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Camera upgrade advice

Discussion in 'Sony Snappers' started by divefordays, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. divefordays

    divefordays Angel Fish

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    Hey everyone,

    I am looking to upgrade from my basic dslr setup (canon sl1) to a mirrorless camera. I am heavily considering a an A6400 but I recently started looking at used A7ii. What do you guys think about get a used a7xxx vs a a6400. That in body stabilization is attractive but if Im using a stabilized lens will it make much of a difference?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
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    A6400 has better AF than anything else in the Alpha series except A9. The A7 II is two generations old now, and autofocus will be... deficient, compared to modern models. Not sure it will have much of an advantage in image quality over a more modern APS-C sensor either (resolution is the same), but the lenses, housings and ports will be much more expensive, and the light-gathering advantage is lost by needing to stop-down more for depth of field. Since most Sony lenses are stabilized, and underwater shooting is done with strobes anyway, IBIS isn't such a killer feature that would be worth all the drawbacks.

    Edit: A7/A9 series have a slight advantage over A6xxx series in that they can sync with strobes at up to 1/250s (as opposed to 1/160s), but taking advantage of this capability requires a Sony TTL-compatible converter. They don't have a built-in flash to trigger strobes over fiber optics, and using a simple LED trigger or wired bulkhead limits them to 1/160s. A6xxx cameras have a built-in pop-up flash that can trigger strobes over fiber optics in either manual or TTL mode, and most (A5000/5100 is the exception here) also have a hot shoe that can be used for wired connectivity or LED triggers. RX100 series, with their leaf shutters, can sync at up to 1/2000s, but sync speeds that fast start cutting into strobe power.
     
  3. divefordays

    divefordays Angel Fish

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    Thanks so much for the detailed reply! Looks like a6400 is the way to go.
     
  4. hilljo88

    hilljo88 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: nyc
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    I have a7iii and am very happy with it. One important improvement over earlier a7ii and 6400 is battery life. The 6400 battery is rated for about 360 shots while the a7iii lets me get 4 60min dives with 600ish shots and still have 30% power. For me, short battery life is a deal breaker. You don’t want to be opening your housing to change a battery on a boat between dives. The a7iii is the first mirrorless to have DSLR like battery life.

    Sony lenses range from expensive, to very expensive (G), to you must be kidding (G Master). But you can use your EF mount glass on Sony E mount with an adapter such as Metabones or Sigma MC11. AF with the adapters can be hit or miss as compared to native Sony glass. I have an older model excellent Canon 70-200 f4 L , obviously for surface intervals, not underwater. This lens is not image stabilized, but the a7iii’s IBIS makes for a good match. The difference in price between this lens and an IS 70-200 almost pays for the difference in camera body prices.
    You might be able to use an adapted Canon lens underwater, but you need to know that your housing and ports will be compatible.

    Finally, I was surprised that there was very little weight or size gain in full frame mirrorless vs DSLR when you factor in lenses, housing, ports, strobes. Again, I’m very happy with my a7iii But if I already had a collection of Canon lenses I would also consider a newer Canon DSLR.
     
  5. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
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    As far as battery life goes, on my A6300 I fairly reliably get three dives out of a battery with 10-18mm and two with 90mm macro. A6400 should be similar. With a vacuum system on the housing, I feel safe changing batteries/lenses/ports while on a boat.
     
  6. Hoag

    Hoag Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
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    This won't work underwater, but on Friday, I picked up what I believe is the most expensive G lens, the 200-600mm f5.6-6.3 OSS. I was one of the first in Canada to get one. :)

    200-600 lens.jpg

    Sorry about that interruption.
    Back to our regularly scheduled programming.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    For the Op,unfortunately there is no single "best camera". Both of the cameras that you listed will have distinct advantages and they will each have flaws. If I were the one shopping for a new camera, I would probably go for the Sony A6400 with the Sony/Zeiss 16-70mm f4 lens. It is an outstanding lens that will give you from wide angle to the equivalent of a 105mm focal length. Although not a true macro lens, it can focus to about a foot away so it will give you what is for all practical purposes a macro like capability. If you want wider, then the Sony 10-18mm f4 is also an outstanding wide lens. If you use a Nauticam housing, then the same dome port (NA-36129) is used for both lenses.
     
  7. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
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    Hey, maybe if you stack enough extension rings... :D
     
    Hoag likes this.
  8. CZS

    CZS Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: OKC, OK
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    There is heavy chatter that Sony will be releasing two new APS-C cameras at the end of the month. If you're not in a huge hurry, I'd suggest waiting that long to see what's coming down the pike. If nothing else, the price may drop on that a6400 after a new product announcement and save you a few bucks.

    (SR4) Sony press event on August 29/30 for the new APS-C E-mount camera launch? - sonyalpharumors
     
    Hoag likes this.
  9. Hoag

    Hoag Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    1,327
    958
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    They may be announced on 29 August, but it could be a few months before they are released and then a few months after that before any housings are available. So even if there is an amazing APS-C camera announced on the 29th, it could be several months before the OP (or anyone else) can take it diving. I am not sure of the timeline that the Op has in mind. (FWIW, I pre-ordered my 200-600mm lens as soon as it was open for pre-orders in mid June. The original release date was scheduled for 2 Aug. The date that they were actually released (in limited quantities) was 9 Aug. I was apparently only the 3rd person in Canada to order one.)

    I would be surprised if the price on the A6400 dropped much since it is still a current model and was just introduced a few months ago. I would suspect that the price on the A6000 and maybe the A6300 will be reduced dramatically and that these models might then be discontinued.
     
  10. divefordays

    divefordays Angel Fish

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    Thanks for the insight but I have miles that are going to expire before than. Reading more into the rumors, I dont think it will affect the price of the a6400 too much like what Hoag is saying.
     

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