On a chase

Action photography with Sony Alpha 6000 + Zeiss 55mm F1.8

Sony Alpha 6000, or A6000 for short, is a little gem when it comes to taking pictures of action. As much as I am in love with the results from both Alpha 7R & 7S, they are most definitely not made for fast focusing or moving subjects, and best suited for taking photographs of stationary objects or landscape. Alpha 6000 on the other hand, is a good camera for that, with its on-sensor phase detect points covering most of the frame, it is capable of tracking and quickly focusing on the fast-moving subject. It is not perfect and has rather bad focus plane prediction algorithm, resulting in missed focus when subject moves toward the camera but I can live with that.

Throughout a year I had this camera, it proved to be a good partner on my walks with Hanpen (my dog). Small, light and comfortable to hold, with viewfinder and big screen on the back, fast focusing, 11fps continues shooting, decent dynamic range, and sufficient for my purposes battery life, relatively inexpensive, it is good all-rounder to have. I do have issues with the mount not being tight/tough enough and lens loosing electronic contact time to time (Sony fix this in the next release please) and it did prevent me from getting a shot on a few occasions but besides that, it was reliable in use. Build quality is also not as good as its large brothers, A7R and A7S, and feels rather cheap in hand. Feature wise, it is a very good package and even has ability to have Sony Playmemories applications installed on it, giving you even more features in a small and light body.

The biggest advantage I see in this camera for myself, is its mount, since I already have A7 series cameras with the same mount, I can use same lenses without need to fragment my system.

Now a little about the lens. Sony Zeiss 55mm/1.8 is a marvelous lens made for a full-frame sensor camera, like A7II/A7/R/S. There is absolutely nothing I can complain about in this lens, quiet the opposite, I just do not have sufficient skill to use to a full. It shines on both A7R and A6000 alike, with beautiful “bokeh” and razor-lie sharpness, juicy color rendering and superb build quality. Focusing motor on the lens is fast enough for Alpha 6000 and gives you roughly 80mm field of view on APS-C sensor, making it perfect for close-up action shots. Overall this lens a versatile and I would advice it to anyone who considers e-mount. It is a fixed focal length lens, meaning that you cannot zoom in or out, but 50mm (FF) is very close to human vision, making it perfect for day-to-day use.

Just to sum it up, here is the list of pros and cons that I personally experienced using Sony Alpha 6000 (A6000) camera with different lenses:

Pros

  • Small size and light weight
  • Highly portable and very much pocketable with the right lens attached
  • Fast focus
  • Excellent image quality (good job Sony!)
  • High frame rate in continues shooting mode
  • Very good video capabilities
  • Viewfinder and large back screen
  • 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor
  • Playmemories Apps
  • e-mount, can use same lenses as A7 series
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • Accessories shoe
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Price performance

Cons

  • Wobbly mount
  • Rather cheap build quality
  • No the best ergonomics on the market
  • No touchscreen (what were you thinking Sony?)
  • Buttons placement is not the best, IMHO
  • Not fully articulated back screen, hard to do selfies (maybe a good thing)

As you can see, there are not so many “cons” that I could find in daily use of the camera, and much more “pros” that makes it versatile one. Could it be better? Hell yeah! Is it a complete failure? Not even close.

That is all I have to say about this camera and lens, the combination is worth consideration but given imminent release of A6000’s successor, I would wait till it is out.

Enjoy shooting, be creative and do not forget sharing your pictures!


All of the picture you see on this page were taken with Sony Alpha 6000 and Zeiss 55mm F1.8 lens.
Ian Matyssik is geek to the bone with love for art and nature. In a free time likes walking with his dog and taking pictures.
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