Ditto. I bought a good used one about 4 years ago and I’ve noticed while looking at the ads, that I could get back what I paid for it today. It’s a solid performer.
My only real misgiving about Sony DSLRs is that compared to other brands, you just don’t have as many choices when it comes to lenses, especially if like me, you buy mostly used lenses. Adapters sorta work, or if they work well, they cost more than the lens.
I just got a 250 about a month and a half ago, and it’s amazing. It works quite well on my manual focus Sony 75-300. I prefer going to getting step filter adapters though as the clips broke off pretty early.
Oh, and about shutter releases, I’m sure you know this but for anyone else reading this and looking to buy a used DSLR, it’s pretty easy.
Take a photo with the camera, then head to a shutter counter site. Like say, this one: https://www.camerashuttercount.com/
Then you just upload the file and it gives you the count.
Yep. I’ve read and reviewed and heard a lot about the Laowa macro lenses. And it got me drooling (like a lot of others I bet). But I’m more of a Peanut Gallery shooter (at least, my budget is), so that one’s on the “when I win the lottery” list for now.
It seems to me that the old “Great speed, great quality or great price: pick two” rule works for so many things, including cameras.
But it’s really a question of what you want to focus (ahem) on.
For instance, I’ve always wanted to get right into the 1 or 2mm critter size and still have a 50x zoom around. Well, those kind of lenses for the A6000 were out of my price ballpark and also, frankly, heavy and big to lug around.
I found a great deal for a used Olympus GT-5 and it opened up another level for me, at least in macro. And it has in-camera stacking too. Maybe the best part is that I can easily carry it in my pants pocket (and I usually do).
However, for the extreme (or ‘microscopic’ zoom) range on the TG, you still need to get in pretty close. That just doesn’t work for most flies, moths, butterflies, dragoflies, and so many other subjects. So I went looking for a cheap bridge camera that might help.
I ended up finding a hardly used Canon Powershot. An old SX540 with a tiny 20mp sensor and more importantly, a 50x optical zoom for just 150 (CDN$). Now I was able to snag a lot of stuff from say, 10 or 12 feet away, handheld, very clearly. And, if a great bird sighting presented itself, there was always that. But now I found myself carrying two cameras: the Canon for the zoom shots, and the Olympus TG for the supermacro shots. It sort of worked but… I’m too lazy to haul all that everywhere. Not that the Canon was too big, it’s not. But still.
Then after seeing a video or two online about attaching a RayKnox to superzoom DSLRs, I decided to give that a go. I bought the adapter needed, added the step adapters to the Canon’s front end and clipped it in. And… I was pleasantly surprised.
This setup gave me full frame closeup length of less than 5mm, which is great, but more importantly, shooting at a distance of around 8 inches from camera end to subject.
Plus, even at high zoom, compared to a DSLR with a zoom lens, the bridge/Raynox combo is much, much shorter. I can even use the pop up camera flash on the camera itself and it works quite well. Here’s such a shot I took this afternoon of a stink bug (Powershot SX540/Raynox 250, camera flash, handheld, no diffuser):
In the end, for most of my trail work I will still carry both my phone (easier for a lot of plant shots) and the TG in my pant pockets, AND the Powershot/Raynox around the neck. This gives me an impressive range of optical capture, low weight, and – well, if something should happen to the Powershoot when I trip over rocks, I’ll be upset, but not heartbroken.
I’m sure I’m not the only observer here that’s noticed something about the birders you come across in the field: most of them have a lot more gear and/or the money to buy it. It tends to be a bit of an economic class divider. (Not always, I understand, but often enough.)
That’s my solution: a high zoom bridge coupled to a Raynox clip on (I actually moved to a screw-in adapter for worry-free lens change).
So for me, I love having an affordable, light, relatively easy setup. The bridge camera lenses are fixed, but that also means you don’t need to worry about dust on the sensor like when you do a field lens change with a more expensive DSLR.
While I laud those who commit themselves to technical photographic excellence, I think that I do alright with my gear limitations and being a low-budget shooter kind of frees me from a lot of ‘thing ownership’ worry that I know having top gear can sometimes instil in me.
Because for me, well really, to be honest, to paraphrase the great Cyndi Lauper, “Naturalists just wanna have fun” works very well.