Sony has announced the A6300, an update to its highly-regarded A6000 compact system camera for enthusiast photographers. It features a 24.2-million-pixel APS-C sensor, ISO 100-51,200, 11 frames per second continuous shooting, 425-point phase-detection autofocus and 4K video recording. A slower 8 frames per second shooting mode includes live view between frames for easier tracking of moving subjects.
In a move that won’t surprise anyone who’s been following camera announcements over the past few years, Sony claims that the A6300 will offer the world’s fastest autofocus, with a lock-on time of 0.05sec. Regardless of how this plays out in practice, its 425-point phase-detection AF system that covers the entirety of its APS-C sensor sounds very impressive, and a significant advance over even the already-impressive Alpha 6000. Sony claims that the A6300 is capable of activating a large number of AF points to cover the subject of interest, and then automatically adjusting their coverage to match the subject as it moves around the frame.
Viewing is via either a 2.36-million-dot EVF, which now has a 120fps viewing mode, or a tilting 3in 921,600-dot LED, which sadly still isn’t touch-sensitive. The video specification includes 4K recording at 100Mbps. The A6300 will be available in March, with UK pricing still to be confirmed.
Sony Introduces New α6300 Camera with World’s Fastest Autofocus
New Mirrorless Camera Features World’s Fastest AF speedi and Highest Number of AF pointsii plus Newly Developed 24.2 MP APS-C Sensor, High Resolution 4K video recording and more
Sony today introduced the latest addition to their award winning line-up of mirrorless cameras, the α6300. The camera boasts an unrivalled 4D FOCUS™ system that can lock focus on a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, the world’s fastest AF acquisition time[i]. Additionally, the α6300 has an incredible 425 phase detection AF points that are densely positioned over the entire image area – the world’s highest number of AF points on any interchangeable lens camera[ii], and can shoot images at up to 11 frames per second with continuous autofocus and exposure tracking.
The impressive new mirrorless model also has the ability to support full live-view continuous shooting on the Tru-finder or LCD screen at up to 8 frames per second, ultimately producing a real-time shooting experience that combines all the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy of a through-the-lens optical viewfinder.
The versatile α6300 camera is equipped with a newly developed 24.2 MP[iii] APS-C sized Exmor CMOS sensor that works together with a BIONZ X image processing engine to produce outstanding image quality throughout the entire ISO sensitivity range ISO 100-51200[iv].
The new α6300 can also shoot and record high resolution 4K video with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in the popular Super 35mm format.
Unrivalled AF Performance
Sony’s new α6300 camera builds upon the acclaimed 4D FOCUS performance of the α6000 model, utilising a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines high-speed phase detection AF with extremely accurate contrast AF and allows it to capture and lock on to moving subjects in as little as 0.05 secondsi. The camera’s High-density Tracking AF technology positions 425 phase detection AF points over nearly the entire field of view, allowing it to accurately focus throughout a wide area – even on small, fast objects that other cameras would fail to recognise.
In addition to the extensive AF coverage, the α6300 debuts a new high-density tracking AF technology that significantly improves subject detection and tracking performance. This new technology can quickly activate a large number of AF points surrounding a subject – approximately 7.5 times more density than the α6000 – and intelligently adjust them in accordance with the subject’s motion. This is a particularly powerful feature when used with high-speed 11 fps continuous shooting or the new 8 fps continuous live-view mode, which provides 100% accurate framing for fast moving subjects on the LCD screen or viewfinder.
Of note is the fact that the camera’s 425 phase detection AF points, enhanced tracking and focus accuracy are all available on the α6300 when using A-mount lenses[v] with a mount adaptor like the Sony LA-EA3. This is a first for Sony E-mount interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sized sensor, as the only other cameras to feature this capability are the full-frame α7R II and α7 II models.
Other enhancements to the α6300 include silent shooting functionality, the ability to use AF in focus magnifier mode, expanded flexible spot AF, Eye AF in AF-C mode and more.
Powerful 24.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Processor
In order to maximise efficiency and overall camera performance, the α6300 features a new 24.2MP sensor that is an ideal match for its BIONZ X image processing engine.
