A6000: your major gripes
Old 08-26-2015   #1
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A6000: your major gripes

With my NEX-5N turning into a tiny little weirdly-shaped brick, I find myself in a need of a replacement. I have time to wait for new interesting releases, but it looks like the Sony a6000 might be the winner. What are your major issues with this camera? Any idea about recent price drops?
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Old 08-26-2015   #2
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There is a rumor about a next gen to the a6000 being announced soon.. Whether true or false.. I would still wait a bit if the can..I know hard w/ a bricked 5n. If I remember correctly the a6000 body got as low as 446 at one time. Anyway, the rumor mentioned possility of tri-nav.

In terms of your question, a6000 and a7 menu system IMHO is a breath of fresh air compared to the Nex..more like their dslr line. Af speed is superior to the Nex..24mp sensor is better in low light but I have a suspicion not as good w/ legacy lenses as the 5n. Just a guess, given the 24 mp in the Nex 7 was not as good as any of the 16 mp sensors.

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Old 08-26-2015   #3
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Been using little brother a5100. Af is really nice and fast, unlike anything I've used to from mirrorless. 24p files are great too, but require computing to process raws.

I might upgrade to a6000 once my long trip is over, or, go full frame Sony.
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Old 08-26-2015   #4
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Prices on refurbished A7's are pretty close to those for a new a6000 right now...
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Old 08-26-2015   #5
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Lss, I had the same question. Enjoyed the 5-N, went to A6000, got a second body in one of their sales. Very happy. I think this is one of the best bargains around.

Besides general use, I do portraits with the fabulous Sony/Zeiss 55 f/1.8. The current firmware does hybrid-AF which is a big plus.

Another highlight is MF lenses with focus peaking which I think Sony has done very, very well.

Downsides? Maybe I'd like the auto-ISO to have a minimum shutter speed that depends on focal length. I don't have any confidence in the Sony apps.

Go for it.
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Old 08-28-2015   #6
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I have had a unique opportunity to compare a lot of cameras lately and I was disappointed with the A6000 because the images that it was producing were all soft and noisy. So much so that I asked for a second camera to be sent to me because I couldn't really wrap my head around what I was seeing as I didn't see much there I would really call resolution and I know it wasn't my Sony/Zeiss 35 f2.8 which worked extremely well on the A7II and A7RII. But enough people sing its praises so there must be something im missing on that cam....
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Old 08-28-2015   #7
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I would find an A7 for 700 or a exe 5n for 250. I would stay away from A6000. That's just me. Nex-6 might be good.

Well I should not say that, my bad impression was from a A5000, maybe the A6000 is still as good as the Nex-6.

If you do get a used 5n, be careful with the firmware. I would research it. I think there was on upgrade which may have worsened some legacy glass performance.
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Old 08-29-2015   #8
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I have had an a6000 for a while now and could not be happier with it. I purchased it for three reasons:
1. To be able to use legacy lenses from RF and SLR film cameras.
2. For fast autofocus when taking photos of my rapidly moving grandchildren.
3. As a light carry around digital camera for trips.

It has excelled at all so far. The images are excellent and the in-camera b&w in particular is very good.

One of the pluses I didn't expect is the video output. I've used it for video for a Fortune 500 customer and they were very pleased.
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Old 08-29-2015   #9
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Thanks for all the comments! I'm sure they are all helpful to some people who are considering this camera.

I'm a little surprised about the comment about soft images. Indeed many people like the camera and its output, and I haven't seen particularly bad sample photos. I think I will need to research this a little more.
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Old 08-29-2015   #10
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One person mentions soft images - maybe their PP skills aren't good enough.
Some people mention the full frames, why? I really can't see the point in this thread.

So far I have only one gripe with the A6000 (got it a couple of weeks ago) - There isn't a button I can assign to go from EVF to screen. I did that a lot with my NEX F3 with added EVF. I have to go into the menu for that.

And one thing that is a major handling booboo: you need to press two times before you can change the AF points.

