickly enough that there's no real disadvantage or disconnected feeling, compared with a manual zoom.
|With its designed-in corrections applied, the 16mm end of the 16-50mm PZ is pleasantly wide for a kit lens (most start at 18mm). The performance at the corners isn't great...||... and it becomes apparent why if you disable the corrections in Camera Raw (and essentially break an element of the design): the corners are being dramatically adjusted.|
The image quality isn't great - plenty of my images have soft edges, inconsistent corners and all the other defects that tend to come from kit zooms (collapsible or otherwise, pretty much regardless of brand). However the convenience of the lens shrinking down, making the camera impressively small, and the added utility of those extra 2mm at the wide-angle end of things compared to a standard 18-55mm made the camera feel really flexible.
The electronic first curtain shutter option in the camera's menus is well worth engaging. Not only does it do away with half of the camera's pronounced double click shutter sound, but it also eliminates any concerns about 'shutter shock' vibrations that have limited the image quality of many of the a6000's rivals.
Perhaps all my soul-searching came about not just because I didn't get on with the NEXs, but because the a6000 can give an awkward first impression - the back of the camera is an off-putting sea of button labels, both dials are set to control exactly the same thing and one of the custom buttons is set up to access a text-heavy photography guide. A little playing around in the menus lets you set the rear four-way/dial to control exposure compensation, set the C2 button to do something useful and start thinking about what features you want to put into the Fn menu.
Not all problems can be completely overcome, sadly. As someone who likes to be able to specify the AF point, I was often disappointed with how the a6000 handles it since, even after button customization, it often requires at least two button presses before you can select the focus position (the optimal number of button presses being zero, for a high-end camera). Once 'Flexible Spot' is already selected as your focus point mode, then you only have to press the central button to start moving the point, so this is only a a real irritation if you regularly change focus point selection modes.
It's also worth noting that Sony has removed the on-screen level gauge offered by the NEX-6. It's hard to imagine this represents a significant cost-saving for Sony, and it's a feature some users really like, so it's a little disappointing to see it absent from this model.
|A combination of image stabilization and ISO 16,000 allowed me to hand-hold this shot at dusk. The camera's Wi-Fi meant I was also able to share the moment.
I'm not confident that my 'phone would have done as well, in the situation.
Another annoyance, though a less critical one, was that I found the Wi-Fi system to be slightly unreliable. With my phone connected to the camera's Wi-Fi signal, the app would sometimes stick on 'Searching Device,' and never transfer my chosen image. I'll make sure I try with some other 'phones, as I continue testing the camera, but it didn't always seem to get on with my ageing iPhone 4. Still, I wouldn't have noticed this glitch were it not for me making regular use of the feature.
Finally, as we've criticized before, the a6000's eye sensor is not as well implemented as some of its rivals. It's very sensitive, meaning the rear screen will regularly black out if I accidentally moved anything (a hand, my jacket), too close to the viewfinder. Trying to frame a shot with the camera pressed near to a wall, the camera was very keen to keep switching to the viewfinder, in exactly one the circumstances I really wanted the tiltable screen to work. Other cameras are less sensitive or are clever enough to disengage the eye sensor if the screen is extended - something that would really benefit the a6000.
Overall, shooting with the a6000 has taught me something about myself: I value cameras that give me a sense of control over the proceedings, that makes me feel I'm playing a role in the resulting photographs. But it's also taught me the value of stepping back long enough to appreciate the cumulative effect of the incremental changes made between camera generations. I wouldn't say the a6000 is suddenly my favorite camera - or even my favorite in its class - but it's the first E-mount camera I've used where my enjoyment of the camera is in proportion to my enjoyment of the results.
In this week's episode of DPReview TV, Chris and Jordan weigh the pros and cons of three entry-level APS-C cameras: the Canon EOS M50, Sony a6000 and Fujifilm X-T100. Find out how they stack up in terms of factors like usability, autofocus and JPEG image quality.
Sony has released firmware update 3.10 for the a7R II, a7R, a7S, a7 II, a7, a6000 and a5100 camera models. The update primarily brings new lens support and is available to download now from Sony's support website. Read more
Photographer Trey Ratcliff is known for imagery that couples saturated colors with dramatic flair and cinematic subjects. Shooting HDR for nearly a decade now, his work has been featured on major networks and is even displayed at the Smithsonian Institute. Read our Q&A and take a look at more of his colorful work. Read more
Raiatea Arcuri is an avid landscape photographer who maintains a website, a blog of tutorials and gear reviews, and is constantly expanding his online portfolio. His work will soon be on display at a gallery on the Big Island of Hawaii, where he calls home. Did we mention he's only 17? Take a look at his work and read more about his journey into photography. See gallery
Sony continues to embrace the feature-adding firmware trend by adding high bitrate video recording to its a6000 mirrorless camera. Firmware v2.0 adds the ability to record in the XAVC S format to the 16-month-old camera, offering 50Mbps shooting at 24, 30, or 60p (and PAL equivalents). Aside from the updated firmware, a Class 10 SDXC card is the only other thing you'll need to get started. Read more
The Sony Alpha 1 is Sony's flagship mirrorless camera for, well, just about anything. With a 50MP sensor, it gives you tons of resolution, but it also lets you fire off burst images at 30 fps for fast action sports. Add in 8K video capture and you have a really impressive package.
There are a lot of photo/video cameras that have found a role as B-cameras on professional productions or A-camera for amateur and independent productions. We've combed through the options and selected our two favorite cameras in this class.
