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Sony A6000 Camera & Sony SELP18105G Lens Review

26 Feb February 26

As mentioned in my initial post listing the complete gear I am using during my travels, I will now start reviewing and start with the first and probably most important piece of equipment: The Camera! I have used a Sony A6000 since it was originally released in April 2014 and will tell you why I still carry it around until now despite the fact that it is slowly getting old.. 

Sony A6000 Camera & Sony SELP18105G Lens Review for travelers


Sony A6000 – 24MP Mirrorless Camera

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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!


Why I love the camera so much

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 Alternatives

I would like to compare the A6000 with other mirrrorless cameras from Sony as I have read a lot about them and never used any cameras from other companies. Obviously, the new Sony A6300 or recent top performer A6500 are even faster and better, but the A6000 still has the best value for it’s low price. Unless you need 4K video or the new stabilization features of the A6500, you are probably fine getting the original A6000 – especially if on a budget like myself. The newer cameras are also much heavier with 361g and 410g respectively compared to the 285g of the A6000. If I will upgrade in the future, I would certainly choose the 6500 though as it offers some more ground breaking features like the 5-axis stabilization. Or I invest some more money and switch straight to my dream model, the full frame Sony Alpha 7R II!


Sony SELP18105G – 18-105mm versatile zoom lens

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My Favorite 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.


Alternatives & Additional lenses

If you shoot a lot of low light, consider carrying another fixed length lens like the Sony SEL35F18 with 1.8 aperture and capable of shooting in low light conditions. It is very light weight and small, so if you have some space in the bag – why not throw it in as well? I decided to leave it though as I do not shoot in low light often enough to carry it around with me all the time.

Another great alternative for the 18105 is the Sony SEL1670Z! Having a lens from Carl Zeiss obviously isn’t a bad thing in terms of picture quality. In fact, the quality of the 1670 is considerably better than the 18105. After using it for a few weeks, I decided to sell it again though because I preferred to have the slightly bigger zoom instead of the (also great) better wide angle of the 1670Z. I also didn’t think that the quality is that much better to justify a 35% higher price tag. Still, if you prefer wide angle over zoom and can spend a few more bucks, you should probably get the 1670Z!

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Posted by on 26th February 2017 in Gear, News

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