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Sony A6000 Initial Review & Sample Images

By Matthew Saville on May 6th 2014

If you were to take the Sony A7 / A7R (which everybody seems to be raving about) and shrink it down to a 1.5x crop sensor size, you would have the Sony A6000.  Using the same e-mount of Sony’s new full-frame mirrorless system, the A6000 is a tiny little thing that aspires to pack a professional punch.

Does it match up to the hype of it’s full-frame siblings? Spoiler alert:  At ISO 100, you bet it does!  It also comes pretty close throughout the rest of its ISO range, as well as in feature set, sheer performance, and overall construction.  In short, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the miniature , 1/3 priced Sony A7!

Initial Opinion & Sample Images


The very first thing I notice when I pick up the Sony A6000 is that it feels great; I don’t feel like I’m playing with a toy / beginner camera.  The metal control dials and overall metal feel / look inspires confidence.

Check out the ISO / sharpness 100% crop samples below.  For those of you who might not be familiar with inspecting 100% crops and determining what is what, allow me to translate what you’re about to see into my own real-world assessment:  These images are going to be gorgeous up to ISO 1600 or 3200, or even 6400, depending on your own personal standards for grain.  They’re surprisingly comparable to the likes of the full-frame D610 and Sony A7, two current-generation full-frame sensors that share a 24 megapixel resolution spec.  (We’ll post comparison samples against the Sony A7 and the Canon 5D Mk3 in our final review!)

Long story short, in my opinion, this camera’s sensor gives me everything I absolutely demanded from my full-frame cameras just ~5 years ago, especially considering that was at 12 megapixels!  Sure, today’s full-frame cameras are better, but how much better? And is it worth the price / weight difference to you?

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Sony claims that their new Bionz X image processing is doing something extra special to the fine detail in these images, and I’d have to agree- despite not being AA-filter-less like the Nikon D7100 and Pentax K-3, the fine detail in these images is fantastic and I didn’t even have to use sharpening in this test!  (There is also no luminance noise reduction applied, by the way).


Yep, that is some pretty impressive detail at ISO 3200!

The one thing that some purist RAW shooters might argue about is Sony’s use of noise reduction in RAW images.  Most noise reduction is only applied to JPG images, of course, however debate always seems to surround Sony cameras regarding their use of NR (noise reduction) on RAW images too.

Sony claims that their new Bionz X processor can selectively reduce noise for shadowy or detail-less areas that might be out of focus, while preserving sharpness in areas of important detail.

RAW or JPG, all I know is that this sensor is delivering the goods in a way that is consistent with most other high-end cameras out there, even the full-frame ones that cost $3-6K. Great detail retention in well-exposed / bright areas, but slightly mushy as you progress towards shadows and black.

While we’re on the subject of image quality, however, I feel I should point out one caveat with the kit lens that ships with the Sony A6000 –  At 16mm, Sony is relying very heavily on software to correct for lens limitations.


On the left edge you can see the corrected, flawless corners with zero distortion and vignetting.  Thankfully this lens profile was offered by Adobe right away, because on the right portion of the image you can see the massive barrel distortion and annoying vignetting.  (Thankfully it’s not like you’re losing any of your original image, as the corrected view is also what you see in the viewfinder when shooting)

This might never be an issue if you shoot JPG and/or always use the RAW profile, of course.  And for the record, corner sharpness is really quite decent, especially if you stop down a little bit.

The Pros

Incredible Image Quality

Sony has been working on this particular 24 megapixel sensor for a while now.  I think we first saw this sensor, or another version, in late 2011 with the Sony A65 / A77, and then with the Nikon D3200 that came out in early 2012. Since then this sensor has found its way into numerous Nikon DSLRs including the D7100, D5300, and D3300 which also lack an AA filter, for extra sharpness. (Or you might say, for slightly less loss of detail when cramming 24 megapixels into a 1.5x crop sensor…)

You can check out our opinion on the Nikon D5300 here in this review.
We also were really impressed by the Pentax K-3, which you can see reviewed here.

Simply put, it is no surprise that this sensor is downright amazing.  As you can see from the examples, it comes very close to matching Nikon’s own recent adaptation, which is a pretty impressive feat considering the history Sony has with failing to match Nikon’s noise reduction / RAW conversion algorithms at high ISO’s, especially at 24 MP.  (cough) A900 vs D3X (cough).


