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kramer92911

Looking for experience of anyone who may have switched from FF DSLR (D850 for me) to Sony A6xxx

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I am considering switching to Sony A6600 from D850.  Partly because I am not diving as much but also to cut down on travel weight.  I have not used the Sony at all so looking for any insights.  One concern is not having a dedicated toggle to set focus point.  Despite the reduction in mp and not being full frame I feel the A6600 looks quite capable for the amount of diving I am now doing.  Thanks in advance for your help.  

 

Jamie

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Hi Jamie, I reviewed the new A6400 for uwpmag.com issue #108 May/June 2019. This can be found by going to the home page and finding back issues at the top of the page. The article is a free PDF download. The A6400 has excellent AF speed, eye AF both human and animal (which so far is not all that good for fish). Also excellent image quality for 24MP. The under $900.00 A6400 lacks the IBIS which the A6600 will have along with excellent AF and the huge upside of the newer Z battery which was left out of the 6400. This will more than double battery life. If you do macro I recommend the Zeiss 50mm macro which will also work with the Nauticam wet lens MWL-1, with theSony PZ 16-50 you can also use the Nauticam WWL-1 wet lens. Other lenses I have used and like are the Zeiss 12mm F/2.8 and the Sony 10-18 F/4 both work with the Nauticam 180mm port so that is the way to go if you like rectilinear lenses. 

If you want apples to apples performance wise with the D850 I am working on a review for the Sony A7R IV, excellent AF and tracking, weather sealing lots of excellent lenses, high battery life. You can quickly toggle between FF 61MP and APS-C at 26MP. This works great with lenses like the 90mm which acts as a 135mm on APS-C. Much much more, the review should be ready for the Nov/Dec 2019 issue of uwpmag.com

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On 10/20/2019 at 12:21 PM, Phil Rudin said:

Hi Jamie, I reviewed the new A6400 for uwpmag.com issue #108 May/June 2019. This can be found by going to the home page and finding back issues at the top of the page. The article is a free PDF download. The A6400 has excellent AF speed, eye AF both human and animal (which so far is not all that good for fish). Also excellent image quality for 24MP. The under $900.00 A6400 lacks the IBIS which the A6600 will have along with excellent AF and the huge upside of the newer Z battery which was left out of the 6400. This will more than double battery life. If you do macro I recommend the Zeiss 50mm macro which will also work with the Nauticam wet lens MWL-1, with theSony PZ 16-50 you can also use the Nauticam WWL-1 wet lens. Other lenses I have used and like are the Zeiss 12mm F/2.8 and the Sony 10-18 F/4 both work with the Nauticam 180mm port so that is the way to go if you like rectilinear lenses. 

If you want apples to apples performance wise with the D850 I am working on a review for the Sony A7R IV, excellent AF and tracking, weather sealing lots of excellent lenses, high battery life. You can quickly toggle between FF 61MP and APS-C at 26MP. This works great with lenses like the 90mm which acts as a 135mm on APS-C. Much much more, the review should be ready for the Nov/Dec 2019 issue of uwpmag.com

Thanks Phil,  I have read your review, great job.  I look forward to the A7riv review as well.  As much as I would love to have that camera, I just don't see it being that much smaller than a D850, itself or housing wise.

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On 10/20/2019 at 3:04 PM, kramer92911 said:

I am considering switching to Sony A6600 from D850.  Partly because I am not diving as much but also to cut down on travel weight.  I have not used the Sony at all so looking for any insights.  One concern is not having a dedicated toggle to set focus point.  Despite the reduction in mp and not being full frame I feel the A6600 looks quite capable for the amount of diving I am now doing.  Thanks in advance for your help.  

 

Jamie

Have you considered moving to the Z line? This would enable you to keep your investment in lenses, while switching to a lighter setup.

With the Z50, you would be in the same weight range as the A6600. It will take a few months for housing to be produce for this camera, but could be a good option too.

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20 hours ago, Algwyn said:

Have you considered moving to the Z line? This would enable you to keep your investment in lenses, while switching to a lighter setup.

With the Z50, you would be in the same weight range as the A6600. It will take a few months for housing to be produce for this camera, but could be a good option too.

