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My Initial Impressions Of My New Sony A6300

Published: 14/07/2016

SonyA6300About a month ago just as we were leaving for a week's vacation in Eastern Oregon the UPS guy brought me a new Sony A6300.

Wayne Capili and so many others have been reporting great things about all the new Sony mirrorless cameras I decided I needed to get with it and try one out. The only reason I decided to go with the A6300 over the A6000 is it just became available and I wanted to be able to shoot 4K video which the A6000 can't do. Another motivation for the purchase was the size of the body and glass compared to my historic old Canon 5DMkII.

I've not used the A6300 for real estate yet mostly because I'm still trying to get my mind around the features like the Electronic View Finder and focus peaking. Here are some of my initial impressions:

  1. The small size is amazing! So far it feels like the quality of the images are every bit as good as my 5DMkII yet, I can stick the A6300 with it's 24mm to 75mm equivalent lens in a large pocket.
  2. I could put my Canon glass on the A6300 but my Canon 16-35mm lens by itself weighs about as much as the A6300 with a lens. And my favorite lens (Canon 24-70mm zoom) dwarfs the A6300! I'm going to stick with small lenses made for mirrorless cameras. So far I have a Sony 16-50mm and a Rokinon 12mm f/2. Not as good as Canon glass but I can live with it.
  3. The A6300 goes through batteries at an amazing rate. I have three batteries for it and you always need to have a spare battery in your pocket. One 15 min time-lapse will suck most of the life out of a battery. The first few times this happened I was so surprised I was caught off guard. One battery can't even make it through my grandson's baseball game while shooting 4K video.
  4. I find the controls far less intuitive than my Canon bodies. This is partly because there are so many and partly because they are crammed in a much smaller space. I hate the tiny little video record button on the A6300 that I can never find quickly.
  5. Sony's time-lapse App is great! Sony has apps that can be downloaded to the camera. The Sony time-lapse app allows you to shoot time-lapses where you control everything and get both a finished video file and a set of RAW images that you can adjust yourself.

While the build quality, the 4K video features, and the world-class autofocus on the A6300 (see the review for details) is wonderful, for standard real estate photography the A6000 delivers everything you need for $500 less. Wayne Capili's post lists everything you need for A6000 real estate shooting.

I love the size of the A6300 and the quality of images and video it produces. I must admit, I'm a convert to Sony mirrorless cameras! Sony still needs work on the design of the controls and interface and better glass but nowadays I use my A6300 more than my Canon 5DMkII just because of the size.

Larry Lohrman

11 comments on “My Initial Impressions Of My New Sony A6300”

  1. I´m pretty sure this A6300 is a real good alternative for some of us, but not for me. Let me explain. Quality, versatility, apps, weight, size even lens i´m sure are great after reading all the good reviews of this models and the old one, the A6000. But hands on the camera, this rear controls are far far less intuitive and let me say - less professional- than the average reflex. When i´m in the field shooting i need a "quick and not think" body camera and not to spend gold seconds thinking about how the hell i can change the aperture or speed. Maybe a good second body for some specific work in m opinion.

  2. I'll echo both David and Stefan. I do some event photography and I can twiddle dials and buttons on my Canon without having to look. I have fairly large hands and have problems using some of the smaller cameras. Size is an issue and Wayne has been called out on his camera. He gets great images, no doubt there, but people equate a Professional camera as one with a larger frame and lens. Sometimes you just have to put on the show.

    What I'm waiting to see is a professional caliber camera body that has almost no controls and is accessed from a smartphone, tablet or laptop. There would be an on/off switch, audio in, memory card, battery slot and USB connector. Wi-Fi would be used to control the camera functions with USB as a backup. Jpgs would be sent to view over the air and RAW images/video would be recorded on the memory card. You could program a timelapse and just walk away while the camera did its thing. I'd also like an Arca-Swiss mount as standard. Handheld rigs could be built by third party companies to hold the camera and a tablet and make it easier to use when off of the tripod. Lenses are the weakest link, so this camera has to be able to mount a professional series of lenses. Canon or Nikon are preferable since many people might be switching over from one of those brands.

