Sony A6000 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally excellent performance, though startup is sluggish.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~2.2 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.8 second

Time until first shot is captured.

The Sony A6000's startup time (power on to first shot) was slower than most CSCs, and much slower than most DSLRs. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was pretty fast, though.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Center AF area
AF-S mode

0.150 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing performed with Sony E 16-50mm kit lens.)

Full Autofocus,
Wide AF area
AF-S mode

0.151 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Full Autofocus,
Center AF area
AF-S mode
Auto Flash Enabled

0.424 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, TTL Auto flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.143 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.022 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Sony A6000's full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) was only about 0.15 second in both Single-area (Center) and Multi-area (Wide) AF modes with the 16-50mm kit lens at a medium focal length. That's significantly faster than the NEX-6 (~0.26s) and even faster than most DSLRs, though not as fast as Sony's 0.06 second claim. We may look into AF performance a bit more to see if we can verify Sony's claim in a separate article, but the above results conform to how we test all our cameras.

Enabling the flash added significant delay for preflash metering, increasing lag to about 0.42s. When manually focused, the Sony A6000's shutter lag was about 0.14s, which is pretty good, though not as fast as some competitors. The A6000's prefocused shutter lag was only 22 milliseconds, much faster than most CSCs and faster than any DSLR -- we have the camera's lack of a mirror and electronic front curtain shutter (enabled by default) to thank for that.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.51 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 9 seconds to clear.*

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.48 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 9 seconds to clear.*

Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.44 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 17 seconds to clear.*

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous Hi Mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.09 second (11.05 frames per second);
47 frames total;
22 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 47 frames, then slowed to an average of about 0.54s or 1.86 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous Hi Mode
RAW

0.09 second (11.05 frames per second);
22 frames total;
14 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 22 frames, then slowed to an average of about 0.72s or 1.39 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous Hi Mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.09 second (11.05 frames per second);
21 frames total;
21 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 21 frames, then slowed to 1.02s or 0.98 fps when buffer was full.

Flash Recycling

2.3 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were very good for a mirrorless ILC camera, at 0.51 second for large/fine JPEGs, 0.48 second for RAW files and oddly 0.44 second for RAW+JPEG frames.

Continuous Hi burst mode performance was excellent, at just over 11 frames per second regardless of file type, easily meeting Sony's 11 fps specification. And thanks to the A6000's Hybrid AF, continuous AF is available at this speed, though don't expect focus to track as well as a pro DSLR at that rate! There are also Mid (6 fps) and Lo (2.5 fps) settings, however we did not test those options.

Buffer depth for large/fine JPEGs in Continuous Hi mode was also excellent, at 47 frames before the camera slowed. Note that our test target for this was designed to be difficult to compress, so burst lengths should be longer with typical subjects. When shooting RAW files, buffer depth dropped to 22 frames, and to 21 frames with RAW+L/F JPEG files, which is still pretty generous. Buffer clearing after max-length bursts took some time even with a fast card, though, ranging between 14 seconds after a max-length burst of RAW files, to 22 seconds after a burst of large/fine JPEGs.

The built-in flash was able to recycle from a full discharge in 2.3 seconds on average, which is fast.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

18,855 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds were very good, fast enough that you likely won't feel the need for a separate card reader, even with large memory cards. (Note that this test was performed with a SanDisk Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card: Slower cards would likely show slower transfer times.)


Bottom line, the Sony A6000's performance was generally excellent in our tests, with blazing fast AF speeds, extremely quick prefocused shutter lag and a very fast burst mode that supports continuous autofocus. Startup time was sluggish, though, and while buffer depths were quite good, clearing after a max-length burst of 24-megapixel images can take some time even with a fast SD card.

Battery

Battery Life
Good battery life with the LCD for a Compact System Camera, though using the EVF reduces battery life.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(EVF, CIPA standard)
310 shots
Still Capture,
(LCD, CIPA standard)
360 shots

The Sony A6000 uses a custom NP-FW50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and an AC adapter for charging in-camera via USB. Battery life is rated for 310 shots per charge when using the EVF, which is a bit low, especially when compared to DSLRs with optical viewfinders. Battery life when using the LCD is slightly above average for a mirrorless camera, though, at 360 shots. As is usually the case, we recommend getting a second battery for your A6000 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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