Sony A6000 vs A9
The Sony Alpha A6000 and the Sony Alpha A9 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2014 and April 2017. Both the A6000 and the A9 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (A6000) and a full frame (A9) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
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 A6000 and the Sony Alpha A9? 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 A6000 and the Sony A9 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The A6000 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the A9 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 A9 is considerably larger (52 percent) than the Sony A6000. Moreover, the A9 is substantially heavier (96 percent) than the A6000. It is noteworthy in this context that the A9 is splash and dust-proof, while the A6000 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A6000) and the Sony FE Lens Catalog (A9). 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.
Concerning battery life, the A6000 gets 360 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the A9 can take 650 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|2.||Sony A9||127 mm||96 mm||63 mm||673 g||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499|
|3.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|4.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|5.||Panasonic GH5||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||725 g||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999|
|6.||Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499|
|7.||Sony A7 III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|8.||Sony A7R III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199|
|9.||Sony A6300||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999|
|10.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|11.||Sony A7 II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||599 g||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999|
|12.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|13.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|14.||Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|16.||Sony NEX-5T||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2013||699|
|17.||Sony NEX-6||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A6000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 87 percent) than the A9, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A6000 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A9 is 131 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the A9 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A9 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 3.91μm for the A6000), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the A9 is much more recent (by 3 years and 2 months) than the A6000, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Sony Alpha A6000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A9 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800.
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 A9 has a markedly higher DXO score than the A6000 (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Sony A9||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92|
|4.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|5.||Panasonic GH5||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77|
|6.||Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|7.||Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
|8.||Sony A7R III||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100|
|10.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|11.||Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the A9 provides a better video resolution than the A6000. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the A6000 is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A9 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A6000 (3686k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A6000 and Sony A9 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|2.||Sony A9||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||Y|
|3.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|4.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|5.||Panasonic GH5||3680||n||3.2 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y|
|6.||Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||Y|
|7.||Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|8.||Sony A7R III||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|9.||Sony A6300||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|10.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
|12.||Sony A5000||none||n||3.0 / 461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|13.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|14.||Sony A3000||202||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|16.||Sony NEX-5T||optional||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n|
|17.||Sony NEX-6||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The A6000 has one, while the A9 does not. While the built-in flash of the A6000 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the A9 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A6000 and the A9 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A9 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the A6000 only has one slot. The A9 supports UHS-II cards (on its first slot), while the A6000 can use UHS-I 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 A6000 and Sony Alpha A9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Sony A9||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Panasonic GH5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Sony A9 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Sony A7 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Sony A7R III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Sony A6300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Sony A7 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Sony A5000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony A3000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony NEX-5T||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the A9 has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The A6000 lacks such a headphone port.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Sony A9 (unlike the A6000) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the A6000 and the A9 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A6000 was replaced by the Sony A6300, while the A9 was followed by the Sony A9 II. 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 what is the bottom line? Is the Sony A6000 better than the Sony A9 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A6000:
- More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 127x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 329g or 49 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (87 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2014).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A9:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3686k vs 1440k dots).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.70x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 922k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 11 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 360) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 2 months of technical progress since the A6000 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A9 is the clear winner of the contest (20 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 A6000 and the Sony A9 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A6000 or the A9. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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 A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|2.||Sony A9||5/5||+ +||4.8/5||89/100||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499|
|3.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|4.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|5.||Panasonic GH5||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999|
|6.||Sony A9 II||..||..||5/5||90/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499|
|7.||Sony A7 III||..||+ +||4.5/5||89/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|8.||Sony A7R III||..||+ +||4/5||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2017||3,199|
|9.||Sony A6300||4.5/5||+||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999|
|10.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|11.||Sony A7 II||5/5||+||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999|
|12.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|13.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|14.||Sony A3000||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|16.||Sony NEX-5T||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699|
|17.||Sony NEX-6||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Sony A6000 vs Sony A9
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 A6000||Sony A9|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2014||April 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 4,499|
|Sensor Specs||Sony A6000||Sony A9|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||35.6 x 23.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||847.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||42.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||5.94 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||2.83 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 51,200 ISO||50 - 204,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||82||92|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.1||24.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.1||13.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1347||3517|
|Screen Specs||Sony A6000||Sony A9|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots||3686k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1440k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony A6000||Sony A9|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||20 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||500 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/32000s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||Single UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony A6000||Sony A9|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Sony A6000||Sony A9|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||650 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
120 x 67 x 45 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 1.8 in)
127 x 96 x 63 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||344 g (12.1 oz)||673 g (23.7 oz)|
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