Sony mirrorless cameras got a much needed push with the Alpha 7-series in the professional segment. The new 24.3-megapixel Sony Alpha 6000 boasts of the world’s fastest autofocus with 4D focus technology, which keeps the subject in sharp focus even while tracking fast action. The camera is a semiprofessional model in the line-up of Sony’s mirrorless cameras.
Design and Build Quality
The Alpha 6000 has a sturdy polycarbonate exterior with a thick and comfortable textured grip. The camera has a standard accessory shoe that also has contacts for an external viewfi nder. Both the lens mount and tripod receptacle are metal. The battery chamber door of our review piece had lost its spring action and hence we needed to prod it out. The camera has two control dials, a horizontal one on the top panel and a vertical one on the back panel.
The 24.3-megapixel Sony Alpha 6000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that houses an APS-C size (23.5 x 15.6mm) Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor. The camera is compatible with Sony’s E-mount lenses (which are also used in the Full-Frame A7, A7R and A7S cameras). The Alpha 6000 features charge protection coating on the optical filter and ultrasonic vibration mechanism to dislodge dust from the sensor module.
Still images are recorded in JPEG or Raw (Sony ARW 2.3 format) with an option to record both simultaneously, at a maximum size of 6000 x 4000 pixels. JPEGs can be recorded in Fine or Standard compression. Videos are recorded in AVCHD and MP4 formats (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264), while audio clips are recording in Dolby Digital (AC-3) 2ch, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator (for AVCHD) and MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2ch (for MP4).
The camera uses a Fast Hybrid AF system, employing phase-detection and contrast-detection. Focus modes include AF-A (Automatic AF), AF-S (Single-shot AF), AF-C ( Continuous AF), DMF (Direct Manual Focus), and Manual Focus. Focus area can be selected from Wide (179 points – phase-detection AF, 25 points – contrast-detection AF), Zone, Centreweighted, and Flexible Spot (S/M/L). The Alpha 6000 uses 1200-zone metering. Metering modes include Multi-segment, Centre-weighted, and Spot. Exposure can be compensated up to +/- 5.0EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps. Exposure bracketing is available in single and continuous modes from 1/3 EV to 3.0 EV in 1/3-stop increments. You can bracket 3 or 5 frames. Sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 25,600 equivalent in still mode and ISO 100 to 12800 equivalent in videos. The camera incorporates an electronicallycontrolled, vertical-traverse, focalplane shutter, which provides shutter speeds from 30 to 1/4000 sec and Bulb in still mode and 1/4 to 1/4000 sec in movie mode. Flash synchronises with the shutter at 1/160 sec or lower shutter speeds. Drive modes include Single, Continuous, and Speed Priority Continuous. Self-timer can be set to 10 or 2 sec delay. The camera can shoot continuous frames at a maximum speed of 11 fps in Hi mode, up to a maximum of 49 JPEG Fine/Standard (Large) images or 21 Raw/ Raw+JPEG images.
Shooting modes available are iAuto, Superior Auto, Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Movie, Sweep Panorama, and Scene Selection. Movie mode provides options for P, A, S, and M. The Scene selection modes include Portrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Night Portrait, and Anti Motion Blur. White Balance options are Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight, Flash, Underwater, Colour Temperature, Colour filter, and Custom.
The camera features Face Detection, which can detect up to eight faces automatically. Smile Shutter provides three options. The Alpha 6000 uses a Memory Stick PRO Duo/PRO-HG Duo/XCHG Duo or SD/SD HC/ SDXC (UHS-I compliant) for storage. The camera has a 3.0-inch wide type TFT LCD with 921,600 dots. The LCD can be tilted up by approximately 90 degrees and down by approximately 45 degrees. The device also features a 0.39-inch OLED colour electronic viewfi nder.
The Built-in flash has a Guide No of 6m at ISO 100. The flash covers up to 16mm (focal-length printed on the lens body). Flash control is through TTL method with pre-flash and the intensity can be compensated up to +/- 3.0 EV (switchable between 1/3 and 1/2 EV steps). Flash modes available are Flash off , Auto flash, Fill-fl ash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable), Hi-speed sync, and Wireless control. The flash recycles in approximately 4 sec. The Alpha 6000 is powered by one rechargeable battery pack NP-FW50 (supplied). The camera has dimensions of 120.0 x 66.9 x 45.1 mm (W x H x D) and weighs approximately 344 g with battery and` memory card.