Photography / News

Unveiled: The Faster, Stronger, and 4K-Shooting Sony a6300 Mirrorless Camera

         

Speed, more speed, and higher-resolution video are the name of the game early in 2016—and Sony’s announcement today of the Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera boasts an upgraded super-fast 4D FOCUS system, as well as the ability to record UHD 4K video internally, among a plethora of other major improvements over its predecessor. One of the critical components of the a6300 is a redeveloped 24.2MP APS-C Exmor sensor, featuring thinner copper wiring and enhanced processing with the BIONZ X processor that will improve low-light performance up to ISO 51200 and allow for 4K recording with full pixel readout—without binning—and Full HD video at up to 120 fps.

4D FOCUS was the feature that put the a6300’s predecessor on the map, and the upgrades are outstanding. Starting off, Sony has increased the number of phase-detect points to 425 and contrast-detect points to 169 with almost full coverage of the sensor. This system is about 7.5 times denser than before, and enables High-density Tracking AF Technology, which activates more AF points around the subject to grant more precision to the focusing algorithm. The a6300 also claims to have the “world’s fastest AF speed,” with a tested 0.05 second lock-on using the Fast Hybrid AF system.

Focusing has received a variety of smaller firmware-related updates, including the ability to capture shots continuously at a rate up to 11 fps with full AF/AE, or up to 8 fps when monitoring the image using the LCD screen or EVF. This 4D FOCUS system will even work with adapted A-mount lenses when using the LA-EA1 or LA-EA3 mount adapter. Users will be able to autofocus while using the Focus Magnifier setting and they will have access to the Expand Flexible Spot function and Eye AF modes found on Sony’s other recent cameras. Another nice addition is Silent Shooting, which uses an electronic shutter to silence the camera completely.

 

Moving on from stills and into the almost standard UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) video specs, we find that it is very much in line with Sony’s latest a7S II in terms of capabilities. This includes the XAVC S format at up to 100 Mbps at 30/25/24p, S-Log3 and S-Log2 gammas with Picture Profile control and Gamma Display Assist, and Full HD 120 fps shooting along with time code/user bit and the Enhanced Zebra function. An advantage of the a6300 turns out to be the higher-resolution sensor, which leverages the full 20MP (6000 x 3376) resolution of the Super35mm image area for 2.4x oversampling, resulting in greater recorded detail and resolution in the final UHD 4K image.

Compared to its predecessor, the a6300 also implements a standard stereo 3.5mm audio input jack for external microphones while still being compatible with Sony’s XLR-K2M and XLR-K1M XLR Adapters via the Multi Interface Shoe. Also, due to the enhanced Fast Hybrid AF system, users will see an improvement of up to two times in AF speed and accuracy during video. Additionally, the camera has the ability to output uncompressed UHD 4K footage over the HDMI port for using an external monitor or recorder.

In addition to improved internals, the body of the a6300 has been made more durable and more comfortable. It has a magnesium-alloy body that will ensure reliability over long periods of use. The body is sealed to protect against moisture and dust while shooting outside to prevent damage to critical components. The OLED Tru-Finder EVF has received a major boost, as well, with increased 2.36m-dot XGA resolution and a mode to display at 120 fps for better tracking of fast-moving objects. Also, the lens mount has been reinforced for better rigidity and strength when using longer and heavier telephoto lenses, and the grip and shutter button have been enhanced for a better overall feel during operation.

Many other features have found their way into Sony’s latest mirrorless camera, including QR code compatibility, in addition to Wi-Fi and NFC, for quick connection to a mobile device, more precise white balance control, Bright Monitoring, and ISO Auto Minimum Shutter Speed. Users can also extend battery life by providing a power supply over the USB connection, much like the a7S II and a7R II. The a6300 will be available as a body only or in a kit with the 16-50mm lens.

  Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Lens Mount Sony E Sony E
Image Sensor APS-C Exmor CMOS (23.5 x 15.6mm) APS-C Exmor CMOS (23.5 x 15.6mm)
Effective Pixels 24.2MP 24.3MP
Total Pixels 25.0MP 24.7MP
Maximum Resolution 24MP: 6000 x 4000 24MP: 6000 x 4000
Aspect Ratio 3:2, 16:9 3:2, 16:9
Still Image File Format RAW, JPEG RAW, JPEG
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick XC-HG Duo
Card Slot 1 x SD (UHS-I) / Memory Stick Duo multi slot 1 x SD (UHS-I) / Memory Stick Duo multi slot
Viewfinder Type 2.36m-dot 0.39" / 1 cm XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF 1.44m-dot 0.39" / 1 cm OLED Tru-Finder EVF
Frame Coverage 100% 100%
Magnification 1.07x (35mm Equivalent: 0.70x) 1.07x (35mm Equivalent: 0.70x)
Eyepoint 23mm at -1m-1 23mm at -1m-1
Diopter Adjustment -4 to +3m-1 -4 to +3m-1
Shutter Type Electronically controlled, vertical-traverse focal-plane type; Electronic Electronically controlled, vertical-traverse focal-plane type
Shutter Speed 1/4000 to 30 sec., bulb 1/4000 to 30 sec., bulb
Flash Sync Speed 1/160 sec. 1/160 sec
Drive Modes Single, continuous (Hi+, Hi, Mid, Low selectable), self-timer, bracketing Single, continuous (Hi, Mid, Low), self-timer, bracketing
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 11 fps 11 fps
Self-Timer 10, 5, 2 sec. 10, 2 sec.
Exposure Metering System 1200-zone evaluative metering with Exmor CMOS sensor 1200-zone evaluative metering with Exmor CMOS sensor
Metering Method Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Metering Range -2 to 20 EV with f/2 lens 0 to 20 EV with f/2.8 lens
Exposure Modes Auto, Program, Aperture priority, Shutter speed priority, Manual Auto, Program, Aperture priority, Shutter speed priority, Manual
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in 1/3 and 1/2 EV steps ±5 EV in 1/3 and 1/2 EV steps
Exposure Bracketing 3 or 5 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1, 2, or 3 EV increments
9 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV inctrements
3 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1, 2, or 3 EV increments
5 frames in 1/3, 1/2, or 2/3 EV inctrements
ISO Sensitivity Stills: 100-51200
Movie: 100-25600
Stills: 100-25600
Movie: 100-12800
Autofocus System Enhanced Fast Hybrid AF with 4D FOCUS Fast Hybrid AF with 4D FOCUS
Number of Focus Points Phase Detect: 425
Contrast Detect: 169
Phase Detect: 179
Contrast Detect: 25
Focus Modes Automatic, Single-shot, Continuous, Direct Manual Focus, Manual Automatic, Single-shot, Continuous, Direct Manual Focus, Manual
Autofocus Sensitivity -1 to 20 EV with f/2 lens 0 to 20 EV with f/2.8 lens
Built-In Flash Yes, Guide Number: 19.7' / 6 m; Coverage: 16mm Yes, Guide Number: 19.7' / 6 m; Coverage: 16mm
Flash Control P-TTL P-TTL
Flash Modes Off, Auto, Fill-flash, Rear sync, Slow sync, Red-eye reduction, High-speed sync, Wireless with compatible external flash Off, Auto, Fill-flash, Rear sync, Slow sync, Red-eye reduction, High-speed sync, Wireless with compatible external flash
Flash Compensation ±3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps ±3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
Flash Bracketing 3 or 5 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1, 2, or 3 EV increments
9 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV inctrements
3 or 5 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1, 2, or 3 EV steps
External Flash Interface Multi Interface Shoe Multi Interface Shoe
White Balance Modes Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight), Flash, Color Temperature (2500-9900K), Color Filter, Custom, Underwater Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight), Flash, Color Temperature (2500-9900K), Color Filter, Custom, Underwater
Movie Recording XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160: 30p, 24p, 25p
XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080: 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 24p, 25p
AVCHD: 1920 x 1080: 60p, 60i, 50p, 50i, 24p, 25p
MP4: 1920 x 1080: 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p; 1280 x 720: 30p, 25p
XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080: 60p, 30p, 24p
AVCHD: 1920 x 1080: 60p, 60i, 24p
MP4: 1440 x 1080: 30p; 640 x 480: 30p
File Format XAVC S, AVCHD, MP4 XAVC S, AVCHD, MP4
Compression XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
AVCHD: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
MP4: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
AVCHD: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
MP4: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Audio Recording Yes, built-in stereo microphne or 3.5mm audio input Yes, built-in stereo microphone
Audio File Format XAVC S: Linear PCM, 2ch
AVCHD: Dolby Digital (AC-3), 2ch, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator
MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC, 2ch
XAVC S: Linear PCM, 2ch
AVCHD: Dolby Digital (AC-3), 2ch, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator
MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC, 2ch
External Microphone Input Yes, 3.5mm stereo input None
Headphone Jack None None
Maximum Recording Time 29 minutes 59 seconds 29 minutes 59 seconds
Monitor 3.0" / 7.5 cm 921k-dot tilting TFT LCD 3.0" / 7.5 cm 921k-dot tilting TFT LCD
Interface 1 x Micro-USB (Multi Terminal)
1 x Micro HDMI (Type D)
1 x 3.5mm stereo audio input
1 x Micro-USB (Multi Terminal)
1 x Micro HDMI (Type D)
Wi-Fi Yes, built-in with NFC & QR Code function Yes, built-in with NFC
GPS None None
Power Source 1 x NP-FW50 Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery Pack 1 x NP-FW50 Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery Pack
Battery Life Viewfinder: 350 Shots
LCD Screen: 400 Shots
Viewfinder: 310 Shots
LCD Screen: 360 Shots
Operating Environment 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
Dimensions 4.7 x 2.6 x 1.9" / 120 x 67 x 49mm 4.7 x 2.6 x 1.8" / 120 x 67 x 45mm
Weight 14.3 oz / 404 g with battery and Memory Stick 12.1 oz / 344 g with battery and Memory Stick

