Sony a6000 Build Quality

Started Apr 29, 2014 | Discussions
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,192
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality

The transition from the Nex 6 to the A6000 is not necessarily an upgrade as the A6000 is a far cheaper camera than the Nex 6 at start pricing. The A6000 probably has a lot of firmware bugs sorted out and operational improvements but it is a lower cost model so do not be fooled by the 6 designation in terms of construction quality. Sony did this in A mount naming the entry level as the A58 which was really the A37 in many respects.

woodsjo3 wrote:

I'm no where close to claiming I'm a photographer. But I'm addicted to photography. I've tansitioned from my first camera the nex-3 to a nex-5 to a nex-5r to a nex 6 and finally to an a6000. Every time I've upgraded I've been happy with the build quality. But the a6000 feels like a toy in comparison to the nex 6. It feels almost bloated... just my thoughts, definitely not a deal breaker. I'm sure a real photographer would prefer a lighter body that the the plastic offers. I just thought it would feel morr durable.

little al Regular Member • Posts: 283
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality

Cheers Azalea. I like how you said it.

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RichRMA Senior Member • Posts: 4,073
Plastic (was) rapidly being confined to cameras under $800

If you remember the very first NEX cameras, the 3 and 5, one was metal, the other plastic.  The plastic one was more bulky because plastic is weaker than metal and requires thicker castings and things like threaded metal inserts to hold screws.

Sabud Regular Member • Posts: 495
Re: 'Looks low budget'--?
1

pixelpushing wrote:

Sabud wrote:

I have the NEX5 / 5N, Richo GR, X-T1 and you are right. the a6000 looks and feel like a low budget camera. But I think it's all right, why over do it when most of them vill be upgraded within 2-3 years.

Just curious, what exactly makes it 'look' like a 'low budget camera'..?

The grade or weight of composite materials can vary, as (obviously) with personal impressions, but what makes a camera like this look cheap..?

It,s my personal opinion. I like the painted metal finish on the NEX6 / 7 and the metal triggers. The `boxy´ a6000 feels a kind of cheap and I have a feeling that the camera is more plastic than before. We vill see when `inside´ pictures will be available. Below the NEX6.

http://www.ir-photo.net/ir_nex6mod.html

Dimac Regular Member • Posts: 218
Re: Plastic (was) rapidly being confined to cameras under $800
2

RichRMA wrote:

If you remember the very first NEX cameras, the 3 and 5, one was metal, the other plastic. The plastic one was more bulky because plastic is weaker than metal and requires thicker castings and things like threaded metal inserts to hold screws.

Actually plastic bodies are more sturdy! No problem at all with it.

pixelpushing
pixelpushing Senior Member • Posts: 3,229
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality

ryan92084 wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

marc petzold wrote:

andye53 wrote:

Oh boy I said the same thing in another thread and my head almost got chewed off LOL.

It definitely has a lower build quality compared to all other NEX, except the 3N. It 's roughly the same build as the 3N, same plain plastic finish.

-- hide signature --

SONY TX2O | RX1OO| NEX-FiveT | @6OOO
CAN0N S1OO

But the A6000 is made out of mag-alloy, not plastic.

It is not, Sony removed that part of the marketing. There may have been some preproduction models that were but it isn't now. The shell is poly/plastic/composite and supported at least in part by a metal infrastructure/frame.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53554186

Just curious where the actual facts are on this, rather than Sony pulling the reference in their video.

The facts? On which part?

Its not difficult to see the unpainted underside of the front/back plates, port/battery cover, and grip. The top plate could be I guess but based on unscientific acousitics/ thermal properties/feel compared to the obviously metal parts (flash/LCD hinge, dials, mount surround, screws, metal substructure) that is pretty unlikely.

As for the metal substructure you can open the battery compartment and see the grip is fully supported and a plate continues across the back.

All that said I have no problem with the build quality at all.