The new image sensor employs copper wiring in its structure, which improves light collection efficiency and significantly accelerates readout speed. The BIONZ X processor features an upgraded image processing algorithm designed to maximise the sensor’s overall capabilities. Together, the two key components work to produce images with low noise and exceptional resolution in sensitivity settings up to ISO51200iii, in particular in the mid-to-high sensitivity range.
Ultimate 4K Resolution and Other Professional Video Capabilities
In another first for non-full-frame Sony interchangeable lens cameras, the new α6300 offers internal 4K movie recording in Super 35mm format. When shooting in 4K, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 20 megapixels of information – approximately 2.4x[vi] (6K equivalent) as many pixels as 4K UHD and then oversamples the information to produce high quality footage with exceptional detail and depth.
The camera utilises the XAVC S codec[vii] during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100 Mbpsvii during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during standard Full HD shooting, ensuring maximum detail and clarity in both video formats. Additionally, the camera will focus approximately twice as fast as its predecessor during movie shooting thanks to its new and improved AF system. AF speed and AF tracking sensitivity are also adjustable for expanded creativity.
Other professional calibre video features include the ability to record Full HD at 120 fps at 100 Mbps[viii], another first for α interchangeable lens cameras with APS-C sized sensors. This mode allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD[ix] (24p or 30p) resolution with AF tracking. The new α6300 also offers S-Log gamma recording[x] for wide dynamic range shooting – approximately 14-stop latitude in S-Log3 gamma setting – and supports S-Gamut for a wider colour space. Both options allow for greater creativity for processing video post-production.
Also included on the new camera is a microphone line input that accepts external microphones and also supports XLR input with Sony’s XLR adapter kit, as well as Gamma Display Assist, a new function that allows users to monitor images or check focus when recording S-Log movies. The new model has enhanced Zebra functionality for greater exposure control. Picture profile settings are available, as well as Time Code/User Bit and much more.
Enhanced Operability and Ergonomics
The α6300 camera is equipped with a high contrast, high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 2.4 million dots that offers exceptional corner-to-corner visibility. There is also a new mode available for the viewfinder that allows display of images at 120 fps, ensuring that action is displayed smoothly with very few afterimages, making subject tracking through the Tru-finder easier than ever.
Aesthetically, the new α6300 camera features an extremely solid feel in hand thanks to its robust, magnesium alloy design. It can be customised to fit nearly any shooting style or preferences, with 9 customisable buttons that one of 64 different functions can be assigned to. The camera adds a digital level gauge as well as upgraded dust and moisture resistance[xi], a reinforced lens mount structure, and a new shutter release button and mode dial with improved operability and grip.
The new α6300 camera is Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™, which add a variety of creative capabilities to the camera. It also supports QR code for easy connection to non-NFC smart phones.
The α6300 will be available in Europe from March 2016 priced at approximately €1,250 body only and €1,400 with SELP1650 lens. The α6300 will also be available as a kit with the SEL1670Z lens in April 2016, priced at approximately €2,250.
[i] Among interchangeable lens cameras equipped with an APS-C-sized sensor as of February 2016, based on Sony research. Measured using CIPA-compliant guidelines and internal method with an E PZ 16-50 F3.5-5.6 OSS lens mounted. Pre-AF off and viewfinder in use
[ii] Among interchangeable lens cameras as of February 2016, based on Sony research
[iii] Approximate effective MPs
[iv] Expandable up to ISO 51200 for stills and up to ISO 25600 for movies
[v] A-mount lenses with SSM or SAM only. Users can choose phase-detection AF or contrast-detection AF in AF System menu
[vi] 1.6x in 30p setting
[vii] An SDHC/SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed rating is required for XAVC S recording
[viii] UHS Class 3 memory card is required for recording at 100Mbps
[ix] Number of pixels required for Full HD movie recording is read out from the image sensor
[x] S-Log2 and S-Log3 are based on processing pictures
[xi] This camera is designed for optimal dust and moisture resistance, but is not waterproof or splashproof. For FE lens only