Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sony Alpha 6000 review: Hands-on

The Sony Alpha 6000 is the latest Compact System Camera to join the brand's newly named range of Alpha interchangeable lens cameras
The Sony Alpha 6000 is the brand's latest Compact System Camera (CSC) and an upgraded version of the similar Sony Alpha 5000, which was announced at CES. The 6000 brings a few new treats to the party, including an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) and the brand new Bionz X processor and what it claims is the world's fastest autofocus - just 0.06 seconds.

While the 5000 replaces the Sony NEX-3N and Sony NEX-5T models, the newer Alpha 6000 will replace  the popular Sony NEX-6 and Sony NEX-7 models as the brand continues to drop the NEX name from its interchangeable lens camera range.

Sony Alpha 6000: Size and build

Packing an E-Mount lens system, the camera's design is similar to that of the NEX models and the Alpha 5000, although unlike the latter, the new 6000 includes the new OLED Tru finder EVF, which has a wider viewing angle, higher contrast and higher resolution than Sony's previous viewfinders.

Whether you like the EVF is largely down to personal taste, but in our swift hands-on, Sony's new EVF seemed just as good as those we've seen from other brands. The proximity sensor works pretty fast when you hold the camera up to your face, although the colours looks slighly cold, as with most electronic viewfinders.

Sony Alpha 6000: Features

The Alpha 6000 packs a 24.3 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, and there are 7 customisable buttons – including two dedicated custom buttons – resulting in a whopping 43 assignable functions.

The camera also features Wi-Fi for direct uploading and hooking up to your smartphone or tablet for use as a remote control. On-board NFC also means that you can set up a 'one-touch' connection with compatible products.

You'll also get a 3-inch tiltable LCD screen, built-in flash and multi-interface shoe.

Sony Alpha 6000: Picture quality

Although we reeled off some shots of the riverside view of the Thames on a very rainy and grey, the units that we were using weren't final retail products so we can't really make a fair comment on picture quality yet but that's something we'll be looking at in more detail in our full review.

Sony Alpha 6000: Verdict

We like the sturdy build of the camera - the controls fell well placed and it sits comfortably in the hand, unlike some CSCs which can feel a little unbalanced once a lens in attached. The added Wi-Fi and NFC, plus the EVF and also neat tweaks and  we look forward to taking the new sensor for a spin as soon as we can get our mitts on a full review model.

Sony Alpha 6000 release date: Mid-April 2014

Sony Alpha 6000 price: £550 (body only), £670 (with 16-50mm kit lens), £880 (Tele double lens kit), 16-70mm Zeiss lens kit (£1400)

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