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Sony A6300 first impressions

WestOkid

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Gary

The a6300 seems nice, but honestly, it's not stacking up well against the D750. Every picture is exhibiting so much more visible noise and has less detail. I'm starting to think is this a fair comparison? I mean the D750 + 300/4 is a $4000 FF+Prime combo shooting raw. The a6300 + 70-200/4 is a $2600 APSC zoom combo shooting JPG. I enjoy your shots, but how much are we learning?
 

Adam B

TalkEmount Regular
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
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30
The a6300 seems nice, but honestly, it's not stacking up well against the D750. Every picture is exhibiting so much more visible noise and has less detail. I'm starting to think is this a fair comparison? I mean the D750 + 300/4 is a $4000 FF+Prime combo shooting raw. The a6300 + 70-200/4 is a $2600 APSC zoom combo shooting JPG. I enjoy your shots, but how much are we learning?

It establishes a baseline. Instead of looking at a camera in a vacuum. It's not a win or lose situation. Not expecting the A6300 combo to outperform the D750 combo. Previously, I compared jpeg to jpeg, but this instance is raw. Still, if you gave the D750 combo 100 points, then the question is, how close does the APS-C A6300 come.
I read reviews all the time, about some basic super zoom P&S, and the review says, "it is good in low light." But there is no context... it misleads people into thinking it's truly good in low light, while the reviewer only meant it is good compared to other super zoom P&S cameras.

I don't think my comparisons are unfair... Not comparing a $400 bridge camera with a $4000 set-up. As you said, this is a $2600 combo -- At $2600, it should be able to perform at a very high level. There are indeed full frame camera/lens combos that are similarly priced. I early compared the D750+70-200 with the A6300+70-200, where the prices are much closer.
My comparisons will continue --- including comparing raw. Of course I don't expect the A6300 combo to match the ISO performance of the D750 combo... but what are those differences?
One would hope that the A6300 combo would be the better sports shooting combo and birding combo -- Keeping ISO below 3200, with what should be an outstanding focus system, the A6300 should be a better birding camera than the D750. That's why people might buy an A6300 over an A7, that's why they might buy a 7dii over a 6d, or a D500 over a D750. Because there are times when APS-C advantages outweigh fullframe, even if the APS-C costs more. So I don't think you can say it's an unfair comparison simply because of the cost.
If I were to run a test comparing low light images --- I would of course expect the D750 to do better. But then the question is, how much better? If it's less than a stop, it gives even greater value to the A6300. If it's 2-3 stops, then it's a negative for the A6300.
If I'm running a test of birds in good light, then I do indeed expect to see similar performance.... and I would hope to get more keepers with the A6300, due to the focus system and faster frame rate.
 

WestOkid

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Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
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Real Name
Gary
It establishes a baseline. Instead of looking at a camera in a vacuum. It's not a win or lose situation. Not expecting the A6300 combo to outperform the D750 combo. Previously, I compared jpeg to jpeg, but this instance is raw. Still, if you gave the D750 combo 100 points, then the question is, how close does the APS-C A6300 come.
I read reviews all the time, about some basic super zoom P&S, and the review says, "it is good in low light." But there is no context... it misleads people into thinking it's truly good in low light, while the reviewer only meant it is good compared to other super zoom P&S cameras.

I don't think my comparisons are unfair... Not comparing a $400 bridge camera with a $4000 set-up. As you said, this is a $2600 combo -- At $2600, it should be able to perform at a very high level. There are indeed full frame camera/lens combos that are similarly priced. I early compared the D750+70-200 with the A6300+70-200, where the prices are much closer.
My comparisons will continue --- including comparing raw. Of course I don't expect the A6300 combo to match the ISO performance of the D750 combo... but what are those differences?
One would hope that the A6300 combo would be the better sports shooting combo and birding combo -- Keeping ISO below 3200, with what should be an outstanding focus system, the A6300 should be a better birding camera than the D750. That's why people might buy an A6300 over an A7, that's why they might buy a 7dii over a 6d, or a D500 over a D750. Because there are times when APS-C advantages outweigh fullframe, even if the APS-C costs more. So I don't think you can say it's an unfair comparison simply because of the cost.
If I were to run a test comparing low light images --- I would of course expect the D750 to do better. But then the question is, how much better? If it's less than a stop, it gives even greater value to the A6300. If it's 2-3 stops, then it's a negative for the A6300.
If I'm running a test of birds in good light, then I do indeed expect to see similar performance.... and I would hope to get more keepers with the A6300, due to the focus system and faster frame rate.

I understand your point about context. Fair enough
 

Adam B

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Joined
Dec 27, 2015
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30
Yay! Raw support!!
I will need to really put the camera through the paces this weekend.

