Recommended Sony A6000 Settings

We are continuing our series of recommended settings for cameras and this time we have the Sony A6000, an advanced interchangeable lens camera designed for enthusiasts and professionals. In this article, I want to provide some information on what settings I use and shortly explain what some of the important settings do. Please do keep in mind that while these work for me, it does not mean that everyone else should be shooting with exactly the same settings. The Sony A6000 has a myriad of settings that can be confusing to understand, so the below information is provided as a guide for those that struggle and just want to get started with a basic understanding of these settings.

Sony A6000

Before going into the camera menu, let’s first get started on the exterior controls. The A6000 has a lot of menu options, but there are some things that you can only control with the external controls.

1) Camera Mode Dial and C1

The Sony A6000 has a rather simple and uncluttered top plate. Aside from the hot shoe and camera’s built-in flash, there are only two dials and a single function button you will be dealing with. The first dial close to the flash unit is the camera mode dial. This is where you set the main camera operating mode, whether it is Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual or one of the Auto or Scene modes. As explained in my understanding camera modes article, I usually shoot in Aperture Priority mode, since it gives me control over lens aperture and the camera does the rest of the exposure calculation work, which works really well in most cameras, including the Sony A6000. There are other modes that are specifically used for things like panoramas and movies, but you will rarely ever use those. This leaves three modes that I find to be the most useful on the A6000: Aperture Priority, Manual and Memory Recall. Although the Memory Recall (MR) mode is targeted at more advanced photographers that want to store settings for different situations, I would encourage every A6000 owner to explore this mode, since it can be very useful when changing from one shooting scenario to another. All you have to do is access the camera menu, as shown in the camera menu below, save your settings in one of the three memory banks and you will be good to go. If you don’t want to go that route yet, I would encourage you to try using the Aperture Priority mode instead of the Program Mode, Auto or Scene modes.

Sony A6000 Top

The right dial is a function dial that can be used for different purposes depending on what mode you are in. In Aperture Priority and Manual modes, for example, the dial is used to adjust lens aperture, while in Shutter Priority mode, it changes the camera shutter speed. Once you set your camera to Aperture Priority mode, you just use this right dial to tweak the lens aperture (for shallow or large depth of field).

The C1 function button next to the camera on/off switch / shutter release by default is used for changing the Focus Mode. I personally prefer to keep that function in the C1 button, but you can change it to one of many other available functions through the camera menu, as explained below.

2) Rear Buttons

The rear of the Sony A6000 is a lot more functional compared to other parts of the camera, thanks to a number of different navigation and function buttons. The A6000 is definitely “right-heavy” on the back, with almost all buttons located to the right of the camera LCD. The Flash button is a physical button that opens up the pop-up flash – it is not programmable like other buttons. The Menu button located right next to it obviously opens up the camera menu – that’s where you make changes to the camera. Here is how the back of the camera looks:

Sony A6000 Back

At the top right side of the camera you will find the AEL button (Auto Exposure Lock), which is conveniently located where your right thumb would normally be. Since I rarely lock my exposure, this is the first button I modified to make it more usable. For normal situations, I use the AEL button for back-button focusing, which imitates the “AF-ON” button on DSLR cameras for focusing and recomposing.

To the right of the AEL button, almost on the side of the camera, you will find a red button that is used for recording videos.

2.1) Fn / Function Button

The Fn (Function) button is a very useful button that you will be using a lot to make quick changes to the most important camera settings such as ISO, White Balance, Drive and Focus modes, etc. Although you can modify and customize the function menu when the button is pressed, I personally find the default values to work quite well. Let’s go through these real quick:

Drive Mode: I mostly keep it at “Single Shooting”, but sometimes switch to Self-Timer when photographing on a tripod to avoid camera vibrations.
ISO: The “Auto” setting usually works pretty well, but it is not as flexible as the Auto ISO feature on Nikon and Canon DSLRs. You can set Auto ISO Minimum and Maximum, but there is no place to set a minimum shutter speed or override the default formula of shutter speed = focal length. I usually leave Minimum ISO at 100, while setting Maximum ISO to 3200 – anything above ISO 3200 is too noisy for my taste.
Flash Mode: Auto. Don’t like using that small pop-up flash!
Metering Mode: Multi, but sometimes I change to Spot metering when a situation calls for it (see my article on metering modes)
Flash Comp: 0.0
White Balance: AWB (Auto White Balance)
Focus Mode: AF-A, which is a combination of AF-S and AF-C modes, works pretty well on the A6000.
DRO / Auto HDR: Off
Focus Area: Flexible Spot: M. This mode works great for selective focusing. Once you press the center button on the dial, you can easily move the focus points.
Creative Style: Standard. Don’t bother with creative styles, as they are irrelevant when shooting in RAW.
Exposure Compensation: 0.0, I prefer to use the rear bottom dial for accessing exposure compensation instead.

