Sony is a giant in the gadgets market with an impressive reputation that was built on excellence and customer satisfaction. Their cameras have often smashed through expectations and surprised many photographers.
This does not mean that potential customers aren’t still hesitant about forking over their hard-earned cash. Buying a new camera can be nerve-wracking. No-one wants to spend a lot of money on an expensive piece of equipment only to end up regretting their decision. To prevent that, we have compiled a comprehensive review that pits the Sony A7 and A6000 to find your next best fit. A quick read through this will set you on the way to your next great photography adventure. Are you ready?
Table of Contets
- 1 Sony A7 vs A6000: Features and Pros & Cons
- 2 Sony A7 vs A6000: Verdict
Sony A7 vs A6000: Features and Pros & Cons
Many photographers have gotten into the habit of using a DSLR camera and are very comfortable with their choice. But there is something about the mirrorless camera that draws many users in. Not only are mirrorless cameras like using the camera of the future, there are more than a few benefits that other cameras can’t offer. That is why we’re looking at Sony’s A7 and A6000 models.
Both cameras have their merits and although advertising would have us believe that each camera is perfect, there are a few things we need to look into. We will look at a few key features, how the cameras hold up against close scrutiny and take a good look at their pros and cons. At the end of it all, we will be able to present a clear winner. Look out for features that you need the most in a camera.
1. Build and Handling
The Sony A7 is a full-frame E-mount mirrorless camera, it also has the distinction of being one of the lightest and smallest full-frame cameras available. This model is similar to the more expensive A7R model, except it uses a 24 megapixel CMOS sensor with on-chip phase detection. The lightweight and compact design make it easier for some photographers to use.
If you’re tired of bulky mirrorless cameras, then this might be the model for you. Despite being cheaper than the A7R it does pack in a lot of value for money. You don’t feel that you’re losing out when you use the camera. This camera might be small, but it does have a decent weather sealing on it. You might not want to drop it too often, but you can be sure that a little dust and rain won’t mean the end of your camera.
The Sony A6000 model is a little bulkier than its A7 sibling. It might be a little heavier, but it has a high-quality outer-body that will survive a few tumbles and scrapes. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the camera is immune to damage, but it is tougher than a lot of other cameras. If you’re planning on roughing it for a little while, then this might be the camera to take with you.
That being said, the A6000 does not have any environmental sealings on the body, so you will have to be careful around water and dust. The A6000 gives you immediate and full DSLR control and access to all the necessary functions. The design is user-friendly and you will be shooting like a professional in no time at all thanks to the easy-to-locate buttons.
2. Processor and Sensor
The sensor in the A7 contains a number of innovative features to make sure that the images come out looking as realistic as possible. The 35mm full-frame Exmor R CMOS image sensor has back illumination, gapless on-chip lens design for enhanced sensitivity and dynamic range as well as a 24.2-megapixel resolution. The camera also features 693 phase-detect AF points and 425 contrast-detect AF points.
The camera’s image processing system has optimized AF speed, precision and tracking performance. The phase detection and contrast detection points give you wide high-density coverage. This feature will allow you to capture unstoppable wildlife in motion. The camera can also focus down to EV-3 brightness. While we’re talking about image processing, the A7 also boasts an enhanced BIONZ X image processing machine.
The front-end LSI makes data readout twice as fast as the previous model and is about 1.8x faster. This new processor means enhanced image quality, lower noise and a more dynamic range across a wider sensitivity range of up to ISO 51,200. Portrait photographers will also be happy to know that reproduction of skin color has improved phenomenally. The A7 also supports 14-bit RAW output during continuous/silent shooting.
The A6000 boasts a new 24 megapixel ‘Exmor APS HD’ CMOS sensor that has on-chip phase detection like its predecessor. The improvements are evident when you realize that the sensor’s on-chip phase detection covers a greater area of the frame. Sony has also improved AF tracking, especially when shooting continuously. The a6000 uses the latest image processor that Sony has to offer; the Bionz X – which offers better detail and improved noise reduction. All these features are wonderful, but it’s the camera’s improved AF system that makes it stand out. The 25-point contrast detect is the same, the number of phase-detect points has gone from 99 to 179 since the NEX-6. This gives you a wider coverage area of about 92% of the frame.
That wider area allows phase detection autofocus to track moving subjects more effectively. The latest Bionz X processor is also an incredible addition to the system. Sony promises that the processor is a lot more powerful than the last generation. It features a refined sharpening system with less emphasis on edges which pushes fine detail to the fore. The Bionz X also offers a more advanced version of the context-sensitive ‘area-specific’ noise reduction.
