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alpha 6500 preference for lower ISO in Shutter Priority (instead of the aperture like alpha 6000)


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#1 Mihai M

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:32 AM

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Hi
 
 
I have both the a6000 (firmware 3.10) and a6500 (firmware 1.03).
 
When in Shutter Priority and identical scene conditions:
a6000 prefers to use f/4 which gets the subject in more focus which helps with a moving subject (the kids). Even if the subject has moved a little since the focus was acquired (which can happen even at 1/1000s with Continuous AF), the depth of field is wider (than at f/2) and the image would still be in some focus. Plus most lenses are sharper at f/4.
example: a6000 prefers to use f/4 and ISO 400 in my current lighting setting.
 
a6500, on the other hand, prefers to use f/2 which gets the subject in less focus plus most lenses are less sharper at f/2 than at f/4. (Sony lenses, most notably, are way not-sharper at f/2 than at f/4. The Sigma lenses keep the great sharpness all the way to their maximum aperture.)
example: a6500 prefers to use f/2 and ISO 100 in the same conditions in which a6000 prefers to use f/4 and ISO 400.
 
The noise difference between ISO 100 and ISO 400 is negligible, but the focus depth difference is big between f/4 and f/2.
 
 In the P and P* (Program) modes, a6500 does prioritize the higher f-number for a wider focus depth instead of a lower ISO.
 
This happens with both Sony and Sigma lenses (like Sony Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 ZA or Sigma 30mm f/1.4).

 
I have reached out to Sony Chat Support and they have basically confirmed this change in behavior between a6000 and a6500.
Their response was to use Manual Mode.
 
While that is a solution, it's far from ideal as I would have to worry about reaching the limits of the ISO range and manually adjusting the Aperture. Otherwise, the photo will be under or over exposed.
That's something the a6000 takes care well by itself in the Shutter Priority mode. The camera increases or decreases the aperture accordingly to get a proper exposure when the limits of the ISO range are reached. All this while trying to use the f/4 aperture which gets the sharper and the more-in-focus photos.
 
 
Using the P Program Mode is also not ideal since it resets to 1/60s every time I power the camera on which is totally not suited for taking photos of the kids.
The IBIS of the a6500 helps with the static subjects at 1/60s, but not with the running around of the kids.

 

I have asked Sony Chat Support to inform the Sony a6500 product team to add this configuration option in their next firmware.

But I can't hold my breath until that happens, if ever.

 

On a personal note, this is a deal breaker for me in using the a6500 and not returning it to the store.

I need the camera to start with a specific shutter value when powered on and to favor the f/4 aperture which gets sharp and in-focus photos.

That's why I got the Sigma f/1.4 to still be able to have the fast shutter speed when coming home from work and seeing the wonders the kids do.
 
 
Question #1: I want to configure a6500 to behave like a6000. How do I do this? Is there a way to have this that Sony Chat Support hasn't thought of?
 
Question #2: Does this happen with your a6500 or a6300 as well?
 
 
thank you,
Mihai



#2 Username

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 09:45 AM

No brainer. Use P-mode. 

 

Nothing wrong with defaulting to a 1/60 

but if you want a different default try the 

custom MR set ups. IIRC that address

things like default settings.  But, I could  

be off the mark. Try it and see :-) 

 

You have such nitpicky complaints ! If 

these things are really problems for you, 

as you have indicated by considering to 

return the 6500 to the vendor, then you 

don't need a more suitable camera .... 

you need to learn photography [or quit]. 

 

There's solid tech talk in your post that  

suggests you know a lotta stuff ABOUT 

photographic principles. That is not the

same as if you LEARN photography. If 

you do that, your photo gear becomes

transparent or invisible in use. None of

you complaints will matter anymore. 

 

Don't expect a manufacturer to teach it 

to a machine for you, exactly your way. 

"Your way" has no value to anyone else  

[true of everybody, not you in particular].  

