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 its incredible value. It's lightweight and portable, with a 24.3-megapixel sensor that still holds its own in an increasingly crowded camera market. While it can't shoot 4k video, and its autofocus isn't as snappy as we've come to expect from Sony in the years since this camera's release, this is still a great option for beginner photographers.
The Sony a6000 is good for travel photography. It's portable and lightweight, so it won't cause fatigue during long days or while on the go. It also takes good images, with excellent sharpness and noise handling straight out of the camera, especially at lower ISO levels. Battery life is fairly good, and you can get a lot out of it in a day depending on how you use it. However, its autofocus system is just decent, and while it can track subjects accurately, it's a bit slower to find its target than newer AF systems.
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. Image quality is nice overall, and it works well if you're shooting JPEGs. 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 decent for sports and wildlife photography. It takes sharp, color-accurate photos straight out of the camera, and it can shoot at a fairly quick continuous shooting speed for burst shooting. However, its image buffer is quite small, which can interrupt your shooting at a critical moment if you fill it up. 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 suited for vlogging. It doesn't have a fully articulated screen, and you can't flip its tilting screen 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 great for slow-motion or 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, meaning it doesn't capture as much color information as cameras that can record in 10-bit with 4:2:2 sampling, 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 for action rigs or helmets, and it can only record 1080p at up to 60 fps, so while it can capture smooth action footage, it doesn't support any higher frame rates for super slow-motion. 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 now.
You can buy the camera bundled with a Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS kit lens, both the 16-50mm lens and a Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS zoom lens, or without a lens. We tested ours with the 16-50mm kit lens. You can see our unit's label here.
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 used. If you don't need the most advanced autofocus or 4k video capability, the a6000 makes for a solid beginner or travel camera.
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 α7 III is better overall than the Sony α6000. It has a full-frame sensor, a newer processor, and a newer, more effective autofocus system. It does a better job tracking moving subjects, performs better in low light at higher ISOs, and includes more video features, including 4k video capability. If you're just starting in photography, the α6000 still offers a lot of value for its price.
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 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.
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.
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 Sony ZV-1 are different camera types suited to different uses. The α6000 is better suited to photography thanks to its APS-C sensor, viewfinder, and interchangeable lens design. Despite being an older model, it can take high-quality images and has a decent autofocus system. The ZV-1, on the other hand, has a fixed lens and is designed specifically for vlogging. Unlike the α6000, it doesn't have a viewfinder, but its screen can flip around to face you. It can also shoot 4k video at a range of frame rates and has a newer and more effective AF system.
The Canon EOS RP and the Sony α6000 are both entry-level cameras, but they use different-sized sensors. The Canon is a full-frame camera, which gives it a leg up in low-light performance, noise handling, and dynamic range. The Canon also has a larger, higher-resolution viewfinder, easier-to-use menu system, and a more reliable autofocus system. It's also more comfortable to hold and shoot with, but it has worse battery life. The biggest advantage the Sony camera has is its more compact form factor for those who prioritize portability.
The Sony α6000 and the Sony RX100 VII are different cameras suited to different uses. The RX100 VII is a compact fixed-lens camera, making it a great choice for travel or if you just want a simple but versatile point-and-shoot. Because of its compact form factor, it doesn't have a handgrip and isn't as comfortable to shoot with, and its fixed lens is more limited than the plethora of lens options you get with an interchangeable lens model like the α6000. The α6000 also has a larger APS-C sensor, giving it greater dynamic range as well as better noise handling and low-light performance, and longer battery life.
Although it has a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is better than the Sony α6000, which has an APS-C sensor. The Sony is more portable, but it lacks a lot of the advanced features that the Olympus has, like in-body image stabilization, a high-resolution composite photo mode, and 4k video recording. If you're looking for a versatile camera with plenty of features for a range of photo and video work, the Olympus is a great option. If you're on a budget and want something simpler and more portable, the Sony is still a great option for casual photography.
The Sony a6000 has a good build quality, 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 aperture dial, aren't the most responsive, with a slight delay when you change an input.
The Sony a6000 has just a single dial on top, which controls aperture by default, and a control wheel on the back, which controls shutter speed and also acts as a directional pad to navigate the menu.
The Sony a6000 feels comfortable to shoot with for people of most hand sizes, except for those with larger hands, which can feel cramped on the camera's relatively small handgrip and body. 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 shoot through. However, its resolution falls short of newer models like the Sony a6400, meaning the image doesn't look as crisp. Thankfully, it doesn't exhibit too much lag.
The Sony a6000 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.
The Sony a6000 has an okay battery life. 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. Battery life is good for video, but mostly because the camera's limited to 1080p recording, which doesn't drain the battery as fast as more demanding 4k video.
While the Sony a6000 doesn't have electronic shutter capability for silent shooting, it does have an electronic front-curtain shutter (EFCS) option to reduce shutter shock at slower shutter speeds. However, you have to delve into the 'Custom Settings' menu to enable it.
The Sony a6000 has an alright shooting speed. It shoots at a fairly quick continuous shooting speed 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 relatively 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.
Overall, it does a great job tracking moving faces, and it includes an eye-detection feature for more precise focusing. However, it isn't nearly as fast or sticky as newer models like the Sony a6400, meaning faster-moving subjects likely won't be in focus in every shot. However, you can still get an okay usable hit rate, depending on the scenario. The general subject/object tracking can be a bit slow to find its target. Still, for general purpose and casual photography, it can do a passable job.
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 isn't quite as reliable as 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 tested the camera with includes 'Optical SteadyShot', Sony's name for stabilization, and it does a decent job of stabilizing the camera for photos. However, you'll still need a tripod when shooting at 1/20s or slower.
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 like our skate park sample gallery photo, which you can download here. 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.
The Sony a6000 has a high-resolution sensor capable of resolving an impressive amount of fine detail. You can punch in on your photos and still get plenty of detail.
RAW noise handling is just okay. 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 has a fair amount of frame rate options, including 60 fps for smooth action recording or generating standard slow-motion footage.
Internal recording capability on the Sony a6000 is good. Bit rates are more limited than newer Alpha models, so the camera can't capture as much raw information, but smaller bit rates result in files that are easier to transfer.
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. Same goes for the general subject/object tracking, which can be slow to find its target after it's moved.
The Sony a6000 records decent-quality video. 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.
The Sony a6000 has 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 Sony a6000 has a few inputs and outputs, including a Micro USB port and a Micro HDMI port, but it doesn't have a headphone jack or a microphone input, which is unfortunate if you want to record higher-quality audio. 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.