2.2) Navigation and Other Rear Buttons

The multi-functional navigation dial on the back of the camera is very useful and can be used to navigate through the camera menu, make quick exposure changes, as well as access specific functions by pressing each of the four corners. “DISP” switches between different views on the camera LCD; “ISO” allows changing camera ISO; the left side is used to access camera drive mode, while the bottom side is for making exposure compensation adjustments.

There are two extra buttons beneath the multi-functional navigation dial – Playback and C2 / Trash. Playback is obviously to play back images on the LCD and the C2 / Trash button can be used to delete unwanted images during playback. When the camera is not in Playback mode, the C2 serves as another programmable function key. By default, the A6000 opens up the In-Camera Guide. While it could be useful for beginners that want to see some tips, I personally don’t use it and change the button behavior to a more useful function – to zoom in when shooting in manual focus mode. This way, I can easily and quickly switch to manual focus using the C1 button on the top of the camera, then use the C2 button for changing zoom levels, which greatly increases manual focus accuracy.

3) Camera Menu

In all honesty, I do not find Sony’s menu system particularly user-friendly. Although the Sony A6000 adopts the newer menu system from the Sony A7 / A7R / A7S cameras, it is still a rather cluttered and out of place menu system in my opinion. Lots of menu options to go through, with different functions thrown under random menus. Even the menu system of Olympus cameras, which I find to be rather complex to navigate through, is more organized in comparison. Let’s go through each menu setting.

3.1) Shooting Menu 1

  • Image Size: Default (24M), grayed out on RAW
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:2
  • Panorama: Size -> Standard (only visible in Panorama mode)
  • Panorama: Direction -> Right (from Left to Right, visible in Panorama mode)
  • Movie File Format: AVCHD (Default)

3.2) Shooting Menu 2

  • Movie Record Setting: 24p 17M (FH). I rarely ever shoot video, but when I do, I use the setting that consumes least amount of memory
  • Drive Mode: Single Shooting
  • Flash Mode: Auto
  • Flash Comp: 0.0
  • Red Eye Reduction: Off
  • Focus Mode: Automatic AF (AF-A)

3.3) Shooting Menu 3

  • Focus Area: Flexible Spot
  • AF Illuminator: Auto
  • AF Drive Speed: Normal
  • AF Track Duration: Normal
  • Exposure Comp: 0.0
  • Exposure Step: 0.3EV

I found “Normal” for AF Drive Speed and Track Duration to be optimal for most situations.

3.4) Shooting Menu 4

  • Metering Mode: Multi
  • White Balance: Auto
  • DRO / Auto HDR: Off
  • Creative Style: Standard
  • Picture Effect: Off (grayed out in RAW mode)

3.5) Shooting Menu 5

  • Zoom: Grayed out in RAW
  • Focus Magnifier: Used for zooming in while focusing manually. Grayed out in AF mode, must be in MF to work. I usually have this on the back button AEL, as explained above.
  • Long Exposure NR: Off
  • High ISO NR: Off (grayed out in RAW mode)
  • Lock-on AF: Off, but can be a good option when something needs to be actively tracked
  • Smile / Face Detect.: On (Regist. Faces) – works pretty well for registering and tracking faces

3.6) Shooting Menu 6

  • Soft Skin Effect: Off (disabled in RAW)
  • Auto Obj. Framing: Off (disabled in RAW)
  • Scene Selection: grayed out in Aperture Priority, but will show a bunch of scenes when in Scene mode
  • Movie: Grayed out in Aperture Priority mode. When in movie mode, I usually pick Aperture Priority as well
  • SteadyShot: On – keep this turned on. It is for image stabilization, but only works with lenses that have it
  • Color Space: Although color space does not matter for RAW files, I use AdobeRGB because it gives a slightly more accurate histogram to determine the correct exposure (since the camera shows histogram based on camera-rendered JPEG image, even if you shoot exclusively in RAW).

3.7) Shooting Menu 7

  • Auto Slow Shut.: On
  • Audio Recording: On
  • Wind Noise Reduct.: Off
  • Shooting Tip List: has some good info for beginners
  • Memory recall: only available when when MR mode is selected on the top of the camera. Allows picking one of the three presets.
  • Memory: going here will save all the current settings in one of the selected presets. I usually toggle between two presets – for Landscapes and People. For landscapes, I set camera mode to Aperture Priority, Manual Focus, ISO to 100, turn Auto ISO off and turn off other irrelevant settings such as face registration. For portraits, I set the camera to AF-A focus mode, ISO to Auto, and tweak other relevant settings.

