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Sony Alpha A6000 Gordon Laing, April 2014
 
 

Sony Alpha A6000 vs Olympus OMD EM5 quality JPEG

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  Sony Alpha A6000 results
1 Sony A6000 Quality JPEG
2 Sony A6000 Quality RAW
3 Sony A6000 Noise JPEG
4 Sony A6000 Noise RAW
5 Sony A6000 Sample images

To compare real-life performance I shot this scene with the Sony Alpha A6000 and Olympus OMD EM5 within a few moments of each other using their RAW+JPEG modes; A6000 RAW results follow on the next page.

The A6000 was fitted with the 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 kit zoom and the EM5 fitted with the 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 kit zoom, both set to f5.6 in Aperture Priority mode and adjusted to deliver the same field of view.

Note: I wanted to compare the A6000 against the newer EM10, but Olympus couldn't supply one in time. I intend to update these pages when I get hold of the EM10, and also include some results with prime lenses. In the meantime I've found the image quality across all Micro Four Thirds bodies to date has been quite similar, so I'm happy for the EM5 to represent them here.


In my first comparison below I chose to use variable aperture kit zooms to illustrate the kind of quality difference you can expect from each system in practice - most buyers of these bodies will start with the kit zooms. I'll add some results with prime lenses when I compare the A6000 against the EM10. Both zooms here were adjusted to deliver the same field of view, close to 35mm in full-frame terms, and set to f5.6 in Aperture Priority mode.

Below you’re comparing the A6000 with its 24 Megapixel APSC sensor against the EM5 with its 16 Megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor. You’d imagine the bigger sensor of the A6000 coupled with a 50% higher pixel count would result in dramatically different image quality, but the first thing you notice when comparing the crops below is how close they look.

The higher resolution of the Sony is certainly delivering more pixels, which in turn means a smaller area when the crop size is the same, but is it actually delivering any greater real-life detail? When fitted with their respective kit lenses and with their default processing, I’d say there’s actually not much in it. The biggest difference is the third row of crops, from the centre of the image where the fine lines in the blinds and on the apartment balcony are better-resolved by the Sony. There’s also a little more detail in the crop of the wheel at the bottom, but equally some undesirable jaggies on some of the diagonal struts.

I think it’s clear the A6000 is being held back by its kit zoom here. The centre crop gives a glimpse at the resolution possible, but the optics are simply letting it down across the rest of the frame, where there’s minimal difference between the two cameras. Of course the EM5 can do better given a sharper lens too, but this page clearly illustrates that if you intend to use the A6000 with its kit zoom, you won’t be getting anywhere near the full potential from its 24 Megapixels across the whole frame.

I shot this in RAW+JPEG and you can find out how the former looks in my Sony A6000 RAW quality results. Alternatively, head onto my Sony A6000 noise results or skip to my Sony A6000 sample images or my verdict.



Sony Alpha A6000 JPEG
Using Sony 16-50mm at 24mm f5.6
 
Olympus OMD EM5 JPEG
Using ZD 12-50mm at 18mm f5.6
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
     
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO

Sony Alpha A6000 results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise


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