Sony puts an end to the a6000 (alpha 6000) camera by releasing the official specifications and information about it. First of all, keep in mind that this is an NEX-style interchangeable lens camera and not a DSLR camera. It’s not new, but if you missed it, Sony is phasing out the NEX product name, which will eventually be completely merged with the “Alpha” line of products. I know, it’s a bit confusing and I liked the NEX name, but if you do a little bit of homework, it should OK.
Sony wants to position the a6000 somewhere between NEX-5T and the DSLR a65. The goal is to provide enough quality that DSLR users would buy it because it’s compact, while at the same time targeting customers who may otherwise be shopping for a mid-range DSLR. In short, the a6000 is Sony’s sweet spot between image quality, size and price. That’s what the current NEX-6 is and therefore it will land in the same price range (around $650, body only).
This is quite a serious upgrade over the NEX-6: the Sony a6000 has a 24.3 Megapixel sensor (vs. 16.1MP) and its ISO climbs to the same 25,600 as before. It can shoot 10% faster at 11FPS instead of 10FPS but since the resolution is higher, Sony had to beef up the image processing engine by using the BIONZ X engine that can also be found in the a5000 or the Sony A7.
Maybe the most interesting upgrade (in my opinion) is the faster auto-focus system that is contrast and phase-detection based. AF has always been the weak point of mirror-less cameras, but since a lot of efforts have been invested into making that feature faster and better, we have been seeing huge progress across the board from several vendors. Sony claims and has demonstrated that the a6000 can take sharp photos of objects moving towards the camera (the typical worst-case scenario for AF).
We’re looking forward to trying it for ourselves, but in the meantime, the official release of the Sony a6000 is something that is worth sharing. If you happen to be looking for a mid-range or entry-level DSLR, is this something that you would consider, or would you just go for the DSLR, and why? Do tell, we’d love to read your take on this, then comment some more.