If you’re new to the world of Sony Mirrorless cameras, this guide will put you on the path to fun with your camera.
If you’re fortunate enough to be receiving a new Sony camera this holiday season, or if you’ve already picked up one of the amazing deals on Sony cameras this year, this guide is for you. There are so many lenses and accessories to choose from and it can often be a little overwhelming. One thing is for sure though; you”ll want to move on from the kit lenses that came with your camera as soon as possible. You’ll need a flash, and of course you’ll need a way to carry your new gear around. After the jump we’ll take a look at five items all new owners of Sony Mirrorless cameras should put on their shopping list.
Whether you’re new to photography, or have just made the jump to your first Sony camera, we’re sure you will find this guide helpful. Two great things about the items we’re going to suggest is they’re all affordable, and they will all help you get the most out of your new camera. The lenses and accessories we will be sharing with you are amazing performers and will serve you well as you start your journey into the world of Sony Mirrorless cameras.
Sony 50mm F1.8
We’re firm believers that the first lens any camera owner should buy is an affordable 50mm lens. This nifty fifty for Sony Mirrorless cameras is small, lightweight, capable of producing great images, and priced under $250. Sony Mirrorless cameras are perfect for small, prime lenses due to their size and weight, and this lens will compliment the characteristics of your new Sony camera very well.
In our review we said:
“Generally speaking in terms of nifty 50 lenses, you can’t really get much better here. Sony’s 50mm f1.8 is right up there with the Canon 50mm f1.8 in terms of image quality. It’s got great color output, is very sharp, very little chromatic aberration (and even then you’ve really got to look for it) and bokeh that isn’t bad overall.”
The Sony 50mm f1.8 is easy to use, and won’t add a ton of bulk to your camera. This nifty fifty weighs just 0.4lbs, and it balances perfectly on all Sony Mirrorless cameras. The lens is made from plastic, but it doesn’t feel cheap in any way, shape, or form; it will certainly handle the rough and tumble of every day use. Keep in mind though that this lens is not weather sealed, so make sure you’re not going to get caught out in a storm with this lens. Inside the lens you will find six elements in five groups, along with seven rounded aperture blades.
This nifty fifty can produce razor sharp images. You can shoot wide open and will have nothing to worry about in that respect. The colors the lens renders are what we’ve come to expect from Sony; saturated and vibrant. Chromatic aberration and distortion are kept under control, but anything you do see is easily fixed in post with Capture One 12 or whatever editing software you use. When shot wide open at f1.8 this nifty fifty produces some of the nicest, creamiest bokeh of any entry level, prime lens at this focal range. Focusing speeds in good lighting conditions are very fast, but those speeds may drop a little in low light situations.
The 50mm focal range is perfect for a first lens because of its versatility. A nifty fifty is perfect for street photography, event work, and portraiture. Thanks to its wide aperture, this lens is great for any low light work too. A prime lens will force you to think about your composition more than a zoom will, so you’ll improve as a photographer. These lenses are so sharp you’ll also produce better looking images than you can with kit lenses.
For the price this lens performs very well. This is without doubt one of the first items you should buy if you’re new to Sony Mirrorless cameras.
Buy now ($223): Amazon
Sony 50mm F1.8 Image Samples
Pro Tip: As mentioned above, not all lenses, and not all Sony Mirrorless cameras are weather sealed. Don’t let this stop you from shooting out in the elements though. Keep some affordable weather proof camera and lens covers in your camera bag and you’ll be good to go no matter what the weather is doing.
Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Di III RXD
If you prefer zoom lenses over primes you have nothing to worry about as Sony Mirrorless cameras has some great options. One of the best options is the new Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. This lens may well be the perfect walk around lens for Sony Mirrorless cameras thanks to its versatile focal range, superb build quality, and the razor sharp images it can produce.
In our review we said:
“One of the things that makes the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD so appealing is just how good the image quality is. Not only is the lens capable of delivering sharp images, but the colors are very vibrant and the bokeh is smooth and beautiful.”
The Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD is perhaps one of the best third party lenses available for Sony Mirrorless cameras. This lens is built to last and will allow its user to cover many different genres of photography with ease. One minute you could be shooting a landscape at the wide end of things, and then you can zoom up to 75mm for a more personal, up-close portrait. The lens features 15 elements in 12 groups, and has nine rounded aperture blades. On a Sony APS-C camera this lens will have the equivalent focal range of 42-112.5mm.
Images produced from this lens will leave you speechless. You can expect corner to corner sharpness, rich, vibrant colors, and beautiful creamy bokeh. During our testing we never saw a hint of chromatic aberration, and only the slightest amount of distortion; which is easily remedied on post. Autofocus performance is solid and will find focus fast in both good and less than desirable lighting conditions. The 28-75mm is also compatible with many of the features of Sony Mirrorless cameras such as eye and face detection
When it comes to build quality the Tamron is hard to beat. The lens feels great in the hands and has a nice premium feel to it. The focus and zoom rings are nice and big, and well dampened. The weather sealing on this lens is also top quality. We took the lens out into decently heavy rain and it never missed a beat.
If you like the idea of being able to take your camera out with just one lens that can cover most situations, the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 is the one you should look at. This piece of glass is well built, has amazing overall performance in all areas, and will survive out in the elements without breaking a sweat. While it’s a little higher on the price side of things, this lens is worth every penny, and is a great walk around lens for Sony Mirrorless cameras.
Buy now ($799): Amazon
Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Image Samples
Pro Tip: Keep your valuable glass in tip top shape by protecting the front element with a quality UV filter. Not only will this stop your glass from becoming scratched, it can also increase the clarity of your image by blocking UV light. This one fits the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 perfectly, but they are available in all thread sizes.
Godox Thinklite TT685S TTL
The best time to start using flash is when you first get your new camera, and the Godox Thinklite TT685S TTL is just about the perfect flash for Sony Mirrorless cameras. Thanks to the power of the flash, it’s ability to be triggered wirelessly, and its price point, it’s hard to beat.
In our review we said:
“The Godox Thinklite TT685S TTL flash is reliable, compact, and simply works. Not only that but it gives the user a whole load of options. You can do slow sync with Sony, second curtain flash, first curtain, it doesn’t matter. You’ll get it and more importantly you’ll get it at a damned affordable price point.”
Godox has been making quality, affordable flashes and strobes for a long time, and this one is no exception to that rule. The flash and the included wireless trigger are both solidly built and will definitely stand the test of time. Both units are not weather sealed though so keep this in mind. The back of the flash has a nice, easy to read LCD display, and it is also here that you will find your controls.
The TT685S TTL runs off of four AA batteries that are good for roughly 230 full power flashes. This flash is HSS (High Speed Sync) capable up to 1/8000 sec and works with both first curtain and second curtain sync. The tilting (-7 Degrees to 90 degrees vertically) and rotating flash head (0 degrees to 360 degress horizontally) makes it easy to bounce the flash off of walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. The Godox TT685s has options for multiple groups, has recycle times from 0.1s to 2.6 seconds, and offers manual control and full TTL. This flash offers consistent lighting that hardly varies when it comes to its output. This makes the flash very easy to use because you know exactly how it will perform for you. This is a lot of flash for very little outlay.
The Godox Thinklite TT685s can be used in the hotshoe of your camera, or you can of course use it off camera in a softbox thanks to the included wireless trigger. If you really want to take your images to the next level, and want to be able to shoot in any lighting conditions, the Godox TT685s TTL is the perfect partner for Sony Mirrorless cameras. It’s reliable, compact, is more than powerful enough, and can be used wirelessly. It’s a bargain.
Buy now ($152): Amazon
Godox Thinklite TT686S Image Samples
Pro Tip: Using flashes and strobes will really take your images to the next level, but you’re going to want to make sure you are in total control of the light. The Rogue Flashbender 2 is the perfect way to make sure you get the light exactly where you want it to go. It’s easy to use and incredibly affordable.
Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod
One of the reasons you probably switched to Sony Mirrorless cameras is so that you could drop some weight, so the last thing you’ll want to do is carry anything too cumbersome. The BeFree lightweight aluminum tripod from Manfrotto will be the perfect addition to your lighter photography lifestyle.