3.8) Wheel 1

  • Zebra: Off
  • MF Assist: On – a great feature that automatically zooms in when you move the focus ring in manual focus mode.
  • Focus Magnif. Time: 5 Sec, I like to keep it a bit longer
  • Grid Line: Rule of 3rds Grid
  • Auto Review: 2 Sec
  • DISP Button:
    Monitor: No Disp Info and For viewfinder checked. Display All Info is too cluttered and Graphic Display occupies too much of the screen.
    Finder: No Disp. Info, Histogram

3.9) Wheel 2

  • Peaking Level: Mid – focus peaking only works in MF mode.
  • Peaking Color: Red
  • Exposure Set. Guide: On
  • Live View Display: Setting Effect ON
  • Disp. cont. AF area: On

3.10) Wheel 3

  • Pre-AF: Off
  • Zoom Setting: Optical zoom only (grayed out in RAW)
  • Eye-Start AF: Off – do not enable this, as it could drain the battery. This setting will automatically detect if you are using the viewfinder and try to focus. And if you put it against your body, the camera will indefinitely try to acquire focus.
  • FINDER/MONITOR: Auto – will automatically switch between viewfinder and LCD.
  • Release w/o Lens: Disable – do not allow firing the camera without a lens.
  • AF w/ shutter: On – if you want to focus and recompose, set it to Off and use the AEL button on the back for AF On as explained earlier

3.11) Wheel 4

  • AEL w/ shutter: Auto
  • e-Front Curtain Shutter: On
  • S. Auto Img. Extract.: grayed out in Aperture Priorty. Only works in Superior Auto mode
  • Exp.comp.set: Ambient&flash
  • Bracket order: 0-+

3.12) Wheel 5

  • Face Registration: used for registering faces.
  • AF Micro Adj: Off, don’t do this unless you want to calibrate a lens
  • Lens Comp.:
    Shading Comp.: Off
    Chro. Aber. Comp.: Off
    Distortion Comp.: Off

3.13) Wheel 6

  • Function Menu Set.: Function Upper and Lower – leave these at default
  • Custom Key Settings:
    AEL Button: AF On, for focusing and recomposing
    Custom Button 1: Focus Mode
    Custom Button 2: Focus Magnifier. Once you do this, you will be able to use the C2 button in MF mode to zoom in during MF. Pressing the center button on the dial will allow to zoom in up to 11.7x (pixel level). The button won’t do anything in AF mode.
    Center Button: Standard
    Left Button: Drive Mode
    Right Button: ISO
    Down Button: Exposure Comp.
  • Dial/Wheel Setup: SS, F/no.
  • Dial/Wheel Ev Comp: Wheel – since the lens aperture is controlled with the dial, I like to use the rear dial for exposure compensation.
  • MOVIE Button: Always – will record movie any time without going into Movie Mode
  • Dial / Wheel Lock: Unlock

3.14) Connection 1 and 2

I don’t care for or use these. Might be best to keep “Airplane Mode: On” to save battery life.

3.15) Applications

I don’t usually use any applications, but you can use things like Smart Remote to remotely control the camera.

3.16) Playback 1 and 2

  • Display Rotation: Off – I don’t like it when the camera flips verticals
  • Other settings are used for accessing specific playback functions

3.17) Setup 1

  • Monitor Brightness: Manual
  • Viewfinder Brightness: Auto works pretty well
  • Finder Color Temp.: 0
  • Volume Settings: 7
  • Audio signals: Off – I always turn these off

3.18) Setup 2

  • Tile Menu: Off – you don’t want extra icons to access the menu
  • Mode Dial Guide: Off – won’t display the guide when changing camera modes
  • Delete confirm: “Delete” first – don’t want to scroll when I need to delete something
  • Pwr Save Start Time: 1 Min usually works pretty well

3.19) Setup 3

  • Cleaning Mode: used for cleaning the camera sensor
  • Demo Mode: grayed out
  • Remote Ctrl: On (for remote control)
  • HDMI Resolution: Auto
  • HDMI Info. Display: On

3.20) Setup 4

  • USB Connection: Auto
  • USB LUN Setting: Multi
  • Language: English
  • Date/Time Setup: usually turn Daylight Savings On
  • Area Setting: For setting the timezone

3.21) Setup 5

  • Format: for formatting SD cards
  • File Number: Series
  • Select REC Folder: skip this
  • New Folder: Skip this
  • Folder Name: Standard Form
  • Recover Image DB: Skip this

3.22) Setup 6

  • Display Media Info.: Shows what’s on the card
  • Version: Display firmware version
  • Setting reset: will reset the camera settings or reinitialize the camera

I hope you found this article useful. Once again, these are settings that work for me and they might not necessarily suit your needs. It is best that you explore your camera and learn about each setting as much as you can in order to take advantage of all the available features and customizations!

  • Jason


    Thank you for this article sir, it was very helpful. Will you do publishing a full Sony A6000 review?

