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Andrew Reid

Surprise! Sony Alpha A6000 video mode huge improvement

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Daniel please don't make any decisions based on my negative comments about the A6000. As I said I've never used one. I simply wrote it off because it didn't offer me anything I didn't already have between the G6 and D5300.

 

However if I was choosing between the Gx7 and a6000 now, personally I would definitely choose the GX7 (but then I already own a speed booster).

 

Don't worry Matt, thank you for your feedback, it's been very helpful having many points of views about the strengths and weaknesses about this cameras.

 

I must admit that the only thing holding me back from buying a Gx7 or a G6 is the sensor size (probably also the form factor of the Gx7 as well) I just love being able to have a shallow depth of field and the a6000 gives me that right out of the box, and I think the combo GX7 plus a fast lens (panasonic 20mm f1.7) is more expensive than the A6000 and a fast lens. ( I am still looking for a good combo).

 

Anyway your feedback has been very helpful to me. ;)

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I think the large sensor size of the a6000 is a bit of a moot point really. The largest aperture zoom of the E system is f4, which has the same dof as the f2.8 zooms on M43. The closest lens to the Olympus 17mm and Panny 20mm is the Sony Zeiss 24mm, which is two or three times the cost. The DOF of the 25mm f1.4 will only be a little less shallow than that of the Sony 35mm 1.8. And once you get to around 50mm, the DOF is already very shallow on both systems that it doesnt really matter

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I think the large sensor size of the a6000 is a bit of a moot point really. The largest aperture zoom of the E system is f4, which has the same dof as the f2.8 zooms on M43. The closest lens to the Olympus 17mm and Panny 20mm is the Sony Zeiss 24mm, which is two or three times the cost. The DOF of the 25mm f1.4 will only be a little less shallow than that of the Sony 35mm 1.8. And once you get to around 50mm, the DOF is already very shallow on both systems that it doesnt really matter

 

Moot point? Apart from you mathematical DOF equivalence -which sounds accurate- the look and feel of a larger sensor is very different. Try to shoot outside on a sunny day and get shallow depth of field with a M43 sensor. On full frame you would need ND filters to be able to open up to f5.6. On APS-C you probably need a stronger ND filter to open to f3.5. Can you imagine the kind of filtration you need to shoot under a summer sun at f1.8? Unless you are using good expensive filters, you'd need to correct IR and color shifts. The "character" of the lens would probably be lost under layers of filters, and the rig would not be so convenient.

 

No matter how you look at it, a bigger sensor has a different -IMHO more cinematic- feel that cannot be so easily compensated. It helps both in bright and darker environments. Wether you consider it fundamental or not is a matter of taste or the specific look you aim for, but the difference between APS-C and M43 is an important factor, just like perceived resolution, dynamic range and color science.

 

And by the way, there are wider aperture zooms that you can use on E-mount. That's one of the particular strengths of the system, that you can easily adapt lenses from many other mounts, or even use native primes, which is the ideal way to go if circumstances allow it.

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To say that the larger sensor gives a more cinematic feel is both very subjective and irrelevant. I have shot and seen lots of stuff that looks cinematic on an m43 or smaller sensor. And it's irrelevant because if we're here buying sub £800 cameras, do you really think we can afford full frames?

I'm just talking about native lenses btw. Both systems can adapt other lenses if you want but you lose AF and image stabilisation unless you get an electronic adapter.

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 cinematic feel is both very subjective

 

Of course it's subjective. Cinematic look is always subjective. Fullframe is seriously more cinematic than m4/3. (Subjectively of course)

 

Cost of full frames lenses is irrelevant, a6000 is not fullframe. M4/3 quality glass is not cheap either.

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Here's a short vacation video I shot on my a6000.  Lenses used were the Zeiss 24mm 1.8, Sony 50mm 1.8, and Sony 10-18mm F4.  Coming from the NEX-6 I appreciated the a6000's autofocus speed and accuracy quite a bit.  I also used the face detection focus tracking a couple times and it worked pretty well.  Still wishing we could record in XAVC / slog2 though like the A7s.

 

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Nice video tellure!  

 

I have the 10-18 too.  If I was shooting video only I'd be fine with a Panasonic and the 7-12 lens, but for photography the a6000 and 10-18 is an awesome combination (I've also used the 10-18 full-frame, on the a7).  Bigger sensor, less noise (DOF aside). I too wish the a7s a7ii weren't the only cameras with slog.  You can definitely get a "flimic" look with both the APS-C and MFT sensor cameras, but I agree with PabloGrollan, they have different looks that go beyond DOF calculations.   I don't know which I like better.

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This is a bit of an old post... but I just felt like I had to reply, as this might be the best comment in reply that I've read on this forum! Well said Matt.

 

Everyone has a choice - one man wants ease of use, another man wants a particular quality of image (not a "better" one). There is no "better" technology in art! There is only the right tool for the job. Nobody tells me what camera is "best" for the film I want to make. That's up to me, and my film will succeed  or fail on my choices. If we all made exactly the same films, with strict aesthetic criteria, we'd be living in a pretty awful (and dull) society.

