Shot with Sony A5100 with 50mm lens.
I want to share with you guys one of my prized possessions : the Sony A5100 camera. While Sony has a few newer versions than the one I have, I love my humble A5100 and what I have been able to do with it.
This is coming from the perspective of someone who had virtually no photography experience prior to this camera. I had shot with a borrowed Nikon DSLR, but only in automatic and not with creativity in mind, but just because I wanted some clear images of something.
So this isn’t a professional photography review or comparison. These are my genuine feelings about the Sony Alpha coming from a blogger’s perspective and I’m writing this geared towards any bloggers who are thinking about investing in a professional quality camera.
When I first got the Sony a5100 I really wished I could have found a review about it from an average person or blogger who used it, because all I wanted to know was if the average user was happy with what it could do and if the images appear professional and crisp to a general audience.
Instead I was confronted with all this technical jargon on professional photography websites and it was all Greek to me! I don’t understand technical aspects of devices until I have hands-on experience with it.
As a result of that, I was too intimated to shoot with my camera in manual mode. It just seemed too confusing. So for about the first year and a half, all I used was automatic because I just wanted clear images for my blog and Instagram and I could not possibly understand camera settings.
That being said, I was always really happy with how the images turned out in automatic mode and if you are new to photography, I’m pretty sure you will be too.
I have now moved on and use it with different settings after watching video tutorials on Youtube and playing around. I can honestly say that I’m still really happy with it!
Here are five reasons why I think the Sony Alpha is a great camera for bloggers.
The Sony Alpha is not as large and clunky as most professional cameras. I cannot express enough how amazing it is that this camera is so small and travel-friendly. You never have to think about whether you should haul your camera around or not, because it will most likely fit in your purse.
2). Professional-Quality photos
It’s size does not at all mean that it is a lesser quality camera. It is able to have a compact design because it is a mirror-less technology. In fact, a few professional photographers have been talking about how they’ve ditched other brands and are now sticking to the Sony Alpha series. The camera is capable of talking such beautiful, professional grade photos.
3). Zoom Lens
The kit lens that is included with the camera offers a range of lengths you can photograph from. If you have it zoomed all the way out, it is appropriate for landscape shots. If you zoom it all the way in, it suffices as a portrait lens.
For example, here are some landscape shots I took …
Here is a portrait, with the lens zoomed all the way in …
With it zoomed midway, its good for average scenery… (and a good excuse to share a pic of my dog)
You can even get a pretend macro if you get close to your subject. (But not too close, as it won’t focus properly. You’ll have to crop it afterwards)
4). Wifi Capability
By downloading the Sony Play Memories app, you can very easily send your images directly from your camera to your smart phone. Edit them in your favourite apps on your phone and you’re ready to share.
5). Built-in Remote
Again, with the Sony Play Memories app you can control the shutter release on your camera from your phone. The great thing is that on your phone you will get a display of your camera’s view, so you know exactly what you are shooting.
Here, I am taking a self-portrait with my camera on a tripod and connected to my iPhone …
The one thing I wish was improved with this feature is the self-timer on the remote app. The max amount of time on the app is 2 seconds which is sometimes not long enough to put your phone away for the shot. On the camera itself when you are not using the remote app, you can set the timer to 10 seconds, however.
So those are 5 reasons in a nutshell why the Sony Alpha is a great choice for a blogger. It is portable, takes great photos which you can send directly to your phone, and you are able to take pics remotely for self-portraits and group shots.
I should mention also, that it takes high quality HD video and has received quite a few positive reviews on that front. So it’s great to have that option if you want to get into vlogging. Only thing is, my Sony a5100 does not have an audio output, so you cannot connect a microphone to the camera. At this stage, this is not an issue for me, and it records sound just fine by my non-technical standards.
Oh, and here’s a bonus reason : it’s very affordable. As of writing this, it is only about $500.00 on Amazon which is significantly less than it was when I got it two years ago.
The great thing is that when you decide you want to up your photography game, this camera will have it all there for you. If you want to learn how to control the aperture, shutter speed and all that, its there for when you’re ready.
So that’s it, and I hope you found this helpful!
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Sunflowers are a bittersweet thing to see. Their beauty is formidable and awesome, yet their appearance indicates that summer is soon coming to a close.
What a beautiful time of the year. And how better to capture the essence of August sunflowers than with some photos.
