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

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A6300 overheating shooting stills only. I was using this camera for the first time today in normal situations. I did some other shots around the house all through the eyepiece before and had no issues. Today in was taking pictures at my daughter's softball game with both live view over the fence and thru the eyepiece from behind the backstop. Not a hot day at all, maybe 70 at best. I got the internal heating error while shooting over the fence in live view mode and the camera shut off. This is a real issue since I was basically going back and forth from live view to eyepiece without shooting any video and plenty of time between the half innings where I shut the camera off. I even had the display pulled away from the camera and tipped down so I could see while holding it over the short fence, so this didn't help. I was NOT shooting in continuous mode or even taking that many pictures. Maybe 2 or 3 pictures per pitch. This is a pretty major issue for minor, and infrequent stills shooting. I haven't even tried video yet. I actually was in process of selling all my Nikon gear to switch over to Sony 100%, and get some faster lenses, but I think that may be a bad idea now.

Hi RLA,

Thanks for sharing your experience. When the camera overheated was the LCD flush against the camera body or was it pulled out?

Pulled out and tilted down so I could see it over the fence. After further experimenting with this camera it seems that the default setting is the problem. The monitor is always on unless your eye is in the eyepiece. I figured a way to use it with one of the custom buttons to toggle on and off the main monitor so it only needs to be on when I need it on. Hopefully this will help some, but not when shooting only with the live view instead of the eyepiece.

Hey Shawn, what about recording 1080/24? Is it going to be the same thing? Or will it last a little bit longer?

Hi Ivan,

At this point I couldn't give a solid answer on Full HD when it comes to overheating. I would hope that it would last longer, especially since the a6000 does this without any issues, but it depends on the new sensor and body design more than anything.

mine overheated at 20 minutes indoors shooting 4K 100Mbs 30fps when using the zoom. It also shut down at 34 minutes with the same parameters without using the zoom indoors. The manual says it can shoot 4K for 20 minutes only. Sony customer support said that it is not intended for extended 4K shooting.

Hi Philip,

This is an issue that is just starting to show up, though with the smaller body design it is not entirely unsurprising. Pulling out the LCD screen may significantly help as it helped out with the a7R II. Also, if you do constantly find yourself needing to shoot for lengthy periods of time, an external recorder will definitely help keep heat down in the camera by moving the saving of footage to the recorder instead of internally.

I haven't seen any official answer on whether external recorder completely eliminates overheating. Would be nice thing to verify for your customers. 

Hello Brian,

While unfortunately I have not had any time to put the a6300 through its paces for video I do have experience with the a7R II and its overheating issues and I believe that it should relate well to this. A lot of heat is generated from the actual writing to the card and internal processing and compression of the video. When I have connected the a7R II to an external recorder, in this case a PIX-E5H, the camera runs significantly cooler and for longer periods of time without issue. Now, the a6300 has a smaller body, so it may still be prone to overheating after certain periods of time, even when connected to an external monitor, but most of the reports that put overheating at ~20 minutes have dealt with internal recording. I would expect an increase in recording time when using an external recorder based on my experiences with other modern digital Sony cameras. Due to the dramatically increased concern over this issue with the a6300, I will inquire about whether we can do a more video-oriented review on the a6300.

Awesome thanks for the response! I've been digging around forums for some insight and so far can't confirm. Lots of talk about battery and whether external power helps or hurts overheating since it doesn't ever bypass the battery. Some say leave the battery door open or some kind of dummy battery option but not sure how that would work. I know the sensor itself can also be the cause of heat issues as some cameras have dedicated heatsinks on the sensors so I hope this isn't the case with this Sony. I've been waiting SO LONG to find a 4K device that makes the most sense but it seems Sony is doing everything it can to keep one product from being a superior device over their other options. 

Now they announce another bridge RX10 III, what in the actual? Should have probably bought a Panny G7 while it was cheap but now looks like it's gone up in price!

