Sony A6000 First Look
Review Date : Wed, 12 Feb 2014
Author : Jon Devo
New A6000 is the latest Alpha model, replacing the NEX-6 and offering a level of performance to compete with DSLRs
Sony has today announced the new Sony A6000 - its latest SLT model which arrives to replace the Sony NEX-6 as part of the ongoing replacement of the NEX series on the whole.
The new model features an impressive specification and promises to offer serious alternative to more bulky enthusiast DSLRs.
We were invited to Sony's UK headquarters ahead of today's launch to take a look at the new model, so here are our first impressions
Taking a closer look at the details of the A6000's specification, the first thing that strikes you is just how much of it has been inherited from models further up the Sony product tree.
For example, the A6000 sports the same 24.3MP APS-C Exmore HD CMOS sensor that debuted in the Sony SLT-A77 and later featured in the Sony NEX-7.
It's not just a case of aping former models, however, as the A6000 features a completely new Bionz-X processor. This new chip offers some seriously impressive processing speeds, with Sony claiming that it's around three times more powerful than the unit found in the flagship Sony SLT-A99.
To further increase the camera's operating speeds, the A6000 also features a completely redesigned focusing algorithm which, Sony claims, will deliver focusing speeds as quick as 0.06 seconds.
During our time with the pre-production unit, we managed to have a quick test of the model's focusing. We can safely report that focusing speeds are almost imperceptible, while in term of focus accuracy the A6000 was reliable here too.
It's not just the camera's focusing speed that impresses, as the A6000 also delivers some impressive continuous shooting speeds. Sony claims maximum burst rate of 11fps, which is right up there with some of the speediest models on the market.
Furthermore, the burst depth is also respectable - the A6000 manages 21 frames of Raw + JPEG capture before the buffer slows, although if you're happy to shoot just JPEG files that jumps to around 49 frames before the buffer fills.
We tested out the burst mode and the A6000 generally met expectations. What was pleasing was that even once the buffer has filled, the A6000 still manages to soldier on at a rate of around 2fps.
Some of the real highlights in terms of the specification fall in the camera's video capture capabilities. The A6000 features SteadyShot technology during video capture, as well as the implementation of a hybrid autofocus system for video capture.
This AF system offers 90% coverage across the frame thanks to some 179 AF points, as well as defocus mapping for improved accuracy. On the whole, the A6000 feels like a serious piece of video capture kit.
In terms of the look and feel of the camera, the first thing that strikes you is just how compact the A6000 is. In terms of comparable cameras, the A6000 isn't that much bigger than Panasonic's travel compact - the TZ60.
When you consider just how capable the A6000 is, to pack that specification in to such a compact body is quite an achievement.
The body is also impressively light, weighing in at just under 300g. This is no doubt down to the combination of materials used, which include brushed metal and toughened polycarbonate plastic.
These combination of materials give the camera a solid feel in the hand and an overal impression of good build quality.
On the whole, the Sony A6000 is a really interesting addition to the Alpha range, and an impressive replacement for the popular NEX-6. The model manages to deliver high-end features in a compact body and, perhaps most appealingly, at a price that won't break the bank.
The A6000 is due on sale in April, available to preorder now with an SRP of £670 with a kit lens.