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Sony a6300 review

Our Rating :
£549.99 from
Price when reviewed : £999
inc VAT (as of 29th July)

Technically advanced, but the Sony a6300’s controls aren’t in line with the high price


Sensor resolution: 24 megapixels, Sensor size: 23.5×15.6mm (APS-C), Focal length multiplier: 1.5x, Viewfinder: Electronic (2,359,296 dots), LCD screen: 3in (921,600 dots), Lens mount: Sony E mount, Weight: 404g, Dimensions (HxWxD): 68x131x49mm


Picture quality

I also have some reservations about the a6300 as a stills camera. The a6000 compared well with rival CSCs around the £600 mark, but the a6300 has a different class of camera to compete with. The 2.4 million dot electronic viewfinder has a higher resolution than before, but its 0.7x magnification (as 35mm equivalent) is smaller than the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-T2’s 0.77x. The widescreen LCD gives a relatively small view of photos compared to 3:2 and 4:3 screens used elsewhere.

The biggest drawback is the number and layout of buttons and dials, which fall significantly short of other premium CSCs and SLRs at this price. The lack of space on the slim camera body is the main limiting factor but there’s room for a second command dial if Sony wanted to include it. The long-winded access to exposure compensation feels particularly out of place for such an expensive camera.

It’s much harder to criticise the a6300’s image quality. The 24-megapixel sensor produced sharp, clean photos with a rich colour palette, and focus was extremely reliable. Noise levels were among the lowest I’ve seen from an APS-C sensor, although the JPEG processing worked better on fine details than it did on out-of-focus areas of the frame. Overall, I’d place the a6300’s photo quality very slightly behind the Fujifilm X-Pro2, broadly on a par with the Fujifilm X-T1 and comfortably ahead of the Panasonic GH4.

Sony a6300 sample 1^ Rich colours, pixel-sharp details and no hint of noise. The automatic exposure has balanced the highlights and shadows well too.

Sony a6300 sample 2^ Using a fast manual shutter speed to freeze motion has given a wide aperture and a narrow depth of field. Focus here is spot on. (1/640s, f/4, ISO 160, 60mm equivalent)

Sony a6300 sample 3

^ There’s masses of fine detail in this shot but even at ISO 100 there’s a hint of noise in the mid-grey gradients. (1/100s, f/7.1, ISO 100, 25mm equivalent)

Sony a6300 sample 4^ ISO 500 shouldn’t be too taxing for an APS-C camera. The cogs in the foreground are clean and detailed but the out-of-focus face in the background is a little noisy. (1/60s, f/4, ISO 500, 52mm equivalent)

Sony a6300 sample 5^ The same applies here at ISO 4000. There’s nothing much wrong with the foreground detail but the featureless background looks blotchy. (1/60s, f/4, ISO 4000, 30mm equivalent)

Sony a6300 sample 6^ Shooting in shady conditions with a 1/250s shutter speed to freeze motion has resulted in an ISO 2000 setting. There’s some grain on skin textures and the background looks blotchy once again. (1/250s, f/4, ISO 2000, 105mm equivalent)

Sony a6300 sample 7^ ISO 6400 is a tough test for skin and hair but this is far from a bad result. (1/80s, f/4, ISO 6400, 70mm equivalent)


The Sony a6300 is a superb camera but at £1,000 body-only, that’s pretty much a given. What’s less certain is whether it’s a better buy than the Fujifilm X-T1 and Panasonic GH4, two superb CSCs that cost about the same.

The a6300’s video capabilities are among the best around but the lack of a touchscreen is enough to make me reject this camera in favour of the Panasonic GH4 for video work. The GH4’s superior ergonomics and headphone socket are further confirmation. However, the GH4 can’t compete for photo quality at fast ISO speeds.

The a6300’s major selling point is its best-in-class autofocus and continuous shooting performance. However, the people who will appreciate these features most — sports and nature photographers — will probably want fast, tactile controls, too. The forthcoming Fujifilm X-T2 with its improved autofocus performance is the CSC to watch in this arena (review coming soon) although it’s more expensive at £1,400 body only.

For now, I’d be more tempted by Panasonic GH4 for nature and sports photography with its stunning performance and flexible autofocus system. If image quality and ergonomics are more important that autofocus performance, the Fujifilm X-T1 remains my top recommendation.

The Sony E-Mount range has an excellent track record, though, as this is the best model to date. The a6300 doesn’t come top in any single area, but if you want a single camera that performs well for video capture, high-speed shooting and low-light shooting, this might well be the best option.

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Sensor resolution24 megapixels
Sensor size23.5×15.6mm (APS-C)
Focal length multiplier1.5x
Optical stabilisationAvailable in lenses
ViewfinderElectronic (2,359,296 dots)
Viewfinder magnification (35mm-equivalent), coverage0.7x, 100%
LCD screen3in (921,600 dots)
Orientation sensorYes
Photo file formatsJPEG, RAW (ARW)
Maximum photo resolution6,000×4,000
Photo aspect ratios3:2, 16:9
Video compression formatXAVC S at up to 100MBit/s
Video resolutions4K at 24/25/30fps, 1080p at 24/25/30/50/60/100/120fps, 1080i at 25/30fps, 720p at 25/30fps
Slow motion video modes1080p at 100fps (1/4x), 120fps (1/4x), 120fps (1/5x)
Maximum video clip length (at highest quality)29m 59s
Exposure modesProgram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed range30 to 1/4,000 seconds
ISO speed range100 to 51200
Exposure compensationEV +/-5
White balanceAuto, 10 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Auto-focus modesWide, zone, centre, flexible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modesMulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash modesAuto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modesSingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, dynamic range bracket, HDR, panorama
Lens mountSony E mount
Card slotSDXC
Memory suppliedNone
Battery typeLi-ion
ConnectivityUSB, micro USB, 3.5mm microphone
WirelessWi-Fi, NFC
HotshoeSony Multi Interface Shoe
Body materialMagnesium alloy
AccessoriesUSB cable, neck strap
Dimensions (HxWxD)68x131x49mm
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Price including VAT£999
Part codeILCE6300B.CEC

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