It’s not just about having low noise at high ISO’s, of course.  The dynamic range from this 24 MP sensor is incredible, in fact, it’s hot on the heels of the current DR champion, the Nikon D800.  Shadows just keep going and going, especially at lower ISO’s, and highlights have great recovery too.

Color is very subjective, but suffice to say, I would consider this camera’s image quality  adequate for any professional job.  You might find that you prefer the colors from this or that camera, and in my opinion Sony could stand to improve the overall “oomph” of their colors and tonality, but like I said, that’s all very subjective and also very easy to improve in post-production.  Some people really like Canon colors, I personally prefer Nikon colors, so to each their own.  There are certainly going to be much more technical, quantitative reviews out there soon.

Simply put, unless you’re taking pictures of the milky way on a moonless night or trying to hand-hold at ISO 6400 or 12800 for dozens of weddings every year, …you’ll find it pretty hard to covet a full-frame sensor’s image quality.  (Disregarding differences of DOF and focal range options, of course!)

sony-a6000-review-sample-image-5 sony-a6000-review-sample-image-5-crop

Rest assured, the obligatory puppy shot is nice and sharp!

Amazing Autofocus Capability

I’ve been briefly playing around with mirrorless cameras since, well, when they first started appearing on the market! Each time I was moderately impressed by them, but when I’d get into a serious low-light situation they would begin to utterly fail at focusing.  Not as in, “hit-or-miss”, but as in “miss-or-miss-or-miss-or-miss-or…” Well, you get the idea.

Even some of the other very recent mirrorless cameras, such as the Panasonic GH3 and Olympus E-M1, seemed to start dropping the ball in low light quite a bit more than my pro DSLRs.

However, I’m not yet ready to say that I feel like the Sony A6000 is matching or beating traditional DSLR phase-detect autofocus in extremely low light.  (The latest Nikon and Canon flagships are rated to -3 EV, which I frequently find myself shooting in at weddings.  Basically, imagine trying to AF in less light than that of a full moon!)

I will reserve final judgment until I have taken the A6000 out on a few more jobs. However, even if my final verdict returns as “still slightly inferior to pro level phase-detect,” (which it certainly might), I will probably still deem the A6000’s AF to be a better choice for most photographers because whatever it might still lack in speed or low-light reliability, it definitely makes up for in customization and sheer versatility.  You can adjust the size of the AF points, (small, medium, large) and you can move them all over the viewfinder.  With most full-frame DSLRs, on the other hand, you can’t even reach the rule-of-thirds areas, or if you can it is with an inferior non-cross-type AF point!

Oh, and did I mention the awesome face-detection and focus tracking capabilities?  It works incredibly well, and it is also nice to have “marching ants” to help confirm manual focus. I must say I’m looking forward to the next generation of hybrid autofocus engines that we’ll hopefully see in ALL cameras soon.

By the way, forget flagship sports DSLRs, how does the autofocus in the Sony A6000 compare to a DSLR that is similarly priced?  In a word, OUCH. It beats the pants off my Nikon D5300, which is supposed to have a pretty good 39-point AF system and yet has been considerably un-reliable even despite being serviced / calibrated once by Nikon.  Maybe my D5300 is a slight lemon, or maybe it’s been bumped one too many times, but for now I’m inclined to say that for under $1,000-$1,500 you won’t find a better AF system than the Sony A6000 offers, period.

Strong Construction

I bought that Nikon D5300 I keep talking about because, to be honest, I was tired of lugging around huge pro cameras all the time. The only problem with this is, up until now pretty much every lightweight entry-level DSLR on the market is made almost entirely of plastic and lacks weather sealing.  (Except the Pentax’s!)  The latest generation of mirrorless cameras aimed at pros aspires to change all this, and the A6000 is no exception.  Metal dials, noticeable metal construction, and a solid feel overall are very welcome in such a lightweight package.


Compact Design

As I mentioned, having a camera that feels this robust in this small of a package has mostly been unheard of in the beginner / compact DSLR world.  You had to choose between either ruggedness, or compactness.  The A6000 definitely changes that, and it does so in a bigger way than its full-frame A7 siblings do.  (The A7S weighs about the same as a Nikon D610 / Df!)