But for now, my kids impatiently let me take a couple low light shots of them.... As before, I did comparison shots with the D750. A6300 with 50/1.8, at 1.8 and 1/80. D750 with 24-70/2.8, at 70mm, 2.8, 1/80. Creating the same depth of field, but the ISO on the D750 was about 1 stop higher.
I was testing a couple of things. First off, how does the high ISO look. The camera auto selected ISO between 2000 and 4000. On the D750, it went 3200 to 6400. In this case, even though the ISO was about 1 stop lower, the A6300 needed slightly more noise reduction. The good news, with just a tad more NR, the file quality was pretty similar. Absolutely, these files look better than jpeg. Even at ISO 4000, I'm satisfied with the results out of the A6300.
The other thing I was testing, was eye-AF with AF-C versus AF-S. AF-S did seem a bit more consistent. In the handful of images I took, every AF-S was perfectly focused. The AF-C got the eye perfect a couple of times, but also missed focus a couple of times. So I suppose for posed portraits, I might still prefer AF-S over AF-C.
Last observation, I hate the AWB of the A6300 in artificial lighting. It is very inconsistent. I didn't correct the white balance in the below photos. The AWB for my son was ok. But for my daughter, it left the scene excessively yellow, and it isn't very easy to correct. The D750 AWB was much more consistent.

So the samples:

Way too yellow, ISO 4000. But apart from the terrible AWB, the image is pretty good. If I were to correct the AWB. I am definitely happy with this as a low light, ISO 4000 shot.
25220218593_15e2a148f9_h.jpg
   ---            
DSC00755.jpg
by Adam Brown, on Flickr

My son at ISO 2000:
25820765946_22eec74a91_h.jpg
   ---            
DSC00758.jpg
by Adam Brown, on Flickr

AWB is better in this shot. And ISO 2000, while not perfect, is perfectly decent.

D750 at ISO 3600:
25216301314_04ca3d44fd_h.jpg
   ---            
DSC_6456.jpg
by Adam Brown, on Flickr

Maybe the D750 image is just a tad sharper, but it's pretty close.

I'm looking forward to testing the A6300 with 70-200 outdoors, in ISO 1600 range.
 

Adam B

TalkEmount Regular
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
Messages
30
More A6300..... High ISO test, in properly exposed light. Shadows would be worse.
These are all at ISO 12800. They all were shot RAW, default color noise reduction in Lightroom. First, I'll post from the D750. Luminance set to 20. First the whole image, and then a crop:

25736157882_ce38234f0b_h.jpg
   ---            
DSC_6462.jpg
by Adam Brown, on Flickr

25737352822_fefa16ae84_b.jpg
   ---            
DSC_6462.jpg
by Adam Brown, on Flickr

I'd say that is an excellent result, with minimal noise reduction applied.

I'm happy to report, the A6300 stands up well. I'm using the same photo below, but 3 different luminance settings, 0, 20 and 40.

First, the whole image, at Luminance 20:

25556387390_0af826fe69_h.jpg
   ---            
medium NR
by Adam Brown, on Flickr

Now, crop at Luminance 0:

25557632040_2da8c12c7a_b.jpg
   ---            
no NR
by Adam Brown, on Flickr

Luminance 20:

25231734733_3b3d0a09a9_b.jpg
   ---            
medium NR
by Adam Brown, on Flickr

Luminance 40:

25832270526_cdba6e1688_b.jpg
   ---            
High NR
by Adam Brown, on Flickr


No, it doesn't equal the D750 (also note that the D750 is pixel peeped a bit more) at the same luminance settings. But, when both are at ISO 12,800, the A6300 only needs a little more luminance reduction. A setting of 40 is not horrible. You can still retain fair detail at 40. I wouldn't be shooting ISO 12,800 portraits on the A6300, or anything of fine detail. I wouldn't want to do extreme pixel peeping at 12,800. But ultimately, when shooting raw, you can get decent images at 12,800 -- More than just web-viewing size images. You can probably still print 8X10's at ISO 12,800. Which really isn't bad at all.

It will be interesting to see DXO testing, but at least simply in terms of noise, the A6300 may be less than a full stop behind the full frame D750 (but not much less). Though I'm going mostly from memory, I think the A6300 may have better high ISO capabilities than the full frame A99. Again, I want to see DXO testing, but I definitely feel like there is some noticeable improvement in raw files over the A6000. Usually, you see the biggest upgrades in jpegs from improvements in processing -- I did not think the A6300 jpegs were any better than the A6000. But I feel I am seeing a slight but noticeable noise improvement.
 

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