Best travel camera ever!
February 29, 2020
I bought this camera on B&H Photo Video (there is a student discount)
I did about 5 months of research deciding on what to upgrade from my old a6000. It came down to 3 cameras, the a6600, the Fujifilm X-T3, and the Sony A7 mark III.
After much research, hundreds of hours of youtube, rentals, borrowing lenses, etc, here are my reasons:
SONY A7III (Full Frame):
-In the end full frame was just too cumbersome. The weight didn't bother me at all, but the size did. I am a heavy, heavy traveler (a travel blogger). Let me tell you, I just finished a trip to 3 different continents (not including USA where I live) in the month of January. I couldn't imagine lugging around the A7III with the Tamron 28-75mm (what I would've bought) in my small/medium sized backpack; I wouldn't have room to fit anything else! In addition, the Tamron 28-75mm isn't wide enough on the 28mm end, therefore I would 1. Need to buy the Tamron 17-28mm in addition to, or 2. Need to buy the Sigma 24-70mm instead which is bigger and heavier than the Tamron 28-75mm! I've been to probably over 30 countries and i've learned over the years to travel light! It has made my trips so much more enjoyable.
-So what about that awesome Bokeh and shallow depth of field everyone loves about Full Frame? For a travel photographer i've learned that too much bokeh is actually bad! Full frame is great for actual portraits, but realistically HORRIBLE for environmental portraits. When there is too much bokeh you don't see the surroundings therefore missing the point of that travel destination (not telling the story of the image).
-Spend all the money to travel to Japan, but can't even see Mt Fuji in the background of the portrait because it is too blurred? Travel to Egypt, but can't tell that's a pyramid in the background because you're shooting at F1.4 in full frame?
-I found that even on APS-C I prefer to shoot anywhere from F2.8 to F8 for environmental portraits.
-Full frame lenses are $$$!
-So full frame cameras was out of the question. APS-C for the win here (in my situation, yours could be quite different).
FUJIFILM X-T3 (APS-C):
At one point I pretty much settled on this camera. I played with this camera and the dials were just superb and it made shooting not just easy, but very fun (unlike that cheap plastic dial on the a6600). There is something very classic about all the dials on top that made this camera so fun to shoot with. I had used this (borrowed) camera with the Fuji 16-55mm F2.8 and it was sharp, color science was great, shoots at 4K/60, overall better APSC lens selection than sony APSC lenses, higher resolution, 2x SD card slot, higher FPS than Sony, AF-C custom settings, faster shutter speed (1/8000 compared to a6600's 1/4000), bigger AND better electronic viewfinder (EVF), and I can go on and on. So, there was only a few Fuji deal breakers that made me go with the Sony a6600...
SONY A6600 (APS-C):
In no particular order these are the reasons I ended up with the Sony a6600 in the end:
1. IBIS (in-body image stabilization).
1A. About 30-40% of my photos are at night or in dark places (cities, restaurants, lounges, etc.). When you travel blog you also blog food as well as it goes with the territory. And what are most restaurants like? DARK! IBIS in real life shooting helps me gain anywhere from 1 to sometimes 3 stops of extra light, that is huge.
1B. I shoot a ton of street photography at night, depending on the composition night time just sometimes looks better than day time.
1C. My favorite Sony (or third party) APS-C lenses do not have Image stabilization (Optical SteadyShot): Sony 16-55mm F/2.8 G, Sigma 16mm F/1.4, & Sigma 30mm F/1.4. Yes, full frame would have better low light capability but the trade off isn't worth the much higher cost nor the size for me.
2. Snappier, better autofocus than the X-T3, and eye-AF is just phenomenal. Ok, now you're wondering why an advance hobbyist photographer needs super, duper AF? You're right, I DON'T! But you know who does? The girlfriend who travels with me and knows nothing about cameras. If I want her to take awesome pictures of me I need easy AF to make her life easier so I don't spend wasted time explaining what buttons to push (a problem we ran into several times with the a6000). The AF is just better than the X-T3 for her, although I think both the a6600 and the X-T3 would suit me fine.
3. Smaller form factor. The X-T3 is small enough, but the A6xxx series is just even a step smaller (the body of the X-T3 or even the now X-T4 is pretty much the same size as the Sony a7 III). Again, weight is no problem for me, but fitting things in my small to medium backpack does. Also, the small girlfriend can hold the camera better.
4. Some added pluses that weren't the deciding factor but nice to have: Bigger battery, better grip for my hands, flip up screen.
In the end all 3 cameras are amazing and I consider myself lucky to have all these first world problems on which camera to choose from. There is no camera better than the other, but yet there is a camera that will fit your needs better than others. So, find your problems and SOLVE IT!
My problems were:
1. Needed IBIS because of all the low light I shoot in. a6600 solved it.
2. Needed a light form factor because I am set on traveling light as a frequent flyer. a6600 solved it.
3. Needed amazing AF so the camera-incompetent GF can use it. a6600 solved it.
Your situation could be 180 degrees different than mine! Hope this long book helped! lol.... Read More