Sony alpha a6300 kit


Sony Камера α6300 с байонетом E и матрицей APS-C

Встречайте α6300 — беззеркальную камеру формата APS-C, которая выводит скорость и точность автофокусировки на качественно новый уровень.

Новое измерение фото- и видеосъемкиИспользуйте профессиональные возможности видеосъемки

Самый быстрый автофокус (0,05 секунды) с самым большим числом точек фазового автофокуса (425 точек) и технологией следящего АФ с высокой плотностью точек усиливают возможности системы 4D FOCUS.

4D FOCUS

CMOS-матрица Exmor® и алгоритм обработки изображения процессора BIONZ X позволяют создавать высококлассные изображения при чувствительности до ISO 51200.

Помимо режима видеозаписи в 4K, в камере есть богатый выбор режимов для съемки видео, которые помогут вам воплотить самые смелые творческие замыслы на профессиональном уровне.

Расширенный набор функций и удобное управление в сочетании с прочным корпусом из магниевого сплава делают камеру α6300 надежным инструментом для съемки профессионального уровня.

PlayMemories Online™PlayMemories Camera AppssupTM/sup Приложения Imaging Edge™ Remote, Viewer и EditCapture One (для Sony) iMovie 3D модель продукта Программа поддержки профессионалов Sony Технические характеристики и функцииКамера α6300 от Sony — флагманская беззеркальная модель камер Sony формата APS-C со сменной оптикой от Sony, в которой реализованы самый быстрый в мире автофокус (0,05 секунды), самое большое в мире число точек фазового автофокуса (425 точек), CMOS-матрица Exmor® с эффективным разрешением 24,2 МП, расширенный диапазон чувствительности ISO 100–51200, улучшенные возможности 4K-видеозаписи и видоискатель XGA OLED Tru-Finder.
  • Самый быстрый в мире автофокус (0,05 секунды) и самое большое в мире число точек АФ (425 точек)

  • 24,2-мегапиксельная CMOS-матрица Exmor® новой конструкции

  • Процессор обработки изображения BIONZ X™

  • Широкий диапазон чувствительности ISO 100–51200

  • 4K-видеозапись с полным считыванием данных/без объединения пикселей

Совместимость с объективамиОбъективы Sony с байонетом EТип матрицыAPS-CТип матрицыМатрица Exmor CMOS формата APS-C (23,5 × 15,6 мм)Количество пикселей (эффективных)Прибл. 24,2 мегапикселяЧувствительность ISO (рекомендованный индекс экспозиции)Фотосъемка: ISO 100–25600 (с возможностью расширения до 51200), АВТО (ISO 100–6400, с выбором верхнего и нижнего предела), видеосъемка: экв. ISO 100–25600, АВТО (ISO 100-6400, с выбором верхнего / нижнего предела)Время работы от аккумулятора (фотография)Прибл. 350 кадров (при использовании видоискателя) / прибл. 400 кадров (при использовании ЖК-экрана) (стандарт CIPA)Тип видоискателяXGA OLED, 1,0 см (тип 0.39) электронный видоискатель (цветной)Тип экрана7,5 см (тип 3.0), широкий TFTИзображение Камера α6300 с байонетом E и матрицей APS-C Изображение Камера α6300 с байонетом E и матрицей APS-C

www.sony.ru

Обзор Sony a6300

Всё, что вам нужно знать о Sony a6300, для того чтобы в неё влюбиться!

Первая беззеркалка, которую мы тестировали на Fototips, была Sony Nex-7, и тогда она казалась скорее модной игрушкой, а не камерой для работы. Сейчас беззеркальные камеры это реальность как для творческих хипстеров, так и для серьёзных профессионалов, а зеркалки — тяжелые (во всех смыслах) пережитки старого образа фотографа-профи.

Sony a6300 — это эволюция ультрауспешной модели a6000, которая до сих пор не утратила своей актуальности. Хотя новая модель получила массу интересных функций, по своей философии она не заменила a6000, а скорее стала её профессиональной версией.

Итак, a6300 — это топовая беззеркалка компании Sony с байонетом E, в которой используется APS-C-матрица.

Основные особенности камеры

  • КМОП-матрица Exmor с разрешением 24 Мп формата APS-C
  • ISO 200–25 600 единиц, расширение до 100–51 200 единиц ISO
  • Самый быстрый в мире автофокус — 0,05 секунды
  • Система «4D фокус» c 425 АФ точек — тоже мировой рекорд
  • Видеосъёмка с разрешением 4K
  • OLED-видоискатель с разрешением 2,36 Мп и частотой 120 к/с
  • Поддержка Wi-Fi и NFC
  • Корпус с пыле- и влагозащитой с элементами из магниевого сплава

Видеообзор

Корпус и эргономика

Корпус и эргономика новой камеры взяты от предыдущей a6000. Несмотря на компактный размер, у a6300 очень удобный хват, даже без аккумуляторной ручки.

Хотя при съёмке видео из-за малого веса камеры можно заметить бóльшую тряску, нежели с тяжелой камерой.

Камера спроектирована так, что ей можно управлять одной рукой. У меня кисть среднего размера, но всё управление камерой — основное и дополнительное диалоговое колесо, меню и даже выбор режима съёмки были в зоне досягаемости большого пальца.

Кнопка записи видео чуть «утоплена» в рукоятку. Sony удалось избежать опасностей — слишком чувствительной и слишком жесткой кнопки. Кнопка REC работает тогда, когда нужно, и за всё время тестирования ни разу не возникало ситуации, чтобы она случайно срабатывала.

Всё вышеперечисленное — это признаки профессиональной камеры!

Кстати, об эргономике. Если посчитать — вы можете настроить функции аж для 8 кнопок камеры: C1, C2, AF/MF, AEL, центральной и трех кнопок управляющего колеса (левой, правой и нижней). Список функций, которые можно вынести на отдельные кнопки, содержит более 70 позиций.

Весьма необычно расположен индикатор записи на карту памяти — возле крышки. Не очень удобно, потому что обычно камеру достаешь вслепую. Хотя данные записываются так быстро, что проблем с этим не возникало.

Чуть не забыли про горячий башмак. Он здесь есть, но не обычный, а волшебный. Он укомплектован разъёмами для питания устройств и передачи данных. Чуть ниже мы расскажем, как это работает с беспроводным микрофоном.

Видоискатель

В камере a6300 установлен усовершенствованный электронный OLED-видоискатель с разрешением 2,36 Мп и увеличением 1,07x (для сравнения: это 0,7x для полнокадровой камеры). По качеству он сравним с видоискателем полнокадровой Sony A7RMII.

Частота работы видоискателя увеличена до 100 кадров в секунду, благодаря этому картинка весьма плавная. Но в таком режиме не работает автоматическая яркость видоискателя. Нужен авто — переключайтесь на 50 к/с.

Видоискатель очень контрастный, и за счет высокого разрешения он удобнее для ручной фокусировки, чем большой экран.

И как вишенка на торте — резиновая насадка на окуляр видоискателя. Благодаря этой насадке при ярком солнце работа с видоискателем становится идеальной. Как будто вас накрывает большим темным одеялом, и вы можете спокойно работать. Естественно, с очками эффект уже не тот.

Как и раньше, рядом с видоискателем установлен датчик, который автоматически переключает с большого экрана на видоискатель.

Монитор

Раз уж говорим о видоискателе, стоит упомянуть и экран.

Камера a6300 оснащена поворотным TFT-экраном диагональю 7,5 см с разрешением 921 600 точек. Экран поворачивается только по вертикали, и могу сказать, что это лучший вариант. Так же как и отсутствие сенсорных функций.

Яркость экрана настраивается через меню в пределах 5 ступеней. Но даже максимальной яркости экрана недостаточно в ясную погоду.

Для съёмки при ярком солнце инженеры добавили режим «Солнечная погода», который усиливает яркость экрана на несколько ступеней выше максимального значения, которое можно установить вручную. Конечно, это заметно влияет на батарею, но в ситуации, когда видоискателем пользоваться неудобно, это прекрасный выход.

Кстати, яркость «Солнечная погода» работает во всех режимах, кроме двух: видеосъёмки в разрешении 4K и HD при битрейте 100 Мб/с и частоте 100 кадров в секунду.

Матрица

В камере установлена CMOS-матрица Exmor формата APS-C (23,5 × 15,6 мм) с разрешением 24,2 Мп.

Для Sony a6300 инженеры создали новую матрицу. В качестве проводника вместо алюминия используется медь, которая обладает лучшей проводимостью. Благодаря этому удалось уменьшить толщину элементов матрицы и увеличить размер пикселя и одновременно увеличить скорость передачи данных. А это сказывается на скорости как фото-, так и видеосъёмки.

Благодаря этому максимальная скорость фотосъёмки составляет 11 кадров в секунду. При этом камера может записать в буфер 21 RAW-файл.

И даже при такой скорости съёмки автофокус, о котором речь пойдет ниже) держит объект. Вот пример с участком который не смазан движением.

От пыли матрица защищена антистатическим покрытием и ультразвуковой очисткой.

Многие считают, что кропнутая матрица не может выдавать высокую детализацию. Чтобы развеять это предубеждение, предлагаем посмотреть на фото, снятое с помощью китового объектива 16–50mm f/3,5–5,6.

1/800, f/5,6, ISO 200, 17 mm Кроп 100%

Ниже кадр c Sony 50 mm f/1,8

1/500, f/5, ISO 160, 50 mm Кроп 100%

Чувствительность ISO

По уровню шума на высоких ISO новая камера очень близка к a6000.

Если смотреть на карточки критично, то рабочими значениями ISO можно считать ISO 100–3200, в некоторых случаях в зависимости от сюжета и качества освещения ISO 6400 и 12800 также дадут приемлемую картинку.

1/30, f/8, ISO 3200, 70 mm Кроп 100%

А ниже прекрасный пример работы стабилизатора в объективе 18–105mm f/4, который позволил снять на длинном фокусе резкий кадр с выдержкой 1/20 секунды.

1/20, f/4, ISO 12800, 105 mm Кроп 100%

При ISO 51200 появляются заметные искажения цвета (как на примере ниже).

1/250, f/8, ISO 25600 1/500, f/8, ISO 51200

Но это можно простить, ведь с таким ISO можно снять четкое фото с рук в ситуации, когда и глаза уже ничего не видят. На фото ниже я стоял на аллее парка, освещение за пределами и у меня за спиной. И вуаля.

1/25, f/4, ISO 51200, 16 mm Кроп 100%

Авто ISO

В a6000 вы могли только указать диапазон ISO, в котором можно работать.

В модели a6300 режим «Авто ISO» стал очень гибким. Вы можете указать минимальную выдержку, дальше которой уже нельзя опускаться, либо выбрать один из 5 автоматических режимов: «Длинная», «Медленная», «Стандартная», «Быстрая», «Короткая».

Каждый из режимов подбирает выдержку под конкретное фокусное расстояние.

Например, при фокусном расстоянии 16 мм в режимах «Короткая», «Стандартная» и «Длинная» выдержка будет 1/250, 1/60 и 1/15 соответственно.

Кстати, установку порогового значения ISO можно вынести на горячую клавишу для быстрого доступа.

Авто ISO доступен в различных режимах съёмки, включая ручной режим M, что тоже бывает полезно!

Процессор

Многие беззеркалки других производителей грешат медленной работой. В Sony a6300 все вычислительные нагрузки ложатся на процессор Bionz X, который обеспечивает безукоризненно быструю работу камеры в любых режимах.

Кстати говоря, для понимания потенциала вычислительных возможностей камеры: a6300 снимает видео в разрешении 6K и сжимает его до 4K в реальном времени. Но об этом ниже.

За время съёмки ни разу не было мысли, что камера тупит, и это дорогого стоит.

Автофокус

Камера a6300 оснащена системой «4D фокус», в которой используется 425 точек фазовой АФ — это мировой рекорд.

Но это только верхушка айсберга. Дело в том, что на самом деле автофокус состоит из более чем 2000 точек, распределенных по всей поверхности сенсора. Выбрав область кадра, камера одновременно задействует 425 точек этой области, что позволяет точно следить за любым объектом.

Съёмка портрета в полный рост с фокусировкой на лице с таким покрытием не вызывает проблем.

1/500, f/2, ISO 100, 50 mm

Кстати, можете забыть свои дореволюционные привычки с точкой фокусировки — камера позволяет выбрать только зону фокусировки, остальное электроника делает сама. И это не странность инженеров, а незаметно наступающее будущее. Это новаторская идеология компании Sony в области автофокуса!

В процессе съёмки теста камера следила за лицом модели и фокусировалась исключительно на глаза.

1/125, f/2,5, ISO 100, 50 mm 1/125, f/2,5, ISO 100, 50 mm

А в этом случае камера фокусировалась на башни собора.

