Monday, July 17, 2017

Goodbye A6000, Hello A6300

Nothing lasts forever.

You might be able to say that the Sony A6000 is what put me on the YouTube photographers map. As of today, our "Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Sony A6000" has had close to 200,000 views on YouTube. I personally know of at least a dozen people who purchased a Sony A6000 based on my recommendation including two pros! At one time I owned two A6000 bodies and they were my first choice for military photography in Korea (after I made the switch to E Mount mirrorless). I know the A6000 intimately, some of the best photos I've ever taken were with the A6000, which made the decision to sell my A6000 in order to upgrade to the A6300 extremely difficult. So why sell and upgrade?

Buy the items mentioned in this blog post:

Sony A6300 -
Sony A6500 -
Beholder MS1 -
Sony 18-105mm OSS Lens -
Sony 16mm f/2.8 lens -

The main reason I've decided to upgrade to the A6300 is for the 4K video capabilities. I've migrated nearly all my video productions to 4K and the A6300 is one of the best performers when it comes to 4K video. It has more customization features for video like S-Log and other picture profiles to give shooters a more cinematic look and more control in difficult lighting conditions. The A6300 can also shoot at 120fps in HD which allows for nice and smooth slow motion captures. Another reason is that I want to continue to have an APS-C E Mount camera in my inventory for sports, wildlife and any other photography which would require the impressive 11 frames per second (same as the A6000). My Sony A7II and A7RII can only manage 5 frames per second. The auto focus has been improved over the A6000 with 479 phase detection points which covers almost the entire frame. In addition to the fast burst mode, an APS-C sensor gives me a 1.5 crop factor which means extra reach with my zoom lenses. Of course, I can shoot in APS-C mode on my A7's but I want to be able to combine the crop factor with the fast burst mode.

A secondary, yet important factor in determining my decision to upgrade to the A6300 was the more robust built of the body. The difference in the quality of the build of the body was noticeable from the first moment I held an A6300. The A6000 is definitely more plastic feeling than the magnesium alloy body of the A6300 (thanks Captain Obvious). The A6300 is also dust and moisture resistant, an issue that I had some experience with the A6000. There are some other improvements over the A6000 that appeal to me, like the improved EVF, but that wasn't really a big deal since I never had any complaints about the EVF in the A6000.

Sony A6000 pictured above with a Mamiya 645 lens mounted with an adapter.

Sony A6000 pictured with a Zeiss 16-70mm lens and battery grip.

Why not the A6500?

Simply put, I didn't feel that the A6500 offered anything over the A6300 for the type of photography/videography that I do. The A6500 offers a touch screen which is mostly used to for touch AF, this doesn't real appeal to me at this time. The A6500 offers a bigger buffer (much bigger) that the A6300, but I never really had an problems with the buffer on my A6000 and the buffer on the A6300 is similar (the buffer is how many pictures you can take in burst mode before the camera needs to "catch up" to record the images to the memory card). When I shoot sports I might shoot 8-10 shots in a burst. Granted, I've been told that the buffer on the A6500 is just as good as on the new A9, and that makes it really tempting, but I just don't shoot enough action and sports to justify the additional expenditure. And lastly, the A6500 features in body, 5 axis stabilization, however, when I shoot video these days, I almost always mount my camera on my Beholder MS1 gimbal stabilizer. And besides, most of the lenses I use for video have optical stabilization already. Naturally, any additional stabilization would be beneficial, but after watching a number of YouTube videos, I didn't feel that the in body stabilization was a deal breaker. Not to mention, if I really want more stabilization, I can shoot with my A7II or A7RII, both of which have the 5 axis stabilization.


The difference in price between the A6300 and A6500 is fairly significant. A brand new Sony A6300 is listed for around $946 USD, while an A6500 can be had for $1398 USD. However, I like to buy used when I can and I've been seeing "like new" A6300's on eBay for the high $700's. When I factor in the $365 I got for my used A6000, the out of pocket cost is extremely reasonable.


When the A6500 was announce, just months after the A6300, I thought that the improvements must be significant enough to justify the quick succession of releases. Some are significant, the buffer for example, but after doing my research, the improvements weren't enough for me, that's not to say the same is true for other photographers. I'm sure there are many who will love the in body 5 axis stabilization (maybe they don't have other camera bodies that have that feature like I do?) or the touch screen. But the price difference combined with the type of photography that I do pointed me to the A6300. 

I'm leaning towards picking up the Sony 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens as it looks to be a fantastic lens for video. True, it's only 2mm wider than my 18-105mm however, it's small, which means it will work better with my gimbal. I have other small lenses that work well with the gimbal (the gimbal needs to be balanced, it's easier to do it with smaller lenses, in fact, it's impossible to balance the gimbal with lenses that are long and/or front heavy) like the 35mm f/2.8 and 28mm f/2 but I like the option of having a wider lens as well.

Adding the A6300 will give me 4K video capabilities along with numerous camera bodies in my inventory, the quality of the images it can capture are on par with ANY camera body in it's category. 

Below are a number of images I've captured with my A6000 over the past few years and some more images of the A6000 itself. Goodbye A6000, it's been great!

No comments:

Post a Comment