Sony a6000, 4 years later

Little bit different format this time as today marks the 4th year since I bought Sony a6000. I decided to do a short write up to kinda sum it up. Why 4 years, you might ask… There’s actually no big reason, it’s just I switched to this Sony from my Nikon D5000, which I was using previously for almost 4 years, so I’d say it’s a nice way to compare how I feel about the camera now.

The short answer to that is, Not very different from when I bought it, actually. I remember being bothered by the size and weight of the Nikon (it’s a very small DSLR, mind you) and leaving it at home many times, not wanting to carry it outside. And then getting the a6000 with small Sigma 30mm f/2.8 (loved that lens). It was completely different experience, I started taking the camera everywhere, and taking much more photos. Came back from trip to Japan following year with nearly double the amount of photos I was taking with the Nikon. From technical point of view it was much better too, with double the MPx amount and much cleaner hight ISO.

Obviously the size has not changed a bit, so I still take it with me almost all the time when I go out (even though I might end up not using it). It has never been a burden, it’s just so easy to throw in a bag or backpack. Spec-wise though, cameras have changed a lot again in those 4 years, and although Megapixels are not increasing as much (thank god) lot of things are getting better again, like much better viewfinders, In Body Image Stabilization and improvements in video and image quality.

But not once have I though “Man, those files from a6000 suck, I wish I had something better”. I actually am still not bothered by the viewfinder either, even though many people (on the internet, as they do) hated it the day a6000 came out. And I do use the viewfinder all the time. I still get surprised from time to time, how nice files can I get from it as well.

I do enjoy new toys, like most people do, so I wondered if I should upgrade few times. The APSC a6k series from Sony doesn’t seem like good upgrade path for me, as image quality wise, I don’t see them as big upgrade, and buying new camera with similar quality just for stabilization or 4K video just isn’t what I want to do. And the a7 series although very nice, were still missing that last something that would push me to just get one. And if my a6000 broke would probably end up getting new one again (that is until the a7III came out, more on that later). And If someone asked me what camera to get, I still would most likely recommend it.

One thing I did upgrade though, were the lenses. Not counting the Nikon adapted glass, which was used more as an emergency for the beginning, I started with Sigma 30mm f/2.8 (great small and light lens!) and Sigma 60mm f2.8 (that sharpness!!) both replaced by Sony’s own 24mm 1.8 and 55mm 1.8 (will do post on it at some point) respectively. And manual Samyang 85mm 1.4 was replaced by Sony’s 85mm 1.8. Only lens that I still haven’t and will not upgrade is the Samyang 12mm ultrawide, there is Zeiss 12mm, but it would most likely be more of a downgrade. Neither of the new lenses is as small (and light) as the Sigma 30mm was, so pursue for better image quality and lower aperture did take some toll on portability unfortunately. Still it doesn’t increase the camera size all that much and packing 24mm and 55mm duo is all what I need when I usually go out. Sometimes I wonder if the reason I wasn’t using the Nikon D5000 as much in the end was the fact that I wasn’t earning much at that time and didn’t have good lenses, maybe it I bought some proper focusing glass I wouldn’t mind that weight and wouldn’t get fed up at all.

So after 4 years and some 20650 actuations (just checked today’s last photo, thought it would be more) I still am happily using the camera almost every week and don’t feel limited by it in any sense. But now the Sony a7 III is out and do I want it? Oh yes, I sure do!! The I don’t need it but I sure want it part of me is going strong. I always admired that full frame goodness! And it does have IBIS, much better video and over all it’s more complete package not missing pretty much anything for me. So why do I not have it yet? For me it’s the weight and size, while the a6000 body is mere 344g, the a7III goes close to double of that with 650g. I played with it few times in the store, but the size and weight always makes me wonder “Won’t it end up same as the D5000 did, laying on the shelf at home, not being used?”. I don’t know answer to that yet, but knowing myself I probably will get it at some point when money will be burning hole in my pocket and then I’ll find out. Or perhaps the sensible me will win and I will still be happily shooting with the a6000 for few more years… That LEICA M10 or Hasselblad X1D tho!!

Cherry blossom portraiture

There was supposed to be this famous alley full of blooming cherry blossom trees, so me and my friend decided to go check it out and take some portraits while we’re at it. Luckily the weather was great and we went quite early in the morning so there won’t be too many people around. Unfortunately though, although nice, the alley wasn’t all that pretty and the trees were rather small, so it didn’t look as good as I had imagined.
Also even though it was morning, there still were people around, so it wasn’t easy to find the right timing to get shot without other people in. It wasn’t completely horrible, so we did spend some time there and took quite a few photos (not uploading all of them obviously). But after a while we got fed up of that location and went to find something with bigger trees.
Little bit further from the main alley there was this playing field with much bigger sakura trees all around it, and it looked a lot better! The blossoms were at peak and the weather was still amazing, so it was perfect combination, there were also less people (or rather the space was bigger), so it was easier to get some photos.
With little bit of “help” I even managed to get some falling petals.
After some time we went to check out some other locations, as there was one more smaller alley bit further from the entrance, but it wasn’t all that good so after short walk it was time to go slowly home.
On our way home I remembered there was nice park nearby, which had some sakura trees in it, but I saw it only during summer so I wondered how they look when in full bloom. There was almost no one there and although the photo may not look like it the small park was actually much nicer than whole place we spent few hours in previously. So we played there for a bit and took some more photos…
It was my first time seeing cherry blossoms in full bloom and I understood why Japanese love them so much. I too can’t wait for next year, so I can take some pictures again.