1/25, f/5,6, ISO 1000, 16 mm Кроп 100%

Сначала это кажется странным, но спустя некоторое время кажется странным выбирать конкретную точку для фокусировки, ведь камера успешно делает это сама. И делает быстро. Это ещё один мировой рекорд — скорость автофокуса 0,05 секунды. Даже зеркалка вашей мечты не сможет похвастаться подобными характеристиками!

Видеосъёмка

Sony a6300 — это инструмент профессионала, и видеосъёмка здесь стоит на одном уровне с фотосъёмкой.

Эта камера создана для видеографа. Причем из коробки, без всяких там взломов прошивок, ну вы понимаете, о чем речь.

Камера поддерживает съёмку 4K-видео с размером 3840×2160 пикселей и битрейтом до 100 Мбит/с.

Диапазон выдержек при съёмке видео 1/4–1/4000 секунды.

И небольшой пример, как это можно использовать на практике. Смена выдержки от 1/4 до 1/800 секунды.

Интересный факт. На самом деле камера снимает видео, используя всю матрицу без объединения пикселей, и получает видео размером 6000×3376 пикселей, то есть по сути с разрешением 6K. Это изображение сжимается до 4K в реальном времени, что дает максимально качественную картинку.

Про такие вещи, как предустановка профилей изображения съёмки, зебра и прочие важные и очевидные функции, мы не будем говорить, они были в a6000 и остались здесь.

Фокусировка в режиме видеосъёмки имеет массу настроек. Вы можете регулировать скорость изменения фокусировки и её чувствительность. Камера не просто определяет лица с улыбкой и фокусируется по ним, в крупных портретах она находит глаза и наводит фокус по глазам!

Хотите ещё круче? Вы можете зарегистрировать лица в меню и указать приоритетное лицо для фокусировки. Таким образом, камера не перефокусируется на пьяного родственника, пока жених и невеста присутствуют в кадре.

Среди профессиональных функций в камере доступны профили S-Gamut/S-Log, расширяющие динамический диапазон для удобства последующей цветокоррекции. Например, выбор профиля S-Log3 дает широту экспозиции в 14 шагов. Эта опция пришла из профессиональных видеокамер.

Без применения профилей видео выглядит очень приятно. Насыщенное и вмеру контрастное:

А вот с профилем PP9 получается настоящий HDR. Это сырой формат видео с которым нужно обработать.

Кстати, камера способна снимать ролики Full HD с частотой 120 кадров в секунду.

Максимальная длительность съёмки — 30 минут. И за это время камера заметно нагревается, за монитором даже есть надпись, что нагрев в этой области — это нормально.

Но вот ложка дегтя в том, что камера может отключиться от перегрева во время работы. Риск особенно велик при работе с подключенным внешним аккумулятором через USB.

Уже спустя 18 минут съёмки в 4K с битрейтом 100 Мб/с мы получили значок, уведомляющий о нагреве камеры. Она ещё не отключилась, но уже уведомляла. Через 20 минут появилось сообщение «Камера перегрелась. Позвольте камере остыть», она и выключилась. Благо, файл с видео не пострадал.

Мы повторили эксперимент с питанием через USB от розетки. Предупреждение появилось через 40 минут (то есть на 10-й минуте второго видео).

Батарея

В a6300 используется батарея NP-FW50 — такая же, как в a6000 и полнокадровой Sony a7II и других её модификациях. Правда, в новой камере энергопотребление стало чуть лучше.

Ресурс батареи a6300 составляет 400 кадров на одной зарядке с использованием экрана и около 350 кадров с видоискателем (360 и 310 кадров соответственно для a6000).

Хотя при съёмке Timelapse камера делала 2100 кадров на одной зарядке с приглушенным экраном.

Но самое приятное — это зарядка от USB. При подключении питания камера берет энергию от внешнего источника, после его отключения она переходит на питание от батареи.

Это означает, что, используя powerbank, вы можете снимать бесконечно длинные фотосюжеты, не меняя аккумулятор на камере. Особенно это актуально при съёмке timelapse-сюжетов.

Wi-Fi и NFC

Wi-Fi открывает для a6300 огромные возможности. И в первую очередь это возможность подключаться к интернету и скачивать приложения. Прямо как на смартфон. Мультиэкспозиция, гибкая интервальная съёмка, коррекция искажений оптики, звёздный след на небе и многие другие возможности вы можете получить с помощью приложений.

Часть приложений бесплатные, часть платные. Многие комментаторы говорят, что эти функции могли быть добавлены в камеру производителем. Но с другой стороны, 200-400 рублей это не большие деньги, но за это вы получаете приложение которое живёт и обновляется, а вот прошивки камер это штука достаточно консервативная.

Каждое приложение вы можете установить на все свои камеры (если их у вас не больше 5).

Камера a6300 может передавать данные по Wi-Fi на любые совместимые устройства.

Через Wi-Fi вы можете подключиться к камере с помощью родного приложения Sony, которое позволяет управлять камерой удаленно. Помимо настроек экспозиции, баланса белого и прочих нюансов, приложение поддерживает фокусировку через нажатие на необходимый объект. При использовании объектива с моторизованным зумом вы сможете управлять зумом через приложение.

Помимо этого, можно подключаться к камере через NFC. Это идеальный способ передать файлы на совместимое устройство. Достаточно поднести смартфон — и вуаля — фото уже начинают падать туда.

Для упрощения подключения к камере (и для счастливых обладателей гаджетов с надкушенным яблоком, у которых нет возможности работать через NFC) a6300 выдает QR-код, по которому программка удаленного доступа автоматически настраивает смартфон для работы.

Аксессуары

Когда покупаешь камеру, а тем более задумываешься о смене системы, хочется иметь максимально широкий выбор аксессуаров.

Sony — один из немногих производителей, который имеет в своей линейке объективы для видеосъёмки. Вот пример использования объектива Sony 18-105 f/4 G. Смотрите, как плавно меняется диафрагма от f/4 до f/22 и как работает стабилизатор, который даже смягчает резкое изменение зума.

Помимо огромной линейки оптики Sony, вы можете использовать фирменные адаптеры Sony под оптику с байонетом A. И на рынке существует еще масса адаптеров под самые разные байонеты.

Кстати, помимо оптики, компания Sony предлагает широкий выбор внешних микрофонов — от самых простеньких до беспроводных и профессиональных.

Нам удалось поработать с беспроводным Bluetooth-микрофоном. Приёмник устанавливается в горячий башмак, через него (башмак) идут питание и сигнал, а сам передатчик с микрофоном (в него можно подключить и внешний микрофон) крепится к одежде или ставится рядом со спикером.

Выводы

Плюсы

  • Одна из лучших в классе APS-C картинка на высоких ISO
  • Очень «жирные» RAW для последующей обработки
  • Прекрасный автофокус
  • Высокое качество видео
  • Большая функциональность для съёмки видео
  • Зарядка и питание от USB
  • Поддержка автофокуса для сторонней оптики АФ

Минусы

  • Отсутствует разъем для наушников
  • Слишком запутанное меню
  • Отсутствует обработка RAW в камере
  • Перегрев и отключение камеры во время длительной видеосъёмки в режиме 4K

Субъективное мнение

Sony a6300 — это топовая беззеркалка компании с APS-C-матрицей.

Sony a6300 — это камера, которая сочетает в себе профессиональные возможности, компактность и лёгкость, которых так не хватает настоящим путешественникам. И камера действительно доставляет удовольствие во время работы.

Да, были и тёмные стороны — непонятки с регистрацией в PlayMemoriesCameraApps.com, которая отвергала мою кредитку, потому что я не ввел в анкете имя, совпадающее с именем на карте, проблемы с меню, в котором некоторые функции невозможно найти даже методом тыка, а если и находишь, то все равно приходилось лезть в инструкцию, чтобы понять, что и как работает. И в финале удивление от того, что в камере отсутствует съёмка с интервалом и её нужно устанавливать отдельным приложением. Ну и проблемы с перегревом камеры тоже смущают. Снять интервью с важным человеком будет проблематично.

Но всё равно камера мне понравилась настолько, что я начал всерьёз размышлять о смене зеркальной системы на a6300. И если в случае с NEX-7 это была лишь камера для дома и семьи, то a6000 и a6300 покрывают все рабочие потребности.

Спасибо японским разработчикам. Аригато годзаимас!

fototips.ru

Автофокус как автопилот. Обзор камеры Sony a6300

Фото, видео и аудиоСамая популярная камера Sony с APS-C матрицей получила очередное обновление. Дизайн практически не изменился, разрешение матрицы осталось прежним, а автофокус прокачан так, что конкурентам остается молча завидовать.

Alpha a6000, вышедшая весной 2014 года стала самой массовой камерой Sony за последние годы. По данным на начало 2016 году, одна эта модель имеет почти 10 процентов российского рынка беззеркалок. Она по-прежнему широко доступна в продаже и в новых экономических реалиях выглядит даже привлекательнее, чем раньше. Однако Россией единой сыт не будешь, да и конкуренты не отстают – и вот, ровно через два года Sony выпускает обновленную версию – a6300. Конечно, она стоит дороже, но если в мире разница между старым APS-C-флагманом и новым не превышает 350 долларов, то в России новинка дороже в два раза с небольшим.

Наверное, мы еще долго будем привыкать к новым ценам, но если абстрагироваться от этого и посмотреть на а6300 без учета курса рубля, то окажется, что Sony очень четко выделила элементы для апгрейда.

Сохранив дизайн в неизменном виде и не увеличивая разрешение сенсора, компания серьезно поработала над автофокусом и прокачала функции видеозаписи

Так что теперь это не просто крутой аппарат для продвинутых любителей, но и вполне себе серьезный инструмент для профессиональной репортажной съемки.

 Sony A6300Sony A6000
Классбеззеркальная камера со сменной оптикойбеззеркальная камера со сменной оптикой
Сенсор24 Мп, CMOS, APS-C (23,5х15,6 мм)24 Мп, CMOS, APS-C (23,5х15,6 мм)
БайонетSony ESony E
Формат фотоRAW, JPEG (6000x4000)RAW, JPEG (6000x4000)
Формат видеоMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S, H.264 4K ([email protected]/24p) Full HD ([email protected]/60/30p) HD ([email protected]/25p)MPEG-4, AVCHD ([email protected]/30p) HD ([email protected]/25p)
Диапазон чувствительностиISO 100–25600 (расширение до ISO 51200)ISO 100–25600 (расширение до ISO 51200)
Диапазон выдержек1/4000 – 30 с1/4000 – 30 с
Серийная съемка11 кадров/с11 кадров/с
Экран3’’, 921 000 точек, наклонная конструкция3’’, 921 000 точек, наклонная конструкция
Видоискательэлектронный, 2,36 млн. точек, 100% покрытие поле кадра, увеличение 0,7хэлектронный, 1,44 млн. точек, 100% покрытие поле кадра, увеличение 0,7х
Стабилизациятолько оптическая, в зависимости от оптикитолько оптическая, в зависимости от оптики
Памятькарты SD/SDCH/SDXC и Memory Stick Pro Duoкарты SD/SDCH/SDXC и Memory Stick Pro Duo
Встроенная вспышкаесть, ведущее число 6 м при ISO 100есть, ведущее число 6 м при ISO 100
Wi-Fiвстроенный модуль + NFCвстроенный модуль + NFC
АккумуляторNP-FW50, 1020 мАчNP-FW50, 1020 мАч
Размеры120х67х49 мм120х67х45 мм
Вес404 г344 г
Ценаот 99 990 рублейот 49 990 рублей

Внешность линейки обходится без радикальных изменений со времен NEX-6, а именно от этой камеры берет начало вся шеститысячная серия. На первый взгляд a6300 вообще ничем не отличается от a6000 – примерно те же размеры, те же кнопочки на прежних местах, те же дисковые селекторы. Но если взять камеру в руки, можно заметить, что она стала более плотной и увесистой – в ее конструкции стало меньше пластика и больше металла. Отдельно был усилен байонет. Поскольку оптика для APS-C-матрицы (в отличии от какого-нибудь Micro Four Thirds) довольно крупная и тяжелая, байонет был потенциально самым слабым местом. Так что в Sony дополнительно подстраховались.

Клавиши на корпусе хоть и остались на своих местах, но стали меньше в размерах. Кнопка AEL теперь отвечает еще и за переключения способа фокусировки (AF/MF), причем для выбора функции служит рычажок. Не самое изящное решение, но к нему быстро привыкаешь.

На верхней панели не произошло никаких изменений: органы управления не только остались на своих местах, но и ничуть не изменились внешне. Можно заметить только отличный набор режимов на главном селекторе – вместо двух автоматических режимов остался один, который так и называется — Auto. Плюс появилось два пункта, для которых все параметры съемки можно задать самостоятельно – здесь камеру стоит сравнивать скорее с линейкой фуллфреймов А7, нежели с предшествующей a6000.

Кстати, в обзорах A7 я неоднократно отмечал, что кнопке спуска не хватает жесткости с промежуточном положении. Вряд ли это можно считать серьезным промахом, но, похоже, так думал не только я – в a6300 этот недостаток устранили. Главная клавиша имеет чуть меньший ход до положения фокусировки и требует большего усилия для спуска.

