Blog - Carlo Saltalamacchia

Full Frame Canon 6D v Sonly mirrorless cropped frame

I recently took a trip to Australia as a holiday. I lugged my full frame Canon 6D and a selection of equipment with me. I soon discovered that walking around all day with all this was spoiling my family holiday and carrying out a proper shoot with tripod and filters just was not going to happen. Instead I found myself pointing and shooting and trying to be creative. So I promised to look into a lighter walk around camera for holidays and times when I couldn’t or didn’t want to lug around my full frame DSLR. My aim was to use the DSLR on photo shoots or trips specific for photography where I had the time and opportunity to take all my gear and concentrate on the best possible imagery. Like early morning shoots.

The new camera ideally needed to give me excellent images with good dynamic resolution so that things like highlights and shadows could be pushed and pulled. It also needed to be quick and easy to use. After looking around I decided it had to be a mirrorless camera. This would also give me the ability to see what all the fuss is about with this new technology in case later I wanted to make that jump from DSLR to Mirrorless. My decision due to specification and cost was the new Sony a6000. My write-ups will be my experiences over the next couple of months with this camera compared to the Canon 6D with L lens. This gives me small size and ease of use, but with professional results.

I don’t want to get into the specs and numbers apart from saying this is the world fastest auto focus camera. My views will be all about the use and photography. However my purchase aim was as stated above as a walkabout camera. My comments below are in the order I discovered them.

First thing I noticed was how much lighter and smaller this camera is. However the lens on the front does make it an awkward shape and will not slip into a trouser pocket. It needs ideally a small shoulder case, putting in a handbag or something. However it is far more portable than the DSLR and gives me the opportunity to always have it with me. It’s not as robust as the Canon as its a sort of metal lump which although wouldn’t necessarily break easily, it could be catastrophic if you dropped it from a height. It’s typical of all these smaller cameras. It’s also not weather proof. I was worried about the menu system and the ability to quickly and easily find my key controls and setups. However I was pleasantly surprised, and seems to have all the functionality of my Canon.

I spent some time getting familiarised with this and testing the auto focus system. The autofocusing tracking system and the 11 fps image capture is I must say amazing. It will track a moving subject and take 11fps without breaking sweat. All I can say is awesome. Now I have a sports camera and can capture those perfect shots of kids and people doing things.

Next up I sussed out the wireless transfer of images and its ability to do this out in the field. It was easy, quick and faultless. Also if you have an NFC enabled smartphone it will do this by just tapping them together. My iPhone 6 should be able to do this once Apple enables it. Androids work already.

I went to the coast and captured some walk around landscape shots using RAW+JPG. I put it through its paces shooting into the sun and creating multiple exposure landscape panoramas using exposure lock. All worked a dream and so quick and easy. The back LCD display was plenty bright and full of information, however the exposure graph is a little crude but adequate. I used the eye piece most of the time which is adequate but not as clear or bright as a dslr. The electronic display allows a myriad of information and focus tracking to be displayed which is impossible on a Mirrored display. Images are captured onto an SD card so I didn’t need to buy any. Transferring to my iPhone while in a café and uploading to social media was a breeze same as the Canon 6D.

Adjustment of controls like ISO, F-Stop, and Exposure Compensation was all easy and to hand. The articulating screen had its advantages too. Battery life seemed fine for a days shooting but recharge times are quite long (3-4 hours) The hot shoe seems to be a Sony specification as my 430EX2 wouldn’t trigger in ETTL or Manual. I tried getting it to work via some remote IR transmitters but to no avail. What I did manager to do was get my xxxx in manual to slave fire off the inbuilt pop up flash. I didn’t experiment beyond this but it an option if required.

Exposure Bracketing in supported for single and multi shot. Its easily accessible from the menu and allows customation for number of shots and exposure steps. Very easy to setup and use. Next test was on Carnival night. I wanted to see how it beformed at night photographing illuminated carnival floats. For this I set the Speed fixed at 1/160 and F-Stop and ISO in Auto. I limited the ISO to 3600 and just fired away on the night without having to play with any settins.. Childsplay.. I had it on auto focus. The camera performed well with the images having a well balanced exposure from highlights to low lights detail

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