    Thank You,

    • Nasim Mansurov

      Jason, yes, as soon as I am done with a couple of other articles and reviews, the A6000 will be reviewed as well.

  • Love2Eat

    Thanks for the article Nasim, worthwhile reading even if one doesn’t own the A6000 (like myself).
    I’m actually planning to downsize and move away from my Nikon D90 (with a few of good glasses).
    But I am torn between A6000, RX100 M3 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 (although it is the oldest of the three). My practical head says get A6000 or E-M5 due to the interchangeable lenses, but heart says RX100 M3.
    I’m sure a review would help, look forward to one soon. :-)

    • Nasim Mansurov

      I guess it depends on what you are planning to shoot. Personally, I would either go with the A6000 or the E-M5, leaning towards the A6000 more. Why limit your creativity to a single fixed lens?

  • Dave Melges

    There is a very common thing, in the photography world, that’s super frustrating. You are shooting this camera like it’s just another DSLR. It’s not.

    This is a TRUE live view camera. That means it has the ability to show you the shot, including white balance and exposure BEFORE you take it….it can do this INSIDE the EVF, which makes it, for creative shooters, INFINITELY better than any SLR of any brand.

    This only works if the Viewfinder is set to MANUAL. And if you shoot on “aperture priority,” you’ve completely missed the most valuable feature on this camera.

    For that reason……and you shouldn’t feel offended by this because pretty much the whole world has yet to figure it out…….I can’t take the article seriously past the first paragraph.

    Turn your viewfinder to MANUAL, set your ISO, white balance and aperture, and finally adjust your exposure with the shutter speed. SEE the changes to exposure in REAL TIME, not just helping you set exposure, but leading you to compositions and lighting decisions you would have missed with ANY SLR.

    Then reconsider this article. You may find your eyes have been opened.

    • Loreto

      I don’t know what you are talking about. Agreed that the Sony A6000 is a mirrorless camera and has the advantage to see on the fly adjustments you make to exposure directly on the viewfinder. However as a photographer the first and most important thing you would want to take control is the aperture and shooting in Aperture mode allows you to do that. I am pretty sure someone as experienced as Nasim is well aware of that. Go do your homework before posting comments like this.

      • Nasim Mansurov

        Loreto, thank you for your comment. There is no right or wrong with shooting in either mode. With Aperture Priority, you also have quick access to Exposure Compensation and you can adjust brightness levels very easily. Manual mode is good for some situations, but not something I would use exclusively. These cameras are very smart, so why worry about continuously adjusting the exposure?

    • Nasim Mansurov

      Dave, I appreciate your feedback. I totally understand where you are coming from and I partially agree with what you have stated in regards to adjusting brightness with mirrorless cameras. Please note that I never stated using Manual mode was the wrong thing to do – I simply stated that instead of using Auto, Scene or Program modes, it is better to pick Aperture Priority mode and let the camera determine the rest of the exposure. You can certainly shoot manual, but it takes a bit more work to adjust brightness for different scenarios than Aperture Priority. Also, if you do find exposure to be overly bright or overly dark with Aperture Priority, you can easily use Exposure Compensation to make those exposure adjustments. There is no right or wrong – either way works perfectly fine :)

      • heather

        What is the best way to get an in depth explanation about all these modes? For ex. how do I set the aperture priority mode? I can’t figure it out. There is so much functionality about this camera it’s driving me mad!

        • Sean T

          Gary Friedman has an excellent book on the a6000 (and most Sonys). To answer your question, you can turn the dial with all the letters on it, on the top of the camera, to A – that sets aperture priority mode. S is shutter priority, M is manual, and MR (my favorite!) is a memory function that recalls whatever settings you program into the memory slots.

    • Sean Tomlinson

      What on earth are you talking about? The live view works for any photo you’re about to take, whether you’re in manual, A, one of the scenes, or one of the autos. You can turn live view off, but that option’s buried in the menus somewhere and is only applicable if you’re using some sort of flash set up.

    • Dave

      Thanks for the comment. I did not know this about the A6000, and because of your article I just figured it out.

  • Pat

    Could you do something like this for the EM 1?

  • sceptical 1

    Hi Nasim,

    I really appreciate this type of article. I don’t have an A6000 and don’t intend to get one. That said, I think this is the most helpful type of blog. You provided a comprehensive list of settings with your preferences and reasoning. This is useful for anyone, even someone with a lot of experience. Getting insight into how an excellent photographer uses a camera is always beneficial. Thanks for putting in the much time and effort !

  • D Datta

    Hi Nasim,

    Except for the small size and light weight (downsizing is the often said reason), I doubt as to whether there is any need to get into the mirror-less game. Having used the Panasonic G1 for the last 5 years and recently the Fuji X system, I have a major major complaint about these cameras and that is its piddly battery life. 150 – 250 shots and you have a dead camera on your hands. Its still worse if you flip through the images on the LCD. I recently read at a site that a pro marriage photographer carries 2 X-T1s and 10 spare batteries to last the day. I have a firm feeling that some of the mirrorless camera manufacturers, especially Fuji, have been using the social media extensively to promote their wares and we have taken the hook, line and the camera totally.

    After two months with the Fuji, I have decided to to go back my Nikon glass and my D7000 and D300.

    • Sean Tomlinson

      I have three batteries (I only use two), one Sony and two knockoffs. They’ve always lasted me for however long I need them to, well over 300 shots each. How many more photos do you need in a day? I suppose a wedding photographer will need 4 batteries then, but given that each battery is about the size of two AAs, put them in your pocket and you’ll be fine. And a whole lot lighter than any conventional DSLR.

    • C.B.

      I think you made your decision much to fast. With mine, over 350 shots easy and my battery left 21% of power. There are few tricks to save you battery on Sony A6000. But it is to late for you! Have fun with your big bodies camera.

  • Woj

    Hi Nasim,

    I enjoy your blog very much; thank you for the helpful information. Would you mind sharing what lenses you use on the a6000? I’ve been considering the A7s but the lack of Sony lenses has kept me away and I was wondering if you had better luck finding lenses for the crop version. I know that I can use a speedbooster but would prefer to use lenses natively unless the reviews begin to improve.


    • Edward Nowak

      Woj, I find your comments about the lack of Sony lenses for the A7s to be ill informed at best. I have both an A7 and an A6000. For the A7 I have the 35mm/2.8, the 55mm/1.8, the 24-70mm/4.0. These are all world class lenses. I do not have the new 70-200mm but have read some fantastic reviews for it. Another great lens is the 10-18mm wide zoom, which was designed for the crop cameras but is perfectly usable on the A7, providing good full frame coverage from 12 to 17mm. Trey Ratcliffe, for example, has published several of his superb landscape photos that were taken with the 10-18mm on his A7r. And of course the full frame FE lenses that I mentioned also work superbly on the A6000. New primes at wide angle and portrait lengths are coming. Do you have a very special requirement not covered by the Sony lenses I just mentioned?

      • Woj

        Would you mind providing some photo examples? I’m considering switching from Nikon FF to Sony but sony reviews are very few and inbetween, probably because it’s not a very ubiquitous system, if it’s even a system at this point. I noticed that this blog, which I enjoy immensely, has 53 nikon lens reviews and no sony lens reviews, hence my question. If Nasim is adopting Sony to complement his existing system I wanted to know his thoughts on Sony lenses. Yes, a company needs to make great lenses to survive the market but are they building a system with affordable choices?

        • Edward Nowak

          Woj: Sure, I can provide some examples. What is the best way to do that here?

          And by the way, if you do a basic search, you can find plenty of review sites that cover Sony cameras and lenses. And you do know, don’t you, that Sony makes image sensors for their own cameras and for others, like Nikon?

  • Neo

    Thank you very much for sharing the info.

    I noticed that you are using flexible spot as focus area. Is there an easy to way to move the flexible spot to center of the frame?

    Moving the flexible spot in a6000, while better than my RX100, it is still a pain compared Olympus. I read somewhere that we can centralize the flexible spot with one click of a button a custom button. But not sure how to do it.

  • Sean Tomlinson

    I like it Nasim, I think this is a very nice intro to a terrific (but possibly overwhelming) camera. I’ve spent a lot of time with mine (and a certain very good manual out for it) and I think your introduction should be printed and given with every a6000 sold!

  • Tungstenkarbid

    Just wanted to say thank you for this article. I have not done much photografy since my Minolta x-700 did half of my thinking, and have been struggling to produce the quality images I have seen others get with their a6000. I actually ordered a Panasonic Lumix (something dcf1000) but returned it the same day because I could not for the life of me get it to produce anything in its zoom range remotely resembling the quality I expected. When my a6000 also did not seem to be able to make even the simplest daylight-shots look vivid or in focus, I was about to give up on this one as well, -until I found your guide and was able to produce the same good old feeling both in taking pictures and regarding quality. I am amazed sony does not tweak these cameras better before shipping. I think the focusing and the metering settings are a big clue, but I am sure I will eventually be able to pinpoint what on earth I did wrong before i found this page.

    Regarding the toturial. I am not sure if it is obvious to everyone else if you have a chosen “mode” from the beginning. I found I had to select different “modes” (Modes being P-A-S-M-MR and so on) to be able to manipulate different settings, and I found no “mode” that allowed all the settings you specify. Closest mode was “A” and “P”, but both had some settings options grayed out at different points.