I do not feel that the Nikon Mirrorless line is quite there yet.  Waiting for it to mature would also be an option.  Thanks.

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I think this is a simple answer...if you switch from the D850 to any of the current mirrorless cameras, you will find the AF frustrating. 

I know I keep banging on about this, but the single most important feature of any image is focus. Unless it is deliberately (creatively) blurred, out of focus images go n the delete category! Images that have noise, exposure issues, are badly framed or practically any other issue can be fixed to some extent in post. If they are out of focus, they cannot...

Given that we mostly use autofocus underwater, this makes the speed and accuracy of autofocus the single most important feature on any new camera. 

The AF on the D500, D850 and D5 is a generation ahead of any other any other system. The AF on the Z series (with the ZTF adaptor) is like going back to using a D7000. I understand that the Sony's is similar in performance, but do have native macro lenses which helps.

Of course, any camera is capable of producing stunning images. Performance just makes it easier to do so :)

Adam

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On 10/23/2019 at 6:09 AM, adamhanlon said:

I think this is a simple answer...if you switch from the D850 to any of the current mirrorless cameras, you will find the AF frustrating. 

I know I keep banging on about this, but the single most important feature of any image is focus. Unless it is deliberately (creatively) blurred, out of focus images go n the delete category! Images that have noise, exposure issues, are badly framed or practically any other issue can be fixed to some extent in post. If they are out of focus, they cannot...

Given that we mostly use autofocus underwater, this makes the speed and accuracy of autofocus the single most important feature on any new camera. 

The AF on the D500, D850 and D5 is a generation ahead of any other any other system. The AF on the Z series (with the ZTF adaptor) is like going back to using a D7000. I understand that the Sony's is similar in performance, but do have native macro lenses which helps.

Of course, any camera is capable of producing stunning images. Performance just makes it easier to do so :)

Adam

Thanks Adam,  Good to hear it again, one of the reasons I am not sold on Mirrorless.

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Hi Adam, sorry to hear you will not be joining use after DEMA, I would have been happy to let you use the Sony A7R IV which has excellent auto focus particularly when shooting AF-C with Lock-on AF expanded Flexible Spot. I have used the Canon EOS R and the Nikon Z-7 and they are simply not in the same class. I agree that lack of a native fisheye is still a problem but using the Canon 8-15 with Metabones is no different than using a DSLR lens on the ESO R or Nikon Z-6/7 with an adapter. 

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I have been using the Z6 for nearly a year and have found the focusing to be quite good, maybe even better than my D3X. It is challenging to make direct comparisons; for example, one should have 2 copies of the same Nikon AF lens, which I do not have.

The Z6 worked very well in near darkness with the only lights being Christmas lights. As well, the viewfinder is much brighter than an SLR; basically it is a form of night vision. It would be interesting to see how this works under water with color being off. I would not be surprised if one could dispense with a focusing light during day dives which may be needed in shaded spots. Another advantage is being able to move the AF points around beyond the central area (applies to FF). I generally use 1 point AF which seems the fastest probably because it uses less computing power.

That said I believe Canon and Nikon could have done much better AFwise. This might require more computing power (2nd CPU?) which could drain batteries even more. I am waiting to see what their pro sports mirrorless cameras turn out to be. Hopefully they will have batteries with a far higher CPA rating as well.

Edited by Tom_Kline

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Just picking up a point that Tom makes on the Z cameras:  battery life - it's much shorter than we are used to with DLSRs. With my D500 I can easily do a 3-dive day without a battery change. I suspect with the Z cameras you would likely need to change the battery after 2 dives. That might be an issue.

As Tom points out, it's really hard to do a comparison of focussing speed/accuracy without two identical lenses - it's all pretty subjective. Like Tom I've had a Z6 for about a year and did the Nikon focus system upgrade a couple of months ago. This included the eye-detect option which, photographing an 18-month old granddaughter, is spectacular. I guess not much use though on fish eyes. I'd love to try the Z6 underwater but won't be lashing out another £3k to find that maybe it's not as good as the D500. Like Tom, I use single point AF for most things so really don't need the whizzy-focussing anyway.

And, yes, that night vision-like viewfinder would be interesting to test out underwater.

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