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STANDOUT FEATURE: Superfast Hybrid autofocus.
1. A pop-up flash nests to the right of the standard hot-shoe. 2. The 16-50mm kit zoom features power zooming. 3. The Fn button is one of several customizable buttons that provides quick access to any one of 47 assignable functions.

Sony Alpha a6000

Estimated Street Price: $800 (with 16-50mm motorized zoom)

Sony's replacement for the NEX-6 is the new Alpha a6000, which has a similar form factor, but improves many areas. Most notable is "the world's fastest autofocus system (amongst interchangeable-lens digital cameras with an APS-C image sensor as of February 12, 2014)." Yes, there are a lot of claims about fast AF systems out there, but the advanced Hybrid AF system in the a6000 can focus in as little as 0.06 seconds, thanks to a powerful BIONZ X processor and 179 phase-detection AF points on the image sensor (which cover 92% of the image frame), complemented by 25-point contrast AF. Sony says the camera can track a subject at 11 fps.

The new 24.3-megapixel, APS-C Exmor CMOS image sensor ups the pixel count 50% over that of the NEX-6. The eye-level OLED Tru-Finder is smaller and has fewer pixels than the NEX-6's (1.44M-dot vs. 2.36M-dot), but is a much appreciated feature, as viewing an LCD in bright conditions can be very difficult. The 3-inch LCD monitor tilts up 90° and down 45° for easy high- and low-angle shooting.

Video specs are similar to the NEX-6's: 1920x1080 at 60p, 60i and 24p; 1440x1080 at 30p and 25p; and 640x480 at 30p and 25p—in MPEG-4 AVCHD or (for smaller files) MP4. A built-in mic provides stereo sound, but there are no headphone or external mic ports.

Like the NEX-6 (and other recent Sony cameras), the a6000 has built-in WiFi with NFC connection—just tap your NFC-enabled smart device with the camera to make a connection. The camera is also compatible with Sony PlayMemories Camera Apps.

Like the NEX cameras, the a6000 uses Sony E-mount lenses, and via LA-EA adapters, Sony A-mount and legacy Konica Minolta Maxxum lenses. E-mount lenses currently number 22, providing focal lengths from 10-18mm through 55-210mm. Dimensions are 4.7x2.6x1.8 inches and 10.1 ounces.


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