Sony A6000 review
Sony A6000 review part 1
I’ve been out shooting today for my Sony A6000 review. The supplied Sony 16-50mm lens unfortunately failed this morning.. I did some testing with it yesterday, mainly AF tests and this combo was fast.
Quick Overview and remarks
The quality of the lens itself was so-so (as expected). I’ll be shooting with a SEL2470z tomorrow, so I’ll post a new review on AF then. So today I was ‘stuck’ with my SAL2470z and LAEA3 converter. The AF with this combo is quite slow, takes a second or 2, (it does not use the PDAF) but still useable for stills.
Lightroom does not currently support the Sony A6000, I had to convert in Image Data Converter, export as TIFF and then import into Adobe Lightroom. I adjusted the files to my taste, just to check the quality of the RAW images.
The RAW files are very decent, with lots of detail, even at 100% crop. They are not as flexible as the Sony A7r RAW files in regards to shadow and highlight, but this is to be expected, of course.
Sony just released the Bracket Pro app, compatible with the Sony A6000 and the A7(r), so I’ve been playing with this app too. It is very useful and worth the 4,99 Euro they charge.
I’ll be updating my Sony A6000 review this weekend, so check back for my thoughts on the AF system with an E-mount lens.
Sony A6000 review part 2: autofocus
My SEL2470z arrived yesterday, so finally I had a compatible lens to test the 179 AF point autofocus system on the Sony A6000.
The city of Tournai has its carnival celebrations this weekend so I thought this would be a good testing ground for the AF system. Plenty of activities, colourful people and fast moving subjects around!
Sony A6000 autofocus performance
So lets cut to the chase. Is it the fastest AF system around? Well, in use, it feels similar to the Olympus OM-D EM-1, maybe just a bit faster! The APS-C is 30% larger though, so it a great feat from Sony to be able to incorporate this at this price point. The AF isn’t always where you’d want it to be, but to be honest I have never used a camera AF system that reads my thoughts :).
Tracking autofocus works a treat and is the best I’ve ever used. You can see the little AF squares locking on and then following your subject. The Bionz X processor seems to be a perfect fit for the Sony A6000.
One minor point is the startup time. It does take a second or 2 before you are ready to shoot. Similar to the Sony A7r before the 1.2 firmware update, so let’s hope we’ll see a similar update for the ILCE-6000 soon.
The Sony A6000 would be ideal for a father who wants to take action shots of football games or kids playing. It is also very suited for street photography, the machine-gun-like continuous shooting mode ensures you don’t miss any of the action, and you’ll certainly have plenty of choices afterwards.
Sony A6000 review part 3: low light test
I’ve spent the last couple of days with the Sony A6000, testing all the features and especially the AF performance. Last night I took it on a stroll to see the devastation of the carnival celebrations in my hometown. Let me firstly stress that this is not a technical test, just my hands on experience with the new Sony A6000.
Sony A600 in low-light
As I mentioned in my previous findings, AF is very fast in good light, but low light is another matter. My Olympus PEN E-P5 does a better job I must say. This might be better with a more light sensitive lens, but unfortunately I only have a SEL2470z to test it with. The good thing is that ISO up to 6400 is quite usable.
Besides iAuto mode, I also used the night scene modes. The camera takes three different pictures within a second or so, and then saves the one it finds the best (as jpg).
If the scene has low contrast, the AF hunts and takes seconds to lock. If it locks at all. It performs better in close-up scenarios.
The pop-up flash on the Sony A6000 is quite useful for short distances. I am not a big fan of pop-up flashes, he only time I’d usually use a flash is in bounce mode. But in this case it’s best to use it if you want a useable picture.
Sony A6000 video quick view
The Sony A6000 is a compact mirror-less camera that’s about half the size and weight of a typical DSLR, yet has a comparable 24 megapixel APS-C sensor. Sony claims it has the World’s fastest autofocus with 179 AF points and shoots 11FPS. I am currently reviewing this camera but thought many people would be interested in a quick video of this nice little camera. I’ll be shooting with the Sony A6000 over the next few days, so expect a full review up soon.
Sony A6000: video autofocus performance
It seems many readers are interested in the Sony A6000 video quality and video autofocus performance.
Yesterday, at a Marvin Gaye tribute band performance in Ostend, I made a quick video of their performance for those interested.
OSS kept this very light camera stabilised to a degree. I did some zooms to get a good idea of how well it works.
Even in relatively low light, the Sony A6000 recognised faces and focussed extremely well. I’m not a videographer, so if you have any more technical questions, shoot. I’ll do my best to answer them.
Sony A6000 low light concert pictures
I did another Sony A6000 low light test last weekend. There was a Marvin Gaye tribute concert in Ostend, Belgium where he lived for a while and wrote his biggest hit ‘Sexual Healing’. I thought it would be an ideal testing ground for the Sony A6000 with the SEL2470z F4.
My last low light was just walking around deserted streets, and it didn’t do the camera justice. I must say autofocus was spot on most of the time, with the ILCE6000 recognising the performers’ faces and adjusting accordingly. I was very impressed.
ISO in iAuto seems never to go above 3200, being very clean and noise free up to ISO 2000. Some quick de-noising gave very useable images at the higher ISO values though sometimes the pictures came out a bit too graphic for my liking.
My second Sony A6000 low light test gave me much better results than the first one. It seems the autofocus system works great when there is sufficient dark-light contrast available.
Sony A6000 ISO test: exceptional performance
I had several emails from readers asking for a Sony A6000 ISO test. I made a series of pictures throughout the range, and I’m personally very impressed with the results. I converted the RAW files with Image Data Converter and exported them as jpg without any noise reduction. It seems that the A6000 Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor has noise levels very much under control until ISO 3200 and gives useable output up to 10000. But don’t take my word for it, you can check it out for yourself in this gallery: