My Initial Experiences with A6000

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barjohn
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My Initial Experiences with A6000
4 months ago

I have only had the camera a few days so these are initial impressions.  I purchased it with the kit lens and unfortunately that is a waste of money.  The kit lens (at least my copy) is terribly soft and the AF is not quite spot on though very close.  With MF I can get a little sharper image but the lens softness ruins it.  I also tried it with the Leica 40mm f2 and suddenly, tack sharp images appear using MF.  MF with a non-E mount lens is a pain requiring numerous menu scrolls and button pushes to get the magnified assist to appear.  I would not want to use this camera to MF a MF only lens as it is too cumbersome.

The color is very good in raw.  There is more noise in the image than I would have expected, even at lower ISOs but once you drop from 100% down to 66% or less, it becomes invisible.  As others have stated, the AF is very fast but not always accurate.  You can see the AF points dancing around in the viewfinder but you never know at any given moment just where the camera is focused as a result.  I think this is what causes the AF misses when there is a lot in the frame.  Shooting a young girl doing pirouettes resulted in a lot of misses and none that I would call tack sharp, but then I don't know how much of this was due to the kit lens and how much to other factors.

The user manual is worthless so don't waste your time with it.  Their is an on-line help guide from the UK that is much better but still not perfect.  I have owned the A7, A7R, RX1, XT-1, X100, X100s, Leica XV and many others and this camera has one of the least intuitive interfaces of any of them.  If there is one place this camera fails it is in the user interface.  Even the other Sony's like the A7s and RX-1 are easier to use.  None come close to the ease of use of the XT-1 or the XV.  The menu button will get heavily exercised on this camera and that is not a good thing.

Size and weight, the camera is really nice and while the EVF is not up there with the XT-1 it isn't bad.  The build quality feels decent and the flash is nicely bounce-able.

I will be returning this one as there is no sense keeping a lens not worth keeping and I will then reconsider whether this body with a decent zoom lens is worth the price compared to the XT-1.  Once one adds a decent zoom at $600 to $1,000, it really doesn't compete very well against the XE-2 or XT-1 except in faster AF and 24mp.  With the kit lens, the proportions are very nice but with a huge lens on it, the camera may seem out of proportion to the lens.

Here you can see a comparison of the kit lens to the Leica lens.  You may need to look at these actual size to really appreciate the difference.

Kit lens on left and Leica lens on right

Here, you can see the Leica XV with only 16mp but taken closer compared to the A6000 with the Leica lens and you can see it out resolves the A6000 because the zoom on the XV is a better lens than the old 40mm Leica Minolta M-Rokkor.

Leica XV on left and Leica lens on A6000 on right

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John
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Comments and critiques welcome.

 barjohn's gear list:barjohn's gear list
Olympus XZ-1
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X100S Sony a6000 Sony Alpha 7 Sony Alpha 7R Sony Alpha 7S Sony RX1
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