  3. Hi Guys,
    I own the Sony a7s and the Panasonic GH4 wich I use mainly for video while Nikon D750 for my architectural shoots.
    But about 2 weeks ago my Nikon broke down and I had to send it out for repair (and my backup Nikon is used by my assitant these days) I had no choice but to start shooting with the GH4 and its Panasonic 7-14mm lens.
    The good news is that the Panasonic is fantastic for architecturals shoots. I can control the camera entirely from my smartphone (focusing included) and the entire setup weights less then my Nikon camera or my Nikon 14-24mm lens. And to my utter surprise the 7-14mm panasonic lens has less distortion then the fantastic Nikon 14-24. I must say I love the light weight and the quality. Now I can go around with a tiny camera bag and shoot all my stills, 4K video and 4K time laps which is made into a movie right in the camera. And of course due to the MFT sensor size I get much better depth of field even in lower F stops.

  4. I own two boutique portrait studios where we do 500+ photo shoots a year and use Canon equipment exclusively. I also photograph real estate. And while it would be easier for me to use Canon's (because that's what I use all day everyday), I use the a6000 because I can fit all I need in one small camera bag and one small tripod / light stand bag and unobtrusively leave it in my vehicle 24/7 & be able to grab it at a moments notice. Plus, shooting with an iPad live image via blue tooth with the a6000 is SUPER nice. I'm able to see important details before clicking the shutter and am able to make any relevant camera adjustment right from the ipad without fumbling with the small buttons on the a6000. Thank you Wayne Capili for bringing this tiny marvel to light!

  5. I've heard great things about the Sony camera.
    I'm a Nikon Shooter, but a friend talked me into the Fuji X system as I used to shoot with a Leica for travel and fine art, and the Fuji X system was the closest thing. I decided to bring it on a shoot to see if I could scale down to a smaller camera. But as David mention above, it was frustrating trying to figure how to change settings until I knew the camera (its retro design is much like a manual camera) and it didn't synch higher than 1/180 sec. Since I had the property to myself with no owner or realtor, I could take my time. The images that the Fuji X-Pro and their 10-24 super wide produced were so much better than my Nikon and lighter. it took a while for me to learn all the settings, but once I learned, I started shooting more and more properties with the Fuji, especially when I am standing on a tall ladder. Now, I use my Nikon as a back-up and shoot mostly with a Fuji X-E2 (even lighter than the X-Pro) and their amazing 14mm f-2.8 lens. I'm waiting to get the new Fuji X-Pro 2 which synchs at 1/250, and then selling all my Nikon equipment. Many photographers didn't know it, but Fuji built cameras and lenses for Hasselblad. its truly an underrated camera, but many fine art photographers are discovering this system, and I would have to say, my Fuji lenses rival my Leica lenses.

  6. Oh, I'm so happy my client just want perfect quality pictures, they are not asking what camera i use. I have a6000 and a7rmk2, i tried also a6300 but i didnt see any difference in picture quality in low iso setup. BUT with adapters, a6300 is much better, so if u need af and you use metabones adapter, dont buy a6000.Sony makes really nice 10-18/4 oss wideangle for crop cameras, for ff i use tamron 15-30/2,8 with adapter. Also, i have metabones speedbooster ultra adapter for crop sensor, which gives me one stop better aperture value and i dont loose any mm of my lense. So with adapter my tamron is still 15-30 but it makes 2,8 aperture to 2. I have used Sony now 3 years and i have been really happy, so far i havent missed my 5dmk3 and 1dx, also my back likes tiltable lcd..I used little bit time gh4, but all wide angles i tried have horrible flare and picture dynamic was so far behind, i decided to choose sony.

