Good images, but the controls...

Started 11 months ago | User reviews
Sympa Senior Member • Posts: 1,869
Good images, but the controls...
1

I really like the images this camera produces. What I don't like are the controls. The AF system has a lot of features, but it needs quite some button pushes to go from for example AF-C flexible spot to AF-S wide to be able to use eye AF.

Other than that it is a very nice camera, even after all these years.

 Sympa's gear list:Sympa's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS Canon EF-S 10-18mm F4.5–5.6 IS STM +2 more
Sony a6000
24 megapixels • 3 screen • APS-C sensor
Announced: Feb 12, 2014
Sympa's score
5.0
Average community score
4.3
bad for good for
Kids / pets
great
Action / sports
okay
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
great
Low light (without flash)
good
Flash photography (social)
good
Studio / still life
excellent
= community average
William Curtindale
William Curtindale Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
Re: Good images, but the controls...

Sympa wrote:

I really like the images this camera produces. What I don't like are the controls. The AF system has a lot of features, but it needs quite some button pushes to go from for example AF-C flexible spot to AF-S wide to be able to use eye AF.

Other than that it is a very nice camera, even after all these years.

Yes, I still find the A6000 to be an amazing and a capable camera and it is the light weight of the series (A6000 = 344g, A6300 = 404g, A6500 = 453g).  The Fn is my go to button along with the functions identified around the rear wheel and aperture and shutter control.

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At this point in my life I have become a lazy photographer. I don't struggle over image IQ or details but enjoy content and simplicity. A6000, A6300, A6500, A99, A900 w/Sony + Zeiss + Sony G Glass

davect01
davect01 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,816
Re: Good images, but the controls...
3

Coming from a traditional DSLR I could see the controls being confusing or frustrating.  DSLR's have buttons everywhere and can be a bit overwhelming at times.  Coming from a smartphone or a point and shoot the controls are just fine and more than enough without overwheling you.

Having advanced through the NEX, each generation got better and better adding quick access controls to your most used functions via the FN button and almost every button being customizable.  The A6XXX line is keeping that balance of portability and features.  I like the small size of my A6000, even if I am missing a few buttons here and there.

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 davect01's gear list:davect01's gear list
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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 7,658
Re: Good images, but the controls...

davect01 wrote:

Coming from a traditional DSLR I could see the controls being confusing or frustrating. DSLR's have buttons everywhere and can be a bit overwhelming at times. Coming from a smartphone or a point and shoot the controls are just fine and more than enough without overwheling you.

Having advanced through the NEX, each generation got better and better adding quick access controls to your most used functions via the FN button and almost every button being customizable. The A6XXX line is keeping that balance of portability and features. I like the small size of my A6000, even if I am missing a few buttons here and there.

Most (all?) DSLRs won't have a mode like Flexible Spot, so, that might not be quite a fair comparison, but the DSLRs I've had (or have) usually have a switch for AF-S/AF-C/MF, and a switch for Wide/Spot or Wide/Zone/Spot, or similar.

On an A6000, I guess the closest you could get would be a couple of clicks for each, with Focus Mode set to a custom button and Focus Area set to be a button.

On an A6000, if those two sets were frequently used, I would say to set them to Memory modes, so a single switch of mode would be all that's needed. Of course, most DSLRs also have memory modes, so this isn't really an advantage the A6000 has, but it's one way to address the OPs issue.

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OP Sympa Senior Member • Posts: 1,869
Re: Good images, but the controls...

I agree that everything is quite workable and there is no straightforward solution to make everything available more quickly.

I do like the 'center' button for center focus & hold if I am in a wide or center AF mode, wther AF-S of AF-C. I should learn to use that one.

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 7,658
Re: Good images, but the controls...
1

Sympa wrote:

I agree that everything is quite workable and there is no straightforward solution to make everything available more quickly.

I do like the 'center' button for center focus & hold if I am in a wide or center AF mode, wther AF-S of AF-C. I should learn to use that one.