3. Movie Mode
The A7 records high-res full-frame 4K movies with full-pixel readout without pixel binning. The advanced image processing allows you to record full-frame 4K movies with superior image quality in the mid-to-high ISO range. You can also choose between Super 35 mm and full-frame mode. This function also uses a combination of focal-plane phase-detection AF and contrast-detection AF that locks onto fast moving subjects and tracks them smoothly. The AF coverage for videos is nearly identical to the AF coverage area for still images. The A7 provides plenty of functions to accommodate the needs of professional videographers, including simultaneous proxy movie recording, time code/user bits (TC/UB), clean HDMI output, marker display/setting, zebra function, rec. Control, Slow and Quick Motion, Gamma Display Assist function, and extraction of a still from a movie.
The A6000’s movie mode isn’t all that different from the NEX-6, photographers can output ‘clean’ video over HDMI. And have access to a zebra pattern, which is a warning that can be set to indicate a chosen brightness level. The A6000 does not feature 4K recording, but it is able to record 1920 x 1080 at 60p, 60i, 24p fps and save in MPEG-4, AVCHD, and XAVC S formats. The A6000’s full HD resolution will be good enough for most situations, but some users prefer 4K recording.
4. Image Quality
There are many benefits that come with a full-frame sensor, with one of those benefits is the success with which the camera handles image noise at higher ISO settings. The A7 displays no signs of noise at all right up to ISO 1600, and even at ISO 3200 luminance noise is visible but not serious. This is also true at ISO 6400, with minimal noise that doesn’t take away from the overall image. The A7 uses the same 1200-zone metering system as its predecessors, and it can deliver even exposures in much more challenging lighting conditions.
You can also use the zebra pattern display to find which areas in the frame see highlights blown out. The zebra function is mainly used for shooting videos, but it can come in handy for images too. There are a few issues when it comes to the standard kit lens and continuous focusing, but the overall picture looks great.
The A6000 offers excellent image quality that can easily compete with the recent Sony NEX and Alpha cameras. You can expect accurate exposure and colors, as well as speedy focus. With a sensitivity of ISO 100, you will struggle to see any noise at all. Details are surprisingly sharp, the camera exposes properly and adjusts quickly, the speedy focus will leave you breathless. The zoom feature has also improved from the A6000’s predecessors, thanks to the motorized lens and an integrated toggle.
|Sony A7||Sony A6000|
The A7 has the NP-FZ100 battery and an optional VG-C3EM Vertical Grip that can hold two batteries. The camera also has USB Type-C™ and Multi/Micro USB ports that allow external mobile batteries to power the camera for a longer battery life. You can also use accessories such as a remote control unit that can be used via Multi/Micro USB port while power is supplied via USB Type-C™ port.
While some reviewers claim that they only got 250 shots per charge, most users are satisfied with the A7’s battery life. Some users report getting up to 800 shots per charge. The external options will also extend the battery life considerably. That being said, the battery might not last as long as you do, so it would be a good idea to have a few backup options on you.
The A6000 uses Sony’s standard NP-FW50 battery. Since mirrorless cameras use up more energy, you might want to keep more batteries around than you usually would. Some users have found that they could get around 360 shots per charge using the LCD, but only around 310 shots while shooting with a viewfinder. There are two reasons why mirrorless cameras have less battery life than DSLRs, the first is that the batteries are much smaller.
And the second is that the EVF is basically a miniature computer monitor. Improved technology isn’t always perfect to start with, but if you prepare accordingly, you can enjoy all the benefits. If you are used to shooting for extended periods, then it would be a good idea to bring your battery charger with you or keep several batteries on you at all times.
6. Wifi Connectivity
The one-touch remote can turn your smartphone or tablet into a viewfinder/remote control. The one-touch sharing system transfers photos/videos to your device in an instant, so that you can share your photos with friends, family and your social media accounts. To enjoy this function, all you need to do is install the PlayMemories Mobile app via Wi-Fi to your NFC-enabled Android device. The final step is to then touch the device to the camera and they will be connected.
If you don’t have NFC, you will have to use QR code compatibility to pair the devices. This function is a step up from having a built-in Wifi option and is one of the newer tricks that Sony has to offer. The camera is at the forefront of innovation and if you get used to this technology now, you will be equipped to handle future advancements more easily.
Thanks to advanced technology, the camera A6000 now be controlled via a Mac or PC through a simple USB connection. The Wi-Fi feature is about the same as the A6000’s predecessor, and can run Sony’s feature-enhancing ‘Playmemories Apps’. The built-in Wifi also enables remote control from your smartphone or tablet, options for uploading to the cloud, across Wifi networks, and the ability to transfer images from the camera and. It might not have some of the A7’s advanced features, but that does not mean that the camera is inferior. You will still be able to accomplish a wide variety of functions thanks to the built-in Wifi.
