Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sony Reveals A6000 Mirrorless Camera with World First Fastest auto-focus System

Earlier this month, as Sony sold its PC division, it was made clear that the Japanese brand will focus more  on its imaging division now apart from smartphones and tablets. The A6000 is the first camera launched after the announcement, and it banks on some heavy claims. According to Sony, the camera has the world’s fastest auto-focusing system among interchangeable lens APS-C cameras.

On size alone it would be easy to dismiss the A6000 – at just 120 x 66.9 x 45.1mm, it’s only slightly larger than the pocket-sized but highly capable Panasonic Lumix TZ60. It’s very compact.  There are plenty of controls, with dual dial and wheel control plus six customisable buttons available. At 285g (with kit lens) the A6000 is a good weight and size, too, and the brushed metal and tough polycarbonate body proving very reassuring.

Positioned as a replacement to the NEX-6, the A6000 is a midrange interchangeable lens camera targeted at the enthusiast. It has a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor (APS-C), a Hybrid AF system that boasts a focusing time of just 0.06 seconds, and widespread focus points for better focusing ability. It can do a maximum of 11fps in continuous shooting mode, while video benefits from the availability  of Zebra pattern and clean HDMI out. Being an E-mount camera, it can accept all FE and E lenses. 

The end result is an autofocus speed of just 0.06 seconds, which is even faster than the much-celebrated Fujifilm X-100Sl, with the selection of the correct subjects being seemingly instantaneous. In the time with the A6000, but a built-in flash with AF-beam assist should help here and there’s a hotshoe to connect additional lighting options as well

The A6000 looks like a good contender if you’re a keen action photographer, too. It claims a maximum burst speed 11fps of RAW JPEG for 21 frames or 49fps of fine JPEG before it begins buffering, and I was still able to continue shooting but at a much slower 1-2fps when it was full.

The A6000’s EVF is an OLED with a 1.44-million dot resolution and 100% frame coverage. The EVF protrudes slightly from the back of the camera, and the buffering around it is rubberised for extra comfort. The A6000 also has a 3.0-type 921K-dot tiltable LCD, which is bright enough to be used in daylight, and even fairs well in direct sunlight thanks to anti-reflective coating.

With NFC and Wi-Fi available onboard, connecting the camera to handheld devices won’t be a problem. It comes with a flip-out screen, and will be available in silver or black. International prices start at $650 (equivalent of Rs 40,404) for the body only. Expect it to sit close to the NEX-6 in terms of pricing, when it comes to India.

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