 

Start your own camera company, or put 

up with what is on the market. I've read 

every word of your post, plus "between 

the lines". Really best advice for you is

the old "Keep calm, and carry on" !  

You get bothered by stuff that should 

not be real problems. You can fix that. 



#3 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:29 AM

I can see that it would be annoying to have two similar cameras that behave differently. At the same time, camera manufacturers tweak their auto-functions all the time, so if you've had several cameras they all behaved slightly different.

The only solution is to take control of the parameters that matter to you. For instance you can set ISO manually in shutter priority mode. This will force the camera to use a certain aperture envelope. Or if the aperture is more important, use aperture control and push the shutter speed with the ISO setting. (This is based on your statement that ISO is less important.)

One of the most important practical skills in photography is to read the light and other shooting conditiins and to adapt the camera settings to suit the picture you want to take.

In photography, there is no one-size-fits all - and you should never let the camera make important decisions for you. Even if you use auto-functions, keep an eye on the settings and decide if they are what you want. If they aren't, then you make changes.

#4 Username

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 07:49 PM

I can see that it would be annoying to have two similar cameras that behave differently. 
..................  

 

Acoarst thaz true. I use 3 brands and 4 systems. I do notice the effect. But 

for a user who's complaining that P-mode is programmed differently in two 

different bodies, and for whatever reason[s] cannot live with that, switching 

to A or S and fixed ISO will retain AE operation while providing consistent

behavior between the cameras. This solution is apparently too simple. If 

you don't like the way a certain feature or mode operates in some certain 

circumstance .... DON'T USE IT in that circumstance. It's just TOO simple.  

  

That wasn't the user's ONLY gripe, but all the complaints were way similar.  

 

If a user is going to let the robotics run toward extremes, then he ought to 

use only matching gear or just be more accommodating of differences. But 

if he insists on NOT fully matching his gear, then if he expects consistency 

from slightly mismatched gear, then it's the user's job to stick to only those 

features, modes, etc that are operationally the same across the differences  

between models or versions of his gear.  

 

Seems like half of all complaints in these forums derive from unreasonable 

expectations, frequently concerning the behaviors of robotic gear [except  

when it's about optical IQ fantasies].  

 

It would be easy to criticize my use of 3 brands and 4 systems .... if I were 

complaining about it. Since I don't twiddle dials or push buttons except to 

operate fairly basic functions, I don't encounter annoying inconsistencies. 

I have less grief between Sony, Canon, and Nikon than some users have 

between Sony and Sony. Those users CAN solve that for themselves. It's

not Sony's job.  

  

I'm NOT Sony's apologist. I've said over and over that I minimize my Sony 

acquisitions cuz I don't trust Sony [corporation] at all :-(  



#5 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 08:06 PM



 

Acoarst thaz true. I use 3 brands and 4 systems. I do notice the effect. But 

for a user whose complaining that P-mode is programmed differently in two 

different bodies, and for whatever reason[s] cannot live with that, switching 

to A or S, and a fixed ISO, retains AE while providing consistent behavior  

between the cameras. 

 

If one is going to let the robotic run toward the extremes, then one ought to 

use only matching gear or just be more accommodating of differences. But 

if one insists on not fully matching gear, then if one insists on consistency 

from slightly mismatched gear, then it's the user's job to stick to only those 

features, modes, etc that are operationally the same across the differences  

between versions of gear.  

 

Seems like half of all complaints in these forums derive from unreasonable 

expectations, frequently concerning the behavior of robotic gear ... except 

when it's about optical IQ fantasies.

 

I agree that it is about expectations. People who are just starting out in photography expect everything to be automatic. If you come from an older film background, you're just grateful that anything is automatic.

 

The hardest part about mentoring in real life, is that so many people are put off by anything that requires time, effort or learning. So, a lot of the mentoring is about breaking things down into small, easy steps where people can see progress quickly. Otherwise you lose them. 



#6 Username

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 08:36 PM

..........

 

The hardest part about mentoring in real life, is that so many

people are put off by anything that requires time, effort or learning.

