Sony a6300 videos show off tech that may challenge last remaining DSLR strongholds
Sony has just announced the APS-C a6300, an update to the immensely popular a6000. Its technological advances seem poised to break down some of the last remaining strongholds of DSLRs. Sony has released videos demonstrating some of these features on the a6300, including one showing 8 fps live view bursts with AF tracking, a comparison of this mode vs. a DSLR, and another video demonstrating AF with subject tracking in 4K video.
Shooting fast action bursts with a DSLR-esque live feed
The a6300 potentially addresses one of the largest shortcomings of mirrorless cameras for action shooting: the often stop-motion playback of last-shot images, as opposed to a live feed, when shooting continuous bursts.* We recently reported on Nikon's calling out of this particular weak point of mirrorless cameras, so Sony's response in the a6300 today seems timely. Essentially, the a6300 offers a live feed in the EVF or on the LCD during 8 fps continuous shooting, in between short blackouts, with continuous AF. This should make it much easier to both pan the camera and still keep your subject in the frame, or keep your selected AF point(s) over your subject. Have a look at 1:00 in the video below.
Live feed with no blackout at all (a la Nikon 1) is arguably the holy grail for mirrorless, and though Sony hasn't quite gotten there yet, it's taken a giant step toward making action shooting as practical on mirrorless as on DSLR. Furthermore, as Heading of Digital Imaging Neal Manowitz correctly points out in the video clip below, these advances also mean that the advantages of EVF, like immediate exposure preview, can now be combined with the immediacy of an optical viewfinder during action shooting. Especially with the newly updated 120 fps EVF.
Ultimately, how well this live feed works for fast action shooting - especially compared to DSLRs - will be largely dependent on the length of those blackouts between shots. Our initial impressions are very positive though: the blackouts appear very short in duration as we shoot these boxers in action in our hands-on video here. Sony claims that the length of blackouts is competitive when compared to a $1000-class DSLR, and demonstrates this effectively in the direct a6300 vs DSLR shootout at 10:04 in the video below (courtesy of Dave Etchells):
While a comparison against a $1000 DSLR might seem like a relatively low bar, the fact that Sony is getting a live feed off the sensor at all in between shots at 8 fps represents significant progress in the realm of mirrorless cameras. In comparison, a DSLR doesn't have to do anything but return the mirror to get you this 'live feed' through the optical viewfinder between shots. This is one reason many action photographers have stuck with DSLRs: the live feed in between shots helps a photographer follow moving subjects to either keep them in the frame or to keep the selected AF point over the subject. The technology in the a6300 seems poised to remove DSLR's stronghold in this regard.
Autofocus subject tracking
The a6300 also appears to have impressive AF subject tracking accuracy, following not just the dog but the dog's face in the demo video above. We'll reserve judgement until we get our hands on one, but previous Sony cameras had a tendency to wander off to other areas of the subject when using general subject tracking, so the results presented in this video indeed appear impressive in comparison. The expansive 425-point array also mean the camera can track the subject to almost any point in the frame, and all of these points purportedly work with A-mount lenses mounted via a LA-EA3 adapter (we expect Canon mount lenses to work as well, with appropriate adapters).**
Autofocus in video
Sony has also released a video demonstrating impressive AF in 4K video recording with native mount lenses. There appears to be little hunting, with fast refocusing and even subject tracking available during movie recording. Have a look below.
This should be a boon for videographers, assuming Sony now allows one to easily specify the subject before tracking it. On the note of specifying a subject, it's a huge shame that a touchscreen isn't paired with this capable video AF system for focus point selection.
At least on paper, we think that these advances mark some significant progress for mirrorless (it's too bad we can't say the same for the a6300's ergonomics), and we'll be curious to see how the systems perform when we get our hands on a production a6300.
* To be fair, this isn't the first mirrorless to provide a live feed in between shots in bursts: for example the Nikon 1 provides a live feed with no blackouts at all. It's just the first larger-sensor camera to do so at such high frame rates, and with - it appears - very short blackouts.
** It remains to be seen if subject tracking is available in any mode save for 'Wide' with 3rd party lenses though: subject tracking has been severely limited with 3rd party glass on the a7 II and a7R II due to the inability of the photographer to specify the subject, since it's only available in Wide area mode.
