The a6300 is Sony’s latest mid-range mirrorless camera. Coming two years later as an upgrade from the a6000, the a6300 has mainated the 24MP resolution but has improved on just about everything else.

Thanks to the kind people at Sony we got the take the A6300 and the SELP1650 out for a couple clicks to see if matched up to expectations.

THE SPECS:

  • 24MP Exmor CMOS sensor
  • 425 phase detection points to give ‘4D Focus’ Hybrid AF
  • 4K (UHD) video – 25/24p from full width, 30p from smaller crop
  • 2.36M-dot OLED finder with 120 FPS mode
  • Dust and moisture resistant magnesium-alloy body
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC connection option
  • Built-in microphone socket
The “King” of the HDB is not happy to be woken from his slumber.

It’s an amazingly handy camera that has a comfortable grip and weight. The camera’s rear and top dials are fairly easy to reach and manipulate whether you’re using the camera one-handed or two although there maybe a tendency to hit the centre button with your thumb now and then. You might have to make some adjustments to your grip, but it’s nothing much to fuss about – unless you’ve got large hands or long fingers.

With the right settings and steady hands, the camera’s 4D FOCUS™ system and incredible 425 phase-detect points allows the camera to auto-focus on and capture images in as fast as 0.05 seconds, and its predecessor’s 11 FPS burst-shooting option (with auto-focus and exposure adjustment) makes it easy to take fast-moving subjects.

The flip up/down screen is extremely useful when you’re trying to shoot things from a higher or lower angle, when lighting is an issue or taking that perfect selfie. Alternatively you can switch to the camera’s nifty Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) as its fairly thick rubber casing is good at keeping keep stray light out. The EVF is able to run at 120 FPS instead of the standard 60 FPS.

Plus, the eye sensor just to the right of the finder that helps the camera automatically switch between the finder and the rear screen almost instantaneously means you’re less likely to miss those important moments.

The screen’s 16:9 ratio is ideal for filming videos and unlike the a6000, the a6300 now has 4K shooting in the Super 35mm format instead of Full HD – a first for a non-full-frame Sony model. The camera can shoot at 24 or 25 FPS at its full sensor width and 30 FPS at a tighter crop which means you will be able to capture high quality “home-video” or casual vacation footage easily.

While we didn’t get an opportunity to shoot any videos during this review it’s definitely something that we’d have liked to have done.

Some shots are a combination of too bright and too tall for the eye to see – flippy screen to the rescue!

Unfortunately, the lack of an earphone socket means you can’t check your audio on the go which will make video recording tricky since there’s no way to ascertain audio quality before, during or immediately after shooting (unless you import the video to a different platform right after.) It does come with a mic port though, so you can record sound directly to the video.

The 921k-dot resolution, 3-inch display on the rear gives you a preview that is pretty close to what you would see on a larger screen. Sadly it is not a touch screen which would have been extremely helpful with pinpoint focusing. But you can toggle the AF manually with the centre button without too much fuss.

The a6300 has kept its in-built filters that allows beginners to explore different effects and styles of photography in-camera with a turn of a dial.

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However if you’re any bit tech savvy at all, you can easily add these filters or tweak your photos with an app (we recommend VSCO or PicsArt) on your phone (via SONY’s PlayMemories Mobile™app) or with a photo-editing software on a computer so the filters are something you’ll forget that you have pretty quickly. Take the panorama mode for a spin now and then to give you a wider view on things too.

Images you get from the a6300 are similar to the a6000 – they show detailed capture and sharpening with fairly neutral colour renditioning.

The lens gives you a beautiful, soft edges while capturing crisp centre details.

The lens bundled with the camera is the SELP1650 (16–50mm F3.5–5.6 OSS). It is a versatile lens suitable for daily use (or for entry-level users), it has built-in electronic optical image stabilisation as well as a new electronic zooming mechanism – as an E-mount zoom lens, both focusing and zooming are electronically controlled. It also has a single rotating ring that functions as either a traditional zoom ring or a focusing ring, depending on the camera’s modes.

It’s a pity that the camera doesn’t come with its own in-built stabilisation, SONY definitely missed an opportunity to add it to their latest model – but perhaps it’s boost the lens’ own  built-in electronic optical image stabiliser.

Masjid Sultan on a quiet night.

Unfortunately at F3.5 – 5.6, you won’t be capturing too many highly detailed low-light or night shots. However the a6300’s high ISO (max. 51,200) is able to compensate for this (somewhat) otherwise just switch out for a lens with a lower or wider aperture range. The a6300’s noise reduction at high ISO settings is smooth, shows more detail  saturation only starts to drop off once you move above ISO 12,800.

Low-light shooting also suffered from slow focus or complete inability to focus which got annoying quickly. But even with the average aperture, you’ll be able to capture decent food photos when you’re in an indoor setting.

The camera is Wi-Fi-ready, NFC compatible and with Sony’s very own app, PlayMemories Mobile™, (available on for both Android™ and iOS platforms) you can upload your photos to your phone immediately with a tap. You’ll never have to wait to share your photos again!

The camera has average battery life, giving you anywhere between 350-400 shots on a charge, depending on whether you use the EVF or the rear screen.

The a6300 is a well-rounded camera with a good specification, and delivers great performance in a range of situations. It’ll be a great travel companion due to it’s size and flexibility due to  variety of lenses available.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

BODY: SGD $1,479
BODY+SELP1650 KIT $1,699

Available at most digital retail outlets. For more information click here.

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