Yea, there's a lot of discussion on this. Hopefully there is some official response to this and perhaps a firmware update to help out a little bit. I would trust external recording, but it isn't ideal for a lot of situations. Also, external battery supplies could be viable but that would be extremely dependent on specific batteries. I would still think that the a6300 will be a great 4K camera regardless of the limitations. All cameras have limitations so using one is simply understanding them and working with them. Some of the first films I shot were with a 16mm Bolex, which had to be wound up after each shot for a maximum of ~30 seconds of recording time. I will say, that if you can accept a smaller format or fixed lens, Panasonic's GH4 and Sony's RX10 II or III are spectacular options.

I decided to pull the trigger on the a6300 since it's back in stock. Time to start creating something!

I have overheating issues even without recording at all ! so put an external recorder don't resolve the issue, I'm very dissapointed. At time you have the first overheating alert, that's is the begin of the end for you, dispite you shut down for several minutes, when you power back on you will have just another few minutes of recording before the next alert !  

Very interesting. Philippe, would you mind detailing what you were doing and the conditions in which you experienced overheating?

I just got this camera Monday..  come to find out it has a widely reported overheating issue.. and I am no acception.

My a6300 overheats and shuts itself off at about 28 minutes 4K 30P indoors (no sun) 68degrees ..

and also overheats just shooting stills and reviewing on the screen at about 35 minutes...  

Using stock lense and stock battery.. what a crying shame, the camera is amazing but overheating after half hour and shutting off renders it useless.. 

Hi Mike,

This is very interesting. Sounds similar to reports with the a7R II, though if that is any indication over time Sony has released firmware udpates to help alleviate the overheating issue. One thing that Justin Dise and I did during our time testing the a7R II was pull the LCD out (this was after experienced overheating shooting in the sun) and we had no problems with overheating even in the middle of the summer. Also, during stills, if you are using live view and high-speed continuous shooting this may be causing your overheating as it is pulling data in a very similar way as during video.

When using an external recorder like the Atmos, is it possible to continually record beyond the 29:59 mark?

Thank you

*Atomos

Hi Gery,

Yes, you should have no problem recording past the 29:59 mark. One of the many benefits of an external recorder.

Except the camera overheats at 20 mins?

Hi Brian,

Though I addressed this in my response to your other comment, I will say that reports of the ~20 minute overheating have been commonly tied in to internal recording. Early user reports I have found to support the assumption that an external recorder can dramatically improve recording times.

In the description it says the 6300 has eye focus, but in the specs at the bottom it does not mention this. Which is correct?

Hello H. James Hoff,

It has Eye AF, but this isn't technically one of the dedicated focus modes though it is usually referred to as such. It is a feature that is used in the continuous AF mode and is therefore not included in our specifications.

I have a Nikon D300 and a D600.  The D300 has an 18-200 lens which for me is a perfect travel lens.  In April I will be trekking in Nepal and am interested in the a6300 due in large part to its weight.  Since I can't use the 18-200 with the a6300, what lens would you recommend?

Hello Jon,

If you want you could easily just replace your 18-200mm with a Sony E 18-200mm for their APS-C E-mount cameras. If you don't need as wide of an angle and prefer a little longer reach (or if you think you may go full-frame E-mount eventually), then the FE 24-240mm may be a better option, but it is a little bigger and doesn't get as wide.

Hi - I want to be able to record 4k video and, simultaneously, show the images to the person I'm recording on an external monitor. Is this posible on the a6300? As I understand it, cameras usually black out the viewfinder or LCD screen when recording 4K and using an external monitor? Any help on this would be very much appreciated.

Hi Fiona,

Previous Sony mirrorless cameras are able to output footage while showing the image on the LCD as well, however, in some cases this was with reduced brightness to limit heat generated in some settings. With the a6300 this isn't as clear as we would hope since it has a smaller body it may have more issues with handling both. Simply put, earlier Sony cameras have, but we cannot guarantee that the a6300 will be able to in all modes until we have a model to test out.

To follow up on this, some early reviewers have reported that during UHD 4K recording, the image is not visible on the camera's LCD when connected to an external device.

Early report are that recording in UHD 4K when you hit record the image on the external monitor goes black as well and only the camera menu info remains. This would be so disappointing. Can you confirm?

Hi Peter,

We cannot confirm until we have a camera in hand to test, but we have also seen the early reports and I personally think that it is likely true. The a7R II dimmed the screen to minimum brightness during 4K recording and with the smaller body size of the a6300 it is not surprising if Sony had to turn off the picture on the rear LCD and EVF in order to ensure the camera doesn't overheat.

