I’m figuring that the perfect preface for the four reasons I downgraded my camera would be to tell you a little about my camera history (don’t worry, it’s pretty short). It’s also quite important that I make it clear that I’m no camera expert (although I did work in the tech dept of John Lewis for two and a half years, but technology moves fast) and the reasons explored here are my own opinions on what’s best for me, as an Instagram addict, lifestyle blogger and general-human-being-who-likes-to-have-pictures-of-things.
Eighteen months ago I upgraded my Nikon D3200 to the Nikon D7100 – so from an entry level DSLR to a mid-range wannabe-profesh model. An upcoming trip to Copenhagen (which omg is stunning) encouraged me to go for the heavier, more-professional DSLR model opposed to a Compact System Camera (CSC) which have interchangeable lenses on mirrorless bodies, retaining optical quality without the weight and bulkiness of DSLRs.
I loved that camera like I’d birthed it for around a year (probably because it was the most expensive thing I’d ever bought) however, in the last six months every time I took that beast out and about with me, I did not touch it.
Then the decision came to carry smaller day-to-day bag – hello problem for spontaneous whipping out of cameras and general lifestyle photography. Now I was faced with the decision to carry round TWO bags (my handbag and my camera bag) or leave my DSLR behind and rely on my phone – it was an easy decision.
Unsurprisingly this wasn’t a long-term solution. I started to notice that I was missing out on shots that would have been good for the blog, or the shots I took on my phone lacked the quality or depth of field that I wanted.
I started to research CSC cameras (again) and the Sony α6000 stood out with rave reviews, desirable features (I’ll get to those) and an attractive price (I got mine from John Lewis for £500 if you wanted to know).
Now the switch has been made, and I’ve had a week to settle in with my new baby, so I’m ready to share why this dinky little guy (I should totally give the camera a nickname, right?) suits me much better than the cumbersome mid-range DSLR.
Straight off the bat, this guy weighs under 500g. Compared to the DSLR which weighed literally twice as much – carrying the Sony α6000 around is like carrying a feather in your bag.
It also actually fits in all of my bags – yes, all of them. My current everyday cross-body, my cute lil’ backpack and even my clutch bags (not that I would take it clubbing – not that I even go clubbing). I don’t feel like I would even consider leaving this little guy at home (totally need to give it a name) – which is the whole point of having a camera – actually taking it places and taking pictures with it!
The lenses are pretty compact too! I currently I only have the kit that the camera comes with, but the pancake lens is already on my list. It’s very comforting to know that building a kit of lenses for this guy isn’t going to feel like I’m dragging a rock around in the bottom of my bag.
I like, scratch that, love high-quality images. If downgrading meant sacrificing image quality, then I simply wouldn’t have done it.
Megapixels don’t mean much when it comes to quality (unless you’re going to printing massive pictures), what’s important is that the camera has sophisticated optics, which are the key the image quality – you might think you need a fancy camera to get better images, but in reality, you need a fancy lens (plus a decent sensor and processor, with a bit of creative flair).
This camera has great lens quality, is super-fast and the images from it are beautifully crisp; they have depth and create vibrant colours, which is everything my DSLR gave me – I think that’s the quality reasoning done.
When reading tonnes of reviews about the Sony α6000, the features couldn’t help but jump out at me. Compared to my previous camera (which admittedly, wasn’t feature heavy) this guy has WIFI and NFC and a tilting screen – I mean I feel like I’ve entered the twenty-first century.
The WIFI makes Instagramming and uploading blog photos a dream! I no longer have to step anywhere near a computer to edit my pictures, or file and sort them. The vari-angle screen makes taking flat lays an absolute dream. You know that back-ache you get after bending over a camera for too long? (Hopefully not just me) that’s totally disappeared.
I know newer DSLRs have some of these features, but for my price range this was one of the best options out there – and boy am I pleased with it.
CSCs are small, which makes it so much more comfortable to whip out and snap a pick of your coffee – that big DSLR? Yeah… the picture wasn’t worth the embarrassment of hauling it out of my bag and spending ten minutes getting the settings right.
This reason is probably the most personal to me. Not everyone would feel the same about shooting on a big camera in a busy place, but for me, I never got very comfortable with it. With no desires to become a professional photographer, I figured that pushing myself to ‘get used to it’ wasn’t worth the pain.
The discretion of the Sony α6000 makes it great for lifestyle and street photography – I’m much happier looking like a tourist than a professional whilst using this in busy places, and for me, that’s definitely a plus, since I’m not the most confident photographer.
Now I can whip this bad boy out and get a few snaps without ‘making a scene’ (if you know what I mean) which has put lifestyle and street photography back on my radar – hurrah!
So that’s why I downgraded my camera! Four pretty compelling (if you ask me) reasons as to why this little CSC is so much better for me, my lifestyle and this blog. The only thing left to do is not get obsessed with buying tonnes of lenses for it, and to actually blog a little more with some lifestyle content (complimented with some great lifestyle shots – obvs).