New Sony a6300 may just be the perfect compact mirrorless camera

New Sony a6300 may just be the perfect compact mirrorless camera

Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm LensIf you asked me to write down by dream specs for a mirrorless camera, they’d look a lot like those of the newly announced . It surpasses not just all similar Sony models, but all other compact-size mirrorless cameras on the market – in many cases by leaps and bounds. Let’s go over its breakthroughs…


AF has been the bane of mirrorless cameras since they were introduced. Stuck with slow contrast-detect technology, they were always a weak sister compared to DSLRs with their much-faster phase detect AF. Recently that has been changing, with silicon vendors now able to provide CMOS sensors with integrated phase-detection. The takes this to a new level, with 425 phase-detect AF points and 169 contrast-detection areas, which should make it one of the fastest focusing cameras. Sony has used all those focus points in a system it calls 4D FOCUS, allowing for more efficient and accurate tracking – possibly making this one of the first mirrorless cameras that will serve the needs of serious action photographers.

Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm LensWhile EVFs offer the major advantage (over optical versions) of allowing the photographer to preview image adjustments (especially exposure compensation), they often suffer from poor image quality. The has upped the ante here as well, with a 2.36MP OLED EVF that runs at an impressive 120fps. It should provide an excellent viewing experience for those preferring the more traditional viewfinder to looking at the rear LCD.

Burst rate

Almost incredibly, the can fire off Raw frames at 11fps for up to 21 frames. Those numbers are ones typically found in flagship DSLRs. It also supports 14-bit Raw output, for purists who want to make sure and eek every bit of detail out of subtle gradations in color or tone.

Improved sensor and image quality, multi-image mode

The Exmor sensor and BIONZ X image processor have both been re-designed, which in addition to improving the burst rate, will upgrade image quality, and in particular low-light performance. ISO 25,600 is now the high-end of its “normal” range, with an extended setting of 51,200. Resolution stays at a respectable 24MP, about the highest that can reasonably be packed into an APS-C-sized sensor with current technology.

Similar to the SuperRAW mode on the , the offers a multi-image compositing function for noise reduction in low light (Sony calls this Multi Frame NR).

All of this image technology is assisted by a 1200-zone evaluative metering system.

4K video

Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm LensThe will not only record 1080p video at 120fps, but can record 4K video at 30fps. Serious videographers will also appreciate extensive support for Cinema-related color profiles, along with an improved Zebra function and Gamma Display Assist.


Other features

  • 3-inch tilting LCD
  • Pop-up flash
  • Hot shoe
  • Built-in WiFi and NFC
  • Nine customizable buttons
  • Rigid metal lens mount
  • Support for Sony PlayMemories mobile apps
  • Lots of in-camera options for non-Raw shooters, like Dynamic Range Optimization and Auto HDR

So is there anything not to like?

Well, not much. It isn’t exactly cheap, at $1K for the body, and (equivalent to a 24mm-70mm full-frame). It is also missing GPS, a feature that is much-beloved by those of us looking for ways to keep track of our images, but spurned by most camera companies. Lens availability has also been an issue, but Sony is stepping up both the pace and quality of its lens introductions, with 3 new “G Master” models announced along with the . The new model is also a couple ounces heavier than the Sony NEX-7, one of the cameras it replaces. That seems like a very small price to pay for all the upgrades.

B&H will begin accepting pre-orders for the on the 10th, and Sony expects to begin shipping them in March.


Full specs for body and kit lens:

Lens Mount
Sony E-Mount

Camera Format
APS-C (1.5x Crop Factor)

Actual: 25 Megapixel
Effective: 24.2 Megapixel

Max Resolution
24 MP: 6000 x 4000

Aspect Ratio
3:2, 16:9

Sensor Type / Size
CMOS, 23.5 x 15.6 mm

File Formats
Still Images: JPEG, RAW
Movies: AVCHD Ver. 2.0, MP4, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, XAVC S
Audio: AAC LC, AC3, Dolby Digital 2ch, Linear PCM (Stereo)