    Another thing is that by choosing “Aeroplane mode” (to save battery), I can not activate “Remote Control”,

    I assume everyone else knows if I should use RAW + jpeg or just RAW. I currently dont have software to edit RAW files, but I can wiew them in this “PlayMemoriesHome” thing until I figure out what my Photoshop is missing.

    Thank you so much again. This little guide saved my day, and have given me new enthusiasm for my new camera.

  • kawika

    Great set of tips; thanks.
    One question I hope you will answer: does the a6000 allow the user to shoot video using the shutter button. I do this as a matter of preference on the GH3 and want a mirrorless APS-C that will allow the same thing.
    To shoot stills, the mode dial is set to an appropriate stills mode, and to shoot video I set the mode dial to video, at which point all the camera functions from the stills mode switch to video mode.

  • Riz

    Hi Nasim. Thanks for the excellent article. Really looking forward to your A6000 review and especially your thoughts on how it compares with the Olympus EM1 and Fuji XT1 if possible! Thanks again.

  • Joachim

    Thanks for this very helpful article. As I just unboxed my A6000 and the manual is very rudimental, your advice helped me getting started.

  • Jorge

    You have done an excellent service for new users of the Sony A6000 like myself. I have had the camera for about two weeks, and find that it is a really remarkable tool, but with a complicated navigating system for the average beginner. Thank you for a fine introduction and guide.

  • Harry S

    I bought a Sony a6000 camera.
    As I remember I set date and time.
    I take some pictures with the camera and when I lock in the computer to see the picture.
    The date of the pictures was 1Jan 2014.
    I bought the camera at 25.09.2014.
    How I can to set the date and the time according to my location.

    • just a guest

      I had this problem too. The Region selected, the Date and Time entered were not saved. No matter what I did in numerous attempts. ^+`” x @ z # ~* …….. then I think I found the culprit. It could be another “ENTER” box there we missed right after, that is jammed before picking time format. We went to MENU to exit too soon!

  • Stevles

    Just bought one of these today and your post helped me to no end.
    Thanks so much!

  • James Jackson

    Nasim, I really found this article informative. Thanks for taking the time to put it together and publish it. I just got an a6000 last week and was mystified by some of the options. I knew the end goal I wanted for my photos but wasn’t sure how to set things to accomplish that. Thanks!

    • Stevles

      Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one.
      While I appreciate the massive list of options it can certainly be overwhelming to people unfamiliar with the a6000.
      The internet is a fantastic place, thanks to people like Nasim!

  • charles

    Glad I found this page….thank you!

  • 925Surfer

    Be aware that you need to change ” Release w/o Lens: Disable – do not allow firing the camera without a lens ” . to ENABLE if like me you are using your old SLR lenses with an adapter on this camera in MANUAL mode..My old Olympus OM Zuiko lenses look like they were made for this camera.Thank you for the useful information.

  • Aaron L

    Hi Nasim, thanks for the awesome article!
    One thing to change/fix though, regarding the Back Button Focus setup you have – there is a difference between what you say in section 2.2 (use C2 to zoom in) vs what you say in section 3.5 (set Focus Magnifier to the AEL button). I think from the third mention of the back-button-focus concept (in section 3.13) you should change section 3.5, to read “C2″ instead of “AEL”.
    I guess I only noticed this because back-button-focus is something I am specifically researching :)
    Again, awesome article and I learned a lot more from reading this, than the one thing I was looking for!

    • Rednoser

      Hey Aaron, since you did not get a response, what did you end up selecting?

  • Seneca

    Thank you so very much! : ). This here stay-home mom of young children who suck my brain energy almost had a heart attack trying to decipher the manual. This article has saved my sanity! And the last commenter helped, too, thanks!

  • Seneca

    And yes, I agree with commenters who said they this article should be given with every Sony a6000 camera! I’m printing mine, with comments, now! Thanks again, Nasim!

  • Susan

    Than you for this very informative article. I also enjoy the comments. My husband and I just purchased this camera this past weekend. We know nothing about it other than it seems to be a camera that we can both use because we are not tech savy. Our criteria was taking pictures of our Nephew who is a drummer in focus without a blury trail behind his arms while he is on stage. The sales associate showed us how he felt we could easily use this camera to take memorable photographs/pictures of loved ones.

  • Darren K

    Thanks Nasim,

    I like your tips so much, hope to see some Samsung article as currently none about them :(

  • John B

    I have this camera but am most likely returning it as I shoot macro using tethered live view to a pc and for some reason that option is not available on this camera so it is back to Canon for me I guess. Even the T3i has full tethered control over the camera for shots on a copy stand. Yes I know you can use wifi but then I am not able to use the pc for it’s wireless internet at the same time and I do not want to spend more money on a tablet that i have to use as the view finder for focus then transfer to my pc.