I don’t really need a camera to be that much more compact than a beginner DSLR already is, of course; however with such space savings I would probably just wind up buying 2-3 of these tiny cameras for various professional purposes or timelapse photography.  (I could easily fit two of these A6000 bodies in the lens compartment of my 85mm f/1.8 in my rolling camera case!)

Decent Customizability

I was pleasantly surprised by the level of customizability that the A6000 offers.  Mainly, to be honest, simply because I’m just not used to cameras in this price range being so nicely adaptable for, let alone directly aimed at, professional users.  There were a handful of limitations, which I’ll get into next, but suffice it to say that I was able to customize the Sony A6000 in a way that allowed me to consider it usable in professional environments such as weddings or action sports.  And in my opinion, those are the two most challenging environments that you can find for camera testing, so that says a lot!  Most casual users will find the A6000 can be customized however they like, with only a few minor restrictions.

The Cons

Battery Life

Yep, battery life on mirrorless cameras is annoyingly short.  This is no surprise.  To be honest, I can’t really compare the A6000’s battery life very specifically against other mirrorless cameras out there. They’re all pretty sad and I wouldn’t recommend buying one mirrorless camera over another unless the battery life is significantly different.  As far as I’m concerned, they could all stand to be dramatically improved by some sort of new technology, or hey, why not just a larger battery?  I’d be fine with a slightly larger grip to contain a slightly larger battery.

Slight Lag Times Here And There

For all the speed that the A6000 boasts, a few basic operations are annoyingly slow.  Mainly, zooming in to 100% takes ~1-2 seconds which is a major buzz kill when shooting in extremely active situations.  Scrolling from image to image while zoomed in to 100% also takes an extra second or more, compared to the Nikon DSLRs that I’m used to.

There’s also a fraction of a second that you have to wait when switching back and forth between the viewfinder and the rear display.

I don’t really mind the on/off delay, surprisingly, even though it’s there, however others might, and all of this adds up to me being just a little bit frustrated when using the camera in really active conditions.  It wouldn’t be a deal-breaker, I’m sure I could get used to it, but then again I have to wonder if Sony and other mirrorless cameras won’t overcome these lag times within a generation or two, which would make me feel silly.  Simply put, I dislike adopting new technology that I don’t think is perfected yet.

Customizability Limitations

Customizability and general functionality is another area where I feel that the A6000 is brilliantly designed, and yet annoyingly limited at the same time.  Other reviewers / testers talk about how the A6000 is a step forward compared to previous Sony NEX and similar mirrorless cameras, and for that I am grateful.  However, this is definitely not the best Sony can do.

The best way I can describe how I feel about the A6000 would be this realization I had while I was shooting with it: “Wow, this camera is awesome, but dang, it sure goes to show what Canon and Nikon can do with over a half-century of camera design wisdom!”

That pretty much sums it up.  I feel like Sony is going full speed with these new cameras, and they simply have to in order to catch up with the perfection that we’re used to with our Canons / Nikons.  Well, you know what I mean.  If Nikon and Canon were to make their own A6000 tomorrow, it would probably feel PERFECT to me, and have every feature, customization, and interface nuance that I love.  Sony, on the other hand, is still a generation or two away from offering exactly the style of functionality that allows me to really make a camera “sing.”

It is hard to put a finger on exact functions that feel limited, though.  But for example I can only switch the aperture / shutter duties of the two control dials in a very simple 2-option manner, I cannot change the “+/-” direction like I can on my Nikon, let alone the massive level of dial customizability that the Pentax K-3 offers.

I also cannot customize the individual buttons perfectly enough; for example, I’d really like to be able to move my AF point around without having to first hit a focus point selection button, (twice) and I would love to be able to turn OFF the use of command dials in moving focus points around.

And so on and so forth.  If you personally have your own little customization preferences that are deal-breakers for you, please feel free to comment below and I’ll see if I can advise you in greater detail!


The A6000 Versus DSLRs

Precious few of the advantages offered by a DSLR over a mirrorless camera will be found in the l0w-end beginner DSLRs of today.  You get an optical viewfinder, and the familiarity of certain functions that come with it.  However, I gotta be honest, if I were just now getting into photography today, and possibly considering a camera in this price range within the next 12 months, the desirability of beginner DSLRs would be near-zero for me at this point.