7. Sony A7 vs A6000: Pros and Cons
Now that we have seen what features each of these cameras has to offer, it is time to see whether we can live with what they don’t offer. Each camera is unique and can do things that other cameras can’t, but on that also means that there are some things that they can’t do. As the future owner of one of these cameras, you need to decide what you can do without. That does not mean that the cons are deal breakers. Each camera also has a few interesting pros that might tip the scales in their favor. Let’s find out what they have to offer.
Sony A7: Pros:
- Weather sealing.
- Focus Peaking.
- Looks old school but works with modern technology.
- The viewfinder is big and bright.
- An incredibly satisfying shutter.
- Brilliant image quality.
- A good LCD.
Sony A7 Cons:
- There is a start-up lag of a few seconds.
- Battery life isn’t the greatest, but this is a common problem.
- Inconsistent low-light focus.
- Expensive lens range.
- Only 1 SD card slot.
There is no denying that the A7 is a great camera. It takes wonderful pictures, there are plenty of incredible features that will delight any user. But there are a few problems. The start-up lag is only a few seconds long, but if you let your camera fall asleep then want to take a spontaneous picture, the lag will cost you. This can be a frustrating issue and won’t be ideal for JPEG shooters, Auto-ISO users and anyone who needs to take spontaneous shots. There is a simple way to prevent the lag, and that’s by making sure that you use your camera continuously, but that isn’t always possible. Many users have found that the camera exceeded their expectations which is always a good sign. The camera scores well among most users, but the few issues that it presents also prevents it from getting perfect ratings.
Sony A6000: Pros
- Great image quality.
- Decent battery life for a mirrorless camera.
- Integrated EVF and Wifi.
- Easy interface.
- Fast autofocus.
Sony A6000 Cons:
- The screen isn’t well designed.
- No microphone input jack.
- EVF tends to be too sensitive.
- Doesn’t come with an external charger.
- Charging takes a while.
- No weather sealing.
What you see is what you get with this camera. The interface is easy to use and you won’t get lost trying to figure out how to use it. It is easy and a lot of fun to use. It is a simple camera with a few great features that make it stand out from the crowd. The modern features make it a hit while the simple aesthetic makes many different users feel at ease. The autofocus function is incredible and you will find yourself using it more and more. Simple, yet effective are the three words that can describe this camera best. The strong outer shell makes it a good match for people who are prone to falling, but the lack of weather-sealing can be a problem.
Sony A7 vs A6000: Verdict
Now that we have looked at all the features, pros and cons of both cameras we have to make a decision. Every person is unique and this means that what you’re looking for in a camera will be different from what the next person is looking for. This means that what we choose is not necessarily what you’re going to choose because you might have something else in mind.
The best way to find a camera that you’re going to love is by thinking about what you’re going to do with the camera, what you need it to do and what you can and cannot live with. Once you have that sorted, then finding your next camera will be easy.
That being said, we do need to choose the best camera.
The Sony A7 is an impressive camera. All its features are new and modern. The sensor ensures that you get crisp, beautiful pictures every time you use it. If you’re on the go, you can just tap your camera to your device and the two will be connected. The A7 is one of the most exciting products that Sony has released in a long time. You will be able to shoot high-def 4k video footage which will make your videos some of the best on the block and you can take the camera everywhere thanks to the impressive weather sealing.
We could go on and on about the impressive functions, but there are a few issues that make users hesitant. For one thing, the inconsistent low-light is a problem. You will have to keep making adjustments as you go. The lens range for this camera is also rather pricey, so you’ll have to save up for the different lenses.
Next, we have the Sony A6000. It might not have the same functions as the A7, but it is impressive in its own right. There are other mirrorless cameras on the market with more impressive sounding features, but if you’re looking to spend less than $1,000 including a lens, then you know which camera to choose. Sony packed so many features into the camera, that it is practically a steal at that price.
The A6000 is small, fast, versatile and very affordable. It is a camera with a lot of power, on top of its brilliant image quality. That does not mean that it is perfect, however. If you are looking for a camera to take excellent videos with, then this might not be the camera for you. It takes good videos, but not the best. The screen has caused a little bit of frustration with some users, but once you get used to it, it is not a massive problem. The EVF does tend to be too sensitive, and you will have to be careful not to set it off by accident.
When looking at both cameras it can be hard to choose which one you should buy. They both have impressive features that make them stand out from other cameras on the market. Since we’re choosing a winner, we’d have to go with the A6000. It does not have the same number of features, but that makes it more impressive. This is a small camera with a powerful punch. It comes with an affordable price tag and can perform as well as more expensive cameras on the market. Simple, effective and fun to use. What more could you ask for?
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