Sony a6000 Waxy Skin Bug and Overheating Videos

I love my Sony a6000. It’s a great inexpensive body with a lot of features. It’s not perfect, not by a long shot, but I like it.

Two things I do not like about it are the ‘Waxy Skin” bug and the reputation for overheating the body has.

Overheating:

Many people have complained about the tendency for these small mirrorless Sony bodies to overheat after a few minutes of use. Some even say that they can’t record past 5 minutes. I was on a Facebook group thread and had just read another person warn off a potential Sony convert about this issue. I hadn’t ever run into any overheating issues, so I decided to test it. My tests were somewhat surprising.

Waxy Skin Bug:

One issue with the a6000 that I have had trouble with is the “waxy Skin” bug. Basically, the a6000 has a feature that can smooth the skin of the faces of people in the frame. I suppose you can find a use for that with photos, but generally you don’t want that look in video. The “bug” comes when you turn off the smoothing feature, but the camera will still apply the effect while recording video- if the autofocus face tracking is on.

Basically, the bug renders one of the strongest AF features of the camera useless. That means in order to use AF in video you have to rely on object tracking.

I hope that someday Sony fixes this bug with a firmware update. Another fix is to engage the “Clear Image Zoom” which is similar to- but not- digital zoom. It basically crops the image. Once engaged, the camera cannot do face detection. This method allows you to record to an external recorder without the waxy skin bug. But it does crop the image a bit.

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Testing the Sony Alpha a6000 Video Capability

UnknownI have been enjoying the a6000 quite a lot. With every new piece of gear you have to learn it, so I have been shooting and testing. I made a few videos of the video capabilities.

First, as soon as I got the camera I tried some low light, slo-mo shots:

Then I wanted to see if my new Sigma 19mm DN f2.8 Art lens could handle AF during video. So I tried it with the Sony’s great face tracking:

And then I tried tracking objects:

Overall I’m very happy with what the camera can do, and I’m eager to try it out on a real shoot.

Considering New Cameras: Canon EOS M3, 70D, Sony a6000

old videoI’ve got a jones for a new camera.

It all started when I was blindsided by the Europe/Asia release of the new Canon EOS M3. It’s not being released in the US, so I didn’t know it was out until a few overseas posts began slipping into my feeds. I own the EOS M, which is still the cheapest and easiest way to get into an HD camera system with great lenses.

Used, the bodies are selling for $180 now. $250 for one with the very nice 22mm f 2.0 for the EF-M mount. It shoots basic HD video resolutions with a great image quality. You can get some great depth of field and basically learn everything you need to know about lamming with this little camera.

And, besides the Canon lens eco system, because it is mirrorless, you can adapt a lot of older manual lenses to it. I came from a Pentax background, so I know some of the great old glass out there for cheap. I use a Pentax 35-70mm F4 and a Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm F3.5 (both in K mount) all the time. I could never afford glass this good if it was modern Canon EF or EFS mount.

And mirrorless cameras are small. I can slide the EOS M with the 22mm lens into a loose pocket and forget it’s there. A DSLR can’t be handled that way. So the EOS M3 was very attractive, on paper at least. You can get them online from overseas places. It offers a lot of upgrades from the EOS M. They have updated almost everything except the basic video resolutions available. So that got me in the mood to swap cameras. If you remember, I changed up my camera strategy a while back.

Then I read a review from someone who had actually used the M3 to shoot video. Focus peaking, EVF, AF and more are in. But video quality has apparently taken a dive. So I looked to the Canon 70D. Again. I had decided not to get one before, but now?

It’s an APS-C DSLR with usable autofocus in video. They have come down quite a bit in price. Used ones can be had for $800. But I still don’t want to go there. The new build of Magic Lantern allows you to shoot RAW on the 70D. You can use Pentax K Mounts on these as well, with adapter. Turns out, I like the small mirrorless cameras.

2 of these little guys are regarded very highly in the world of indie filmmaking.;The Panasonic GH4 for image quality and features and the Sony A7S for low light capability. Still these bad boys will set you back quite a bit of cash. GH4- $1500, A7S- $2500 (new). All well and good, but at that price (for the A7S), I’m not far from a “real” video camera, with built in pro audio, ND filters, etc…

Then I stumbled onto the Sony a6000. It has all the features the EOS M3 has, plus better video quality and options. And can be bought for about the same price. Of course this means leaving Canon for the Sony E Mount. And those lenses are not cheap. But you can still adapt all that great old glass to it. And the built in AF looks very good.

Oh, man. I’ve already rounded up a bunch of old tech and gadgets to sell. I’m definitely going to do something. And It seems like I want to stay with a small camera. There are so many with great features now.