The Sony Alpha A6000 replaces the Sony NEX-6
, and Sony NEX-7
, with a new camera which claims to have the World's fastest AF. The camera features a new 24.3 megapixel APS-C sensor, 11fps continuous shooting with AF, 3inch tilting screen, built in flash, and new BOINZ X image processing engine. The Sony A6000 is available for £549 body-only.
Sony Alpha A6000 Features
A new 24.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor features in the Sony Alpha A6000 (ILCE-6000), which has a gapless microlens design for improved light capture at both the centre as well as at the edges of the sensor. Wi-Fi and NFC is built in, along with support for Sony PlayMemories Apps, which include a number of new apps including a Star Trail app, and a Lens Compensation app.
A number of accessories have been introduced to match the camera including the LCS-EBC body case, the LCS-ASB1 active sling bag, the LCS-BBXL soft carry case, for long lenses.
24.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor
3inch 921k dot tilting white-magic screen
1.44m dot OLED EVF (0.7x magnification)
Hybrid AF, 0.06s (CIPA standards)
179 phase-detection / 25 contrast-detection AF points
11fps continuous shooting with AF tracking
BIONZ X processor
Full HD video recording
Wi-Fi, NFC built in
Sony PlayMemories Camera Apps
Available in black or titanium
Sony Alpha A6000 Handling
The Sony Alpha A6000 is slightly larger than the NEX-6 it replaces, with a redesigned mode dial and command dial, the camera is still able to squeeze in the electronic viewfinder (EVF), a pop-up flash and hot-shoe on the top plate. The square design of the camera more closely resembles the Sony Alpha 7 and 7R, and Sony say that the user interface has been standardised between all new models of camera, including Sony Cyber-shot compact cameras. This should make it easier to switch between different Sony cameras without having to re-learn the menus.
The camera has a bottom memory card and battery compartment, and build quality appears to be very good, with the camera feeling well built. The camera has a large rubber grip at the front, as well as a good sized rubber grip on the rear for your thumb.
There are 2 dedicated custom buttons on the camera, that can be customised to a setting of your choice, but it is also possible to customise a further 5 buttons, as well as the control panel on the back of the shooting screen.
The electronic viewfinder looks good in use, and appears to refresh quite quickly - Sony say they have worked on the electronic viewfinder to make it more enjoyable to use, and it has additional brightness controls over previous models. The screen is clear and easy to see, even when shooting outdoors, and being able to tilt the screen helps here. The screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio, so when shooting in the default 3:2 aspect ratio there are black borders on the left and right of the image.
The menus are clearly laid out into several sections, including: Camera settings, Custom Settings, Wi-Fi, Applications, Playback and Setup. Pressing the Fn (Function) button on the back of the camera brings up a quick control panel where you can set the most commonly used options. You can also customise these so that you have direct access to your own favourite settings.
- Battery life is rated at 310 shots (using the Viewfinder) or 360 shots (using the LCD monitor) according to Sony / CIPA test results, which is reasonable for a mirrorless camera. We would recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting more.
- We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
10.1fps (48 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash
Continuous Shooting - RAW
10.1fps (20 shots)
Tested with the 16-50mm OSS lens. We were able to shoot at 10.1fps for up to 48 shots (JPEG) and 20 shots (Raw) without the camera slowing down, whether shooting with continuous AF active, or shooting with AF set to single focus. Shutter response and focus speeds were both impressive.
Sony Alpha A6000 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database
, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Sony Alpha a6000 Sample Photos
- The Sony Alpha A6000 takes photos with bright saturated colours on default settings, with reliable exposure. Skin tones are good, and there is no red-eye visible in portrait photos taken with the built- in pop-up flash.
Sony Alpha a6000 Lens test images
- Images taken with the 16-50mm kit lens are a little soft on default settings, although detail is reasonably good. We would recommend using a prime lens or alternative zoom lens for better results, and the kit lens also struggles when used for macro shots, as the closest focusing distance makes it difficult to get detailed close up shots. The lens is resistant to flare, and distortion is automatically corrected by the camera, although slight vignetting is visible at times. Images are softer towards the corners of the frame, although purple fringing and chromatic aberration is well controlled.
