Friday, October 7, 2016

What to do, what to do...

or how one news item from Sony can alter one's plans.
For the last 4 years, I've been shooting Weddings and Events with a Sony a99. This is a camera that embodies perfection for my style of shooting: excellent AWB, useful LiveView, quiet (not silent) shutter, dual card slots,  full frame, useable autofocus for video. I'm on my 2nd aA99 body, and the recent release of the a99II meant that new a99's would be taken off the market soon. 
The a99II improves on "perfection" but it comes at a high cost: $5000CDN. I've been getting more and more requests to shoot video and the a99II would be the ideal hybrid Stills/Video camera as it comes with 2 of my must-have features for shooting wedings these days: 4k video (really good 4k) and 5-axis stabilization. But still, $5000CDN  is a lot of weddings.
I've looked at the RX10II and it ticks off almost all the boxes except for the inability to use lenses faster than F2.8. In-body stabilization (IS) is the tried and true Sony SteadyShot but it isn't 5-axis. I've looked at the a6300 and it doesn't have a headphone jack and no IS at all. 
Today, Sony announced the release of the a6500, which builds on the (fastest/quickest in the industry) autofocus of the a6300, 4k video and ADDED 5-axis stabilization! Like the a6300, the a6500 still doesn't have a headphone jack but I use a pre-amp anyways. But the 5-axis stabilization is the deal-maker for me. And all for $1700CDN!
One may ask: why not use the a7 Series of full-frame cameras? 
Well, I did, for 1.5 years with an a7II. It wasn't ideal for shooting weddings and events. slow focusing and very expensive native FE lenses. Since I have alpha-mount lenses, I use the LA EA4 adaptor and this further slows down auto-focusing, disabling all the focus points that the a7II is known for. And apparently, even the native FE lenses are slow to focus, in this blog entry by Mann & Frau Schmidt.
The a6500  is an APS-C, cropped sensor camera, fine for Video but will take time to get used to for Stills.. For me, it'll be a different way of looking , having used mostly full frame bodies. But hey, cropped sensor doesn't seem to be a negative for Kevin Lam and Ramon Cespedes!

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