In our review we said:
“There’s a whole lot of praise to be given to the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod. It’s sturdy, well built, nice to the touch, lightweight for travel, and gives photographers a whole lot of what they need at a fair price.”
Manfrotto has been making quality tripods for years, and are usually the first brand mentioned when it comes to tripods. The Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel tripod is a little gem that the Italian manufacturer has made. Not only is the Manfrotto BeFree incredibly well built and affordable, it also punches well above it’s weight.
The Manfrotto BeFree weighs just over 3lbs and offers outstanding build quality. The Aluminum alloy frame can take a beating and it will keep on doing its thing fuss free. The BeFree can hold 8.8lbs of gear which is more than enough. This tripod has a maximum height of 56.6 inches, and folds up to a svelte 15.75 inches which makes it easy to attach to your camera bag. The included ball head is simple, easy to use, feels nice and smooth, and features a two-way locking system to make sure your camera stays nice and secure.
The BeFree is a tripod that doesn’t over complicate things. It’s a nice, easy to use, lightweight tripod that is perfect for Mirrorless camera users. For under $150 you’re going to be getting a sturdy, reliable tripod that’s perfect to take with you when you travel or decide to do some landscape photography. For those of you who have made the switch to Sony Mirrorless cameras and want a quality tripod that won’t break the bank, the Manfrotto BeFree could be the one for you.
Buy now ($142.93): Amazon
Manfrotto BeFree Product Images
Pro Tip: Sony Mirrorless cameras have incredibly high burst rates, and large RAW and JPEG buffers. Make sure you are making the most of these features by using fast, affordable memory cards that can match the cameras performance. This 128GB Samsung EVO is U3 and won’t bog down when you’re rattling off multiple shots.
Tenba Cooper 13″ Slim Camera Bag
If you’re the type of photographer who likes to keep their load light when heading out for a day of shooting, the Tenba Cooper 13 inch slim camera bag will be right up your alley. Designed for Mirrorless camera users, the Tenba Cooper Slim is small, functional, and won’t draw any unwanted attention to you.
In our review we said:
“When it comes to a messenger style camera bag designed for the working pro using Mirrorless camera gear, this is the only camera bag that you’ll ever need. Again, it’s stylish, comfortable, low profile, and it gets the job done.”
The Cooper 13 inch slim has a simple, yet elegant design. In fact it doesn’t really look like a camera bag at all, which is great if you don’t want to draw much attention to yourself when you’re out and about. While the Tenba Cooper is indeed a smaller bag, don’t let it’s size fool you as you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how much this bag can hold.
Sure, you can use this bag with traditional DSLR’s, but where this bag really shines is if you’re a Mirrorless shooter. Along with your Mirrorless camera you can fit anywhere from three to five lenses inside the bag, along with a 15 inch laptop, a large tablet, and accessories such as a flash and filters. If you love shooting with prime lenses you’ll be able to take a good selection with you and they will be kept nice and safe in the well padded bag. Prefer zooms and telephotos? No problem, the Cooper Slim 13 can house a 70-200mm f2.8 and two other smaller lenses as well. The pockets on the outside of the bag are expandable and can hold a water bottle or other small accessories, while a tripod can easily nestle along the top of the bag.
The Cooper 13 inch Slim camera bag is made from a Peach-wax cotton canvas which has a water-repellent coating. The full-grain leather base of the bag and the accents are waterproof. The bag also has rain flaps that fold down to protect your gear and ensure that the corners will not leak and let in moisture. The bag also comes with a weatherproof cover as well for when mother nature really lets loose. The shoulder strap is well padded, which makes this bag very comfortable to carry over long periods of time, and the YKK zippers with attached full-grain leather pulls are nice and sturdy.
The Tenba Cooper 13 inch slim camera bag is the perfect choice for those who use Mirrorless cameras. It’s excellent build quality, stylish design, and it’s capability to house your new gear while not drawing attention makes this a must-have camera bag.
Buy now ($159.95): Amazon
Tenba Cooper 13″ Slim Product Images