So, a lot of the mentoring is about breaking things down into small,

easy steps where people can see progress quickly. Otherwise you

lose them.   

  

 

If some function gives you grief in some context, avoid

that function in that context. Don't try to "solve" it.   

 

I spoze that is waaay too big a lesson to learn all at once .... 

Jeezizezz ... WTF was I thinking.  

 

I guess it's about all that excess packaging that gear ships 

in lately. Stoopid me believed that if you could get thru all 

that crap and figger out which part was the trash and which 

part was gear, then you could make other obvious choices  

such as not doing what doesn't work to your satisfaction or

not doing what annoys yourself. Stoopid me ... 



#7 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 09:33 PM

If some function gives you grief in some context, avoid
that function in that context. Don't try to "solve" it.

I spoze that is waaay too big a lesson to learn all at once ....
Jeezizezz ... WTF was I thinking.

I guess it's about all that excess packaging that gear ships
in lately. Stoopid me believed that if you could get thru all
that crap and figger out which part was the trash and which
part was gear, then you could make other obvious choices
such as not doing what doesn't work to your satisfaction or
not doing what annoys yourself. Stoopid me ...


It's easier to figure out what is packaging these days when they pack electronics in trash paper. When I bought my NEX-7, the packaging was way cooler than the camera.

As to avoidance, I'm just used to really fierce competition, where people work really hard to get ahead. So, I get confused when people avoid things.

#8 Mihai M

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 06:33 AM

This is a table of what a6500 and a6000 prioritize in Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority and what that would be useful for:

a6500_1_1.png

 

It's a complete reversal.

 

Based on what you want and the camera you have, this is the mode you have to use:

a6500_1_2.png

 

I always want in-focus and sharp pictures.

It's a personal preference.

The pictures taken specifically to emphasize bokeh make me feel like my eyes are failing.

I only go for a high amount of bokeh when I consider that what's in the background shouldn't appear in the picture (like when taking a picture at the beach, I don't want the many almost naked people in the back clearly show in the pictures).

 

Technically, I want f/4 if possible even if the ISO has to get to 3200.

This is my priority on camera parameters (meaning the camera can choose whatever values for the not important parameters that it has to in order to obtain the desired values for the parameters important to me):

a6500_1_4.png

 

Ideally, I would like to input these preferences in the camera and it would do it all for me all the time so I can focus on composition (place what subject where in the picture).

With children that are in constant motion (like at an indoors birthday party), I don't even have the time to properly compose the picture.

Always changing the camera parameters manually is simply time I don't have if I don't want to miss too many shots.

If the camera is facing the window or against the window, the exposure varies dramatically, by a few stops at least.

That's why changing the parameters manually all the time is not desired.

 

a6000, and a6500 even more, have impressively clean images at ISO 3200.

a6500 has such clean images even at ISO 6400 that it's internal Full Auto mode will use ISO 6400 (on a6000, it only goes up to ISO 3200).

This is the reason why ISO can be the least important parameter (thank you modern technology).

 

This is the workflow I came up for my usage of the camera

a6500_1_3.png

 

When switching to a6500 from a6000 and going for in-focus and sharp pictures I have to mostly use Aperture Priority instead of Shutter Priority.

Luckily for me, Sony has changed Aperture Priority mode to go by default for 1s/250 instead of 1s/60.

If that wouldn't have happened, I would have indeed had to return the a6500.

As a note, the a6000 was, for me, easier to use as I could use Shutter Priority all the time and I didn't have to watch out for the moment when I had to switch from Aperture Priority to Shutter Priority.

Shutter Priority on the a6000 implements almost 100% the table of table parameter importance above. I will surely miss that. Only if a6000 had a touchscreen and silent mode and IBIS and 425 focus points. Or the a6500 had an option to make Shutter Priority act like on a6000 :)



#9 Mihai M

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 08:58 AM

To conclude, my main gripe with a6500 is that

you can always use Shutter Priority to get bokeh (because it defaults to f/2 if possible)

and that you can always use Aperture Priority to freeze fast action (because it default to 1s/250 or even faster if the ISO gets to 100).

