Photographer Profile: Jose Balaton

Photographer Jose Balaton has been shooting for almost two decades, first on Canon and recently with the Sony A6000. While he doesn’t consider himself a professional, he’s got a body of work that  We asked him some questions about his photographic background and the choice to shoot with the Sony a6000, which he uses for model, landscape and occasional sports work

How long have you been a photographer?

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Over 15 years

Do you consider yourself a professional or an enthusiast photographer?

More like enthusiast.

What did you shoot with before your current Sony gear?

Canon 5DMKII, 1DMKIII

What Sony gear do you use? 

A6000, NEX-6, Zeiss 1.8/24 (24F18Z), Sonnar 1.8/55, Touit 1.8/32, Zeiss 16-70/4 OSS and F43AM flash

What type of photography do you specialize in?

Portraiture (model portfolios fashion/lifestyle), fitness, sport (i.e., tennis).

What are your thoughts about shooting with your Sony gear, and specifically versus other gear you’ve used?

I’m extremely happy about my A6000 and Zeiss lenses. I am able to replicate my Canon DSLR + L lenses image quality at a much smaller package. For me Zeiss CSCs = Canon Ls in terms of contrast, color, flare/CA control and bokeh. Shooting with the A6000 is like a DSLR in terms of AF speed and accuracy especially with my favorite lens—Sonnar 1.8/55.

I’m still not sure if I will upgrade to a full-frame A7 series someday. Maybe when Sony decides to put the A6000 AF technology to the A7MKIII I will consider it. In the meantime, I look forward to a Zeiss AF Touit or Sonnar 1.8/85 (does not matter whether it is FE or not) as this will be like a 135mm to my A6000—superb for head shots and shoulders cropped portraits.

Why did you go for the a6000 over the a7 series? Was it for the faster autofocus?

I’m an AF guy thus you are correct that I favor the A6000 than the A7 series in that regard. For me the AF performance of the A6000 + Sonnar 55 is a tad faster than my 5DMKII and 85/1.2 LII. Of course I can throw off the background more with a full-frame camera like an A7MKII but I heard that the AF technology of the A7MKII is inferior to the A6000. [Editor’s note – this is not exactly true, especially since the burst rate of the a6000 doesn’t match that of the 7DMark II]

Also, the FE lineup for me is not complete i.e. missing fast 85 and 135mm. I might one day sell-off/trade-in my Canon equipment and switch fully to Sony mirrorless with an A7 series camera but not yet until these two issues are addressed.

My daily shooter is Sony a9 II with a vertical grip and various Sigma lenses attached like the 14mm 1.4 Art. Find more gear recommendations in our shop. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.