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Introduction

For this article, we have two affordable cameras from which one of them is a level DSLR, and the other is a mirrorless camera. I’ve personally used both of these cameras before, even though it was just for over a week, it still was a good experience.

Personally, I’m more of a DSLR fan than mirrorless, but you simply can’t ignore a camera’s performance or features when you see them, in this case, the Sony Alpha A6000. Often, this product is known as the A6300 predecessor, due to their similarity in features and performance, however, this one does have a way cheaper price than the A6300.

Do you know in what way are DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras different? Well, a mirrorless camera, just as the name suggests, doesn’t use a reflective mirror, but instead, the light goes straight through the electronic viewfinder, while a DSLR lens, as the name states, it is a digital single-lens reflective camera which came first in line.

I may be a fan of DSLR cameras, however, I prefer the design and the construction of a mirrorless camera more, simply because they pack more versatility, more portability, and due to their lightweight and compact construction, they can be taken everywhere and anywhere with you without even noticing having them.

Okay, now, let’s start with the reviews, while I’ll also try to make a head-to-head comparison for both these cameras, point out even their slightest details and differences, so let’s just start.

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Head To Head Comparison

Sony A6000

Now, just as I stated in the beginning, this one is a mirrorless camera that is often pointed as the predecessor of the A6300. I also mentioned that these two pack some similar features, however, not necessarily, but we will talk about that some other time. Now, to start off the right way, let’s just first point out that this camera is an entry-level budget-oriented mirrorless camera that would be the perfect addition for photography enthusiasts, hobbyists, and professionals worldwide.

In terms of the design, the Sony A6000 features a solid and sturdy construction yet it is covered with metal, but that doesn’t affect the weight of the camera much, so, you’ll still be able to take your camera with you everywhere you go. The design has many interesting details, starting from the rubber grip which provides exceptional comfort while you hold the camera, and there is also a natural position for your thumb which allows for one-handed operation, toggling through settings, and much more.

But that’s not all, there is also one more thing we should mention when it comes to the design, and that’s the LCD screen. For starters, it’s pretty impressive having a 16:9 aspect ration, while it boasts a flip-out design which allows for 90-degree tilting upward, and 45-degree tilting downward. The combination of all of these small details makes up for a decent and solid camera.

Okay, enough said about the design, let’s see how this camera performs now.

This camera has a 24MP Exmor HD CMOS sensor which runs the Bionz X processor that makes sure of delivering sharp, vivid and contrasty JPEGs, but that’s not what makes this camera special, it’s the autofocus system. In fact, the autofocus system is what made the camera gain all its reputation, having 179 phase-detect AF points, this camera outperforms most other competitors at this price range and some of the above. To be more specific, these AF points are spread within the entire frame, which allows for fast subject tracking across the scene, but it also allows for burst mode shooting at a continuous rate of 11 frames per second, pretty impressive right?

Apart from this, there’s also manual AF point detection, which means that you can focus on where you want the camera to focus and you’ll be good to go.

As far as you’re concerned about the ISO range, well, the Sony A6000 has a native ISO range that can stretch from 100-25000.

To continue, when it comes to video quality, you get Full HD 1920×1080 recording in 24p/60p/60i frame-rates, while for professional videographers, you also get uncompressed clean-screen video files to other external devices which use the HDMI connection method.

One of the most appealing features of this camera is the Dynamic Range Optimization, and that’s not just a word, but it truly helps for delivering a well-balanced image to ensure that the camera can be fully used with its impressive abilities to control and take care of highlights and shadows perfectly.

Connection-wise, the Sony A6000 has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, which means that you can share your files or transfer them anytime you want, but of course, with a compatible smartphone device or tablet. There’s also another connecting method, the Playmemories Camera Apps which allows for remote control of the camera, pretty interesting right?

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-oriented entry-level mirrorless camera option, then the Sony A6000 would be the ideal choice, it won’t disappoint you in any way or whatsoever.