Разъемы на левом боку Sony a6300

Если закрасить числовой индекс модели на корпусе, то отличить a6000 от a6300 на глаз будет невозможно

Но стоит ли расстраиваться из-за этого? На мой взгляд, у камеры полный порядок с эргономикой, и в более радикальных новшествах просто не было необходимости. Вон Apple уже который год подряд выпускает MacBook Pro и Air в неизменном корпусе, и никто не жалуется. То же самое, в принципе, можно сказать и о зеркалках Nikon или Canon.

Дисплей не претерпел никаких изменений со времен a6000. Здесь у нас по-прежнему стоит широкоформатная трехдюймовая матрица с разрешением 921 000 точек и наклонной конструкцией. Не могу сказать, что экран плох, но чисто с технической точки зрения он уступает многим конкурентам. И даже некоторых камерам в бюджетном сегменте.

Ладно, оставим в покое разрешение и наклонную (не шарнирную!) конструкцию, но почему дисплей до сих пор не сенсорный? Даже со столь совершенным автофокусом иногда откровенно не хватает возможности выбора точки касанием. Да и листать изображения в режиме просмотра было бы удобнее.

Электронный видоискатель расположен на привычном месте и выглядит в точности, как его аналог в Sony a6000.

Разрешение видоискателя почти вдвое выше, чем прежде, но на удобстве съемки это практически не сказывается

Думаю, что больше пользы принесла бы наклонная конструкция видоискателя, как у Panasonic Lumix GX8. Ну, а в идеальном случае такой видоискатель должен дополнять еще и свободно вращающийся экран.

На официальном сайте Sony новинка «прячется» в разделе камер для продвинутых любителей, но одна только система автофокуса не позволяет мне с этим согласиться. В a6000 гибридная фокусировка работала очень круто. Но там было лишь 179 точек, а здесь их аж 425. Причем расположены они по всей площади матрицы. При съемке статичных сцен с ручным выбором области фокусировки все это не имеет большого значения, но когда вы переключаетесь в следящий режим для съемки движущихся объектов, камера проявляет себя во всей красе.

Sony заявляет порядка 0,03 секунды для наведения на резкость и в скобках говорит, что цифра справедлива только при использовании китового объектива. Уверен, продвинутые любители сразу забросят его на полку, а то и вовсе купят камеру без объектива в комплекте. Да и потом, все это чистый маркетинг. Думаете, что вы сможете заметить разницу в сотую долю секунды на глаз? Да никогда в жизни.

Скорость серийной съемки в обычном режиме составляет всего 8 кадров в секунду. Не скажу, что это мало, но в технических характеристиках заявлено аж 11 fps. Как же так? Оказывается, 11 кадров в секунду можно получить только с зафиксированным по первому кадру автофокусом и заблокированной автоэкспозицией.

Но, надо признать, следящая фокусировка работает безупречно. Камера одинаково хорошо держит как горизонтально движущиеся объекты, так приближающиеся и отдаляющиеся. Правда, если снимать американский футбол, то автоматика прекрасно «следит» за игроками, но в упор не желает видеть мяч и отслеживать его перемещение по полю.

Да, Sony утверждает, что в a6300 стоит новый сенсор, не такой, как в а6000, он имеет традиционную структуру (без обратной подсветки), но более тонкий профиль. Однако сам характер картинки позволяет говорить скорее о доработанной версии сенсора камеры 2014 года. Даже характер шума на высокой чувствительности очень схож. Но об этом позже.

Чувствительность формально осталась прежней. ISO можно задавать в пределах от 100 до 51200 единиц. Но если раньше максимум можно было выставить только при использовании мультикадрового шумоподавления (Multi-Frame Noise Reduction), то теперь можно обойтись без этих фокусов.

Встроенного стабилизатора в a6300 так и не появилось. На беззеркалках с APS-C-матрицами картинка стабилизируется только оптически, при наличии функции в объективе. В то время как механический способ стабилизации остается прерогативой полнокадровых камер семейства Alpha A7. Можно добавить, что многие объективы Sony с байнетом E по умолчанию оснащены стабилизаторами. Даже китовый 16-50 F3.5-5.6 может похвастаться маркировкой Optical SteadyShot. Но новые «семерки» позволяют одновременно задействовать сразу два способа стабилизации.

Встроенная вспышка все чаще оказывается за бортом. Постоянно растущая чувствительность сенсоров избавляет от необходимости снимать со вспышкой, а для креативного освещения можно задействовать внешнюю вспышку или воспользоваться студийным оборудованием. Встроенная вспышка как раз может пригодится для простой синхронизации с моноблоками – можно не использовать радиосинхронизатор.

Ну, а про встроенный Wi-Fi-модуль, надеюсь, ничего говорить не нужно. Камера идентична позапрошлогодней а6000. Можно копировать фотографии без проводов, можно использовать смартфон в роли пульта ДУ, но на практике копирование материала осуществляется с помощью карт-ридера. Беспроводной же модуль может пригодиться, когда хочется оперативно выложить в Сеть только что сделанную фотографию.

Отдельно стоит сказать о возможностях видеозаписи. Во-первых, a6300 умеет снимать видео в 4К-разрешении, а именно – 3840x2160 при полных 30 кадрах в секунду. Sony очень активно продвигает UHD в массы, но, на мой взгляд, гораздо более востребованной станет функция съемки Full HD-видео с частотой 120 кадров в секунду. При последующем воспроизведении с нормальной скоростью получится четырехкратное замедление, и это уже открывает широкие возможности для творчества.

Несмотря на то, что ни прироста разрешения, ни повышения верхней планки чувствительности не случилось, Sony a6300 демонстрирует лучшие результаты, чем a6000. Напомню, что во время тестовой съемки используется один источник света (лампа накаливания на 30 Вт), а шумоподавление полностью отключается либо используется на минимуме при невозможности отключения. 

На всех значениях вплоть до ISO 6400 полный порядок. Цветопередача правильная, шума практически нет.

Впрочем, его совсем не много и на ISO 12800, но здесь уже заметно искажение цветов и сужение динамического диапазона. Это значение еще можно считать рабочим, ну а на 25600 и 51200 появляется довольно много артефактов. Впрочем, даже двукратное уменьшение размеров картинки (до 3000х2000) дает видимое улучшение качества. А при съемке в RAW шум можно вполне успешно устранить в Lightroom или Photoshop.

А вот примеры съемки в повседневных ситуациях я оставлю без комментариев. Условия съемки почти везде были благоприятными, так что придраться здесь можно скорее к композиции или стилю автора, нежели к качеству самой картинки.

Пример видеозаписи в Full HD 

Качество съемки видео просто запредельное, но в то же время некоторые вещи в эргономике камеры выглядят недостаточно продуманными. Например, у нее есть разъем для микрофона, но наушник подключить будет некуда. Для серьезной съемки понадобиться внешний рекордер, который во-первых, стоит денег, а во-вторых банально неудобен при использовании в продвинуто-любительских целях. Еще один неочевидный момент: в процессе записи видео автофокус работает не в полную силу – очень похоже на то, что работает он исключительно в контрастном режиме.

Но закончить этот разговор стоит на позитивной ноте: время автономной работы а6300 возросло по сравнению с а6000. Но не скажу, что сильно – на 10-15%, если мерить по методике CIPA. Если же говорить о реальном положении вещей, то это около 500 кадров без использования Wi-Fi и электронного видоискателя. Заряжать батарею по-прежнему можно по USB, а вот отдельного адаптера для зарядки батареи вне корпуса камеры в комплекте больше нет. Так что при необходимости этот аксессуар можно купить отдельно. 

В числе системных камер с APS-С-матрицами немало достойных моделей. Samsung NX500 не слишком похожа на Sony a6300 внешне, но с функциональной точки зрения эти устройства очень близки. Корейская модель может похвастаться большим разрешением сенсора (если, конечно, для кого-нибудь это еще важно), более тонким и легким корпусом, а также очень привлекательной ценой.

Новинка Sony выигрывает за счет автофокуса, более высокого качества съемки на высоких ISO. Но есть и не столь очевидное преимущество: Sony продолжает активно развивать свои камеры, в то время как Samsung с этим завязывает. Уже сейчас NX500 крайне сложно найти в продаже, а новая оптика и аксессуары для системы NX больше выпускаться не будут. Скорее всего.

Читайте также : Мегапиксельная гонка продолжается. Обзор камеры Samsung NX500

Выбор между Sony a6300 и Fujifilm X-Pro2 может оказаться невероятно сложным. По соотношению цены и качества a6300 выигрывает. Но если принимать во внимание не только качество картинки и видео, но еще и ощущения от работы, то здесь перевес за Fuji. 

X-Pro2 приятнее в работе, в ней чувствуется индивидуальность, ее приятно держать в руках и совершенно не хочется прятать в сумку в перерывах между съемками. После этого a6300 кажется совершенно безликой.

Читайте также : Старый знакомый в новом образе. Обзор камеры Fujifilm X-Pro2

Надо признать, что в Sony очень грамотно определили элементы, требующие доработки. В свое время Alpha а6000 стала такой популярной благодаря идеальному балансу цены, производительности и эргономики. Новая модель добавляет к этому лучший в классе автофокус и мощнейшие возможности по съемке видео. Я бы сказал, что a6300 – это «вариант по умолчанию» в категории до 100 тысяч рублей. Она удовлетворит потребности подавляющего большинства фотолюбителей и даже некоторых профессионалов. Более того, отлично будет смотреться в роли вспомогательного устройства для тех, кто снимает топовой зеркалкой или среднеформатной камерой.

При всем этом старую модель рано отправлять на свалку истории. Я бы сказал, что «шеститысячная» сейчас будет лучшим антикризисным предложением для тех, кому нужна камера со сменной оптикой.

Sony A6300
Достоинства:Недостатки:
быстрый и четкий автофокус в режиме фотоотсуствие сенсорого экрана
чистая картинка на высоких ISOмедленный автофокус при съемке видео
широкие возможности видеозаписицена в России
 
 
быстрый и четкий автофокус в режиме фото
чистая картинка на высоких ISO
широкие возможности видеозаписи
 
 

www.ferra.ru

Sony a6300: Digital Photography Review

Announced Feb 3, 2016

Discuss in the Sony Alpha / NEX E-mount (APS-C) Talk forum

Manufacturer description: The Sony α6300 is equipped with a newly developed 24.2MP (approx.. effective) 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. It can also shoot and record high resolution 4K video with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in the popular Super 35mm format. The camera boasts a '4D FOCUS' system with 425 phase detection AF points that are densely positioned over the entire image area, and can shoot images at up to 11 frames per second with continuous autofocus and exposure tracking.

The body is made of a magnesium-alloy and is sealed against dust and moisture. As with most Sony cameras these days, the a6300 has onboard Wi-Fi with NFC.

2017 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $900-1200

Roundup, Jun 2, 2017

Review, Apr 6, 2016

Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
ISO Auto, 100-25600, expandable to 51200
Lens mount Sony E
Focal length mult. 1.5×
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 921,600
Max shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S, H.264
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Weight (inc. batteries) 404 g (0.89 lb / 14.25 oz)
Dimensions 120 x 67 x 49 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 1.93″)
GPS None

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Sony Alpha A6300 review -

The Sony Alpha A6300 is a mid-range mirrorless camera with a 24 Megapixel APSC sensor, 4k video and a powerful AF system that’s ideal for capturing action. Announced in February 2016 it comes two years after the best-selling Alpha A6000 and becomes Sony’s top-of-the-range APSC mirrorless camera. Note Sony skipped the model numbers in-between, so the A6300 is the successor to the A6000.

Externally the new A6300 looks a great deal like the A6000 before it. Both share essentially the same bodies and virtually identical control layouts. As such you get a flat-topped body with a built-in viewfinder, popup flash and hotshoe, a tilting screen, two control dials and nine custom buttons. The only physical differences are improved dust and moisture resistance, the addition of a microphone input and a lever which switches the AE lock to focus lock.

Internally, the viewfinder enjoys an upgrade from 1.4 million dot / SVGA / 800×600 to 2.4 million dot / XGA / 1024×768 resolution, but Sony’s resisted fitting touch-capabilities to the screen. The sensor remains 24 Megapixels but now boasts 425 embedded phase-detect AF points which cover virtually the entire frame, a denser array than the 179 points of the A6000. The maximum burst speed remains 11fps, but a new 8fps option provides live feedback and minimal blackout for a DSLR-like experience. Completing the specification is 4k video up to 30p and 1080 video up to 120p with optional Picture Profiles for subsequent grading. In this review I’ll take an in-depth look at the A6300 and in particular how its new autofocus and movie capabilities compare to its predecessor and the competition. Following my review I also took the A6300 to the 2016 Tour de France and you can find out how it performed in my Shooting the Tour de France 2016 article!

sony_a6300_hero3_3000

Sony A6300 video review

Before kicking-off with my in-depth review, I’d like to start by discussing my general shooting experience with the A6300 in a video interview with Doug Kaye for All About the Gear; if you enjoy this format, check out our regular podcasts about a different new camera every episode – and don’t forget if you enjoy my work, you can support me by buying me a coffee, cheers! After the video, scroll down for my in-depth review.

