Sony A6000 Tips and Tricks for beginners, intermediates, and professionals alike. We feel that these little tweaks that you are able to make to your A6000 will help you get the most out of your camera allowing you to get even better quality photographs and video.
Modern digital cameras have too many features for the majority of people to research and learn due to the busy lives we all lead. Thankfully, this is where our Sony A6000 tips and tricks come in to quickly and easily show you some little-known features in an easy ten-minute read.
Stop The LCD Screen Turning Off When Close To Your Body
Our first Sony A6000 trick is able to solve one of the main frustrations people have with the A6000, the LCD screen powering off when the viewfinder sensor detects something close to it. Although the idea behind this feature is good, to quickly and easily allow you to switch between using the LCD screen and viewfinder while automatically turning the LCD screen off to save power, it can be a pain.
In our opinion, the sensor near the viewfinder that controls this function is too large and too sensitive meaning that if you bring your A6000 close to your stomach to take a photograph your LCD screen will turn off.
We have seen a number of photographers come up with some truly ingenious ways to try and prevent this from happening but unfortunately, they rarely work consistently. Thankfully, we have a quick and easy tip that will allow you to prevent this from happening and prevent all of this frustration.
The image below shows the sensor near the viewfinder that is responsible for the issue. As you can see in the image, the sensor is wide open and has no way to control the amount of light that gets into it. In our opinion, it is a little too long and lets too much light in meaning the slightest light change can trigger it.
In fact, various tests by a number of photographers have proven that the sensor could easily be one-third of its size. This will allow a much lower amount of light into the sensor and make it much less sensitive to light changes allowing you to keep your LCD screen turned on in most situations but still automatically powering it off when you place your eye near the optical viewfinder.
There are a fair few ways to make the sensor smaller as shown in the image below. Although some people recommend using gaffer tape, the residue left behind once the tape is removed can potentially cause a lasting sticky mark. A high-quality electrical tape (Click here to check for product prices and availability) can be a quick and easy solution but we feel that webcam sticker covers (Click here to check for product prices and availability) are better. They come in three sizes to make it easy to cover the sensor while also being easy to store in your photography bag in case you need to replace one while out and about without any electrical tape.
Keep Your Sony A6000 Sensor Clean
Next up on our list of Sony A6000 tips is to keep your image sensor as clean as possible. Although this may seem like common sense, many people make the mistake of touching their image sensor with their fingers when attempting to remove dirt or dust. It is inevitable that through the lifetime of your A6000 at some point the sensor will need cleaning, NEVER touch it with your finger as it is a very sensitive piece of equipment.
Although the A6000 does come with an “auto cleaning mode” it is not very effective and unable to provide any real value. When cleaning a Sony A6000 sensor there are a few things you can take advantage of and they depend on what you are actually cleaning off it. If you simply have a little dust or cotton fiber on the sensor than a simple cheap camera blower (Click here to check for product prices and availability) should be able to get it clean.
If the sensor has some dirt on it that has smudged then you will probably have to do a full clean using a professional cleaning kit that supports APS C sensor cleaning. Thankfully we have found a very cheap cleaning kit (Click here to check for product prices and availability) that is perfect for this and has some amazing third-party, independent reviews too.
The video below gives an excellent demonstration of how to clean a Sony A6000 sensor using a lens cleaning kit as well as covers how to best use the APS C cleaning swabs.
Assign Clear Image Zoom To A Custom Button
Next up on our list of Sony A6000 tips and tricks is what we feel is one of the best functions the camera has to offer but also one that is not known by many people, the clear image zoom function.
Essentially, what this function does is allow you to double the focal length of the lens that you have attached to your A6000 without losing any image quality at all. If you usually use something like a prime lens then this can be an excellent tool to offer you some much-needed zoom capability. On a side note, if you are a Sony A6000 user then our guide on the best Sony A6000 travel lenses may be interesting for you.
That said, this function does have two main drawbacks, the first is that some zoom lenses that have the ability to communicate with Sony cameras can remove your assigned key for the function. The second is that it can be a real pain to turn the function on and off with the default set up and that’s where assigning a custom key comes in.
Although there are a number of buttons that you are able to assign the function to, we feel that the C1 button (Custom one button) near the shutter button (shown in the image below) is the most convenient button to use if you are going to be using this function a whole bunch.
