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Review: The perfect travel camera?! (Sony A6000)

Review: The perfect travel camera?! (Sony A6000)

Old Jul 18, 17, 4:14 am
  #1  
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Review: The perfect travel camera?! (Sony A6000)

Hey! I am using the Sony A6000 camera since it was released 3 years ago and after checking out some alternatives, I just a few days ago switched back to the good old proven setup.

I tried to summarize why I like this combination so much and why it is so good for traveling, hopefully it will be helpful for some!

Also please do share the equipment that you guys are using for traveling and what your experiences are?


Thanks so much,
Chris

Sony A6000 Camera & Sony SELP18105G Lens Review


Sony A6000 – 24MP Mirrorless Camera Sony A6000 – 24MP Mirrorless Camera


The Sony A6000 was one of the first mirrorless cameras to appear on the market. As the name suggests, it does not use a mirror like conventional DSLR cameras and thereby is much faster without losing a lot of image quality at the same time. I had used it for ages and then recently switched to a lighter Sony RX-10 premium Bridge camera. Quality wise, it cannot compete with the combination described in this post, but it is much cheaper and lighter and so I wanted to see if it will be good enough. The fact that I could not do zoomed-in panoramas turned out to be deal breaker ithough and I have just bought my third Sony A6000 here in Cambodia today!

For starters and most importantly, the camera has excellent picture quality for it’s weight (285g) and price (~500€) – if you pair it with a good lens! The 16-50mm kit lens is not bad, but far from good enough to get everything out of what the A6000 has to offer. I suggest to just buy the body and move straight to a better lens, but more on that later. Next to the image quality, the A6000 is also really really fast for a 3 year old camera. It only takes seconds from turning it on, focus on your motive and take the shot. Other cameras (incl. the RX-10) take much longer and I missed a lot of great shots because of that! Having a light camera for me personally is very important and I am happy that the A6000 still rests very solid in my hands. Last but not least, I simply love Sony’s built in Panorama function. The image is stitched together instantly and in 95% of the cases, it is simply perfect! Only taking pictures on a moving boat for instance will make it hard to get a good Panorama. Zoomed-in Panoramas are my favorites, something I did not know that I could do until a year ago or so.

Sony SELP18105G – 18-105mm versatile zoom lens Sony SELP18105G – 18-105mm versatile zoom lens
Finding a good lens is really important and after a couples of years, I had a few of them to check out. As mentioned, the 16-50mm kit lens is not really a good option. If you bought the kit, I suggest selling it separately and move on to a better lens. I had tested various lenses, from zoom to fixed length and ended up with the Sony SELP18105G, a simply perfect lens for nearly all situations. Having a 18-105mm range AND good image quality at the same time enables me to leave all other lenses at home. Carrying only one lens with me also makes up for the fact that the 18105 is pretty heavy and rather big, I can barely fit it into my small camera bag! The lens is ideal for landscape and panorama shots and produces amazing JPEG images with the A6000. I still prefer JPEG over RAW due to the fact that I take about 300-400 pictures each day for 2 1/2 years now and I simply do not have the time to edit them all instantly. Not to mention how many external HDD I would have to carry. And finally, the 18105 is amazing for shooting videos! The quality and auto focus is great and I love the fact that I can very slowly and gently zoom in with the lever on the side of the lens, also resulting in absolute zero noises while zooming unlike many other lenses.

Last edited by Chris1984; Feb 14, 18 at 3:52 am
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Old Jul 19, 17, 8:27 pm
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up until this last trip I was using an older 8mp Sony DSC-something...


for this last trip I bought a 20mp Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V. easy to use and great pics.
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Old Jul 19, 17, 9:34 pm
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The Sony Axxxx mirrorless are really groundbreaking for those that needed/desired a portable high quality photograph tool. Sony has really taken a risk and is getting rewarded with a huge base that has embraced it.

We'll see if the two gorillas ever respond or go the way of Blackberry and Nokia

I am packing my D810/D5 24-70 / 70-200 2.8, and a V1 6.7-13 as my pocket 14-24, LOL to Shanghai this week. WOW just picking it up is making me wonder is it worth it. I actually don't plan to pull it out at all in Shanghai, just need to lug this to shoot some low light dance/action on the backend of the trip.

I've been thinking really hard about moving to the Sony mirrorless, but as an sports/low-light action shooter when you add fast lens, maybe a 200F2 or 300/400 2.8 and expect to take several K pictures at a sitting for me personally not compelling. For others the Sony product is simply amazing and indeed perfect.