Hi Shawn,

Not the answer I was hoping for(!) but I appreciate your help an prompt reply. It's such a shame ...

Anyway, thanks again.

Yea, if this turns out to be the case it is not ideal. One workaround (though a costly one) is to use an external recorder with an HDMI out and then have an additional monitor connected to that, providing you with two screens during recording.

Hi, I know this is an old thread but I wonder if you  could clarify something: I bought one a6300. I have an external 1080p monitor. Can I record  in XAVC in the camera and see the video externally while I'm recording? 
Currently, the moment I press the record button the external monitor goes dark (the LCD is always black when the external monitor is connected), so I cannot see what it's being recorded!! It's a bit frustrating. I'm hoping it's an issue with my settings and not the way the camera normally behaves. 

Has anyone have any luck recording in the camera and previewing in an external monitor (in 4k XAVCS)?

Thanks!

Hi Mauricio,

You should be able to record internally and use and external monitor simultaneously. One thing you may want to check is the HDMI Settings -> HDMI Resolution in the menu. If this is set to output 4K, your monitor may not be able to process the higher resolution and therefore will not display properly.

I am a bit confuse about the xavc-s is it 8 bit or 10 ? and also 4:2:2 or 4:2:0  ? 

Thank you 

Hello DomSim,

When recording internally with the XAVC S format the video files will be 8-bit 4:2:0.

Does Sony make a model camera that recored true 4:2:2 internally ?

Hello Rush Videos,

In the Alpha series of cameras (mirrorless, DSLR, stills-focus), none of these cameras will do 4:2:2 internally (though they do do it externally via something like the Atomos Shogun and  Video Devices PIX-E5). If you need 4:2:2 internally then you will need to move up into their Cine series, but even then you have to be careful with specs and your needs. For a small interchangeable lens camcorder that closely relates spec-wise to the a7 series and a6300 I would saw the FS5, though internally it only does 4:2:2 when recording in Full HD, UHD 4K is still limited to 4:2:0. For all the fixings you will need the FS7, which is a spectacular camera and offers 10-bit as well, which is a noticeable upgrade.

I take photos with an Alpha 55.  I have found that while the specs indicate a higher ISO, it is really only useable to ISO 1600 or there is too much noise.

With the 6300, they claim ISO to 52k.  On a comparable basis, do you know how much of the 6300's ISO is really usable.  What is the real improvement I can expect over the Alpha 55.

Also it states that the 6300 has great AF.  How well does the AF work in low light?

Hi John,

True, usually the highest rated ISO is not usable for many general applications. It is mainly there for emergencies and to boost the specs of the camera. Considering the age of the a55 and the newness of the a6300 (though this is speculation since the new camera is not yet out), I would estimate at least 3 stops of ISO improvement compared to the a55 for your eye. Comparing the native ranges of up to 12800 for the a55 and 51200 for the a6300 that would provide at least two stops of the ISO improvement. Add on a new processing engine and the redesigned sensor structure of the a6300 and that will likely gain at least one more stop. So, if you find 1600 to be the max on the a55, I would guess you would find 12800 to be your personal max on the a6300. Hope this helps. Also, in terms of AF, I owned an a6000 and was impressed, even in low light. It did struggle to some extent when it got really dark, but it still functioned quite well. Considering the ISO boost, I would say that the a6300 will focus about as well as a DSLR in low light.

I can't find any info that indicates that this camera has the ability to pull still frames from the 4K stream as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 has with its 4K Photo Modes. Can I assume that's the case? I have the a6000 (and had the NEX-6 before that) and although it's a capable camera, am considering whether to continue with Sony's APS models or switch over to another brand. Also hoped they would finally provide a fully-articulated viewing screen. Any camera that does video should have that.

Hi George,

We do not have any information that indicates that the a6300 will be able to pull stills from video via an in camera mode or function, you would need to do this on a computer. As to the fully articulated screen, the a6300 does tilt a good amount, and personally this is all I find necessary if I'm working with a small kit, but if I needed a good useful screen I would use a dedicated external monitor that was calibrated and had a lot more functionality (LUT support, programmable zebras and peaking, etc...) than the camera itself.

