It’s time. You’ve finally decided to buy a camera. It doesn’t matter if you’re upgrading or starting your photography journey. This is momentous and you need to find the right camera for you.
If you’ve shot with a compact interchangeable-lens camera, or caught wind of the mirrorless hype, then there’s a good chance that you want one. There have been more than a few duds, but usually Sony is ahead of the curve. Despite their sterling reputation, you probably want to know what you’re getting into before you drop a few hundred dollars on a gadget.
Sony released the A6000 amidst a flurry of excitement, but just two years later they released the A6300. What’s the difference between the two and which one is better?
These are good questions to ask before you make your final decision. This review will show you what each camera has to offer. We’ll look at their main features and differences. Then we’ll put them to the test by looking at their pros, cons, and a brief summary to see what other users think about the cameras.
At the end of it all, there should be one clear winner.
Table of Contents
Sony A6000 vs Sony A6300: Features
No camera is equal, and if you’re looking for an upgrade then you know that. Let’s find out what these two cameras have to offer and what makes them special.
1. Build & Handling
The A6000 is a camera that will survive a few tumbles. The body is compact, but it has a high-quality metal build which means that it should survive a few intense photography trips and come out looking as good as new. The A6000 model comes with an OLED electronic viewfinder, full-size hot shoe, dedicated mode dial and pop-up flash.
There's also a 3-inch, 921k-dot, tilting LCD, and a 24.7-megapixel CMOS sensor, WiFi, 1080/60p video and a top sensitivity of ISO 51,200. This camera has almost everything you’d expect.
The A6000 isn’t the scariest camera on the market, but it has a few buttons and dials that might seem intimidating to newbies. There’s a wheel mounted on the top that lets you choose your shooting mode. The secondary dial allows you to adjust the aperture and shutter speed.
The 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 power zoom lens allows you to adjust focal length thanks to the toggle on the side. Although you can also zoom in and out if you turn the front lens wheel. There’s also a bunch of buttons on the back. Some are dedicated to one feature, but others are customizable such as the exposure compensation to ISO button, and the video record button.
Although the two cameras look alike the A6300 is undoubtedly tougher. The A6000 has a magnesium alloy in its front section, the A6300’s body is completely made of the material. Sony also improved the water and dust resistance, and you can look forward to a reinforced lens mount structure. All of this means that the camera is beefy, but lightweight.
The camera was designed to be solidly reliable so that it can withstand even the most rigorous photography outing. The casing ensures that water and dust won’t enter the body, protecting all the internal hardware. The dust and moisture resistance measures include a protective double-layer structure that interlocks over the panels and components, as well as sealing around all the dials and buttons.
The buttons still look more or less the same, but we do take issue with the dial. It’s placed awkwardly and is just a head scratcher for a camera that costs this much.
2. Battery Life
The A6000 comes with Sony's NP-FW50 battery back, which has been used for their mirrorless cameras for about four years now. It’s advertised as being able to get about 360 images on a full charge, but that does depend on what functions you use.
The A6300 comes with the same battery pack, although it has been improved somewhat. It can get about 400 images on a full charge. These aren’t stellar numbers, so consider getting a portable battery pack or bringing extra batteries along. It should be enough for a casual day of shooting though.
The A6300 can also be powered via USB connection to a computer or an external battery pack for extended shooting or when shooting time lapses.
Modern photography is about sharing, and it’s never been easier. The A6000 has Wi-Fi connectivity which allows you to share your photos with compatible devices. You can also download the PlayMemories App to make it even easier. With these features, you can share your images to your devices for quick sharing or directly onto your social media. Connectivity has also been simplified by allowing you to simply touch your camera to a NFC compatible device to share and connect.
Not only does the A6300 also have Wi-Fi, but you can now control your camera via a Mac or PC via USB. The Wi-Fi capabilities are almost the same as on the A6000, offering PlayMemories Apps, NFC, remote control from a compatible device, and the ability to upload images to the cloud across Wi-Fi networks. he camera can now be controlled via a Mac or PC over a USB connection.
The Wi-Fi feature is about the same as on the NEX-6, offering remote control from a smart device, the ability to transfer images from the camera and options for uploading to the cloud, across Wi-Fi networks.