My perfect travel camera, iPhone7Plus to make my FX kit pretty much just a boat anchor except for action and low-light. Pretty amazing what the latest generation is capable of, pretty much killing off the whole P&S business.

Last edited by chipmaster; Jul 19, 17 at 9:43 pm
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Old Jul 23, 17, 9:14 am
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So you only use your phone or p&s so far? Or did i miss somethhing? The A6000 with kitlens is actually nearly the same size as a p&s even.
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Old Jul 23, 17, 3:02 pm
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I have a nice DSLR and a mirrorless camera, but for most travel I find myself reaching to the Sony Rx100 v3. The freedom of being able to tuck this little camera anywhere, means it doesn't stay in the hotel room, but ends up in my jean or jacket pocket.
I only take the other kits if the purpose of the trip is mainly photography.
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Old Jul 28, 17, 8:47 am
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I uused the Rx100 mark 1 and had to give it away again because you cant do Panoramas with a zoomed lens at the same time since the lens is built in. I guess its the same in the mark 3 and sadly a reason not to consider it :/
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Old Jul 28, 17, 4:14 pm
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I extensively use the Sony A6x00 series as well. They are brilliant cameras and perfectly designed for travel without sacrificing functions or image quality - small bodies and the mirrorless short flange distance helps keep the lenses smaller too.

I have an A6000 that I've used extensively for a couple of years and this year acquired an A6500 for an Iceland trip so I could have the A6000 as backup. The 1670Z is a great general purpose zoom, if a bit soft and muddy in the corners, and expensive for what it is. The 35/1.8 is a brilliant prime.
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Old Aug 4, 17, 8:39 am
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You reckon the extra $$ for the 6500 are worth it? How good does the stabilisation work?
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Old Sep 7, 17, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Chris1984 View Post
You reckon the extra $$ for the 6500 are worth it?
It depends on what you're using the camera(s) for. If you're mainly shooting stills with OSS (stabilised) lenses, you'll not get much benefit out of moving to the A6500.

If you want more (a lot more) video options, and use unstabilised lenses such as some of the excellent third-party primes available, then the extras are great.
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Old Sep 9, 17, 12:33 am
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I think ill wait a bit more until the price drops further and then get one for the next trip. The a6000 is great but it does not even have full 1080p video so the upgrade would make sense for sure. Or maybe i can grab a cheap one in Hong Kong in a couple of months =)
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Old Sep 9, 17, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Chris1984 View Post
The a6000 is great but it does not even have full 1080p video
Pretty sure it does!

Your best bet if you do want a cheaper A6500 is probably Hong Kong. I don't think there has been (or will be) significant price drift on the 6500 because all three models (6000, 6300, 6500) continue to be (intentionally) available in the market place at their respective price points. The 6300 won't drift down to the bargain end where the 6000 now sits until stocks of the 6000 run out (and it's even possible they're still manufacturing batches of the 6000 since it sells so well).
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Old Oct 2, 17, 5:00 am
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Sorry, you are right but I am shooting in MP4 and in that case it only has 1440x1080.

I was just looking at the A6300 and coudl get it for a good price in Hong kong. Of course, no warranty outside of HK then but thats a risk I would take. And I dont need the A6500 since my lens has OSS.

Will get there in 3 weeks and then check it out in the store
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Old Oct 2, 17, 8:09 am
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The stabilization in the 6500 has saved me quite a few times. My travel kit is an a7rII and a6500 with the 24-70GM, 12-24G, Canon 24mm TS, and 70-200GM when I have the need for it. The first three are all unstabilized so I require IBIS on all of my camera bodies now.

I guess it all depends on the lenses you have and plan on having in the future. Video-wise there's no difference between the 6300 and 6500 aside from the stabilization, but I think the a6300 had more overheating issues shooting in 4K (I haven't experienced any of these issues on either the 6300 I had nor the 6500 I currently have).
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Old Oct 13, 17, 2:44 am
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My a6000 just died again with this error! cant believe it - i will upgrade to the a6300 for sure next week nnow since i dont really have another option and dont want to get back to the a6000 if it does not seem to cope with the amount of pictures I take
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Old Oct 13, 17, 6:17 am
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Originally Posted by Chris1984 View Post
My a6000 just died again with this error! cant believe it - i will upgrade to the a6300 for sure next week nnow since i dont really have another option and dont want to get back to the a6000 if it does not seem to cope with the amount of pictures I take
Have you looked at the Fuji X-T2? Mirrorless is not my forte, but I rented one when I went down to Brazil to save weight and so I had something smaller to hide easier. It was a fantastic little camera and had great image quality. If video is your thing, the Panasonic GH5 is a great bet as well.
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