Upwardly mobile: Sony a6300 Review
The Sony a6300 is the company's latest mid-range mirrorless camera. Like the a6000 it still offers 24MP resolution but the autofocus ability, video capability, build quality, viewfinder resolution and price have all been increased.
The most exciting change from our perspective is the a6300's new sensor. Although the pixel count remains the same, the a6300's sensor has a whopping 425 phase-detection AF points ranged across the sensor. The a6000 already offered one of the best AF systems in its class, when it comes to identifying and tracking subjects, so an upgrade in this area sounds extremely promising. The sensor is also built using newer fabrication processes that use copper wiring to help improve the sensor's performance and possibly contributing to the camera's slightly improved battery life.
The a6000 has been a huge success and has dominated its field to the extent that its combination of capability and price still looks impressive even as it enters the twilight of its career (Sony says it will live on, alongside the a6300*). That model represented a dip down-market for the series, with a drop in build quality and spec relative to the NEX-6 that preceded it. The a6300 corrects that course, and sees the model regain the high resolution viewfinder and magnesium-alloy build offered by the older NEX-6 (and the level gauge, which was absent from the a6000).
- 24MP Exmor CMOS sensor
- 425 phase detection points to give '4D Focus' Hybrid AF
- 4K (UHD) video - 25/24p from full width, 30p from smaller crop
- 2.36M-dot OLED finder with 120 fps mode
- Dust and moisture resistant magnesium-alloy body
- Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC connection option
- Built-in microphone socket
As with the previous 6-series E-mount cameras, the a6300 features a flip up/down 16:9 ratio screen. The shape of this screen hints at the 6300's intended uses: video shooting, as well as stills. The a6300's movie features have been considerably uprated. It not only shoots 4K (UHD) at 24p or 25p from its full sensor width (or 30p from a tighter crop). It also gains a mic socket, the video-focused Picture Profile system (which includes the flat S-Log2 and S-Log3 gamma curves), and the ability to record time code.
This added emphasis on video makes absolute sense, since the camera's stills performance is likely to be competitive with the best on the market but its video capabilities trounce most of its current rivals. The a6300 not only includes focus peaking and zebra stripes but, if its on-sensor phase detection works well, the ability to re-focus as you shoot with minimal risk of focus wobble and hunting, should make it easier to shoot great-looking footage.
All this makes it hard to overstate how promising the a6300 looks. A latest-generation sensor can only mean good things for the camera's image quality and an autofocus system that moves beyond the performance of one of our benchmark cameras is an enticing prospect. Add to that excellent, well-supported video specifications, a better viewfinder and weather-sealed build, and it's tempting to start planning for the camera's coronation as King of the APS-C ILCs. Perhaps with only the price tag floating over proceedings, threatening just a little rain on that particular parade.
As well as comparing the a6300 with the a6000 as its predecessor/sister model, we'll also look at what you get if you save up a bit more money and opt for full-frame, rather than APS-C. We think at least some enthusiast users will find themselves making this decision, so are highlighting the differences.
|Sony a6000||Sony a6300||Sony a7 II|
|MSRP (Body Only)||$650||$1000||$1700|
|Sensor size||APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm)||APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm)||Full Frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)|
|AF system||Hybrid AF
(with 179 PDAF points)
(with 425 PDAF points)
(with 117 PDAF points)
|Continuous shooting rate||11 fps||11 fps||5 fps|
|Screen||3" tilting 921k dot LCD||3" tilting 921k dot LCD||3" tilting 1.23m dot LCD|
|Viewfinder||OLED 1.44M-dot||OLED 2.36M-dot w/120 fps refresh option||OLED 2.36M-dot|
|Movie Resolution||1920 x 1080 / 60p||4K 3840 x 2160 / 30p, 1920 x 1080 / 120p, 60p||1920 x 1080 / 60p|
|Image stabilization||In-lens only||In-lens only||In-body 5-axis|
|Number of dials||Two||Two||Three (plus Exp Comp.)|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec||1/4000 sec||1/8000 sec|
|Flash sync speed||1/160 sec||1/160 sec||1/250 sec|
|Weight (w/battery)||344 g (12.1 oz)||404 g (14.3 oz)||599 g (21.1 oz)|
|Dimensions||120 x 67 x 45 mm (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.8 in.)||120 x 67 x 49 mm (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.9 in.)||127 x 96 x 60 mm (5 x 3.8 x 2.4 in.)|
A hit-for-six, slam-dunk, home-run?
If it's successful in its attempts to step up from the performance of the a6000 then the a6300 could be sensational. However, there are three questions that we'd like to see addressed. The first relates to handling: why does a camera costing this much only have one dial that you can access without changing the position of your grip? The rear dial isn't the worst we've encountered, but at this price point, we'd usually expect to find a dial under the forefinger and another under the thumb while maintaining a shooting grip.
The second relates to lenses. Sony is bundling the a6300 with the 16-50mm power zoom that's far more notable for its convenience than its optical consistency, a move that's likely to raise the question of what other lenses to fit. Sony offers a handful of reasonably priced APS-C-specific prime lenses as well as some more expensive FE-compatible full-frame primes. However, in terms of standard zooms, you're currently limited to the inexpensive 16-50mm, the older 18-55mm at aftermarket prices or considerably more expensive options such as the 18-105mm F4 or the 16-70mm F4 Zeiss that costs around the same amount as the camera again. The success of Sony's full frame a7 cameras is only likely to improve third-party lens availability but there's a risk that Sony's focus will be on those full frame users for the foreseeable future.
