Technophile

The little alpha champ

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on July 13, 2016

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Sony A6300 is a mid-range beauty that blends innovative features with ease-of-use



Mirrorless cameras may have improved their specs and style considerably in the recent past, but their growth has been slower than industry expectations. That’s mainly because professional photographers are still to develop a strong liking towards them and the two behemoths in the world of photography — Nikon and Canon — still prefer the mirror (DSLRs). But an impressive array of products from the likes of Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic are trying their best to change the scenario, helping mirrorless cameras enjoy better traction.

The A6300 is the latest mirrorless offering from Sony which looks much like its popular predecessor, the A6000, and carries improved software and hardware. To start with, it is small. Mirrorless cameras are known for their small size, thanks to the Micro Four Thirds sensor format, which many purists in the profession still look down on. The A6300, placed in the middle range of the camera hierarchy, is easy-to-handle; the body is compact and feels strong with the ridges offering robust grip. You can shoot in ten pre-set modes including two customised options.

The camera offers interchangeable lens facility and supports Sony E-mount lenses. The A6300 comes with kit lens 16-50mm (f3.5-5.6 power-zoom), which delivers decent performance. The flat top makes the body good looking and stylish, and the slim flash boasts of a chic, minimalist design. The camera carries a flexible, 3-inch TFT screen, which has good resolution.

Photographer's delight

The APS-C mirrorless camera sports Sony’s Exmor CMOS sensor. It can take photos up to 24.2 MP in size and shoot enhanced 4K video. In the world of images, everyone knows size doesn’t matter much, but output quality does. Today, camera-phones that can click high-resolution photos with less noise and enhanced colour reproduction are giving some competition to entry-level and even mid-range standalone cameras. To tackle this challenge, several standalone cameras now experiment with the high fidelity sensors that focus extremely fast. Sony A6300 has an impressive 425 phase-detection auto-focus points sprinkled across the APS-C sensor. The A6000 also had quick auto-focus, but the A6300 has taken the faculty several notches up. Sony claims the A6300 has the world’s fastest auto-focus facility — to be fair, the focus features are quite impressive, and can give sports photographers, among others, a new lease of life.

The camera offers a fairly wide range of image sensitivity — ISO 100 to 512004, and works well under dimly-lit or even suitably dark environs. The high ISO makes night-photography easier. If you are an amateur photographer wanting to upgrade to the big leagues, the A6300 can become quite useful thanks to its auto and scene modes. Both work well under most lighting conditions, producing impeccable results.

Ultra-fast focus

The camera picks objects up pretty fast and its tracking faculty works seamlessly. The high-density tracking AF technology improves Sony’s 4D Focus to deliver clear images — still and in motion. In 4D focus, the algorithm predicts objects’ movement for sharper focusing, along with covering the area and distance to the subject. The A6300’s 4K video facility makes it a handy tool for professional video-makers. The 4K video is captured in the XAVC-S format and 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps bit rate. The compact body helps users shoot un-blurred video even without a tripod, even under low-light. The camera understands colours with amazing precision and renders them with alacrity and detail. Audio is captured clearly, though one cannot play with it much inside the camera.

Feature-packed

The A6300 has a flip up/down screen with 16:9 ratio, making it tailor-made for shooting video. It also has a microphone socket and can record time code. No doubt, the A6300’s video performance is way above its counterparts.

A6300 supports Wi-Fi sharing. And the process is so smooth that in all likelihood you will take out the memory card very rarely. Images can be shared to the smartphone using Sony’s PlayMemories App, just by scanning a QR code on the camera. The app allows you to copy images in lower sizes as well. The wheel button on the back, which can be customised to perform many functions, is also convenient.

Sony says it has used new fabrication processes — using copper wiring — to enhance the sensor’s performance, improving its light collection efficiency. This is supposed to improve the camera’s battery life as well. But on the ground that doesn’t seem happening; the battery is a letdown.

It doesn’t last long enough while shooting video, but on the brighter side it gets charged pretty fast, which is a boon for travellers. Another issue is lack of touch-screen or the ability to change focus using touch.

Verdict

The A6300 is priced on the higher side. At ₹74,990, it is placed on the upper echelons of the mid-range spectrum and draws inevitable comparisons with Nikon D7200 or Canon 80D, but if you are a fan of mirrorless cameras and fast-focus, you won’t mind spending some extra bucks on this compact beauty which can produces the best images in its range. The A6300 is proof enough to assume Sony will continue to dominate the mirrorless market.

Price: ₹74,990

Love: 425 phase detection points, 4K (UHD) video, Wi-Fi

Hate: Price, Battery

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Published on July 13, 2016
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