 

You cannot use Shutter Priority to freeze fast action because the depth of field is too narrow at f/2.

 

I would have expected that I can use Aperture Priority to get bokeh (by setting the aperture at f/2) and I can freeze fast action with Shutter Priority by using a fast shutter speed and the camera using a wide depth of field by itself.

This is exactly what a6000 does.

 

a6500 is all backwards.

 

PS: the previous post explains the workflow that can get the best of a6500 even if it's all backwards.



#10 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 09:15 AM

Have you tried setting auto ISO to appropriate settings?

For instance you could set auto ISO minimum shutter speed to fast and auto iso minimum and maximum to 100 and 3200 respectively? Then you can use aperture priority and set aperture to f4?

I don't have the A6500 so I don't know how it would behave but theoretically, it could do what you want.

#11 Mihai M

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 09:51 AM

For instance you could set auto ISO minimum shutter speed to fast and auto iso minimum and maximum to 100 and 3200 respectively? Then you can use aperture priority and set aperture to f4?

 

That's exactly the plan.

 

Sony calls it "ISO AUTO Min. SS" which works only in A-mode and sets the Shutter Speed. I have set it to 1s/250.

This is a new and greatly needed setting in a6500. a6000 doesn't have this (A-mode on a6000 always defaults to 1s/60 which I find useless).

 

At noon I set the aperture to f/4.

 

ISO is set to Auto between 100 and 3200.

 

That's the best option I could find.

 

PS: the problem with this approach of using A-mode is that it puts aperture 1st in the list of the priority parameters, which for me is shutter speed:

a6500_1_4.png

When it gets cloudy, in A-mode, the camera may end up with 1s/30, f/4, 3200 ISO, when a6000 would have chosen (in S-mode) 1s/250, f/1.4, 3200 ISO which fits better with my priorities.

1s/30 is a really bad option with such a capable camera and a fast f/1.4 lens.

There's no winning with the a6500. Just saying.



#12 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 11:06 AM

Ok, cool. I think that maybe if you use those settings for while, it will become second nature to occasionally adjust the aperture to the lighting conditions. 

 

I trained on an old Pentax film camera. It had a light meter but no coupling, so you could read the light but had to make all settings manually. That meant you basically had to learn to adjust shutter speed and aperture on the fly because there was usually no time to use the light meter first.

That's why they gave us that camera.



#13 Username

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 08:13 PM

That's exactly the plan.

 

Sony calls it "ISO AUTO Min. SS" which works only in A-mode and

sets the Shutter Speed. I have set it to 1s/250.

This is a new and greatly needed setting in a6500. a6000 doesn't

have this (A-mode on a6000 always defaults to 1s/60 which I find

useless).

 

At noon I set the aperture to f/4.

 

ISO is set to Auto between 100 and 3200.

 

That's the best option I could find.

 

PS: the problem with this approach of using A-mode is that it puts

aperture 1st in the list of the priority parameters, which for me is

shutter speed:

attachicon.gifa6500_1_4.png

When it gets cloudy, in A-mode, the camera may end up with 1s/30,

f/4, 3200 ISO, when a6000 would have chosen (in S-mode) 1s/250,

f/1.4, 3200 ISO which fits better with my priorities.

1s/30 is a really bad option with such a capable camera and a fast

f/1.4 lens.

There's no winning with the a6500. Just saying.

 

That is freakin insane.

Since you beg for headaches, don't complain. 

  

Not like I has zero compassion. I'll swap you 

my 6000 for your 6500 so you can use a fully 

matched pair. You pay shipping. 



#14 Mihai M

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 02:58 AM

At the current exchange rate, the a6500 costs $1800.
Is that a lot of money?
It is.

