Sony a6000 Review: A Stylish Travel Camera
I’ve been experimenting with a variety of camera set-ups the last few years. My boyfriend’s a photographer, so the opportunity to try new camera gear is always there. For me, the Sony a6000 takes the cake. It’s got all the right bells and whistles — no tacky gimmicks — and is an easy-to-use, fashionable tool for documenting my travels.Heads up! As an amateur photographer, I’m writing this review in a way that the general population can understand. If you’re looking for a professional photographer’s take on this camera, feel free to ask my boyfriend.
A Brief Intro to the Sony a6000
The Sony a6000 is a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera with an electronic viewfinder.
What exactly does that mean? Mirrorless means that the camera’s guts operate differently from a digital single lens reflex (DSLR). It doesn’t use a mirror to project the image into an optical viewfinder like a DSLR, but instead it uses a digital display, making the camera more compact. The a6000 also employs an electronic viewfinder, effectively duplicating the image on the LCD display, for those who prefer the traditional one-eyed method of framing a shot.
It’s a camera that can produce professional quality images (it’s sensor and lens are just as big as a professional DSLR), but it doesn’t cost as much as a super fancy pro camera. At the same time, it’s a large step above your standard point-and-shoot, in both photo quality and price.
Pick Your Style
The a6000 comes in standard black for a sleek, stylish look. If you prefer a vintage style for your travel camera, the silver may suit you better.
[UPDATE]: It comes in white now, too!
You can currently buy the a6000 camera body for $600 or a kit for $750 (which includes a 16-50mm power zoom lens).
[UPDATE] As of April 2015, the Sony a6000 is on sale on Amazon – $548/body only or $698 with the lens!
To keep my setup as compact as possible for travel, I’ve almost always got my Sony E 20mm f/2.8 lens mounted.
Why the Sony a6000 is a Great Travel Camera
- It’s lightweight. This was a major selling point for me. Since it’s not burdensome to carry, I don’t hesitate to take it with me everywhere. And when you’re a travel blogger, having a camera with me at all times is essential.
- It’s compact. Paired with my 20mm, this camera even fits into a compact camera pouch.
- It produces some beautiful photos. Here’s a small sample:
- View more sample photos on my personal travel blog.
- And crystal clear video.
See my recent marmot video from our travels to Washington.
- Interchangeable lenses — Changing your lens opens up a whole new worldview in photography. Since my BF is a Sony owner, too, we can trade lenses as we please.
- Quick and easy photo transfer to your phone or mobile device — This is my favorite feature. I can easily post my photos to Facebook or Instagram right after I take them.
- Tilt screen — I can add an arm’s length’s worth of height to my perspective or lower the camera down for a worm’s eye view and still see where I’m aiming. Sweet.
- It actually has a viewfinder. Many mirrorless cameras don’t. This makes a big difference when it’s bright outside and painful to look at the LCD.
Why the Sony a6000 isn’t a Perfect Travel Camera
- It’s not weather sealed. This meant mega dust invasion on my sensor at Burning Man this year. And I can’t really have it out in the rain. (But that hasn’t stopped me from taking it kayaking.)
- It’s not full frame. It’s APS-C. (The sensor is larger (“better”) than a standard compact point-and-shoot, but not as large as a fancier DSLR or mirrorless cam. For some photographers, that’s a deal breaker. But it suits my needs just fine.
- The Sony lens selection is not so grand, especially in comparison to the bigger pro camera brands like Canon and Nikon.
All in all, I’m pretty dang happy with my a6000, and I’m sure not planning to replace it anytime soon! I would recommend this camera for anyone who’s looking for a lightweight professional style camera for traveling or ready to step away from the boring photos produced by a point and shoot and into a higher level of photography.
Want to glam up your travel cam? View our DIY for making a custom camera strap!
What camera do you take with you on your travels? Share with the STG community in the comments below!
This article was handcrafted especially for you during my travels in Reno, Nevada.
- Diana is an outspoken, DIY-ing, star-chasing, hockey-loving, dog-owning, veggie-eating professional wanderer. And that's not the half of it. Not long ago she jumped ship from a comfy, predictable American life, sold all her stuff, and set out to explore the unknown. Now a full-time traveler, Diana believes that spontaneity, a smile, and an organized suitcase are the three key elements to a happy nomadic existence. Follow her personal travels on North To South.
[…] *This article originally appeared on my new blog, Stylish Travel Girl: A Fashionable Travel Community. […]
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This was really helpful – I just bought this camera last week for my upcoming trip to Australia, NZ and Hong Kong. Would you still recommend the 20mm lens as a good all-around lens? I’d really only like to take one lens on the trip and it came with a 16-50mm power zoom lens at it is.
It’s a great lens for travel and yes, I would still recommend it! It’s nice and compact and the angle of view is semi-wide, so it’s great for capturing landscapes.
That said, your zoom lens is still really compact and would also be a great travel lens, so since the size difference is only minor, you might be better off just sticking with what you’ve got. I chose the 20 because I wanted the most compact setup I could get, and I really like the field of view at 20mm, but your zoom lens will be more versatile and not at a big tradeoff for size. There’s a website you can use, camerasize.com, to compare the size of your camera with each lens attached. It’s a helpful tool if you’re shopping online (and perhaps today being Cyber Monday will make it a good day to shop!)
Here’s a link to the comparison: http://j.mp/1OA5g5Y
Oh wow, this is such a great site! Thank you for the link. I really, really appreciate your advice too. I’ll probably stick with the 16-50 mm then. Thanks again!
Happy to help! Have an awesome trip, Caroline!
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