Before we even get started with this Sony A6000 review, let’s sum it up already. It’s the best camera ever for the price if you are looking for amazing pictures. The longer version? It’s the best deal and camera ever, but most people shouldn’t get it.
Sounds stupid? Well, as you will read, you will find out why.
But no, this isn’t a scientific post. We write about things that help people. We provide things people really care about in reviews. If you want some data, exit now.
Otherwise, enjoy the read.
The Best Pictures on a Camera for Under $500/€450 Except It’s Better Than Most Cameras up to $1000
You take this camera out of the box. Just take a picture. You will automatically be amazed by how it looks even if it’s not manually adjusted. That was not the case when I tried the Nikon D5300 or the Olympus Pen-F which starts at $999. In fact, we hated the Olympus Pen-F when we got it at first. Sony a6000 is a camera we loved out of the box. And when a camera takes amazing pictures right out of the box, then imagine what you can do when you know what you are doing.
It comes with a 24.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor which is the sweet spot for images providing just enough pixels so that you can comfortably crop pictures without losing much quality while at the same time also not taking too much space to a point where you are running out of storage too often.
Sony a6000 is just an all around great camera for casual pictures as well as something more professional. And whether it’s you at the beach during the day or just posing at night, this camera is able to handle it without any problems at all.
We always mention that it’s not the picture that matter by itself but the edits as terrible pictures can be turned into something great if you have the right knowledge which is why we are letting both edited and unedited photography do the talking.
See the water difference? Do you actually think the water looks so great all over the planet? Please…
However, I will say, that the actual color of the water was somewhat in between the first and the second.
Instead of talking about how great the pictures taken on this camera can look, judge them yourself!
You Can’t Take Too Many Pictures Though
This is one of the most annoying things about this Sony a6000 just like a lot of Sony camera’s suck when it comes to battery. The A6000 is the most pathetic camera I ever used when it comes to battery life.
You are crazy to only have one battery regardless of your camera, but if you forget spare batteries with a Sony, you are screwed. You need at least 3 to last about half a day of adventures.
We do have a tip to increase battery life. Put your camera on airplane mode. It does wonders.
Either way, invest in batteries as you will be angry otherwise.
Especially if you plan on shooting videos.
The Size Justifies It…
Well, actually it doesn’t. Olympus provides batteries that can often last a full day while providing the same size. Sony failed on the optimization part.
But this Sony a6000? It’s a great size. It just fits everywhere. See, when it comes to the best cameras, it’s between mirrorless and DSLR. They always said that DSLR’s were the better choice, but that is not the case these days. Mirrorless cameras are smaller but also provide much better video and have features like an electronic viewfinder that allows you to see the picture that’s going to be taken before it’s taken. Something a DSLR can’t do.
The camera itself is not too small that it would make you feel like you are not serious but it’s also not big enough not to be accepted into a stadium or such.
It Isn’t Fully Manual
I honestly don’t get the whole notion of needing to have a fully manual camera if one is to call it professional.
Does it hurt to have it? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
In fact, it makes your life easier which is why I love it. Of course, manual settings will get you a much better shot but what if you are traveling and want to get a quick shot with your partner and ask somebody to take it for you? Automatic works so much better then. Especially when most people tend to take one picture thinking it’s enough.
Even if you are a professional, not every picture you take will be for professional use. Sometimes you just need a quick shot right away without adjusting, and autofocus is how you do it.
Oh, and unlike on the Olympus, the menus are also extremely easy to use!
Autofocus Is on Point
Sony destroys everybody with autofocus. Especially Nikon who delivers around 51-AF points on their D810 which is almost four times more expensive than the A6000. (Should we review the Nikon D810?) The a6000 has 179 AF points. And that makes a tremendous difference as sometimes you have just a second to get the right shot, and that’s when the AF needs to be on point. And it is with Sony!
The Screen Is a Nightmare
This is how we know Sony doesn’t read feedback. The screen has been a massive complaint by owners of the a6000 and even newer models for years. Why? Well, firstly, the actual screen itself isn’t bad, and there is a viewfinder there which does make life easier, especially with plenty of sunlight, but, the big problem is how far the screen can move.
When it comes to photography and videography, being able to move your screen is crucial if you want to get that perfect shot at a certain angle. To give some credit to Sony, they do provide some rotation on the screen, which Nikon fail on in most of their models, but, it doesn’t rotate to a point where you can see yourself, and that is a big loss, and one of the reasons not to get it. If you are planning on vlogging or using this camera for selfies, this is not the one, and well, none of Sony’s cameras are.
It Can Take Great Videos
But You Shouldn’t Get This Camera If You Want to Take Videos…
If done right this Sony A6000 can take fantastic videos with high bit rate like the video above showed.
Getting it right is the problem. I have several terabytes of footage taken with this camera, and most of that footage is useless even with heavy editing due to the lack of stabilization this Sony a6000 offers. If you want to take videos, this is not the camera for you. However, the a6300 and a6500 both offer stabilization so if you like what this camera offers, look into those too. They are pretty much the same but much better, but also more expensive of course.
Have a look at this video. This is how shaky it can get. And we didn’t show the worst clips either.
And while wrap stabilizer in Adobe Premiere is great, this is not enough as any little movement is noticeable and if you want to do some smooth moving action, forget about it.
Of course, most cameras aren’t perfect with stabilization, and you should look into a gimbal but, there’s a massive difference between this camera and competition. We strongly recommend you go for the more expensive Sony A6500 instead.
But Even If You Can Manage Stable Footage, the Microphone Is the Bigger Issue
This microphone picks up everything first, and you last. Cars, wind, a dishwasher, a spoon, it’s really bad. Like really really bad to the point that some footage becomes unusable.
“But can you not get a microphone for it?” That’s the problem. This camera does not have a microphone input. I found this out painfully when interviewing Martin Garrix.
I love the quality of the video on the camera, and if I can get stable footage, it’s amazing, but the microphone, well, there’s nothing that can be done other than buying an external one really, if you want great quality.
Rode SmartLav+ is our recommendation. It’s affordable, works with phones, and does the job. Not as great as getting an external microphone that connects to a camera directly in terms of quality and also as far as having to sync audio, later on, is concerned, but it’s a great alternative.
To Conclude This Sony a6000 Review – It’s the Best Camera Most People Shouldn’t Get
If you aren’t shooting any videos, get it. If you are, do not. In the long term, it’s just not worth it in terms of all the extra editing you will need to do. Get the a6300 or a6500 instead. They have stabilization and a port for a microphone. The only problem is that those cost a lot damn more. So much more than you would prefer to stick with this one.
If you are looking just for pictures, get this camera and then invest in the Sony E 50mm 1.8 lens. Most of the pictures in this review were taken with that lens, and the lens is just incredible. It makes the kit lens look like pictures from a phone.
But if you are looking for videos and get one of the more expensive versions, still get this lens, as this lens is just overall the must have lens when getting a Sony camera!
And apart from the video, things like the battery suck and the lack of rotation in the screen is pretty annoying. The camera does often also overheat with warmer temperatures and when shooting videos. But yet, it’s that one camera that would be recommended if getting a camera on a budget, and rightly so. It’s the best out there for up to $1000, and it doesn’t even cost $500. It’s the best camera most people shouldn’t get.