*This article originally appeared on my new blog, Stylish Travel Girl.
I’ve been experimenting with a variety of camera set-ups the last few years. (Since Ian’s a photographer, the opportunity to try new camera gear is always there.) For me, the Sony a6000 takes the cake. It’s got all the right bells and whistles — no tacky gimmicks — and is an easy-to-use, fashionable tool for documenting my travels.Heads up! As an amateur photographer, I’m writing this review in a way that the general population can understand. If you’re looking for a professional photographer’s take on this camera, we welcome you to reach out to Ian directly. (He’s quite impressed with it, by the way!)
A Brief Intro to the Sony a6000
The Sony a6000 is a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera with an electronic viewfinder.
What exactly does that mean? Mirrorless means that the camera’s guts operate differently from a digital single lens reflex (DSLR). It doesn’t use a mirror to project the image into an optical viewfinder like a DSLR, but instead it uses a digital display, making the camera more compact. The a6000 also employs an electronic viewfinder, effectively duplicating the image on the LCD display, for those who prefer the traditional one-eyed method of framing a shot.
It’s a camera that can produce professional quality images (it’s sensor and lens are just as big as a professional DSLR), but it doesn’t cost as much as a super fancy pro camera. At the same time, it’s a large step above your standard point-and-shoot, in both photo quality and price.
Pick Your Style
The a6000 comes in standard black for a sleek, stylish look. If you prefer a vintage style for your travel camera, the silver may suit you better.
[UPDATE: December 2014] It comes in white now, too!
To keep my setup as compact as possible for travel, I’ve almost always got my Sony E 20mm f/2.8 lens mounted.
Why the Sony a6000 is a Great Travel Camera
- It’s lightweight. This was a major selling point for me. Since it’s not burdensome to carry, I don’t hesitate to take it with me everywhere. And when you’re a travel blogger, having a camera with me at all times is essential.
- It’s compact. Paired with my 20mm, this camera even fits into a compact camera pouch.
- It produces some beautiful photos. Here’s a small sample:
- Click here to view more photos I’ve taken with my a6000.
- And crystal clear video.
See my recent marmot video from our travels to Washington.
- Interchangeable lenses — Changing your lens opens up a whole new worldview in photography. Since my BF is a Sony owner, too, we can trade lenses as we please.
- Quick and easy photo transfer to your phone or mobile device — This is my favorite feature. I can easily post my photos to Facebook or Instagram right after I take them.
- Tilt screen — I can add an arm’s length’s worth of height to my perspective or lower the camera down for a worm’s eye view and still see where I’m aiming. Sweet.
- It actually has a viewfinder. Many mirrorless cameras don’t. This makes a big difference when it’s bright outside and painful to look at the LCD.
Why the Sony a6000 isn’t a Perfect Travel Camera
- It’s not weather sealed. This meant mega dust invasion on my sensor at Burning Man this year. And I can’t really have it out in the rain. (But that hasn’t stopped me from taking it kayaking.)
- It’s not full frame. It’s APS-C. (The sensor is larger (“better”) than a standard compact point-and-shoot, but not as large as a fancier DSLR or mirrorless cam. For some photographers, that’s a deal breaker. But it suits my needs just fine.
- The Sony lens selection is not so grand, especially in comparison to the bigger pro camera brands like Canon and Nikon.
All in all, I’m pretty dang happy with my a6000, and I’m sure not planning to replace it anytime soon! I would recommend this camera for anyone who’s looking for a lightweight professional style camera for traveling or ready to step away from the boring photos produced by a point and shoot and into a higher level of photography.
[UPDATE: January 2015] I’ve just learned how to make a custom silk scarf camera strap. View a DIY over at my women’s travel blog, Stylish Travel Girl.
I hope you enjoyed this article! What camera do you take with you on your travels? Share with us in the comments below.
This article was handcrafted especially for you during my travels in Reno, Nevada, and it originally appeared on my new blog Stylish Travel Girl.