You’re in a black cab in London, and suddenly a beautifully lit Harrods comes into view. You reach for your smartphone to capture the sight, but because it’s at night hence dark, you have to adjust the setting for a clearer image. By the time the phone is ready, the building has long past you.

That, my friends, is just one of the frustrating situations you may encounter during travel. While many smartphone manufacturers today are focussing on their camera development, their end results could never be as brilliant as when taken by dedicated digital cameras. But does that really mean you need to carry the bulky DSLR everywhere for outstanding image quality? Fortunately, there is now a wide range of more compact, lightweight and even cheaper photography gears that are far more convenient when you are on the go such as the well-rounded Sony α6000 compact interchangeable lens camera. Basically, Sony α6000 has replaced the exceptional shooter NEX-6 with similar features but with a few more bells and whistles.

Sony α6000 boasts the world’s fastest autofocus (AF) performance at just 0.06 seconds, with a high-resolution 24.3-megapixel image sensor and an extremely wide autofocus coverage area – 179 focal points – that is teamed with high-precision contrast-detection AF. In other words, it can accurately track and respond to a subject moving through nearly the entire frame, and to shoot a sharp excellent shot with complex scenes at the popping speed of up to 11 frames per second with continuous autofocus.

Sample Photos

It is also built with the award-winning BionzX processor, making it speedier particularly notable in terms of start-up time. With its two excellent Auto modes – Intelligent and Superior – that analyse any type of scene to pick the right settings, users can easily shoot at a moment’s notice as soon as it is switched on (would have been easier to shoot that Harrods picture after all, wouldn’t it?).

On top of that, the camera is ergonomically moulded, with rubberised grip for firm hold and high-quality metal build that can withstand minor bumps and tumbles. Its 468g weight (even with lens attached) makes it not too heavy to carry all day. The dedicated movie button is also smartly placed on the edge of camera for easy pressing, and the Sony α6000’s interface is relatively easy to navigate too. To get the best feel of the images, the camera is equipped with a viewfinder that helps users to save time shooting when out in the field and even when it’s too bright to look at the liquid crystal display (LCD), which can be tilted to 45/90-degrees upwards to give better control over compositions. In terms of battery life, users can expect to get around 310 to 360 shots with a full charge.

After having said all these, there are still some minor drawbacks that probably concern Sony α6000 users. First, the screen doesn’t tilt the full 180-degree upwards for selfies unlike the α5000, which can make taking photo of oneself while travelling solo slightly frustrating, unless you consider asking strangers to take it for you. Besides, it also does not have weather sealing, making it less resistant to dust and water. But since we’ve tested the camera under gloomy, rainy English weather and cold, dry Okayama climate, we find the camera to be durable and convenient.

Sample Photos

Wi-Fi® and PlayMemories™

The Sony α6000 camera has built-in Wi-Fi, giving consumers one-touch connection with Xperia® or NFC-compatible Android™ smartphones or tablets for instant image transfer and sharing. For devices without NFC one-touch capabilities, users can wirelessly transfer images and videos and activate Smart Remote Control through Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile™ application, available freely for the iOS and Android platforms. The camera is also compatible with downloadable Sony PlayMemories Camera Apps that would add a range of exciting and creative capabilities.

Sony α Lenses Assortment

The Sony α6000 camera is compatible with Sony’s ever-growing assortment of E-mount interchangeable lenses, and uses the same Sony E-mount as the α3000, α5000 and acclaimed α7 and α7R models, as well as all the previous α NEX cameras.

All in all, Sony α6000 compact interchangeable lens camera makes a travel-friendly companion. It is lightweight, sturdy, and will certainly impress advanced shooters with its dedicated controls, speedy performance and outstanding image quality, while amateurs will benefit from the accurate full-auto options and straightforward interface. Sony α6000 is available in black, white, graphite gray and silver in a kit with a compact, versatile 16-50 milimetre motorised zoom lens (model SELP1650) for RM2,699.

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