Does the viewfinder tilt completely vertical so that it can be seen from the front of the camera for selfie shooting?  If so, I'm sold!

Hi Dave,

It does not tilt all the way up. The a6300's rear screen can tilt up to 90° and the viewfinder is fixed.

Ugh.  That's such a bummer.  I thought this was going to be the perfect camera for me.  I've seen conflicting reports on this,   For example, on the CNET site it says:

  • LCD, viewfinder and mode dial. The back display now flips up for selfies in addition to tilting. The viewfinder is higher resolution, and has a shorter blackout period during continuous shooting, which is nice. Sony also brought the mode dial up to date with current features. (http://www.cnet.com/products/sony-a6300/)

Are you sure?

I'm positive. You can see it in Sony's official spec sheet here:

http://www.sony.com/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-6300-body-kit/specifications

:-(

Someone needs a geometry refresh. Spec sheet says 90 degrees up and 45 degrees down. To go fully up (and over the protruding eyepiece is just impossible but it would also have to be 180 degrees up. Plenty of reviews mention that the rear screen is exactly the same in terms of adjustability as the a6000.

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? 

The a7R has a higher resolution full frame sensor, so it is capable of producing images with more detail.  If you were to switch to the a6300, you would be taking a step down, yes.   Though, if you find the size of the a7R to be prohibitive, then perhaps the a6300 would be a better fit. 

Hello Marc,

I would say that going to an a6300 from an original a7R (a7R II is a different story) would not be that drastic a difference in image quality, and though we would need to wait until the a6300 is released for confirmation, I would guess that the a6300 may actually have better image quality than the a7R thanks to newer processing techniques and a redesigned sensor (a7R max ISO = 25600 while a6300 max ISO = 51200). You will still have rich, detailed images with an a6300, the major difference would really be the crop factor if you use your existing FE lenses. The difference between 24MP and 36MP sounds large, but in practice isn't as great as many believe and really only makes somewhat of a difference if you find yourself consistently printing large (17x22" or larger). For example, professionals have been using the D4 and 1DX for years and no one was complaining that 16 or 18MP wasn't enough. 

As a side note, if you feel more comfortable with the size of the a6300 compared to your a7R, especially for stree and doc work, than you may end up taking "better" photographs. And, the AF system spec-wise is unmatched by anything else on the market, something to be considered for fast-moving street photography. Creating excellent photographs has always been less about the megapixels and more about comfort and ability of the photographer.

 I would guess that the a6300 may actually have better image quality than the a7R thanks to newer processing techniques and a redesigned sensor.

I would be very surprised if this were true.  I have downloaded a number of a6000 image samples available on line, and the image quality when compared to my a7R is night and day, not even close.  The a6300 image quality improvement over the a6000 would have to be immense in order for the a6300 images to be on a par with the a7R.

The a7R has a 36MP full-frame sensor.  I know of no APS-C sensors currently on the market that could rival any full frame sensor of equal or greater MP count.  The market bears this out.  Why would anyone pay over $3,000 for a full-frame sensor if comparable image quality could be achieved at under $1,000 with an APS-C sensor?

And by most accounts, while the a7R II is an improvement in many ways over the a7R, image quality is only marginally better.

Hi Tom,

While yes, the a7R has a higher resolution and a full-frame sensor which give it a very different "look" compared to the APS-C models, in terms of image quality (detail, noise, and dynamic range predominantly) the images are likely to be closer than expected. If you desire a full-frame sensor for the full-frame look you are correct, it is incomparable, but if you are simply looking for a great compact camera the a6300 should not be counted out.

I personally owned an a6000 and a7S before moving up to an a7R II and looking at older a6000 files, sure they look different compared to full frame, but the a6000 (in my case with the E 24mm f/1.8) can hold its own to the full-frame cameras (using a comparable FE 35mm f/2.8). Whether anyone even needs more than 24MP is debateable unless you are doing a lot of printing. And lately many people are deciding to pick up APS-C cameras like the a6000 instead of FF now becuase image quality has improved dramatically over the past few years and crop-sensor cameras are both more affordable and usually smaller. IQ today has been improved so dramatically over the years that nearly any camera available today can create a great image.

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