"Everything" available more quickly, no. Selected, iimportant-to-you things, sure. Customizable buttons and memory modes are pretty straightforward. Also, keep in mind that one reason there are more things to select from or customize is simply because these cameras do more than DSLRs

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Pixel Pooper Veteran Member • Posts: 3,154
Re: Good images, but the controls...

SQLGuy wrote:

Sympa wrote:

I agree that everything is quite workable and there is no straightforward solution to make everything available more quickly.

I do like the 'center' button for center focus & hold if I am in a wide or center AF mode, wther AF-S of AF-C. I should learn to use that one.

"Everything" available more quickly, no. Selected, iimportant-to-you things, sure. Customizable buttons and memory modes are pretty straightforward. Also, keep in mind that one reason there are more things to select from or customize is simply because these cameras do more than DSLRs

The problem with the A6000 is that a lot of settings can not be assigned to a custom button or the function menu, and the memory recall affects so few settings that it is basically useless.

This is much improved on the A6500. All of the important settings (to me) can be assigned to a button or fn menu, and the recall modes affect everything.

WryCuda Veteran Member • Posts: 9,101
Re: Good images, but the controls...
1

Pixel Pooper wrote:

The problem with the A6000 is that a lot of settings can not be assigned to a custom button or the function menu, and the memory recall affects so few settings that it is basically useless.

That is just not correct.

I have thoroughly investigated this aspect of the a6000, and there's many customisation options for the buttons, and a host of things that can be allocated to the memories. One minor limitation is that separate button customisations aren't available for each memory.

I manage to use my a6000 with just the memory recall feature. It's only necessary to access the menu to format the SD or to set AF with Shutter. I wouldn't describe that as "basically useless".

Nikon memories aren't significantly different as regards customisation flexibility, except that button customisation can be varied.

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Pixel Pooper Veteran Member • Posts: 3,154
Re: Good images, but the controls...

WryCuda wrote:

Pixel Pooper wrote:

The problem with the A6000 is that a lot of settings can not be assigned to a custom button or the function menu, and the memory recall affects so few settings that it is basically useless.

That is just not correct.

Well that was my experience. The A6000 has 43 options for the custom buttons and 25 options for the fn menu. The A6500 has 67 options for the custom buttons and 39 options for the fn menu.

I have thoroughly investigated this aspect of the a6000, and there's many customisation options for the buttons, and a host of things that can be allocated to the memories. One minor limitation is that separate button customisations aren't available for each memory.

One of the biggest nuisances for me was not being able to toggle live view settings effect without going into the main menu. Also some settings bring up a selection instead of toggling the setting so you can't switch between AF-S and AF-C with a single button press.

I manage to use my a6000 with just the memory recall feature. It's only necessary to access the menu to format the SD or to set AF with Shutter. I wouldn't describe that as "basically useless".

Basically useless might have been a bit harsh, but for me the recall modes were not useful because they didn't affect enough settings. Live view settings effect is not saved so I couldn't create a mode for manual flash, and neither is AF W/shutter so you can't create a mode for back button focus. It is also a bit fiddly to switch between memory settings with only one position on the dial.

Nikon memories aren't significantly different as regards customisation flexibility, except that button customisation can be varied.

I'm not familiar with Nikon's memory functions, but I can say that newer Sonys like the A6500 are much improved over the A6000.

WryCuda Veteran Member • Posts: 9,101
Re: Good images, but the controls...

Pixel Pooper wrote:

WryCuda wrote:

Pixel Pooper wrote:

The problem with the A6000 is that a lot of settings can not be assigned to a custom button or the function menu, and the memory recall affects so few settings that it is basically useless.

That is just not correct.

Well that was my experience. The A6000 has 43 options for the custom buttons and 25 options for the fn menu. The A6500 has 67 options for the custom buttons and 39 options for the fn menu.

I have thoroughly investigated this aspect of the a6000, and there's many customisation options for the buttons, and a host of things that can be allocated to the memories. One minor limitation is that separate button customisations aren't available for each memory.

