Getting Into Photography (Part III)

What do you do when the camera on your phone isn’t capable enough? I started looking for a better one. What I wanted was an entry level DSLR. I already knew Nikon’s offerings, Canon’s weren’t bad either. But then I stumbled upon the mirrorless movement and it didn’t take long for me to get hooked.

I immediately realized Nikon’s 1 range was not an option. Funny thing: a couple of colleagues were working for Nikon. At that time (2014), I asked for their professional opinion: “What should I choose between a DSLR and a mirrorless?”. They thought I was asking solely about the Nikon cameras and replied: “Why would you buy a mirrorless?”.
It wasn’t hard to remember Sony’s “DSLR Gear. No Idea” campaign from 2012.

Since then, the manufacturer launched numerous Nex cameras and decent lenses (apart from the 16mm f/2.8). That year, Sony changed the naming scheme of their cameras and launched the a5000 and the a6000, both very attracting. Jason Lanier gave me the nudge I needed to choose Sony:

There was only one question that needed an answer. Should I spend more on the a6000 and realize photography is just a phase or spend less on the a5000 and upgrade later? The fact that I found an a5000 double kit offer for the price of the simple kit made me choose the simpler model.


I loved my a5000. I used it from October 2014 until January 2018. I really liked its size and weight, the 20-megapixel sensor, the 180 degree display, and the wireless transfer option. What I liked most about it was the possibility to mount any vintage lens. I started with my father’s Helios 58mm f/2, then quickly added a few other.


But there were some downsides. The lack of an EVF and a poorly lit display meant using it in daylight was a real challenge. Autofocus was mediocre at best and the 3.5 fps meant fast action scenarios were out of the question. So I sold my a5000 with all my AF lenses (16-50mm kit lens, 55-210 kit lens, 30mm f/2.8 Sigma) and bought the current camera I own.

The Sony a6300 was the obvious choice for a few reasons. It had been on the market for a year and a half, and serious discounts were starting to pop up. For the same amount of money, I could have gone the full frame route, via the first A7. However, the a6300 was better in almost every aspect. And till this day I believe I made the right decision. It’s not as light as the a5000, but it’s still great for trips. I use it with two lenses most of the time: the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN and the Sony 18-105mm f/4 G OSS. One is great for portraits and low light photography, the other is better suited to general use and videography.

The odd lens in my bag is the 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens. I bought it mainly because I found the VCL-ECU2 wide angle adapter at an incredibly low price. You can read my review of the 16mm f/2.8 in this article.


What’s next? A few accessories, since the lens and camera departments are ok so far. A good tripod, a nice cage, maybe a camera bag or a camera backpack. Whatever I’ll choose, it’ll end up on this site as a review.

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