As I mentioned in my recent article, The Joy of f1.2 with the Manual Focus Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-S Lens, I’m quite infatuated with the Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-S lens at the moment (and with good reason I think. Have you checked out those photos at f1.2 in that article?)
I’ve also been debating what would be the perfect, small, light-weight, camera to shoot that little gem of a 50 on.
The Nikon D5500 is certainly a viable option for all the reasons I mentioned in Nikon D5500 UNMASKED: 8 Reasons the D5500 May Be the MOST Under-Rated Camera on the Market Today, but there are some other very interesting, very compelling options out there in the camera world right now.
The Sony a6000 is an obvious one, and I very much enjoyed shooting with it while I had it here for review. In fact, I liked it so much, I considered buying one, but finally decided against it due to the lack of good lenses on the lower end of the Sony foodchain. Sony makes some very nice high-end lenses, no doubt about it. What they haven’t done a good job at, is making many quality, budget priced lenses. Case in point, the awful Sony 16-50mm kit lens that is paired with the a6000.
Here’s the thing though… if I’m looking at the a6000 for shooting older, manual focus primes like the Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-S, then Sony’s lack of lenses isn’t really a problem. In fact, this is one of the main strengths of the Sony mirrorless cameras like the a6000 and the a7 that attract many users to them, they work very well with almost all manner of older lenses with the appropriate adapter (and pretty decent adapters can usually be had for under $20 like the Fotasy Nikon G to M4/3 adapter I bought for my M4/3 cameras).
But then I realized that the Sony a5100 has a touchscreen with tap and shoot ability, something I REALLY like. Not only that, the a5100 is less expensive, came out with a more advanced video codec before the Sony a6000 got it via firmware update, and the a5100 shares the same, excellent, 24MP sensor as the a6000.
Hmmm… the choice becomes less clear. What it essentially comes down to is whether I want a touchscreen with the ability to tap and shoot more than I want an EVF, something you give up with the a5100. Honestly, I’m not sure.
The difference between the a5100 and the a6000 is about $50 if you buy used on Amazon. Not really a deciding factor, at least not much of one anyway.
Currently I’m leaning towards the Sony a5100, but I have to admit, the a6000 keeps intruding every time I think I’ve made a decision.
Photography Gear Discussed or Shown in this Article: