Sony Alpha A6300 Gordon Laing, March 2016

Sony A6300 quality

On this page I'll compare the quality of the Sony A6300 with its predecessor the A6000. I've also included a comparison with Fujifilm's X-Pro 2, another 24 Megapixel APSC mirrorless camera, not because it's targeting the same buyers but because the Fuji sensor will almost certainly be featured in future X-bodies aimed at the same audience as the A6300.

Both the A6000 and A6300 were fitted with the same Zeiss 16-70mm f4 zoom, set to 16mm f5.6 in aperture priority for the optimal quality. I fitted the X-Pro 2 with the XF 10-24mm f4, zoomed to 16mm to match the field-of-view and also set to f5.6 for the optimal quality. I used this lens on the Fuji as it was the only one I had available at the time of testing with a matching focal length. I realise it's higher-end than the Sony lens, but I decided to include it here out of interest. If you want to minimise the impact of the optics in this comparison, please pay most attention to the crops taken from nearer the middle of the frame where both lenses perform well.

All three cameras were set to their base sensitivities: 100 ISO for both Sonys and 200 ISO for the Fujifilm. As always I'll start with out-of-camera JPEG comparisons using the default settings, but will update the review with RAW results once the new cameras are fully supported by Adobe Camera RAW.

Above is the main view, captured by the Sony A6300 with red squares indicating the areas I've cropped for presentation below at 100%. Note a minor difference in the focal lengths used here means the Fuji crops show a slightly tighter area. The three columns show the cropped results from, left to right, the older Sony A6000, the new Sony A6300 and the Fujifilm X-Pro 2.

All three cameras sport sensors with APSC areas and 24 Megapixel resolution, but the Fuji sensor employs a different colour filter array and also lacks a low-pass filter. Meanwhile the A6300 sports a newer sensor than its predecessor. The Fuji architecture allows it to deliver typically crisper results than most rivals, especially when coupled with a higher quality lens like the XF 10-24mm. This is most obvious in the first two rows where the Sony crops look comparatively soft in comparison. I'd say most of this is due to differences in optics towards the edges of the frame - where the Fuji lens is clearly performing better - but also in terms of the sharpness delivered by the Fuji sensor and its subsequent processing. Look closely at the second row and while the Fuji crops initially appear much crisper, there's evidence of greater sharpening with outlining of edges.

As you judge the remaining crops towards the centre of the frame where both lenses perform more similarly, there's roughly the same degree of detail recorded by all three models. Certainly the Fuji sensor and processing are delivering a crisper-looking result using the default settings, but I wouldn't say there's more detail in there - it's more that Fuji's in-camera processing is doing a better job at delivering a crisper result, if of course that's what you want. I reckon you could get a similar result from all three if you adjusted their in-camera JPEG settings or processed a RAW file with similar parameters.

As for the two Sonys, I'd say they're performing essentially the same here, as you'd expect in good light with the same lens. The bigger question is what happens at higher sensitivities and you can find out in my Sony A6300 noise results, or skip straight to my Sony A6300 sample images or verdict.

My final word here though would be to ensure you couple all of these cameras with decent lenses for the best results. This particularly applies to the Sony APSC mirrorless bodies which are often sold in a kit with the 16-50mm power zoom. This lens may be small and light, but compromises the quality, especially towards the corners at wider focal lengths. If I were buying the A6300 (or indeed the older A6000), I'd try to couple it with the far superior, albeit larger, 16-70mm f4.


Sony A6000 (JPEG)
Using SEL 1670Z at 16mm f5.6
  Sony A6300 (JPEG)
Using SEL 1670Z at 16mm f5.6
  Fujifilm X-Pro 2 (JPEG)
Using XF 10-24mm at 16mm f5.6
f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 100 ISO   f5.6, 200 ISO

Sony A6300 results : quality / noise

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