The Sony a6000 has been one of the top selling mirrorless cameras for many years now. But is it still worth it in 2018? With a resolution of 24mp, 11fps burst rate, and weighing less than a pound – it’s hard not to like this little beauty. But there are some niggling little issues you should know about.
If you’re thinking about making the switch, the Sony Alpha 6000 has a lot going for it. Competing against the likes of Fujifilm X-T20, the Lumix GH5, and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III. But at a price point that is readily available to both beginners and professionals alike.
It’s honestly hard to find these features at such an affordable price point.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some niggling little factors that might sway your decision. So let’s take a deeper look at the Sony Alpha 6000 and see what it has to offer in comparison to other popular mirrorless cameras on the market.
Sony A6000 Key Features:
Resolution: 24.3 MP
Camera Type: Mirrorless
Processor: BIONZ X image processor
ISO: 100-25600 (expandable to 51200)
Max Aperture: f/3.5 – 5.6
Min Aperture: f/22 – F32
Focus System: Fast Hybrid AF
Focus Points: 179 phase-detect points and 25 contrast detect points
Continuous Shooting Speed: 11 frames per second
Video Resolution: Full HD video shooting up to 1080p @ 60 fps
Lens Type: Sony E-mount
Battery life: 310 shots on the view finder and 360 in live view
Wi-Fi: Yes with NFC Capability
With the a6000’s 24.3 MP sensor, you can capture some incredible images. The colours are rich and vibrant. Beautifully detailed. And the 179 focus points allow you to capture tack sharp images.
Although you do have to watch out for noise at higher ISOs. Fortunately, the a6000 does come with some excellent built-in noise reduction.
If you’re shooting at higher ISO levels, you can use the multi-frame noise reduction (MFNR) mode. In this mode, the camera automatically shoots multiple images continuously, combines them, reduces the noise, and produces them as one image. Often with less noise and a sharper image. This mode is also be useful in low-light situations.
The a6000 delivers excellent image quality and stunning dynamic range. Especially at low ISOs. And with down-sampling and noise reduction, you can still get very impressive results at ISO 3200-6400.
Overall, the image quality of the Sony A6000 (especially at this price point) is unprecedented.
Sony A6000 sample image taken with the Sigma 30mm f2.8.
11 FPS – This thing is FAST.
The A6000 allows for burst mode shooting up to 11fps. Shooting a continuous 21 frames raw JPEG or 49 frames of fine JPEG. So it’s great for sports and high-action shots.
If you’re shooting subjects that are in motion, put the a6000 into the “continuous high” mode and hold down the shutter button. It sounds like a little machine gun. It’s fast and a lot of fun.
Plus, with the Lock-on AF, you can track your subjects in motion. Making it an excellent option for sports and wildlife portraits.
One of the most interesting features I’ve come to appreciate on the a6000 is the OLED Viewfinder. Which allows you to preview the effects of various camera settings before you take the picture.
It’s a new and refreshing experience from the “shoot and review” process I’ve used with pro DSLR bodies. It completely changes the way you take your photos. And it’s a lot of fun being able to preview your manual settings before taking the shots. Allowing you to adjust your shot in real time.
Great for beginners who are learning to shoot in manual as well.
Ok… let’s talk about video. Because this is where the Sony A6000 disappoints me a little bit.
Don’t get me wrong. The A6000 can produce incredible videos. Especially in this price range. It records in 1080p. 60 frames per second.
But what bothers me are the little things they left out.
Like an external microphone. It’s really quite surprising that they didn’t put a mic jack on this. Which is essential for getting high quality audio.
Yes – you can use an external microphone like the Zoom H4N or HN1 and then sync up the audio in post-editing. But personally, I like to be able to produce videos quickly without a lot of post-editing.
So if you’re doing a LOT of video. This is certainly something to consider. You may even want to take a look at the A6300 or the A6500. Which produces 4K video and has a built-in mic jack.
That being said… the A6000 can produce incredible videos. Just take a look at this example…
Or how about this one…
The a6000 sets up a built-in hotspot for communicating with your smartphone. In fact, you can pair the two devices simply by tapping them together.
This allows you to quickly and easily transfer photos to your phone. Send samples to a client. Or share your images on social media.
You can also use the free Sony Play Memories app to turn your smartphone into a remote shutter.
* Of course, there are many other free apps available online with similar features. (i.e. Smart Remote Control app)
Keep in mind though, the Wi-Fi can also drain your battery quite quickly. Because the camera is constantly looking for nearby wi-fi devices.
The simple solution is to turn ON Airplane Mode. When you need to send photos or use a remote shutter, you can turn airplane mode back off.
But while not in use, turn Airplane mode on to save on battery life.
One of the trade-offs of the mirrorless cameras vs the DSLR’s is that you have a shorter battery life. On average, the Sony A6000 takes 310 shots on the view finder and 360 in live view before needing to replace the battery.
I recommend buying a few extra third-party batteries. (Link to recommendation. You can also get a wall unit, which allows you to charge one battery while shooting with another.
But there are also a few ways to save battery life. You can turn Airplane Mode on when you’re not using the Wi-Fi.
You can also save battery life by turning off pre-autofocus (in the menu under settings 3). This stops the camera from trying to autofocus before you need it.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does the Sony A6000 have image stabilization?