Sony A6300 design and controls

Externally the Sony A6300 is almost indistinguishable from its predecessor, the A6000. So it shares the same compact, flat-topped body shape, the same grip and the same controls. There are a couple of physical differences though, one of them very important: thanks to updated joins in the body, the A6300 now enjoys sealing against dust and moisture, a significant upgrade over the A6000. I didn’t get a chance to use the A6300 in inclement weather, but I did shoot close to the sea and watersports where spray was abundant without issue. Sony describes it as now enjoying similar sealing to the A7 series.

Ergonomically though the A6300 is unchanged from the A6000 and feels the same in your hands. The grip is a decent size for the body and it’s easy to hold it comfortably and securely. For the record, the body measures 120x70x49mm and weighs 404g with battery, making it shorter than most cameras which feature a built-in viewfinder, although like its predecessor this has necessitated the use of a shorter 16:9-shaped screen, more of which later.

sony_a6300_hero2_3000

The A6300’s controls are identical to the A6000 other than an update of the AE lock button which, like the A7 series, now features a collar switch to choose whether the button locks the exposure or the focus. Looking really closely the mode dial now has a finer texture around it, and if you peer behind the port flap you’ll now find a socket for an external microphone, again more of which later, but really those are the only differences. Sony says the shutter release is different, but even with both models side by side I couldn’t tell any difference.

As such the A6300 inherits the twin control dials of the A6000, both operated by thumb: one in the upper right corner and the other a flat wheel on the rear which also tilts to provide four-way navigation. Controls are always a personal thing, but I was never a fan of those on the A6000, which means my opinion remains unchanged here. In my view the A6300 really needs an additional front-mounted dial that’s operated by your index finger, like the A7 series, but I’d go a step further and say these control dials need to be larger with chunkier and more tactile clicks as they turn. Companies like Olympus, Canon and Nikon do this best in my opinion and adopting a similar approach would transform the day-to-day operation of the A6300.

sony_a6300_rear2_3000

My other major complaint of the A6000 is also inherited here: the A6300 uses the same 16:9 shaped 3in screen which is not touch-sensitive and only tilts vertically. I have several issues with this. First it’s not touch-sensitive which means repositioning an AF area for stills or pulling focus in movies is unnecessarily long-winded with multiple button-presses; having a touch panel or even an AF joystick would solve this.

Secondly the 16:9 shape, employed to accommodate the viewfinder above it on the short flat-topped body, may be great when shooting widescreen movies, but displays narrower 3:2 shaped photos with black bars running down the left and right sides, resulting in a noticeably smaller image than the competition.

Third, by only tilting up by 90 degrees and down by about 45, the A6300’s screen articulation won’t help you compose in the portrait orientation at high or low angles, nor will it turn to face the subject for selfies or filming pieces to camera. So immediately the A6300 is ruled-out for vloggers, which is a criminal shame since the movie quality and AF system works so well.

Fourth, the screen brightness is dim by default and like the A6000 I had to select the Sunny Weather option immediately for use outdoors which consumes the battery more quickly. Annoyingly though this option becomes unavailable when shooting 4k video, presumably to avoid over-heating, but this in turn means filming 4k with the screen becomes hard outdoors as you can barely see the image.

I’ve spoken to Sony about my concerns on several occasions and understand there’s some cultural resistance to touchscreens and full articulation with a perception in some markets that they’re not professional. In my experience, those who don’t like touchscreens on cameras generally haven’t used them. Those who have used them rarely want to go back to a camera without, and besides, you can always turn off the feature if you hate it. And in terms of being professional, both Canon and Nikon’s flagship professional DSLRs now feature touch-screens. The fact is, I don’t think the availability of touch controls and full articulation would put anyone off buying a camera, but not having them would certainly eliminate it for some photographers.

sony_a6300_rear1_3000

As someone who often repositions the AF area, shoots in the portrait orientation and films pieces to camera, I simply find the day-to-day operation and composition on models like the Lumix G7 and OMD EM5 Mark II far superior to the A6300. Again I know there’ll be those who disagree, but for me the limitations of the screen on the A6300 are its biggest failings, and coupled with the same control dials as before represent a missed opportunity to take on and beat rival models.

Moving onto the viewfinder I am at least pleased to report Sony has swapped the SVGA / 800×600 panel of the A6000 for an XGA / 1024×768 panel on the A6300 and as an OLED, the image is bright, colourful and steady. When shooting side-by-side with the A6000, the difference is noticeable with details that were previously fuzzy or shimmering with moire now resolved clearly on the new model. This really helps with the illusion you’re looking at a real and not an electronic view, and I should add that menu text and overlays look smoother too.

This is good news and an important upgrade, but it’s equally important to remember Sony is playing catchup here as most rivals have sported XGA viewfinders for some time; and lest we forget, the NEX-7 prior to the A6000 also had one, so Sony’s really only correcting a naughty omission on the A6000 and bringing it back in line with the competition rather than taking a lead.

At this point I should mention the presence of a dual-axis leveling gauge on the A6300, another welcome upgrade over the A6000, but again something that’s available on most of the competition not to mention the earlier NEX-7.

It’s a similar story on the ports. As before there’s a Micro USB for output and charging and a Type-D Micro HDMI port, but they’re now joined by a 3.5mm microphone input. Hurrah! Another important upgrade over the A6000, but again one that was present on the earlier NEX-7 along with most rival cameras at this price point. So several of the upgrades on the A6300 – the viewfinder panel, dual-axis gauge and mic input – are simply reinstating what should never have been removed on the A6000. It’s a shame Sony didn’t take the opportunity to also squeeze a headphone jack in there which could have better differentiated it from most of its rivals. As before the A6300 is equipped with Wifi and NFC and I’ll detail these wireless capabilities later.

The A6300 is powered by the same NP-FW50 Lithium Ion pack that’s common across the Alpha mirrorless series. Sony quotes it being good for around 350 shots with the viewfinder or 400 with the screen under CIPA conditions, but remember if you’re brightening the screen for use outdoors, filming video or exploiting Wifi, you should expect it to deplete more quickly. That said, I managed to record an hour’s worth of 4k video on a full charge.

Like other Sony cameras, the A6300 charges its battery internally over USB, and like recent models you can also power the camera over USB too while shooting which is great when doing an extended timelapse or lots of filming. I know some photographers prefer external AC chargers, but I love internal USB charging as you can top-up anywhere you can find a USB port – such as a laptop, portable battery, a vehicle port, or any number of AC-USB adapters which may be around. No need to carry around a proprietary external charger with you nor find an AC outlet to plug it in. I frequently top-up my Sony cameras between shooting locations by simply connecting them to a portable battery in my bag or a USB port in my car – once you’ve worked like this, you don’t want to be tied to AC.

Finally, like its predecessor, the A6300 features a small popup flash (Guide Number 6 at 100 ISO) along with a hotshoe supplemented by electronic contacts to support Sony’s Multi Interface Shoe accessories – these include an adapter for XLR microphones.

Sony A6300 lenses

The Sony A6300 is equipped with an E-mount which, with the camera’s APSC sized sensor, applies a 1.5x field reduction to all lenses. At the time of writing Sony offered 15 native E-mount lenses (nine zooms and six primes) with focal lengths between 10 and 210mm (15 and 315mm equivalent); note three of the 15 lenses are variations of the popular 18-200mm range though. In addition you can mount any of the growing number of full-frame FE lenses without an adapter, although again with the 1.5x crop factor.

Eagle-eyed Sony followers will note the number of E-mount lenses designed exclusively for the APSC format has not changed since the launch of the A6000 two years ago. The company has instead concentrated on releasing lenses for its full-frame FE mount, which again are compatible with the cropped models, albeit with the 1.5x field-reduction mentioned earlier.

On the surface this seems a sensible strategy since the original 15 E-mount lenses cover most bases, while the newer FE lenses are compatible, high quality and provide an upgrade path to full-frame if desired. The only problem for me lies with the general-purpose E-mount zooms that take you from wide to short telephoto. The 16-50mm Power Zoom, typically bundled with most of Sony’s APSC bodies, was designed for compact size over quality and becomes quite soft and distorted at the wide-end. The more expensive Zeiss 16-70mm f4 should present a premium alternative, but again disappoints at the wide-end for the asking price.

If Sony is pitching the A6300 as a high-end APSC camera, I think it needs an equally high-end general-purpose zoom to go with it. Perhaps a new 16-50mm with a weather-sealed body and constant f2.8 aperture, or a Mark II version of the 16-70mm f4 which performs as well as you’d hope it would. As it stands though, there’s no premium general-purpose zoom for the A6300 that really does the camera justice. Instead for the best quality you’ll be coupling it with other options, such as the 10-18mm f4 OSS to cover the wide range, and either a selection of primes or one of the full-frame zooms for longer reach. As an existing owner of the A6000, I’m always happy when shooting sports and action with the excellent FE 70-200mm f4, but feel compromised when I fit the 16-50mm Power Zoom for general-purpose use.

I should also add since Sony built stabilisation into the Mark II A7 bodies, there was the hope it would also do so for an A6000 successor. But with the same body as the A6000, the A6300 misses out on such a feature, so to iron-out any wobbles, you’ll still need optically-stabilised lenses. At least there’s a good selection of optically stabilised native lenses though, including 35mm and 50mm primes.

Finally, the A6300 works well with many adapted lenses from other formats, particularly Canon’s recent EF lenses via the Metabones Smart Adapter IV. Sony’s own range of A-mount lenses also enjoy full support from the embedded phase-detect AF system via the simple LA-EA3 adapter.

Sony A6300 shooting modes

The Alpha A6300 mode dial offers the usual PASM modes, along with Auto, SCN, Sweep Panorama, Movie and two Memory Recall positions; the older A6000 had two Auto options and one Memory recall, although you can still access the two Auto modes on the A6300 via menus. You can start filming video in any relevant mode by simply pressing the red record button, but by first putting the camera into the Movie mode, it’ll preview the appropriate composition frame and offer access to the dedicated movie options.

Like the A6000 before it, the A6300 offers a mechanical shutter speed range between 1/4000 and 30 seconds with a Bulb option and a fastest flash sync of 1/160. New to the A6300 over its predecessor is a silent shutter option that employs a 100% electronic shutter for truly silent operation, albeit with the usual risk of rolling shutter artefacts. The fastest shutter speed in the silent mode remains 1/4000.

A top shutter speed of 1/4000 is a little disappointing for a camera pitched as a high-end model, especially since the AF system is so well-suited to sports and action photography. The Olympus OMD EM5 II has a top mechanical shutter of 1/8000 and most rival mirrorless cameras offer electronic shutters of 1/16000 or even higher. These are also useful when shooting in bright conditions with large aperture lenses, eliminating the need for ND filters.

Meanwhile, at the long exposure end, 30 seconds may be average, although I should note Panasonic and Olympus offer 60 second options on most of their models, while Olympus additionally offers a variety of long exposure capabilities which keep the shutter open for up to 30 minutes with a single press and even let you peek at the exposure as it builds and stop it early if necessary. On the upside the optional Touchless Shutter app for the A6300 (along with most app-enabled Sony cameras) exploits the viewfinder sensor to start and end Bulb exposures with a simple wave. Here’s a 30 second exposure with the A6300.

sonya6300_le_3000

In a welcome update over the A6000, the A6300 now lets you set a minimum shutter speed for Auto ISO. So you can choose when the ISO should start to increase.

Auto Exposure Bracketing is available on the A6300 for three or five frames at 0.3 to 3EV increments, or in an upgrade over the A6000 in nine frames at 0.3 to 1EV increments. You can set the drive mode to Single or Continuous for any of these bursts. White Balance, DRO and flash bracketing are also available.

The A6300’s Picture Effects are greyed-out if you’re shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG, which is daft as it’d be nice to only have the effect applied to a JPEG and keep a RAW as backup. Olympus does this much more sensibly with its ART filters, which are only applied to JPEG files, leaving the RAW file (if enabled) as a backup, and even lets you grab all (or a selected bunch) of the ART filters in one go with ART filter bracketing.

The D-R menu is where you’ll find the Dynamic Range Optimiser (DRO) and in-camera HDR options, the former available in Auto or set Levels of one to five, and the latter available as Auto or in increments of one to six EV. The HDR mode takes three images at the desired interval and combines them in-camera into a single JPEG file, and you can trigger it with a single shutter press or a self-timer. If you have RAW or RAW+JPEG selected, the HDR options are greyed-out.

