Sony Alpha A6000 - A worthwhile camera you should consider!

Started Aug 29, 2016 | User reviews thread
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txsizzler
txsizzler Senior Member • Posts: 1,706
Sony Alpha A6000 - A worthwhile camera you should consider!
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I bought my Sony Alpha A6000 a few weeks ago from a wonderful member here on DPR. Prior to this, I have owned a slew of Point and Shoots, as well as DSLR cameras; this would be my first mirrorless. I do not have any E Mount lenses; rather, this review is more about the ergonomics, functionality, and ease of use with third-party lenses (and adapters).

Ergonomics and body: The A6000 is a small camera. Meaning, that for a interchangeable lens model, this camera has a really small footprint, and with the right lenses, can be pretty well completely handled with one hand. The body has a bit of a cheapish feel; rather "plasticy", and shiny. However, the dials and buttons have good feedback, with a nice "clicky" feel to them. I feel the shutter button was placed optimally, but the rotating thumb dial on top in conjunction with the back wheel, are in a lousy spots (not so much as the top wheel as the back wheel), as it can be hard to feel out at times, given their locations, relative to what they do for function. Had there been a wheel on top of the grip, and the top wheel been left there, I feel it would have been much easier to access. There are a total of 7 programmable buttons on the A6000 (and I believe A6300 as well).

The camera features a flip up (but not as high as selfie orientation), and a flip down LCD screen. I do enjoy this feature, and have used it extensively for harder to reach shots. The screen is relatively easy to view, although in bright daylight can be hard to see. A touch screen would have been welcome, although I am good with using the directional pad on the back of the camera. The EVF is pretty decent, and features an optical adjuster on the side so you can adjust to your viewing needs. However, there is a rather serious flaw to the LCD/EVF. The damn sensitivity sensor that switches between the EVF and LCD is waaaaaay too sensitive. Sometimes the LCD will switch to the EVF because the sensor is detecting the LCD screen! To my knowledge, there is NO way to deactivate the sensor, or lowering the sensitivity of it. This makes shooting a lot more challenging than it needs to be at times.

Unlike some lesser models, the A6000 features a hotshoe on top for add-ons, a pop-up flash that can actually be manipulated so it can act as a bounce flash (nice!), USB in-camera charging capability, and an mini HDMI port. On the right side of the camera (when being held), is devoid of any additional slots, but features a nice grip. The bottom features a standard tripod mount, and also has the battery/memory card slot. This leads me to another gripe; the memory card slot placement. First off, it would have been very nice had they put it on the side of the grip, like you find in DSLR models. Perhaps they couldn't, given the size of the camera. Regardless, the memory card slot on the bottom wouldn't be such a pain, if it weren't located next to the hinge where the door opens! This is a bad flaw in my opinion.. makes getting the card in and out a real pain in the butt! Since the card nearly goes up against the battery door flush when its open, it is tricky to say the least to inserting or removing. Other cameras I have that have the battery and memory card together, do not have the memory card next to the door, making it easy to get in and out.

This camera features full WiFi and NFC capability. You can also download "apps" to the camera, that increase its functionality through the Playmemories app store (https://playmemoriesonline.com/).

Menu: The A6000 has a menu that is very reminiscent of my Sony Alpha SLT-A57, and my RX100M3. From what I understand, this is a major improvement over the old NEX menu's that Sony had prior. I didn't have any problem finding the things I needed, and the tabs are laid out nicely. Thankfully, the need for menu diving is not often needed, as the Fn button on the back of the camera has all the main options that you normally need, all in one screen. This looks very similar to how the RX100M3 is setup. I know some people have griped about the menu setup, but it does not bother me at all.

Lenses, Speed, and Adapters: As I mentioned earlier, I do not own any E-Mount lenses, which the A6000 uses (along with all the older NEX cameras, the A3000/A5000/A5100/A6300, along with the full frame A7 series). I do plan on getting an SEL1855 soon, along with maybe the SEL16F28, or possibly the Sigma 19mm variant. Until then, I have a number of Canon, Nikon, M42, and older OM/Pentax lenses that I am using in conjunction with adapters. I also have a LA-EA1 adapter on the way (for my A-mount lenses), and a autofocus/aperture Canon adapter coming. Since I do almost all manual focus, the speed of the AF adapters is not an issue; rather, I really want aperture control more than anything. One of the great things about the mirrorless systems, is that you have a wide variety of lens systems to choose from, along with very inexpensive adapters (I recommend the K&F Concept dummy adpaters). The A6000, along with pretty much all other E-Mount cameras Sony has made, include Focus Peaking, which shows off a bright color when focusing, along with the Depth of Field, to give you an accurate measure of what is in focus. Supremely useful, and satisfying! The A6000 is also a fast shooter, and makes taking photos a breeze. Plus, with its amazing AF speed (although I haven't been able to experience this yet), it should result in a really nice experience!

Image Quality (IQ): Since I am not using official Sony lenses, read this with a grain of salt. Older lenses, third party lenses, using adapters and what not all effect image quality, some very minutely, others to a great deal. I find the IQ of most of my photos pretty good, although I wish the WB was better, especially in low light and incandescent lighting. Colors at times can be a bit flat; thankfully, the Dynamic Range (DR) is really good. I can recover so much more from shadows and highlights than I have ever been able to do with previous cameras. The camera offers DRO (basically for moving subjects), and HDR (for more static type subject matter). These are initially set to AUTO. I generally shoot RAW for most of my photos, and do my editing on ACDsee Ultimate 9. I find that noise is well controlled in this camera, and can easily hit ISO 3200 before noise creeps in.

Summary: All in all, this is a really good camera for the price. Since the E-Mount introduction, the E-Mount lens selection has really expanded, and from what I understand, there are some really, REALLY nice lenses out there. I love the ability to use older, legacy lenses (that Helios lens... WOW!), and the handling of the camera is decent, minus a few niggling issues. Comparing this camera to other models priced at this range, you really cannot go wrong with its girth of features. Overall, I highly recommend this camera!

 txsizzler's gear list:txsizzler's gear list
Canon PowerShot A590 IS Canon PowerShot S50 Canon PowerShot S80 Canon PowerShot G10 Canon PowerShot S95 +11 more
Sony a6000
24 megapixels • 3 screen • APS-C sensor
Announced: Feb 12, 2014
txsizzler's score
4.0
Average community score
4.3
bad for good for
Kids / pets
good
Action / sports
good
Landscapes / scenery
great
Portraits
great
Low light (without flash)
great
Flash photography (social)
great
Studio / still life
great
= community average
Sony a6000 Sony a6300 Sony a7 Sony RX100 III
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