 

Try telling any professional painter or art historian that painting - the history of painting - is not hugely driven by technology! Paint is technology just like a camera is! It is a more basic technology, of course - but technology is almost by definition about advancement and increasing sophistication. Take two of the most famous periods in art history - the Renaissance and Impressionism. Both basically began due to advancements in oil paint "technology" - the realism of the Renaissance would not have been possible if it were not for the slow-drying qualities of oil paint (until then most painting was done with quick drying egg tempera). Impressionism quite literally only happened because of the invention of the paint tube!!! Before the invention and mass-production of the very affordable, very portable metal paint tube with a screw-on top in the late 1800's, it was a huge undertaking for anyone to take an easel out into the landscape, do a day's painting and then pack the paint you made yourself in a big tin away so the colour you want to use again tomorrow doesn't dry up! It might sound funny, but the invention of the paint tube was far, far more revolutionary than the day Canon put HD video on the 5D2. Without the paint tube Van Gogh would not have been able to afford paint or take his wide, rich palette of colours outdoors. Monet could not have painted so "fast and loose". Ditto Cezanne. As Renoir said - "Without tubes of paint, there would be no Impressionism"! 

 

ALL art is bound up with technology. All of it. You cannot separate the two things. Cameras and paint-boxes are not so different. We have very sophisticated technology now, but to say paint is not technology is simple ignorance.

 

Affordable video ILC's's have made cinematic images available to almost anyone. They are todays paint tubes. This is not the time to say - "yes I have a kind-of cinematic camera, but the image is not quite up to "real" cinema standards - it needs to be "better" before I can compete with the gallons of dross Hollywood vomits on us every year." Now is the time to say, "Finally! I can make a film the way I want to! I don't give two sh*ts about whether it stacks up against the f***ing Alexa! I'm going to go out and do my thing. If it does what I want it to do then that's all that matters to me."

 

"Better"!?! For F's F'ing sake! 

 

Seriously, I enjoy a bit of heated debate on this forum and genuinely get very valuable info here, but sometimes I wonder if half of you know what you have in your hands. Today NLE's can be put on any computer going; the internet is a readymade distribution network; video DSLR's give wonderful, creative images. It's genuinely revolutionary. Stories make the world go round. And all you can do is compare your tools to the Alexa and suck on Ridley Scott/Terrence Malick/[insert canonised director of your choice here]'s great big Cooke. 

 

The world is changing. Art is bound up in technology and revolution is bound up in art. Why can't we go out and tell our stories the way we want to tell them? If for you that's ultimately with an Alexa with a view to cinematic distribution, great - all power to you. But every representational system has its limitations. In 200 years time the Alexa will be as funny as a box of paints, for sure. I love the image from that camera, but don't bloody tell me that it's images are "better" than mine. "Better" at what? Resolution, dynamic range, colour? Yes, for sure. But if Upstream Colour had been shot on an Alexa, would it have been the same film? I really doubt it. That film is it's own thing in a way very, very few features are able to be. Did I do much pixel peeping while watching it? Personally, not much at all. 

 

If you need ergonomics and usability for what you want to do, great. If you want to sacrifice your creativity at the altar of ever-improving image quality, fine. But images are what they are made of as well as what they show us - as Marshall McLuhan famously said "the medium is the message". I'd like my message to be my own, and not translated into the fascistic hierarchy of aesthetics that rears its ugly head here pretty regularly.

 

Note to dstillo: this rant is, , as usual, mainly directed at Andrew (who wrote the original response to me). I'm not really this mad at you :)

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This is a bit of an old post... but I just felt like I had to reply, as this might be the best comment in reply that I've read on this forum! Well said Matt.

 

Ha ha thanks man.  :lol:

 

I just re-read it. I maybe went a bit over the top but yes, it is quite good ;) I particularly like the bit about "Hollywood vomiting dross all over us."

 

I certainly stand by everything I said there. It's basically the DIY punk-rock aesthetic: talent, ability, equipment, distribution ... all of it ... comes second place to expression. If you've got something to say you find a way to say it that is within your means. And that comes across in the end product - the urgency of the content. Artists don't work within the constraints of their medium (whether they use an Alexa or an iPhone) - they work in spite of the constraints and push to find ways to say the unsayable. I'm not saying technology isn't important - the opposite in fact - but pushing the limits of a medium is where art happens.

 

All media has constraints. All modes of representation are inadequate, impotent and broken, no matter how sophisticated. That's why art is art and not science. I wrote my Fine Art PhD thesis on this subject by the way - perhaps why I got so vociferous about it!

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Because at the time people were used to 35mm adapters on 1/3" sensor cameras to get dof. AND THOSE WERE REALLY SOFT!

 

Softness is good anyways if the comparison is for example the Sony EX1 class cameras. Which are artificially sharp. Softness isn't always bad, I prefer softness to sharpened halos. The only real problem with the APS-C cams was aliasing and moire, not softness.

 

How are the Sony EX1 cameras artificially sharp, how does that happen?

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I dont know about the a6000 but I"ve been testing the a5100 in xavcs mode and it's really amazing, especially in low light. I put a AI-NEX adapter and used a 28/2...gotta say it's very clean up to 1600 iso. Compared to the Nikon D5300, you gain the peaking which is very helpful when focusing with manual lenses.

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How are the Sony EX1 cameras artificially sharp, how does that happen?

 

There's a huge bunch of sharpening artifacts. That's how a lot of these older 2/3" cameras look. Highlights get blown up, no dynamic range at all, white outlines on sharp edges, halos etc.

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Ha ha thanks man.  :lol:

 

I just re-read it. I maybe went a bit over the top but yes, it is quite good ;) I particularly like the bit about "Hollywood vomiting dross all over us."

 

 

 

That was an awesome post dude. And I did laugh out loud at the "Hollywood vomiting dross all over us". The latest I've seen being the Hobbit part 3. But it is totally true. Usually people who spend too much time pixel-peeping are the ones too lazy to just shoot and edit... making excuses like "I'll shoot it when my camera can pull of this or that... and I have been guilty of that to an extent many times!

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