Sony Alpha a6000 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance
- Noise is low at ISO100, ISO200 and ISO400, with very good levels of detail. There is a slight increase in noise at ISO1600, as well as at ISO3200, but detail remains good. At ISO6400 noise increase again and detail suffers quite noticeably as it is smudged away by the image processing. ISO12800 shows strong noise and low levels of detail, so it only recommended if you have to use it. ISO25600, shows the highest levels of noise and a low level of detail.
Sony Alpha a6000 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance
- Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a warm result under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a more accurate result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta colour cast.
Panoramic | 1/200 sec | f/10.0 | 16.0 mm | ISO 100
- The camera features a panoramic sweep mode where you simply press the shutter button and pan the camera in the direction you want to take the photo. You need to move the camera from one direction to the other at a quite specific speed, otherwise the camera will fail to create the panoramic or alternatively produce a panoramic with a black edge, which will need cropping off later. Results are quite good, with good detail and a fairly high resolution result, although there is some ghosting noticeable.
Sony Alpha a6000 Outdoor images
There are a number of ways to improve dynamic range in harsh lighting conditions, and when in intelligent Auto or Superior Auto+ the camera will automatically use the backlight scene mode if it decides it's necessary. In program mode you can switch DRO (Dynamic Range Optimisation) or HDR (High Dynamic Range) on, with these featuring Auto or manual settings. Here we've shown the auto settings which have produced very good results, without looking too artificial, with the HDR mode combining a number of shots taken at different exposures. Setting the HDR mode to 6EV gives an unrealistic looking image.
Sony Alpha a6000 Digital filters
Digital Filters -
When using the picture effects, the camera records the altered JPEG but does not let you use this feature with raw enabled. There are also colour options available which can be customised, letting you set contrast, saturation and sharpness.
- The A6000 records full HD video with stereo sound, and when used with a power zoom lens provides smooth zoom during recording. Optical image stabilisation also helps keep videos smooth with the quality of videos looking good. You can use the zoom ring around the lens, and the lens zooms quickly, alternatively you can use the zoom switch, and this is slower and smoother at zooming in and out. The highest ISO setting available for video is ISO12800, and an example using this in low-light can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel
Value For Money
The Sony Alpha A6000 is available for £549 body only
, or £649 with 16-50mm lens
, which makes it excellent value for money, alternatives to consider include the following cameras:
Panasonic Lumix GH4
, 12fps, Weather-sealed, £1299 body only
Olympus OM-D E-M1
, 10fps, Weather-sealed, £1249 body only
, 8fps with continuous AF, Weather-sealed, £1016 body only
Nikon 1 V3
, 20fps with continuous AF, £729 body only
You'll also need to buy a memory card
and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags
Sony Alpha A6000 Verdict
The Sony Alpha A6000 offers an impressive range of features, including a good electronic viewfinder, and a tilting 3inch screen. The 24 megapixel sensor is new, and noise is well controlled up to ISO3200, with the camera delivering bright saturated photos with reliable exposure. Dynamic range is good and the camera has a number of easy to use ways to improve this further. Continuous shooting with auto focus is very good, shooting at just over 10fps at full resolution, making the camera ideal for anyone who wants to track or shoot quick moving subjects. The A6000 is offered at an impressive price point, under-cutting a number of the competition, whilst offering high speed shooting. The only area this camera is let down, is in the choice of the 16-50mm OSS kit lens, which we feel does not deliver the full potential of this camera. While the 16-50mm OSS is a reasonable starter lens, and would suit lower resolution Sony E-mount cameras, to get the best out of the A6000 we would recommend getting a prime lens.
Sony Alpha A6000 Pros
10.1fps continuous shooting with AF
DRO / HDR modes for extended dynamic range
Solid metal body with good handling
Excellent value for money
Improved menu system
Sony Alpha A6000 Cons
Prime lenses needed for best results
16-50mm lens performance
VALUE FOR MONEY
Sony Alpha a6000 Specifications
|Sensor Type||Exmor CMOS|
|Sensor Size (width)||23.5mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||15.6mm|
- Face Detection
- AF Tracking
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
- Scene modes
- Program Variable
- Centre-weighted - Average
- Multi Pattern
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 25600|
|Video FPS||60p, 24p|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
- Memory Stick (Sony)
|Box Contents||Power cord, AC adaptor (AC-UB10), Rechargeable battery pack (NP-FW50), Shoulder strap, Body cap, Eyepiece cup, Micro USB cable|
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