[nitewalk] photo review of the sony a6000


nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#1


First thoughts


I love how it feels on my hands. The ergonomics was surprisingly good. The tilt LCD, in my first thought, was useful for shooting cats. This coupled with the availability of the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 art and the soon-to-be (at the point of thought) Samyang 12mm which features a 67mm filter thread and a combination which weighs in at 604g, was an attractive travel set. My special one decided to get this camera with the kit lens, so i decided to get the Samyang 12mm and try out this combination.

Introduction

I have been thinking about a travel setup for awhile. Carrying a DSLR and its lenses can be a cumbersome matter for some. Some mirrorless bodies/system does not offer great dynamic range and the selection of lenses may be limited. This made it unattractive for some, but in recent years, there had been a trend of mirrorless bodies used. This greatly reduces the load carried and even has other implications like a reduction in the size and robustness of tripod needed to support such a body (with that, it possibly also mean the reduction in the size of the ball head used).

The purpose of this review, is not to provide a scientific test chart shooting or 100% crop review. There is dpreview and dxomark (this camera scores 13EV for dynamic range on dxomark btw) for that. I hope to, through my amateurish view, look at this promising setup in the eyes of a beginner.
 

Likes: catchlights

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#2
Build

Feels really solid to me and surprisingly light! Mounting the Samyang 12mm on it, the whole set up is still lighter than Nikon D610 and the 18-35G, which in itself is already a super lightweight combination for full frame.

Handling and Operation

I find it a little small and as i have big hands, i do have to take some care in order not to have it fall into the river. Don't get me wrong, this is indeed part and parcel of the biggest advantage of this setup - size and weight. I don't have high expectations of buttons and all, but it does take some getting used to if you aren't familiar with this system (Sony long-time users may disagree). In fact, the one reason i stayed off Sony was the way the menu was designed. I hated what the LCD shows whenever i switch from, say M mode to A mode. However, that is probably just me. Otherwise, I found the mapping of the focus magnification (which is very important to me when i manual focus for landscapes) to the AEL button a big convenience and the AEL button being just right at my thumb, it is certainly very good. However, I get a little annoyed at how the magnification disappear quickly so i cannot really focus slowly.

I've used small mirrorless bodies like Pentax K-01 and Olympus OMD but never saw them as a potential main setup. To be honest, this is a very capable setup for most of us hobbyists. I was surprised at how well it retained shadow details and more of this later.

LCD View

I love how the LCD gives me a rough view of what is the output if i shoot at a certain setting. Changing the setting also allows me to see the new output, before i actually presses the shutter. I find this rather helpful. The changing of WB is also reflected on it, so i can see how the image will be like and make necessary adjustments to the settings to achieve what i want. The EV information is also on the screen so it makes deciding the setting a really convenient and fast process. This is something which i am annoyed with on the D610. Of course, with some care in metering and experience, this may not be an issue, but it is certainly a welcomed convenience which i enjoyed on the Canon.

The ability to tilt the LCD was a convenience in more ways than one. One may think, intuitively so, that it is a convenience for street shooter. So let's say i shoot seascapes low, or i shoot scapes on a lower tripod, this allows me to open up the LCD, tilting it for convenient viewing. I do appreciate this more than most, as I am rather tall. The purists may not like tilting LCDs but for me, it is a thumbs up.
 

Last edited:

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#3
The intention of this review is not to provide the same kind of review as dpreview, so i had touched on some of user sentiments and now for the actual results. Mounting the new Samyang 12mm f/2, this is a pleasure for shooting. Never had i worked with such a lightweight combination for landscapes, and this is an 'uncomfortably' light setup.

Please pardon my poor skills starting from the straight-out-of-camera shot.

I know it isn't a good idea here, evidently so from the trails, to use Black Card technique, but as it was rather late and i wanted to shoot it with one frame without GND filters (did not have them with me as it was an impromptu attempt). I just wanted an idea how well it handles a contrasty scene. I know from experience that the foliage in this area is very badly lit, so i decided to try it here. Surprisingly, the camera handled the shadow details well even at 0 contrast adjustment. Shot this at 2500K for WB (as I wasn't shooting RAW).



