The Sony α6000 is the predecessor to the Sony α6100. First released in 2014, this APS-C mirrorless camera has maintained its staying power thanks to the value it provides in an increasingly crowded camera market. It's lightweight and portable, with a 24.3-megapixel sensor that still largely holds its own against newer competition. While it can't shoot 4k video, and its autofocus isn't as snappy as newer Sony models, this is still a great option for beginner photographers.
The Sony a6000 is good for travel photography. It's portable and lightweight, making it easy to store and travel with. Image quality is good too, with plenty of detail and solid noise handling, though it performs best in brighter conditions. Battery life is decent, though you may still need a spare battery for longer days. Its autofocus system is relatively good, but its AF tracking isn't nearly as reliable as newer cameras.
The Sony a6000 is good for landscape photography. It's very portable, making it easy to take on hikes or to remote shooting locations. It also has a decent battery life, but you're likely to need a spare battery for longer shooting days. Image quality is nice overall. However, while it has good usable dynamic range, RAW files don't fare too well when making extensive exposure adjustments, which can introduce noise and digital artifacts. This is especially true at high ISOs, where its noise handling is just okay, meaning the camera isn't as well-suited to capturing landscapes at night or in low light.
The Sony a6000 is okay for sports and wildlife photography. Image quality is pretty good straight out of the camera, and it can shoot at a fairly quick burst rate. However, its image buffer is quite small, which can interrupt your shooting if you fill it up at a critical moment. Its autofocus system does well with slower subjects, but it can lose track of faster-moving subjects, and it can be a little slow to catch up compared with newer AF systems.
The Sony a6000 isn't well-suited for vlogging. It doesn't have a fully articulated screen, and you can't flip its tilting screen up to face forward, making it hard to monitor yourself for walk-and-talk vlogs. It also can't record 4k video. On the upside, it can shoot at up to 60 fps in 1080p, which is good for recording smooth action footage.
The Sony a6000 isn't suitable for studio video. It can only record 1080p video with 8-bit 4:2:0 color, giving you less to work with when editing and processing your footage. Video quality is decent, but it doesn't have the best dynamic range and doesn't perform very well in low light. Its autofocus system also shows its age compared to newer Sony models, as it can sometimes lose its target and be a bit slow to catch up.
The Sony a6000 isn't suitable for action video. It isn't designed to be mounted on action cam rigs or helmets, and it can only record 1080p at up to 60 fps, without any high frame rate options for slow-motion recording. It also lacks any waterproofing or weather-sealing.
The Sony Alpha 6000 has four different color variants: 'Black', 'Silver', 'White', and 'Graphite Gray'. However, the non-black models are more difficult to find. You can see our unit's label here.
You can buy the camera body on its own or bundled with a kit lens like the Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS. You can also find it bundled with different lens combinations, depending on the retailer, for example with both the 16-50mm lens and the Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS zoom lens.
Let us know if you come across any other variants, and we'll update the review.
The Sony Alpha 6000 is an older camera that still offers some value in a very competitive mirrorless camera market. Though it lacks the refinements of newer cameras, it's a popular and affordable entry point into the world of mirrorless photography, especially if you buy a used model. If you don't need the most advanced autofocus or 4k video capability, the a6000 makes for a solid beginner or travel camera.
For more options, check out our recommendations for the best cameras for beginners, the best travel cameras, and the best mirrorless cameras.
The Sony α6400 is better overall than the Sony α6000, especially if you're interested in video as well as photography. The biggest difference is that the a6400 can record video in 4k resolution. It also has a higher-resolution EVF, a newer sensor with better high-ISO performance, and an improved autofocus system. The a6000 is a bit more portable and offers similar photo performance at a fraction of the price since it's an older model.
The Sony α6100 is a bit better than the Sony α6000. They look and perform similarly overall. However, because the a6100 is a newer model, it has an improved autofocus system, a newer sensor with slightly better dynamic range and high-ISO performance, and it can record 4k video. The a6000 still offers a lot of value for its price, especially if you don't do a lot of video work.
