Sony Mirrorless Pro

Sony Mirrorless Pro®

Sony a6000 Review: A Perfect Professional's Camera?

Sony a6000 Review – A Pro’s Perspective

This guest post is by Alex Waetzel, a photographer in Germany who blogs on his Passport and Lenses website. Visit is site for more of his great writing and photography. This a6000 Review  has been edited for Sony Mirrorless Pro.

Photographic Background

Until July of 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.

Sigma: The wait is over. Shop e-mount primes.

In the middle of the year I did some planning for upcoming trips that would take me across the globe. This reminded me of my last trip to Thailand in late 2013 where I was lugging around my Think Tank messenger bag loaded with two Nikon full frame DSLRs and three lenses with one of them being a 70-200/2.8—and reminded me of the accompanying pain in my back at the end of the day.

With 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 slowly building up in my mind, I decided to dive head-on into the mirrorless world.

I shot this from the millennium bridge, handheld at 1/5th of a second. Seems like the 35mm's OSS is working quite good. London, GB

The a6000's high dynamic range making it easy to capture high-contrast scenes, leaving a lot of headroom at recovering highlight and shadows in post! Genoa, Italy

At first I was taking a look at the low-budget offerings from Fuji (XE-1) and Olympus (OMD  EM10). I was quite impressed what Olympus can deliver with the tiny sensor cramped into an even tinier body after just 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 send me the camera with two lenses to take a look. Overall this camera is able to pack quite a punch into a tiny package but it didn’t convince me after all because the body is too small body and has 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 as an impulse and never regretted it for a second!

Features and Build

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 miss all the available information on mirrorless when switching 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 sensor’s surface. It is capable of shooting up 11 frames per second—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.

The camera handles quite nicely even with bigger hands. I'm using it with the optional half leather case which is increasing it's heigth for about 5mm, making it even more comfortable to hold.

The front is exceptionally sleep apart from the shutter button, one customizable one and the dials on the top-plate.

All the controls you need for operating the camera and making your way through the crowded yet organized menu.

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 about the AF-System as it’s actually quite amazing. Whether you’re using SingleShot mode with a selective focuspoint (you can choose between three sizes) or continuous Af with zone focusing, it never lets you down. The camera locks on subjects 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.

Image Quality

Truth to be told this camera is great to use. It has a great AF system, it captures 11 frames per second, it has WiFi and a host of other features but where it  shines and stands out is in image quality.

When going through the files and tweaking them in my usual Lightroom workflow I forgot I was using $600 APS-C camera. Dynamic range and ISO performance is just great and did not make me miss a full frame sensor for a second. With the right glass in front of the camera it can deliver stellar sharpness. Sure there is some grain above ISO 320,0 buts it’s pleasant and I rarely shoot above that.

Just a quick show off from a shot i did lately. Highlight and shadow recovery is certainly not a problem even you totally messed up your exposure.

A picture from a personal shoot i did a few weeks back. I attached my Nikon AFS 1.8/50mm with an adapter to it. It took a while to get used to manual focusing but with the peaking i was able to get most of the pictures tack sharp. And retouching the files was also pretty amazing because of the versatility of the RAW-files.

Another shot from a personal shoot i did it in London. I had my D600 on my back but took the sony instead. I think that speaks for itself ;)

Conclusion

The camera has become my daily companion over the last several months. Its size and weight make it the perfect camera to throw in your bag and take with you wherever you go.

I shoot quite a lot of pictures for my stock agency with it and even use it for some of my personal portfolio work. It came quite close to becoming 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 that 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.

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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My daily shooter is Sony a9 with a vertical grip and various Sigma lenses attached like the 14mm 1.4 Art. Find more gear recommendations in our shop. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.