Okay, so I'm going to process the JPEG (for the purpose of this experiment, as some would shoot predominantly JPEG) and only adjusting the colour balance (added some cyan and blue in the midtones), reduce noise and sharpen slightly, this is the result.

 

Last edited:

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#4
Did another shoot this morning on this set up. Two-frame panorama without nodal rail and just used a GND0.9 soft to even out the exposure so i shot a single shot per frame.

 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#5
Another straight-out-of-camera shot this time using Samyang 8mm FE. Again, the E-mount for Samyang 8mm is so small it makes for a fantastically light system and mounting this on the Manfrotto table top tripod, no one takes me seriously! :bsmilie:

The highlight and shadow retention makes it flexible for the JPEG shooters to enhance their pictures using curves or level. However, in this shot, i only did a crop and a slight global recovery of shadow and some reduction in noise and sharpening. The final result is here.



The above picture is not processed and shot on neutral settings (i.e. 0 contrast and all).
 

Last edited:

monkster

New Member
Feb 14, 2006
95
0
0
Toa Payoh
#6
Thanks for the review. Makes me feel like getting mine out for a walkabout as well.
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#8
Shot this at about 7:42pm and at the opposite side of sunset, it is already pretty dark and so the camera could not handle the scene, so i had to blend. I would suggest to turn off the preview on LCD if you want to shoot multiple exposures to blend trails or fireworks or laser show. Otherwise, one could also use multiple exposure depending on situations.

On a side note, one may be interested in an observation that this setup seems somewhat prone to flare. Nothing that cannot be corrected so far though.

 

Last edited:

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#9
Lol someone added a picture of the camera on the first post?! :bigeyes::bsmilie:
 

Outlaw

New Member
Nov 24, 2006
60
0
0
East
#10
Hey,

That is really cool. I am interested in the Samyang 12mm F2 lens for Sony E mount, where did you get it and how much did you pay for it...?

Oon
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#12
Hey,

That is really cool. I am interested in the Samyang 12mm F2 lens for Sony E mount, where did you get it and how much did you pay for it...?

Oon
Artworkfoto. You can try calling them up. They are friendly.

Any chance to download and pixel peep on your images? Will give users an idea how u push the camera to perform.
I'm not too sure what you mean by push the camera to perform, neither do i understand how pixel peeing would have a look at that. It would also depend on the lens and how well i use it, maybe i don't use it well.
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#13
Another shot on the a6000 and Samyang 12mm.

 

porcu

New Member
May 2, 2014
3
0
0
Singapore
#14
First post for me. Lol.

How much is the Samyang 12mm?
Overseas now so can't call Artworkfoto.

It is which price range bracket? For eg, 400-500, 500-600 or more?
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#15
Yesterday sunset shot on Sony a6000 and Samyang 12mm. This is a 3-shot manually blended image.

 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#16
First post for me. Lol.

How much is the Samyang 12mm?
Overseas now so can't call Artworkfoto.

It is which price range bracket? For eg, 400-500, 500-600 or more?
I'd suppose you would not be able to buy it if you are overseas! :p
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#17
I think for a better view of the shot, try viewing in Flickr. The reduced size image makes it look strange. :bsmilie:
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,646
35
48
Singapore
#18
Another impression i get when i process is, it does not seem to handle highlights as well as shadows. I shot a bracket of under to over exposed shots and tried processing each of them. The over-exposed shot somehow gets banding very quickly and in a manner which cannot be rescued. So i will try under-exposing slightly while shooting on this setup and recover the shadow details.
 

Sep 22, 2008
848
9
0
#19
Another impression i get when i process is, it does not seem to handle highlights as well as shadows. I shot a bracket of under to over exposed shots and tried processing each of them. The over-exposed shot somehow gets banding very quickly and in a manner which cannot be rescued. So i will try under-exposing slightly while shooting on this setup and recover the shadow details.
I manage to crop the corner of a Raw file (ISO100, 13 secs exposure with NR settings off) from my A6000 after post processing. It looks like this.
Could this be the result of over-aggressive pp? Or is it inherent from the lens (10-18mm in this case)?



Another example from ryanlio's picture from the A6000. However, this is at ISO3200.
 

Sep 22, 2008
848
9
0
#20
Hi BD, could this be what you are referring to?
 

Top Bottom