Sony’s latest mirrorless camera is the alpha 6300. The camera boasts a 4D FOCUS system which Sony says can lock focus on a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, laying claim to the world’s fastest AF acquisition time.
But perhaps the biggest “wow” are the 425 phase detection AF points that are densely positioned over the entire image area (another ‘world’s first’ claim for Sony, the highest number of AF points on any interchangeable lens camera). The 6300 can shoot images at up to 11 frames per second with continuous autofocus and exposure tracking.
The camera also has the ability to support full live-view continuous shooting on the Tru-finder or LCD screen at up to 8 frames per second, which Sony says combines all the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy of a through-the-lens optical viewfinder.
The camera is equipped with a newly developed 24.2-megapixel APS-C sized Exmor CMOS sensor that works with a BIONZ X image processing engine to produce outstanding image quality throughout the entire ISO sensitivity range of 100 to 51200, says the company.
The 6300 can also shoot and record high resolution 4K video with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in the popular Super 35 mm format.
The 6300 also debuts a new High-density tracking AF technology said to significantly improve subject detection and tracking performance. This new technology can quickly activate a large number of AF points surrounding a subject – approximately 7.5 times more density than the alpha 6000 – and intelligently adjust them in accordance with the subject’s motion.
Of note, the 425 phase detection AF points, enhanced tracking and focus accuracy are all available on the 6300 when using A-mount lenses with a mount adaptor such as the Sony LA-EA3. This is a first for Sony E-mount interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sized sensor, as the only other cameras to feature this capability are the full-frame alpha 7R II and 7 II models.
Other enhancements to the 6300 include silent shooting functionality, the ability to use AF in focus magnifier mode, expanded flexible spot AF, and Eye AF in AF-C mode.
Sony notes the new image sensor employs copper wiring in its structure, which improves light collection efficiency and significantly accelerates readout speed. The processor features an upgraded image processing algorithm designed to maximize the sensor’s overall capabilities. The two key components work together to produce images with low noise and exceptional resolution in sensitivity settings up to ISO 51200, in particular in the mid-to-high sensitivity range, says Sony.
In another first for non-full-frame Sony interchangeable lens camera, the new model offers internal 4K movie recording in Super 35 mm format. When shooting in 4K, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 20 megapixels of information – approximately 2.4x (6K equivalent) as many pixels as 4K UHD and then oversamples the information to produce high quality footage with exceptional detail and depth.
The camera utilizes the XAVC S codec during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during standard Full HD shooting, ensuring maximum detail and clarity in both video formats. Additionally, the camera will focus approximately twice as fast as its predecessor during movie shooting thanks to its new and improved AF system. AF speed and AF tracking sensitivity are also adjustable for expanded creativity.
Other professional calibre video features include the ability to record Full HD at 120 fps at 100 Mbps, another first for alpha interchangeable lens cameras with APS-C sized sensors. This mode allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD8 (24p or 30p) resolution with AF tracking. The camera also offers S-Log gamma recording for wide dynamic range shooting – approximately 14-stop latitude in S-Log3 gamma setting – and supports S-Gamut for a wider colour space. Both options allow for greater creativity for processing video post-production.
Also included on the new camera is a microphone line input that accepts external microphones and also supports XLR input with Sony’s XLR adapter kit, as well as Gamma Display Assist, a new function allowing users to monitor images or check focus when recording S-Log movies. The new model has enhanced Zebra functionality for greater exposure control. Picture profile settings are available, as well as Time Code / User Bit.
The 6300 is equipped with a high contrast, high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 2.4 million dots to offer exceptional corner-to-corner visibility, notes the company. There is also a new mode available for the viewfinder to allow display of images at 120 fps, ensuring action is displayed smoothly with very few afterimages, making subject tracking through the Tru-finder easier than ever.
As well as having a magnesium alloy design, the camera can be customized, offering 9 customizable buttons for assignment of one of 64 different functions. The camera adds a digital level gauge as well as upgraded dust and moisture resistance, a reinforced lens mount structure and a new shutter release button and mode dial with improved operability and grip.
The 6300 camera is Wi-Fi and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app available for Android and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s PlayMemories Camera Apps, which add a variety of creative capabilities to the camera. It also supports QR code for easy connection to non-NFC smart phones.
The Sony alpha 6300 camera will be available in March for about $1,350 for the camera body or for about $1,500 paired with a 16-50 mm f/3.5–5.6 kit.