Shoot awesome photos with a Sony a6000
Are you a budding photographer who wants to take photos you can be proud of? Perhaps you’re looking for a mirrorless camera manual to help you get to know your camera? Well, this beginners guide to shoot awesome photos with a Sony a6000, is the manual for you!
There has been a great deal of excitement about the new Sony mirrorless cameras but I must admit I was slow to get on board. Researching extensively, I read everything I could find before finally making the decision to buy the Sony a6000.
I wanted to know exactly what I could do with this camera and how it could help grow my photography skills, but most of all I wanted a camera that was easy to use.
What is a mirrorless camera, you ask?
Its a relatively new breed of camera that offers DSLR quality images but from a lighter, more portable camera.
What is important to me in a Camera
I’m a beginner, I’m not a professional photographer but I like my photos to look as sharp as possible.
- Capacity – I tend to choose cameras that have a little more capacity than a ‘point and shoot’ camera, but not so complex that by the time you have the target in focus, the moment is lost.
- Flexibility – I love to have an option of a slightly longer lens so that I can sneak up on birds and other wildlife without disturbing them.
- Adaptable – I love a lens that is adaptable enough to take a clear shot of a beautiful flower and then pan to the distance to take a landscape shot.
- Low light Capabilities – I love a stunning sunrise or sunset and especially love to shoot silhouettes which play on the light.
- Lightweight – I like to carry my camera around with me, so finding a camera light enough and small enough to fit in my handbag or small backpack was an important consideration.
Read more: Fogg Dam – A Birdwatchers Paradise
Beginners guide for photographers
This review is not like other camera review sites that talk about everything technical.
Written with newbie photographers in mind, this beginners manual will focus on the key elements of how to take great photos with the Sony A6000.
It will also touch on some of the more technical tips to push your skills a little further.Learn new skills and techniques .. Don't be afraid of using the auto settings while you learn about your new camera Click To Tweet
Get comfortable with your camera. Don’t be afraid of using the auto intelligent settings whilst you’re learning about your camera. Using these settings will have you taking spectacular shots that you can review to learn and develop your understanding of the camera’s capability whilst you grow your own skills.
All these photos were taken on my Sony A6000.
These photos have been taken whilst learning to use the Sony A6000. Some have lighting flaws, some used the wrong lens for the shot and some were just pure luck. That’s Photography!
If you’re confident with manual settings using ISO & aperture, go ahead, enjoy the flexibility of this very capable little camera.
Tip: Watch the techno-guru reviews from YouTube to expand your knowledge.
All the techno stuff you need to know
- 24 megapixels means that the quality of your photos will allow them to print beautifully.
- 11 frames per second means that I can take multiple shots in ‘rapid fire’ to get capture a moving target.
- Choose from Manual or Auto modes to take control of every photo you take. Choose Manual or select from Superior Auto or Intelligent Auto settings for fail safe shooting to reduce blurring or noise while you’re learning about your new camera.
- Ultra-fast auto-focus is the camera’s ability to quickly adjust focus automatically if your subject moves.
- Super easy-to-use video.
- Capacity to shoot in JPEG making it easy to share in social media, or in RAW if you wish to edit or enhance the photos.
- Low light capabilities, making the Sony A6000 perfect for sunrise & sunset photography.
- WiFi & NFC connectivity – simple uploading for the non-nerds among us.
Why I love my Sony A6000
- It’s small (it fits in my handbag)
- It’s lightweight
- It’s fast (11 frames per second)
- High-powered (24 megapixels)
- It has plenty of flexibility with the good selection of lenses available if you want them.
It uses the E-mount lenses which Sony has been making for many years. I tend to limit the lenses that I carry with me, and usually use either of the following 2 lenses.
- Standard kit lens 3.5-5.6/16-50
- Sony Zoom lens F4 18 – 105
Read more: What is in my Camera Bag
The adjusting focus is quick and sharp. I like to use the Sony Spot focus and the Zebra focus so I can quickly see where my camera is focused. Find the settings for these in the camera menu. I end up with very few blurry shots!
Sony’s Electronic Viewfinder
Sony’s Electronic Viewfinder is clear and sharp.
Check your horizon is aligned, check the histogram, focus-peaking, and more within the viewfinder. Review photos though the viewfinder instead of the back of the camera after you’ve taken them … often when it’s bright outside it’s impossible to see on the back screen.
Sony’s Auto-Presets are available for Awesome Photos
Discover how to take amazing photos from the very first day in the field. Opt for one of Sony’s presets. They’re a great option to test out what your camera can do!
- Superior Auto – Shoots automatically while reducing blurring and noise.
- Intelligent Auto – Automatically identifies the scene and shoots the photo.
- Scene Selection – Selects a mode suitable for the subject and the environment.
- Sweep Panorama – Creates a panoramic image while you move the camera left/right or up/down at a fixed speed.
- Movie Options – Mode for shooting movies. You can check the angle of the view before shooting.
- Manual Exposure – DIY – select your aperture and shutter speed.
Read more: Let me show you how to use your Sony A6000
Taken at the Bali Safari & Marine Park from a distance of approximately 5 metres from the Orangutan. Utilising spot focus to make sure I had the right depth of field to retain the clarity, I ended up with some nice bokah.
At Litchfield National Park I photographed this magnificent ‘Golden Orb’ spider in his web on one of the walks around Florence Falls. If you look carefully, you will see the web as the leaves blur into the background. It’s a great effect, which I will explore more of in the future.
This camera was fantastic for taking quick snaps of people posing with the monkey’s at the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali. The capacity of the Sony A6000 to re-focus quickly was amazing. The monkey’s didn’t sit still for long.
We captured this Javanese Leopard sheltering in a hollow tree as we were exiting the Bali Safari Park. It was bucketing down rain and quite gloomy out and despite no artificial light, this photo shows clarity and the colours of this big pussycat. One of my favourite photos of our last trip to Bali.
As they say … Just do it!
Friends asking me about my camera equipment has inspired me to write this post. I’m not an expert but I love new technology and am very keen to learn. Much of this has been discovered by trial and error and, now there are some great resources on YouTube to help.
The Sony A6000 isn’t an expensive camera and I have found it perfect for my needs. Most of my photos for my blog taken over the later half of 2017 with the Sony A6000 and I’ve been pleased (and sometimes surprised) with the results of many of my photos as I continue to learn.
When you want to expand your Sony A6000 knowledge, watch some of these YouTube resources.
- Tony & Chelsea Northrup – Sony A6000 Overview Tutorial
- That1CameraGuy – Full Manual Control Photography Tutorial
- Maartin Heilbron – Sony A6000 Best Camera Settings
Accessories: Essential Accessories for you new Sony a6000.
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Just get out there and have a go.
Experiment with your camera, try different settings and take every opportunity to learn about the camera. I’d love to hear about your progress … in fact, lets learn together!