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My informal a6000 opinion

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by dixeyk, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I borrowed the a6000 from the lab at work and did some side by side comparisons with my NEX 6. I shot it with adapted lenses since that's what I do with my camera and just strolled around trying it on for size.

    23375378351_5c86b0c97b_b.
    offerings
    by kevin dixey, on Flickr

    It's a nice camera and I would certainly not mind having one. Even with AF not being part of what I consider important in a camera I have to say that I came away generally impressed. I didn't fall in love with it because there are more than a few things that struck me as downgrades but overall I feel like it would serve me pretty well.

    So first what I liked.

    I like the UI and the fact that the various buttons are as customizable as they are. The capper however is that I could set the C1 button to the right of the shutter to be magnification. That is super handy and makes for much faster shooting. The menu system is nice but still a bit convoluted. It's a huge step up from the icons on the NEX but Sony could learn a thing or two from Fuji about how to make good menus. The EVF was a pleasant surprise, despite being lower resolution it is brighter and easier to see. That is a tremendous advantage if you shoot adapted lenses. I also feel like the a6000 peaks a bit better than the NEX 6 does although not hugely so.

    Now for the less than appealing.

    No doubt about it the build quality on the NEX is better. It feels better in hand and when you compare the two the a6000 feels kinda cheap. When you just have the a6000 and nothing to compare it to you tend to not notice it as much. That doesn't mean I think the build quality is bad. In fact it seems pretty good but the plastic skin doesn't do anything for me. It is lighter. I do like the a6000 grip a bit more. I have to say that I am not all that impressed with the images. It's not bad mind you but it is not any sort of step up from the NEX other than the fact that you can crop images a bit more. I'm going to try some low light shots and see if they are any better.

    Overall, I can see a number of reasons it would be a terrific camera and I could easily jump from the NEX to the a6000 and not miss a beat but better image quality is not one of those reasons. It might be a bit of an improvement but I don't see it as significant.
     
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  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Descent report.

    When you factor in AF, the upgrade is a no brainer. If MF is your primary shooting mode, it becomes less of an important upgrade.
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Agreed, if AF is something you want or need then it IS a no brainier. Even someone like me appreciates it should Sony produce a lens I want.
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I feel like the a6000 is a victim of cost cutting. There is a lot that they got right but the omissions are puzzling and frustrating. For instance, why no viewfinder level? Why the cheap plasticky skin? Why the lower resolution EVF? The new EVF is nice because of the increased brightness and faster refresh but it COULD have been higher resolution as well. Look at the EVFs on cameras like the Fuji XT1 and XT10. I look at the a6000 and it's pretty clear that it is not the successor to a camera like the NEX 7.

    After playing around with the NEX 6 and the a6000 I find the a6000 to be capable and well balanced but a bit less exciting a camera relative to the competition than cameras like the NEX 5n and 7 were when they were introduced. If it weren't for the fact that they are getting blown out for $399 everywhere I'm not entirely sure I would consider buying one. And that is where I think the a6000's strength truly sits. It is a lot of camera for the money. Where the original NEX 7 was the quirky camera with the non standard bits that had killer image quality and a certain defiant character. The a6000 is a highly capable camera that can do pretty much anything you throw at it but its transformation into lightning fast focusing uber competent mirror-less camera has come at the cost of some of its character.

    At the prices they are selling for these days I may still order one. The a6000 has enough improvements that I can see the value in it. The better UI and improved EVF alone make it worthwhile for an adapted lens shooter like me. I just wished it had a bit more passion to go along with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
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  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I understand what you're saying, Kevin. But I can't say that "character" is something I look for in a tool. If a camera does what I want it to, without throwing too many impediments in my way (confusing UI, awkward controls) then it's good.
     
  6. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    649
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Not many camera in the pricerange, if any, offer that kind of functionallity and versatillity with such an easy way of operation as do the A6000. IIRC the nex6 and 7 were both much higher priced as the A6000.

    Edit: note to self: Check spelling
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
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  7. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    That is the amazing thing about the A6000. The combination of price/image quality and size are what brought me into the original NEX-3. I was a bit dismayed when the NEX-7 came out, costing $1000+. No thanks. The NEX-6 attempted to roll back the price a bit, and the A6000, well one of the best bargains going in cameras today.
     
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  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    All true, the a6000 is most definitely the best bang for the buck in the mirror-less world. It reminds me of a Toyota or Honda. It does what you need and does it very well while coming in at a very reasonable price. The thing is, Sony cameras used to be more like a Subaru...quirky, did things differently but had a very unique charm. Is one better than the other? It simply depends what you want. I drive a Honda Fit and have only good things to say about it. It does what I need it to do and was the right choice for my needs today.

