Guide to Sony a6000 Drive Modes

Ever played around with the settings on your Sony a6000 and found the “drive mode” option? Want to learn how to do burst shooting or how to release the shutter on a timer?

In this quick and concise guide, we’ll go over every relevant option in the “drive modes” category on your Sony a6000 to explain what they are and how to use them.

Let’s dive in!

location of FN and drive mode buttons

Where to find the drive mode setting?

To find the drive mode setting, you just have to hit the little Fn key on the back of your camera.

By default, the first option on the top left of the grid should be the drive mode settings.

Simply push in the middle of the joystick/dial to open it up. Now let’s jump into the specific modes.

Single Shooting

The single shooting drive mode is pretty self explanatory. You hit the shutter button and the camera takes a single picture.

This is the typical mode that most photographers use the vast majority of the time.

You compose the shot, set focus, take the picture, and that’s all there is to it.

An example of single shooting.

Continuous Shooting

In continuous shooting mode (also known as burst mode), your Sony a6000 will continue shooting pictures while the shutter button is held down (with AF between frames!).

The speed is adjustable between low, medium, and high. The a6000 can shoot up to 49 frames per second in JPEG or 11 frames per second in RAW.

This mode is most commonly used for fast action situations and subjects. For example, if you’re shooting sports, you’d likely set it to continuous shooting in order to get “bursts” of action. I often use the low speed for portraits in order to capture more candid movement in my shots.

A big caveat of this shooting mode is that it can fill up your SD card very quickly. Additionally, the camera has what is known as a “buffer” where eventually it will start to slow down because it can’t write (save) images quickly enough. If you’re in need of a good memory card, check out our best SD cards for the Sony a6000 article.

An example of when continuous shooting was useful.

Self Timer

This one is pretty self explanatory and is likely something you’ve seen even on phone cameras. You set the time (in this case, 2 seconds or 10 seconds) and then hit the shutter button. A few moments later, the camera will take the picture.

This is handy for many circumstances. The most obvious situation would be if you’re trying to take a self portrait or get into a group shot. Set the timer, get in the frame, and the camera captures the image.

The other use is for stability. When taking long exposures, even on a tripod, any touch of the shutter button will send micro vibrations through the camera, possibly ruining your shot.

Using a self timer allows you to be completely hands-free when the camera takes the image, eliminating any possibility of vibrations/blur (alternatively, you could use a remote shutter release).

car with guy
Self timer mode allows you to take some sick selfies.

Continuous Bracket

The next mode is primarily used in a photography method called “bracketed exposure” in where multiple frames are taken and then combined for a more evenly lit image (using a tripod for stability).

You can change the exposure adjustment (how much the camera adjusts the, to put it simply, “brightness” between shots) and how many images you want it to take.

If you’re shooting a sunset for example, you can shoot in bracketed mode in order to have one image where the foreground/landscape is well lit, and then another where the sky is properly exposed. Then, you can merge them in Photoshop or Lightroom to create a perfectly exposed image.

trunk on snow
Bracketed exposures allow you to capture more evenly lit images.

Hopefully this helped you understand the drive modes on your Sony a6000 a bit better. There’s a few more but they’re not super useful or relevant. Thanks for reading!

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