My photography interests have definitely changed a lot since the first time I experimented with a camera while in Giverny, France.
At the time, I was only using my dad’s older Canon Powershot point-and-shoot camera. It had been a really cool point-and-shoot at the time of purchase, with way more zoom abilities than I have ever felt the need to use and a very clear image. For my family’s limited knowledge of cameras and photography at the time, this suited our needs perfectly. We were able to take pictures of the places we went to.
The problem was, I started taking interesting pictures, not just clicking some quick shots of the buildings or of the gardens in general. I started fighting with the auto-focus in order to take macro-esque shots of tiny little plant I saw on the edge of the path. I started taking pictures where I wanted the camera to focus on a little detail in the foreground, and leave the entire palace of Versailles out of focus behind it. I still saw a little point-and-shoot as the ideal camera for me, because it slipped into my pocket or into my purse without any fuss. My mom’s Canon DSLR, on the other hand, required a small suitcase to tote it and all of it’s accessories around.
I did purchase a Canon point-and-shoot for myself, and it went on one trip: Italy and Barcelona 2017. Immediately after that trip I began researching for a way to take the pictures that I wanted to see.
Just want to add, it is entirely possible nowadays to purchase a high-end point-and-shoot with a large sensor and massive photography capabilities. This is my dad’s latest preference in camera gear, because he prefers superzooms and bridge cameras, but a few companies are also making smaller pocket-sized cameras geared toward professional photographers who want a “walking around” camera. If I hadn’t tried a macro lens, I probably would have invested in a Sony RX1000 series point-and-shoot.
My research led me to a Sony A6000 mirrorless camera. Mirrorless, because it gave me the freedom to try different lenses and different kinds of photography. Mirrorless, because it was less than half the size and half the weight of my mom’s DSLR. It is definitely not cheaper than the entry-level DSLR.
The problem with investing in a camera system like a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, is that the more money you spend, the more you want to baby and protect that piece of tech. I tried toting my mom’s DSLR around in Florence for a single day, and hated it. My neck hurt from the weight and the strap, my arms were tired of holding it, and I was constantly aware of where the camera was and where I was setting it down because it was expensive and definitely not mine. When I got my mirrorless camera, I had a completely different attitude.
I purchased the A6000 because of all the mirrorless, it is one of the most affordable with all of the features that I wanted. I knew full well when I purchased it that I would likely upgrade to a full-frame mirrorless at some point, so while this camera is not necessarily a disposable piece of tech to me, I do not intend to own it for forever. I don’t feel the need to be quite as careful with it.
On the trip to Washington DC in March 2019, I was very happy with my cameras placement in my Tom Bihn Sidekick bag. Unfortunately, the best way to place the camera in the bag left the back screen vulnerable to the keys I keep in the main compartment, and it became a little scratched. I also have a bad habit of knocking my bag against railings while trying to read things at museums.
I came to the conclusion that my camera required a little more protection than my Sidekick could offer.
I started with a stick-on screen protector for the back of the camera, which I purchased from a specialty camera store in Washington DC. Then I ordered a Miggo Grip-n-Wrap camera case/wrap.
It’s a pretty cool or very weird piece of gear, depending on your preferences. It is not the most graceful looking thing, and it definitely does not look graceful to put it on or take it off. There’s kind of a sock that goes around the lens, and then the wrest of it wraps around the camera body and loops over the lens to hold it in place. It fits very very snugly.
It’s not the greatest fit for my camera. I purchased the Grip-n-Wrap for Mirrorless/CSC cameras, and definitely could have gone up a size to the Bridge/Superzoom version. When I purchase my next lens, which will be a bit bigger than the Sony FE 50mm F-1.8 currently on my camera, I will definitely have to get a new Miggo wrap.
This combination of camera body, lens, and protective wrap have provided me with a pretty ideal set up for someone who doesn’t want to carry a camera bag. I’m able to hang the camera around my neck for a while, if I want to, and leave the wrap in place. The camera still slips into my Sidekick bag no problem, and has a little extra cushion to protect it from bumping into things. Finally, the 50mm lens has been amazing. I have never felt the need to change lenses since getting this one. It has been a great balance for the different kinds of shots that I prefer to take.
If I really feel the need to change lenses, the Sidekick still has room to offer!
Check out my Instagram account if you’re interested in what I get up to with my Sony camera (and sometimes my phone…) because one of my favourite features is the ability to send pics from camera to phone so that I can share them!