Setting up your Sony a6000

The best settings for getting started with your Sony a6000

Ah the a6000, the perfect camera for an intro into photography and video, and if you’re reading this then there’s a good chance its because have just got your hands on one. All the cameras menus and settings can be a little daunting, but don’t worry, as its not as complicated as it looks.

Optimize your Sony a6000 with these 5 settings

There are a few quick settings you can change to get your camera set up for video and photography and we’ll go through them now. For more tips and tricks videos for Sony mirrorless cameras, so please consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel

1. Factory Reset

My first tip applies mainly if you’ve bought an a6000 second hand( where you get the best prices) but it is always useful to know how to do, and that is to do a factory reset.

Second hand cameras may have previous settings on there you want to clear quickly, or if you’ve just been playing with your new camera out of the box and not sure what you’ve pressed, a factory reset is a quick way to clear all settings.

This will wipe all your settings so skip this step if you’ve already got settings set up as you want them.

To perform a factory reset go to Setup >Tab 6 > Setting Reset > then camera settings reset

2. Firmware Upgrade

Another important step when setting up the camera, again especially if its second hand is to make sure you’re on the latest firmware. And for the sony a6000 this is version 3.21. This will optimise lens performance for newer lenses and make sure you have the latest video recording format XAVC S.

You can check your firmware version by going to

Setup> Tab 6 > Version

And if you’re already on 3.21 you’re all done, but if not you’ll need to download and install.

Go to the Sony website where you can download the firmware, or follow this link

Connect you’re camera to your computer using the USB cable that came with the camera. Then follow the steps on the website, its a fairly straight forward process and the firmware file is around 200mb. The whole process should take about 15 mins.

3. Memory Card and Video Format Settings

There are a few different format options for recording video on the sony a6000, and the best quality of these is XAVC S. This format provides higher bitrate recording, which basically translates to better quality.

However not all memory cards are compatible with this format. So if you’ve just picked up the a6000 and are about to get a memory card you need to make sure you’re getting an SD XC memory card. These cards a slightly more expensive than normal SD but unlock this better video format by having a higher transfer speed of data from the camera to the card.

Buy an SD XC Memory card on Amazon*

Once you have the right card you can change the video format to XAVC S by going to

Camera Settings > Tab 1 > File format and selecting XAVC S

If you want to learn more about video file formats I’ve made this video where I explain things in detail.

4. Photo Quality Settings

24 mega pixels and image size set to L for large, this will give you the highest resolution images retaining as much picture information as possible.

You can change this on Camera Settings > Tab 1 > Image Size

I’d also recommend changing the quality settings to RAW + JPEG. This will save 2 copies of each photo you take. One in RAW which is the highest quality possible and one in JPEG which is a smaller file size great for web use, or just to have a smaller version of the same file. 

This will take up more space on your memory card, but if you’re using this camera for photography its definitely worth having these RAW shots.

You can change this on Camera Settings > Tab 1 > Image Size > Quality

These settings will get your a6000 setup and ready to use.

You can check out these my a6000 tips and tricks videos I’ve made that explore others useful settings for video and photography by subscribing to the my YouTube Channel.

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you.