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The Sony A6000 Mirrorless

14th August 2014

My 6300-Mile Field Test

On our recent vacation, my camera of choice was Sony’s newest mirrorless camera. While I also brought a much larger Nikon D700 conventional DSLR, I relied mostly on the the Sony A6000. As a comparison, I captured about 150 images with the Nikon D700 and more than a thousand images with the Sony A6000.

My setup was the A6000 coupled with Sony’s 18-200mm lens. This combination is lightweight and compact, produces quality images and just happens to fit beneath the driver’s seat for fast, convenient access.

Hopefully, the following photographic sampler illustrates the A6000’s versatility. I’ll add a few techie details afterwards.

The A6000 is smaller than a conventional DSLR so it’s both lighter and more compact.

You can compare the sizes of the A6000 next to the conventional Nikon D700 DSLR.

The A6000’s high resolution 24MP sensor renders scenics with very high detail.

Additionally, the camera can capture subjects that have a wide range of exposure levels.

The A6000’s articulated LCD makes it easy to capture stills and closeups.

The much improved focusing system works well for wildlife shots.

With the 18-200mm lens, I can keep dry while still in on the action.

Here’s some quick, responsive focusing

The A6000’s bright viewfinder makes it easy to compose and frame in bright sunlight.

The electronic viewfinder previews the scene with the camera adjustments applied.

It handles action shots well and can capture up to 11 frames per second.

The exposure system works quite well with a wide variety of subjects.

I used the camera’s sweep panorama feature often to automatically produce some very pleasing large images.

I suppose it doesn’t matter than I traveled 6300 miles with the camera other than I used it under a variety of conditions.

My “film” was a 32GB SD card, but I never filled it with the 200 pictures a day (the camera was set to record simultaneous RAW and JPG images). All in all, I’m very happy with the images that the camera produced. The one small gotcha is that the A6000 has a short battery life – probably due to the electronic viewfinder. Thankfully, I had an extra battery that I carried along.

Since this is my third Sony mirrorless camera, you can safely assume that I’d recommend this camera to others. In fact my daughter must have agreed with my assessment and purchased one.

For those interested, here’s a few of the technical specs for the A6000:

Sony A6000 os a mirrorless with a 24MP sensor. One of the reasons for choosing this camera is its fast and accurate hybrid focusing system that allows up to 11 frames per second capture. Other proven features are its “sweep panorama”, automated HDR capture, easy exposure bracketing, and Sony’s proven video recording.

List price for the A6000 body without lens is $650. The 18-200mm lens cost $850, more than the body but this single lens allowed me to enjoy the scenery without clutter of additional lenses.


Written by: Arnie Lee

Vacation Time

24th July 2014

Documenting the Memories

I have to admit that I like vacations.

I especially like the ones where we drive and see many different scenic parts of our vast country. Having just returned from another such jaunt, I’ve already recovered from being away from home these past few weeks. Here’s a look back to some of the photos that I took on the trip.

On this vacation we drove some 6300 miles and took in some wonderfully gorgeous areas including the Tetons, Yellowstone, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, San Diego, Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde and finally Rocky Mountain National Park.

My wife Kris and I left Grand Rapids and at this time in our lives, instead of traveling with our children we had four grandkids in tow. One of our goals was to drop off two of the grandkids in Reno. But these two also had a wish to see Yellowstone, so we set the GPS to guide us to Old Faithful. Afterwards we would meet up with several of our adult children and additional grandchildren as we made our way to additional destinations.

Naturally I had several cameras with me to record our travels. And while I thoroughly enjoy photographing the amazing mountains, canyons, monuments, waterways, forests, sites and scenery, more importantly are the photos that let me recall the precious time that we spent with our family.

Here’s some of the pictures that illustrate those moments.

