Today's cameras are able to shoot stills and videos. But have you ever wondered why dedicated still and video cams continue to exist? Like the fountain of youth, nobody seems to have stumbled upon a pro-level solution that fulfills the functions of a still cam and a vid cam equally well.
But could the dazzling Sony NEX-6 interchangeable lens camera, pictured below, finally be the perfect hybrid?
We toyed around with the NEX-6 and we have to admit that it knocked our socks off for the most part. Pictures and videos exceeded our SLR-level expectations, especially when you’re going toe-to-toe with the pros (we actually did this).
When we used it alongside mere mortals, our smug mugs reached Taipei 101 levels—with matching smirks, no less. But alas, no matter how good our experience was, we’ve been reminded several times how an all-in-one cam, no matter the caliber, still has a few misses.
As we let our friends from Sony and other gadget makers come up with a dream still-and-motion shooter, below are our key takeaways on why digital cameras shouldn't be video cameras, based on our time with the Sony NEX-6.
All sample photos below are from the Sony NEX-6.
1. Shooting stance
Just as cars aren't all built the same, the same could be said about cameras. From the moment you hold a still camera or a video camera in your hand, you will see and feel the difference. A still cam’s chassis is designed to let you take photos at angles that the hand can contort to. Meanwhile a video cam’s exterior is made for prolonged and continuous shooting. Call us old fashioned, but we actually miss looking through the viewfinder when we take our sex, er, home videos.
Fortunately, the NEX-6 sort of makes up for this with its tilting LCD screen. It’s good for shooting in low angles, a la old school Hasselblad. If only it also swiveled from side to side…
2. Doomed zoom
Still cams have lenses built for still shooting while video cams have lenses built for ogling. In the case of the Sony NEX-6's lens, the former holds true. It’s not alone though because this is the case for 99-percent of all interchangeable lens cameras. When it comes to zoom capabilities, they, literally, fall short. Super optical zoom numbers of 50x and up is simply not possible in a compact form factor.
We weren’t fond of the pseudo-quasi-manual lens as well. There’s noticeable delay in zooming when you use the barrel of the lens to go telephoto or wide. But we guess that’s the price you pay to get constant auto-focus.