Sony A6000 vs Canon 80D

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Introduction

Comparing a mirrorless camera with a DSLR camera is something I really like to do, is not that it’s easier because they differ from one another starting from the name, where DSLRs(Digital-Single-Lens-Reflective camera) use an optical viewfinder and the light goes directly through it, while a mirrorless camera just as the name suggests, it doesn’t use a reflective mirror.

Another thing that makes them differ by one another is the price, which is a very important factor when it comes to buying a camera, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that one camera is weaker than the other just because of the price. In fact, what’s important is the features that you’re after more, so depending on what type of photography you’re in more, you’ll also have to check the features that meet your requirements the most.

If you’ve been reading my other camera comparisons, then you probably know that I’m truly a fan of Nikon, well for the most part, I’ve been using Nikon cameras my whole life, whereas for Canon cameras, I’ve only had the chance to use the ones that I’ve reviewed, you know, just to give you accurate information, and sometimes I’d rent the camera and send it back afterward.

For this article, I’m going to be explaining everything in detail while mentioning even their slightest differences, and in the end, I will be providing you with a comparison table where you’ll be able to see the most key features and specs of each camera, and see which one outperforms the other in which aspect. Okay, so let’s start with the reviews, shall we?

Head To Head Comparison

Sony A6000

Sony A6000 is one of the most highly-rated mirrorless cameras out there, it comes with a fair and reasonable price while it delivers great value for money. This particular camera was released nearly 6 years ago, but even today, it is widely being used by photographers, professionals, and people who are just starting out, basically, it suits all levels, and it can be a perfect choice for a second camera to go with.

The design is quite simple actually, it doesn’t change much from how a traditional mirrorless camera looks like, it has a compact and light construction which means that it can be easily carried, while the handgrip is not what you’d expect, it’s not as deep as it is with a mirrorless camera, and I don’t really find it quite comfortable to hold because my hands are too large, nonetheless, that’s just my personal opinion which doesn’t need to affect your thoughts about this camera.

As for the controls and dials, Sony has kept it simple, you have the four-way navigation pad, whereas each of the buttons also serve as solo functions, for instance, the there is the Timer, the ISO, the DISP, and so on, while slightly above the four-way navigational pad you’ll notice the Fn button, and all of these are positioned on the right side of the rear screen.

Since we mentioned the screen, this time around Sony has implemented a 3-inch tilting LCD with 921,000-dots, which delivers a decent quality but you won’t really be satisfied with the preview quality of the display in outdoor light, sometimes it gets hard to read what’s on the screen.

I think that pretty much covers everything there is about the design, while now, let’s dive in more into the specifics and see what else does this camera offer.

The Sony a6000 has a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor which is great for its price while it runs the Bionz X image processor that can effectively reproduce textures and details in real-time via extra-high speed processing capabilities delivering true-to-life-images. It adds some extra natural detail, richer tonal gradations, lower noise and more realistic image whether you’re taking photos or shooting videos.

When you see these specs as a whole they’re pretty decent, while on the other hand, the a6000 is able to shoot continuously at a speed of 11-frames per second, which is way much better than some DSLRs at this price range.

Did we mention that this camera is also a good low-light performer? To be more precise, it delivers noise-free images even in extreme ISOs, while if we talk in numbers, the a6000 has an ISO sensitivity than ranges from 100 to up to 25,600.

But that’s not the best part yet, the autofocus system is quite impressive as well, featuring a Hybrid 179-point focal-plane phase-detection AF and 25 contrast-detect points. So as you can see, you’ll be well equipped with everything indeed, while with the a6000, you get some serious tracking since the camera is able to easily maintain focus even if the subject is moving across the frame.

Moreover, since we mentioned the frame, the OLED electronic viewfinder has a field coverage of 100% and 14 million dots. For those serious videographers, don’t get your hopes to high, if you were hoping for 4K video, then you won’t get that with this camera since it doesn’t support 4K, however, you do get Full HD video recording at 1080/60p and 24p, and for more convenience, it has a clean HDMI output.

With Wi-Fi, NFC capability, and PlayMemories App, you can choose between whichever method you want for sharing or image transferring with compatible smartphone devices or tablets.

To all those looking for a decent and reliable mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, the a6000 would be the ideal choice, it brings great value for money, and for its price, it’s pretty feature-rich.

