Updated: Aug 6, 2019
For many, many, many, many years I've been a Canon guy. I started out with an old skool AE-1 and have had shot with Canon ever since. But recently there has been an addition to my arsenal. A blasphemy in my church of Canon fanboyness.
I've been shooting a series of small pieces for Fitcrunch, the protein bar brand that seems to be taking the fitness world by storm, intended for Instagram. I was shooting with my trusty and seemly invincible Canon 7D using my 24-70mm and a Rode Videomic. We shot a several public locations and the results, while pretty, were, well, not ideal. The constant adjustments and overall size of the rig slowed us down and attracted attention that detracted from the spontaneity of the experience. The final product was great, but all of that fiddling interrupted the flow of my talent, fitness guru Taeler DeHaes. She's a pro, so she made it work, but it left me really wanting something small, quick, and, well, less fiddly.
Enter my sin... I did some digging to find out what all the cool vlogger kids are shooting with these days. There are a lot of choices and a lot of opinions out there, but there were two cameras (well, one camera and one camera series, really) that stood out. My precious Canon had the M50 that seems fantastic. And, of course, the Sony A6000 series of cameras (as of this writing the A6500 is the newest in the line). For weeks I weighed the pros and cons of both. I did some eBay bidding to find a good deal (damn you all who stole the good deals out from underneath me at the last moment. You know who you are.). Finally I did a Buy It Now on a Sony A6000 for something like $400. That was about $200 cheaper than any of the M50s I could find and SEVERAL HUNDRED less than the newest latest greatest A6500.
Why would anyone buy a camera that old to shoot new content in the video world of today? Why would anyone buy into a camera system with such a limited range of lenses and NO EXTERNAL MIC INPUT? Why, oh why would anyone commit this sin against man and nature??? Well, cost, obviously. This little sucker has SUCH bang for the buck! There are tons of articles out there about specs and all of that so I won't spew a bunch of dull nonsense at you. What I will say is that this little guy, after some tweaks and a bit of a learning curve, is fantastic. It is GREAT for the kind of shooting I need on this project. I can run and gun and shoot anywhere with a little baby camera that is roughly the size of my phone. We recently shot the newest segment of Taelered Meal Preps for Fitcrunch using this camera and it was a dream. The autofocus was spot on and captured her performance quickly and easily without throwing her off. The resulting color straight out of the camera was ready to post with very little, well, post. The sound, using the Sony ECM-XYST1M shotgun mic, was perfectly acceptable for the end product. It was, as the internet led me to believe, a great camera for vlogging.
While, yes, I am still a Canon fanboy and, yes, I will continue to spend far too much money on all things Canon (including that M50 some day), I have to tip my cap to this little Sony. Canon may be my life partner, Sony is quickly becoming my side fling.
I've finally shot a little demo video. Don't get too hung up on the quality of it all. This was a little quick trip to Rocky River, OH where I shot with both the 16-50mm kit lens and my new little 50mm f1.8. I didn't do anything in the way of color grading and the tripod I used was a little cheapo Manfrotto. All in all, I'm really happy with the results. Judge for yourself. I'll have a full review of this outing up soon.