My point being, nobody really knows exactly what the build composition of the A6000 is.

Until someone tears one apart or Sony publishes a cutaway or something, what do we really know, and what difference does it make? A paper thin aluminum skin in front of the very same metal and other parts inside doesn't make much difference to me, at least. I know having a metal top plate on my NX300 doesn't give it a better quality feel than my new A6000.

THAT SAID, if you find a worn Leica M9 or an older all-metal film camera from the 60's, they tend to 'brass' around the edges and that's kind of cool - but we're talking very old, or very expensive. Pretty much everything else these days is a super thin skin over a tight tangle of innards.

and my point was to stop the spread of misinformation. I'm not bashing the build quality as I'd rate it quite high. It was just a dumb move by Sony marketing to say the shell was mag alloy and then have it not be a month later

Agreed!

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pixelpushing
pixelpushing Senior Member • Posts: 3,229
Re: 'Looks low budget'--?

Sabud wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

Sabud wrote:

I have the NEX5 / 5N, Richo GR, X-T1 and you are right. the a6000 looks and feel like a low budget camera. But I think it's all right, why over do it when most of them vill be upgraded within 2-3 years.

Just curious, what exactly makes it 'look' like a 'low budget camera'..?

The grade or weight of composite materials can vary, as (obviously) with personal impressions, but what makes a camera like this look cheap..?

It,s my personal opinion. I like the painted metal finish on the NEX6 / 7 and the metal triggers. The `boxy´ a6000 feels a kind of cheap and I have a feeling that the camera is more plastic than before. We vill see when `inside´ pictures will be available. Below the NEX6.

http://www.ir-photo.net/ir_nex6mod.html

But I was asking what looked low budget to you.

And isn't the NEX-6 also plastic?

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pixelpushing Senior Member • Posts: 3,229
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality

Greynerd wrote:

The transition from the Nex 6 to the A6000 is not necessarily an upgrade as the A6000 is a far cheaper camera than the Nex 6 at start pricing. The A6000 probably has a lot of firmware bugs sorted out and operational improvements but it is a lower cost model so do not be fooled by the 6 designation in terms of construction quality. Sony did this in A mount naming the entry level as the A58 which was really the A37 in many respects.

The A58 was very clearly a step down vs. the A57 in almost all respects except sensor... This does not seem to be the case, here.

woodsjo3 wrote:

I'm no where close to claiming I'm a photographer. But I'm addicted to photography. I've tansitioned from my first camera the nex-3 to a nex-5 to a nex-5r to a nex 6 and finally to an a6000. Every time I've upgraded I've been happy with the build quality. But the a6000 feels like a toy in comparison to the nex 6. It feels almost bloated... just my thoughts, definitely not a deal breaker. I'm sure a real photographer would prefer a lighter body that the the plastic offers. I just thought it would feel morr durable.

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Euell Senior Member • Posts: 2,320
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

marc petzold wrote:

andye53 wrote:

Oh boy I said the same thing in another thread and my head almost got chewed off LOL.

It definitely has a lower build quality compared to all other NEX, except the 3N. It 's roughly the same build as the 3N, same plain plastic finish.

-- hide signature --

SONY TX2O | RX1OO| NEX-FiveT | @6OOO
CAN0N S1OO

But the A6000 is made out of mag-alloy, not plastic.

It is not, Sony removed that part of the marketing. There may have been some preproduction models that were but it isn't now. The shell is poly/plastic/composite and supported at least in part by a metal infrastructure/frame.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53554186

Just curious where the actual facts are on this, rather than Sony pulling the reference in their video.

The facts? On which part?

Its not difficult to see the unpainted underside of the front/back plates, port/battery cover, and grip. The top plate could be I guess but based on unscientific acousitics/ thermal properties/feel compared to the obviously metal parts (flash/LCD hinge, dials, mount surround, screws, metal substructure) that is pretty unlikely.

