Sony Alpha 6000, a great compact SLR for hiking

When I first started hiking and traveling, I captured photos with an iPhone. Afterall, they say the best camera isn’t necessarily the one with the best hardware, it’s the one you have. In other words, getting the mediocre shot is more important than not getting it at all. The road to the Sony Alpha 6000 was winding, and here’s the quick story.

I realized after taking photos for a while with my phone, that I really loved the whole idea of capturing high-quality photos of my hikes and travels. I started to get better at framing photos the more I took. It seemed like the right time to make an investment in an entry-level SLR. The first dSLR (digital SLR) I purchased was the Nikon D3300. It’s a great cropped-sensor camera (cropped sensor refers to the size of the digital sensor that captures the light data for the digital image). The Nikon worked flawlessly, but the thing is chunky. It takes up valuable space and weight in a daypack. I needed something smaller, and the Sony Alpha 6000 was the answer.

Sony Alpha 6000 vs Nikon D3300

The Sony Alpha 6000 is a lot like the Nikon D3300. It’s has a cropped sensor, is an entry-level SLR, and takes pretty awesome photos compared to a smartphone camera. In addition to being mirrorless (that’s how it’s able to have a more compact size than the Nikon D3300), the Alpha 6000 comes with other nifty features such as a swivel screen. It’s also true that mirrorless cameras have much smaller lenses and bodies than their counterparts in mirrored land. With a mirrorless camera however, the camera sensor is more exposed (no mirror over the sensor to protect it), so pollen, dust, and other debris from the outdoors can get on the nerve center of the camera.

Entry-level vs pro camera

Unless you’re willing to spend a couple grand on a new camera, entry-level is totally the way to go. That way as your skill increases, so can the expense and quality of your hardware. It’s also been said that a skilled photographer can use just about any camera to take an awesome photo. Ya really don’t need something super fancy.

Bottom line

If you’d like to start taking more SLR photos of your hikes, the Sony Alpha 6000 is a solid bet. It’s the camera I use, it’s a rugged metal-body camera, and I love it. Here is a list of things to keep in mind when purchasing / using this camera:

  • When changing lenses, try to do it inside away from the elements. The sensor is exposed and notoriously difficult to clean.
  • The Sony Alpha 6000 has a swivel preview screen unlike it’s counterpart the Nikon D3300. Use the swivel screen for low or high shots.
  • Start simple, and get more expensive / complex hardware as your abilities grow. Start with a cropped sensor entry-level camera and go from there.

Check out the Sony Alpha 6000 on Amazon

A note on the authenticity of this review

I love gear, and I love giving a good recommendation to a fellow geek just about as much. Each product I review I’ve used, love, and am passionate about recommending. In order to be super transparent, unless otherwise designated, I’ve purchased each item for my personal use and review. If you have a question, agree, or disagree with a review, please leave a comment and you’ll get a response. Lastly, if an affiliate link is available for the product, I’ll use it when linking to the item. They’re products I love, and running this site isn’t close to free, so purchasing using those links helps support Hiking with Geeks financially.

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