    I will very likely end up with an a6000 because it does a few things that will be a lot nicer for my use of adapted lenses. With the low price I can sell my NEX and the upgrade won't cost me that much. It will serve me well and I have no doubt it will be a terrific tool for creating images. But, in the end I will feel a sort of loss as well. Years ago I had a crappy Subaru wagon. It was falling apart, poop brown, smelled bad and slooooooow as molasses. It also had 4WD and could drive over a boulder if need be. I loved that car. My Honda is a better car in every measurable way and yet there isn't a day that goes by that I don't with I had that Subie back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  9. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    649
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    On the long run Ill probably end up using an A7 series for adapted lenses and make the A6000 my compact kit with a samyang 12, sigma 60 and the Sony 24mm lenses + ofcourse the 16-50 kitlens. As good as my zeiss zf 25mm f/2,8 is it's a beast on the little sony
     
  10. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Veteran

    400
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    I know what you mean. I have a 13-year-old Jeep my wife and I both like very much. I also have a 6-year-old Malibu I bought new, and while we enjoy it and its luxury relative to the Jeep (yay heated seats!), the older car is just so much fun to drive around, despite the rougher ride. My wife loves it to death and it could probably outlive both of us if I take good care of it.

    I started my mirrorless obsession on the NEX-5N, which I sold to fund my NEX-6 (mostly to have a built-in viewfinder). In retrospect, the 5N was a great little camera and I wish I had kept it. I picked up an A6000 about a month ago and struggling on whether to keep the NEX-6 or sell it. I enjoy the A6000 and would not go back to just having the NEX-6. But I kind of enjoy having a second body and resale value is sadly pretty low anyway, and the image quality is just fine. Still on the fence, and my financial advisor may question my having two camera bodies. She often reminds me I am not a professional photographer and it does not make us money, lol.

    Yes it is just a tool, but I enjoy the experience of taking photos as much as occasionally lucking out with a cool picture as a result.
     
  11. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    When I got my NEX-7, Sony was putting everything they reasonably could into the flagship APS-C model (in terms of build, etc...)
    Now of course there's the full frames and it doesn't necessarily make sense to be designing APS-C bodies that they have to charge $1200 for when for not too much more money more there's the A7. APS-C will always have the edge for cost, size and speed and the current offerings do seem to make the most of that.
     
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  12. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Oh, I enjoy the experience of picture taking too. Even if I come home with an SD card full of crappy pictures, more often than not I had a good time filling it with crap. :p

    I guess it's the mention of things like the feel of the surface material where I go: huh? Sure, ergonomics is very important to a pleasant shooting experience. But unless the material is going to make it more likely for me to drop the camera, then it's not really a consideration for me.

    Now, having said all that, you'll never see me buying a Harley, though I gather they're fine motorcycles, and get you from point A to B just as well as my motorcycle does. I guess I save my emotional attachment for things that have two wheels and a motor. :rolleyes:
     
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    It's like when I run, I'm not picky when it comes to my running shoes. I run a lot but as long as my feet don't hurt I am pretty content. I don't run for the love of running, I do it because I'm 54 and I want to stay healthy for my family. Years ago I did product photography and I didn't care what camera I used. It was just a tool on a tripod in my little studio. I shot with Canon and Nikon DSLRs and it was a job. As long as I got the images and got paid that was all that mattered. I shoot photos now for the love of it. When I'm having the most fun is when the camera is just an extension of me and I don't think about it so the "feel" is important.

    That said, I can appreciate that not everyone feels the same way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
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  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Gave in an ordered the a6000 (black). The improved EVF, better Ui and ability to assign C1 as focus assist/magnify made it worth it. Should be here by the 10th. Now off to sell the NEX 6.
     
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  15. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    649
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    You know, resistance is futile, you will be assimilated :)
     
  16. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Yeah, I see an A7 in your future. :laugh:
     
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  17. Sucofni

    Sucofni TalkEmount Regular

    150
    Nov 8, 2015
    Thats exactly what happened to me !
     
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  18. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    It's a slippery slope.
     
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I suspect my next step after the a6000 will be FF. That way my Minolta 24 gets to actually be WA again. Of course if the a6000 serves me as well as my 5n did it'll be a few years off. By then the A7 should be $399 as well. I tend to buy all my cameras when they hit that $399 blowout price. My Fuji XE1, Panasonic GX1 and NEX 5n were all bought new for $399. It's my signal to buy a camera.
     
  20. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I wish I had your patience, Kevin. I have a serious jones for that A7Rii, but US$3200 is way beyond my pain threshold.