The A6000 imho is extremely cheap, it is a great camera. The rumoured new camera isn't considered to be the A6000 replacement, but a camera above that. The A6000 is supposed to remain in the Sony line up. And besides, there is always a new camera on the horizon...
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Old 08-30-2015   #11
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Addy, how is the shutter feel on the A6000. I am thinking of an upgrade on my NEX 7 for better focusing, but of all mirrorless cameras I have tried, that camera has the closest feel to a traditional mechanical shutter in terms of feel and minimal delay.
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Old 08-31-2015   #12
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My two gripes with the a6000 are the low(er)-res EVF compared to the nex-6, and the absence of the digital level gauge. For me, that difference was large enough to decide not to upgrade, even though the improved AF performance and 24Mpixel sensor remain enticing.
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Old 08-31-2015   #13
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The EVF being smaller than FF cameras, the size being too small, and it feeling like a TV remote. The first of my two complaints make sense in this type of camera at this price point, but the feel could be improved drastically. Of course the results from the camera are top notch for its class.
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Old 08-31-2015   #14
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The A6000 shutter is actually a bit loud to be honest (if you want quieter, use the electronic first curtain) - but I find it responsive and there is (to me) no delay.

The EVF is better then the add-on one that was sold with the NEX cameras (FDA-EV1S) even if that viewfinder had more pixels. The reviews mostly agree with this. It indeed is smaller (.39" vs .5") then the full-frame ones, but it still is better then the periscope view of most APS-C cameras.

I don't know what kind of "TV remote" JSrockit uses, but most are all plastic while this camera has a metal top plate - it isn't a metal camera, but for a modern €579,- camera it feels is great. If anything, the feel is better then the original NEX 5.

As I said before, it is cheap.
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Old 09-01-2015   #15
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I have a PJ friend who has been shooting sports lately with an a6000. I've worked with some of the files, and they are pretty impressive. Haven't seen any sign of softness in the files. Of course, he is a top notch shooter, but everything I've seen were tack sharp.

The only complaint he has had with the camera is when he's tried to use it for video interviews after a game. Says it overheats and shuts down a lot when shooting video.
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Old 09-01-2015   #16
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Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
I don't know what kind of "TV remote" JSrockit uses, but most are all plastic while this camera has a metal top plate
Not with regard to materials, but with regard to its buttons and dials.
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Old 09-01-2015   #17
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Quote:
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One person mentions soft images - maybe their PP skills aren't good enough.

You are a funny person.
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Old 09-01-2015   #18
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The only complaint he has had with the camera is when he's tried to use it for video interviews after a game. Says it overheats and shuts down a lot when shooting video.
That's terrible news. What's the length of the video shots where it shuts down?
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Old 09-01-2015   #19
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The shutdown times vary. This has been a problem with video for Sony beginning with the Nex 5 and continues. You can probably google it and get more information than I can give you.

I shoot video mostly with the GH3, and it will run forever.
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Old 09-01-2015   #20
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I haven't had a single shutdown with the 5N. The longest video clips have been only a few minutes in length, though.
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Old 09-01-2015   #21
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A lot of people shoot short films with the 5N. It has great image quality. But, anything but short clips cause increasing problems. Some people have removed the decal from behind the LCD and that seems to help a little. Others say that if you keep the lcd moved away from the body, that will help. A lot of discussion on the web.

I don't use Sony cameras, but as popular as they are for video, it is surprising that they haven't addressed the problem, despite all of the discussion of it.
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Old 09-01-2015   #22
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I've had a NEX-5 and now a NEX-5t and have had problems with both cameras overheating while shooting video, depending on the environment. I believe the 29-minute limit on video clip length is an artificial one, having been imposed by European Union regulations. But.....!! If you shoot a lot of short clips in the course of an event, the cameras will overheat before the 29-minute limit is reached. These problems occur because these cameras are built for stills, not video. I'm shooting more and more video these days - live music, mostly - and so I got a camera built for video, the NEX-VG30, which has the same sensor as the 5n, 5r, 5t and 6 bodies, but with much better cooling and no limit on clip length, and an optional battery that will last for over 6 hours of continuous shooting, among other features. I couldn't be happier.
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Old 11-26-2016   #23
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The 2014 model Sony Alpha A6000 has been superseded by the early-2016 model A6300 (most notably with 4k video) and the late-2016 model A6500 (with 5-axis stabilisation and touchscreen). It is still available quite widely. The sad news is that the price has not changed since end of 2015 despite the release of the newer bodies, and the European pricing is therefore quite the rip-off as long as we consider life in Sony land. The camera should however remain extremely competitive against some of the alternatives by Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic.

I purchased one about a year ago for $400. You could not get a better-specced new camera for the price, and this may remain true even today.

Was this a smart buy? In many ways, yes. I certainly needed a replacement for my Sony NEX-5N, which had become largely unusable. My original plan however was to get a replacement with 4k video, and I am now stuck with this 1080p model. On the other hand, I don't see enough value in the A6300/A6500 cameras beside the 4k support to pay the premium.