Our final concern is the lack of joystick or touchscreen to re-position the AF point. This may be mitigated during stills shooting if the lock-on AF system works well enough (starting AF tracking and then recompose your shot in the knowledge that the AF point will stay where you want it), but it appears to be a real omission for refocusing while shooting video. The a6300 is improved over previous models, in that pressing the center button on the four-way controller toggles into AF point selection mode, a decision that's retained even if you turn the camera off and on again. We'll see how significant all these concerns turn out to be, as the review unfolds.
Price and kit options
|The 16-50mm power zoom is far more notable for its convenience than its optical consistency.|
The a6300 body has a suggested retail price of $1000/£1000/€1250, with a 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 power zoom kit commanding an MSRP of $1150/£1100/€1400. This is a significant step up from the a6000's $650/$800 launch price and even an increase compared to the similarly well-built NEX-6's $750/$900 MSRP.
|17 March 2016||Intro, Specs, Body and Handling, Operations and Control and Studio Comparison published|
|22 March 2016||Updated studio scene images published (inc electronic-shutter and better lens)|
|31 March 2016||Video and Video Shooting Experience pages added|
|6 April 2016||Autofocus, Image Quality, Raw Dynamic Range and Conclusion published|
*Unusually, the manufacturer's claim that it'll live on, alongside its apparent replacement model seems plausible. The differences in spec and price could allow them to sit fairly comfortably alongside one another, rather than the claim simply meaning 'we'll keep saying it's a current model until most of the unsold stock has gone, to avoid angering retailers.'
|Red Eyed Tree Frog by Tallgrass|
from Flash Photography
|IN4A3812 by Rahto|
from A big year - birds 2019
|Cold Ride by DaveN01|
|Bear by matteroner|
from -Super Furry- (dogs in Full Colours Only)
|Boy On Golden Beach by Buzz Lightyear|
from gold challenge
Some of the Pixel 4's new camera features will be made available to older Pixel devices via a software update, but Google has confirmed Dual Exposure Controls and Live HDR+ features are limited to Pixel 4 smartphones.
This lens marks the third in Irix's lineup of lenses designed specifically for shooting up to 8K video.
Lomography rarely disappoints with its collection of strange and quirky film cameras and the LomoMod No.1 is no different.
It's free for iPhone users, but Pixel 4 owners are no longer able to take advantage of uncompressed original photo storage without paying. Google claims it's working on a fix for the 'bug'.
The new full-manual Laowa 17mm F1.8 MFT weighs just 172g and is set to ship 'late October' for just $149.
Olympus just announced the E-M5 III, the newest in its E-M5 line of enthusiast Micro Four Thirds cameras. In this hands-on preview, Chris and Jordan ask, "Who's it for?"
It's smaller and less costly than the flagship RF 28-70mm F2, but the RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM will appeal to many EOS R-series photographers with its handy range, fast, constant aperture, image stabilization and weather-sealing.
Previously, images were limited to being displayed at 2048px on the longest side. Now, images are shown at up to 6144px on the longest side.
Despite all of their incredible advantages, there are some situations in which a drone simply can't get the job done. Here are the limitations to consider if you're thinking about getting into drone photography.
Ricoh teamed up with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to develop a specialized Theta camera capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of space. The resulting images and videos have now been published.
Comparing these three compact camera lenses head-to-head-to-head reveals the Sony to be more consistently sharp – at the cost of a lot of aperture offered by the Canons.
The small camera uses microbial fuel cells to power the camera, which in turn keeps an eye on the plants and animals around it.
Luna Display comes in the shape of a hardware dongle and a Mac app and is compatible with older macOS versions.
The CS2740 monitor is a successor to Eizo's ColorEdge CS2730 that increases the resolution, adds new connectivity options and now offers 10-bit input. Pricing information isn't yet available, but Eizo says it will officially launch on October 24.
ON1 software has today released the latest version of its Raw processing and image editing and organization application Photo RAW.
The Natural History Museum has announced the winners of its 55th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
According to a report from Bloomberg, beta testers of Adobe's Photoshop CC for iPad have noticed a number of major features missing or incomplete.
The lens is currently available to pre-order for $449 and is set for retail availability on November 8, 2019.
Datacolor is offering the 64-bit update as a free software update to ensure the Spyder5 calibration sensor works with Apple's latest desktop operating system macOS Catalina.
Instagram is rolling out a number of new privacy-centric features that will make it easier to see and edit what third-party applications have access to your Instagram data.
We've got our hands on the Olympus E-M5 III and it is is, on the outside, a refinement of its predecessor. But we'll go a bit deeper and talk about what's also changed on the inside in our hands-on slideshow.
We spent 48 hours exploring the deserts of southern Utah with the E-M5 III, Olympus smallest, lightest 20MP camera. Click through to read about our experience shooting with the camera and to see what kind of photos it's capable of taking.
We recently joined Olympus in Moab, Utah for some preliminary shooting with the OM-D E-M5 III. See how the photos look in our extensive sample gallery.
Olympus has announced the OM-D E-M5 Mark III - a more compact camera than its predecessor, which incorporates a lot of technology found previously in the higher-end E-M1 Mark II.
The PEN E-PL10 remains largely unchanged from its predecessor aside from the redesigned display and a few software additions.
DPReview Science Editor Rishi Sanyal had an opportunity to sit down with Marc Levoy and Isaac Reynolds of Google to dive deep into the most important camera updates on the new Pixel 4.
Chinese company Zhiyun, the world's leading gimbal manufacturer, announced the WEEBILL-S earlier this week.
United Kingdom photo retailer Jessops is reportedly looking for administrators to help sort out rising costs and falling revenue.
Google has confirmed it's ending its free 'original quality' image backups with its Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones. This marks the first time the popular perk isn't offered since the launch of the original Pixel smartphone.