Sony A3000 vs A6000
The Sony Alpha A3000 and the Sony Alpha A6000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2013 and February 2014. Both the A3000 and the A6000 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The A3000 has a resolution of 19.8 megapixels, whereas the A6000 provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A3000 and the Sony Alpha A6000? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Sony A3000 and the Sony A6000 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The A6000 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the A3000 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6000 is considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Sony A3000. Moreover, the A6000 is markedly lighter (16 percent) than the A3000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A3000 nor the A6000 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329|
|2.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|3.||Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||Y||Jan 2019||899|
|4.||Sony A6300||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999|
|5.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|6.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|7.||Sony A58||129 mm||95 mm||78 mm||492 g||690||n||Feb 2013||599|
|8.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|9.||Sony RX1R||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799|
|10.||Sony NEX-6||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999|
|11.||Sony RX1||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799|
|12.||Sony NEX-7||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349|
|13.||Sony NEX-3||117 mm||62 mm||33 mm||297 g||330||n||May 2010||599|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The A3000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 45 percent) than the A6000, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A6000 is 3 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the A6000 uses a more advanced image processing engine (BIONZ X) than the A3000 (BIONZ), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 24MP, the A6000 offers a higher resolution than the A3000 (19.8MP), but the A6000 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.25μm for the A3000). Yet, the A6000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the A3000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Sony A6000 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A6000 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony A3000 are 27.3 x 18.2 inches or 69.3 x 46.1 cm for good quality, 21.8 x 14.5 inches or 55.4 x 36.9 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.1 inches or 46.2 x 30.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The A6000 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Sony Alpha A3000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A6000 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the A6000 has a markedly higher DXO score than the A3000 (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.4 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|9.||Sony RX1R||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
|11.||Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the A6000 provides a faster frame rate than the A3000. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the A3000 is limited to 1080/60i.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A6000 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A3000 (1440k vs 202k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony A3000 and Sony A6000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Sony A3000||202||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|2.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|3.||Sony A6400||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|4.||Sony A6300||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|5.||Sony A5000||none||n||3.0 / 461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|6.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|7.||Sony A58||1440||n||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|9.||Sony RX1R||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|10.||Sony NEX-6||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|11.||Sony RX1||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|12.||Sony NEX-7||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|13.||Sony NEX-3||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0||n||n|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A3000 and the A6000 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A6000 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the A3000 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A3000 and Sony Alpha A6000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Sony A3000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Sony A6400||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Sony A6300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Sony A5000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Sony A58||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Sony RX1R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Sony NEX-6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Sony RX1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Sony NEX-7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Sony NEX-3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the A6000 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the A3000 does not provide wifi capability.
Both the A3000 and the A6000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A6000 was replaced by the Sony A6300, while the A3000 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony A3000 and the Sony A6000? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A3000:
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (470 versus 360) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (45 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2013).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A6000:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 19.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (BIONZ X vs BIONZ).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 202k dots).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.47x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 128x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 67g or 16 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A6000 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 3 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A3000 and the Sony A6000 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the A3000 and the A6000 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Sony A3000||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329|
|2.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|3.||Sony A6400||4/5||+||4/5||85/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|4.||Sony A6300||4.5/5||+||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999|
|5.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|6.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|7.||Sony A58||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||599|
|8.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|9.||Sony RX1R||5/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799|
|10.||Sony NEX-6||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|11.||Sony RX1||5/5||..||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799|
|12.||Sony NEX-7||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349|
|13.||Sony NEX-3||..||..||..||70/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 10D vs Sony A3000
- Canon SX510 vs Sony A3000
- Fujifilm XP120 vs Sony A3000
- Leica M10-P vs Sony A6000
- Nikon D7500 vs Sony A6000
- Olympus E-410 vs Sony A6000
- Olympus E-500 vs Sony A3000
- Olympus E-PL3 vs Sony A6000
- Panasonic G85 vs Sony A6000
- Panasonic S1H vs Sony A3000
- Panasonic TZ200 vs Sony A3000
- Sony A6000 vs Sony A7R
Specifications: Sony A3000 vs Sony A6000
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Sony A3000||Sony A6000|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2013||February 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 329||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Sony A3000||Sony A6000|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.2 x 15.4 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||357.28 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.8 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||19.8 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5456 x 3632 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.25 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.55 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 16,000 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||78||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.7||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.8||13.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1068||1347|
|Screen Specs||Sony A3000||Sony A6000|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony A3000||Sony A6000|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony A3000||Sony A6000|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Sony A3000||Sony A6000|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||470 shots per charge||360 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
128 x 91 x 85 mm
(5.0 x 3.6 x 3.3 in)
120 x 67 x 45 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||411 g (14.5 oz)||344 g (12.1 oz)|
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