Sony’s Alpha line of cameras has been wildly popular among photographers ever since its release. The Sony a6000 is perhaps the most popular mirrorless camera body in the market today. It’s used by a huge number of photographers, no matter what niche they’re practicing in.
The a6000 has a 24.3-megapixel sensor that produces high-quality photographs. The device also boasts the world’s fastest autofocus, with a 179-point phase-detection AF sensor. By shooting videos at 11 frames per second, the a6000 captures superb videos.
These features make the Sony a6000 an excellent choice for real estate photography. With all that the a6000 has to offer, photographers can easily capture wide interior and exterior spaces. Simultaneously, the camera also allows you to capture intricate details of the properties that can attract potential buyers.
The Sony a6000 does come with a massive range of features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity and a tilting LCD, that make it easy and fun to use the device. However, the a6000 is also notorious for its menu system, which can be challenging to navigate.
Since the device houses many features, it’s natural that users cannot find them all. With this guide, you’ll find the best tips for Sony a6000 real estate photography.
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1. Electronic Viewfinder
The Sony a600 has an electronic viewfinder, which is essential for real estate photography. With an optical viewfinder, you can’t see the actual depth of field. Some cameras with optical viewfinders offer one setting under which you can see the depth of field. However, under that setting, shadows may appear on the frame, making it difficult to get a good shot.
The Sony a6000’s EVF means that you can see the actual depth of field whenever you’re shooting. This gives you better control over how your pictures turn out.
2. Image Settings
In terms of image settings, the Sony a6000 offers two different aspect ratio settings: 16:9 or 3:2. Most TVs and screens have a ratio of 16:9, but the camera sensor itself has a ratio of 3:2.
Shooting at 3:2 allows you to take full advantage of the a6000’s sensor, and you will be able to shoot at 24 megapixels. However, if you want a wider field of view, you can choose to shoot at 16:9. This may be more helpful for real estate photographers planning on displaying their photographs on monitors. However, shooting at 16:9 results in some image quality loss; you’ll be able to shoot at 20 megapixels, not 24.
You can also choose between image sizes. If you’re running low on memory, you can choose to shoot at medium size, which gives you 12 megapixels, or small size, which is 6 megapixels.
For image quality, you can choose to shoot between JPEG and RAW. Shooting at JPEG means that the pictures are ready to go. You can transfer them to your phone or print them out as is. Shooting photographs in RAW format means that they must first be transferred to a photo editing software and then saved in a format that allows exporting.
The Sony a6000’s best feature is RAW ; JPEG. This saves two versions of each picture, one RAW and one JPEG, and gives you the best of both worlds. However, since this saves twice the number of images, it uses more memory.
3. Clear Image Zoom
The a6000’s clear image zoom gives extra length on your lens and can make any lens a zoom lens. This is an excellent feature for real estate photographers because it can allow them to focus on intricate details of a house without having to invest in a separate zoom lens. However, do keep in mind that in clear image zoom mode, you cannot shoot in the RAW format.
To best take advantage of the clear image zoom, we recommend a 1.5x zoom. This allows you to get closeup shots while maintaining the high resolution of the images. You can shoot at 2x as well, but you may see slight image quality loss at this length.
4. Know Your Modes
The a6000 has excellent built-in modes that can allow you to produce the kind of picture you need. Firstly, it has two automatic modes: i and i+ on the mode dial. Intelligent auto (i) assesses the scene you’re shooting and chooses the best settings accordingly. Superior auto (i+) goes one step further and maximizes noise reduction as well. If you’re working with low-light interior or exterior settings, choose the i+ mode.
Within the menu, you’ll also find some color modes that change color composition in your pictures. Shooting at standard mode will just bring about the best color settings for each shot. The vivid mode adds color saturation and makes colors look more eye-catching and bolder. The natural is the most accurate real-life representation of a scene. However, in real estate photography, it may make properties appear dull and boring. Hence, it’s better to opt for one of the other 2 modes.
5. Adjusting Color
The a6000 has two color modes for users to choose from sRGB and AdobeRGB. If you want the camera to capture hues better, select AdobeRGB. However, you should only choose this mode if you’re planning to use the pictures digitally.
Printers cannot interpret some of the extra colors captured in AdobeRGB properly. Hence, if you plan on printing the pictures for flyers or brochures, keep the color mode to sRGB.
You can also control the intensity of colors using other features. For example, suppose your white balance is set to automatic. In that case, the camera will ensure that any extreme color effects are automatically removed.
6. High ISOs
Typically, ISOs work on a trade-off basis. The higher your ISO, the more light you’ll be able to capture, but the grainier your picture will be. Typically, images taken at high ISOs can capture a dimly lit scene well but will also contain a lot of noise, or grain.
The a6000 works well at high ISOs. Pictures taken at an ISO of 1600 come out extremely sharp with minimal noise. At 3200, images still tend to be sharp but may lose some detail. At ISOs of 10000 and above, pictures tend to get too grainy.
