Image Quality

Our latest test scene is designed to simulate both daylight and low-light shooting. Pressing the 'lighting' buttons at the top of the widget allows you to switch between the two. The daylight scene is shot with manually set white balance aimed at achieving neutral grays, but the camera is left in its Auto setting for the low-light tests (except Raw, which is manually corrected during conversion). We also offer three different viewing sizes: 'Full', 'Print', and 'Comp', with the latter two offering 'normalized' comparisons to more fairly compare cameras of differing resolutions by using matched viewing sizes. The 'Comp' option chooses the largest-available resolution common to the cameras being compared.

JPEG performance

The a6300 shows detail capture and sharpening very similar to those offered by the a6000 and most of its other 24MP peers. Color rendition is fairly neutral, sitting somewhere between the slightly magenta hint of Nikon's JPEGs and the likeably warm Canon rendition.

The a6300 shows similar amounts of moiré to the Nikon D7200, which suggests it has an extremely weak AA filter, if it has one at all. Compare with the Canon EOS 80D, which is clearly filtering these high frequencies that the camera cannot correctly reproduce.

Noise reduction at high ISO settings is well judged, showing more detail than most of its rivals. Fine low-contrast details is convincingly rendered, and saturation only starts to drop off once you move above ISO 12,800. The context-sensitive noise reduction seems to be effective and not so heavily applied that you can see the joins between areas of high and low noise reduction. Along with the Fujifilm X-Pro2, this is one of the best APS-C performances we've seen.

Raw performance

There's no big difference in sharpness between shooting with the electronic first curtain shutter and the full electronic shutter. This leaves it looking a lot like the Nikon D7200 and slightly sharper than the EOS 80D, whose AA filter is apparent through its slight reduction of sharpness and lower levels of false color.

Noise-wise it looks a fraction better than the Nikon D7200, though the slight softening of the noise pattern suggests some noise filtering is being applied in the Raw files at ISO 12,800 and above. This performance is enough to keep it well ahead of the Canon. The similarity to the Fujifilm X-Pro2's output seems noteworthy.

There appears to be a slight noise cost in the deepest shadows at the highest ISOs, for using the electronic shutter (which switches the camera to 12-bit output), but it's extremely minor.