One of the biggest nuisances for me was not being able to toggle live view settings effect without going into the main menu. Also some settings bring up a selection instead of toggling the setting so you can't switch between AF-S and AF-C with a single button press.

I manage to use my a6000 with just the memory recall feature. It's only necessary to access the menu to format the SD or to set AF with Shutter. I wouldn't describe that as "basically useless".

Basically useless might have been a bit harsh, but for me the recall modes were not useful because they didn't affect enough settings. Live view settings effect is not saved so I couldn't create a mode for manual flash, and neither is AF W/shutter so you can't create a mode for back button focus. It is also a bit fiddly to switch between memory settings with only one position on the dial.

Nikon memories aren't significantly different as regards customisation flexibility, except that button customisation can be varied.

I'm not familiar with Nikon's memory functions, but I can say that newer Sonys like the A6500 are much improved over the A6000.

Fair enough. 

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Eniigma_21
Eniigma_21 Senior Member • Posts: 1,057
Re: Good images, but the controls...

davect01 wrote:

Having advanced through the NEX, each generation got better and better adding quick access controls to your most used functions via the FN button and almost every button being customizable. The A6XXX line is keeping that balance of portability and features. I like the small size of my A6000, even if I am missing a few buttons here and there.

I fully agree with you here. I work faster with my A6000 than i did with the NEX 3N, the dials and extra customization buttons are nice. But as Sympa said it is a bit frustrating when you need to change focus point quickly, you have to press at least to buttoms to make it happen. I'm pretty comfortable with my A6000 right now.

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Sony a6000 Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS
OP Sympa Senior Member • Posts: 1,869
Re: Good images, but the controls...

Pixel Pooper wrote:

It is also a bit fiddly to switch between memory settings with only one position on the dial.

There is a trick: put 'Memory Recall' in the Fn menu.

When the Fn menu is left at this position, calling up a memory becomes easier. Still have to test that one though - when I am in for example A mode, would it change to P when that is stored in the memory bank?

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 7,658
Re: Good images, but the controls...

Sympa wrote:

Pixel Pooper wrote:

It is also a bit fiddly to switch between memory settings with only one position on the dial.

There is a trick: put 'Memory Recall' in the Fn menu.

When the Fn menu is left at this position, calling up a memory becomes easier. Still have to test that one though - when I am in for example A mode, would it change to P when that is stored in the memory bank?

Yes.

Items that can be registered

  • Shooting mode
  • Aperture (F number)
  • Shutter speed
  • Camera Settings

Source: http://docs.esupport.sony.com/dvimag/ILCE6000_guide/en/contents/TP0000226604.html

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davect01
davect01 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,816
Re: Good images, but the controls...

Eniigma_21 wrote:

davect01 wrote:

Having advanced through the NEX, each generation got better and better adding quick access controls to your most used functions via the FN button and almost every button being customizable. The A6XXX line is keeping that balance of portability and features. I like the small size of my A6000, even if I am missing a few buttons here and there.

I fully agree with you here. I work faster with my A6000 than i did with the NEX 3N, the dials and extra customization buttons are nice. But as Sympa said it is a bit frustrating when you need to change focus point quickly, you have to press at least to buttoms to make it happen. I'm pretty comfortable with my A6000 right now.

Agreed.  Much better in the menu system and customizable buttons from the OG

Still, I prefer a smaller body to buttons galore

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OP Sympa Senior Member • Posts: 1,869
Re: Good images, but the controls...

To come back to my 'trick' for memory recall: you have to put "shoot mode" in the Fn menu. Then, if the dial is on MR, selecting this pops up the selector screen for settings.

But everything in that bank is applied, down to the stored aperture in A mode. And one cannot select this in for example P mode.

Such a missed chance.

Then again, the Fn menu is more powerful than it looks: with the cursor on an option, rotating the rear dial immediately changes the value: no need to press the center button first, and no need to press the center button to select and exit again. Need to remember that one.

