Above is my Sony A6500 (upgraded from the A6300 & A6000) with external microphone attached and its wind muffler aka a dead cat when sailing on the the tall ship Zephyr a couple of weekends ago.
It seemed as good as excuse as any to mention the launch of Sony's A9, very much the big brother of the A6500. For those that don't haunt the photography blogs and vlogs, this has led to phrases like game changer being used a lot, but with good reason.
Up to the A9 there were many asking of mirrorless cameras (like both the A6500 and A9) why not get a DSLR with its mirror and mechanical shutter. After the A9 the question it seems fair to reverse the question: why would you want to have a mirror?
The A9 can take full frame images faster than a DSLR thanks to on-chip memory that can pipe data off the sensor using a fully electronic shutter: no noise, shake or rolling shutter. And the view finder updates with no blanks, unlike DSLR that goes dark as the mirror flips up and down.
With a mirrorless camera you can do a whole host of additional features from video (*), silent shooting, focus peaking, zebraing, continuous EVF, touch to focus etc.... You get to see the image as it will be taken before you take the photo, complete with histogram, so have to chimp less.
And cameras can be smaller and lighter: the A6500 above fits in the palm of my hand but is a complete 4K video setup with in-body stabilisation (**), monster burst rate, low noise night time shooting...
Of course requirements differ and there are a couple of things that Sony need to work on for the A6500ii or whatever they call it:
- Screen that flips round
- Extra control dial
- 16-50 F2.8 APSC zoom
- A long APSC zoom lens
There is no such thing as a perfect camera, but Sony are doing some really interesting things at the moment: disruptive and innovative.
(*) ok, you can do video with a DSLR, but you have to lock the mirror up. So it effectively is a mirrorless camera with a bit of weight hanging around.
(**) ok, it might not of looked it from the video posted earlier, but that's my fault.