Product Review: Sony A6300 Mirrorless Camera

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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 higher.

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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 monstrous 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).

Key features:

  • 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.

Specifications compared:

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)
Pixel count 24MP 24MP 24MP
AF system Hybrid AF
(with 179 PDAF points)
Hybrid AF
(with 425 PDAF points)
Hybrid AF
(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
Built-in flash  Yes Yes No
Hot shoe Yes Yes Yes
Flash sync speed 1/160 sec 1/160 sec 1/250 sec
Battery life
(with EVF)
360 shots
(310 shots)
400 shots
(350 shots)
350 shots
(270 shots)
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.)

This model is now available for Indian Buyers on www.thirdidigital.in

MRP: Rs.74,990/-
Get it here for Rs.68,991/- http://bit.ly/1SiKWWi

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