Shooting With My New “Non-Pro” Camera

August 31, 2015 § 2 Comments



I went out and bought a new camera…a Sony a6000.  It’s the 1st time in over 30 years that I used anything but Nikon as far as “small” cameras are concerned.  I’ve shot pictures with my Samsung Galaxy 5, but I still consider that a phone with the ability to shoot pictures.  I know that sounds confusing, but that’s how I feel.  I also shot with a Hassleblad and a Toyo 4×5 and a Toyo 8×10 back in “the old days”, but small always meant Nikon.  I bought the Sony as a small “run around” camera, but after seeing it had 24mp, 11 frames/second, and supposedly the fastest auto-focus of any camera, I decided to try it out in the studio.  I don’t want to turn this into a camera review…there’s a ton of those on the web, but I was very highly impressed!  I decided to shoot some still life images, and here’s how I did it.  No studio lights and no tripod.  I set the camera to manual, and hand held it at 800 iso.  For the glassware shots, I leaned on a ladder and shot the glassware as they were, on a shelf.  I’m including a shot I took of my sound system so you can see the glassware on the shelf in the upper left.  I did move the glassware forward into the shaft of sunlight coming in the window.  For the wooden kitchen utensils, I shot them as they were on my storage shelf.  I did place a cutting board behind as a background.  The peaches and toy blocks were shot on a piece of black formica on my floor in front of my large north facing window.  I put the camera on auto bracket and burst mode.  This camera fires so fast that I was sure to get something usable from each set-up.  If I was fortunate to get a couple of brackets that aligned perfectly…and I did, I could use exposure blending in PS.  The only image where I used HDR, was the 2nd glassware image, and I purposely used a “painterly” effect…not sure I like it, but thought it was worth a try.  My title refers to “Non-Pro”.  That’s really a “tongue in cheek” comment as I believe someone could shoot with the most expensive equipment available and still be a hack, while others can use anything and turn out beautiful high quality “professional” if you will, images.  I once saw Terry Richardson shoot a spread for Vogue or Harper’s using a point and shoot…so I guess there’s hope for me and my little toy camera!

"HDR Glassware"

“HDR Glassware”



"Glassware BTS"

“Glassware BTS”

"Peaches BTS"

“Peaches BTS”



"Peaches 2"

“Peaches 2”

"Wooden Kitchen Utensils"

“Wooden Kitchen Utensils”

"Toy Blocks"

“Toy Blocks”

Thanks for looking!




§ 2 Responses to Shooting With My New “Non-Pro” Camera

  • Mark Gilvey says:

    I commend you on your selection. I to am a Nikon D810 user and my friends keep complaining to me that I don’t use it enough and it must make a nice doorstop. I did the same thing as you but decided that I didn’t want to have another “system” with another set of lenses to carry around. So I purchased the Sony RX100m3. The camera opened all new doors for me because I like to shoot street photography when I’m not doing commercial work with my Nikon. I don’t know how small the a6000 is but the RM100m3 was exactly what I needed to be able to photograph discreetly as to not upset the moment. I can stand in front of you and knock off 20 shots and you’ll never know it.

    The lens is tack sharp and I’ve worked out a way to use it’s builtin tiny flash to trigger off camera flash units and not overpower the subject with the on-camera flash. I’ve written about how this camera is a great “Pro” camera on my website and a separate article in Adobe Slate on how to hold it. Google Mark Gilvey Fine Art Photo if you are interested, I’ll leave the link out.

    I’m sure you are also excited about the ways you can get your images to your computer as well. I am. Without connecting my computer or pulling the SD card out of the camera, I can send the photos to a specified folder.

    The only thing that’s got me is the video files. I guess I may need something for Premiere Pro or After Effects to make them more friendly.

    I almost purchased the camera you have. I probably saw the same videos as you; there was one with two guys photographing surfers; very impressive! But in the end it came down to if I wanted more lenses or not and I really don’t, at least not now. That said, I’m now in the Sony ecosystem so who knows.

    Great post! I’m just excited about the new camera as you are and for the same reasons.

    • Mark, the a6000 may be a little bigger, but it’s really small. Plus, I always had a battery pack attached to my Nikons for the extra bulk, but I’m getting used to this little thing real quick! I have 2 zoom lenses…the kit lenses. My Nikon lenses were the top of the line when I bought them 30 yrs. ago, but to my way of thinking, with all of todays technology, the kit lenses of today have to be as sharp as my 30 yr. old lenses. I may be wrong, but to my eye, these images are really sharp. Like I said in my blog, I hand held all of those shots at 800 iso. Also, being mirror less means that there’s no mirror flapping away when you press the shutter release. Also, you can get a cheap adaptor for your Nikon lenses. I think you’ll lose the auto focus. There are expensive adaptors that run around $400, but I’m not sure what you get for the extra money. I was hoping to save up for a D750, but I’m so happy with this Sony. As a matter of fact, if I win the lottery (:D), I’ll buy the full frame Sony’s and some zeiss lenses! I will google you today…thanks!

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