The SCN mode on the dial lets you choose from nine presets, including the usual suspects like Portrait, Landscape and Sunset, but also including the composite Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur modes which take a burst and combine them to reduce shake and noise.

The Sweep Panorama mode enjoys its own dedicated position on the mode dial, and selecting it unlocks two options on the first menu page (although why Sony doesn’t let you set things in advance while you’re in other modes remains beyond me). Like previous Sony cameras you can choose between Standard and Wide for the size, and Right, Left, Up or Down for the direction. After that it’s just a case of holding the shutter release button down as you pan the camera in the selected direction, sometimes being told to do it again in case you were too slow or fast. Note unlike Sony’s fixed lens cameras, you can adjust the optical zoom on your lens before shooting a panorama, but be warned the camera becomes fussier about your technique as you zoom-into longer focal lengths. Here’s an example with the 16-70mm zoom at 16mm.

sonya6300_panorama_3000

Like other Sony cameras, the Sweep Panorama works fairly well and gives the A6300 a fun advantage over many rival system cameras. You often need to refine your technique and I’d recommend taking a couple at each attempt to make sure but it remains a fun and effective way of grabbing panoramic views.

Sony A6300 focus and continuous shooting

Sony’s A6300 boasts one of the most sophisticated autofocus systems of any camera, whether mirrorless or DSLR. It builds upon the already very capable A6000 to deliver the best continuous AF experience of any mirrorless camera and in many situations will out-perform DSLRs costing over twice as much. Coupled with fast continuous shooting and a new drive mode that minimizes viewfinder lag, it’s a dream for sports and action photography.

Like the A6000 before it, the A6300 employs a hybrid AF system featuring both contrast-based and phase-detect technologies, the latter embedding points across almost the entire surface of the sensor. Their respective coverage on the frame remains essentially the same as before, but with the A6300 Sony has significantly increased their densities. Where the older A6000 offered 25 contrast-detect areas and 179 embedded phase-detect points, the A6300 now boasts 169 contrast-detect areas and a whopping 425 phase-detect points.

The additional contrast-detect areas are concentrated in the middle of the frame within what were previously the nine central areas, but the phase-detect array is simply denser across the entire frame. In practice the A6300 typically uses a coarser array (similar in density to the A6000) to identify the subject before then surrounding it with a smaller frame containing the full density of AF points. Depending on the mode, this small but dense array of AF points then follows the subject around the frame like a swarm of tiny bees. It looks a lot like the A6000, but with much finer squares following the subject and a lot more of them.

Like the A6000 you can refine the AF coverage with Wide (which covers the entire frame), Zone (which reduces the area and lets you reposition it) and Flexible Spot (which lets positions a single area using the rocker wheel on the rear). To these the A6300 inherits the newer AF area options of the A7 series, including Expand Flexible Spot (which considers a small area around a single point) and Lock-on AF which tracks a subject based on its shape and colour. Lock-on AF is available with Wide, Zone, Center, Flexible Spot or Expand Flexible Spot. To kick-off you position the active AF area over the subject (or in the case of Wide and Zone, hope that it’s automatically identified), then simply keep the shutter half-pressed for the camera to subsequently track it.

If Face Detection is enabled, it over-rides any of the AF area modes and focuses on the nearest human face instead, wherever it is on the frame, and in AF-C mode it’ll do a good job at tracking kids running around.

Taking portraiture further, the A6300 also features Eye Detection which is now available with continuous AF. It works well, although inexplicably you still can’t deploy it automatically. Instead it’s assigned to a button which must be pressed after the face detection has already identified a person. The AF square around the face is then replaced by a tiny square over the identified eye and you can focus with that instead. That’s fine, but I’d much sooner just enable eye detection in a menu and have the camera do it automatically from then on without having to press additional buttons, as with most rival camera systems. I can’t think of a situation when I’d want face detection but not eye detection, and if I did, I could simply switch eye detection off.

As before you can set the camera to Single AF, Continuous AF or a choice of manual focus options. In Single AF, the A6300 employs the phase-detect AF to get close to the point of focus, then finishes the job with a contrast-based feedback loop – just like the A7r II and as such there’s a small amount of hunting at the end of the process but it all takes place quickly and confidently. Sony reckons it now has the fastest AF system, quoting 0.05 seconds, and in my tests it certainly felt very snappy in fair conditions. I wouldn’t say it’s quicker than, say, Olympus or Panasonic’s best-performing mirrorless cameras, but it’s certainly no slower.

Sony rates the AF system as operating at light levels down to -1 EV with an f2 lens, which is an improvement over the 0 EV of the A6000, although not as confident in low light as the -2 EV of the A7r Mark II or the -4 EV levels which Panasonic now quotes for its latest mirrorless cameras. In practice there’s little between them in daylight or even dusk, but as soon as you’re shooting at night, whether people at events or especially dim landscapes beyond the reach of the respective AF illuminators, you really begin to notice a difference. To be fair it has to get pretty dark and the subject become distant for the A6300 to struggle, but it does happen before the best of its rivals.

In Continuous AF, the A6300 exploits its dense array of phase-detect AF points and improved tracking software to deliver an even better experience than the A6000 before it. This is an impressive feat since the A6000 was already a highly capable camera for shooting action – indeed I bought one with an FE 70-200mm f4 specifically for shooting several stages across two Tour de Frances, and was impressed by the high hit rate it returned. I wrote about my experiences with the A6000 in my Mirrorless Sports Photography article and look forward to trying the A6300 at the 2016 Tour.

I tested the new A6300’s continuous AF capabilities under a variety of conditions and with different subjects, including people walking and running along a beach, vehicles approaching or receding, close-range volleyball action and high-speed wakeboarding. I mostly used either the FE 70-200mm f4 or the FE 85mm f1.4 GM, both wide-open in Aperture Priority mode. Here’s a sequence of nine images.

sonya6300_burst1_3000 sonya6300_burst2_3000 sonya6300_burst3_3000

In each case, the A6300 did a great job at identifying the subject, covering it with a dense array of AF points, then following it around the frame – the entire frame too, which is a key benefit over the smaller focusing arrays of most mirrorless and especially DSLR cameras. When composing, the experience felt similar to the A6000 – apart from the finer AF squares over the subject – but upon inspecting images later at 100%, I noticed a higher accuracy thanks both to the denser array and the software driving it. This was particularly apparent when the subject featured a logo or writing, as the AF system generally concentrated on this. As mentioned earlier, the face detection also works really well and is ideal for keeping people sharp as they move towards the camera or across the frame.

Here’s a shot I took with the A6300 and the FE 85mm f1.4 G-Master lens, wide-open at f1.4. It’s part of a sequence shot at 8fps where the majority were sharp, and only a handful were slightly off. The biggest issues in this situation were the AF system sometimes focusing on the splash more than the rider (see below) and the maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 being too slow to shoot at f1.4 in bright daylight even at 100 ISO unless you’re using an ND filter.

sonya6300_wakeboarder_3000

Like the A6000, the AF system requires some learning to make the most of it and avoid failures. In the Wide and Zoned areas, both the A6000 and A6300 generally did a good job at identifying the subject and focusing on the closest part of it, but this could sometimes be the road in front of a cyclist or the splash in front of a watersport rider, a breaching whale or something passing through a puddle.

The trick then is to reduce the size of the AF area so it can be devoted to the true subject alone and not any of the environment around it. The best option here is to use Expand Flexible Spot (more forgiving than a single area, but still precise) with Lock-on AF to follow the selected subject. Although at other times I found the best approach was to trust the Wide area and let the camera work everything out, which it often did with eerily high success. The key is to relearn, experiment and embrace the new technologies rather than trying to wrangle the camera into working like a previous model you may be familiar with.

sonya6300_parkour_3000

While I felt I gave the A6300’s AF system a good workout with demanding subjects and long and bright lenses, I intend to retest it in this regard for a future update – primarily at the 2016 Tour de France if I get the chance. I’ve already shot several stages at the 2015 and 2014 Tours with the A6000 and FE 70-200mm f4 lens and look forward to seeing how much better the A6300 may be. I also plan on testing it with birds in flight as they represent a unique challenge for AF systems.

Ultimately the AF system of the A6300 is a triumph, out-performing any mirrorless camera to date and taking on more expensive DSLRs at their own game. But that’s not to say the A6300 is superior in every regard. In its favour, it couples the broadest and densest coverage of phase-detect AF in the market with fast focusing, confident tracking and great face and eye detection. But not all phase-detect AF points are equal. High-end DSLRs may offer phase-detect points in the viewfinder that are better sensitive to horizontal and vertical lines, and sometimes diagonal lines too. These so-called cross-type and dual-cross type sensors may allow them to better lock-onto certain subjects, giving them more confident acquisitions. It’s certainly revealing that Sony doesn’t quote its PDAF points as being cross-type, leading me to believe they’re opting for quantity over sophistication. But which approach is best? I think it depends on the subject and your technique. I plan on performing more tests in the future between the A6300 and high-end sports-oriented DSLRs, but for now I’m happy to describe the A6300 as offering better continuous autofocus than anything at its price, or even approaching double the price.

At this point traditional DSLRs owners and mirrorless sceptics will however point out the big gotcha: it doesn’t matter how good the AF system is if you can’t effectively follow an erratic subject through the viewfinder, and this is something that’s traditionally been an issue for live view systems which mirrorless cameras rely on for their composition.

Previously when shooting bursts at the top speeds, an electronic viewfinder or screen would be unable to show a live image and instead play back the last image captured. This looks a little odd and makes it harder to follow unpredictable subjects like tennis or football players, as you’re seeing what’s just happened, not what’s happening right now. You subsequently have to anticipate or guess where the action is headed and try to stay ahead of the actual camera, but of course that can be hard or even impossible if the subject is moving unpredictably. In contrast the only delay to delivering the optical viewfinder image on a DSLR when the mirror flips back down is the speed of light, which means it’s easy to follow the action with real-time feedback.

Now with the A6300 there’s two high speed shooting modes. The top speed remains the same as the A6000 before it, shooting at 11fps with the usual lack of live update. The second option, new to the A6300, is a slightly slower mode shooting at 8fps, but critically displaying a live image between every frame. In practice this looks a lot like shooting with the optical viewfinder a traditional DSLR – at least in terms of blackout – and allows you to successfully follow a subject as they move around.

It’s a simple trick, slowing the system down to provide sufficient time to provide a live image, but it transforms the shooting experience while still matching or exceeding the speed of most DSLRs. The cool thing is you can still use the old 11fps option to shoot subjects approaching or receding predictably like cyclists, but switch to the only slightly slower 8fps mode when the subject is more erratic like a tennis or football player. It opens the A6300 up to many more types of sports and action and should make anyone who’d traditionally opt for a DSLR question their choices. I used it to shoot unpredictable volleyball players and follow fast-moving wakeboarders with a degree of success I’d have struggled with on the A6000, or indeed any mirrorless camera to date.

The A6300 can also fire-off decent bursts. Sony quotes up to 47 Fine JPEGs or 21 RAW frames at the top speed of 11fps and to put this to the test I fitted a freshly-formatted UHS-I SD card, set the shutter to 1/500, the sensitivity to 400 ISO and timed a selection of bursts with continuous AF.

Set to Large Fine JPEG and the fastest H+ Speed, the A6300 captured 45 images in 3.99 seconds for a rate of 11.2fps, before slowing to about 1fps. Set to H Speed, with the live update, I fired-off 70 shots in 10.2 seconds for a rate of 6.7fps before slowing to about 2fps. In RAW and H+, I managed 23 shots at around 11fps before slowing down.

My figures essentially confirm the quoted specifications and while the speed I measured with the live update was a tad slower than 8fps, I still managed almost 7fps on the day which remains very respectable. And remember both of the High Speed modes were tested while continuously auto-focusing.

Ultimately the A6300’s AF system may take some learning to get the most from it, especially if you’re coming from a DSLR, and you may still find subjects or situations where a DSLR is more confident. But it’s impossible not to be impressed with what Sony’s done here. In most situations the A6300 focuses with confidence and ease becoming not just the best mirrorless camera for shooting action, but rivalling and in some cases out-performing DSLRs costing twice as much. It really is a game-changer in this regard and should be top of your list if you’re into shooting action on this budget. I should also add the AF system works well when filming movies as I’ll describe in the next section.

Sony A6300 movie mode

The Sony A6300 can internally record 4k movies at up to 30p and 1080 video at up to 120p for slow motion, both key upgrades over the earlier A6000 which offered a maximum resolution and frame rate of 1080 / 60p. As before you have full manual control over exposure, but new to the A6300 are the nine Picture Profiles of the A7s Mark II which include S-Log 2 and S-Log 3 (the latter in S-Gamut3.Cine and S-Gamut3 flavours) for capturing flatter output, ready for grading. The additions of 4k resolution, 1080p slow motion and Picture Profiles (not to mention accompanied by a useful Gamma Display Assist option) make it a considerably more attractive camera for film makers than its predecessor, or indeed most cameras at its price point, especially when you couple them with the confident refocusing of the embedded PDAF system.