4. Sensor & Processor
The biggest change between the A6000 and its predecessors are related to the sensor. The 24 megapixel ‘Exmor APS HD' CMOS sensor has the same on-chip phase detection technology like its predecessor, but it covers more of the frame. This means improved AF tracking, and this improvement will become clearer when shooting continuously. The A6000 also houses Sony's latest image processor, the Bionz X. The sensor boasts better detail and improved noise reduction.
The Bionz X processor is much more powerful than previous models, and makes for more sophisticated processing. Apparently this processor offers Detail Reproduction Technology, which is just a fancy way of saying a better sharpening system.
Sony also promises that there will be less emphasis on the edges, allowing for finer details. You can also expect Diffraction Reduction, which is basically when the camera corrects the softness caused by diffraction when you stop the lens’ aperture down. Lastly, the Bionz X chip also has better area-specific noise reduction. This is when the camera applies different amounts of noise reduction to certain areas of an image.
Meanwhile, the A6300 features a new 24.2 MP Exmor CMOS that significantly boosts imaging performance. It has copper wiring and enhanced circuitry that makes it possible to capture low-noise images with a wide sensitivity range up to ISO 51200. Using copper also means that the readout speed is made faster and allows the potential of advanced 4K and Full HD 120fps shooting.
The A6300 also has a Bionz X processor with a few tweaks aimed at providing videos with better resolution and images with improved texture and detail, especially at mid-to-high ISO settings.
The A6000 stands out from its competition thanks to its AF system. The 25-point contrast detect part of the system mirrors its predecessors, but the phase-detect points have risen from 99 to 179. Those extra detect points means that you have a much bigger coverage area of about 92% of the frame compared to the previous 50%. What does this mean in simpler terms? It means that tracking moving subjects has never been easier.
While the A6000’s numbers are impressive, the A6300 leaves it in the dust with 425 focal plane phase-detection AF points to create wider coverage. This allows the camera to focus more efficiently and accurately on subjects all around the frame. The camera also achieves incredible AF speed at 0.05s thanks to the improved processor.
To track moving subjects more reliably, the camera relies on new High-Density Tracking AF Technology with 7.5 times more density than the A6000. You can now capture action with startling clarity with high-speed continuous shooting at up to 11fps. You can also choose between three different speeds speeds up to 8fps. It all depends on the shooting situation and your preferences.
The A6300 has focal plane phase-detection AF even when an A-mount lens is mounted, so you can take advantage of the wide coverage and fluid tracking when shooting with other lenses, which is a major plus. Another advantage is that you can use AF when enlarging part of an image on the viewfinder or LCD screen. This camera has an advanced AF system that offers even more features than we’ve spoken about now. The system alone makes this camera a serious contender.
Sony’s Tru-Finder OLED electronic viewfinder is impressive, and they decided to fit it to the A6000. The viewfinder has a new optical system with four double aspherical lenses that give 100% frame coverage, as well as a wide viewing angle, about 33° for improved visibility from corner to corner. The viewfinder accurately shows what will appear in your recording, and the effects of your camera settings. All of this allows you to monitor the end result while shooting.
An electronic viewfinder has the ability to show the effects of camera settings before taking the picture. It also uses MF assist and Peaking function to make the focus more precise while previewing your shot.
The A6300 also has this type of viewfinder, but with a few minor tweaks. These upgrades can also be found in Sony’s top-end rage. Apparently, the tracking capabilities have been improved, as well as the camera’s ability to see action more smoothly.
To be honest, the A6000's movie mode isn’t much different from its predecessors, although it does have a feature called zebra pattern. This is a live exposure warning that’s set to keep an eye on the brightness level. The camera can also output clean video over HDMI.
The A6300, on the other hand, has 4K movie recording in Super 35 mm format with full pixel readout and no pixel binning which has 2.4 times as much information that’s required for 4K. This data is so rich that it’s almost the same as 6K data.
All of this means that your images and videos will have incredible resolution. You could choose to shoot high-quality Full HD footage, in Full HD 120fps high-speed shooting with AF tracking at a high bitrate. The camera can also record 4x/5x slow motion movies when the frame rate is set at 30p or 24p. Obviously this camera is a good choice for an aspiring videographer.
8. Image Quality
The A6000 has wonderful image quality, allowing it to compete with competing brands’ cameras. There isn’t a major difference between this camera and its predecessor when it comes to stills, but you will notice a difference and probably be happy with the results. Once again, it isn’t a major upgrade, but it’s an upgrade nonetheless. A few of the improvements lie in the more accurate exposure and colors, as well as a faster focus.
