For the last few days I have been in Miami shoot with the Sony a6300, 24-70 f/2.8 GM series and the 85mm f/1.4 GM.  I will have a full video review soon (subscribe to my Youtube Channel to be notified) – below are some thoughts after spending three solid days with the Sony a6300 and shooting 3,000 photos.

Sony a6300 with 24-70 GM f/2.8 Lens - 6 Seconds
Sony a6300 with 24-70 GM f/2.8 Lens – 6 Seconds

 

Sony a6300 Review – The headline features: Redesigned 24MP sensor, Improved AF system (4D Focus) with 425 Phase detection points – almost complete coverage of AF points from corner to corner and improved speed of focus 0.05 seconds. 11fps at high+ mode, 4K including 4k at Super 35mm.

01-70 mm_1-1250 sec at f - 4.0_ISO 100

a6300 Spoiler Review – This is the best hybrid (photos & video) camera you can buy at this price point: focus is impressive, low light capabilities are some of the best I have seen in a crop sensor and 4K video looks great.   A few small issues hold this camera back from perfection but I would very happy to walk out the door with the Sony a6300 for just about any photo or video task.

The Good –

Focus system works as advertised, We shot wake boarders, parkour athletes and salsa dancers and I was impressed with the speed and tracking capabilities.  In one example I watched the tracking squares lock on and follow a sprinting, tumbling athlete cross from one corner of the frame to the other. – He moved by people, intersecting objects and it capably tracked him.     When I compare this system to the Sony a7RII or the a6000 I see noticeable improvements and increased intelligence. One of my big complaints about sony is picking the focus point – no touchscreen and no dedicated joystick make it difficult but with the increased smarts the camera selected my subject most of the time and when it didn’t a new feature to the a6300 – focus selector, helps.  This allows you to use the directional pad on the back as a joystick to move your focus points without an extra button press.  This does require an extra press to get into the other functions of the directional pad- e.g. ISO, exposure compensation ect. So not perfect but I appreciate the choice.

Focus during movies – good, with customizability on speed.  I will have more to say after I send time carefully reviewing all the footage I shot.

a6300 Photo Quality – Despite sharing the same MPs (24) as the a6000 they did redesign the sensor, increasing copper blah blah, do you really care. I don’t I just want to know the result, and I believe this will be the new king of APS-C low light performance.   I shot 12,800 images that while noise was certainly present it was far below what I expected and I would be happy to deliver those images to a client or bride.

100% crop at ISO 6400 - Noise Reduction turned OFF
100% crop at ISO 6400 – Noise Reduction turned OFF

(MORE sample Images from the a6300)

Video Quality – Very good – more to say soon.  These are good Codecs with S-Log as an option.

Body and Handling – Very similar to the a6000- an additional switch at the AEL button allows a little more customizability.   Still can’t assign shutter button to start video 🙁  Bodies construction is upgraded, honestly not sure I can really tell when I hold but it should be more robust.   The EVF is upgraded – nice rubber cup and it is higher quality with NO lag. With image review off I was tracking and shooting wake boarders without issue. Now with mic jack or you can use Sony’s hotshoe mic.  Still no headphone port.

Features- I mentioned the focus point selector. It’s great! Also new option to magnify live view and focus for ultra precise focusing.  120fps full HD video! And of course 4k and cinema 4K – again, this will be the best performing low light camera for photos or video at this price point and honestly you have to spend significantly more to see improvements.  Custom 1 and 2 on the dial are additional nice touches.   Additional customization options in menu too  but. .

The Sony menu system – This isn’t particular to the a6300 but as these Sony cameras add additional features it becomes harder and harder to find and set all the variables you need for best performance in certain shooting situations. For example AF options are spread out over multiple tabs and pages and it makes it very difficult to find everything you need.  Additionally no favorites tab or customizable page mean if you want to seriously use this camera you will NEED to spend time memorizing the location of menu items.

Anemic Buffer – Sure it can shoot 11 fps but that is a short burst and the camera locks up and is all but useless until it finishes writing to the card – this can be very frustrating in some situations.

I will have lots more to say in my video- for now I will repeat the line. This is the best hybrid (photos & video) camera you can buy at this price point: focus is impressive, low light capabilities are some of the best I have seen in a crop sensor and 4K video looks great.