In the mid-range however, it becomes tricky.  As a hobbyist photographer shooting your kids’ sports games / gymnastics practice, or animals at the local wildlife sanctuary, …would you rather have a Canon 7D, or the Sony A6000?  The A6000 has a blazing 12 FPS frame rate and a pretty sizable buffer, killer AF, a great viewfinder with basically zero general shooting lag.  The Canon 7D, on the other hand, has access to innumerable lenses that are very well-suited for such types of action photography.  And to be quite honest, for action sports I prefer a sizable camera that I can really wrap my fingers around comfortably for hours on end.

Flagship DSLRs, of course, are simply on a different plane compared to a ~$700 mirrorless camera.  So the Nikon D4s and Canon 1DX aren’t worried at all, yet.  However it seems clear to me that it won’t be long before the A6000’s style of hybrid autofocus is ready to revolutionize even the flagship sports camera market.  If I were a pro sports photog, I’d buy an A6000 now as a walk-around camera just to familiarize myself with the style of shooting in my spare time!

Who Should Buy The A6000?

Considering that all my cons really only pertain to shooters who are conscious of high-speed functionality and complex / obscure customizability, I’d say that any casual shooter and even most pros would do well to buy the A6000.  It is the epitome of advanced control and incredible image quality in an affordable, compact, robust package.

I would give more weight to the cons I mentioned earlier, but I feel that many of them are simply due to an “old dog learning new tricks” type of situation with me and my familiarity with existing DSLR systems, plus a little bit of severe OCD with respect to camera customization.

Travel photographers, adventure photographers, and landscape etc. photographers will probably love the A6000, especially with incredible wide angle lenses becoming available for the system such as the Rokinon 12mm f/2 and 10mm f/2.8.

You might also consider the Olympus E-M1 if you want something equally compact yet even more robust and weather sealed.  You might consider the Panasonic GH3 / GH4 if you want something that offers a very promising video platform that will probably be more widely supported for cinema.

Of course, it goes without saying, you might also consider the Sony A7 and A7R if you decide you just gotta have that extra bit of full-frame image quality or the lens / depth of field advantages.


The Jury Is Still Out
So Close, And Yet So Far

If I had to rate the Sony A6000 right now, I’d probably give it 4/5 stars.  I’ll admit, it has everything going for it and really deserves 5/5 stars for most types of photographers who are just getting into photography and/or may have never even known what a traditional SLR camera was like to operate.  However I still get that “I know what I’m missing” feeling a little too much for me to personally give it more than 4/5 stars.  Too many things could be dramatically improved with just a little firmware update, or increased (software-based) customizability.

This therefore gives me a lot of hope for the future.  Considering that the Sony A6000 costs less than the Nikon D5300, and 1/3 of the cost of a Sony A7, I’d say that for anyone interested, this camera is a winner.

We’re looking forward to taking this camera out into the desert for some night photography in the next week or so, and we’ll post our final verdict as soon as we can!
Take care,

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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Alex Robles

    I have a question, i want to uprgrade my nikon d40, this two cameras (the a6000 vs the d5300) are my best selections, or mayba the a5100, which camera you recomended fo my, im not a pro, i love the phography, i have 6or more years taking photos, but i want more, in the range o price the d5300 and the a6000. Are in the range, buy i want the best image quiality, better iso, and better video experience, for you whats its the winner.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Alex, I think the A6000 is a great camera for almost any type of photography, and if you are on a budget there is probably no better camera in such a size / weight package.

      The only thing to consider is, if you have enough money to spend, a replacement to the A6000 might be on the horizon, and it might have features similar to what its full-frame brothers are getting: in-body stabilization, weather sealing, and improved autofocus. For me, it’d be worth waiting 2-4 months to see what happens before making a decision.

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  2. Priscilla Del Valle

    Absolutely loved this post! Thank you for your input!

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    The cropped photo of the dogs nose. The Exif info reads Nikon D5300 and ISO 100???? Where you claim it to be the A6000 at ISO 3200! Explain this or remove this atrocious article misinforming people.

