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Topic # 150469 23-Jul-2014 22:29
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Hi,  
I'm considering a Sony Mirrorless camera predominantly for video work.  I'm super interested in the speed booster/ lens turbo focal length reducer concepts for this style of camera also.   Coming from a true optical viewfinder DSLR this is going to be quite a change, though in video mode it's always been live view on the rear screen anyway.

Can any one provide any feedback/thoughts on their experiences with the NEX 6, 7 or the new A6000 models please?  

My intention initially would be to use one general purpose kit lens (so I could actually use the fast autofocus abilities) but the rest would be my existing Pentax Prime Lenses via an adapter/focal length reducer adapter.  In the latter case there would be no benefits from an autofocus point of view.


My initial questions are the likes of:

From a video quality point of view, is the compression/end result any better on the A6000 to justify the additional cost?

The NEX units appear to have silly icon based menu's.  Are these that bad?

but really I'm after any thoughts and feelings on this.  The NEX 6 appears to be on clearance in America at the moment for instance. Some reviews suggest the video quality is much much better on the new A6000 too.  

Thanks as always.

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  Reply # 1094593 23-Jul-2014 23:07
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You've probably heard this already, but still adding my 2c.
If you're a DSLR user at the moment, the biggest bugbear people seem to have with the Sony's is the fact in order to change the settings you need to take your face away from the camera, and fiddle with the settings. To be honest, going between a D7000 and a friends D5100 is frustrating enough. However, this is not an issue as noted by OP for video recording.

Slightly more relevant is the fact neither the A6000, nor the NEX6 have an external 3.5mm mic jack adaptor, leaving you with onboard audio.
Alternatively you could buy an expensive Sony Hotshoe mic adaptor- ECM-XYST1M http://www.sony.co.nz/product/ecm-xyst1m $229 from Sony Store, but this is a very expensive add-on especially if you have any external mic's you wish to use at the moment.


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  Reply # 1094633 24-Jul-2014 07:15
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Panasonic have a range of M 4/3 cameras renowned for their video ability. Panasonic GH4, and the older but still good GH3 are definitely worth looking at, and since the v4 is out you could get a good deal. The GH4 can record 4K video.




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  Reply # 1094672 24-Jul-2014 09:14
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Yeah I'm looking at the Sony from a cost point of view with regards to the lenses I already have.
Now whilst you can get Pentax to micro 4/3's adapters also, the increased crop factor mean going wide and getting a narrow depth of field is a bit harder.
The Sony with the speedbooster should be a nice combo.

I looked at the blackmagic pocket cinema camera as this has been heavily discounted world wide.  This gives you professional grade Apple ProRes 422 or lossless CinemaDNG RAW at incredibly high bitrates, but you need the batteries and fast SD cards to work with this.  Fundamentally it's great, but is overkill for anyone not looking for professional work, and the crop factor is even worse again, so a speedbooster is a must.

Lots of products have bits of the ideal for my circumstances, but I don't know of any that can do it all cheaply yet.  Oxymoron there.

Does the NEX / A6000 have a simulated steady shot shake reduction in camera (like say the actioncam does) or does it only do this via stabilised lenses?

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  Reply # 1094690 24-Jul-2014 09:45
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I have DSLT-A55v and been looking to get NEX or E-lens Alpha models, as they share same batteries and can use same accessories. I do find the photo qualities are pretty good. Other photographers have different preferences but Sony Alphas fit me fine.




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  Reply # 1110930 19-Aug-2014 00:31
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Hey, I'm an obsessive gear nut and a semi pro videographer. And if you're just looking at Sony E mount range, then getting the A6000 is the obvious choice. Unless you want to spend a lot more and get the A7s, or a lot less and get one of the older models (such as the NEX-5N http://rungunshoot.com/the-350-docu-filmmaking-kit-depreciation-is-wonderful/ , which is still a better value option than anything Canon offers).

