Whilst browsing Andrew Reid’s EOSHD site for content to plunder, I came across his look at the Sony Alpha6000. He said the image was really good and knowing Andrew, he is hard to please I downloaded the sample clip and was also impressed. Therefore, as you do, I ordered one yesterday and it came today.
I am not able to go out to do any filming right now as I am deep in pre-production on a shoot I am doing with James Miller tomorrow through our brand new company. Co-incidentally, it’s for Sony but nothing to do with this camera. The only thing I could film at home quickly is obvious if you know me…CATS. Bert to be specific.
So I fed him some of his treats to keep him relatively still due to me shooting at an insanely shallow depth of field (more in next paragraph) all at 50p for slow motion. Simple settings. All manual of course. Low ISO, 1/100th shutter, wide open. Profile was neutral with contrast -3, saturation -1, sharpness -1.
Naturally since it’s an APS-C Sony E-mount, I put on my Metabones EF Speedbooster alongside my favourite lens the Sigma 35mm F1.4. This lens costs more than the camera, very common with low budget cameras. Along with the Speedbooster we are looking at close to £1000 for what I had in front of the camera, which is just under half what this camera cost me. A comparatively cheap £540! Just because it’s a cheap camera doesn’t mean you have to put on cheap glass. Of course, many would like to see me do that. Sorry, but I don’t own a nifty fifty and the only cheap glass I have is old Nikon glass, and that wouldn’t be fair. Using the sharpest lens I own makes loads more sense to check out the image. Also with the Speedbooster the “effective aperture” increases. The camera was reading the F1.4 as F1.0. Always fascinating to see that, it gives me a chill! It’s just a shame that I cannot keep focus though!
So a quick overview of the pros and cons, totally pilfered from EOS HD. He won’t mind… I changed a fair bit of it Andrew!
- Excellent 1080p image, detailed with few artefacts. Must be one of the best HD images from a stills camera I have seen, apart from the Super 35mm mode on the Canon 1DC
- APS-C sensor
- Focus peaking / magnified focus assist whilst rolling
- Clean uncompressed output
- E-mount is HUGELY flexible and compatible with huge range of glass including Canon EF with Metabones Smart Adapter
- Speed Booster gives you the full frame look on this camera and amazing low light performance
- Fantastic low light performance anyway from this excellent new sensor
- Almost no moire and aliasing in video mode…I am sure it exists, but I’ve not quite seen it yet
- Nice OLED EVF and articulated screen. EVF not as good as the NEX 6 which I believe it replaces
- TINY, but good build quality
- The new Alpha menus a big improvement on NEX cameras
- Extremely fast AF, continuous burst rates and great stills quality at 24MP
- Audio s(sigh) – no mic or headphone sockets, not compatible with A7R XLR box, which really annoys me as I have that for my A7r and AX100
- SD card slot under battery cover on bottom of the camera, a bit annoying.
- Only AVCHD
The image did need post sharpening, this is nothing new. I do this for so many cameras…even the Alexa. It depends how well it responds to it. Many cameras just highlight the image issues. As this camera has barely any (well rolling shutter of course) it responded really well. I graded it with FilmConvert too.
The slow motion combined with the nice details and the grade…I was impressed with how it looked, the detail was there, I couldn’t see any more or aliasing either.
I know I am over a month late to the party, but I am glad I discovered this. It’s a real dark horse and from what I have seen so far (which isn’t much) I am itching to take it out compare it to my much more expensive full frame Sony A7s.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my GH4 review. I really am super impressed already with it. The GH4 really has so many amazing features that put it in a different league from this camera, apart from I think the HD image, which is nicer on the Sony. The GH4 has moire in HD. Not in 4K that I can see, and that 4K image is bloody good. I just am a touch disappointed with the HD. The GH4 goes up to a massive 200 mb/s whereas the Sony is 24mb/s. But it doesn’t matter how high your bitrate goes, if you have moire at 24mb/s you will at 220mb/s! The Sony also can give uncompressed out to record in a better codec using something like an Atomos Ninja Blade, but it won’t be 10bit 422 like the GH4. That is unique in a camera like this.
So there we go. I hope to find time to share some more stuff. For now here is the one shot I did of Bert and below it are links to the .MTS and a re-wrapped version .MOV (identical contents) of the same shot but straight from the camera. Enjoy and please thank Bert for me!