You can film at any sensitivity from 100 to 25600 ISO – again higher than the 6400 ISO maximum of the A6000 – and the Picture Profiles 7, 8 and 9 for S-Log 2 and 3 operate at a base of 800 ISO. I have several movie samples below filmed with and without Picture Profiles for your own comparison. It’s also possible to set the shutter and aperture manually and if desired lock both and opt for Auto ISO to take care of differences in brightness.

Audio can be recorded using the internal stereo microphones or, in an important upgrade over the A6000, with an external microphone connected to the new 3.5mm input. To be fair to rival cameras though, this was a serious omission on the earlier A6000 and a necessary inclusion here on the new model. Sadly Sony didn’t take the opportunity to squeeze in a headphone jack though which could have further differentiated it from the competition.

If you’re shooting 4k UHD video, you have the choice of XAVC S encoding at 60 or 100Mbit/s, and at frame rates of 24 / 30p for NTSC or 25p for PAL. You may wonder why there’s no Cinema 4k on the Sony cameras, even the A7s II – I believe this is due to a limitation of the codec.

If you choose the XAVC S HD option, you can film 1080p at 24, 30, 60 or 120p for NTSC or 25, 50 or 100p for PAL, all at 50Mbit/s apart from the 120p / 100p modes which are offered at 60 or 100Mbit/s. These 120p / 100p modes allow you to slow the footage down by five or four times on 24p or 25p timelines respectively. Note to support any of the XAVC S modes, you’ll need an SDXC memory card. Here’s a clip I filmed at 1080 / 120p, interpreted to 24fps on an Adobe Premiere Timeline for a five times slow-down.

Above: Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only). Slow motion compilation filmed with the Sony Alpha A6300 in its 1080 / 120p mode, interpreted to 24p for a five times slow-down in Adobe Premiere Pro CS 6. I used the FE 70-200mm f4 for the wakeboarding clips and the E 16-70mm for the parkour clips, both with continuous AF enabled.

Set the camera to AVCHD and you can film 1080 in 24p (at 17 or 24Mbit/s), in 60i (at 17 or 24Mbit/s), or 60p (at 28Mbit/s). That’s with the camera set to NTSC. In PAL mode it’ll use the same bit rates but for 25p, 50i and 50p. Finally the MP4 mode offers 1080 at 30p (16Mbit/s), 60p (28Mbit/s) or 720 at 30p (6Mbit/s) all for NTSC and again 25p and 50p for PAL.

It’s possible to switch the camera between NTSC and PAL modes, opening up all frame rate options but doing so involves a reboot and reformatting of the memory card – I believe to conform with AVCHD standards. If you set the camera to a mode that’s not native to its original location – for example setting an American model to PAL or a European model to NTSC – then it’ll remind you of your foreign preference every time you power-up, demanding an OK press to continue. While offering a useful reminder, this can get annoying over time, so I’d prefer if Sony had an option to disable it – after all, the working frame rate is still displayed on-screen so I don’t think many DPs will get caught-out. This reminder is common across all Sony cameras which let you switch regions.

When recording 1080 or 4k in 24p the A6300 takes the full width of the sensor and scales it down to the appropriate video resolution; I believe 30p involves a minor crop and I’m confirming for 25p. Crop or otherwise, the A6300 needs to scale the image down using a non-integer value, but Sony puts a positive spin on its 4k / 24p mode, boasting how it exploits the full pixel readout of a 20 Megapixel/ 16:9 frame with no pixel-binning. So how does the output look in practice? Below is a clip I filmed with the A6300 in 4k / 24p, with additional versions in picture Profiles 7 and 8 if you’d like to have a go at grading it. I then filmed the same scene moments later in 1080 / 24p, followed by the earlier A6000 in 1080 / 24p, and finally with the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 in its 1080 / 24p mode too. Below the video you’ll see a table comparing 100% crops taken from each video.

Above: Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only). Sony Alpha A6300 sample movie: daylight / tripod / 4k UHD / 24p / 100Mbit / 100 ISO. I also have the same scene filmed in 1080 / 24p and in 4k UHD / PP 8 / S-Log 3.

fujixpro2_vs_a6000_vs_a6300_movie_res

Above: 100% crops from movies, left to right, Fujifilm X-Pro2 (1080p, Sony A6000 (1080p), Sony A6300 (1080p), Sony A6300 (4k)

Judging from the crops above, I’d say the A6300’s 1080 / 24p output is resolving fractionally greater detail than the A6000, but there’s very little in it. But just look at the 4k crop and the difference is clear – the 4k mode is resolving considerably finer detail. This is particularly apparent in the distant buildings at the top of each crop. I should also add that you can generate great-looking 1080p footage by filming in 4k and down-sampling it in your editor, although doing so will obviously limit you to filming at 24 to 30p rather than the higher frame rates available for 1080. I’ve also included a crop from the X-Pro 2 footage to illustrate Fujifilm has made considerable improvements to its video quality over earlier models, although with the default Provia profile, the contrast is too high. Hopefully this sensor and processor will make it into most future X-series bodies, but it’s still no competition for the A6300 filming in 4k.

The comparison above was made in bright daylight at each camera’s lowest sensitivities, but how do they compare as the ISO increases? Here’s a clip I filmed at 800 ISO using the A6300 in 4k / 24p. I filmed the same scene at each sensitivity on the A6300 in 4k / 24p and 1080 / 24p before then repeating it on the older A6000 in 1080 / 24p. I also have links below for S-Log versions of the 4k footage if you’re interested in having a go at grading it. Below the video clip are 100% crops made from each clip to compare their detail and noise levels.

Above: Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only). Sony Alpha A6300 sample movie: daylight / tripod / 4k UHD / 24p / 100Mbit / 100 ISO. I also have the same scene filmed in 4k S-Log 2, 4k S-Log 3 and in 1080 / 24p. Oh and one for the A6000 in 1080 / 24p too for comparison!

sonya6000_vs_a6300_movie_noise_400iso

Above: 100% crops at 400 ISO. Left: Sony A6000 (1080p), middle: Sony A6300 (1080p), right: Sony A6300 (4k)

sonya6000_vs_a6300_movie_noise_800iso

Above: 100% crops at 800 ISO. Left: Sony A6000 (1080p), middle: Sony A6300 (1080p), right: Sony A6300 (4k)

sonya6000_vs_a6300_movie_noise_1600iso

Above: 100% crops at 1600 ISO. Left: Sony A6000 (1080p), middle: Sony A6300 (1080p), right: Sony A6300 (4k)

sonya6000_vs_a6300_movie_noise_3200iso

Above: 100% crops at 3200 ISO. Left: Sony A6000 (1080p), middle: Sony A6300 (1080p), right: Sony A6300 (4k)

sonya6000_vs_a6300_movie_noise_6400iso

Above: 100% crops at 6400 ISO. Left: Sony A6000 (1080p), middle: Sony A6300 (1080p), right: Sony A6300 (4k)

sonya6000_vs_a6300_movie_noise_12800iso

Above: 100% crops at 12800 ISO. Left: Sony A6000 (1080p), middle: Sony A6300 (1080p), right: Sony A6300 (4k)

sonya6000_vs_a6300_movie_noise_25600iso

Above: 100% crops at 25600 ISO. Left: Sony A6000 (1080p), middle: Sony A6300 (1080p), right: Sony A6300 (4k)

In the crops above you’re looking at 100% crops made from the A6000 and A6300 clips, the latter in both 1080p and 4k UHD at 24p. As with the first example, the 1080p output from both the A6000 and A6300 looks pretty similar in terms of resolved detail, although there’s slightly higher contrast by default from the A6000. The A6300 gives you much more chance to make adjustments though both in-camera and afterwards with its Picture Profiles.

As before, the 4k footage is capturing considerably higher detail, most obviously seen here on the bottle labels and the lettering on the menu. Look closely though and you’ll see a sprinkling of noise on flat areas, such as the menu, whereas it’s noticeably absent on the 1080 footage alongside. I’d say much of this is down to different approaches to processing and noise reduction, with the 4k footage looking less ‘cooked’. Again I’ve provided clips with and without Picture Profiles if you fancy having a go at applying your own noise reduction.

As the sensitivity increases, the 1080p output from both cameras looks similar until around 3200 ISO when the older A6000 reveals greater visible noise, although again this could be down to differences in processing. Meanwhile the 4k output becomes steadily noisier as the ISO increases, but still holds onto much more detail than the 1080 footage. I should also add the noise is fairly well-behaved grain that’s easily reduced in post if desired.

The bottom line is whether shooting in bright daylight at low ISOs or in low light at high ISOs, the A6300 simply captures much better-looking footage in 4k than it does in 1080, and down-sampling 4k to 1080 still delivers a superior result than filming in 1080 to start with. Again the only disadvantages in doing so are a higher bit rate that consumes at least twice as much space on your card and a top frame rate of 30p. If you want to film above 30p on the A6300 you’ll need to switch down to 1080, but to be fair, this is the same with almost every other camera on the market.

I should also add that I had a chance to make a brief comparison between the A6300 in 4k and the A7r Mark II in its Super 35 / APSC 4k mode, and their quality at high ISOs was similar. Sony claims the A6300 may in fact have a resolution advantage over the A7r II in 24p by over-sampling 20 as oppose to 15 Megapixels to generate the 4k frame. I hope to make a more formal comparison and add it to this review in the future.

At this point I’d like to comment on battery life and over-heating, which has been an issue in the past. I fitted a full battery to the A6300 and started filming 4k video in a cool hotel room with the screen folded into the body. To prevent over-heating, Sony fits the A6300 with a limit of just under half an hour per 4k clip, and I managed this, recording 29:51 of footage resulting in a 20.81GB file and leaving 60% of the charge remaining and the camera feeling warm. I immediately started filming a second clip which stopped after just under 20 minutes with the camera now feeling very warm and with 25% battery remaining. A third clip ran for roughly ten minutes before the battery gave up, again with the camera feeling very warm to the touch.

So I managed to film an hour’s worth of 4k footage on a single charge across three clips, with no evidence of overheating until I was 50 minutes into the total. I’d say this is a good result, and of course it’s possible to increase airflow by opening the screen from the body. Once I have a chance to try the A6300 again, I’ll see how long I can keep filming with spare batteries on-hand.

Moving on, I’d like to discuss autofocus. Like the A6000 before it, the A6300 can deploy its embedded phase-detect AF points to deliver smooth and confident continuous autofocusing while filming, minimizing (or in many cases eliminating) the visible hunting of contrast-based AF alternatives. While the A6300 still doesn’t have a touch-screen to allow you to tell the camera where and when you’d like it to refocus, the various area modes do a fair job at guessing for you – and if you’re filming people, the face detection works very well at tracking them. To put this to the test I fitted the FE 70-200mm and set it to 200mm f4 and filmed a 4k sequence, handheld, of two people walking towards me on the beach.

Above: Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only).

I’m impressed by the performance of the A6300’s AF system in the clip above, where it smoothly refocused on the approaching subjects without ever visibly hunting back and forth, and as before it’s also possible to adjust not just the speed of refocusing (useful when pulling focus from one subject to another), but also the response time, preventing the camera from refocusing if something briefly interrupts the view – I should have had that enabled for the clip above!

The Sony AF system is so good I just wish they gave us more control over it, making it easier to move AF areas while filming without pressing lots of buttons or choosing an AF-S mode to only refocus when we tell it. As it stands, the A6300 is really about either trusting the AF system, or switching to manual and doing it yourself; at least there’s focus peaking to help there.

One final note: I’ve heard complaints about rolling shutter artefacts on the A6300. I didn’t notice any in my handheld clips – which you’ll see below – but equally I was careful to perform slow and smooth movements. I plan on doing more tests with this, but if you shoot handheld with a lot of movement and shaking, be warned there have been issues reported by others. When discussing this with my film-making friend Stu Maschwitz, he also made a very good point that it’s easy to whip small and light cameras around which often makes them appear more susceptible to rolling shutter artefacts than larger models. Either way you’ve been warned, so without further ado, here’s a selection of my own clips filmed under a variety of conditions, and several are available in 1080p and or S-Log versions.

Above: Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only).

Above: Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only).

Above: Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only).

Above: Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only). Sony Alpha A6300 sample movie: 4k UHD / 30p / 100Mbit / 6400 ISO / PP Off. I also have the same scene filmed in 4k UHD / PP 8 / S-Log 3.

Above: Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only). Sony Alpha A6300 sample movie: 4k UHD / 30p / 100Mbit / 12800 ISO / PP Off. I also have the same scene filmed in 4k 6400 ISO and 4k 25600 ISO.

Sony A6300 Wifi

The Sony A6300 has built-in Wifi with NFC to aid negotiation with compatible devices. Wifi on the A6300 allows you to wirelessly browse and transfer JPEG images onto an iOS or Android smartphone using a free app, and also remote control the camera with your phone or tablet. The A6300 can additionally download apps directly to extend its capabilities, a feature first introduced on the NEX-6, and a capability that remains unique to Sony (if we’re not counting Android-powered cameras from the likes of Samsung or Panasonic).