    • Edward Nowak

      What happens when you connect the camera to a TV via an HDMI cable?

      • SammyCat

        It allows you to show what is on the camera but you will be doing that by manipulating the camera it self. For me the tethering issue is important because I can not stand over the camera to focus as I am partially disabled. I really like this camera and it is great to use hand held for other imaging but I expected that control function at this level along with a level meter. This article does show a quick easy setup to get going that will yield fantastic images for most other situations. It is to bad that at this level Sony left some items off that are on most lower level cameras. The cable tethered control is also nice for night time imaging using a longer cord so I can sit down in a folding chair. You can transfer images to lightroom via the USB just not control the camera or see a live view.

  • Edward Nowak

    There’s an app that permits you to control the camera via a mobile device like a phone or an iPad. I don’t know its name off hand. And I know that the app’s capabilities have improved since it was first launched. If you think that using an iPad or Android tablet as your tether could work, you should give it a try.

    • inspire

      It’s called “PlayMemories mobile”. Although you can’t control everything with this app it’s still a great helper to get the basic things control remotely!

  • John St John

    Great stuff, Nasim. Very, very helpful. Very glad that you’re sticking with this work!

  • Steve Osmond

    Good article but I actually disagree with the usefulness of the Creative Style for one simple reason. I keep the style on B&W and shoot RAW. This give me a full range of color on the saved image (as the RAW file saves all the information) however this displays in monochrome and I can see immediately in the view screen all the tone and shades that are normally obscured and lessened by a color image. Highlights are more evident, shade is more evident.

  • Vladimír Vérosta

    I have bought my a6000 a week ago, so Im still learning and thank to your excellent article I did great advance!! Thank you!

  • Lisa Pierson

    Well this is definitely better than what Sony provided. Thanks for the great overview.

  • bjc

    Can someone tell me how to set the back button focus. I was confused. All the other parts of this article are great. I got my camera last night and this article has saved me from pulling my hair out.

    • Rajesh Karkera

      Two settings you have to change, one is to disable the shutter button from “Auto focus” and other one is at the “Custom button setttings” to tell the camera to “Auto Focus”. Let me know if you are not able to find it out. I will give you exact steps.

      • Lea

        How we can do that,it seems my camera just focus one person not the other.

        • Rajesh Karkera

          Depends on what focus mode you are on, if you have registered a person already, it would just track that person. This camera has so many focus options and if you dont set the options properly lots of out of focus shots you might be taking.

  • Photohiker

    I bought a Sony A6000 and have been trying the RAW & Jpg setting. When I link it to my Macbook Air, the RAW&JPG setting photos download to my iPhoto — but they do not erase from my camera when I erase the Jpg photos (there ones that are made on the Fine setting). The message on my camera is “unable to display”. I want to get rid of the RAW photos but cannot. Please provide any suggestions.

    • pincherio

      Format the card.

  • Monre

    Nice Article Nasim
    Do you know if is posible to do completely mute the camara? I do not undernstand why is not when i turn off audio signals. It is a problem in street photography

  • somedid

    You, sir, are a life saver. Bought the a6000 a couple of weeks ago and quickly discovered just how fast I’m aging. After over 50 years of owning my own studio for advertising photography, and about 4 years of photojournalism covering civil rights, I thought I was comfortable in my knowledge of the photography subject. Boy, did I get my comeuppance. This little camera has more buttons and switches than any car I’ve ever owned, and will replace half the equipment I used to keep in my studio, but first I have to learn to use it. Not easy, or at least was not until your article. Sony evidently does not believe in sharing knowledge, and many of the writers online seem to either have their own language, or way of looking at things. Your review laid out the camera and all it’s buttons, functions,etc., in a logical, and can you imagine this, sequential manner. What a help. I actually think maybe this old head can begin to put this all together and use this great piece of equipment. Thanks so much! Now if you could just touch on files. They seem to move around and disappear every now and then, but I guess that’s another subject, and digital is not my strong suit at this time.

  • Brian

    Seems like a good camera. Can anyone tell me how to deactivate the movie button please

  • Jack

    Where/how do you set the exposures for HDR and steps between???

  • Gary

    Could someone please tell me why I get three photos stored on the memory card each time I shoot? I’m wondering if I have a setting that is telling the camera to bracket the exposure on each shot?

  • James

    When I move fies from camera to a PC it can only copy, not move, nor can delete. How can I move or delete from PC?

  • Art M.

    You have a good eye for addressing compelling questions. Thanks very much!

  • Christopher

    Do any of the Sony small body mirrorless cameras have the ability to control the camera while in liveview and tether connected to a pc (control focus, aperture etc) as John B asked. I would like to use one for Taking macro images while the camera is mounted on a modified copy stand so I can focus stack for DOF and the A6000 is out Per John Bs comment. I want to be able to adjust on the fly while looking at my monitor. Any help will be appreciated.

