The Sony A6000 remains one among the simplest Sony cameras, also together of the simplest mirrorless cameras, because of its still-great performance and sheer value for money. While its specs have certainly aged, they’re still plenty enough for many people’s needs – and with six years of price drops, it’s irresistibly affordable.
Sony a6000 key features
- 24.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
- Bionz X image processor
- Hybrid AF system with 25 contrast-detect and 179 phase-detect points
- Built-in flash + Multi-Interface Shoe
- 11 fps continuous shooting with subject-tracking
- 3-inch tilting LCD with 921,600 dots
- OLED electronic viewfinder with 1.44M dots
- Diffraction correction, area-specific noise reduction, and detail reproduction technology
- Full HD video recording at 1080/60p and 24p; clean HDMI output
- Wi-Fi with NFC capability and downloadable apps
The A6000 is equipped with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, which was state of the art when this camera was launched back in 2014 and only a couple of APS-C cameras improve on this even now. The image sensor has 179 phase-detection autofocus points, and there are also 25 contrast-detection points for the hybrid AF system.
Build quality and handling
The worry with most entry-level mirrorless cameras at this price point is that build quality suffers, but thankfully this is not the case with this one.
The metal body feels solid, and offers an ideal weight for a camera of this size. I particularly like the rubber grip, which protrudes just enough to allow my big hand to get a firm, comfortable hold, whilst still letting my thumb rest in a natural position to change most settings one-handed.
The screen can tilt upward 90 degrees and down by 45, allowing for some creative shooting angles. The resolution is 921,600 dots, which sounds impressive but isn’t so special here in 2020. It’s adequate for viewing images and taking photos, but don’t expect to be blown away by the resolution.
The EVF quality is similarly ‘just OK’ – adequate for shooting and reviewing images, but there are obviously much better quality electronic viewfinders on mirrorless cameras in 2020.
the Sony A6000’s performance was generally excellent in our tests, with blazing fast AF speeds, extremely quick pre focused shutter lag and a very fast burst mode that supports continuous autofocus. This pocket powerhouse able to fire off 11 frames per second for around 22 frames in RAW format, and 49 frames in JPEG Fine format. Unlike the Sony a6300 and a6500, the a6000 doesn’t offer silent shooting, meaning that using burst mode is a bit like shooting with a muffled machine gun!
Detail is rendered very well by the A6000. Generally, image smoothing only starts to become problematic for normal printing sizes in shots taken at around ISO 3,200 upwards. Examining images at 100% from around ISO 1,600 upwards, you will find areas of the image that have a painterly effect, but the overall effect is good. High ISO quality is one area, admittedly, where the A6000 starts to fall behind the latest cameras.
The camera’s metering system does a good job with exposure, although it sometimes struggles in high-contrast situations, when you’ll need to dial in some exposure compensation. Similarly, the automatic white balance system is a good performer, although it can be slightly confused by some artificial light sources. In good light, autofocusing speeds are very quick, dropping as the light levels drop, but only struggling to lock on at all in very dark conditions.
When I shot with the Sony a6000 on the first day, I was convinced I wouldn’t like it. My pet peeve with entry-level cameras is not being able to select the AF point ‘directly’, i.e. you can’t press just one button to move the AF point.
This was my biggest dislike of Fuji’s early X100 cameras, until they addressed the issue with more recent models. Having to first press a button to engage manual focus point selection before being able to move the focus point could have been a deal breaker for me on the a6000, had it not been for this camera’s incredible ability to predict which focus point you want to use, particularly when there’s a face involved.
As soon as a subject enters your scene, the camera uses some kind of voodoo magic to find its face immediately, then lock on to it with incredible precision! If there’s no face in the scene and you half press the shutter button, the a6000 locks on to the closest object.
Where to buy
The Sony A6000 remains one among the simplest Sony cameras, also together of the simplest mirrorless cameras, because of its still-great performance and sheer value for money.
- Incredible value for money
- Impressive AF and face tracking
- Solid build
- Great image quality
- LCD screen and EVF could be better
- Cluttered interface