Is a6500 3.5 times more expensive than its direct predecessor a6000 that works the way the photography text book said it should (using Shutter Priority for freezing fast action and Aperture Priority for bokeh)?
It is.

Is is "freaking insane" to expect the a6500 to follow the same photography text book we all have studied?
You say it is.
I have my opinion that it's pretty ok.

It's also ok to ask for advice from the manufacturer and from other users.

I would fix it myself if the camera's operating system would be open source. But it's not.
But that would be a good idea, Sony.
Just like Google Chrome and Firefox are open source and they're awesome because of that.

#15 Username

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 07:17 AM

`

 

I guess that means "no swap" ?   

  

You could just let the 6500 live with me 

for an extended period, and I'll teach it 

some right proper behavior ! 

 

  

`



#16 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 09:56 AM

To hazard a guess, Sony made the changes to accomodate the bokeh fanatics. Many people buy fast lenses to take bokeh shots. So majority rules, I guess. And, yes, the A6500 is expensive for what it is. But it makes life easier for me. There is so much more useful photography gear at $1800 so I don't have to think about the A6500.

At the current exchange rate, the a6500 costs $1800.
Is that a lot of money?
It is.
Is a6500 3.5 times more expensive than its direct predecessor a6000 that works the way the photography text book said it should (using Shutter Priority for freezing fast action and Aperture Priority for bokeh)?
It is.
Is is "freaking insane" to expect the a6500 to follow the same photography text book we all have studied?
You say it is.
I have my opinion that it's pretty ok.
It's also ok to ask for advice from the manufacturer and from other users.
I would fix it myself if the camera's operating system would be open source. But it's not.
But that would be a good idea, Sony.
Just like Google Chrome and Firefox are open source and they're awesome because of that.



#17 Username

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 06:42 PM

..............  
As to avoidance, I'm just used to really fierce competition, where

people work really hard to get ahead. So, I get confused when

people avoid things.

  

OK maybe the word "avoid" pushed one of your personal  

buttons. I could just as well have said "DON'T REPEAT

choices/actions that don't work out for your needs/wants."  

 

"Don't repeat" is rather the same, in context, as "avoid". 

I just happen to write "avoid". You like hard work ? Work

hard to avoid repeating choices that lead to failure. Now 

I got all those words to "play nice" in one sentence :-)   

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------  

 

Can you tell us what sorta stuff your peers are so fiercely 

competitive about ? 



#18 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 07:39 PM

Throw in an "overcome" somewhere in that sentence and we're getting somewhere.

 

Re competition, I dunno. It's just been like that since school. I guess there was a lazy crew somewhere but I never hung with them.



#19 baillieswells

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:49 AM

In my opinion the simplest is to either use Aperture priority  and set the aperture you want and also set the iso you want, and the camera will set the shutter speed, or use shutter speed priority and iso, and the camera will take care of the aperture.

 

What would be interesting would be to set same aperture and iso on both cameras and take the same photos simultaneously to see whether there was any difference in the exposure, and set exposure and iso the same on both, and see whether both cameras selected the same aperture.



#20 Username

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 04:17 PM

`  

 

Acoarst that will work. If you allow only one variable to 

be controlled by the cameras, the cameras would both 

behave alike. It's if you allow the cameras to govern 2 

variables [or more] that they don't act the same.  

 

With only 1 variable controlled by the cameras all they 

need to agree on is the correct exposure, and that will 

result in the same choice on that 1 variable. 

  

But let the camera govern 2 variable and now they are 

deciding more than just the correct exposure. They will  

attempt to make "aesthetic" choices about DoF, motion 

rendering, etc ... which are subjective decisions and so 

different models may be programmed differently to get 

the same histogram via different combinations of those

2 or more camera-governed variables. 

 

The problem here is that a user wants to relinquish user

control of 2 or more variables. Clearly if the user allows

only 1 variable to be controlled by the cameras then the 

cameras would behave alike. It's a contrived complaint  

in that the user does not welcome the simple solution.  

 

  

 

`




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