SmugMug Films has shared its latest film, Streets in Mind, which takes a look at the life and work of London-based street photographer Adam Schaller.
We were in Japan earlier this month for the annual CP+ show in Yokohama, where we sat down with senior executives from several camera and lens manufacturers, among them Nikon.
Sony has released firmware version 5.0 for its flagship mirrorless camera, the a9. The update brings AI-driven autofocus modes, an improved menu structure and other updates.
Night Sight, Portrait Mode and (surprisingly) wide-angle selfie mode are features that we're currently loving about the Pixel 3's camera.
The Auschwitz Museum has asked visitors to be more respectful after an upsurge of pictures posted on social media showing people posing on the train tracks that lead to the main gate.
This week Chris and Jordan take the new Leica Q2 for a spin, and while most of us in the Northern Hemisphere are welcoming spring, they head even farther north than usual to visit ice castles. Because #Canada.
Harvard is facing a lawsuit over profiting from 19th century daguerreotypes that captured the portrait of a slave and his daughter on a South Carolina plantation.
From the detailed textures in rural landscapes to the incredible lighting inside futuristic buildings, the photorealism of Unreal Engine 4 is blurring the lines between fiction and reality...you know...aside from the spaceship.
According to a report from The Informant, a number of Instagram users' passwords were shared as plaintext in URLs used to download their data.
We've added Panasonic's new Lumix S1 and S1R full-frame mirrorless cameras to three of our buying guides. If you're looking for a quick summary of each model, then have a read.
YouTube channel Photoshop Cafe has shared a video detailing ten tips and tricks you can do to both fix and speed up Photoshop when it's running slow and sluggish.
It's not going to be the banger of the year, but it'll get a few laughs.
DJI has confirmed its drones won't be affected by the GPS 2019 week rollover.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has teamed up with Kodak to release a beer that's capable of doubling as a film developer.
The Diana Instant Square is a retro-inspired camera with manual controls that's fun to shoot in good light, but largely unpredictable in its operation.
Residents of a Paris street plagued by Instagrammers, selfie takers and music video crews are asking the city government for a weekend and evening ban to give them some peace.
The adapter plugs into the Osmo Pocket's USB Type-C port and features a 3.5mm TRS jack to plug in various external microphones.
Checkout allows Instagram users to select products for purchase and make payments directly in the app.
GauGAN as it's known, can create photorealistic images from basic drawings using the power of artificial intelligence.
The EOS RP is Canon's latest full-frame mirrorless camera, with diminutive dimensions and a diminutive price. Find out how it stacks up and get our thoughts in our early review.
Montana judge Dana L. Christensen has ruled the Republican National Committee did not infringe upon the copyright of photographer Erika Peterman after they took a photo from a Democratic candidate's Facebook page without permission and altered it to use in a derogatory promotional mailer.
Nikon has launched updates for three of its programs to address various bugs and glitches that could cause crashes and unwanted results.
LEE Filters has launched the LEE100, its next-generation filter holder that improves the design and looks in all the right places.
With the arrival of some much-needed sunshine and final production firmware for the Panasonic S1, we've been able to get outside and really start putting the camera through its paces.
Importing, culling and tagging photos is about to get a whole lot faster and look a whole lot better with the impending arrival of Photo Mechanic 6.
On its own, the FTZ adapter retails for $250 and when bundled it dropped the cost to just $150. Now, Nikon is offering it for free with all Z6, Z7 purchases in the United States.
Profoto said it spoke with Godox back at Photokina 2018 and continues to contact Godox in an effort to stop it from marketing its V1 light.
Product renders in Italian publication Notebook Italia show an unusual design that conceals all cameras with the help of a slider mechanism.
Canon says its new EF 400mm F2.8L IS III and EF 600mm F4L IS III lenses can suffer from an intermittent flickering when shooting video in M or Av modes with certain cameras.
Leica recently announced the Q2, a digital rangefinder with a fixed 28mm F1.7 lens. It's a heck of a lot of fun to shoot with, but is it right for you? Based on our time with the camera, and its specifications, we've examined how well-suited it is for common photography use-cases.