I’ll start with transferring images from the A6300 to a smartphone and for my tests I used my Samsung Galaxy S6, onto which I’d previously installed Sony’s free PlayMemories app. If you have an NFC-equipped device, such as my GS6, the entire process is incredibly simple: just choose the image you want to send in playback on the camera, then hold it against your phone. The NFC then instructs the camera and phone to connect (automatically taking care of network names and passwords), before then transferring the image and finally disconnecting. It all happens without a single button press and is the best implementation I’ve seen for copying images from camera to phone.

If you don’t have NFC, or for some reason it doesn’t work, you’ll need to connect to the A6300’s Wifi network manually. First go to the Wireless section and choose the option to Send to Smartphone. This then gives you the choice of either selecting the desired image on the camera, or browsing the camera’s memory using your handset. Selecting either configures the A6300 as a Wifi access point which your phone needs to connect to. Next you’ll need to fire-up the PlayMemories app on your phone and connect to the camera.

If you opt to select the image on the camera, it’ll then be sent straight to the phone. If you select the option to choose with your smartphone, you’ll see the camera’s memory presented in a thumbnail view – just select the desired image and again it’ll be copied over. A menu in the PlayMemories app lets you choose whether the image is sent in its original 24 Megapixel format or resized down to VGA or 2 Megapixels. Full sized 24 Megapixel JPEGs take a few seconds to copy over; like most Wifi camera apps, you can’t transfer RAW files, and while you can playback non-AVCHD movie files, I couldn’t find a way to copy them onto my phone either.

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Next I’ll cover remote control which requires the Smart Remote app to be installed on the camera – as luck would have it, Sony embeds this into the A6300 to get you started in the World of apps, no doubt in an attempt to get you comfortable with the idea and possibly purchase some more in the future – although there is a catch I’ll mention in a moment.

Once again, Sony makes things really easy for owners of NFC phones. With the camera powered-up and ready to shoot, simply hold your phone against the NFC logo on the side of the body and the A6300 will automatically fire-up the Smart Remote app, connect itself to your phone (again taking care of Wifi network names and passwords), then start the PlayMemories app. So without a single button press, you’ll find your self ready to remote-control the camera with your phone. Brilliant! If you don’t have a phone with NFC, you’ll need to first select the Smart Remote from the App menu on the A6300. This sets the camera up as an access point for the PlayMemories app on your phone to connect to.

Once you’re remote-controlling your camera, you’ll be able to see what it sees, adjust the exposure compensation and take a photo when desired. But out-of-the-box you won’t be able to change the aperture, shutter speed or ISO, nor reposition the AF area. There is however a solution: an update to the in-camera Smart Remote app unlocks full exposure control along with the chance to tap anywhere on your phone’s screen to move the AF area – some consolation for the absence of a touch-screen on the camera itself.

sonya6300_wifi_1_3000

To update the app, you’ll need to connect the A6300 directly to the internet, log into the PlayMemories service (using an account you’ve previously set up on a computer), choose Smart Remote in the camera’s Application menu, then select the update option. Alternatively you can download an app via a browser on a laptop or desktop, then connect the A6300 to transfer it.

A few seconds later you’ll have the latest version of Smart Remote sporting a wealth of manual control. It’s great the camera offers this, but a shame you need to go looking for it, as I’m sure many owners won’t jump through the required hoops. Indeed I know they won’t. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve met people with Sony cameras who wonder why mine supports remote exposure control when there’s doesn’t. I suspect the approach is to encourage more signups, but I fear it backfires more often than it converts, leaving many owners with a camera not offering its full potential. Even if there is an update available, Sony really ought to ship its cameras with a more up-to-date version of Smart Remote than the basic one right now. And while I’ve got my moaning hat on, could we please reposition the AF area by touch using the phone’s screen while recording movies? It works for stills and having it for video too would in some way make-up for the lack of a touchscreen on the camera itself.

If you do get round to updating the Smart Remote app, you’ll notice a selection of other apps you can download to extend the capabilities of the camera, some free, some costing up to $9.99. Arguably the most powerful app is Timelapse which has gradually become more sophisticated over several updates. It now works alongside a new Angle Shift Add-On ($4.99) that lets you perform pans, tilts and zooms within a timelapse video, all generated in-camera. There’s also a new Sky HDR app which captures and combines two different exposures to simulate a graduated ND filter and darken skies.

A Beta section in the download section also lets you access apps under development. One of the more interesting ones is the Touchless Shutter app (currently free in beta) which cleverly exploits the viewfinder eye sensor to trigger the shutter – simply wave your hand close to the viewfinder and the camera takes the shot. Better still, it also works in Bulb mode with a wave to start an exposure and another wave to end it.

There’s also apps to simulate the effect of long exposures by combining multiple frames and ones designed to better capture light or star trails. It’s all good fun, but the question is whether most or even all of these should simply be part of the standard camera operating system. After all most rivals offer built-in timelapse facilities, Panasonic offers stop motion and Olympus continues to raise the bar for cunning long exposure options.

I also find Sony’s apps aren’t always accessed or adjusted in an intuitive manner. Rather than integrating new functions into the existing menus, they’re all kept in a dedicated Apps section. I’m sorta okay with that, but once you fire-up an App, you’ll find it has its own multi-page menu system, including options to set the image quality. Yep, a separate image quality menu just for that app that works independently of the main image quality menu for the camera. So you may have the main menu set to, say, RAW+JPEG, then enter an App assuming it’ll inherit that setting, only to discover later that you’ll need to set it separately. This has caught me out in the past when using, say, the Touchless Shutter app. I assumed it would be capturing images using my main quality settings, but was in fact using a default setting of JPEG only. Why would I want to have different quality settings just because I’m using an App, or miss out on some other key settings? Sony really needs to think more carefully about how the Apps integrate with the camera. Just one menu system please.

As you browse the Apps and experiment with Smart Remote, you’ll also notice a continued lack of GPS logging options. Most camera apps now offer an option to record a GPS log that’s then synced with your photos after a day’s shooting. To me that makes the most sense, but Sony has instead gone for an approach which only offers to embed a position when you take a photo using the Smart Remote. But wait, the location isn’t embedded in the file recorded by the camera. Instead it’s only embedded in the image copied onto your phone, which may not be at the full resolution. So unless you’ve ticked ‘Original’ as the ‘Size of Review Image’ setting in the Smartphone app, you could find yourself with a high-res image in the camera without a location and the same shot on your phone with the location, but at a lower resolution. Configure all the options carefully and your phone can store an original resolution file with the location embedded, which you could then copy back to a computer but it’s overly complicated. Sony, please just offer a GPS logging option in the Smart Remote app that syncs the location on a bunch of images in the camera.

But it seems slightly churlish to complain when the most common processes of wireless image transfer and remote control continue to work so well here. Sony’s really nailed the process across its entire range of Wifi-equipped cameras, especially if you own a handset with NFC.

Now it’s time to check out my sample images, quality comparison page or skip back to my verdict!

www.cameralabs.com

Best Lenses for the Sony a6500, a6300, and a6000

This post has been fully updated to reflect 2019 lenses and camera options.

The a6500, a6400, a6300, and a6000 are great mid-range mirrorless options in the Sony lineup. These APS-C (crop sensor) cameras are compact but powerful and good for people who want to take excellent photos but don’t want to haul around a heavy DSLR or full frame mirrorless camera.

Let’s take a look at the best lenses for the a6500, a6400, a6300, and a6000 cameras. We break up this list into 2 main categories: zoom and prime lenses, each of which has their own benefits. Zoom lenses give you the versatility of multiple focal lengths in one package. Prime lenses have a fixed focal length but are known for being exceptionally sharp and also can be more portable.

Intro to the a6000 Series

If you don’t already own an a6000 series camera, or are thinking about upgrading, here is a quick primer:

Though this series came out before the a7 series did, people think of the a6000 series as a “younger sibling” of Sony’s flagship full frame mirrorless collection. They sport a small 23.5 × 15.6mm sensor size and, thus, are smaller all around. They are simpler than the a7 series but still pack in a lot of useful features, including ultra fast autofocus.

Sony a6000

• Released in 2014. • Maxes out at Full HD for video. • No ports for external mics or headphones. • No touch features on LCD.

• 360-shot battery life.

Sony a6300

• Released in 2016. • Shoots UHD 4K video and 120 FPS slow motion. • 1/8″ Microphone port. • No touch features on LCD.

• 400-shot battery life.

Sony a6500

• Released in 2016. • Shoots UHD 4K video and 120 FPS slow motion. • 1/8″ Microphone port. • Touchscreen LCD • Built-in stabilization.

• 350-shot battery life.

Sony a6400

• Released in 2019. • Shoots unlimited UHD 4K video and 120 FPS slow motion. • 1/8″ Microphone port. • Touchscreen LCD with larger tilting range.

• 410-shot battery life.

Choosing between the a6400 and a6500 looks tricky at first. Their numerical title order is out of step with their actual release date – the a6500 is older than the a6400. The a6400 is benefited from newer technology, with a 180° flipping screen, fast AF, and superb tracking – not to mention the long-awaited “limitless” video recording capabilities. It also sports a deeper grip. But the a6500 still boasts a wider ISO range, larger buffer for continuous shooting in RAW, and 5-axis in-body stabilization. Both feature 4K shooting, 3.5mm microphone ports, and slow motion capability.

E Mount Lenses for Sony a6500, a6400, a6300 and a6000

7 Recommended Zoom Lenses for a6000 Series E Mount Cameras

All of the cameras in the a6000 line use the same system. They have the same size sensor and mount type. These cameras work with all Sony E mount lenses and can work with lenses of other mount types with the use of an adapter.

Photographers who are switching from a DSLR to the Sony system (or those who have a specific lens they love) often use adapters so their E mount cameras can work with almost any lens. With a good adapter, lens options aren’t a limiting factor with these mirrorless cameras.

Each of these cameras are sold as standalone bodies or as part of a kit with Sony’s 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. The 16-50mm kit lens covers a versatile focal range, but other lenses can offer different perspectives, wider apertures, better bokeh, and faster autofocus. If you want to level up your photography, you may want to go beyond the kit zoom lens.

Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS ($35* for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

The Sony 10-18mm f/4 is one of the best E mount landscape lenses for Sony a6000-series users – especially for those who like to shoot ultra wide. The 10-18mm f/4 is tack-sharp in the center with only minor softening at the sides of the frame. Distortion is minimal for a lens this wide.

The built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system provides a 4-stop shutter speed advantage, making it significantly easier to achieve crisp, blur-free images and video. The internal focusing system allows for a rapid AF response time and extra-low dispersion glass prevents chromatic aberration and increases contrast. The Sony 10-18mm f/4 is super solid and well built, which is good considering that it is most likely to be used by landscape photographers who are out in the elements. With a minimum focusing distance of under a foot, you can also create exaggerated perspectives when shooting up close.

Summary:

• Sharp in the center, softer in the edges. • Relatively limited focal range. • Has image stabilization. • Has a constant maximum aperture, so you get f/4 even at the longer end of the range if you need it. • Minimum focusing distance lets you get close to your subject.

• Great for landscapes, architecture, cityscapes, interiors.

Sony 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS ($46 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

The Sony 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS is the best E mount zoom lens for the Sony a6000, a6300, a6400, and a6500. This lens has a wide focal range, allowing it to capture all types of subjects. Want to take closeup portraits as well as wide landscape shots? This lens will let you do it. The 16-70mm f/4 lens has Carl Zeiss anti-reflective coatings to cut down on glare and ghosting. The Optical SteadyShot image stabilization minimizes the appearance of camera shake on the long end of the focal range or when shooting in low light.

This lens does have a small amount of chromatic aberration in the form of purple fringing near the edges of the frame but it is fairly minor and can be managed by stopping down your aperture. The 16-70mm f/4 has some barrel distortion typical of wide angle lenses but it is not severe. If you want one super versatile lens to take on your travels or use while walking around town, this is an excellent choice.

Summary:

• Perfect “walking around” range. • Has image stabilization. • Constant maximum aperture, so you get f/4 even at the longer end of the range if you need it. • Exhibits some barrel distortion.

• Great for events, candids, and street photography.

Sony PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS ($30 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

Sony’s E mount 18-105mm f/4 G OSS lens is a well-priced option for photographers wanting an upgrade from the kit lens in terms of quality and focal range. This solidly-built, metal-barreled lens has a quiet motor and smoothly-turning focus rings which make shooting both photos and video a breeze. Handycam technology is used, along with a floating axis design, to provide smooth, quiet zooming performance that is also well-suited to movie recording. The dedicated focusing ring allows for direct manipulation of focus along with separate power zoom and manual focus controls for greater precision.