Yes and no. The Alpha 6000 does not have image stabilization built-in to the camera. But many of their lenses do include image stabilization. Including the kit lens.
I’m guessing that they chose not to build it into the camera itself because it would require them to make the body of the camera quite a bit bigger. By keeping the image stabilization in the lens, you get a nice, lightweight camera that’s easy to travel with.
Does it shoot in RAW mode?
Yes. The a6000 does shoot in RAW. You can also shoot RAW+JPEG and JPEG only.
By shooting in RAW, you’ll be able to easily edit your image using tools like Lightroom, Photoshop, and Luminar.
Can I use Nikon and Canon lenses on the a6000?
Yes. With the proper adapters you can use Nikon or Canon lenses. In fact, some of the higher quality lenses really unlock the power and potential of this little camera.
One of the most affordable options is the Fotasy Nikon Lens to Sony E-Mount. This is a great option to use all kinds of old glass on your new camera.
Just keep in mind that when using a lens with this adapter, the camera body should be set to either manual exposure or aperture priority mode.
- This adapter allows Nikon F-Mount Lens to fit on Sony NEX E-Mount Mirrorless Digital Cameras, extending the usefulness of your favorite Lens. So don't throw out your old glass!
- This adapter uses TTL (Through-The-Lens) metering. When using a lens with the adapter, the camera body should be set to either manual exposure or aperture priority mode. Exposure and focus must be adjusted manually.
Another popular option is the K&F Concept Lens Mount Adapter. This adapter allows you to use your Nikon and Nikkor lenses on the Sony a6000. Can be used in full manual or aperture priority.
- With this lens mount adapter, you can mount any Nikon lens onto your Sony a6000. Extend the use of any old glass you have lying around the house.
- Must also be used in either full manual mode or aperture priority.
On the Canon side, you have the Fotodiox Pro Fusion Adapter. Which allows you to mount Canon lenses to Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras.
But what’s unique about this adapter is the built-in FUSION technology. This enables electronic communication and control between the lens and the camera. Allowing you to use the auto-focus, aperture control, and image stabilization with most lenses.
- Mounts Canon EOS (EF / EF-S) D/SLR Lenses to Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras.
- Built-in FUSION technology enables electronic communication and control between lens and camera.
- Restores automated functions on most lenses such as auto-focus, aperture control, image stabilization and more with compatible lenses
If money is no issue, I recommend checking out the Metabones Canon EF/EF-S Lens to Sony E Mount T Smart Adapter.
This adapter retains electronic communication between the lens and the camera. Which means that you’re able to use automatic aperture control, image stabilization,
autofocus, and EXIF data.
If you already have Canon glass, this is a great adapter to pair with your Sony a6000.
- This smart adapter retains electronic communication between the lens and the camera. Allowing you to use automatic aperture control, autofocus, and image stabilization.
- Fast contrast-detect AF on all E-mount cameras. Phase-detect autofocus support on A7RII, A7II, A6300 and A6500.
- Regular firmware updates.
Some Fun Accessories:
Wireless Remote Control
Control your shutter from up to 16 feet away with the Foto&Tech IR Wireless Remote Control. At just $10, this fun little remote allows you to easily take group photos, night photography, and long exposure shots.
In fact, some reviewers were able to use it up to 30 feet away.
Wireless remotes are a great way to get tack sharp photos and avoid blurring.
Wasabi Dual-Battery Charger:
With mirrorless cameras, you’ll definitely want to pick up a few extra batteries and a charger. The Wasabi brand is a very affordable option that will keep you shooting all day long. Wether you’re shooting a wedding, traveling, or climbing up a mountain.
Just like your smartphone, your camera needs a screen protector. One of our favorites is the Afunta screen protector. Very affordable. A perfect fit from edge to edge on the Sony A6000. Protects your screen against scratches. And allows you to easily remove any fingerprints with a microfiber cloth or cleaning wipes.
Sony a6000 Sample Images:
Some beautiful black-and-white photography shot on a 50mm lens.
A friendly Red squirrel at the British Wildlife Centre.
Some macro photography on the A6000.
Light and fog painted across Kleinen Winterberg.
Eastern Sierra – A6000, Minolta 45mm F2, F11, 4Seconds, ISO 100
Some Astrophotography. Sony A6000 & Rokinon 12mm.
The Sony a6000 is still an incredible camera (in 2018) at a fraction of the cost of many of its counterparts.
It’s a great option for both beginners and professionals alike. For those just getting started, it’s a great camera to learn on. Especially with the electronic viewfinder.
While still having many of the specs and features needed for professionals. Especially when you pair it with some nice lenses.
Plus, it’s a lot lighter than it’s DSLR predecessors. Even when you mount a lens on the a6000, is still only weights about a pound.
And believe me – carrying around a big ‘ol camera bag with lenses all day is no fun.
This camera frees you up to just have fun and focus on being creative.
Does it have it’s niggling little issues? Sure. But at this price and at this quality level, I’m betting it becomes one of your favorite little run and gun cameras.
The a6000 is just a joy to use. And as your skill progresses, you can mount on different lenses to create completely new experiences.
Plus, with the lens adapters available to you, the number of possible lenses is pretty much endless.