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  4. Neil

    …also, wanted to add an issue for you to look at: the EXIF on your crops for the A6000 in the article shows the D5300 rather than the A6000…could they be the wrong images?

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    • Matthew Saville


      When we create the overlays for images like this, we just stack them all together in one big PSD so whatever EXIF you might see is just from the base file that was first opened in PS. Sorry for the confusion!


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  5. Neil

    Thank you for this review.

    I currently have the A6000, the D7000, the D7100, the D600, and the RX100. (And have had a long line of Nikons and Canons before that). The RX100 was a gateway drug to Sony/Zeiss glass. Any review of the A6000 should have a look at the Zeiss glass (including the Zeiss designed, Sony manufactured glass). The 16-70 F4 is a wonderful lens, as good, if not better than my more expensive Nikon 24-70 F2.8 (except for the 2.8 part). Yet it’s much smaller and has IS. I did head to head test shots of the D7100/D600/A6000 at 46mm. The Sony/Zeiss lens was sharper corner to corner. The Nikon D7100 and A6000 were neck and neck in noise/grain through ISO 25600. The D7100 had a very slight edge though. The D600 had a significant edge. There’s no comparison. The RX100 did well, but was 1 to 1.5 stops worse in noise control.

    The other reason I bought the A6000 was the high ratings of the Sony 10-18mm lens by Trey Radcliffe. That and the 24-70 range are my sweet spots for landscapes. Having a more compact hiking kit, without a significant loss of image IQ is what sold me on the Sony. Ta

    Where the D600 blows them all away is the following test. I shot a vase with a dimly lit light source at ISO 100. I used 1/40th at F4, if I recall. The image is black as shot. Then I raised the exposure of each RAW image in LR 5 stops. The D600 image was as good as a properly exposed image with excellent noise control. The D7100 was second best, but pretty bad. There was banding like strips of noise throughout the image. The A6000 was a bit worse with bad color /white balance (green), and lots of noise. That unfortunately has been my disappointment with the D7100…it’s not nearly as good as the D600 or the D7000 when it comes to shadow recovery. And the reason? One reason is that it ISN’T a Sony made sensor like the D7000 or D600. The sensor is made by Toshiba (correction on your article). Unfortunately, at least in this extreme test case, the Sony A6000 doesn’t fare any better. But I have yet to do “real world” use testing of shadow recovery (partly because I won’t take the camera out in the world until I can protect the LCD from getting scratched…and the LCD protectors are not available yet from B&H or elsewhere). I finally broke down and ordered the NEX-6 protector, which I will need to install upside down to fit the A6000.

    In short, I also conclude that the A6000 seems like a keeper–but strongly disagree that it’s “almost as good” as the D600. Shadow recovery is an important aspect, as is noise. Even if you don’t pixel peep, noise affects you if you do any processing of the image (especially with filters like Nik Color Efex). I’m not big on noise reduction — I like to avoid it whenever I can to avoid loss of detail. And don’t use JPEG ever on my Nikons, though I do occasionally on my RX100. Mainly when it forces me too, if I use a mode that doesn’t support RAW. I don’t think you can use Sony JPEGs for anything with high ISO though….they are really bad in my opinion, at least when viewed large. For 1000 pixels and below, sure. But at that size, sharpness isn’t that important either!

    The A6000 may replace my D7100, but it wont’ replace my D600. I’m not even sure it can replace the RX100, even with the Zeiss 16-70. The quality on the RX100 at base ISO through maybe 400 is really exceptional. I think it comes from the marriage (and tuning) of a single lens to the sensor. Higher ISOs and the A6000 would win.

    So if you find the lenses you need–for me the 10-18 and 24-70 for my landscape work–it’s perfect for hiking and travel. There doesn’t seem to be a high quality compact telephoto lens to rival one for a dSLR, however, and there may never be. I hope Sony or Zeiss takes this on as a challenge and makes one. It can be F4. But it has to be sharp corner to corner. Using a lens for a FE camera isn’t likely to be a solution…the FE 70-200mm looks pretty big. I’d like to see one the size of the 18-200, but rivaling the Nikon 70-200 F2.8 in IQ. Unfortunately, I suspect Sony’s efforts will mainly be in the FE camp now. I also wish Sony were a bit more like Fuji…and showed us that they can improve the existing line up with software upgrades, rather than just releasing a new camera. Fuji is impressive in this regard.

    Which brings me to one final software comment. The Wifi implementation of the A6000. What’s up with that? I’m not at all impressed with the remote control software. You can see what the camera sees, but all you can do is press the shutter remotely. There are no other settings. Compare that to Fuji’s wifi (check out any online demo/review). And the only implementation I’ve found to grab shots from the camera remotely is the add on software that sits memory resident and loads the photos to your tablet as soon as you turn off the camera. Every time, even if the tablet/phone is not available. That’s weird programming. I can’t seem to get NFC to do anything, but that’s how I thought it would work–touch the tablet to the camera, and automatically transfer the new images.

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    • Holger Foysi

      The FF sensor in the D600/610 is of course about a stop better than that of the A6000, I second this observation. One thing to keep in mind is, that it is difficult to compare a 24-70/2.8 to the 16-70/4. They are not equivalent (in terms of DOF, AOV and total light you would need to use a 24-105/f6 lens on FF). But one advantage of mirrorless in my opinion is the contrast based AF with zooms. On DSLRs I fine-tune my lenses (mostly primes) and get excellent results. Most zoom lenses, however, cannot be tuned for the full zoom range. So I’m either optimizing for the long or short end (Canon has two control points, Nikon just one). Not so much a problem with mirrorless. I think the A6000 offers an extremely competitive package (esp. in price) with a great sensor, especially for landscape work with lenses like your cited 10-18. My mirrorlesss is the XT1, but it “only” sports 16MP and one has to deal with workflow issues (smearing of fine detail, very large file size). For needing tracking DSLR is still the way to go in my opinion. For still work the A6000 is a bargain.

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  6. Robert Freund

    Thanks for you clear and understandable review. For the past 12 years I have been trapped in the Canon G and S series because sizehas been very important. Your test images were perfect for me since I document Mexico’s indigenous textiles. Not being familiar with DSLR cameras but have read a lot, I think your review has help me lock in on the A6000. After I fool around with the controls a bit , I might find that there are things missing, however low light situations have been a real problem and now macro images are going to start to be important, Gulp …. enter the lenses conundrum… but to get started this look like a good fit for me. Got any thought on Sony’s E mount macro lense?
    my most difficult situations -1. low light spontaneous shots
    2. Macro
    3. zoom
    4. cropping low res images for the web study.
    prior cameras – s45, s80, G9, s100 onward and upward. Don’t like the idea of learning a new system but Canon just has not made a camera that I think will fit my expanded need in the right price range.

    note the flask look a bit slow.

    Thank you

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  7. Jeff


    I’m a A6000 owner and the body is plastic (not metal). The right dial is metal but the mode dial is plastic.

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    • Matthew Saville


      Yes I saw on the specs that some / most of the body was plastic, however it still feels / looks metal to me, and “key parts” are metal. So like I said in the review, this ain’t no Olympus E-M1, but it sure does feel more pro / solid than any beginner DSLR that costs the same amount, or even more.


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    • Ian Phillips

      The top and back plate is magnesium alloy the only plastic part on the casing is the front plate with APS-C on it. I know because I have scratch mine. Also both mode wheels are metal. If you look at the camera from underneath you can see the dull plastic from the painted metal parts. I sold my pentax k511s after I got this. It does everything better, and the images are sharper. Autofocus is so much better that it’s not comparable.

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  8. Chris

    I’m on my way to pick one up as I type this. I’m finding that after years of DSLRs from Canon and Sony, shooting mainly art, my need for a meriad of lens options never really existed, and I think that’s an easy trap to fall into particularly if you’re new. Realistically, at least in my case, I find myself using regularly only 2-3 lenses. Apart from that, foot slogging through street after street carrying 20-30 lbs on my back has been tiring to say the least. I for one am looking forward to a much needed simplification and I think that’s one of the major benefits of the mirrorless class. In the end it’s how you use what you have that matters most, at least in my field. I appreciate your perspective. It’s a daunting task to compare to virtually everything out there.

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  9. Benji

    You mentioned you were able to set up the camera to your liking for wedding shooting and for action sports — could you elaborate a bit on what key settings you found most applicable to those situations?

    Thank you for the review.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Being able to easily control my AF points. (System is perfect, but not close)

      AF being actually reliable, if not superior to my current pro cameras in certain situations.

      Being able to customize numerous different buttons so that I can put ISO, WB, metering, AF point control, and 100% zooming practically anywhere I want on the camera. (For example, I customized the control pad’s center button to control AF zone, so just a double-tap on that button and I can move my AF point around. Or, a single tap on the AEL button allows me to switch to manual focus.

      Being able to customize every item in the “quick menu” that pops up when you hit the FN button.

      All in all, this equals me never having to go into an actual MENU while I’m shooting.


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  10. Chris

    Same as Chester, I have been thinking about going mirror less for sometime and am torn between sony and Fuji systems, a6000 or X-T1…thoughts?

    Thanks for the review – very useful.

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  11. Bunny

    May I know what lens you used for this? They look pretty darn sharp!

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    • Matthew Saville

      This review was done (so far) with the 16-50 kit lens that ships with the A6000. It’s f/3.5-5.6 which is kind of a bummer, but then again it’s so small that you can’t really complain!

      I’ll be looking to get another lens or two for additional testing, hopefully.


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  12. Chester

    HI Matt,

    I have been toying with the idea of going mirrorless for a while, and thinking about the Fuji X-T1. Since you mentioned the Olympus E-M1, I wondered if you had any insight as to how the Sony A6000 compares to the X-T1.
    Also, what do you think of the range of lenses for the Sony currently?

    Thanks for the review.


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    • Matthew Saville

      Chester, I hear that the lineup of lenses for the Fuji system is very formidable, and that the Sony E system is currently kinda lacking. However as long as the 1-2 favorite lenses you’d usually use are available, I wouldn’t worry about it because both systems will probably be getting many many new lenses in the coming months / years.

      I think the X-T1, from what I’ve heard, is also a formidable camera although maybe a little larger. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, in fact for some it’s a very good thing.

      Honestly for me it always seems to come down to the fine details of a camera’s operation that make me prefer one camera over another. And this is so subjective, I would highly recommend that you handle both cameras before buying. However if this is not possible, itemize the things you currently enjoy about your own existing camera experience, and see what people say about those things on the two respective cameras.

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  13. dstilio

    I really cannot understand how you refer to customization of a6000 as an area that is not fulfilling your expectations, while at the same time you have Nikon’s d5300. The ergonomics and customization of d5300 are the worst someone can find. You are at least 2-3 clicks away from every setting, and that if you are lucky. And so few buttons to customize. And don’t let me start talking about video…Nikon has no idea what video means. Only the sensor implementation saves Nikon.

    my only problem with Sony is that the great AF-c ability at 11fps aiming to sports, seems to work properly with only few lenses with fast motor.

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    • Matthew Saville

      DSTILIO, I do indeed find the D5300 to be far inferior to the A6000, make no mistake. However I am trying to compare the A6000 to an entire range of other cameras.

      In other words, I have no illusions about the D5300 (or any DSLR at its price) someday replacing my flagship DSLR, so I don’t compare it to that standard. However the A6000 (or its successsors) actually stands a chance at beating the likes of the D610, or even the D800 / 5D mk3, with just a few improvements. Improvements that are very likely to show up in the very next model camera, and I feel that potential buyers should jeep this in mind. So like I said in the review, if youre just gettig into ohotography, or looking to replace a rebel or other beginner DSLR like the Nikon 3K or 5K series, then yeah you’re good to go with this camera. However if you’re like me and you’re waiting for the day when you no longer need even a pro DSLR for heavy duty work, then that day may not have come just yet.

      Does this make sense?

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    • HF

      Mr Saville: DXOMark tested the sensor, it isn’t much better than the Nex7 and on par/slighltly inferior to the D7100. From the numerous reviews I doubt it to have better continuous autofocus than the D7100 either. Image quality wise, the D610 should be much better at low light, too, the Canon 6D is even stronger at high ISOs. And the next generation of A600X needs to compete with successors of a D7100 or 7D or D610…, may be even mirrorless, too.
      The future will probably be mirrorless, but as an owner of an EM1, XT1 and D610, it still takes a while.

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