While I’ve already written two blogs on the subject of the a6000 I figured now having owned and worked with the camera extensively on a three week trip to Europe it was due time to do a proper review of it using the same model as my Classic Camera Revival blogs. This is a fantastic camera, perfect for those who are tired of the usual SLRs or just don’t need that style of camera for what they wanted. It was actually weird that several other folks on the trip all had digital SLRs and me, the one usually associated with photography was rocking this tiny camera.
Model: a6000 (ILCE-6000)
Type: Compact System Camera
Lens: Interchangeable, E-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 2014
There are many fantastic points about this camera, the size the weight, feel and usability. Even for me, right out of the box I was able to quickly get the camera into action and figure out how to adjust all the settings and basically tune the camera to what I wanted it to do. Size and weight are perfect and the camera itself can easily be tucked into a large pocket or bag. Of course with digital the one thing everyone looks at is image quality and I can say it’s top notch, even with just the basic kit lens (16-50mm). Sharp corner to corner with no major noise issues up to ISO-3200. Autofocus is quick and accurate in all lighting conditions even on a smokey battlefield or the pouring rain, and if you do need to manually focus the camera both the electronic viewfinder and screen work well in all lighting condition. And speaking of the screen having the ability to tilt makes shooting from the hip easy especially when your 1 year old niece is crawling under the coffee table, you can still get the shot. The 24.3 megapixel sensor can output great prints up to 11×14 without any loss of quality as well. And finally there’s the E-Mount, don’t let the mount bother you there’s tonnes of adapters out there that will allow you to mount any lens you want onto the camera, in fact I plan on getting ones that will let me use my old AI/AI-S Nikon glass, Konica and Contax lenses as well.
There really is only one main sticking point I have with the camera body itself and that’s the battery life. I would have the charge the camera daily after a days worth of shooting and that’s with turning the camera off between shots, if I were to have left it on I’m sure it would’ve died about half way through the day. The biggest problem I have with the camera is the kit lens, we’re talking distortion city anything really between the 16mm mark and 25mm. And then again from about 40 to 50mm. Thankfully Lightroom does have the ability to correct this but it still is a bit of a pain. Also if you do plan on shooting RAW make sure that you’re using a fairly modern operating system, at least Windows 7 so that your Adobe products can accept and read the files or using the Sony software provided (but I never do).
The Low Down
This camera isn’t a dSLR killer, that honour falls to the A7r, but this is certainly a camera worthy of looking at if you’re getting into photography and don’t need an SLR for what you’re doing. In the future when people become more comfortable with the idea and I get some more glass (or adapters) for it I may even shoot professional jobs like an event where staying out of the way is needed. But for a wedding or live gig I’d still lug an SLR along. But for a first camera jumping from a point-and-shoot or super-zoom, the a6000 is a winning bet.
Photos taken in: Waterloo, Amsterdam, and the Vimy Ridge National Historic Site
Sony a6000 – Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS