On release a successor to the previously range-topping Sony NEX-7, the A6000 is the marginally bigger brother to the A5000, with the bonus here being an eye-level electronic viewfinder.
Also enticing is its autofocus response of just 0.06 seconds, thanks to the inclusion of a BIONZ X processor, as found in pricier Sony models. Like the A5100, the performance of the A6000 benefits from a massive 179 phase-detect AF points, albeit here married with 25 contrast-detection AF points, thereby delivering a best-of-both-worlds hybrid system.
Suitable for street photography, a weekend break or an extended period of travelling – and not forgetting videography – the eye-level viewfinder, plus the tilting LCD below it, will hold appeal to traditionalists. Furthermore, if you opt to purchase the A6000 with Sony's 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Power Zoom lens, then the combination remains compact enough to squeeze into a jacket pocket or small bag.
Unsurprisingly, the blocky, almost industrial-looking A6000 includes NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity for sharing pictures and video on the go. At its heart sits an APS-C-sized sensor, as found in many larger DSLR cameras, whilst the fact that it offers a sensitivity equivalent to ISO 25,600 means it's a great option for shooting handheld in lower light.
A comfortably rounded handgrip provides space for three fingers, while there are sufficient knobs and nodules on the A6000 to satisfy those enthusiasts who do literally want to get hands on with their image creation. We also get buttons for adjusting ISO sensitivity on the fly and locking auto exposure – the kind of controls we’d otherwise expect to find on a DSLR. A battery life of a maximum 360 shots from a full charge feels par for the course for this class of camera.
Whilst we do get a tilting LCD screen here, what it’s not is a touch screen. Such an omission surprises on a model that otherwise would seem to have everything convenience and creativity would desire. Also, since the A6000 shoots 3:2 ratio images as its default setting, this is reflected in a slightly narrower screen than the regulation 4:3 digital image option.
Given its maker’s expertise in camera sensors, results are inevitably pleasing; detail is maintained into the corners of the frame and colours straight out of the camera are impressive too, being warm without being unrealistically so. This is a reliable performer for the enthusiast market that should stay the course.
Sony A6000 Key Specs:
Undoubtedly one of the most fully-featured mirrorless cameras at this price point
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.3MP | Lens mount: Sony E-mount | Screen: 3-inch tilting, 921,600 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic, 0.39-inch, 1,440,000 dots | Max burst speed: 11fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Enthusiast