The Sony α6600 is a significant upgrade over the Sony α6000. The a6600 takes what works about the a6000, like a low-profile form factor and extensive customization options, and adds a bigger battery, a more ergonomic handgrip, and in-body image stabilization. The a6600 also has a newer sensor with better dynamic range and high-ISO performance, as well as an improved autofocus system and 4k video capability. It also includes more connectivity options and weather-sealing, although it isn't as portable as the a6000.
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II and the Sony α6000 are both solid beginner mirrorless cameras. Even though it's older, the Sony holds its own against the Canon, with a faster max burst rate, better battery life, and a wider range of available lenses. However, the Canon offers 4k video recording (albeit with a severe crop and limited frame rates), a more reliable autofocus system, a higher-resolution viewfinder, and a much easier-to-use menu system.
While the Sony α6000 and the Nikon D3500 are both entry-level cameras, they use different camera technologies with different advantages. The Sony is an older mirrorless camera, so it's much more portable than the Nikon. It also has a quicker autofocus system, faster burst rate, and a tilting screen. The Nikon, on the other hand, is a DSLR, so it has a much better battery life, and its optical viewfinder gives you a clearer, lag-free view of your subjects. It also comes with a 'Guide Mode' to walk new users through the basics of photography.
The Sony α6000 and the Canon EOS M200 are both good entry-level cameras with APS-C sensors, though they have some key differences. The Canon has a more compact body, making it a bit easier to store and take on the go, but it also lacks a viewfinder and handgrip, making it less comfortable to shoot with. The Canon has slightly better noise performance at higher ISO settings and a newer, more effective autofocus system. It can record 4k video and has a screen that flips up to face you, making it a better choice for vlogging. The Sony has a faster continuous shooting speed and better battery life.
The Sony a6000 is very portable. Its body has a low-profile design, and it's very lightweight, making it easy to throw into a bag or take on the go. It's even more compact than newer models in the lineup like the Sony a6100, especially the higher-end Sony α6600.
Build quality is good. It's similar to the Sony a6100, though its plastic construction feels cheaper than the magnesium alloy body of the Sony a6400. The inputs and battery compartment are covered by sturdy hinged doors. The buttons also provide nice physical feedback. However, some of the inputs, like the top command dial, aren't the most responsive, with a slight delay when you change an input.
The camera feels quite comfortable to shoot with, though its relatively small handgrip and body can feel cramped for those with larger hands. The video record button is also strangely placed by the thumb rest, making it a little awkward to start recording in movie mode. Still, the camera feels lightweight and well-balanced. It's also easy to adjust settings with either eye to the viewfinder, though the offset EVF is better suited to right-eye shooters.
The EVF is decently sized and fairly comfortable to look through. However, its resolution falls short of newer models like the Sony a6400, meaning the image doesn't look as crisp. Thankfully, there isn't too much lag.
The camera has a tilting screen, which is great for waist-level shooting since it's discreet and easy to pop out. The screen is bright enough to see clearly in sunnier conditions, but it lacks touch capability, making it more cumbersome to navigate the menu and change settings. The lack of touch capability also means there's no option to use touch focus, as on newer models, so you're stuck with using the control wheel to manually select focus points.
The Sony a6000 uses Sony's older menu system, which is notoriously confusing and difficult to navigate. More advanced settings are buried within submenus that aren't all logically organized. However, you can set it to tile view, which makes it a little quicker to get to the right section of the menu. Thankfully, it has a lot of customization options, allowing you to configure the buttons and a custom menu to your preference, so you don't have to dive into the labyrinthine menu as frequently.
Battery life for photos is decent, with a 360-shot CIPA rating. Depending on how you use it, you can get a fair amount of shots out of it on a full charge, though it still pales in comparison to most DSLR cameras. On the upside, you can keep using the camera while it charges via USB, which is great. Battery life in video mode, on the other hand, is quite good, but mostly because the camera's limited to 1080p recording, which doesn't drain the battery as fast as more demanding 4k video.