They are my sister Maddy’s favorite flowers. If we had of had access to a car this day, we would have driven to some wheat fields in the countryside to do this shoot. But we did not, so we settled for a conservation park nearby that happened to have some hay bales laying around.
I don’t mean to boast but – I love these pics of my sister and I’m so happy with how they turned out. I’ve been practicing taking portraits with my Sony A5100 and I’m glad with the results so far.
My sister is awesome. She always models for me on my creative projects.
Hope you’re enjoying this season as it is coming to a close!
There’s nothing like the fresh glow of the natural world in the morning. In those few hours after sunrise the environment seems the most enchanted with everything shaking off its slumber.
The beauty of the world as the sun sets and rises is the best thing about being alive in my opinion. It seems sad that it has become a novelty to experience, as our modern society conspires to take us away from nature, keeping us busy with indoor jobs and distracted with entertainment.
Morning strolls are invigorating, refreshing and the best way to start the day. If you’re feeling down or in a rut, now is a good time to get into the habit of going for a walk in the mornings on a local trail, to breathe in the fresh spring air and see the magic of wildlife in this stage of growth. It might give you a fresh perspective on things and help to evaluate what is important. It’s kind of like meditating for people that don’t like meditating, in a yoga way. (Like me, I just don’t buy into the concept of sitting indoors with your eyes closed as a spiritual practice).
As the mornings are becoming milder, my sister and I decided to get up early and take her dog to the Cobourg Conservation area, where it is lush with growth at this time.
This, I’m quite sure, is Dogwood (Red Osier), just starting to push out its young leaves this season. If I’m not mistaken, this shrub will bloom with some small white flowers soon. In the winter, people like to use the bare red branches to make wreathes and baskets.
There’s always something new to notice if you open your eyes to the natural environment. For example, I never knew that some shrubs have growths on them that look like pinecones.
And the piece de resistance of the Conservation area at this time are the Ostrich Ferns. The way they glow in morning or the evening is something that strikes your soul with beauty. Or maybe I’m just overly sentimental about these things.
It’s especially neat to watch them over a few days and observe them unravel. When they are young, they are fiddleheads, the vegetable that we are most familiar with. Many people may not know that fiddleheads are only harvested from the wild. You can still see some in their young fiddlehead stage in this picture.
It’s seems crazy to me that all this beauty is happening around us and most of us do not have the time to behold it. There’s so many things to learn about the environment where we live. Many of us aren’t even aware that plants go through different stages in which they look completely different. Everything sprouts, grows, buds leaves, sometimes blooms flowers then produces fruit or berries, and then dies or sleeps, and then it starts all over again. It all happens really slowly, so it’s not immediately gratifying to learn, but it is a process. This is how going to the same natural spot often doesn’t need to be boring as things are always transforming, always something new to observe.
Sometimes I feel bad for having ignored Mother Nature for so long. I worked in the food and beverage industry for 10 years, a line of work where your body is never in tune with the natural solar cycle. But there’s no sense in regretting the path that it takes for one to get to where they are now. That sounds very cliche, but it was one of those moments where the cliche was very lucid and hit me as sincere.
And here are some cliche pictures. Once again, very sincerely joyful nonetheless.
Feeling the sun in the morning is bliss.
Hope you’re all having a beautiful Spring so far.
Sharing some photos from a perfect day in April …
It was one of those days that was really warm for the season, a little bit windy and some overcast clouds. This, in combination with the wild violets popping up over untamed meadows makes for a moment when you feel like you’re in a beautiful, dark fairy tale.
I’ve realized that when it is overcast outside, the lighting is great for taking pictures.
We also happened to be at a beautiful location, the Montrose Inn in Belleville, right at this perfect moment for a photo opportunity. My family and I were there having high tea, something we usually do in April for my birthday. It was lovely and I definitely recommend going if you like historical buildings and antique decor.
The owners were kind enough to let us tour the property and take pictures.
The sights of the violets popping up in Spring and the feeling in the air of everything coming alive again is one of the many joys of living in a part of the world that has changing seasons.
Only lawns that are not regularly manicured have the pleasure of being blessed by the presence of the violets. On properties that are mowed and sprayed with “weed killers” this natural beauty won’t occur. Actually some people that are OCD about keeping their lawns perfectly sanitized, regard them as weeds. Seems blasphemous.