Sony a6000 Review
The a6000 is a fast and responsive camera. All the controls react essentially instantly to any change you make and there haven't been any occasions on which we've found ourselves waiting for the camera to perform the requested task or be ready for the next task.
Continuous Shooting and Buffering
There are three speeds available in continuous shooting mode, appropriately named low, middle, and high. Sony claims that the a6000 can reach frame rates of 2.5, 6, and 11fps, respectively. That last number is one of the best you'll find in the mirrorless world. And, for all three of those modes, the camera can continuously focus, which should make it quite capable at tracking moving subjects (see below for more on that).
The camera appears to always show the previously-shot frame, rather than trying to offer live-view between shots, but by the time you get to 11fps, it's quite hard to tell the difference.
Let's see how the a6000 performed in the high speed mode. We used a SanDisk Extreme Pro with a 95MB/sec write speed to ensure that we're getting the best out of the camera.
|Frame rate||11.4 fps||11.6 fps||11.5 fps|
|Number of frames||49 shots||22 shots||21 shots|
|Buffer full rate||2.3 fps||1.6 fps||1.1 fps|
|Write complete||20 secs *||11 secs **||10 secs **|
|* After 58 shot burst
** After 30 shot burst
As you can see, the a6000 exceeds Sony's estimate by about 0.5 fps and can take quite a few shots before the buffer fills. The bad news is that the camera is 'locked up', meaning that you cannot enter the menus or playback mode, until 10 - 20 seconds have passed.
Sony placed great emphasis on the focus capabilities of the a6000 when we were briefed about the camera. Having heard many promises about on-sensor phase detection before, we took them with a reasonable amount of salt. Our skepticism has proven unnecessary, in this case - the a6000 is very, very good.
The camera's Lock-on focus system can be set to activate when you half-press the shutter (a great improvement over older implementations that required you to select and confirm the subject - missing valuable shooting time, if the subject was moving). The focus point selection mode defines the area in which the camera will look for a subject and it seems pretty good at working out what you're trying to shoot. It'll identify faces and people as likely targets or revert to shooting the closest item, if it doesn't find something more interesting.
Unlike the newer a77 II, the a6000 offers no controls over how persistently the camera will stick on the chosen subject (that option only exists for movie shooting). In our experience, this can be influenced by changing the autofocus point selection mode. If you manually specify a focus point using 'Flexible Spot' mode, the camera will refocus back to the originally specified point if the subject deviates off it for too long. However, using the 'Zone' or 'Wide Area' modes lets the camera be a bit more confident that it's following the correct subject, and will stay locked for longer.
This is a very impressive result for a camera at this price, especially when you consider that it hasn't slowed its shooting rate in order to achieve this level of accuracy.
As always, these results depend on a number of factors, including the lens used. We got similar results using the Sony ZA 16-70mm F4 OSS and the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 OSS, but the 70-200 gave us shallower depth of field, making it easier to assess and demonstrate the focus hit-rate. Results are much harder to judge with the 16-50mm powerzoom (since its slower maximum aperture offers more depth of field and it's never particularly sharp, making it harder to judge focus), but our impression was more missed shots as the rate of focus adjustment seems to be slower.
Sony's E-mount cameras have never offered particularly great battery life, since they rely on the relatively small NP-FW50. These are stated as offering around 7.7Wh, which translates as around 360 shots per charge, according to CIPA standard testing. This figure drops to 310 if you use the electronic viewfinder. These are competitive figures for the a6000's class, but it's worth bearing in mind that use of the power zoom, shooting movies and using the camera's Wi-Fi will significantly reduce the battery life.
This week, Chris and Jordan take a break from gear reviews to discuss things you should know to get proper exposure when shooting video. Get some practical tips and learn about Chris and Jordan's exposure square... or is that an exposure trapezoid? Tune in to find out.
Well-known photography educators Tony and Chelsey Northrup recently won $40,000 from an Australian company who used one of their most popular portraits on product packaging without so much as asking permission. Check out the video for the full story.
The Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens—colloquially referred to as the 'bokeh master'—will cost just $1,600 USD when it ships for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma mounts in 'late June.' That's $600 less than the Nikon 105mm F1.4E.
'Recall shooting functions' lets you recall previously saved exposure settings (including shutter speed and aperture) by simply pressing and holding specific controls. The function is designed to allow for quick shooting parameter changes in variable light conditions.
Zeiss has announced a new lineup of 13 'Supreme Prime' lenses for large format cinematographers who want smaller and lighter glass that still produces top-quality results. The kind of lenses that make your salivary glands work... and your wallet groan.