Bit Depth

Dust Reduction System

Memory Card Type
Memory Stick Pro Duo
Memory Stick PRO HG-Duo

Video Recording

Video Format
3840 x 2160p / 30 fps (100 Mbps) / 30 fps (60 Mbps) / 25 fps (100 Mbps)
/ 25 fps (60 Mbps) / 24 fps (100 Mbps) / 24 fps (60 Mbps)
High Definition
1920 x 1080p / 120 fps (100 Mbps) / 120 fps (60 Mbps) / 100 fps (100 Mbps)
/ 100 fps (100 Mbps) / 60 fps (50 Mbps) / 50 fps (50 Mbps)
/ 30 fps (50 Mbps) / 25 fps (50 Mbps) / 24 fps (50 Mbps)
High Definition
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28 Mbps) / 50 fps (28 Mbps) / 25 fps (24 Mbps)
/ 25 fps (17 Mbps) / 24 fps (24 Mbps) / 24 fps (17 Mbps)
High Definition
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (24 Mbps) / 60 fps (17 Mbps) / 50 fps (24 Mbps)
/ 50 fps (17 Mbps)
High Definition
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28 Mbps) / 50 fps (28 Mbps) / 30 fps (16 Mbps)
/ 25 fps (16 Mbps)
High Definition
1280 x 720p / 30 fps (6 Mbps) / 25 fps (6 Mbps)

Aspect Ratio

Video Clip Length
Up to 29 Min 59 Sec

Audio Recording
Built-in Mic: With Video, Stereo
Optional External Mic: With Video, Stereo

Focus Type
Auto & Manual

Focus Mode
Automatic (A), Continuous-servo AF (C), Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual Focus (M), Single-servo AF (S)

Autofocus Points
Phase Detection:425
Contrast Detection:169

Viewfinder Type

Viewfinder Size

Viewfinder Pixel Count

Viewfinder Eye Point
23.00 mm

Viewfinder Coverage

Viewfinder Magnification
Approx. 1.07x

Diopter Adjustment
- 4.0 to +3.0 m

Display Screen
3" Rear Screen Tilting  LCD (921,600)

Screen Coverage

ISO Sensitivity
Auto, 100-25600 (Extended Mode: 100-51200)

Type: Electronic & Mechanical
Speed: 30 - 1/4000 second,  Bulb Mode

Metering Method
Center-weighted average metering, Multi-zone metering, Spot metering

Exposure Modes
Modes: Aperture Priority, Auto, Intelligent Auto, Manual, Movie, Program, Scene Selection, Shutter Priority, Superior Auto, Sweep Panorama
Metering Range: EV -2.0 - EV 20.0
Compensation: -5 EV to +5 EV (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)

White Balance Modes
Auto, Cloudy, Color Temperature, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent (Cool White), Fluorescent (Day White), Fluorescent (Daylight), Fluorescent (Warm White), Incandescent, Shade, Underwater

Continuous Shooting
Up to 11 fps at 24.2 MP for up to 21 frames in raw format
Up to 11 fps at 24.2 MP for up to 44 frames in JPEG format
Up to 8 fps
Up to 6 fps
Up to 3 fps

Flash Modes
Hi-Speed Sync
Rear Sync
Red-eye Reduction
Slow Sync

Built-in Flash

Guide No.
19.69' (6 m) ISO100

Max Sync Speed
1 / 160 seconds

Flash Compensation
-3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)

Dedicated Flash System

External Flash Connection
Hot Shoe, Wireless

Self Timer
10 seconds, 5 seconds, 2 seconds

1/8" Microphone, HDMI D (Micro), Micro-USB, USB 2.0

Wi-Fi Capable

1x NP-FW50 Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery Pack, 7.2 VDC, 1080 mAh

AC Power Adapter
AC-PW20 (Optional)

Operating/Storage Temperature
32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)

Dimensions (WxHxD)
4.7 x 2.6 x 1.9" / 120.0 x 66.9 x 48.8 mm excluding protrusions

14.25 oz / 404 g with battery and memory card

Focal Length
16 - 50mm
Comparable 35mm Focal Length: 24 - 75 mm

Maximum: f/3.5 - 5.6
Minimum: f/22 - 36

Angle of View
83° - 32°

Minimum Focus Distance
9.84" (25 cm)



Diaphragm Blades


Image Stabilization

Filter Thread
Front: 40.5 mm

Dimensions (DxL)
Approx. 2.55 x 1.18" (64.7 x 29.9 mm)

4.09 oz (116 g)