It's not all good, though. Here's a list of key usability issues that I pretty much hate on the A6000. They seem not very well addressed on the newer bodies either.

Main issues:
  • Auto-ISO implementation. This is a long-standing issue with Sony. You have very little control over the feature, which is unforgivable on a camera with this much customisation options and a menu system that makes many a novelist doubt their productivity.
  • Eye-sensor. It kicks in too easily when you turn the camera for a difficult angle and/or tilt the screen resulting in missed shots or just general annoyance. The EVF is slow to wake, too, which is probably part of the reason the eye-sensor is so sensitive.
  • Out-of-focus pictures with AF confirmation. This is a problem with all AF cameras to some degree, but Sony continues to knock it out of the park with every new model. I'm pretty sure they have a department dedicated to implementing this problem in otherwise fairly good AF systems. The lesser evil is the AF focusing on some tiny high-contrast spec in the background, when about 99% of the AF box covers the intended subject with good contrast and which looks to be in focus. Annoying yes, but sometimes you can blame yourself, too. The bigger evil is the "nothing in focus" phenomenon. I had this problem with the NEX-5N, I have this problem with the RX1R, and I now sure have it with the A6000 as well. Many pictures come out with nothing in focus, although the focus confirmation is there and the picture looks fine on the screen or in the EVF when you take it. Then something just happens, and you get an unusable file. I have no explanation for this. It is a focus issue, it is not a shutter speed, camera shake, or IS issue.
  • Settings changing on their own. This can be a rather fine camera, when you keep it in your hand. It becomes a machine for applying random settings, when you fling it over your shoulder. When you grab the camera again and need to shoot fast expecting to use the settings you left on the camera, the aperture, the shutter speed, the exposure compensation, the ISO setting, and on a few occasion even the drive mode may have changed on its own. You miss the shot or it comes out very different from what you intended. It's ridiculous how often this happens for me. I seldom had a similar problem with the NEX-5N (which of course didn't have too many wheels and buttons to move inadvertently). There is a wheel lock function that I use sometimes to avoid the problem. It however takes too long to switch on and off to be really useful. Give a faster lock, Sony, and this becomes a minor complaint.

Minor issues:
  • Battery life. It's poor. I need a minimum of three batteries for a day-hike when no video is shot. I would be happy with needing a maximum of two. Three with heavy video shooting. With better battery life, you could use features such as Pre-AF.
  • Manual focus assist (with AF lenses). The minimum two-second limit is too high for confirming framing in dynamic scenes. Give some control over this, Sony.
  • Video button placement. I know many people had problems with the NEX-5N, where the camera would start recording video on its own. I used the camera for several years, and it never happened. After it happened three or four times on the A6000, I set the video button off by default.

The good:
  • Face detection. When face detection kicks in, I have never had a grossly out-of-focus picture. It's fast and seems to follow subjects relatively well. And it's only improving on the newer bodies.
  • Fps. Simply fast enough for general use. Three settings for continuous drive.
  • Image quality. Sometimes matches the Sony RX1R which is my personal reference camera for the high end. Often produces better objective image quality than the Leica M8. The latter was seldom the case with the 5N, despite what the Internet says. 24 megapixels is good, and the sensor ain't bad. Of course, a lot depends on the lens choice.
  • Tilting screen. Basically a must for general use video-capable camera. The implementation is good, but the screen should tilt more downwards. Selfie crowd would love tilting all the way to face front, and this should not be too complicated to add on this level camera. I think some lower-end Sony models do this.
  • Video implementation (although no 4k). If you care about video, look at Sony and Panasonic. The stupid part on the A6000 is that you need to actually engage the video mode every time, as the video button needs to be killed by default on this camera.

Improved over NEX-5N, but still nothing to write home about:
  • Build quality/design. It's good, perhaps great considering the current price point. Seems much heftier and overall better built than the 5N. The flimsy battery door remains. I expected it to break on my 5N, and it did develop some issues. I hear the A6500 provides an improvement here. Something should be done about the wheels and buttons having a life of their own.
  • EVF/Handling. The handling is much more like a real camera than the 5N, which was fine for a waist/chest-level video shooter. The integrated EVF plays a big role here, and the larger size of the body and the button placement also helps. The EVF is usable, but it's not excellent.
  • Customisation. I have already forgotten if there was any real customisation on the 5N. The A6000 offers quite a lot, but accessing many fairly useful features remains complicated regardless of how you set the thing up. You may arrive at a fairly usable compromise when you simply decide to not use certain functionalities, and set up the key ones as well as possible. I know this is sufficient for many people, but I want to have something better. Can't complain too much at the 400-dollar price point, though.

