In the digital photography age, mirrorless cameras have created a revolution. The original purpose was to give fans an excellent photo quality in a compact format. With them, the producers have attracted those users who did not want the size of a DSLR, but were willing to pay a higher price for the device and then buy any other objectives. Segment increased greatly in recent years and Sony has had much to gain from this. Its NEX series models were very popular and the decision to change the name surprised us.
Sony a6000 is part of the medium segment, offering more advanced features for an amateur photographer. Device takes the footsteps of NEX-6, a model that seemed completely mirrorless in many ways. Sony a6000 is however not a simple evolution of the previous model. He brings many new features, from 24.3MP sensor to the control system. By far the most important feature is, however, hybrid AF system. It is not only better, but also faster than what we've seen so far on mirrorless cameras from Sony.
Sony has created some of the slimmest mirrorless cameras, but a6000 is not one of them. Its body at the thinnest point is thicker than the NEX-6 model. The overall appearance is very similar, but at a close inspection you start to notice the differences. On the upper side, the wheels are not overlapping but adjacent, as we have seen in the NEX-7. On the back was added customizable buttons.
Handheld Sony a6000 seems a very solid device. The body is constructed of composite material and has a fine texture. Rubberized Grip provides the necessary grip, but still not high enough as not to lose the little finger under it. The shutter is placed slightly higher than on the NEX-6 and less ergonomic. On the opposite side's grip we can find a plastic cover that covers the micro HDMI and micro USB connectors. The latter is used for charging the device. The package is a charger with USB plug and cable.
From the construction point of view, the only problem we encountered was a6000 Sony's card slot location. It is next to the battery, but very close to the hinge cover. Extracting the card can be a little difficult if you have thin fingers.
- Sensor: 24.3 MP APS-C Exmor APS HD
- Image Processor: Bionz X
- Photo resolution: 6000x4000
- Values ISO: 100-25600
- Image stabilization: the objective
- Lens: 16-50 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS E-mount
- Focusing phase 179 points / 25 points contrast
- Exposure time: 1 / 4000-30 and bulb
- Photo Burst: 11 fps in subject tracking
- Display: 3 ", 921k dot, vertical folding (90/45 degrees)
We will continue to focus on the novelties introduced by Sony a6000 to NEX-6 model. As I said at the beginning, 16 MP sensor has been changed to 24.3 MP. It is the most densely used until now sensor on mirrorless cameras from Sony. As we shall see, it provides good performance and works very well with improved processor Bionz X. It brings a certain Detail Reproduction Technology, a name that has a more sophisticated sharpening. In addition, the processor can now apply noise reduction differentiated zones, depending on the details.
According to the manufacturer, Sony a6000 offers the fastest AF on the market from this segment. The camera can focus with subject tracking approximately 92% of the frame, compared to 50% in the case of NEX-6.
Performance and use
NEX series of mirrorless cameras were among the best in the segment in terms of shooting. The NEX-6 was quite capable, with 10 frames per second, but the new a6000 focus system greatly improves this performance. Not only that the device can now shoot at 11 fps, but also follows the subject on 92% of the sensor surface. If you shoot fast-moving subjects, you'll be impressed by what this device offers.
I do not usually appreciate when a manufacturer uses a sensor with more megapixels. Moving from 16 MP to 24.3 MP may seem very sharp, while the A5000 comes with a 20 MP sensor. I had to admit, however, that the manufacturer knew that a6000 offers high quality image for a APS-C sensor camera.
Aggressive level of sharpening has been a problem for NEX Series.
Again, Sony a6000 manages to score well compared with other models in its class. The footage offers a good level of quality and benefit from stabilizing optical lens system. Those who want more will appreciate that a6000 offers manual control over shooting parameters. Unfortunately, there is no external microphone.
Just when you thought Sony no longer make excellent product improvements, a6000 surprised me. What seemed at first just an upgrade for NEX-6, finally proved a highly capable device with many important new features. Although not the cheapest mirrorless from the market, Sony a6000 definitely worth the price.