What’s the best camera costing over $2500? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2500 and recommended the best.
If you want a camera that you can pick up and use without having to page through the manual first, then this guide is for you. We've selected seven cameras ranging from compacts to full-frame, all of which are easy to operate.
Family moments are precious and sometimes you want to capture that time spent with friends or loved-ones in better quality than your phone can manage. We've selected a group of cameras that are easy to keep with you, and that can adapt to take photos wherever and whenever something memorable happens.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that might be a bit older but still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
|Eat dust 0318 by jetals|
|At the Munich Zoo by gordzam|
from Alpacas and Llamas
|Bullfight by Jorgen K H Knudsen|
from The “can we travel again soon ?” series - Spain -
|Frey Wille by Wilfried HKG|
from Macro - Jewelry
The winning images were selected from more than 10,500 images captured around the world in more than 70 countries.
Apple has teamed up with Incite for many great 'Experiments' videos showcasing the latest iPhone model's camera capabilities including its latest, which shows off the slow-motion and time-lapse performance of iPhone 12.
If camera companies want to truly compete with smartphones for relevance, they need to offer models that are as easy to use as a phone, but offer substantially better image quality.
The lens remains the widest shift lens for full-frame cameras, with the new Leica L and Pentax K mount versions rounding out the Canon EF, Canon RF, Nikon F, Nikon Z and Sony E mount options from launch.
Award-winning videographer Vadim Sherbakov created an aerial film, 'The Noor,' with a DJI Mini 2 in zero degree (-18ºC) temperatures.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV is an entry-level mirrorless camera that's feature-packed, and will appeal to beginners as well as more experienced users. Read about the ins and outs of this image-stabilized, low-priced camera here.
Canon's Larry Thorpe has seen lot of changes over his 60-year career in the industry. We spoke to him after his recent retirement, and in this interview he highlights some of the technological advancements he's seen during his career and discusses the convergence between stills and video.
Nikon's Z6 II is a really pleasant camera to use – so pleasant, in fact, that one of our editors took it on a road trip vacation down the west coast to the California redwoods. Check out some coastal scenes in our updated sample gallery here.
Leica has introduced its Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70mm F2.8 ASPH lens for full-frame L-mount bodies. The lens has three aspherical elements, a stepping motor for autofocus and an 11-blade aperture. It's now available for $2795.
Days Inn by Wyndham has brought back its 'Sunternship' program for 2021. This August, a selected photographer will be paid $10,000 and have their travel expenses covered during a customizable two-week trip within the United States.
Star Stacker, an astrophotography app available for iOS, allows users to create star trail images and timelapses.
DPReview TV's Jordan Drake thinks the iFootage Cobra 2 is the best monopod ever created in the history of mankind. Find out why he calls it 'the monopod that changed my life'.
Photographer Andy Mumford believes his landscape photography would've progressed faster if he had learned a few key things early on. To help other photographers avoid the same pitfalls, he's shared a new video outlining three things he wishes he'd learned sooner.
We've updated our 'best cameras for videographers' buying guide, with the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H being our choice for high-end video shooters, and the Sony a7S III selected as the best "run-and-gun" option.
Sony’s three remaining A-mount DSLR cameras have disappeared from its website, suggesting the cameras have been discontinued, rendering the A-mount system all but obsolete.
The update improves autofocus capabilities and adds a collection of new and improved video features to Leica's 24MP full-frame camera system.
Law firm Hagens Berman has filed a suit against Samsung in US District Court. The lawsuit alleges a widespread defect in Galaxy S20 smartphones that causes the glass covering the rear cameras to shatter.
In this video, we head into the heart of wine country in the company of photographer James Joiner and the Fujifilm X-E4. James is meeting vintner Charles Bieler to shoot some imagery for a new wine label.
DJI released a statement today confirming that there are issues with the batteries that power its Mini 2 drone.
The fully-manual lens, which offers roughly a 50mm full-frame equivalent field of view, is available for Canon RF, Fujifilm X, Nikon Z and Sony E mount camera systems.
This 'retro-style' DIY digital camera is built around a Raspberry Pi Zero W connected to a Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera module.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-G100 (G110 in some regions) is a mirrorless camera designed for vlogging. Its 20MP Four Thirds sensor is paired with clever tracking audio technology, but we have our reservations.
Brian Emfinger from Live Storms Media got close to a tornado with his drone before losing it. Here is some footage he managed to pull from the DJI GO 4 app.
The video was captured by a photographer/pilot duo who used an Insta360 Pro 2 attached to a DJI Matrice 600 drone to capture the close-up visuals of Iceland’s Mt. Fagradalsfjall volcano.
Canon's EOS M50 Mark II is a compact, easy-to-use mirrorless camera. Check out our sample gallery for a large selection of tulip photos, with a few other subjects thrown in for good measure.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV is a compact, stylish and low-priced Micro Four Thirds camera with a 20MP sensor and in-body stabilization. Chris and Jordan put it through its paces in the latest episode of DPReview TV.
Our team at DPReview TV just wrapped up their review of the Olympus E-M10 mark IV. As Chris explains, it's now 'third winter' in Canada, so don't be surprised to see some snow in this sample gallery.
Nature photographer Erez Marom shares the story of his recent trip to Fagradalsfjall Volcano in Iceland
Michael Collins, an Apollo 11 astronaut known as the 'loneliest man in history,' passed away at age 90 from cancer.
The dog food company, Iams has launched a new app, NOSEiD, that photographs and scans dog noses to identify lost pups and help reconnect them with their owners.