The camera has a sensitivity of ISO 100, so there’s not much room for noise. Details are sharp, since the camera exposes properly and adjusts much faster than its predecessor. Thanks to these features, the camera has incredible image quality.
Although the A6000 has great image quality, the A6300's images are a bit crisper, but they show stronger moiré patterns. Many users suspect that SOny reduced the strength of the A6000’s weak AA-filter or even removed it.
It's hard criticise the A6300's image quality. The sensor produces sharp photos with dynamic colors, and reliable focus. Noise levels are surprisingly low, and JPEG processing works fantastically on fine details. These results prove once and for all that the A6300 does well as a video and a stills camera.
The strength and rigidity of both cameras and the lens mounts provide you with a solid foundation for mounting and withstanding with large, heavy lenses such as telephoto lenses and lenses used for videos.
When choosing an interchangeable lens camera, you need to know how many lenses are available. Both cameras have the same Sony E lens mount, and there are about 83 native lenses available. You also need to consider the availability of image stabilization. None of these cameras have sensor based image stabilization which means that you need to buy the lenses with the Optical stabilization feature. There are about 23 lenses for the Sony E (NEX) mount.
10. Sony A6000 vs A6300: Pros & Cons
Now that each camera has had their say, it’s time to look at their pros and cons. We’ve also included a brief summary that takes into consideration what other users had to say after using these cameras.
Sony A6000: Pros
- Fast autofocus
- User-friendly interface
- Great image quality
Sony A6000: Cons
- No external microphone port
- Small screen thats impractical for shooting stills
- The screen is calibrated differently than the viewfinder which can be confusing
Sony A6000: Summary
Starting a new hobby or profession is more than a little scary. You have to be brave to try it and even braver to stick with it. The A6000 makes that journey a little easier. There are many reviews about this camera out on the internet, but all of them agree that the camera takes it easy on newcomers. Even professionals praise it. It’s also encouraging that this type of camera has such good Wi-Fi connectivity since this is a big point of consideration for many modern photographers. There are a few disadvantages, but all of these are minor issues that shouldn’t ruin your experience with the camera.
- Great video quality
- Improved AF system
- External battery power option
Sony A6300: Cons
- No touchscreen
- Uncomfortably hard eye cap over the viewfinder
- Impractical placement of memory card slot
Sony A6300: Summary
This is a Jack-of-all-trades camera. It’s impressive because its rare to find such a good camera with so many features under $1,000. It might not be the cheapest camera on the market, but it does what it needs to and more. There are a few drawbacks, but most of them seem to sto stem from personal preference. It’s also important to note that you’re not going to find a perfect camera at this price. That being said, this little machine works well and does a fantastic job with most functions. It’s the perfect camera for aspiring photographers and videographers.
Sony A6000 vs Sony A6300: Verdict
We’ve come to the end of our review! Have you made your choice yet? If you’ve got a clear winner in your mind, then there’s no need to continue. Your personal preference makes all the difference and if you choose what you want, then you’ll be happy. On the other hand, if you’re not quite sure which camera won, then let’s move on to closing arguments.
The A6000 is basically a continuation of the SONY NEX-6 line. The cameras have similar bodies, but the inner features and functions are what make all the difference. There are more powerful mirrorless cameras on the market, but not at this price. If you’re on a tight budget, then this is the camera for you. The camera is compact, fast, and versatile. All these aspects mean that the Sony A6000 is a serious contender worthy of your consideration.
The A6300 is more than capable of meeting all your expectations, whether you want to shoot stills or video. If you want to get the best out of the numerous features, you’re going to have to work for it. This isn’t a point and shoot camera, this becomes obvious when you see the results. It’s a match for the cameras in its class, but the autofocus and 4K video in this camera put it in a class of its own.
When it comes to choosing which camera is the winner, there are a few factors we need to consider. If you’re strapped for cash, choose the A6000, it’s a worthy camera. On the other hand, if you’re willing to spend a little more money, we strongly suggest the A6300. The two cameras may be closely connected, but the A6300 is packed with more power. Either way, you can’t go wrong with these two.
Take your Jack-of-all-trades and conquer the world of photography and videos.