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Pondering an a6600? Pros and Cons?

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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pondering an a6600? Pros and Cons?
    Posted: 29 January 2022 at 23:45
So after my sessions with Takapu (gannets) at Muriwai, I'm not that happy with the performance of the a7Riii as a wildlife camera. Of course, that's not why I got one and it was more its utility as a landscape camera that could be a general purpose camera if needed, that motivated that decision.

Now, I know the a9, a9II or A1 would be superb for wildlife, but that becomes quite expensive for a genre I don't photograph frequently. The a7iv is also tempting but still, its not a cheap option. (Albeit I do like its versatility, especially for video).

So now I'm pondering the a6600. One of the big pros is of course the price. The AF system is much better than the a7Riii. I gather it's almost as good as the a9. Even the APS-C format isn't really a con for wildlife or birds, and more of an advantage.

Major cons seem to be it does not have bird-eye detection (any realistic chance that'd be added in a firmware update?), the SD-card slot is still UHS-I, not UHS-II and that the buffer-size is limited.

But each of those cons can only be fixed by spending a lot more money. Which for something that isn't my primary interest is hard to justify. And I also like the idea of having a B-camera for events and as backup.

So is it going to be enough of an improvement over my a7Riii to deliver the shots I want, or is realistically, the best way forward saying up the cash and getting something more advanced?
α7riii, α9- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
 



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QuietOC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2022 at 00:40
I would not expect the A6600 to have as good of AF as the A7 models. It has a much slower mechanical shutter and the sensor read is still slow too. You might try the APS-C mode on your A7RIII. That may improve its AF performance. One issue with the A7RIII is the phase-detect is limited to f/8.

Edited by QuietOC - 30 January 2022 at 00:43
Sony A7RIV LA-EA5
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2manycamera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2022 at 01:06
I have used my a6600 in combo with the Sigma 100-400 for the eagles that often nest near us, and float in the thermals above the hill where we live. The AF performance has been the best of any camera I use (a99, a7Rii) and results are improving as I take advantage whenever they decide to visit.

Buffer can be an issue, so I try to limit my bursts rather than have the camera decide to slow down. Mostly, My technique needs improving as BIF is new for me.

I'm sure there might be better choices, but I have really enjoyed my results an the a6600.
7D a68 a99 a6600 a7Rii 16/2.8 24/2.8 28/2 35/2 50/1.4 100/2 200/2.8 24-70CZ 1.8/135 80-200/2.8 24-105 28-135 300/4 16-50DT 70-300G Tam 90/2.8, E55-210 E2/12 Sig E1.4/16,30 & 56, FE15/4.5V
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2022 at 02:32
Originally posted by QuietOC QuietOC wrote:

I would not expect the A6600 to have as good of AF as the A7 models. It has a much slower mechanical shutter and the sensor read is still slow too. You might try the APS-C mode on your A7RIII. That may improve its AF performance. One issue with the A7RIII is the phase-detect is limited to f/8.


You may have to elaborate there for me. The a6600 has the real-time tracking focus rated at 0.02s, more AF points than the a7Riii and can shoot at up to 11fps. While I would expect say, the a7iv to be better, on most of the specs it looks to be better than the a7Riii foe action. I also don't understand why switching the a7Riii to APS-C mode would make it faster.
α7riii, α9- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2022 at 02:37
Originally posted by 2manycamera 2manycamera wrote:

...
I'm sure there might be better choices, but I have really enjoyed my results an the a6600.


Thanks- that is encouraging. I would like to get something with bird-eye detect of course. So I also appreciate that there are better cameras than the a6600. But the a6600 only has to be markedly better at birds/wildlife than the a7Riii, not equivalent to the say a9ii.

α7riii, α9- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2022 at 08:43
Originally posted by Wētāpunga Wētāpunga wrote:

Originally posted by QuietOC QuietOC wrote:

I would not expect the A6600 to have as good of AF as the A7 models. It has a much slower mechanical shutter and the sensor read is still slow too. You might try the APS-C mode on your A7RIII. That may improve its AF performance. One issue with the A7RIII is the phase-detect is limited to f/8.


You may have to elaborate there for me. The a6600 has the real-time tracking focus rated at 0.02s, more AF points than the a7Riii and can shoot at up to 11fps. While I would expect say, the a7iv to be better, on most of the specs it looks to be better than the a7Riii foe action. I also don't understand why switching the a7Riii to APS-C mode would make it faster.
What are "the A7 models"? The A6600 will be better then anything mark 1 or mark 2, worse then the mark 4. I also think it is better then the 3 versions because of the technology behind the real-time tracking - looking at the Dpreview review it seems they agree here. There is more to AF then the sensor.

I own the A6400 that is basically an A6600 without IBIS. The AF is really good. But the A7 iv will have better AF.

The sensor is aging, but still fine imho. If you use the full sensor of a recent full frame camera you will have better IQ - but I think the IQ is more then fine.

If bird-eye AF would've come to the A6600 it already would have been there. I do not expect it anymore.

UHS-I or UHS-II is irrelevant as long as the speed is quick enough (a.k.a. is the buffer deep enough). But like you said, the buffer size might be a thing, but then, like 2manycamera says, you should not take long bursts, only short ones.

Some things you did not mention. Being left-eye dominant, I LOVE the side EVF. But not everybody likes it. If you look over the lens before you bring it to you eye, it might take some time to get used to.
The camera is light, that is both a pro and a con. You decide.
It only has one proper control wheel and the wheel on the back - both thumb operated. Could be frustrating if you use manual settings.