As for the metal substructure you can open the battery compartment and see the grip is fully supported and a plate continues across the back.

All that said I have no problem with the build quality at all.

My point being, nobody really knows exactly what the build composition of the A6000 is.

Until someone tears one apart or Sony publishes a cutaway or something, what do we really know, and what difference does it make? A paper thin aluminum skin in front of the very same metal and other parts inside doesn't make much difference to me, at least. I know having a metal top plate on my NX300 doesn't give it a better quality feel than my new A6000.

THAT SAID, if you find a worn Leica M9 or an older all-metal film camera from the 60's, they tend to 'brass' around the edges and that's kind of cool - but we're talking very old, or very expensive. Pretty much everything else these days is a super thin skin over a tight tangle of innards.

and my point was to stop the spread of misinformation. I'm not bashing the build quality as I'd rate it quite high. It was just a dumb move by Sony marketing to say the shell was mag alloy and then have it not be a month later

Agreed!

I think Sony said the frame was mag allowy. Wrong?

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Euell Senior Member • Posts: 2,320
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality

captura wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

marc petzold wrote:

andye53 wrote:

Oh boy I said the same thing in another thread and my head almost got chewed off LOL.

It definitely has a lower build quality compared to all other NEX, except the 3N. It 's roughly the same build as the 3N, same plain plastic finish.

-- hide signature --

SONY TX2O | RX1OO| NEX-FiveT | @6OOO
CAN0N S1OO

But the A6000 is made out of mag-alloy, not plastic.

It is not, Sony removed that part of the marketing. There may have been some preproduction models that were but it isn't now. The shell is poly/plastic/composite and supported at least in part by a metal infrastructure/frame.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53554186

Just curious where the actual facts are on this, rather than Sony pulling the reference in their video.

If you took the trouble to visit a camera store and examined an A6000 you would immediately see that it is not mag-alloy, but plastic. You need to make the effort.

Top and bottom plates are clearly metal.  Front plate feels like metal too. Perhaps YOU should go back to the camera store.

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Euell Senior Member • Posts: 2,320
Re: "Build Quality" is almost crazy topic

wb2trf wrote:

Almost the entire topic of "build quality" as based on personal opinion is a crazy topic because the most important test of build quality is a drop test and all the things that people on this forum associate with high build quality (metal construction in particular) may make a camera more likely to fail, or be correlated in unpredictable ways with the outcome of such a test.

Cameras are dropped all the time. It is the major hazard to which they are subject. If someone told me that a particular all plastic body that felt like a crib toy had a 3x greater probability of surviving a drop test with its electronics intact because it transmits less shock compared to magnesium, then that is the body I want. But, no one knows, other than the manufacturers who don't publish their drop test results. There is not the slightest bit of evidence presented, amidst all this opinion, that plastic bodies are less durable or less protective of function than metal.

I consider the whole subject to be as objective and as important as personal preference for the distribution of chrome on car exteriors.

For those that own this camera I advise against the drop test.

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Euell Senior Member • Posts: 2,320
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality

Greynerd wrote:

The transition from the Nex 6 to the A6000 is not necessarily an upgrade as the A6000 is a far cheaper camera than the Nex 6 at start pricing. The A6000 probably has a lot of firmware bugs sorted out and operational improvements but it is a lower cost model so do not be fooled by the 6 designation in terms of construction quality. Sony did this in A mount naming the entry level as the A58 which was really the A37 in many respects.

woodsjo3 wrote:

I'm no where close to claiming I'm a photographer. But I'm addicted to photography. I've tansitioned from my first camera the nex-3 to a nex-5 to a nex-5r to a nex 6 and finally to an a6000. Every time I've upgraded I've been happy with the build quality. But the a6000 feels like a toy in comparison to the nex 6. It feels almost bloated... just my thoughts, definitely not a deal breaker. I'm sure a real photographer would prefer a lighter body that the the plastic offers. I just thought it would feel morr durable.

