Monday, October 12, 2015

Refusing The Fail

Early this year, I made the decision to invest in a new mirrorless camera, along with some lenses specific to it.  The decision was driven by a desire, primarily, to reduce the bulk and weight of a full-on DSLR, while still being able to take high quality photos during bike trips.

I chose the Sony A6000 due to super-positive reviews and wide availability.  What none of my research ever uncovered though, was what a total piece of shit the user's manual for this camera is.  (And that description is overly kind, believe me.  Feel free to ask me how I really feel sometime.)  It lacks any kind of perceivable organization and offers a generally shallow treatment of a complex piece of equipment.  The illustrations are simplistic and the index is a joke.  It exists online only, and is an online-only document.  It can be printed, but it is even more worthless in printed form, because it is full of links within the text that send you haphazardly to other pages of the document that are located in obscure places within the structure of the document.

As someone who likes to sit down with a paper manual (even if I have to print it myself) and work my way in a somewhat linear and organized fashion through the various features and functions of a camera, as I was used to doing with my solid Canon manuals, the Sony offering was insanely frustrating.

At the time, I looked for online learning options, as well as third-party books.  There were some online bits and pieces, if I had a million free hours to peruse them and somehow synthesize some sort of understanding.  The solitary book available at the time received poor reviews, and I mean really poor.

So the camera sat.  For over 6 months.  Yeah, I could take a basic photo, but to have no control over the awesome, advanced functionality of such a highly-regarded machine was just too sour of a taste in my mouth.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, and a whim of a google search turned up a very positively reviewed third-party book on the A6000, by David Busch, who has a shit-ton of experience shooting, and writing, and writing about shooting, and shooting to support his writing.  The book is freaking GOLD.  I am partway through Chapter 1, and I am already feeling like I have some sense of control over the functionality.

The way I am going to use the book is to go slowly through it, while taking gobs of photos to understand and reinforce what I am reading.

So that in the event I do actually ever ride a bike again, I will have a high-quality way to prove it.

Some A6000 practice photos from the last coupla days.  I'm starting to really dig this camera . . .





The low-light capabilities of this camera are phenomenal . . .












6 comments:

Stine said...

What have you got for lenses?

Just picked up my first "real" DSLR-- a Nikon D3300-- and I'm considering something more than the 18 - 55 that came with it. I'm doing a digital video class and didn't want to "share" school equipment. Also got a Tascam DR-05 for audio. And yes, I'm all about the manuals...

Pat S said...

I have a 55-210 zoom and a 50mm prime. The 50 mm prime I used on my DSLR was super affordable and a ton of fun, with it's big aperture. I also had a zoom lens for my DSLR that was in a similar 55-210 range and while I was glad to have it on occasion, I didn't use it all that much. The next lens I would get for the Sony is a 35 mm prime, but it's pricey, so I'll probably just stick with what I have for now.

Yeah, I saw your D3300 manual on Instagram. Now that's a manual.

John Speare said...

control is an illusion pat. you know this.

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can create short urls with Shortest and get money from every click on your shortened links.

Blogger said...

Submit your website or blog now for indexing in Google and 300+ search engines!

Over 200,000 websites submitted!

SUBMIT RIGHT NOW with I NEED HITS!

Blogger said...

Accelerate Your Business! Advertise on the most popular PTC & TE websites with a single purchase. TrafficHeap.