This lens produces images that are very sharp at the center, especially when shot between f/4 and f/5.6. Sharpness near the edge of the frame deteriorates at apertures from f/18 to f/22 but it is not enough to be a problem for most people. This is a versatile lens that performs well in a variety of conditions and is a great option for video.

Summary:

• Handycam technology for quiet performance. • Perfect “walking around” range. • Solidly built with a metal barrel. • Has image stabilization. • Sharpness declines at the extreme ends of the range.

• Great for videography, travel, events.

Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS ($28 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

The Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens is an incredibly versatile lens for the beginner photographer. With the crop sensor, the 18mm wide end is solidly wide without going into ultra wide territory. The 135mm telephoto end will also provide a fair amount of reach for when you want to zoom in.

The variable maximum aperture is probably not fast enough for demanding photographers, but the image stabilization will help keep your photos sharp even when you need to slow your shutter speed a little bit to compensate in low light. Variable maximum apertures means that on the 18mm end of the range, you can open your aperture as wide as f/3.5. But on the telephoto end, your maximum is limited to only as wide as f/5.6. However, for a lens of this range, it does have a relatively close 1.5′ minimum focusing distance, which is nice in smaller spaces. This is a great and affordable travel lens.

Summary:

• Expansive focal range. • Variable maximum aperture reduces low light performance at telephoto end. • Affordable. • Has image stabilization.

• Great for beginners, travel, events.

Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS LE ($32 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

This lens is a lot like the lens above but with a little bit more reach on the telephoto end (but that includes a sacrifice in maximum aperture at that range). The 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS LE is a good option for photographers looking for a high quality wide-to-long-range zoom. While this lens is known for taking very sharp images, especially at the long end, its biggest asset is probably its wide focal range, which allows for one lens to be used in a variety of settings – and even for video! Its quiet, linear motor is inherited from higher-end Sony camcorders.

Because of its variable aperture range of f/3.5-6.3, it is not as adept as some of the others in low light situations. But if you are shooting in well-lit areas, it is more than capable. This lens produces no noticeable fringing throughout most of its focal length and only a tiny amount at both 18mm and 200mm.

As expected with a lens with this wide of a focal range, some barrel distortion will occur – especially near 18mm. Post-processing in Lightroom or Photoshop may correct these effects. The massive focal range makes this one of the best travel lenses for Sony E mount cameras.

Summary:

• Expansive focal range. • Variable maximum aperture reduces low light performance at telephoto end. • Has image stabilization. • Linear motor adopted from higher-end camcorder lenses.

• Great for beginners, travel, events, wildlife, sports, and video.

Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS ($21 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

The Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 lens is a great sports lens for the Sony a6000, a6300, a6400, and a6500. It’s also a superb choice for safari because you get all this range for under 1 pound. This lens will zoom in on your subjects from far enough away that you would never miss the action while also being just wide enough to capture environmental shots. This lens doesn’t have significant distortion but it does exhibit a fairly large amount of sun flare when the sun is near the frame – a bonus to some, depending on your style.

The Optical SteadyShot image stabilization minimizes the appearance of camera shake by up to 4 stops and does an excellent job of preventing image blur. While this lens may not be able to handle low light as well as some others, when it comes to well-lit sports and wildlife shooting it does a good job, especially for the price.

Summary:

• Mid-to-telephoto focal range. • Variable maximum aperture reduces low light performance at telephoto end. • Has image stabilization. • No distortion but tendency to flare.

• Great for birding, outdoor sports, and safari.

Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS ($51 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

Providing a super telephoto range in a portable form factor is rare. This sports-and-wildlife-dedicated lens is under 2 lbs. It features dust and moisture resistance for use outdoors and has a convenient Focus Hold button for critical shots. Its focal range equivalent on a crop sensor is 105-450mm, which is phenomenal reach. A special Focus Range Limiter lets you constrain the usable focusing range to either 9.8′ to infinity or the full range of 3′ to infinity for fast focusing during sports and wildlife shooting.

Equipped with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, this lens can perform admirably when shooting with slower shutter speeds but do note that it has a variable maximum aperture which will sacrifice your wide aperture options at the long end of the range. It’s sharp throughout but is a hair sharper at the wide end of the range. Stopping down your aperture will improve your results – typical of many zooms in this range. Do note that this lens does not have any panning or tripod-sensing modes, which might be sorely missed in a lens of this type meant for sports and wildlife.

Summary:

• Incredible telephoto range in a portable package. • Dust and moisture resistant. • Variable maximum aperture reduces low light performance at telephoto end. • Has image stabilization. • Sharp but best stopped-down.

• Great for birding, outdoor sports, and safari.

7 Recommended Prime Lenses for a6000 Series E Mount Cameras

Prime lenses are favored for their fast apertures, crisp detail, and relatively small size. While zooms are more versatile in situations where you need 1 lens to perform for a bunch of different subjects, primes are great for getting to know and love a certain focal length since each prime supports only 1 angle of view. You have to “zoom with your feet”, as they say. Primes are often easy to handle, great in low light, and ideal for beginners and pros alike.

Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 ($42 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

Zeiss is known for making high quality lenses that take crystal-clear photos and the Touit 12mm f/2.8 is no exception. This E mount lens is designed for landscape photographers who love shooting with ultra wide prime lenses – and it excels at its job. While this lens does produce some moderate barrel distortion, this can be almost entirely corrected in post processing.

Ghosting and sun flare are very minimal with this lens, although its bokeh leaves something to be desired. If you’re looking for a wide angle lens with sharp optics and a high build quality, the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 is a great option. Touit is pronounced like “do it” and is the name of a small and agile parrot. This lens represents agility and mobility. It is designed to have a long working life with its rigid metal bayonet mount and rubberized control ring. It is designed specifically for crop sensor cameras like the a6000/a6300/a6400/a6500.

Summary:

• Reliable Zeiss construction. • Exhibits some barrel distortion and unremarkable bokeh. • Very little ghosting or flare.

• Great for street photography, landscapes, and cityscapes.

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary ($21 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

From Sigma’s Contemporary line of high-performance lenses, this 16mm lens offers ultra fast, wide angle capabilities to E mount shooters. With the very wide f/1.4 aperture, photographers can get smooth, beautiful out of focus backgrounds. Sigma’s Contemporary line is known for having high quality optics in lightweight and affordable packages. It’s equipped with a stepping motor which provides, fast, smooth and quiet autofocus for shooting video.

This lens is well suited for landscapes, cityscapes, and interiors. It’s also optically designed to minimize sagittal coma flare, which means this lens a very good choice for night sky shooting. It is built with a special emphasis on quiet performance and corrected optical distortion.

Summary:

• Low distortion. • Stepping motor suitable for video. • Ultra wide field of view with fast maximum aperture.

• Great for landscapes, cityscapes, architecture, interiors, astrophotography.

Sony 20mm f/2.8 ($28 for a Three Day Rental – See More)

One of the primary reasons people purchase mirrorless cameras like the a6000 series is because of their small size – which is largely negated when you put a heavy lens on the front! The Sony 20mm f/2.8 is a “pancake” style lens that represents a solid upgrade from the kit lens in a tiny, flat package.

This lens produces images that are fairly sharp in the center at f/2.8 and very sharp when you stop down to f/5.6. The 20mm pancake weighs just 2.5 ounces and is under an inch thick, making it a really good choice for people whose primary concern is weight. Photographers who want their mirrorless camera to feel like a point and shoot will love this lens. It’s equipped with a stepping motor which provides, fast, smooth and quiet autofocus for shooting video. It is designed for crop sensor format which gives you an equivalent field of view of 30mm – a great length for street photography.

Summary:

• Sharp when stopped down. • Stepping motor suitable for video. • Unique wide-normal field of view. • Ultra portable.

• Great for street photography, travel, events, candids.

Sony 24mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar ($40 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

If you are upgrading from the kit lens and only the best will do, the Sony 24mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar lens is an excellent choice. Sure, you’ll be losing some flexibility by switching from a zoom to a prime lens, but you will be rewarded with sharper images and better low light performance. The 24mm focal length is wide enough for landscapes but not so wide as to be unusable for portraits.

This lens has strong light falloff at f/1.8 which can be mitigated by enabling the camera’s “shading compensation” feature. This lens’ minor pincushion distortion can be controlled with in-camera distortion compensation. This lens produces good bokeh, especially for being so wide. The autofocus system operates with a linear motor and a stepping motor that is quiet enough for video shooting.

Summary:

• Very sharp. • Exhibits some pincushion distortion. • High amount of bokeh for its angle of view. • Stepping motor suitable for video.

• Great for landscapes, group portraits , street photography.

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary ($18 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

From Sigma’s Contemporary line of high-performance lenses, this 30mm lens offers an ultra fast aperture and a unique wide-normal angle of view. Sigma’s Contemporary line is known for having high quality optics in lightweight and affordable packages. It’s equipped with a stepping motor which provides, fast, smooth and quiet autofocus for shooting video.

Equipped with a high-refractive index element, this lens produces little-to-no spherical aberrations and distortion for increased clarity and definition. It has a minimum focusing distance of under a foot, which is great for closeup work. It is ranked in the top 5 of primes for crop sensor E mount shooters according to DXOMARK.

Summary:

• Sharp with very few aberrations. • Unique wide-normal field of view. • Stepping motor suitable for video. • Scores highly against other lenses in its class.

• Great for group portraits, street photography, candids.

Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS ($19 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

Every brand has their own version of the affectionately-called “nifty fifty” – a fast, though inexpensive, 50mm lens that is a great entry point prime for many photographers. Sony’s version offers good low light performance and bokeh. This lens is very sharp around f/4 and, for the price, produces very good bokeh.

This lens is equipped with both a linear motor and stepping motor for exceptionally quiet and continuous AF, making it suitable for video projects. It offers Optical Image Stabilization, which is uncommon in a lens of this class, and also sports a Direct Manual Focus feature to give you fine manual focus control even after the AF has locked onto the subject.

Summary:

• High quality and affordable. • Stepping motor suitable for video. • Has image stabilization.

• Great for street photography, candids, beginners.

Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro ($48 for a 3 Day Rental – See More)

While a bit big for an a6000 series camera, the Sony FE 90mm is worthy of any E mount list. It’s very popular and scores excellently on DXOMARK. Offering a 1:1 magnification ratio and a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture, this lens works as well for portraits as it does for macro work. It features a focus hold button that, when pressed, keeps the lens locked to that focusing distance. This makes delicate macro shooting and wildlife tracking easier.

This lens is equipped with a linear motor which provides, fast, smooth and quiet autofocus for shooting video. It also offers Optical Image Stabilization to minimizes the appearance of camera shake when shooting at slower shutter speeds. The 90mm focal length is long enough to give you distance between you and your macro subject (you often don’t want to be too close to insects and other small living creatures) while also being long enough for some wildlife subjects. The bokeh potential is strong with this lens, a great feature for portraits.

Summary:

• Scores excellently for its class. • 1:1 magnification ratio. • Relatively large and heavy. • Has image stabilization.

• Great for macro work, portraits, some wildlife, some indoor sports.

Tips for Choosing a Sony Lens

Sony E mount lens offerings have exploded in the last few years. So much so that it’s getting more and more difficult to narrow down the best ones – especially that combine quality with versatility and price without being too large or complex. More brands are coming on board with E mount versions of their lenses, particular for cinema. The future of E mount looks very bright. Here are some general tips to supplement the recommendations above to help you find the perfect lens:

• Gold Master Series: If you see “GM” in the lens title, that means it’s part of Sony’s G Master series. These are designed for full frame cameras, like the a7 series, but mount perfectly well to a6000 series cameras. They support high resolution sensors and feature beautiful bokeh, superior handling, and leading technology for the fastest, most precise autofocus. They are also expensive.

• Gold Series: A predecessor to G Master. High-grade lenses with fast maximum apertures.

• Optical SteadyShot: When you see “OSS” in a lens title, you’ll know it comes with image stabilization.

• Power Zoom: Somtimes you’ll see “PZ” in a Sony lens title. On these lenses, there is the option to activate zoom using a rocker switch instead of just zooming by hand with a control ring. This can provide much smoother results when shooting video. Its technology is borrowed from Sony’s Handycam line.

• Special Note on FE: You will see lens titles with “FE” in them and others that just say “E Mount”. This is confusing because FE looks like a mount type – it’s not. “FE” designates that it’s built for full frame sensors. Fortunately, Sony’s full frame mirrorless cameras – like the a7 III or a7R IV – are E mount just as the APS-C mirrorless cameras (a6500, a6300) are. All FE lenses are compatible with both types of camera. However, not all non-FE E mount lenses are compatible with full frame – some are built specifically for crop frame. But the a7 series cameras all have a crop frame mode, so if you’re ever stuck using a crop frame lens on one, just switch into that mode!

We hope this helps you find your perfect lens – whether to rent for a one-time occassion or to purchase and have forever. Check out all of our rentals here and our used gear sales here.

*As of this writing. Pricing subject to change.

www.borrowlenses.com


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