 

My current camera that I use is the Nikon D5200, when I was making my purchasing decision it was a very close call between the Nikon D5200/D7100/D5300 vs Sony A6000 vs Panasonic G6. They're all roughly the same ballpark price and all roughly as good as each other, is a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other (only other worthwhile options I had to consider amongst the DSLR/MILC options is the Canon 5DmkIII, which is a *lot* more expensive yet provides zero net benefit for filming with in its stock form. And the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7s, which hadn't quite been released and reviewed widely, plus they're a lot more expensive than the other options I was considering that I'd just mentioned and I felt I needed to somewhat urgently replace my current camera so didn't have the time to wait. But I will be getting a Panasonic GH4 I reckon by this summer).

IF a person wants a camera to film with that is not as expensive as the GH4 or A7s (as they're the two current top choices in the market, by far) but is also a step up in quality and price from old classics such as the NEX-5N or Panasonic GH1 (which are still very fine cameras to use today! http://www.anycamerawilldo.com/old-but-not-out/ As I know from experience from using a GH1 myself, I'd take it over a 5DmkII any day of the week), then the Nikon D5200/D7100/D5300 or Sony A6000 or Panasonic G6 is the complete list of all the worthy ones to consider. Which one of those is best for you, will depend on your particular situation of wants, needs, and uses.

 

As you've already identified Sony E mount as the camera system you want, then it would seem clearly the A6000 is the one for you. But check out the Panasonic G6 too, as it is easy to adapt your Pentax lenses to a Panasonic G6 (coincidentally, the first lenses I ever used on my GH1 were old Pentax lenses!).

http://www.eoshd.com/content/12428/surprise-sony-alpha-a6000-video-mode-huge-improvement

http://www.eoshd.com/content/10824/panasonic-g6-review-the-gh2-redux

http://personal-view.com/talks/discussion/6788/panasonic-g6-topic-gh2-replacement-camera (the GH2 is a very famous and very high performing camera, the G6 is the "successor" to it in the eyes of many. And Personal-View.com is the number 1 forum on the internet for fans of filming with micro four thirds cameras, so it is a great source of information that forum is)




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  Reply # 1110932 19-Aug-2014 00:39
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Jaxson: Yeah I'm looking at the Sony from a cost point of view with regards to the lenses I already have.
Now whilst you can get Pentax to micro 4/3's adapters also, the increased crop factor mean going wide and getting a narrow depth of field is a bit harder.
The Sony with the speedbooster should be a nice combo.


So called "crop factor" isn't an issue with Micro Four Thirds in my opinion, as if you use a focal reducer you get the equivalent of Super 35mm which is what almost virtually all big budget hollywood films get made on. If it is good enough for them, it is for me! (if anything.... we should shoot on smaller Super 16mm sized sensors? After all, most of us don't have the luxury of operating with highly trained professional focus pullers complete with all that gear for it! So easier to hit the focus marks with Super 16mm :-P ).

Jaxson: I looked at the blackmagic pocket cinema camera as this has been heavily discounted world wide.  This gives you professional grade Apple ProRes 422 or lossless CinemaDNG RAW at incredibly high bitrates, but you need the batteries and fast SD cards to work with this.  Fundamentally it's great, but is overkill for anyone not looking for professional work, and the crop factor is even worse again, so a speedbooster is a must.

I've got a BMPCC on order myself, is meant to be shipping to me this week (fingers crossed!!). "Crop factor" isn't an issue at all to me, because I have a focal reducer (everybody should get one! They're cheap, and they're big game changers) and an UWA lens (a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 in a Nikon F mount of course). I also have a 12.5-75mm f/1.2 C mount zoom lens to use with my BMPCC when it arrives.

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/9086/rj-lens-turbo-m43-adapters/p1




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  Reply # 1111099 19-Aug-2014 09:59
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Hi dman, thanks for the comments.