Discussion 31

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The small size does appeal. Here's a thought: I'm using the A7R currently. While it's relatively small, the 6300 seems to be ideal for my street-styled documentary work. I am interested in very detailed, textured images. I'm using the E-mount Zeiss lenses now. The question is, would swapping the A7R for the 6300 be a step-down for my image quality? 

I have owned two a6000 cameras. While they have strengths and weaknesses, the one consistent failure for me is that the only way to get external audio into them was through the MIS. The only microphones that would work are really poor quality Sony mics. I could not use my Rode microphone with excellent shock mounting because of the lack of the 3.5mm jack. This camera has that jack. That alone makes it worthwhile upgrade and I will be purchasing one as soon as my budget allows. I also wish it had dual card slots. I like the assurance of a backup copy as I have lost significant and irreplaceable work when a card failed in an earlier camera. (My Nikon D7100 has the dual slots.)  But one can't have everything and I will look forward to having two bodies on which to mount e-mount lenses.

"Additionally, the camera has the ability to output uncompressed UHD 4K footage over the HDMI port for using an external monitor or recorder." Just want to be clear - this camera will output RAW CinemaDNG sequences to a 4K recorder. Is that right?

Hello Russ,

Uncompressed is not the same thing as raw when it comes to video unfortunately. When saving footage internally it uses the XAVC S format, which is similar to H.264, in order to compress the footage, leading to possible artifacting in certain situations. The external output does not have this limitation, meaning if you use an external recorder and save the footage in, let's say, ProRes 422 HQ, the footage would be free of as many of those artifacts as possible (though ProRes is still technically a little compressed it is much less so than the internal formats). Basically, no CinemaDNG, but still better overall quality.

I am in search of a high grade travel camera.   A "travel" camera to me means being relatively small and compact,but it also must have GPS geo tagging ability.  Is there any reason Sony ignores this feature in ths family of cameras?

Hi Robert,

Unfortunately Sony does not share with us development plans and reasoning so it is impossible for us to explain why certain features are seemingly left out of select products. However, as has been shown in these latest announcements, Sony does listen to customer thoughts and concerns when they develop new products so you can hope that in the future GPS will be addressed. Thanks for reading.

They also ignor the ability to geotag images with an external device in the A7 line. It's the only reason I continue to use the Nikon D800e over any A7 camera. I even have an A7R but it sits at home most the time. I won't be buying another Sony until I can geotag while shooting. I'm not interested in adding a step in post to geotag when the Nikon does it for me through a hardware plug in.

I own the Alpha 6000, as well as the Alpha 3000.  IMHO, Sony is avoiding this feature because it will further shorten battery life which is quite pitiful to begin with

I love the specs on this camera, it's going to be a great b-camera to the A7S II, now my only question, are there any other audio monitoring options since it does not have a headphone output, and Sony’s XLR-K2M does not have a headphone output built-in either correct? Thoughts?

Hello Rogelio,

Unfortunately, there is no audio output for monitoring on the a6300 or XLR-K2M. The simplest way I can think of to get it is through the use of an external monitor/recorder such as the Atomos Shogun or Video Devices PIX-E5H which have their own audio outputs.

I don't do much video so spending 500 bucks more doesn't make sense. I think I'll get the A6000, and a good lens. The 16-50 mm lens they are attaching is average at best.

Why doesn't Sony make a vertical grip for this camera?

Can someone respond to Quincy's inquiry?  I once owned an a6000. But the boxy design provided a minimal and awkward hold.  The OMD's I use now with battery grips attached provide me with a near perfect grip for my large hands and power demands. 

Hello Quincy and Greg,

Unfortunately, we have no answer as to why there is no vertical grip available for this camera. Though it is likely a third-party manufacturer will  create one once the camera is more readily available.

