Mar 27, 2017

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A Traveler's Delight: Sony Alpha a5000

5:21 AM

Traveling Light

If you're an avid traveler then you know it’s a cardinal rule to pack light. You hear about it from your peers or read about it from travel blogs. “Do not bring a towel, soap, or shampoo because hotels usually provide them. Don’t bother to bring three pairs of shoes because you’ll only need one. You don’t need eight shirts and four pairs of pants for your two-day vacation at a nearby city. Plus you don’t have to get that extra baggage allowance unless you’re hauling Strawberry jam and Blueberry wine from Baguio.

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Traveling nowadays involves making a lot of common-sense choices -- planning your best days for travel, finding affordable lodging, preparing comfortable clothes, and booking the cheapest airline tickets (thank Piso sale). Being practical also applies when taking the most essential gadgets for your trip, like your mobile phone and camera. Why it Makes Sense to Take a Compact System Camera
Travelers use their phone camera to capture just about anything; from groufies, to selfies, and even Pokemon. While global sales of compact cameras have dwindled considerably due to rapidly advancing phone camera technology, there are several reasons why avid travelers should still reconsider tugging along a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera. Here are the Top 3. 1. Interchangeable Lenses The most obvious difference between a mobile phone camera and a mirrorless device like the Sony A5000, is that the latter gives you the ability to switch or change lenses. Adapters are also available and will allow you to use lenses from other brands. Here are common lenses beginners and professionals alike use for travel photography.

Commonly Used For
Wide-Angle Lens
Taking pictures of groups of people, landscapes, or buildings
Standard Kit Lens
*Most DSLR’s come with a standard kit lens nowadays. At 18mm this is a moderate macro lens which is quite good for close-up shots. At 55mm, it’s versatile enough for street photography.
Telephoto Lens
Taking a closer look at really far objects. Wildlife or sports photographers prefer this type of lens. It's useful when you want to take a photo of a lion, without getting chased or eaten alive.
* Lens with Image Stabilization is best for those getting started with professional photography. Author learned the hard way. 2. Manual Controls for Depth of field Wikipedia defines the depth of field in a photograph as, “the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appears acceptably sharp in an image.” Take a look at the image below:

A shallow depth of field allows you to maintain your focus on your subject and blur your background. A deep depth of field allows you to include the background in your picture. Try to see if your mobile phone camera can take images with a shallow depth of field. Try again.
Give up yet? ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed are the three most important tools in your Mirrorless or DSLR camera. Some flagship phones have a simplified version of these settings, but the small sensor size on your phone camera limits the capability. Source

(More examples of shallow depth of field)
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3. Flash and Low Light Photography Photography is taken from Greek words, which then translated into English, means, "drawing with light." Light is an important element in Photography. Using your phone camera, you will find pictures less grainy or blurry when taken in a well-lighted area than when you take them in the dark. On a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera you can manually control the Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed, and even use the built-in flash to create an artistic or memorable image. The Closing Pitch Now let’s take everything into perspective

Comparison Chart
Mobile Phone Camera (e.g. iPhone 7 Plus)
(e.g. Sony Alpha a5000)
(e.g. Canon 1300D)
Weight (the lighter the better)
188 g
269 g (including batteries)
485 g (including batteries)
Effective Pixels (sharp and crispier images)
12 MP
20.1 Megapixels
18 Megapixels
Sensor Size (Higher value means it can gather more light. It also has better resolution and more dynamic range)
1/3" BSI (max 6.2 x 4.6 mm)
APS-C (23.2 x 15.4 mm)
APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
ISO (Low-light)
ISO 32-2500
ISO 100-16000
ISO 100-6400
Interchangeable Lens
Manual Controls (Aperture, ISO, Shutter Speed)
Flash / Lighting
Yes, LED flash
Yes, Built-in
Yes, Built-in
Wi-fi Support

The Verdict

Camera technology on mobile phones is rapidly improving. However, with the small form factor, mobile phones are limited to a smaller sensor size compared to Mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Bigger sensors mean greater depth of field and a better ability to gather light and information. Source

A Mirrorless camera, like the Sony Alpha a5000, is perfect for the modern-day traveler. It's lighter than a DSLR at 269g. It produces sharp and crisp images with its larger sensor and 20.1 effective megapixels. E-mount allows you to switch lenses between shoot, and install adapters that allow you to use lenses from other brands. Manual controls and a commendable ISO rating (100-16000) gives you the perfect tools for a low-light shootout. Wifi support allows you to easily share your images with your friends and family instantly.

With that said, where will you take your camera today?


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