May 5, 2019
Links talked about in this episode:
Time to talk about two pieces of gear. The iPad Pro and a mobile
workflow opportunity that it provides, and the Sony a6400.
Let’s talk about the 6400 first.
I took it with me to my conference in April 2019 to San
Francisco. I was there for a web design conference, but I landed at
about noon on Sunday and went straight for Cataract falls in the
Marin Headlands area.
- Took only this camera
- Was concerned about leaving the Canon kit behind.
- This is a very capable camera, but I’m just so used to my Canon
and three lenses.
- Took a small bag that went into my computer bag.
- Took two batteries and my normal ThinkTank photo pixel pocket
secure with my cards.
- It charges via USB plugged straight into the camera.
Let’s look at a few Specs of the camera.
- Sony E mount, crop sensor
- ISO to 32,000, extendable to 102,400
- Electronic Front Curtain Shutter to
- Silent shutter, is completely silent
- Tons of video options, all the way up to 4K and full HD at
- I’ve yet to do any video with this camera.
- 425 Phase Detect AF sensors
- 425 Contrast Detection Areas
- Viewfinder resolution almost 2.4MP
- Monitor resolution 921,600 dot
- Tilting screen (up and down, flips up but not flippy screen.
Rather annoying that it is hard to operate with an arca swiss plate
- USB 2 micro b for charging L
- Weight: 14.22 oz, 403g (with battery and memory card)
All in all, not a bad camera for less than $900. Quite
respectable in fact.
There’s a few things I couldn’t get used to, or couldn’t yet
- Screen resolution is too low.
- Hand keeps turning off screen when I reach toward the camera,
the sensor for the viewfinder senses the hand, turns off screen.
Kind of annoying. I know I can switch it to be only the rear screen
or the viewfinder. I don’t want that. I want a sensor that actually
senses it’s on a tripod and that when something approaches it it
should leave the screen on. Then, when I have it in one hand or
both hands, and that sensor is tripped, it should then go back and
forth between EVF and the screen.
- But I like it when I want to use the viewfinder.
- Viewfinder is too low resolution as well.
- The AF system is good, but I couldn’t intuitively figure out
how to change it so I can manually select which AF spot I want. I
had to rely on the ability to touch the screen to override the
camera’s auto selection of AF points. But when using the
viewfinder, I was out of luck. Probably just my inexperience, and
my being used to the Canon system. But it should be more intuitive
to make that selection. On my 5D4, it’s a quick flick of the
Comparisons to the Canon 5D4
In one sense it’s rather unfair to make a comparison because
these are two totally different cameras. But that too is my point.
I’ll be looking at image quality soon, so that ultimately tells the
whole story, but for now, let’s look at the physical
I use a Pro Media Gear L bracket with my 5D4, it makes this
package a massive beast to behold. But I do like it and it has
worked well for me. But I’m very much interested in a smaller kit.
I want to travel more and take more pictures, and I do know that
the girth of the camera does cause me to not get it out
I bought the Sony with the 18-135 lens. Together they weigh
25.72 oz or 1.6 pounds. Not bad. The Canon with the 24-70 I shoot
weighs in at about 48 oz. or 3 pounds. That’s nearly twice the
weight. The Sony is rated with the battery, the Canon is not. Add
the battery and my L bracket and I’m saving half the weight when
going with the Sony.
I just completed working on several images in LR. Before I get
too far into this I gotta say one thing, This is not a direct
comparison of the same exact scenes between the Canon and the
Sony. I did not take my Canon so I only had the Sony to
shoot and think about on this trip.
- Golden Gate Bridge at night: Came out very well. I shot mostly
in the 100, 200 and 400 ISO range and I let the shutter speed go on
up to 10 seconds or so. I did a lot of experimenting so I’m just
going off of the two that made it to my keepers file thus
- I’m really impressed with the flexibility of these files. I can
push them up in LR easily about ½ stop more than my Canon with the
same amount of noise build up. Past 400 though and it starts to
fall apart in my opinion. And by “fall apart” I really mean that
you can see the noise, it’s still very well controlled, but it’s
certainly there. Pretty much on par with the Canon.
- This is impressive given that the Pixel area of the Sony is
15.13 µm²and the Canon is 28.73 µm²
Story behind shooting these images
- Woke up at about 4:30 a.m. Drove to the Marin Headlands area,
specifically, to the Battery Spencer overlook.
- Arrived way before sunrise. Had the place to myself.
- Looked at a few options for framing. Decided to largely hang
out a bit to the left of the battery area so I could have a
slightly better angle on the bridge and the city behind it.
- Got plenty of shots with it pitch black. However, my
favorite shot is the ones where just a bit of blue is starting to
- Reds of the bridge are not feeling all that “original” or
natural. Not sure if this is a lighting issue, a Sony issue or
something else. I was able to manipulate the colors in post to get
them pretty good, but to begin with they were awful. I’ve never had
this problem with my Canon. Initially, however, I’ll chalk this up
to just loads of experience with the Canon, and preconceived
- As the sun continued to rise it looked promising. I wanted to
catch the harsh light on the bridge with the city behind. But the
fog rolled in on the horizon. It remained mostly clear where I was,
but over the main land area it got a bit thick.
- So I went over to the edge of the ridge and shot the sun coming
through the clouds. It was quite good actually. Very pleased with
how those came out.
- I was able to frame up Alcatraz with a large ship, and with the
sun poking through the clouds and reflecting off the water, it was
- I then got back on the main road and headed down towards Point
Bonita Lighthouse. There were signs posted saying it’s only open
for a few hours on Sunday afternoon, but I had no idea they’d close
a tunnel that is the only access to the area and you can’t even see
it from the trail. I was a bit disappointed.
- I then drove to the Battery Alexander Parking lot and walked to
the beach that leads to Bird Island. It was all right, but nothing
too exciting. I just shot a few wet sand texture and pattern
- One afternoon I walked downtown after the conference and I got
on top of a parking garage and shot an old fashioned street car. I
zoomed in and framed it up tight, the curvy lines, windows and the
pattern of the road made for a striking composition. I really like
the guy in the back window. You can see his face and that’s the
only major human element in the shot.
- And then finally, I got the sailboat with the ridge behind it.
I like the simplicity of this shot.
- Actually, before I shot the bridge and downtown I went to
Cataract falls a bit further north. It was an excellent hike. But
it was also the first time shooting with this camera in CA. I had
shot it a bit before with two listeners who met me in Clarkston,
WA, and we went to Hell’s canyon and did a bit in the Palouse area.
Anyway, I got a few images that worked, but I was really spending
too much time getting used to the camera, most of what I got wasn’t
worth much. But it was still a valuable experience.
- Really the only true keeper is a B&W vertical panoramic
with a log crossing over the top portion of the frame and the water
flowing into a small pool area with rocks surrounding it. The files
held up really well to how far I have to push them when doing a
shot like this. B&W helps too, but still, it’s a good quality
- The 18-135 is a quality lens. I was almost surprised at how
good it is. I could easily trust most of my shots to this lens. I
tried it with severe backlighting, side lighting and some of my
favorite types of subjects, and they were rendered quite
- I’m not done testing, and my opinion may change, but so far so
- I did not do quality tests at various focal lengths, I’m just
speaking candidly from what I was able to see from these initial
Can I actually do it, make the switch?
- It’s hard to make the switch just now. I think the lower res
screens and EVF bothered me too much. I need something like the
EOS-R with a higher resolution viewfinder and flippy screen.
- The FujiFilm X-T3 has a much higher resolution EVF at 3.69mp,
but the rear screen is only barely a few more pixels at 1.04mp. The
canon EOS R has the same resolution EVF as the FujiFilm but it has
a 2.1MP rear flippy screen. So if I’m looking for the best
experience in shooting, and I did notice the lower res rear screen
was annoying, then the Canon EOS R still has a bit of a
- The Panasonic has a whopping 5.7MP EVF and the same 2.1MP rear
screen as the EOS R.