I plan to compare the a6300 vs the Gh4, the 70D and 80D and it’s big brother the Sony a7RII- but really, is it fair to compare a $1,000 camera vs a $3,200 camera?

What else would you like to know or see covered in the review?

Sony a6300Sony a6300

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 They all had dreams. They all had family. They died for us. Arlington National Cemetery is a heavy place, I can't help but think about all the pain and suffering when presented with row upon row of a headstone representing a fallen soldier and my mind boggles that this still happens today. On this little planet hurtling through an incomprehensible ginormous space - some people think it is ok to kill each other. :( p.s. You should google Cornelius H. Charlton - his story is interesting p.p.s My grandfather is buried in Arlington- my Mom's father was instrumental in designing and implementing early radar systems for the Navy in WW2. Captured with the #Sony #a7RII and #Canon #70200L at 200mm and f/3.2
 #mondaymorningshare - I want to see your failed experiments or favorite photos from the last week. GO TO http://photorec.tv/fb to share your fav image from the past week. Here's my #failedexperiment The US Capitol at Sunset. File this under because I could - a 2 minute exposure with the use of a NISI Filters 10-stop ND. I hoped I would get some interesting wispy movement in the clouds but nothing developed. Next I tried a 6 minute exposure (swipe to see it) and while there may be a little more movement in the clouds it certainly wasn't anything to get excited about. And while I often recommend very carefully shooting building and monuments as symmetrically as possible, I purposefully shot from right of center to avoid losing Ulysses S. Grant statue in the front of the capitol. *  Sony #A7RII and #Canon 2470mm with #NiSiFilters #10StopND
 I love traveling with other photographers on #mckaylive trips. Kari, a trip participant, noticed this line of trees and shared her perspective with me. I had glanced at them but hadn't noticed how nicely they lined up when standing at a certain spot #teacherbecomesthestudent :) We had a great day leaving behind the cherry blossom crowds for a much quieter walk around #HarpersFerryWV. And a visit to #BolivarHeights a much fought over hilltop during the civil war and the site of the largest surrender of Union troops - over 12,000 men surrendered to Stonewall Jackson. *  Captured with the #Panasonic #GH4 and #1235mm lens


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10 COMMENTS

  1. Looking forward to your comparison review, but I would leave out the A7RII . . . as you say, not fair to make comparisons of a camera which is more than twice the price of the others

  2. So is the focusing accurate or is it still faking it like the other e-mount systems that get you 1/10 actually sharp.

    • I can’t think of any other camera that is going to give you as many frames and as many frames as in focus as the Sony a63000 based on my testing – certainly lots of variables and as I mentioned it’s important to learn the camera settings (always true but especially true with Sony).

  3. What were your thoughts on the new G Master lenses on the Sony a6300? Any concerns that the two of them dont have IS?

  4. What did you think of the new G Master lenses on the a6300? Any concerns that they dont have IS? Did you test other lenses on the a6300?

    • The 85 and the 24-70 f/2.8 are really nice lenses – very happy with the results and since they are full frame lenses- most people will primarily use with the full frame bodies that now have IS – so I have little concern that these two new lenses don’t. The 70-200 will.

  5. i’m looking for a video and still camera…that’s comparable to the canon 70d or 80d. The 4k seems like a reason to switch from canon. But in your review dedicate a portion to lens usage and availability. So i’m divided between this and the canon since I can’t quite afford the A7R2. I think it is still good to include it because we should know what it can do or can’t do as well as the A7R2. And perhaps dedicate a few seconds to a Full frame alternative that does not cost as much as the A7R2. So is there a full frame or full frame stabilized camera in the sony arsenal that is maybe in the 1500 to 2000 range that we can consider for photo/video?
    Thank you and i do subscribe to your channel.

    • Good questions – the Sony a72 (no R or S) offers a full frame stabilized system but no 4k. The lens selection is now quite good on the Sony but you don’t have many cheap options like you do on the Canon or Nikon side.

  6. Curious, which would perform best in a low light chapel:
    The a6300 as tested or a t4i with a 28mm f/1.8 prime. And would the improvement, if so, be subtle or great?

    • a6300 has a noticeable advantage in low light. Now if you are comparing f/1.8 versus f/4 – well the difference is going to be pretty subtle since you can let in so much more light at f/1.8 but your depth of field is going to be noticeably more shallow.

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