However, for real estate photographers, it’s rare to need an exceptionally high ISO. Working at an ISO of 10000 or more is rare in this niche.
7. Wireless Capabilities
You can easily set up the a6000 to communicate with your smartphone. Both iOS and Androids are capable of doing this. It’s easier with NFC-enabled Android phones because they connect to your camera by tapping the two devices together.
With these wireless capabilities, you can transfer images directly to your phone. You can also use your phone as a trigger to take pictures remotely. To do this, you must install the Sony Play Memories app, which allows you to play with exposure compensation and the time-lapse feature.
You can also download the free Smart Remote Control app, which gives you more control of the camera.
8. SD Card
The Sony a6000 is compatible with all SD memory cards that have a Class 4 rating or higher. You can also choose to use a Sony MemoryStick cards. However, these are specific to Sony cameras, and you cannot use them on non-Sony devices.
To utilize all that the a6000, experts recommend getting a 64GB memory card with a class 10 rating and a transfer speed of 80 MB/s. You can opt to get pricier memory cards with greater transfer speeds, such as 96 MB/s or 150 MB/s.
You cannot use a memory card of 32 GB or less if you want to record in XAVC S file format. This is a high-quality video format, which is usually used when filming professionally.
There’s no difference in the camera’s performance with memory cards with a transfer speed of 80 MB/s or above. The primary difference lies in how fast you’ll be able to transfer pictures from your camera to your laptop.
Hence, buying a pricier memory card with a higher speed only makes sense if you’re regularly taking a lot of pictures and videos – enough to fill up your card.
9. LCD Brightness
Many a6000 users complain about the camera’s LCD brightness. While the LCD brightness is alright when shooting indoors, it can look washed out in bright areas. Luckily, the a6000 provides a solution to this problem.
You can increase the brightness of the LCD by accessing ‘monitor brightness’ in the menu. This allows you to increase the monitor brightness up two notches, a standard feature in most cameras. However, you can also increase it more than this.
Right above the brightness scale is an option called ‘Brightness set up.’ On default, this is set to manual. However, you can choose to set it to sunny weather. Immediately, you’ll notice that your LCD monitor is brighter.
10. Disabling Auto Crop
When you first start using the a6000, you may notice that it automatically crops your pictures. If you take a picture horizontally or in landscape orientation, it will automatically be cropped to the portrait orientation.
While we’re not sure why Sony has this default setting, you can change it by accessing the menu’s object framing option. It will appear to be set at ‘automatic,’ and all you need to do is turn it off.
11. Zebra Setting
The a6000’s has this neat feature to help you control the exposure of your image. When you activate this feature, a zebra-like pattern appears in your frame (whether you’re using the monitor or EVF).
This pattern appears in the areas of your frame that are overexposed or at risk of being overexposed. In other words, it appears in areas of your image that are too bright. Once you see this pattern, you can adjust your settings to limit the brightness, minimize the zebra-like pattern.
The Sony a6000 has three metering modes, which are essential for any real estate photographer to know – multi, center, and spot.
Multi-pattern metering is the default setting, and it measures light on every area of the frame. The whole frame is considered equally under this setting. The a6000 uses multi-pattern metering for its automatic modes.
In the second mode, center-weighted, the average brightness of the entire frame is measured, but the center of the screen is emphasized. The spot mode measures only the central area of the screen.
When it comes to real estate photography, spot metering is helpful when there’s a significant contrast between the subject of your image and the background. If you’re shooting whole rooms or bigger frames, multi-pattern metering is the safest way to go.
13. Memory Recall Mode
The Sony a6000 has a range of different modes to cater to specific environments, but like most cameras, it does not have one specifically for real estate photography. However, the memory recall mode can help solve this problem.
The dial at the top of the camera has an option labeled ‘MR.’ In MR mode, you can save 3 ‘recipes’ to shoot particular scenes. This essentially means that you can decide, through trial and error, what settings work best for the kind of real estate you’re shooting. Once you save a recipe, you won’t need to manually adjust for those settings each time you’re shooting something. Instead, you can access the settings through the MR mode.
To save a ‘recipe’ on the MR mode, first ensure that you’ve set your camera on all your desired settings. Then go on settings and select ‘memory.’ It’ll show you the MR page and allow you to save it under 1,2, or 3. You can choose to save it under any number, and then access the saved setting from the MR option.
Remember that you can always change these settings later on. These predefined settings are not permanent, but just allow convenience when you need to switch between different scenarios.
The Sony a6000 is a compact and lightweight camera that delivers excellent image quality. Its build is also impressive, and the camera has an anti-dust system and an ultrasonic vibration mechanism. With a high ISO range, hybrid autofocus, and 11 fps continuous shooting, it’ll offer real estate photographers’ excellent scope for photoshoots.