Continuous shooting is okay. It can shoot at a fairly quick burst rate in its high-speed drive mode, which is good for capturing stills of fast-moving subjects. In addition to 'Low' and 'High', there's also a 'Mid' drive mode that can shoot at 6 fps. Unfortunately, the camera has a small photo buffer, especially if you shoot in RAW format. The buffer also takes a fair amount of time to empty once full. Though it isn't the worst, it's slow enough that you could miss a key moment waiting for it to finish clearing.
The autofocus on the Sony a6000 isn't all that great by today's standards, though it was an impressive AF system at the time of its release in 2014. Like other Sony Alpha models, it uses a hybrid on-sensor AF system with both phase-detection and contrast-detection AF points, although it has fewer focus points than newer models.
It includes both face and eye detection for more precise focusing. However, the auto tracking feature isn't nearly as fast or reliable as newer models like the Sony a6400. With faster-moving subjects, you likely won't get an amazing hit rate. However, you can still get an okay usable hit rate for general-purpose and casual photography. The general subject/object tracking, on the other hand, is even less reliable and can be slow to adjust focus if the object or subject moves.
If you're sticking with the center point for continuous shooting, the camera's accuracy is disappointing. You can still capture a solid amount of keepers, especially with slower subjects, but it's a lot slower to acquire focus than newer models in the Alpha lineup.
The Sony a6000 doesn't have in-body image stabilization, but you can use an optically stabilized lens to help reduce camera shake and shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds. The Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS kit lens that we used for the stabilization test includes 'Optical SteadyShot', Sony's name for optical stabilization. It does a decent job of stabilizing the camera for photos. That said, stabilization performance can vary depending on different factors, including the lens, focal length, and even how steady your hands are.
The Sony a6000 has good dynamic range. While it isn't as impressive as newer, higher-end models like the Sony a6600, especially at higher ISO settings in low light, it still captures a fairly wide range of detail in high-contrast scenes. You do lose some shadow detail, but highlights are preserved quite well. That said, the camera doesn't have the best noise handling, and pushing the exposure of your RAW files too much results in noticeable noise and banding. Overall, that means you can take photos of high-contrast scenes with a fair amount of detail preservation, but you don't have as much leeway when making exposure adjustments as you might with a newer camera.
RAW noise handling is decent. It performs well at low ISO values, but noise begins to creep in as you raise the ISO, and it doesn't handle noise as well at higher ISOs than newer models do, meaning images taken in low light don't look as clean. If you want a mirrorless camera with better RAW noise handling, check out the Fujifilm X-T30 II.
The Sony a6000 can record 1080p video at up to 60 fps, which isn't as extensive a selection as newer cameras. However, it's still solid for capturing smooth action footage or incorporating slightly slowed-down clips.
Internal recording capability is good. Bit rates are more limited than newer Alpha models, so the camera can't capture as much information, but smaller bit rates result in files that are easier to transfer. Unfortunately, there's a 30-minute cap on recording.
The Sony a6000 has a decent autofocus system for video. It has a face detection feature, but no eye tracking. It does a good job with tracking human subjects, especially with slower movements, but it's not as "sticky" as the AF on newer Sony cameras, meaning there's occasionally a slight delay for the AF to catch up to your subject after they've moved or popped back into frame. The same goes for the general subject/object tracking, which can be slow to find its target after it's moved.
Video quality is decent. It isn't the sharpest or most detailed 1080p, but it's suitable for more casual recording. Unfortunately, it struggles a bit more in low light, where video looks grainy and muddy. You also lose a lot of detail in the shadows.
There's some noticeable rolling shutter effect when panning the camera from side to side, but it isn't too distracting when the camera's moving at a slower pace.
The Sony a6000 has just a single SD card slot, rated for slower UHS-I cards, meaning you can't take advantage of the faster read and write speeds of newer UHS-II cards. The card slot is in the battery compartment, located on the bottom of the camera, making it harder to switch out cards when using a tripod.
Inputs and outputs are limited to a Micro USB port and a Micro HDMI port. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a headphone jack or a microphone input, so you're out of luck if you want to record higher-quality audio with an aux mic. It's an older camera, so it doesn't support Bluetooth, but you can still transfer files over Wi-Fi if you prefer wireless connectivity.