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    Which crop sensor Sony a6000 series camera should you buy?


    The message Which crop sensor Sony a6000 series camera should you buy? first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Suzi Pratt.

    If you are on the market for a high-quality compact camera, you cannot go wrong with the Sony a6000 series. Since the original A6000 debuted, this camera has surpassed multiple bestseller lists and remains popular with enthusiasts and professionals. With the recent release of the Sony a6400, there are now four cameras in this series to choose from. This article explains some important differences between all camera models with recommendations about which camera suits you best.

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    Sony debuted in 2010 with its first high-end mirrorless camera. However, 2014 was the year in which the Sony a6000 was introduced. This compact camera sensor without mirror is a hit with consumers and professionals alike. In the last few years, Sony has released a number of updated versions of this camera that include features such as 4K video recording, IBIS (5-axis in-camera image stabilization) and better low-light performance. Interestingly, Sony has not stopped earlier models. So from now on, from the beginning of 2019, you can still buy one of these cameras brand new directly from Sony.

    • 2014: the original Sony a6000
    • Early 2016: the Sony a6300
    • End of 2016: the Sony a6500
    • 2019: the Sony a6400

    What is the same?

    Despite some important differences, these four generations of Sony crop-sensor mirrorless cameras have much in common. They have almost exactly the same camera housings. There are a few small differences in size and weight, with the a6500 weighing the most at 16 grams. All four cameras are also supplied with a 3-inch LCD screen and a 1-centimeter OLED viewfinder. All cameras take photos of approximately 24 megapixels in format at 11 frames per second. Finally, the battery life is about the same, about 300-350 shots.

    Still differences in photography

    We begin to see noticeable differences when we look at important photography specifications such as:

    ISO performance

    With each new release, Sony increases the limit in terms of ISO range. The a6000 has the smallest range of ISO 100-25600, while the high ISO value of the a6400 is the most at 102400. Both the a6300 and a6500 have the same ISO range of 100-51200.

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    Sony a6300 recorded with ISO 3200

    Autofocus points

    Another important difference is the number of autofocus points. The a6000 is located at the bottom of the package with 179 phase detection AF points and 25 contrast detection AF points. Both the a6300 and the a6500 have 425 phase detection AF points with 169 contrast detection AF points. Finally, the a6400 offers the best autofocus with 425 phase detection points and 425 contrast detection points.

    Silent recording

    One of the biggest advantages of mirrorless camera shooting is silent mode photography that is really quiet. When this function is on, silent recording allows you to capture still images in stealth mode without the speaking snap coming off the shutter. It is an ideal feature for photographing weddings or events awaiting strange noise. Silent recordings are missing on the a6000. The a6300 and a6500 can shoot in silent mode at up to 3 frames per second (fps), while the a6400 is set at 8 fps.

    Video functions

    Which camera should you buy?

    Best for starting photographers with a limited budget

    If you are a starting photographer with a limited budget, the Sony a6000 is still a fantastic deal. For around $ 500 for the body-only or $ 600 with the kit lens included, you can get one of the most popular mirrorless cameras on the market. The most important functions that you will miss are ultra-fast and accurate autofocus, the very best low-light photo performance and important video functions such as 4K video recording and internal stabilization. However, you can still make up to 1080p video if you choose, and the still images are pretty clear. In short: get this camera if you are an informal, still photographer with a small budget.

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    Best for average photographers or beginning videographers

    If you happen to have an extra budget, consider the Sony a6300 as the ideal intermediate camera for the couple. There are many improvements for both photography and videography. This camera received an important sensor upgrade with faster and more accurate autofocus, including 425 phase detection points. Photos & videos and videos in low light have also been greatly improved.

    Video functions also received a major boost with the ability to record in 4K, or 120 fps for 4x slow motion at 1080p. The a6300 also makes it possible to shoot in S-Log, a flat video profile that allows for easier color correction in post-production.

    Finally, the a6300 also debuted with a more solid magnesium alloy camera body, unlike the mainly plastic build of the a6000.

    Bottom line: there are large auto-focus and low-light performance improvements to make this a much improved still camera for still photography. But the biggest reason to buy this camera via the A6000 is if you need modern video functions.

    Best for average photographers or advanced videographers

    A few months after the a6300 was released, Sony pulled a strange motion and released another camera: the a6500. This camera is essentially the a6300, but with 3 important new functions. First they added a 5-axis camera stabilization in the body. This feature, also known as IBIS, stabilizes the a6500, allowing you to take stable handheld videos & photos under low light regardless of the lens you use. The other a6000 cameras ' s, on the other hand, only offer 2-axis stabilization when using a stabilized lens. Unfortunately, the life of the battery is reduced if IBIS is switched on.

    The a6500 also adds an LCD touch screen on the back and a slightly faster in-camera image processing.

    Bottom line: If you absolutely need IBIS for video or ultra-fast image processing for sports photography, for example, take this camera. But if you don't need any of these features (and most hobbyists or beginning photographers don't), save the extra costs and place it in a lens instead.

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    The best for Vloggers or video makers

    This year, Sony made a strange move by releasing the a6400. It is exactly between the a6300 and the a6500. This camera has a new image sensor and processor that work together to improve autofocus performance and speed. There are also major video upgrades. The a6400 allows recording with a high dynamic range, plus interval recording for time-lapse video. Sony eventually also delivered an LCD screen on the back that can fold up 180 degrees. This is ideal for vloggers or for those who want to view images while facing the camera.

    However, there are a number of shortcomings with the a6400. First, the flip-screen stands in the way of the hot-shoe holder. If you try to use the flip screen with a light or microphone on the camera, forget it. Second, the a6400 omits the 5-axis camera resistance in the body (IBIS), and only offers 2-axis stabilization if you use a stabilized lens.

    Bottom line: The a6400 offers a new sensor, processor and other functions. But these things are more important for professional photographers and videographers. Unless you need IBIS, a flip-screen or ultra-fast camera performance, you are better off with another camera in the a6000 line.

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    Whichever camera you choose …

    Remember that all of these cameras can be purchased, used or sold if you decide to upgrade in the future. If you take care of your camera equipment, these cameras retain their value and are fairly easy to sell.

    The message Which crop sensor Sony a6000 series camera should you buy? first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Suzi Pratt.

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