Another studio session with the Sony a6000, Nikon Pocket Wizards (Plus III, MiniTT1, FlexTT5) and Nikon SB-900 & SB-800 Flashes. It's a little more work to use your flashes set to manual, but once set, they have been very reliable. The Pocket Wizards have really been working well with the Sony a6000 setup. I'm definitely enjoying flash photography again and not stressing out about misfires.
I've never owned a camera that could track subjects properly. In the photo sequence below, the Sony a6000 tracks Santa coming towards the camera and as I pan to the right the a6000 keeps focus until I'm done shooting. As the camera can shoot 11fps, it's pretty amazing that all my shots in the sequence stay sharp. I used the Sony a6000 with Sigma 19mm
I saw this bird standing in the water with nice light casting down on it. Even though the water background is a little busy and there are a lot of distractions, there is something I really like about this shot. I think it's just the colors: greens, dark blues and greys melding together. I could have shot this with a 200mm at 2.8 to help blur the background but I wanted to see the reflections of the palm trees.
The weather up in the Great Smoky Mountains didn't quite cooperate for grande landscapes so I decided to just "focus" on leaves and the colors they produce. My goal was to get some nice depth of field with color contrast. This photo is one of my favorites. The red pops out with greens and yellows behind them. It's almost like a painting. For this shot I really wanted shallow depth of field to produce nice bokeh in front and behind with just a little bit of the leaves in focus. To achieve this, I got as close as I could with my 60mm lens as wide open as possible f2.8.
This really isn't a "high noon" Nikon vs Sony shootout. I just happened to shoot with both cameras and the results, to me, are very interesting.These two cameras are very capable. I guess what strikes me is the Sony a6000 APC sensor looks just as good as my Nikon with nice bokeh, rich color, and sharp. To me the Sony is a lot sharper than my Nikon. I'm still blown away with the results this little a6000 produces. Both were shot in RAW. Both at f2.8.
So my question to you is: If I told you what camera I took these in, would it matter?
The fall colors in the Smoky Mountains are just so dang colorful. I grew up on the west coast so I've never really seen or experienced the east coast fall. I saw these colorful leaves on the ground laying on green moss. The bigger red leaf seems to be embracing the smaller yellow leaf.
Sometimes mother nature just doesn't quite cooperate. That's when you gotta just do the best you can. If the shot isn't there it's time to play around with different technique and use your imagination. I knew I wasn't going to get a great shot of the full super moon with all the different layers of storm clouds. So I just played around and tried some different things and came up with this photo below. At a 2 minute exposure I'm surprised the clouds aren't more blurry, but I like the smoothness of the ocean and the semi crisp clouds with the super moon rising behind them.
I've really been pushing this little camera to see how well it stacks up to my Nikon D700. Even though the sensor is APC I am getting terrific results. In some cases I am getting some banding (lines that go across the image) but I think those show up in contrasty or darker images. So far I have to conclude: why will I ever buy a 3k camera body again. My Nikon is a fantastic camera and I will probably still use it as long as it works. My motto has always been this: it doesn't really matter, in most cases, what camera you use, it's how you use it. If you learn the fundamentals of photography you can achieve professional results with just about any camera. (Take a look at my W.I.S.E. page.) Also see my GoPro Pix here
I was down filming and taking photos at the beach with the Sony a6000. There were numerous rainbows out. I saw the Victory Casino Cruise heading out for their nightly voyage going right under a rainbow. Can't get any better than that. Cha-Ching!
Shot with Sony a6000 / Sigma Art Lens 60mm / 50 bit rate / Graded in Adobe Premiere
One of the main things I wanted to know about the Sony a6000 was could I use my Nikon SB 900 & Nikon SB 800 Flashes with my Nikon Pocket Wizards. The answer is Yes! I actually think the pocket wizards work better on the Sony than on my Nikon D700. I had zero mis-fires, where as on my D700, I was always fiddling with the pocket wizards to work properly and even trigger. To get the pocket wizards to work on the Sony a6000 I had to go into the software and make them basic triggers, this means you have to work with your flashes manually no TTL. I also chose a channel for all of them (trigger and receiver) to share. So here is a list of the Pocket Wizard transmitters and receivers I got to work on the Sony a6000:
The only difference between the Nikon D700 & a6000 is sync speed, I can only get 1/160th max sync on the Sony a6000 with no TTL, but it's not that difficult to work the flashes manually.
Hopefully this will help others with this decision because it concerned me for the longest time and was the only decision not to buy the Sony a6000 because I have so much invested in my Nikon. Side note: the files seem to be way sharper than my D700 I almost don't need to sharpen them in post. The photo below was shot on standard profile
In this scene I wanted to see how well the low lights did with the highlights. I exposed for the sky and brought out the details in the foreground in post. The Sony raw file holds up pretty well, not quite as good as my Nikon D700 but I think it's good enough, enough so, you wouldn't be able to tell what camera or size of sensor took the photo.
Testing late evening colors with the Sony a6000.
As I continue to test my Sony a6000 camera and push the raw files I am very impressed. The raw files aren't as good as my Nikon NEF's but they are really close. It must be the difference between the Sony's 12 bit raw and the Nikon's 14 bit raw. None the less, this camera is keeping up with my Nikon D700 and then some. I'm really enjoying the small form factor and portability of this power-packed camera. Image below: Black & White Double Rainbow
A road with no cars on it! That's what a good thunderstorm will do, get everyone off the roads so us photographers can capture a scene. I just really liked how this road looked as it led down into the glowing sky, then add to that the "do not enter" sign. - ominous
I ran down to the beach with my Sony a6000 right after a big thunderstorm. I was hoping to catch the lightning offshore but instead there were rainbows everywhere. Gotta love the double rainbow action.