Sony A6000 Hands-On Field Test

  By Jordan Drake

It seems like every 33 hours, Sony releases another still or video camera into the market. While these cameras vary from the incredibly exciting and innovative (the A7 series) to the misguided (the QX100, which has admittedly improved with firmware), Sony is always giving Chris and I something to talk about. The NEX-7 was a very important for Sony, before the Olympus OMD series or the Fuji X series, it was a mirrorless camera designed specifically for the advanced photographer. While Sony had made some excellent cameras before the NEX-7, like the A900, the NEX-7 was what legitimized the Sony name for many photographers. So we were very intrigued by what Sony would do with the replacement of not only the NEX-7, but the NEX-6 as well.

Sony made a lofty claim, calling the A6000 the fastest focusing camera in the world. We wanted to test that claim, and the Canmore Winter Festival seemed like a perfect venue. So Chris and I went out early, and I could only watch in pain as the amazing light from the late morning turned to rough, contrasty light for the rest of the video. But at least we didn’t freeze to death like the Fuji X-T1 video last week.

I shot this video on my now-standard kit, a Sony FS700 with a Tamron 24-70 VC attached to a Metabones Speed Booster. Audio was tricky as we had heavy winds all day, but the Sony UWP-130 lavalier kit didn’t seem to have any issues. As usual, I recorded into an Atomos Samurai, and the extra information it records saved me on a few very high contrast shots. The whole kit was supported on a Manfrotto 561BHDV monopod, which you can see slung over my shoulder in one of Chris’ pictures.

The Sony A6000 is an interesting camera. While we can’t confirm that it’s the fastest focusing camera in the world, we can confirm that it focused like a high end DSLR, a pretty amazing feat considering how slow mirrorless cameras were only a couple years ago. Having shot the A6000 and Fuji X-T1 back to back in the last week, I’d have to say the A6000 is the fastest mirrorless for point to point focusing, and the Fuji X-T1 is the gold standard for continuous AF. As far as the handling and interface, the A6000 felt nearly perfect to me. If you’re looking for a compact camera with professional image quality, crazy fast AF, and a clever control system, check out the A6000. It’s the most bang for the buck in mirrorless cameras right now!

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Chris’s Bag is the ONA Bowery Camera Bag:
Designed with style and versatility in mind, the Bowery is your camera bag one minute and camera insert the next. Use the Bowery with the strap attached to carry your camera, a lens and a few small personal items. Remove the detachable strap and the Bowery functions as a protective camera insert and bag organizer inside of a larger bag. The Bowery is padded with closed cell foam, designed with top-quality water-resistant waxed canvas and detailed with full-grain leather, antique brass hardware, and a secure front closure.