The new HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ supposedly offer "the fastest printing capabilities available on the market today," all while using fewer ink tanks, and featuring useful add-ons like a built-in vertical trimmer.
In an effort to streamline production and minimize confusion, RED has announced that it is simplifying its product lineup to three main cameras. As an added bonus, this change dramatically drops the prices for all three options.
Fujifilm's new X-T100 is an SLR-style mirrorless camera that takes the internals of the X-A5, including phase-detect AF, and adds a fully articulating LCD and high-res OLED viewfinder. The X-T100 is priced at a very reasonable $599/€599 body-only and $699/€699/£619 with a 15-45mm lens.
Panasonic's latest firmware update for its GH5S, GH5 and G9 series of cameras was leaked in Japan earlier today and is now being officially announced a week early. But don't get too excited – you still won't be able to download it until May 30th.
We've been saying for years that the term "lens compression" is misleading, but Lee Morris over at Fstoppers has put together a useful video that explains why this is the case, and demonstrates it with two easy-to-understand examples.
Last week, some 'leaked' photos were published online that purported to show a DJI Phantom 5 drone with interchangeable lens camera and several prime lenses. The rumor was widely reported, but DPReview has learned that those images do not, in fact, show a Phantom 5 at all.
The bezel-free Vivo Apex concept phone with its pop-up camera might be more than a concept. A new teaser video and ad seem to hint at a similar smartphone to be released June 12st.
Skylum has teamed up with its sister company Photolemur to create Skylum AI Lab, where the duo will work on AI-powered image solutions including image segmentation, tagging and upscaling.
Award-winning fashion and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko recently tested out the Godox EC-200 flash extension head. Actually, he tested out four of them, creating a quad-flash ring light alternative that works great for both beauty and close-up work.
According to a recent investor presentation, Sony intends to occupy the top slot in the overall camera market by the end of 2020, beating back Canon and Nikon by boosting its interchangeable lens systems.
HTC brings back the dual-camera on the newly-announced U12+, which features a secondary tele-camera with 2x zoom factor, as well as 4K video recording at 60 frames per second.
Google has finally added the ability to mark your favorite images in Google Photos, so they can be filtered into a dedicated album. The service is also planning to a social network-like "heart" button that lets you like other people's photos.
We've been messing around with Apollo, an iOS app that allows you to add 3D lighting effects to images using depth information, and have to say we're impressed with what it's capable of – but that doesn't mean we don't have a few requests for the next version.
The new lightweight laptop packs a whole lot of photo- and video-editing punch. The laptop can be specced out with a Core i9 processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, NVIDIA graphics with 4GB of GDDR5, and a 4K display with 100% Adobe RGB coverage.
It looks like Canon is getting into sensor sales. The three specialized CMOS sensors the company recently demoed—including a 120MP APS-H model and an ultra-low light sensor—have been listed for sale through a distributor in the US.
Instagram has finally launched a "Mute" button, and is testing an "All Caught Up" feature that will let you know when you've seen all new post from the people you follow from the past 48 hours.
45-year-old photography magazine Shutterbug announced today that it is shutting down its print publication, focusing instead on reaching its readers online as a web-only publication.
Kodak Alaris has launched a new single-use disposable camera in Europe. Called the Kodak Daylight Single Use Camera, this 800 ISO film camera is supposedly ideal for parties, weddings, and similar events.
Computer vision company Lucid and cinema camera maker RED have partnered to create an 8K 3D camera that can capture 4-view (4V) holographic images and video in real-time. The camera is designed to work with RED's upcoming holographic Hydrogen One smartphone.
If Canon and Nikon do get into high-end mirrorless, it's almost certain that they'll do everything they can to maintain compatibility with their existing mounts. But, asks Richard Butler, wouldn't it be more interesting if they built a small, niche system to live alongside their existing DSLRs?
It seems RED's Hydrogen One super-phone will make it into the hands of customers in the near future. The phone is now officially slated for a Verizon and AT&T release in the US sometime this summer.
You know that feeling when you're already all suited up and out on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, and only then do you realize you forgot to put the SD card in your GoPro? No? Us either... but one astronaut on the ISS sure does.
From 2015 to 2017, filmmaker Macgregor and his crew spend many months traveling back and forth on the famed Mauritanian Railway—the so-called 'Backbone of the Sahara—to document the grueling journey endured by merchants who regularly travel atop this train. This beautifully-executed short doc is the result.
You can now insert another user's Instagram post into your own Stories as a customized sticker, the first official "regram" feature we've seen from the Facebook-owned photo sharing app.