- This is why I’m still officially waiting to declare which
direction I’ll be going with my shooting. Canon has predicted a
drop in camera sales and we’re seeing that now with the latest
reports coming out in the last couple months. Is it any wonder?
There’s lots of good equipment out there, but when you have a 5D4
already, not much is really pulling me one way or the other. Things
are to incremental at this point to make me want to pull out the
plastic an make it happen with a new body.
- I’ve yet to shoot video on the Sony. Though I just got the
ThinkTank Photo PhotoCross 15 in the mail today. I’ll be doing a
YouTube video on that soon and then I’ll be able to talk about this
camera and it’s video capabilities.
- I’d love to be able to use my iPad Pro 2 as an exclusive
platform for when out on a trip and I think I’m getting close to
saying that is becoming more and more feasible for me.
- Download images to camera roll.
- Then import into LR mobile. Rather annoying.
- iOS 13 supposed to fix this issue, allowing us to import
directly into 3rdparty apps such as LR mobile. I look
forward to that.
- Then I have to wait for LR to upload the images to the cloud
and then wait for LR on the computer to download them. If you
thought importing images into LR was slow, just do this. However,
it would be rather worth it for me if I can do this because I’d be
able to leave the computer at home if I needed or wanted
- Still waiting for full PS on the iPad. Once that happens things
are going to get very interesting.
- However, with the changes in pricing Adobe has started
“testing” even I’m tempted to find another solution even though I
get the creative cloud through work. And the price they give
educational institutions… it’ll be hard for us to justify moving
away from adobe anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t
personally make a switch. Time will tell. The Jury is still out on
Finally, some information you’ve been waiting for on Denver.
I’m going to do a one-day print workshop on July 28. I’m working
with a local camera club for hosting it but the best part is that
they said that I can easily invite my listeners to join in on the
fun as well. We don’t need to keep it exclusive. Club members will
get a small discount but otherwise it’ll be open to you folks as
I don’t have everything figured out just yet, but you can check
out the FB group for an announcement and those of you who have
contacted me personally, I’ll be reaching out to you once I have
the details all worked out.
I have another workshop for you as well. It’s based here in
Walla Walla. We’ll plan to get up to the Palouse as well, but it’s
all about shooting, processing and printing. We’ll spend five days
going through the whole process from start to finish. And you’ll
return home with some great images and new skills. If you’re
interested in pushing your image making to new heights this
workshop is for you. It happens June 17-21 of this year. Check out
all the details on the website, https://brentbergherm.com/workshops/ww-print
The Walla Walla workshop does include access to the online
course as well. So you’ll get access to over 8 hours of learning
and inspiration for taking your images off the screen and into the
real world. We’ll talk about working with labs too, so you don’t
need your own printer to make this a valuable experience.
And quickly, a quick shout out to all those who have purchased
the online course. It’s been out almost a month now and I’m
thrilled to see the progress many folks are making. I get the stats
of video downloads and such and I’m loving the opportunity to help
so many folks who have decided to take the plunge. I’m about to
announce my first group session that’s associated with the course,
so those of you enrolled, watch for that in your email. I’m talking
to David, Bill, Steven, Hank, Dino, Gary, Jeremy, Brian, Steve and
the others. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
So if you’re ready to take that next step head on over to the
website and sign up today!
In the next few episodes I’ll be talking with the host of the
longest running photography podcast, Chris Marquardt. I’m also
bringing on Mary Malinconico to talk about selecting workshops and
participating in other photo outings. Jeff and I recently talked a
bit about workshops and how to select them on the Master
Photography Podcast, but with Mary we’ll go quite a bit deeper.
I’ve also got three people interested in talking with me about
the book Making Photographs by Ibarionex Perello. So that episode
will be exciting and it’ll happen in early July.
Thank you so much for listening. I hope you have a fantastic
day, whatever you’re doing and until next time, happy shooting!