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A Camera To Learn With

Sony a5000

When Don gave me half of his Christmas bonus and told me to buy something I really wanted, I could only think of one thing: a new camera.

I did a Google search on “best cameras under $500” and started reading. The first choice I had to make was whether I wanted to save up to buy a more expensive camera or buy one now that I could learn on. I didn’t consider the option of waiting for very long. I can be patient about some things but I’d been using the Canon PowerShot for four frustrating years. I was ready for a change now. (Well, really more like two years ago!) Plus, Don and I are talking about a trip to England some time in the next two years and I want to take a camera that I know really well and I would feel uneasy taking an expensive camera on a long trip. So, that decision was pretty easy. Now.

The next decision was DSLR or mirrorless. I’d planned on getting a DSLR but, after reading about the mirrorless cameras, I was intrigued. The articles I read said the image quality between DSLRs and mirrorless is pretty comparable but the mirrorless are much more compact. I thought about how much I hate lugging around my Canon PowerShot (it’s the size of a DSLR) and how much trouble I have holding it still. I have small hands and an incurable weakness in my arms. They tire very quickly and the PowerShot feels like it gets heavy fast. My hands shake and bob and weave when I’m holding it and often it tips down when I press the shutter button. Not good. Plus, I don’t like taking it with me when I go places. It’s too big, heavy and awkward for me. So, mirrorless was looking good.

I read good things about Sony’s entry-level mirrorless cameras so I focused on those. My first digital camera was the Sony Cybershot and I like the way everything is set up on it, unlike the Canon PowerShot. After four years with it, I still can’t find the menu to adjust manual settings! It’s there. I found it by chance one time but then it vanished into Canon technology, which apparently is indecipherable to my brain. After more reading more reviews, I settled on the Sony a5000, last year’s model, which, lucky for me, was $200 off the week that I was camera shopping.

My camera arrived two weeks ago but with all the fatigue, sickness and dreary weather plaguing us the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been able to get out and take many pictures. I did buy some flowers to try out its macro capabilities and I tried to get the cats to pose for me.

Taking macros with the a5000 is going to take some getting used to because the lens has to be fully extended and I’m used to taking macros close up with the lens in. I didn’t feel the macros I took with it turned out any better than they do with my little CyberShot. But, I was impressed with its ability to make Trouble pretty! Being a black cat, he’s difficult to get a good picture of. This one I took with my new camera is the best one I’ve ever taken of him.

DSC00062-001

Next, I’m getting a book that (hopefully!) will help me understand shutter speed, aperture and all that fun stuff. One of the things I read about the Sony a5000 was that it was a good camera for people wanting to move up from a point and shoot. And that’s definitely where I am: at the beginning of the beginner stage.

I think I’m going to love this camera but I feel a little guilty when I look at the old, small tablet Don is using. He could have (and maybe should have) used his Christmas bonus to buy himself an iPad. I feel so spoiled!

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12 thoughts on “A Camera To Learn With

  1. I’m ready for a new camera. As much as I love my iPhone I would like a camera with a good zoom lens. I’ll be interested in knowing how you like your camera after you’ve used it for awhile.

  2. Being an amateur photographer myself, I can only say it’s impossible to WAIT for a new camera and having now read up on the Sony a5000, I think you’ll be really pleased with it, Trisha.

    Love the photo of your cat – you’ve captured just the right amount of sunlight to show up the details.

    (BTW I thought my DLSR, which was the lightest in the market when I bought it, was heavy, but despite chronic pain, I got used to it in about 10 days. Secondly, my 150-500mm Sigma is very heavy, but I find it easy to shoot hand-held now).

    To be honest Trisha, I think the weight helps stop one’s camera shake. As we both have FM, I think you’ll be surprised how easy it gets to hold your new camera and any interchangeable lenses. My biggest FM problem with my hands and wrists is repetitious actions (like typing). I have a tiny suitcase on wheels that I use outdoors when I decided to take more gear and tripod outdoors. It’s easy to pick up to carry over the sand to rocky outcrops when down the beach too. Post about it is here on my old blog https://victoriaaphotography.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/royal-botanic-gardens-in-winter/ There’s a photo half-way through the post.

    Nowadays I can carry very little weight due to re-occurance of nerve root pain from my 2008 back surgery, but if you’re like me and carry bits & pieces around when outdoors on a walk, you might like to consider this sort of ‘case’ instead of the usual camera bags (of which I have two) etc. It really is a tiny case.

    Of course if I had a partner (like Don), I would get him to carry everything when out on a walk.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that you think I’ll be happy with the Sony a5000! I did read some reviews but I also acted rather quickly. Money-wise, acting quickly was a good thing because the camera went up $150 just a few days after I bought it. I hope I don’t end up wishing I’d bought a DSLR. The weight helping hold your hands still makes sense. I didn’t think of it that way.

      I read your post with the camera bag. That looks very handy! And that long lens…holy cow! That thing is huge. It must be cool to have a lens that powerful.

  3. Stunning capture of Trouble, I love the way his white whiskers stand out! What a pretty boy he is! ❤
    Have fun with that new camera, I can't wait to see more…

    1. I’m glad I finally got a good picture of Trouble. He is a pretty boy but we don’t often get to see it because he hides a lot. Plus, his features just don’t show up in most pictures. Even without a camera he just looks like an outline or a shadow most of the time!

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