As for the a6000, we do carry one third-party option if you require it. Another option is to use a bracket that extends underneath the grip, while you don't get the added control and battery life of a dedicated grip, it does extend the grip down a little bit. I personally have a bracket on my a7R II.

Anyone have any experience using Olympus OM lenses with these cameras (plainly it is not out but with this mount). I have a DJI Inspire1 and thus I now have several Oly micro 4/3rds lenses and may end up with an OM-D EM-1 but this would be great... tech marches on. The 4K video alone... 

Hi Drew,

Classic 35mm Olympus OM lenses should work fine on the a6300 if you can find an adapter. However, the newer Micro Four Thirds series would not work as they are not designed to cover the larger sensor. Also, it would be tough, if not impossible, to find an adapter for newer electronic MFT lenses to work on the E mount.

I am also very interested in this camera.  I know it's not an apples to apples comparison, but I'm wondering how it's low light sensitivity would be compared to a PXW-70 camcorder.  I'm using a PXW-70 and an Sony A7s.  The PXW does very well with autofocus but not so well in low light, and the A7s is the opposite: low light beast but not so good on the autofocus.  This a6300 is supposed to be a good autofocuser.  I'm hopeful for the best of both worlds.  

Hello Cael,

An interesting question. I would guess that due to the larger APS-C (Super35 in video) sensor size that the a6300 will offer better low light performance than the PXW-X70 camcorder with its 1" sensor. Also, the focusing system is supposedly among the best, but as I don't have either the camcorder or the new a6300 I couldn't definitively call it one way or the other, though the a6000 and a7R II did perform admirably in video AF during my time with each of those cameras, so I'm hopeful the a6300 will shine.

Here is my #1 questions.  Will it overheat in 4k like some other 4k cameras.  I have heard from a buddy of his alpha 6 over heating with the 50mpbs video.  How will heat shed off the 4k version trying to do 14 minutes of the same shoot?  specs look ok, but if 4k video with a gimble is used will it blow its internal head gasket before much can be recorded.

-C

Hello Cody,

The a6300's body design is intended to help disappate heat, and the camera is rated to last up to 29:59 with internal recording. However, we will have to wait until production models are available before we can confirm whether the camera can reliably record without overheating in normal conditions.Considering previous Sony cameras having this issue, I would believe that Sony has worked to make sure that the same issue wouldn't show up in their newer bodies.

I want to know this too!

Anonymous wrote:

Here is my #1 questions.  Will it overheat in 4k like some other 4k cameras.  I have heard from a buddy of his alpha 6 over heating with the 50mpbs video.  How will heat shed off the 4k version trying to do 14 minutes of the same shoot?  specs look ok, but if 4k video with a gimble is used will it blow its internal head gasket before much can be recorded.

-C

The bracketing looks awesome.  A major disappointment in the A6000 was the inability to take bracketed shots without holding down the shutter release, rather than using timer or remote.  I hope to hell they fix that.

 

Dissapointed they didn't add a touchscreen but excited by the microphone input, 4K video, and additional focusing points and speed.  Nice upgrade from the A6000, which I understand is not going away.  

Hi RJ,

For now the a6000 will remain in the lineup, much like how the original a7 series is still available alongside the newer mark II models.

Epic news. Can't wait to get my hands on those 70-200 f2.8 lens. Just bought the a6000 so don't think I'll be dying to get the a6300. Nice little update but I ain't shooting much video so the almost double the price upgrade isn't worth it. But lens baby bout time. This is gonna put that massive dent on canon and Nikon business. F4 held a lot of people behind and skeptical just like me. Didn't read much about the lens barrel length etc., assuming it's the same???

Hey Kumar,

If you are looking for more detailed information on the lenses we have a separate announcement here, with links to the products on the B&H website where you can find even more information.

Me neither. should make for some great deals on the older model

No SQUARE format? Looks like it is not made to be used in winter and doesn't have much battery life.

Hi Glen,

Unfortunately no square format, or any other options besides 3:2 and 16:9. As for the body, it is more durable and weather sealed than the a6000, and by the specs should have better battery life as well (though it doesn't seem to be close to any modern DSLRs), but we will really need to wait until we have one on hand to give a thorough analysis and review.

I have been waiting for over a year for this camera and so excited to finally see it going into production. 

There were rumors that this camera would have some sort of on-chip HDR capacity with the ability to create an HDR image without having to take 3 bracketed images.  Do you know what HDR capacity Sony has put into this model. 
 

Hi Douglas,

While there is no new advanced HDR feature or setting, it will still have the Auto HDR mode which records three sequential frames and composites them into a single frame with greater shadow and highlight detail.