Your mileage may vary and all that, but perhaps there are some points here to consider for prospective buyers of the A6xxx range. For current 5N users, my suggestion is to make the switch. There are only two things that make the 5N more desirable in my books. Well, one thing and one unknown factor. There is obviously a size advantage with the 5N. The A6000 is larger, and that may be a problem for some. The unknown part is performance with rangefinder lenses. The 5N was pretty good, the A6000 I have actually not properly tested yet, although I have owned the camera for about a year.
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Old 11-26-2016   #24
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Right now the SONY alpha a6300 is just under $1,000 US. If this is the camera Lss is referring to, he got a wonderful buy at $400.

Besides the features Lss lists above, the SONY alpha a6300 has a dual-gain data stream. The dual gain data stream was developed by Aptina and increases the capacitance of each sensor photo site at 800 and above. This allows more signal to be recorded when the shutter is open (a.k.a. exposure) compared to conventional data streams. Since the read noise remains essentially constant, the signal-to-noise ratio goes up. The Fujifilm X Pro-2 and X-T2 also use this technology.

Here is a thread to an earlier thread discussing dual-gain technology.

Here is a link to a PhD dissertation in case anyone is curious about the science and engineering.
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Old 11-26-2016   #25
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Right now the SONY alpha a6300 is just under $1,000 US. If this is the camera Lss is referring to, he got a wonderful buy at $400.
No, it's the A6000 that came out before A6300 that I have. $400 is the current US price point for this camera. It dropped there for the Black Friday deals last year. Three cameras in the A6xxx range are available at the moment.
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Old 11-26-2016   #26
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I tried the A6000 hoping it was the answer for a small, powerful APS-C mirrorless camera. Ultimately, I sold the camera and went back to Micro 4/3.

A major problem for me is that I wear glasses, and the A6000 finder was a total fail. It has poor eye relief and the eyecup is a large, deep, rigid rubber that makes it impossible to block the sun from the EVF, washing it out much of the time.

The other major problem was that I shoot video often while shooting stills, and the A6000 overheats badly when shooting video. In the hot Texas sun, it would sometime only go five or 10 minutes before shutting down with an overheating warning. My Canon's and Panasonic cameras will shoot video continuously, as long as you like, with no overheating. The A6300 and A6500 share the same problem. On the A6500, Sony has allowed you to override the overheating warning and keep shooting, but the camera gets VERY hot and most still shut down around 30 minutes. There seems to be a great deal of variation from one example to another, though.

It took a lot of study of the not very helpful manual to figure everything out. The menu options are extensive and deep. I don't understand why Sony doesn't just rip off Canon's menus.

The image quality was very good, but the color science not up to other cameras I use. Autofocus was good with most subjects. And I loved the physical size of of the camera. Low ISO performance was great!

In the end, it was just a frustrating camera to use day to day.
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Old 11-26-2016   #27
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I posted year ago and told having a5100. Since then upgraded also to a6000 and its only modern camera I currently own. Am not doing video, don't see any point of better a6x00. Second body would be nice to reduce need to lens changing.

Sony gets complaining about their batteries. Am happy that they keep this one type that fits to so many different bodies. Having few spares is much less of an issue, rather than carrying different types of chargers.

Sony menu system is another that often gets attention. It could be better probably, but once the camera has been set up, it rarely needs drastic changes. Using custom profiles helps too, so no need to go poking every setting one by one.
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Old 11-26-2016   #28
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A major problem for me is that I wear glasses, and the A6000 finder was a total fail. It has poor eye relief and the eyecup is a large, deep, rigid rubber that makes it impossible to block the sun from the EVF, washing it out much of the time.
I agree and disagree. The eye relief is short. While I don't wear glasses, I often wear sunglasses (many different types), and I haven't had problems with the viewfinder in this sense. I do stick the glasses pretty firmly against the eyecup, though, and sometimes get visible marks that need to be cleaned. I guess the eye relief is short enough for the type of glasses and the shape of the user's face to make a difference.

I have not had overheating problems with this camera (or the 5N), although I shoot a lot of short videos. I am in conditions comparable to Texas heat only 1-3 months a year, though. I think people in cooler countries will generally be fine.
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