Disagree completely.  I own both and the use of metal top and bottom plates is an upgrade in build.

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Davi7d777
Davi7d777 Regular Member • Posts: 221
Re: "Build Quality" is almost crazy topic

Euell wrote:
...> For those that own this camera I advise against the drop test.

Gee...no I'd like all

those that own this camera

and don't like the build quality, the feel, the look, whatever

to DROP test their A6000 ten times in various orientations onto concrete from shoulder height then report back to the rest of us. ;-)--
David

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Euell Senior Member • Posts: 2,320
Re: "Build Quality" is almost crazy topic

Davi7d777 wrote:

Euell wrote:
...> For those that own this camera I advise against the drop test.

Gee...no I'd like all

those that own this camera

and don't like the build quality, the feel, the look, whatever

to DROP test their A6000 ten times in various orientations onto concrete from shoulder height then report back to the rest of us.

-- hide signature --

David

LOL, but careful, some of the idiots here might just follow your advice.

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ryan92084
ryan92084 Contributing Member • Posts: 521
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality
1

Euell wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

marc petzold wrote:

andye53 wrote:

Oh boy I said the same thing in another thread and my head almost got chewed off LOL.

It definitely has a lower build quality compared to all other NEX, except the 3N. It 's roughly the same build as the 3N, same plain plastic finish.

-- hide signature --

SONY TX2O | RX1OO| NEX-FiveT | @6OOO
CAN0N S1OO

But the A6000 is made out of mag-alloy, not plastic.

It is not, Sony removed that part of the marketing. There may have been some preproduction models that were but it isn't now. The shell is poly/plastic/composite and supported at least in part by a metal infrastructure/frame.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53554186

Just curious where the actual facts are on this, rather than Sony pulling the reference in their video.

The facts? On which part?

Its not difficult to see the unpainted underside of the front/back plates, port/battery cover, and grip. The top plate could be I guess but based on unscientific acousitics/ thermal properties/feel compared to the obviously metal parts (flash/LCD hinge, dials, mount surround, screws, metal substructure) that is pretty unlikely.

As for the metal substructure you can open the battery compartment and see the grip is fully supported and a plate continues across the back.

All that said I have no problem with the build quality at all.

My point being, nobody really knows exactly what the build composition of the A6000 is.

Until someone tears one apart or Sony publishes a cutaway or something, what do we really know, and what difference does it make? A paper thin aluminum skin in front of the very same metal and other parts inside doesn't make much difference to me, at least. I know having a metal top plate on my NX300 doesn't give it a better quality feel than my new A6000.

THAT SAID, if you find a worn Leica M9 or an older all-metal film camera from the 60's, they tend to 'brass' around the edges and that's kind of cool - but we're talking very old, or very expensive. Pretty much everything else these days is a super thin skin over a tight tangle of innards.

and my point was to stop the spread of misinformation. I'm not bashing the build quality as I'd rate it quite high. It was just a dumb move by Sony marketing to say the shell was mag alloy and then have it not be a month later

Agreed!

I think Sony said the frame was mag allowy. Wrong?

AFAIK only time Sony made a claim either way was in the promo video from the linked post from earlier in the quote tree.  In it the "host" says, "The actual camera looks different (comparing to the nex-6) as far as the make. This isn't plastic its...?"(referencing the body/shell she is tapping on).  The Sony representative replies, "It's magnesium alloy"

It's all moot now the two sections referencing the mag alloy were later removed.