Thankfully, unlike some competing cameras out there, this function is also easy to map to the buttons. As shown in the image below, first you want to press your menu button, then select the little cog wheel in the menu options, then select the sixth page of options and scroll down to the second option on that page.
After that, the screen in the image below will be displayed to you, scroll down to the button that you want to assign the Clear Image Zoom function to, in our case, the C1 (custom 1) button and select it.
Finally, the options in the image below will be displayed, simply scroll through the options until your find the zoom function and two-thirds of the way through the available functions and select it. Once done, you just press your C1 button to active or de-activate your clear image zoom function.
Solve Your Sony A6000 Overheating Issues
Without a doubt, one of the most popular tips and tricks with sony a6000 cameras we see requested is a way to deal with the Sony A6000 overheating problem. Thankfully, rather than just having one Sony A6000 overheating solution, we have three! You can use one, two or all three of them to deal with the problem.
If you only use your A6000 for photographs then you probably don’t have this issue but if you take photographs with the 11 frames per second function or record video for extended periods of time, the warning message in the image below has probably been displayed to you a few times.
The first and by far most effective solution for dealing with any overheating problems in your A6000 is to simply use a high-quality dummy battery (Click here to check for product prices and availability). Thankfully, these can be picked up very cheap these days with our recommended dummy battery having an excellent reputation within the photography community as well as people already using it to solve heating issues in Sony cameras.
It works by removing the biggest source of heat in the camera, the battery and replacing it with a power adaptor with an extended cord to the heat generated from powering the camera is away from the camera body. This has proven to be a very effective and popular solution for dealing with overheating issues in the modern Sony camera range.
Next up, we have a very simple trick that is often overlooked. The LCD screen on the A6000 has a ton of electronics within it that all generate heat. If you leave the screen in its default position up against the camera body, a fair amount of the heat generated is transferred to the camera body.
Simply open up the screen as shown in the image below to add some air flow between the screen and the camera body while helping to cool the camera down. The effectiveness of this method does depend on the local temperature of the location you are in but even in warm climates it can help.
The final and least effective trick that you can use on your Sony A6000 to deal with overheating is to leave the battery case open as shown in the image below. Not many people seem to know that the A6000 will work fine with its battery door open. This can allow you to give the body of the camera a little airflow helping to cool it down, we have seen people try to modify the cameras battery bay further to deal with overheating but we would not recommend it.
Increase Battery Life
Although there are a few Sony A6000 battery problems, they are usually limited to when people use time-lapse mode or record high-resolution video for extended periods of time. The battery seems to hold up pretty well for the majority of other things but still, we have a few whats that you are able to improve the battery life of your A6000.
Although we mentioned it earlier to help deal with overheating in your camera, our first recommendation is to use a high-quality, cheap dummy battery (Click here to check for product prices and availability) with your camera. There are some third-party, independent reports about our recommended dummy battery being able to increase the battery life of Sony cameras by up to twenty times!
The next tip is to switch the camera into airplane mode when its wifi or NFC functionality is not required. Although this sounds like a simple little trick, so many people overlook it. Although it’s not going to greatly improve battery life, it will help a little.
All you have to do is press the menu button, select the wireless option and then scroll down to airplane mode and toggle it on or off as shown in the image below.
Take Advantage Of XAVC S Mode
Although the vast majority of people will be fine with using the default MP4 config when recording video with their A6000, the XAVC S code can offer a slight improvement in quality that may be useful to come videographers who use the A6000 as their camera of choice.
One thing that we would point out though is that XAVC S mode requires you to have a 64GB SD card (Click here to check for product prices and availability) or higher inserted into the camera or the mode will not activate.
The video below offers some excellent comparison and side by side recordings of XAVC S and MP4 so you are able to see the difference.
Use The Sony A6000 Soft Skin Effect For Selfies
If you use your A6000 for selfies or to take photographs of you for use on sites such as Instagram then you will love the A6000’s soft skin effect feature. Many beauty guru Instagramers and YouTubers will use this mode on their Sony cameras for their “after” shorts of their make up tutorials to give them that extra edge.
There are two drawbacks of using this mode for your photographs. The first is that you are unable to have it turned on in video mode and the second is that you have to take raw photographs, you cant use it with JPEG.
To turn the mode on, simply go into your menu button on your A6000, stay on the default camera options panel, go to option window six and then toggle the soft skin effect to the setting you want as shown in the image below.
Although it is using the Sony A7SII, the video below offers some excellent examples of what the Soft Skin Effect mode is able to offer you.