I inherited my Sony SLT A77 from a friend, and it was a great camera he left me. The A77 is an excellent dslr style APSC sensor camera. I had three models the Sony A77, A65v, and A580. The A77 was definitely the best, and since it was the top-of-the-line in APSC sensor cameras, it should have been. It was updated to the Sony A77ii. Sony has stopped making its dslr and SLT line of cameras and has completely moved to mirrorless. Some of the lenses can still be used with an adapter.
I used several lenses (listed below) and Sony’s vertical grip. The grip felt great in my large hands, but the Sony A77 sometimes seemed to have trouble identifying the second battery. I had a Sony dual battery charger, but I usually used my Wattson Duo charger instead. The three dslr/slt cameras I had, and the Sony DSC-HX20V point-and-shoot camera all suffered from a display protection cover that delaminated, causing annoying bubbles to form. It isn’t a hard problem to fix, but it is not easy to make it look good.
The Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens for Sony A-Mount cameras is a beautiful lens. It doesn’t quite have the zoom range I would like for a versatile walk-around lens, but the 2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range helps a lot. All the following photos were taken with a Sony A65V or Sony a77 SLT camera.
I love my Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro for sony a-mount cameras. I love to photograph nature up close, and this Sony macro lens did a great job. I don’t really have much to say about this other than it is a great choice, and relatively inexpensive these days. Macro photography is much easier with the high ISO on modern dslr and mirrorless cameras, but a proper flash setup will make your photos pop even more.
My GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition now seems incredibly dated since GoPro is now up to the model ten. If I don’t remember to update this page every six months, it will probably be the GoPro model 21. Looking back at some of the photos and videos that were taken with my GoPro, I am pretty pleased. There are some lighting conditions where the color balance is more than questionable, but overall they still look good to me. I may upgrade at some point, but since I don’t do too much underwater or aerials anymore, I will probably wait until the GoPro 21 comes out.
Most photos have the fisheye look corrected in Adobe Lightroom Classic.
The Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM was designed for DSLR APS-C sensor cameras. This lens was great for landscape and the interiors of houses, and cars, etc. The problem I had with this lens, was all me. I never fully developed an eye for the abstract forms, new angles, and perspectives that the Sigma 8-16mm allowed me to capture. It was one of those pieces of gear that I had to have, which was rarely used. If you are one of those who have or want to develop an eye of the ultra-wide-angle photographs I do recommend the Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6 DC HSM.
The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC is a fast lens for APS-C crop DSLR cameras. I got this lens primarily for photographing the night sky and it really isn’t a great choice for that due to the coma found on the corners of photographs. Coma is where stars form little checks, almost like triangles. If the images are not enlarged much, it doesn’t detract from the quality of the photograph. However, if you do enlarge they are distracting for anyone who knows anything about photography. The average person probably will never notice.
Other than the limitations of astrophotography the lens is good. It is capable of good photographs in low light, and the 1.4 aperture also allows for playing around with a very shallow depth of field. I didn’t have a lot of use for such a lens at the time, so I saved a considerable amount of money going with this sigma compared to a Sony.
My A-mount Sony DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens was the kit lens that came with my Sony a580 DSLR. Nearly every manufacturer has made a lens like this. These lenses are of mostly plastic construction. The zoom and focus are not that smooth. They are great because they are cheap, light, and compact. For the price point, this kit lens by Sony is pretty good. For many photographers, it will be good enough. They might wish for a wider zoom range, but then they would have a longer heavier lens.
I had a similar kit lens from Nikon, and it filled up with sand while shooting in the deserts of Utah. I am not sure if one of their better lenses would have done that, but I am glad it was this inexpensive lens and not something else. I quickly replaced this lens with a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM, which wasn’t much larger, or heavier.
The Sony a580 was my first dslr upgrade after my D100. The a580 was a major upgrade indeed. The most important thing to me was the self-cleaning image sensor. Second, was in-camera image stabilization, which allowed me to have that function, even with inexpensive lenses. The third was the ability to take HD video, but a major drawback was the lack of autofocus during video recording. A fourth reason was automatic HDR. Then there were a few neat features that I seldom used with the Sony A580 DSLR or any camera since, like automatic panoramic photo creation (see photo at bottom of post).
Since I have large hands I did get an aftermarket grip for the Sony a580. It was cheap but useful. I used many different lenses on this camera, and those are listed below. By far my most frequently used lens was the Sigma 17-70mm. Such a useful zoom range and the fast 2.8 at 17mm was great for low light.
The Nikon Coolpix P50 was a little point-and-shoot digital camera from the early 2000s. I got to use one when I worked for the DNR on habitat survey projects. It was a great camera for the job. For personal use, I upgraded to the Nikon P6000. The Nikon P50 never let me down. It was a relatively early consumer-grade digital camera, but it did a great job documenting nature and taking a few family photos.
The Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 AF D full-frame Nikon F mount ultrawide angle zoom lens, is now discontinued. I got the lens because of the loss of wide angle due to the APC crop on my Nikon D100, and I was still using my N80 with film at the time, and I could use this 18-35mm without cropping on my 35mm camera. 18mm was very wide at the time, you could undoubtedly go wider circa 2005, but you would quickly empty your wallet!