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Sony RX100 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS Canon EF-S 10-18mm F4.5–5.6 IS STM +2 more
WryCuda Veteran Member • Posts: 9,101
Re: Good images, but the controls...

Sympa wrote:

Pixel Pooper wrote:

It is also a bit fiddly to switch between memory settings with only one position on the dial.

There is a trick: put 'Memory Recall' in the Fn menu.

When the Fn menu is left at this position, calling up a memory becomes easier. Still have to test that one though - when I am in for example A mode, would it change to P when that is stored in the memory bank?

Memory Recall is in the Fn menu by default.

I don't use P mode, but have A, S and M modes available, and I don't recall any glaring omissions from the items that can be saved to memory. I guess that each of my memory setting differ from the others by about a dozen parameters.

Obviously, each saved mode will have defaults (A mode might have f/8 as the default), but these can be changed depending on the conditions.

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Pixel Pooper Veteran Member • Posts: 3,154
Re: Good images, but the controls...

Sympa wrote:

Pixel Pooper wrote:

It is also a bit fiddly to switch between memory settings with only one position on the dial.

There is a trick: put 'Memory Recall' in the Fn menu.

The easiest way I found to switch between the MR modes was to switch the mode dial out of MR mode and back again.

Dave Andrade Contributing Member • Posts: 542
Re: Good images, but the controls...

Sympa wrote:

I really like the images this camera produces. What I don't like are the controls. The AF system has a lot of features, but it needs quite some button pushes to go from for example AF-C flexible spot to AF-S wide to be able to use eye AF.

Other than that it is a very nice camera, even after all these years.

I agree with you. After all these years, this camera can still "hold its own". I think the lower EVF resolution and the lack of dials is what turned me away from this and actually sent me over to Olympus.

Sony makes amazing cameras, and they have phase detection, but the lack of controls on the aps-c bodies is frustrating and disappointing.

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OP Sympa Senior Member • Posts: 1,869
Re: Good images, but the controls...
1

For me it is not the lack of control (buttons and knobs) but silly things like:

- The Fn menu and the rear dial show moving options instead of a cursor and static options. For a cursor it is much quicker to see where it is pointing - for example leftmost is AF-S. Not it is moving, reading, moving, reading. Hopeless.

- It would be nice of buttons could be assigned to for example change focus area. Click center click wide click flexible click large zone click small zone. Hold = focus hold. Hold w' face detect = eye AF (if I am dreaming). No extra buttons needed.

Ah well, there goed mu though to get an A6500. This hasn't been fixed, I suppose.

By the way, the RX100 has the same silly "we scroll the options past a static pointer" mechanism. Even on a Playstation that is poor UI design...

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Sony RX100 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS Canon EF-S 10-18mm F4.5–5.6 IS STM +2 more
WryCuda Veteran Member • Posts: 9,101
Re: Good images, but the controls...
1

Sympa wrote:

For me it is not the lack of control (buttons and knobs) but silly things like:

- The Fn menu and the rear dial show moving options instead of a cursor and static options. For a cursor it is much quicker to see where it is pointing - for example leftmost is AF-S. Not it is moving, reading, moving, reading. Hopeless.

With my a6000, after hitting Fn, I navigate to the 12 options using the Left/Right/Up/Down buttons. Couldn't be easier.

- It would be nice if buttons could be assigned to for example change focus area. Click center click wide click flexible click large zone click small zone. Hold = focus hold. Hold w' face detect = eye AF (if I am dreaming). No extra buttons needed.

Not sure what you mean here, but again, it's just Custom Button for Focus Area, then Up/Down to navigate.

I've never been hindered by the alleged lack of dials. In the A and SS priority modes, the rear wheel sets your preferred A or SS, and the top dial acts as EC on the other parameter. In M mode, it's wheel for A and top dial for SS (just like A priority, except that there's no auto exposure).

It should be pointed out that the action performed by the centre button is context sensitive.

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