Sony Alpha a6000 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

  • APS-C
  • 24 megapixels
  • Sony E
  • 51
    Overall
  • 23
    Imaging
  • 45
    Features
  • 81
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Four Thirds
  • 16 megapixels
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • 49
    Overall
  • 20
    Imaging
  • 83
    Features
  • 78
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Sony Alpha a6000 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 II: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this review, we are going to provide a detailed evaluation and comparison of two different camera models that fall into the same category - Semi-Pro Mirrorless. Although these cameras are from the same category, they were introduced by different brands - Sony and Olympus. Although Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II are both equipped with the same CMOS sensor, they boast of different resolution. Thus, Sony Alpha a6000 has a sensor with a resolution of 24.0 MP, while Olympus OM-D E-M5 II has a different resolution of 16.0 MP.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Sony Alpha a6000 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600 (Expands to 51200)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 11.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p, 25p), 640 x 480 (30p, 25p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 120 x 67 x 45 mm
  • Weight: 344 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Sony NEX-6.
  • Replaced by Sony A6300.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Key Features:

  • 16.0 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 25600 (Expands to 100)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 10.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 640 x 480 (30p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 124 x 85 x 45 mm
  • Weight: 469 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Olympus E-M5.

Sony Alpha a6000 was substituted by Sony A6300.

Sony Alpha a6000 substituted Sony NEX-6.

Why is Sony Alpha a6000 a better choice than Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

NFC Yes vs No Easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP vs 16.0 MP 33.3% more pixels
Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 vs 224.9 mm2 38.7% larger pixel area
Continuous Shooting 11 fps vs 10 fps 1 fps faster
Built-In Flash Yes vs No All the lenses are stabilized
Flash Range 6 vs No 6 better flash range
Number Of Focus Points 179 vs 81 98 more focus points
Battery Life 360 shots vs 310 shots 50 more frames with a single charge
Weight 344 g vs 469 g 125 g lighter
Dxo Color Depth 24.1 vs 23 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 13.1 vs 12.4 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 1347 vs 896 Better High ISO performance

What are the key reasons to pick Olympus OM-D E-M5 II over Sony Alpha a6000

Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Max Shutter Speed 1/16000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
Screen Type Fully Articulated vs Tilting Flexible shooting positions
Screen Resolution 1,037k dots vs 922k dots 11.1% higher resolution screen
Touch Screen Yes vs No Easy control of camera functions
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Microphone Port Yes vs No High quality audio recording option
Viewfinder Resolution 2,360k dots vs 1,440k dots 39% higher resolution
Viewfinder Magnification 0.74 vs 0.7 0.04 better magnification

Key PROs of Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

Screen Size 3″ | 3″ Large display
Screen Type Tilting | Fully Articulated Help viewing and changing settings easily
Viewfinder Electronic | Electronic Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Continuous Shooting 11.0 fps | 10.0 fps Nice continuous shooting
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync

Key CONs of Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

Headphone Port No | No No headphone port

Sony Alpha a6000 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 II: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II from the front view.

Sony Alpha a6000
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
HTML
BB

Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Sony Alpha a6000
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
HTML
BB

After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Sony Alpha a6000 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 125g less than the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Battery values for Semi-Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Sony Alpha a6000 — 360 shots
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II — 310 shots
Min: 250 shots
Average: 348 shots
Max: 540 shots
Thickness values for Semi-Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Sony Alpha a6000 — 45 mm
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II — 45 mm
Min: 33 mm
Average: 54 mm
Max: 93 mm
Weight values for Semi-Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Sony Alpha a6000 — 344 g
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II — 469 g
Min: 140 g
Average: 437 g
Max: 625 g

Comparing Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Sony Alpha a6000 features a 24.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a Bionz X processor . Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, in its turn, comes with a 16.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor and TruePic VII processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II by the size of their sensors.

Sony Alpha a6000
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
HTML
BB

One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Sony Alpha a6000 has a sensor area 0.6x bigger compared to Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. What does it mean? This basically means that if you these cameras them with the same aperture and focal length, the first model will give you more control in terms of the blurry background and depth of field.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Sony Alpha a6000 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
Portrait Photography
88%
70%
Street Photography
87%
100%
Sports Photography
95%
94%
Daily Photography
1%
93%
Landscape Photography
94%
85%

Sony Alpha a6000 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/16000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Sony Alpha a6000 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (120 x 67 x 45 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Four Thirds(17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (124 x 85 x 45 mm)

Sony Alpha a6000 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (11.0 fps)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (179)

Disadvantages:

  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Small battery life (360 shots)

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/16000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (81)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (10.0 fps)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (896)
  • Small battery life (310 shots)

Sony Alpha a6000 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (469 g)
  • Big size (124 x 85 x 45 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Sony Alpha a6000 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.1)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • No Environmental Sealing

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Good Dynamic Range (12.4)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (16 MP)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (896)

Comparison of Sony Alpha a6000 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 II: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Sony Alpha a6000 or Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Sony Alpha a6000 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 II here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Sony Alpha a6000 deserves a higher Total Score than the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Sony Alpha a6000 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Sony Alpha a6000 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
General
Brand Sony Olympus
Model Alpha a6000 OM-D E-M5 II
Announced Apr 23, 2014 Feb 06, 2015
Body Type Rangefinder-style mirrorless SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C Four Thirds
Sensor Dimensions 23.5 x 15.6 mm 17.3 x 13 mm
Sensor Area 366.60 mm2 224.90 mm2
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP 16.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 4608 x 3456
Max Native ISO 25,600 25,600
Max Boosted ISO 51,200 n/a
Min Native ISO 100 200
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Sony E Micro Four Thirds
Number of Lenses 83 94
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x 2x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes No
Number of Focus Points 179 81
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Tilting Fully Articulated
Screen Size 3″ 3″
Screen Resolution 922k dots 1,037k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 1,440k dots 2,360k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.7 0.74
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/16000 s
Continuous Shooting 11.0 fps 10.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No Yes
Built-in Flash Yes No
Flash Range 6 0
Flash Modes Flash off, auto, fill-flaw, slow sync, redeye reduction, hi-speed sync, wireless control Auto, redeye, fill, redeye slow sync, slow sync, 2nd-curtain slow sync, manual
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 82 73
DxO Color Depth 24.1 23.0
DxO Dynamic Range 13.1 12.4
DxO Low Light ISO 1347 896
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p, 25p), 640 x 480 (30p, 25p) 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 640 x 480 (30p)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Video Formats MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S MPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG
Microphone Port No Yes
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 344 g 469 g
Physical Dimensions 120 x 67 x 45 mm 124 x 85 x 45 mm
Battery Life 360 shots 310 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model NP-FW50 BLN-1
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS
Storage Type SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 1 1

Most popular cameras

Olympus OM-D E-M10 16.0 MP CMOS
Four Thirds
Pentax K-5 IIs 16.0 MP CMOS
APS-C
Canon EOS 70D 20.0 MP CMOS
APS-C
Nikon 1 V3 18.0 MP CMOS
1"
Pentax K-5 II 16.0 MP CMOS
APS-C