My existing Pentax DSLR has the potential for in body stabilisation of all legacy lenses attached, given it moves the actual sensor itself to correct movements in stills photography mode.  However, whilst they did this for video on older models, it appears they're using software stabilisation (badly) instead for video now, and it's junk.  Thought I'd mention it though, as it's a cool feature that I think only Olympus is doing well at the moment, and the shaking is evident in a lot of demo Panasonic/Sony NEX videos.  The older Pentax's do it in video, but they don't do 1080 24p unfortunately.  So, stabilisation of older lenses is a feature I'd love to have on any new video orientated unit, but I accept that I won't get it on the models I'm looking at.

The sensor size for me was important, from a low light ability point of view, and from an ability to create a narrow depth of field image, but I fully take on board your comments of the practical issues of nailing focus with such a narrow depth of field and the camera / subject movement.  In practise most modern sensors are pretty good anyway, and without getting into the real picky specifics, they can all do a pretty good job nowadays .

Money will be a factor, so I might take a closer look at the NEX-5 range also.  My typical type of work is lots of little clips stitched together, so I'm not usually filming for a long period of time straight.  By all accounts the overheating issues were fixed on the NEX-6 and A6000 models.  That G6 looked interesting.  I'll take a closer look but expect I'll want to stay at the APS-C sensor size. 

Good stuff, thanks for the info and links, it's appreciated.

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  Reply # 1111151 19-Aug-2014 10:43
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Sony announced A5100. Looks pretty good, probably be the first NEX for me - good to be able to reuse NP-FW50 battery that I already have for my SLT-A55v.




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  Reply # 1111153 19-Aug-2014 10:47
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I have a question.

How do you tell a mirrorless where to lock focus?

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  Reply # 1111155 19-Aug-2014 10:49
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joker97: I have a question.

How do you tell a mirrorless where to lock focus?


There should be some manual control (W/T), so you can just focus and half-shuttle to lock. With Sony A5100, it has touch screen so you can tap where you want it to lock.




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  Reply # 1111165 19-Aug-2014 11:05
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While in body stabilisation is nice, it is also has a lot of technical downsides, so I wouldn't currently regard it as a key *must have* feature. Instead it is just a "nice to have".
Big budget Hollywood movies get made without, along with thousands upon thousands of other professional level videos. Just learn when and how to use your support equipment (tripods, steadicams, shoulder rig, monopod, slider, jib, etc).

Jaxson: The sensor size for me was important, from a low light ability point of view, and from an ability to create a narrow depth of field image, but I fully take on board your comments of the practical issues of nailing focus with such a narrow depth of field and the camera / subject movement.  In practise most modern sensors are pretty good anyway, and without getting into the real picky specifics, they can all do a pretty good job nowadays .


Nailing focus vs modern sensors are two very different things... or maybe those two sentences are just accidentally in the same paragraph together and there is not meant to be any connection between them?

But yes, I agree, modern season technology is pretty good! Certainly when it comes to photography it is more or less "game over", basically *all* current MILC/DSLR cameras are "good enough" for the vast vast majority of photographers. (even NIkon's lowest end DSLR, the D3300, can match the top full frame professional cameras from not that long ago when it comes down to pure sensor performance)

When it comes to videography that isn't quite true... somewhat more work left to be done there. But at least with the better ones (the ones I listed in my previous post) it has got to the point they're mostly there for most of video folk.

Ideally though, I'd like to see Panasonic / Nikon / Sony release a camera which has all the best bits of the current cameras combined into one. Low light of the A7s, UI/usability & internal recording of the GH4, 4:2:2 10bit CinemaDNG raw of the BMPC4K, etc

Not going to happen in the near future though. So instead for now, I just pick whichever camera is best for the job, Which for me, means my hacked Panasonic GH1 or my hacked Nikon D5200 or my GoPro 3 Black Edition or my soon to arrive BMPCC (or even sometimes I'll use my Canon ELPH 100, as running CHDK on it is handy. Plus it is so cheap I don't mind risking it on crazy shots. Though now I have the GoPro for that). And as I mentioned, I'll get by this summer the Panasonic GH4 too, and maybe perhaps the A7s (if things go really well and/or it sees some decent price drops, as it is a tad pricey).