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marc petzold
marc petzold Contributing Member • Posts: 975
Re: "Build Quality" is almost crazy topic
1

well, nowadays composite or plastic bodies are sturdy enough, and the A6000 for instance will perhaps outlive the user. but the thing is, a metal (mag-alloy) body housing feels better into your hands "cold touch", but you can't have it all for that money today, i'd say - a great sensor, blazing fast AF, *and* a full magnesium alloy shell for the A6000 asking price. I remember my old NEX-5 (not R, N or T) is made of metal, unlike the NEX-3 at their time, which was "plastique phantastique".

the point is, with lenses for instance, metal makes much more sense than a camera case, i believe i could use my old mf lenses, and even in 10-20+ years perhaps the rubber zoom rings could be worn, but the paint will stay intact, and so is the barrel, etc...looking like new, whereas a plastic lens body would get worn much easily, looking used, paint went off, etc....but someone will never know how long the built-in AF hypersonic motor will last...so, that's also an issue...a old mf lens could be passed onto the next generation, and even the one after that...if carefully handled, and still looking new and working great..

for example, the A7 which is "full frame" does have, as we all know a plastic front plate, unlike the A7R and A7S. does it make it a worse camera? of course not..but there is still a bit of bad feeling, because Sony didn't made it out of full metal for the given price.

back into the 50-70's, Cameras, SLRs have been mostly made out of metal, and never being upgraded that fast like in today's fast times - "new sensor, better lowlight ability, AF, etc, etc..." it was simply "analogue" and there was no need to upgrade that fast..the technique was relative simple, but proven, mostly mechanical, and just working.

so, into the end - it would of course feel better, if utopistic my A3000 Body would have been made out of mag-alloy, but it wouldn't beside the haptics not make it a better camera.

and finally, last but not least - the build quality concern and topic here is almost becoming insane.

happy shooting, and always good light...

marc

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DtEW Senior Member • Posts: 2,445
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality
5

Now that I've received my A6000, my observation from playing around with it at lunch is that it is indeed a polycarbonate outer shell. I have found a few mold seams that are characteristic of bare "plastic" rather than painted/powdercoated/anodized metal.

This both confirms my prior understanding of the camera (I had initially thought it to of an alloy shell, and then eventually came around to the improbability of that) and reinforces my decision to acquire the A6000 in black, which is ironically the same rationale I used for acquiring the mostly-metal 5N in silver, and the same for my mountain bike componentry: a surface finish closest to the base material in color is going to be the one that shows wear least over time, esp with the relatively sharp-edged styling of the A6000 body.

(I'm sure they built the silver A6000 with a gray polycarbonate shell to this same end... but bare black material without a surface finish to wear off is undoubtedly going to be show wear the least.)

I don't quite get the idea that people have equating a metal build with quality and durability. I received plenty of dings on the metal shells of my silver e-mount lenses (from being mostly cosmetic), and the cast magnesium shell of FDA-EV1S (optional viewfinder) broke an attachment "ear" to the finishing piece that the eyecup attaches to. So I've got no illusions; metal means nothing if it isn't well designed and executed, same goes with polycarbonate.

There is nothing so far to suggest that the polycarbonate shell of the A6000 is anything but competently designed with an eye toward function first (which is my preference).

Edit: I take back what I said about being sure it was polycarbonate.  Closer examination of other parts of the construction has made me unsure about my original assessment.  Screw it, I'm going shooting with the thing.

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jtyoung Contributing Member • Posts: 526
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality
3

captura wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

My point being, nobody really knows exactly what the build composition of the A6000 is.

Until someone tears one apart or Sony publishes a cutaway or something, what do we really know, and what difference does it make? A paper thin aluminum skin in front of the very same metal and other parts inside doesn't make much difference to me, at least. I know having a metal top plate on my NX300 doesn't give it a better quality feel than my new A6000.

THAT SAID, if you find a worn Leica M9 or an older all-metal film camera from the 60's, they tend to 'brass' around the edges and that's kind of cool - but we're talking very old, or very expensive. Pretty much everything else these days is a super thin skin over a tight tangle of innards.

Metallic objects, like the NEX-5 & NEX-7 feel cool to the touch. Plastic objects ( A5000, A6000, NEX-3) feel warmer less solid and subjectively less pleasant. I am amazed that you don't know that. Even a 10 year old can differentiate between the two, by touch and feel.