Sony A6000 Sample Images:

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Nikon D3300

DSLRs have been a popular option among enthusiasts photographers for years now, while at the time of the release, the Nikon D3300 was a top-option for everyone. It still is, for entry-level DSLR, it’s definitely one of the best options that you can find out there. Now, compared with the Sony A6000, these two cameras both have a similar price, but in specs, we’re about to see.

Design-wise, this particular camera comes in a small and light construction, while this design enables the camera to be great for travelers as well. It has a decent grip which makes the camera comfortable to hold, and the button layout is just amazing, even for people who are just starting out, it has an easy-to-operate button layout along with some impressive specs, but we’ll talk about performance later.

Regarding the LCD screen, well, it’s not much of a groundbreaking screen, but it’s ok. Considering the fact that this camera has a very affordable price, the screen features 3.0-inches on the rear, but the lack of touchscreen capabilities can really be a problem for some people who are used to having that feature. Personally, if you’ve read my other reviews, then you already know that I’m a huge fan of touchscreen LCDs, but in this case, you really got to work with what you got, I mean, the price speaks clearly.

As I said, the LCD screen is not much like you would expect, and the fact that the optical viewfinder has a field coverage of 95% may also disappoint some people, as there won’t be some details of the subject around the corners when you take your shot.

Okay, that sums up everything there is about the design, let’s continue talking about performance now.

To start off the right way, let’s mention first the 24.2-megapixel sensor which delivers stunning images and 1080p Full HD video. Detail, vibrancy, soft blur backgrounds are all a part of this camera’s sensor, and the fact that it runs the EXPEED 4 image processor it means that you can shoot at high speeds of up to 5 frames per second, which isn’t much, but it is a DSLR right and a budget one nonetheless. So, this is an area where the Sony A6000 truly outmatches the Nikon D3300, since Sony A6000 can shoot continuously at a rate of 11fps.

The autofocus system is remarkable since the camera boasts an 11-AF point system, which means that the tracking abilities of the camera are amazing, and from my experience, I was able to take incredible shots since the D3300 can track even fast-moving subjects with ease.

Okay, but what I like the most about this camera is the Active D-Lighting. It’s something that not many cameras have, basically, it preserves the details and tones of the photo no matter the situation, whether it is in dark or bright lighting conditions, shadows won’t be a problem or whatsoever. Also, the D-Lighting in the Retouch menu provides correction for portraits as well.

When it comes to connections, there is no built-in Wi-Fi, while this for some users may be very disappointing, there is still an option for you to use a wireless connection. To be more precise, there is a WU-1A Wireless Adapter included which can be paired with compatible smartphone devices or tablets that run the Android operating system. But there are some steps you need to take before using this, starting with the Wireless Mobile Utility which is mandatory if you wish to achieve this connection, and it has to be installed on your device first before you can pair it with the camera.

To conclude, the Nikon D3300 is a great entry-level DSLR, even though it lacks some basic features, it still makes up in terms of performance. For all of those who don’t know yet whether to switch to DSLR, or stay at what they’re using, the Nikon D3300 is the perfect choice, not only because it is affordable, but also because you get to try how standard DSLR is, it might not be that bad for you after all.

Nikon D3300 Sample Images:

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Sony A6000 vs Nikon D3300 Feature Comparison

Sony A6000 Nikon D3300
Camera Type
Mirrorless
DSLR
Megapixels
24.0
24.2
ISO Range
100-25000
100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
Flip-Out Screen
Yes
No
AF Points
179 AF points
11 AF Points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
No
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
APS-C
APS-C

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Conclusion

All and all, both these cameras are great at what they do best. Some people would like a camera that records videos better, while some people want a camera for still photography, portrait photography, and so on.

In this case, we are going to divide which one is best for what, so starting with the Sony A6000, this particular camera is more suited for videographers, sports, weddings, wildlife, and so on. Well, it’s also great for photographers, but due to the 179 phase-detect AF points, this camera sets the bar high, and if you compare it to the D3300, this one is definitely better.

As for the Nikon D3300, this camera is still widely being used by portrait photographers, still photographers and novice users who are just starting out with DSLRs. As I said, it is the perfect entry-level DSLR, but for a bit more money, you can find better options out there, while in case you are limited with your budget, this is the camera to go with.

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