Jaxson: Money will be a factor, so I might take a closer look at the NEX-5 range also. 


Each one is a bit different. If you're aiming to save money, I'd suggest picking up the NEX-5N second hand (heh, I was just looking up now myself to see what the prices of it is now. Is kinda tempting to pick up one with a pancake lens to bring around as my daily camera which I always have on me instead of my Canon ELPH 100. But I really need to resist that temptation...)

Do remember that the camera body is usually only a small part of the total investment. So it could be wise for you to go cheap here.

Jaxson: My typical type of work is lots of little clips stitched together, so I'm not usually filming for a long period of time straight.  By all accounts the overheating issues were fixed on the NEX-6 and A6000 models.  That G6 looked interesting.  I'll take a closer look but expect I'll want to stay at the APS-C sensor size. 


Yes, you are right that the A6000 doesn't overheat like the earlier Sony NEX models did, it also made a number of other improvements too. I reckon you're over rating the benefits of APS-C vs m4/3, plus with a focal reducer m4/3 ends up being effectively APS-C sized anyway.

Anyway, I should make an addition to my list of cameras I made just before, to add the Sony A5100. As I was doing my roughly once weekly reading of SonyAlphaRumors (as while I don't have a Sony camera, the E mount is my second favourite mirrorless system after Micro Four Thirds and I reckon it is only a matter of time until I end up buying one myself. I've come close a number of times): http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-a5100-officially-announced/

Reading the press release, it appears the A5100 is a much better value option than the A6000 (unless you *really* want the EVF). Heck, I suspect it might even not just be equal to the A6000, but be even better for filming with. But will have to wait for the reviews (by people who know their stuff! *NOT* by photographers who dabble with video, as 95% of the reviews are of cameras. As they're worse than clueless) I reckon to find out about that for sure.




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  Reply # 1111260 19-Aug-2014 13:00
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chiefie: Sony announced A5100. Looks pretty good,



Hey thanks Chiefie, appreciate the heads up.

I liked the idea of the EVF but if I'm honest with myself this is for video mostly, for which I'm very much likely to be using the rear screen.  Also the price seems good, so I'll be following this one up.  Thanks.



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  Reply # 1111266 19-Aug-2014 13:02
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joker97: I have a question.

How do you tell a mirrorless where to lock focus?


Umm how do you tell a DLSR where to focus lock, especially in live view mode?  I expect the answer will be very similar for a mirrorless wink

With manual focus lenses you can use the likes of focus peaking and digital zoom to focus these more precisely also.  And in the case of my Pentax DSLR you still get a focus confirmation chirp and overlaid focus location indicator also.

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  Reply # 1111272 19-Aug-2014 13:12
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Jaxson:
chiefie: Sony announced A5100. Looks pretty good,



Hey thanks Chiefie, appreciate the heads up.

I liked the idea of the EVF but if I'm honest with myself this is for video mostly, for which I'm very much likely to be using the rear screen.  Also the price seems good, so I'll be following this one up.  Thanks.


For the price this A5100 is aiming at, I'm not missing EVF, as I don't use my A55v EVF that much either. It is either NEX (e-mount) or RX100 iii, but the latter is quite expensive.




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  Reply # 1111281 19-Aug-2014 13:37
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chiefie:
Jaxson:
chiefie: Sony announced A5100. Looks pretty good,



Hey thanks Chiefie, appreciate the heads up.

I liked the idea of the EVF but if I'm honest with myself this is for video mostly, for which I'm very much likely to be using the rear screen.  Also the price seems good, so I'll be following this one up.  Thanks.


For the price this A5100 is aiming at, I'm not missing EVF, as I don't use my A55v EVF that much either. It is either NEX (e-mount) or RX100 iii, but the latter is quite expensive.


$550 USD for body only, vs $650 for the A6000

A6000 appears better for stills, is 11fps vs only 6 for the A5100

 

A5100 has XAVC S at up to 50Mb/s bitrate though means this is focussed on video quality more than any other NEX camera to date.

Sounds ideal to me smile

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