That's odd actually. I'm holding my NEX-7 and my A6000 side by side and I'm surprised at how difficult it is to tell the difference in build between the two. The USB door on the A6000 feels more solid and securely in place compared to the 7. Aside from the tri-navi controls, they feel pretty much identical in hand.

Euell Senior Member • Posts: 2,320
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality

ryan92084 wrote:

Euell wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

pixelpushing wrote:

ryan92084 wrote:

marc petzold wrote:

andye53 wrote:

Oh boy I said the same thing in another thread and my head almost got chewed off LOL.

It definitely has a lower build quality compared to all other NEX, except the 3N. It 's roughly the same build as the 3N, same plain plastic finish.

-- hide signature --

SONY TX2O | RX1OO| NEX-FiveT | @6OOO
CAN0N S1OO

But the A6000 is made out of mag-alloy, not plastic.

It is not, Sony removed that part of the marketing. There may have been some preproduction models that were but it isn't now. The shell is poly/plastic/composite and supported at least in part by a metal infrastructure/frame.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53554186

Just curious where the actual facts are on this, rather than Sony pulling the reference in their video.

The facts? On which part?

Its not difficult to see the unpainted underside of the front/back plates, port/battery cover, and grip. The top plate could be I guess but based on unscientific acousitics/ thermal properties/feel compared to the obviously metal parts (flash/LCD hinge, dials, mount surround, screws, metal substructure) that is pretty unlikely.

As for the metal substructure you can open the battery compartment and see the grip is fully supported and a plate continues across the back.

All that said I have no problem with the build quality at all.

My point being, nobody really knows exactly what the build composition of the A6000 is.

Until someone tears one apart or Sony publishes a cutaway or something, what do we really know, and what difference does it make? A paper thin aluminum skin in front of the very same metal and other parts inside doesn't make much difference to me, at least. I know having a metal top plate on my NX300 doesn't give it a better quality feel than my new A6000.

THAT SAID, if you find a worn Leica M9 or an older all-metal film camera from the 60's, they tend to 'brass' around the edges and that's kind of cool - but we're talking very old, or very expensive. Pretty much everything else these days is a super thin skin over a tight tangle of innards.

and my point was to stop the spread of misinformation. I'm not bashing the build quality as I'd rate it quite high. It was just a dumb move by Sony marketing to say the shell was mag alloy and then have it not be a month later

Agreed!

I think Sony said the frame was mag allowy. Wrong?

AFAIK only time Sony made a claim either way was in the promo video from the linked post from earlier in the quote tree. In it the "host" says, "The actual camera looks different (comparing to the nex-6) as far as the make. This isn't plastic its...?"(referencing the body/shell she is tapping on). The Sony representative replies, "It's magnesium alloy"

It's all moot now the two sections referencing the mag alloy were later removed.

The top plate and bottom plate are definitely metal and the front plate may be.  The frame is represented to be mag alloy.

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,718
Re: Sony a6000 Build Quality

Sabud wrote:

captura wrote:

Sabud wrote:

I have the NEX5 / 5N, Richo GR, X-T1 and you are right. the a6000 looks and feel like a low budget camera. But I think it's all right, why over do it when most of them vill be upgraded within 2-3 years.

How do you like the Ricoh GR?

I like the GR very much. It's my easy to bring `street camera´and mainly for B/W. The X-T1 will be for hiking/travel and the a6000 have I bought to replace the NEX5n. Use it only with manual lenses as a digital back.

Thank you, Sabud; good to know.

As if I don't have  enough cameras already, I was thinking about getting a used Fuji X100. These became very much improved AFTER they were discontinued! via a huge Firmware Update. They're available for as low as $550 on the used market now, and if a poll were taken of pros/enthusiasts for a walkabout fixed-lens camera, the X100 is so popular it might win the popularity contest.

But the GR is a comparable alternative.

Steve

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