Canon 80D 

Despite the popular belief, I don’t really see the 80D as an entry-level DSLR, it’s more of a mid-range while it’s the successor of the 70D, it is improved in some ways but in most parts, it mostly remains the same. When compared to a mirrorless camera, a DSLR delivers more quality in the image due to the fact that a DSLR has an optical viewfinder, which means the light goes directly through it, whereas a mirrorless camera just as the name states, doesn’t use a reflective mirror, which sometimes causes overexposure or over-highlighted images.

Design-wise, the 80D remains mostly the same as the 70D with most of the buttons located on the right side of the camera, while controls on the back and the top-plate are just as reachable as the others, while for the handgrip, different from our first product, the 80D is a DSLR camera, which just by standard you can imagine that it has a deeper handgrip, it’s sculpted and curved to accommodate different hand sizes, and even for my large hands was quite comfortable.

Other than that, you’ll also notice the textures on the sides, and the texture on the handgrip gives an extra flair of comfort when holding the camera, but I also think that it gives a great look to the overall appearance of the camera.

Did we mention that it has a body sealed against dust and moisture? This particular camera features a polycarbonate exterior and a magnesium alloy chassis which basically makes it identical to its predecessor, but nonetheless, it’s always great to have these features since they add some extra points to the camera’s durability.

Next, moving onto the rear screen, the Canon 80D has a 3-inch articulating touchscreen with 1.04M-dots, so for those serious videographers, this camera has one of the most in-vogue features, you can tilt the screen to shoot from different angles and viewing positions, while the touchscreen will help you navigate through the menu and use some specific features.

Performance-wise, first I will start with the 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with dual pixel AF, and a remarkable image processor for enhanced performance and more enriched image quality, the DIGIC 6 which delivers excellent processing speed, while if you combine all of these specs into one piece, you get a continuous shooting speed of 7-frames per second with autofocus.

Speaking of the autofocus, the Canon 80D boasts a 45-point AF system with all points being cross-type, which is pretty decent and very impressive for a camera of this price range, while on the other hand, this particular camera consists of a 7560-pixel RGB+IR Metering Sensor.

Regarding the ISO performance, the Canon 80 has a native ISO sensitivity that ranges from 100 to up to 16,000, and a boosted ISO of 25,600. I also tested the camera in low light and extreme ISOs where I was able to get a decent noise-free image quality with plenty of sharp details and vibrancy, while highlights and exposure weren’t over the charts, everything was balanced.

Moreover, for video recording, the same as with the Sony a6000, the 80D also doesn’t support 4K recording, so the highest you can shoot at is 1080p at 60p.

Before we end, it’s also important to mention that the camera is Wi-Fi and NFC enabled, while the built-in wireless technology will allow you to shoot remotely using the Canon Camera Connect app, so as you can see, you’ll be well equipped with everything indeed.

In the end, whether you are raising your game to SLR level photography or you just want a feature-rich and versatile DSLR that you can pretty much use anywhere, the Canon 80D would be a great choice.

Feature Comparison

Sony A6000 Canon 80D
Camera Type
Mirrorless
DSLR
Megapixels
24.0
24.2
ISO Range
100-25000
100-16,000(25,600)
Flip-Out Screen
Yes
Yes
AF Points
179 AF Points
45 AF Points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
Yes
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
APS-C
APS-C

Conclusion

It’s pretty obvious when it comes to defining which camera is the best, but in the end, it all depends on what type of photography you’re in more.

As I said, the Sony a6000 is a very feature-rich mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, which for its price, it delivers great value for money. It would be a great addition to those novice users who want to start with a mirrorless, or a second camera for professionals, vloggers, and people who want a portable and compact camera to carry with anywhere they go.

On the other hand, the Canon EOS 80D is more of a mid-range camera as I said, it has some serious specs along with a pretty incredible performance, while its features are mainly the same with the a6000’s. However, the most notable difference is in the image quality, and it’s pretty straightforward since a DSLR camera is able to take more quality shots due to its optical viewfinder. Seeing all these specs, this camera would be great for still photographers, portrait photographers because you can’t really ignore the 45-point AF system, it’s great for landscape shooter since it’s also a great low-light performer, and so on.

If you were to decide between these two cameras, I’d say save some money and get the 80D, it’s simply better in many ways, and as we got the comparison table out of the way, by now I guess you have enough facts to support your decision.