Write up review:
Having previously owned the Sony A7SII, I didn’t think I’d get another sony camera at this size.
This isn’t because I don’t think they are great cameras, but Sony are very annoying with how fast they release these small cameras. The A7S range from £2k/£3k each time becomes very costly haha.
So I decided to sell my A7SII and save for other things, then the a6300 came out. Pretty much the same features as the A7SII minus full frame, 5axis stabilisation and better lowlight.
5axis really needed:
Ok, at first this sounds like a lot to miss out on. But when I tested the A7SII on a gimbal…even with the 5 axis, the rolling shutter is still so bad, when handheld following a subject. Yes I was using a 50mm, but any camera can look stable handheld using wider lenses at 16mm haha. I’d even get micro jitters using a 50mm or 28mm on a gimbal… so not having the 5axis isn’t a massive issue, plus you can use sony’s OSS lenses with the a6300 and get along fine.
Gimbal test with A7SII and 50mm
Grade test using slog3 on A7SII
The lowlight is great with the A7SII, better then the a6300 but the a6300 isn’t bad. I never shoot using very lowlight and anything too low…with any camera your colors suffer anyways. So 1600 or 3200 ISO tops on the a6300 should be fine, no worthy tests yet, sorry.
Full frame is nice to have but don’t forget you can use speedboosters with the a6300 and pretty much get the same look. So remember this, A7SII = £2,500 or A6300 = £999. Thats a BIG Difference in price for not much difference in a camera. Also remember, the a6300 has better auto focus (with a few issues I address below) and the camera is supposedly a 6k sensor downscaling to 4k which will make a very nice 1080p delivery. Slow-motion is also the same, delivering 120fps without much crop at 1080p.
Here is my first test:
As I mentioned before, even though both cameras deliver slog3. I don’t recommend it due to a 8bit camera and using a codec not as strong as Prores. The video above I shot using slog2 which I think works great. The a6300 also offers the great feature to view in rec709 for slog2 or slog3, which helps for exposure and white balance settings on shoot.
I also have a set of LUTS available for Slog2 & Slog3
I also set my peaking color and level like this below:
Regarding autofocus, so far it works good like the A7SII, Im just slightly frustrated as its supposed to be better with the option to adjust your drive speed and track sensitivity. But unfortunately for me, with my Sony OSS 50mm 1.8 and Pancake 16mm 2.8 it doesn’t work and says not valid with these lenses?!
I was at NAB 2016 and spoke to Sony about this and they mentioned I need to get these lenses updated with firmware. So I said ”can I get this done here at NAB or back at home”?! Unfortunately if you also have this issue, we have to send our lenses in to Sony, shame if its the only lenses you have. As I’d imagine they’d be gone for a least a few weeks 😦
The camera allows you to conform slow-motion in camera (slows it down for you) or slow it down yourself later in post. I prefer to conform in camera, its easier and I’ve noticed no quality difference.
Above: 50p or 100p settings to conform later in post, available in HD record settings
Above: Settings to conform your slow-motion in camera
I have also noticed no major difference in quality from 50/60p to 1oo/120p so I always leave it at 100p or 120p
Choosing the 100fps or 120fps depends on what region you set your camera to, NTSC or Pal
The camera also has wifi features to send pictures to your smart phone or you can take pictures/video using your phone acting as the shutter, so your not stuck to your camera for those family moments on holiday, when you want everyone in the picture including yourself.
One big disappointment with this feature, I can’t seem to access the slog2 or 3 modes for video when using wifi. It just allows me to use the normal picture profiles…you can still dial these down to look flat, but they don’t look as good as slog2 or 3…shame as this feature is handy for car mount shots, when you need to change the settings without having to go back to the car set up and mess with the camera 😦
No Headphone Input:
This is a very annoying feature to be without. Why have a mic input, a hot shoe to mount a mic… but have no headphone socket to be able to hear what the hell you’re doing! So for now you have to set your levels, record and bit, throw it in the computer and test out what it sounded like.
Once you know what levels work well with a shotgun mic or lavs, you are good to go.
But I do not recommend doing it this way for professional use, as you never know what interference, crackle or other noises may happen while recording an interview etc.
or you can buy the expensive mic kit allowing you to plug in headphones
Im still trying to find an adapter for headphone use, but can’t seem to find a good one yet
So overall…a great little camera. Although, whether its NAB or not…sony will no doubt have a next version of something that will beat this… But at least its only £999
Hope this helps some people out, there is no perfect camera. Just lots more of them to choose from haha
Here is a new video I shot with the camera while out in Vegas. I was at NAB working for Blackmagic and tried my best to capture what I could in vegas and around vegas
A quick 120fps test 1080p, not as nice as 4K but not bad for under £1k
graded with my ‘Cream3’ LUT in my Slog2 Pack: