Hi, guys this is Alex with a little story or you may even call it a review about my newly acquired Sony a6000. It’s the first one i ever attempted so let me know afterwards in the comments sections if you like it or not. Please also tell me if I forgot any major point about the cam or if you got any questions about it.
Until july this year i was a true DSLR lover and user. I never bothered with anything else but a old trusty camera with a flipping mirror inside! In the middle of the year i did some planning for upcoming trips that would take me right across the globe, reminding me of my Last Trip to Thailand in late 2013 where I was hugging around my ThinkTank messenger bag loaded with 2 Nikon fullframe DSLRs and 3 lenses with one of them being a 70-200/2.8 (that’s what happens when your girl is a photographer as well and doesn’t want to carry her heavy gear by herself;)) and the accompanying pain in my back at the end of the day.
Around this the idea of having a small, compact yet powerful set-up to take with me to varying trips to London, Spain, Thailand and finally Cape Town was slowly building up in my mind. So I decided to dive head-on into the mirrorless world.
At first I was taking a look at the low-budget offerings from Fuji (XE-1) and Olympus (OMD EM10) leaving me quite impressed what Olympus can deliver with the tiny sensor cramped into an even tinier body after a few minutes of fiddling around in front of my local camera store (www.fotohaus-klinger.de).
So I decided to give the Olympus a chance and they were kind enough to sent me the camera with 2 lenses to take a look. Overall this camera is able to pack quite a punch into a tiny package but it didn’t convince after all because of it’s too small body and the sluggish autofocus performance! I sent it back and came across the Sony a6000 which was quite new at that time. I ordered it via Amazon in quite an impulse and never regretted it for a second!
General & Built
You can find the exact specs somewhere around the internet so I make this a quick rundown of the camera’s important aspects. Overall it’s a rangefinder style mirrorless camera with EVF located on the left-hand backside, right above the tilting display! Event though it’s not the highest resolution EVF on the market it does the job and it made me missing all the available information when getting back to a DSLR. It houses a 24 MP sensor with on sensor phase detection AF with an incredible amount of Focus points covering nearly all of the sensors surface. It is capable of shooting up 11 frames per second even though it takes quite a while until all these files have cleared the buffer making the camera lock up pretty quick. Overall the design of the Sony a6000 can be described as streamlined, almost featureless at the front and lots of dials and buttons at the back. All of these buttons are fitted on the right hand side around the comfortable rubber thumbrest so operating the camera single handed comes at ease. The grip protruding at the front is massive for the camera’s overall size which makes it very comfortable to hold even over longer periods of time.
In general using this camera is quite easy even though not as intuitive as a DSLR. It is indeed very technical with all the stuff you can do and a high level of customization. But Once you get used to it, it lets you navigate through the menu system in a breeze configuring the camera to your special shooting needs!
A few more words to the AF-System, it’s actually quite amazing. Wether you’re using SingleShot mode with a selective focuspoint (you can choose between 3 sizes) or continues Af with zone focusing it never lets you down, locking on your subject almost instantly without any hunting. In low light you need a bit more patience since it can take a moment or two until the camera sets focus, but it always does and it’s mostly accurate. That being said I photographed a Christmas party at ISO 10000 and overall got all the shots I wanted. And please show me a DSLR that focuses without any hesitation in a room lit mostly by candles 😉
Truth to be told this camera is great to use, it got a great af system, it does 11 pics per second, it got wifi and a host of other stuff but where it really shines and stands out is in image quality. When going through the files and tweaking them in my usual Lightroom workflow I tend to forgot I deal with a 550,- € Cropsensor camera’s files. Dynamic range and ISO performance is just great and did not make me miss a ff sensor for a second. With the right glass in front of the camera it can deliver also stellar sharpness. Sure you got some grain above ISO 3200 buts its pleasant and i rarely shoot above that.
The camera has become my daily companion over the last several months. It’s size and weight making it the perfect camera to throw in your bag and take with you wherever you go. I shot quite a lot of pictures for my stock agency with it and even used it for some of my personal portfolio work. It came quite close to become my main camera, making me leave my Nikon D600 at home on more than one occasion. It packs a bunch of useful features and the amazing IQ in a affordable body backed by good quality lenses which won’t stretch your budget too much.
For me it’s also the perfect travel camera, letting you share your shots on Instagram or Facebook in an instant using the wifi functionality.
It even made me switch systems, ditching my D600 for a Sony a7 in the coming days.
So all in all this camera performs remarkably well in every area making it quite a winner for amateurs and enthusiasts alike aswell as pros looking for a more portable solution to back up their main shooting setup!
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