I do not really do birds. I do some occasional birding with my A6400 and the 70-350G. I love to take that combination on hikes. It is small and convenient. I bring my A6400 with the 10-18/4 or the 16-70/4 for outings with family or friends. Really nice combination. I only bring my A7r4 for "serious photography".

Three other remarks:
if you can stretch it, take another look at the A7 iv - it is two years newer.
Also look at a used A9.
There is talk of a new "pro" APS-C camera next year - but there is talk about this every year.

I love my A6400, especially as a small, take everywhere, general purpose camera that can do everything. Including birding.


Edited by addy landzaat - 30 January 2022 at 08:53
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stuart1701 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2022 at 10:52
The A6600 is a good camera and the focus tracking is better than the A7R3 in my opinion, although not as good as the A9.

Having said that, there are a couple of points you need to be aware of:

1- Animal eye autofocus cannot be enabled when using focus tracking. Human eye-af works, but animal eye doesn't. This might be an issue for you shooting wildlife.
2- There is no bird eye-af, this only came in with the A1.
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2022 at 20:44
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

...

Three other remarks:
if you can stretch it, take another look at the A7 iv - it is two years newer.
Also look at a used A9.
There is talk of a new "pro" APS-C camera next year - but there is talk about this every year.

I love my A6400, especially as a small, take everywhere, general purpose camera that can do everything. Including birding.


Thanks Addy, that was all very helpful. I would say that the a7iv is probably my first choice but there is a big price difference between that and the a6600, hence my pondering.

For bird-eye detection in the a9 series, I'd still have to jump to the a9ii and so far, neither used a9 or a9ii are common. Haven't seen either for sale for quite a while.

Waiting to see if 2022 brings in a new APS-C camera may not be a bad idea. The a6600 was released in 2019 and plans for the next model must have progressed far by now with Sony.
α7riii, α9- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2022 at 21:17
It is of no use to you, but Dutch store Kamera-Express has four A9's for about €2500,- (US$2750,-/AU$4000,-) and one A9m2 for €3500,- (US$3900,-/AU$5500,-).

Be aware that with the chip shortages they might not introduce a new APS-C camera, even of they have one ready....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2022 at 21:49
Originally posted by Wētāpunga Wētāpunga wrote:

For bird-eye detection in the a9 series, I'd still have to jump to the a9ii and so far, neither used a9 or a9ii are common. Haven't seen either for sale for quite a while.
Actually, so far only cameras with bird eye detection are α1 and α7 IV. The earlier models do have the animal eye detection, but I think it is more aimed at detecting dogs and cats and such. However, couple very nice features α9 series do offer and α7 and α6x00 series don't, are 1) no viewfinder blackout and 2) silent (electronic) shutter that has no rolling shutter effect.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 January 2022 at 01:34
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

It is of no use to you, but Dutch store Kamera-Express has four A9's for about €2500,- (US$2750,-/AU$4000,-) and one A9m2 for €3500,- (US$3900,-/AU$5500,-).

Be aware that with the chip shortages they might not introduce a new APS-C camera, even of they have one ready....


Even if I did try importing a used camera, I'd still have shipping costs and tax on import. Plus quite lengthy delivery delays as NZ isn't a priority destination in this time of supply chain delays.

Plus most of the stores I use in NZ are out of stock of the a6600. I don't think I'll be making a decision soon.
α7riii, α9- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Coast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 January 2022 at 06:10
Interesting because I only see cons if you are moving from full frame. This presumes you have much full frame equipment. If you get the 6600 I assume you will be using the full frame FE and other lenses you all ready have. Now this makes no sense having a compact light weight camera and the putting heavy, large lenses on it, most likely used w an adapter.

In my world light weight, compact cameras are best used w light weight compact lenses and no adapters necessary
One point addy brought up that has never occurred to me; is the side view finder.

"I LOVE the side EVF. But not everybody likes it. If you look over the lens before you bring it to you eye, it might take some time to get used to"
I also LOVE that. Its so natural and your nose doesn't get in the way ha ha

I still use my trusty old friend the a6000 all the time, when I go shooting I take both of my cameras, have one of my 3 lenses attached to them, depending what I'll be doing. Love my a6500, got it mostly for the IBIS, I do a lot of night shooting. Its built much more like the full frame cameras and it does 11 fps which is more than plenty for me and has a silent mode. They both have 24 mp which is also plenty and neither cost $5000

Basically what I'm saying, it makes no sense having a crop camera and using FE lenses and adapters
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 January 2022 at 08:02
Hi @Coast, I was thinking of this as more of a B-camera for wildlife/birds, probably in combination with the Tamron 150-500. A crop camera would make that a reach equivalent of up to 750mm. Albeit I'm a little concerned about attaching a lens about 1.9kg to a camera as small as the a6600 for balance.

I'm happy with the a7Riii for most of my photography. My lens list is in my signature fwiw, and a good number of my lenses (like the Loxias) are on the small side.
α7riii, α9- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 January 2022 at 08:26
Originally posted by Wētāpunga Wētāpunga wrote:

little concerned about attaching a lens about 1.9kg to a camera as small as the a6600 for balance.
Attach the camera to the lens

Chip shortages may mean the A6600 might never be on sale again....
Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101
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