  7. Larry,

    I bought an A6000 at the end of 2014. I started my real estate business in June of 2015. On a good month I do about 22 homes with each home taking anywhere between 250 and 400 shots depending on the size is the home. I use the 5 shot bracket setting. I shoot raw and use Capture One Sony Pro 8 for editing. My 1 TB drive is almost full as a result. To be sure, the learning curve on the 6000 is steep but once figured out becomes just as easy as using any other camera. I would guess that it is most difficult for any using any other DSLR that they are used to. I did not have that problem.
    In the year and a half that I have used the 6000 it has shown signs of wear or so I thought. I was getting horizontal blur and switching from single to 5 shot bracket would sometimes result in getting a different menu setting. I was told to "reset" the camera and those issues disappeared.
    Here are some suggestions for you that work for me. Set the C2 button to switch between manual and auto focus. Turn off anything you don't use to get more battery life.
    When combined with Capture One Pro 8, or 9 as it is now for Sony, you will be amazed. Hope you like it.

  8. Larry - welcome to the dark side! Just kidding, but that is how it starts. Was impressed with a6000 I got for wife and borrowed an a7 couple years ago for daughter's wedding in Canary Islands. Didn't want to lug my Nikon around Europe like I did the year prior. Have now fully transitioned over with an a7rII and supporting full frame lens, not looking back. For RE, the FE16-35 is superb, and to a large extent my walkaround on subsequent European trips. Yes, the batteries are an issue, but at least they are small and light so not hard to carry and have never run through all three before I could recharge one. Does it have it's quirks...yes. The remote app used for pole photography doesn't set to the current camera setting when activating it but remembers the last setting in the app - discovered after an IOS 3200 session when attempting a full daylight ISO 100 aerial shot and alerted when live view was blown out. Just had to dial the correct settings on my phone to adjust the app. Flash is an issue with some TTL equipment now coming to market, but use full manual Yongnuo YN-560 on Nikon mount since don't make Sony version as manual only requires the center firing pin, plus adjusting power levels on camera with the YN560-TN is fully functional with both the a6000 and a7RII. While not used in RE work, one feature I love is the silent shutter as it is TOTALLY silent. Particularly good with children, maintaining candid shots as they are not distracted by shutter and suddenly posing. Likewise at events where cameras are prohibited due to sound. I was the only one in a local photo club that was able to take photos of the Philharmonic during their performance as they enforce their no photo during performance rule. I did pre-clear it with the conductor.

    Won't look professional? Funny story. Was in CT for granddaughter's birth on July 4th. Hospital photographer came in for photoshoot with a Canon 5dMarkIII and 24-70. She saw my a7rII with a 70-200 f4 sitting next to me on the sofa and she goes "Dang, I don't have a lens like that." I showed her the camera and re-assured her I take photos of houses, not people, as she appeared quite intimidated.

  9. I permanently use the Olympus OM-D E-M1 for my architectural & interior (and all other) photography.
    With the Olympus 12mm F2 lens it is one minute & lightweight package - with excellent optical results (have done 3 shoots (and hopefully some more : ) for an upmarket home & decor magazine).

    In one hand I can easily carry my carbon Gitzo (with camera mounted) and in the other a light stand with off-camera flash (and another flash in the pocket !).

    And yes, NEVER had 1 comment or funny look (I think ; ) that I wasn't looking professional, because of the small size of the camera.

  10. I don't shoot with an A6300 but I've recently converted over to an A7ii from my canon setup. All I can say is that I could not be happier. I did quickly notice the batter issues so I added a grip very shortly after purchase and that has solved all of my issues. Not only can I easily get through 4-6 listings on 2 batteries but it's much more comfortable in my hand. With that the weight and size have kind of evened out but Canon/Nikon still cannot compete with the technology packed into these Sony cameras. With all the new amazing glass being released as well I don't see how anyone could not at least consider them as part of their line up if you're looking to upgrade.

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