  • IWAT

    Thanks alot…. I am new here, just got my a6000, i40 flash and old 18200 yesterday…. I am going to Korea for Sakura tomorrow. May I ask a question? is the setting apply to the new version 1.10? Thanks.

  • Camilla

    Thank you for this article Nasim. i just unboxed my a6000 and have searched for how to do the copyright settings. Don´t find the setting do you know how to find it?

  • Ellie

    Does anyone know how I save a photo I’ve cropped on the camera

  • ivan l. schuster

    I purchased a Sony A6000 camera from a a Best Buy in Texas, with the assurance from the sales person that I could take good macro shots. I don’t know if I am just not understanding the extremely complicated settings of this camera, however, it just doesn’t seem to be possible to take close-up shots, with the lens that comes with the Sony A6000? Can someone help me, PLEASE, before I tear out all of my hair!
    Thank You

    • Edward Nowak

      Ivan, the camera will indeed take macro shots but you will need extra equipment. You can buy a lens that is purposely designed for macro photography, like the Sony SEL30M35 30mm f/3.5 e-mount Macro Lens. A less expensive route is to use extension tube(s) mounted between the body and the lens. Search Amazon for “extension tubes sony” for examples. There are two basic types, one that is completely passive with no electronic connections, and the second type that does have electrical pass through. The former turns your lens into a manual lens and the latter retains focus and aperture control. Especially since you’re starting out, I recommend finding a set of tubes with the electrical pass through. Make sure you look for tubes designed for the Sony E mount.

      • ivan l. schuster

        Dear Edward,
        Thank you so much for the valuable information. I will be in NYC next week and will buy the tubes. Stay tuned for some wonderful close-up shots, thanks to you Sir. Ivan

        • ivan l. schuster

          Dear Edward,
          I quickly checked Amazon and found many options. However, I don’t know what I need! Example, none of the extension tubes said specifically for “Sony A(lpha) 6000″ which is my model. They were listed for models up to Alpha 500. Does that mean that the A6000 is included? Also the prices were wildly varied from 9.95 to 129.00 with tripod. I assume the 9.95 is manual, and those in the 60 dollar range and up, are electronic.The only one I could find that pictured a set of 3 with “electronic” stamped on the tubes was the Fotofiox, I think? Also, most were sold in sets of 3. Example 10-16-21mm or 13-20-36mm. I don’t know why there is a set of 3 and why the different millimeter sizes. However, I assume it means the more extensions , the, the greater the enlargement, or macro of the actual object, I can achieve? So, if you use just the 12 or 13mm, you will get a nice close-up macro image, but if you use all 3 you will
          get practically a microscopic view?
          Thanking you in advance for your sage advice sir,

          • Edward Nowak

            If something is designed for “E Mount” or “NEX Mount”, then it will work on your camera. I recommend the Meike® Automatic Extension Tube For Sony E-Mount, which I have. It appears that the Neewer 2nd Generation Metal Automatic AF Auto-focus Macro Extension Tube Set is very similar. Both have the electronic contacts and both give you two tubes, 10mm and 16mm. They’re also reasonably priced at $27 and $35 respectively on Amazon. You can use the tubes individually or stacked, for three different possible tube lengths, 10mm, 16mm, and 26mm. A small extension distance gives you the smallest magnification while the longer extension distance gives you the greatest magnification but is also more difficult to use. I recommend a table top tripod for macro shots at high magnification. If you want to do hand held, start with only the 10mm tube installed. But get a set and start playing with them. That’s the best way to learn what they’ll do. You’ll find that you have a shallow depth of field and that focusing may be challenging. The usual recommendation is to use manual focus and to do the actual focusing by moving the camera in and out.

            • ivan l. schuster

              Dear Edward,
              As always, your sage advice is greatly appreciated!! I will order the Meike or the Neewer, whichever one is available.
              Thanks Again

    • Tim

      Ivan. The camera is capable, but each lense has a minimum focus distance. You can easily find this in the manual or on line just look your lense name specifications. Each DSLR will have the same issue, because is the lense that makes the difference. Look up macro on youtube to learn more. What the A6000 gives you is the capabilty to use older lenses that are cheap with a $10 adapter. You would focus in manual mode which most folks shooting macro due anyway.

      • ivan l. schuster

        Dear Tim,
        You are absolutely right, it is really in the lens. I will try the extenders to see what kind of results I can get. Thanks so much for your advice.

  • hamish


  • hamish

    a6000 is far too complicated to use and if I knew that before buying, wouldn’t have. the manual is inadequate – are there some step by step instructions that tell you how to do stuff. need another university degree to use it. ridiculous

  • Kurato

    How to turn off beep sound as well red Led while click the pictures.