My Sony Wishlist
I was reading a blog post from Brian Smith the other day and he was asking people for what they wanted from Sony in terms of lenses. I thought it was an interesting post, and it got me thinking of other things that I would like to see from Sony to improve the company’s camera offerings. Sony has really pushed the envelope with their camera designs over the last few years, but in my opinion, there’s quite still a few areas that could do with some improvement. So, in no particular order, here’s my Sony wish list. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.
General Camera Improvements
In terms of overall design there are a few things that I wish Sony would adopt. My single biggest issue with most of the Sony cameras that I’ve used is the quality of the rear screen. Or more importantly, the lack thereof. Compared to many of its competitors, Sony’s screens aren’t great. I don’t really understand why either. On paper, they’re technically as good other cameras, yet when you use them, the quality of the display seems poor in comparison. I touched on this a good bit in my A6000 review. The colours aren’t right, the resolution seems low, and the image is noisy. Also, the brightness levels are either too low, or if you turn it up full, they blow out the highlights making it difficult to judge exposure. It may well be more to do with the signal path of the feed and how live view is implemented, but either way, I wish they’d improve it. Even if it was just to have the colours a little more accurate, it would be much better.
Also, the 16:9 ratio of the screens on the A6K line is a bit annoying. It’s fine for shooting video, and I get that it enables them to make the screen smaller, and therefore the body smaller, but when you’re shooting photos with it, it makes the overall screen area, and resolution of the image much lower than the actual resolution of the screen. If they can fit a 3:2 (or whatever ratio it is) on the RX line, I don’t see why they can’t fit it on the A6k line either.
Another thing that I’d like to see in terms of camera design, is some improvement to the physical switches. While Sony’s cameras have lots of customisable buttons, I would like to see at least one more switch control, specifically for switching focus modes, or perhaps for changing the metering mode. It’s not a huge deal, but its one of the things that I really like on my Fuji X-Pro 2. I can quickly switch focus modes with the lever not he front of the camera. I know that some of the Sony cameras have a mf/af switch, but an extra click on this would allow you to switch between continuous and single shot autofocus would be a nice addition.
Like many Sony shooters, I’m frustrated by the lack of certain options in Sony’s lens lineup. While the company’s lens offerings has certainly been improving, there are still some significant gaps. In particular, the APS-C line needs some love. The lack of high quality, high end lenses is a real pain if you’ve invested in the format. Considering the relatively high end nature of the A6500, the lack of lenses of matching quality for the camera is a bit frustrating. Sure there are third party options, and there’s the FE range, but I would love to see Sony release something like the GM range for the APS-C line. In particular, here are some of the lenses that I’d like to see:
16-55 f/2.8 44-150 f/2.8 16-135 f/4 35mm f/1.4 (for APS-C and priced accordingly) 23mm f/1.4 16mm f/1.4 50mm f/1.4 (for APS-C and priced accordingly) 60mm f/2 macro
Sony get’s a lot of grief for its menu system, and while ism of that is fair, I think the reaction is a little overblown. I’ve no problem with the menus only A6000. Once you’ve used it for a while, you learn where most thing are. Anyway, Sony, is making improvements to that with a new menu system, and it would be nice if they rolled that out to existing cameras via a firmware update.
I think that other software aspects of the cameras could be improved. For example, I would like to see an easier way to customise the function buttons. On the Fuji X-Pro 2 you can set the options by holding down the custom button for 10 seconds. I would love to see something similar on Sony’s cameras.
Another thing that’s really annoying, which I’m assuming is a software issue, is the manual focus assist zoom in option when working in video. Now, I’m not sure if this is improved in newer Sony cameras, but on the models I’ve used, the zoomed in display when in movie mode is soft and blurry, and not much use. Yet, switch to one of the photo modes and it’s fine. It’s a pain if you’re using adapted lenses and are trying to manually focus for video. Im not sure why this limitation is there, seen as it’s not a problem until you switch to the specific movie mode.
As I said at the beginning, Sony’s cameras have been improving in leaps and bounds lately, and the company certainly can’t be faulted for the pace of their development. Well, if anything there has been complaints that the company is releasing cameras too fast. While Sony’s cameras are not for everyone, and some people really don’t like them, I think that they are a great tool, which could be even better with a few improvements. While it’s unlikely anyone form Sony will ever read this (you never know!) I think a few of these tweaks could really be a boon, especially the screen and lenses. If you’re a Sony shooter, and you have ideas on what to improve, leave a comment below (just be nice!).
Incidentally, if you are a Sony A6000 shooter, I have a guide on how to get the most from processing your A6000 images in Lightroom. You can find out more about it on my digital download store.
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