Admiring Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton Nat’l Park
Waiting for Old Faithful in Yellowstone

In awe of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone
cooling off in the Firehole River in Yellowstone

at the swimming pool in Reno
aggressive paddleboarding at Lake Tahoe

inspecting the tufa at Mono Lake
colorful wildflowers of Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite

surfing the Pacific in San Diego
catching a mermaid in San Diego

picking grapefruit in Phoenix
sitting on the edge of Grand Canyon

among the wonders of Monument Valley
straddling NM, AZ, UT and CO at Four Corners

As you can see, we visited some very gorgeous landscapes: incredible mountains, pristine wildernesses, jaw-dropping gorges, crystal clear lakes, raging rivers, enormous farmlands, five sensational national parks – just a vast array of features that make up our amazing country.

And while I have many more images that record these places that we visited, I’m just as content to see the faces of the grandkids, many of which we get to see but once a year.

house warming at Mesa Verde

How lucky we are to be able to capture the smiles on their faces like this.

above the snow and clouds at Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park


Photographs are certainly a powerful way to record memorable events.

Whether I’m on vacation or not, I try to keep the most meaningful memories as part of my photos.



Written by: Arnie Lee





Summer travel log

05th September 2011

what we saw – presented in pictures


My wife Kris and I just returned from our summer vacation – this time with two of our grandkids. We drove 2100 miles from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Reno, Nevada to visit four of our children and five other grandkids. Then we drove back home, another 2100 miles.

However, this article isn’t about our mini family reunion. Rather it’s about the return from Nevada across the mid-section of the USA and what we saw through the windshield.

For those of you who have yet to see some of the sights of the West, I recorded our trip home on film. Most of the pictures were taken from inside the auto.

We saw a lot of sim-tractor trailers out on the interstate. Here’s a familiar triple.

The high plains of Nevada is vast and dry. Here’s a dust devil.

The interstate highway traverses mountainous terrain. Here you can see how the road winds to conform to the hilly surfaces.

A huge letter on the hillside is used to identify a nearby town to passing aircraft. Here the letter “C” shows pilots that they are passing Carlin, Nevada.

To the best of my recollection there are only two tunnels on I-80. Here’s one of them cutting through a Nevada mountain.

On the western border of Utah are the famed Bonneville salt flats. Here the two grandkids are collecting salt as a souvenir.

Right in the middle of the Utah desert (far from any town) is this sculpture that someone constructed years ago. It’s known as the “Tree of Utah”.

With all of the salt flats and lake (Salt Lake) nearby, there’s a lot of salt processing taking place. Here’s a giant salt pile being readied for salt shakers around the world.

As we were on a tight schedule to return home, the only visit that we had of Salt Lake City this time was through the windshield.

The scenery from the driver’s seat is gorgeous when viewing the extensive mountainous areas of western Wyoming.

Wyoming is known for its vast natural resources including oil. The town of Sinclair is essentially a refinery with a railyard that serves to transport petroleum products far and wide.

Look to the left and you’ll see a very long freight train such as this one making its way across the Wyoming landscape. The trains are a common sight and speak to our nation’s immense transportation infrastructure.

You’ll often see small pumpjacks such as these scattered on the plains. These devices are used to extract oil from low pressure wells.

The west has been harnessing wind energy for several decades. There are large windmill farms in Nevada, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois.

For the outdoor sports enthusiasts among you, this is Cabella’s world headquarter in Sydney, Nebraska

Of course we were treated to great weather, blue skies and gorgeous clouds along the way.

We passed a military convoy unlike we’ve ever seen before. There were twenty or so federal security vehicles and a helicopter escorting a single semi-tractor trailer. Maybe it was a secret weapon???

When you reach Kearney, Nebraska, you’ll pass through the “Archway” which is built over the Interstate. In all my trips out west, I’ve yet to stop there.

For the grandkids, the highlight of the long drive home was a meal at this place in Geneva, Illinois. Need I say more?


Over the years, I’ve made several dozen similar cross country trips so I’m familiar with many of the sights along the way.

Yet I always seem to find new and interesting places and things to record along the way.

No, the inside of the car is not the best way to enjoy the USA. This time we traveled to take part in the mini-family reunion in Reno so we dispensed with the sightseeing.

But I did take a few snapshots as a reminder of some of the places that we still want to visit when we’re less pressed for time.



Written by Arnie Lee


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