Sony α6300 Camera and G Master Lenses


Miami Beach sunset from the 20th floor balcony at the famous Fountainbleau Hotel Resort. Sony α6300.


Sony Electronics invited 32 members of the press to Miami, Florida. The reason was to try out the new Sony α6300 E-mount APS-C format camera along with 2 new Sony G Master E-mount full frame lenses, 85mm f/1.4 and the 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom.

For both stills and motion,  I found  the APS-C format α6300 camera performs very well—especially with its blazingly fast autofocus (less than 0.05 second). Sony calls it “Focus at the Speed of Sight.”

This mirrorless camera is intended for advanced amateurs but it can also be a legitimate motion picture and stills camera for many productions that require a small camera that can be used on drones or in places  where full-size cameras cannot fit.  The α6300 uses 425 phase detect focus points to achieve its fast autofocus and produces a very nice 3840 x 2160 UHD image from its 24 Megapixel CMOS APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)  sensor. The low light capability is similar to the larger α7R Mark II.
A new 4D Focus system can lock onto a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, which Sony claims to set a new record among interchangeable lens cameras with APS-C sensors. I was particularly impressed with the fast focus when following athletes in action. The 8-bit 4:2:0 video image produced has a 14-stop exposure latitude and can be connected via its micro HDMI connector to an external recorder.

Fast autofocus: Aktion Park, Miami  Aktion Park Miami. Sony α6300 camera. f/4.0, 1/800th second, ISO 100, 200mm (70-200mm f4)


Miami Parkour and Freerunning Academy. Sony α6300 camera. f/4.0, 1/400th second, ISO 6400, 16mm (16-70mm f4)

 Over the course of the 2  days we shot action sequences at Aktion Water Park, Miami: Parkour & Free Running Academy, night scenes at the Ball & Chain Club in Little Havana, food preparation shots at the newly opened and excellent KYU restaurant in the Wynwood Walls Arts District of Miami and 3 interior and rooftop setups with actors and models at the Dream Hotel on Miami Beach, poolside,  on the beach, and from a 20th floor balcony at the Fountainbleau Hotel. In all cases the cameras and lenses performed very well.
Why would you choose the α6300 over the α7R Mark II? Well, you probably would want to have both! But if you had to choose, this one offers value for the cost, speed of focus and light weight. You do lose a little versatility, however. There’s no headphone jack. There are fewer customizable buttons. It’s not a full frame 24 x 36mm, 42 Megapixel sensor. Having both cameras is really the best choice as each has its own virtues.

See the α6300 Camera Specifications on the Sony site.

  • RECORDING FORMAT – XAVC S/AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant/MP4

  • AUDIO RECORDING FORMAT – XAVC S: LPCM 2ch, AVCHD: Dolby® Digital (AC-3) 2ch, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2ch
  • IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS), NTSC – XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (30p/100 Mbps, 30p/60 Mbps, 24p/100 Mbps, 24p/60 Mbps), XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/50 Mbps, 30p/50 Mbps, 24p/50 Mbps, 120p/100 Mbps, 120p/60 Mbps), AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/28 Mbps/PS, 60i/24 Mbps/FX, 60i/17 Mbps/FH, 24p/24 Mbps/FX, 24p/17 Mbps/FH), MP4: 1920 x 1080 (60p/28 Mbps, 30p/16 Mbps), 1280 x 720 (30p/6 Mbps)
  • IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS), PAL – XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (25p/100 Mbps, 25p/60 Mbps), XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (50p/50 Mbps, 25p/50 Mbps, 100p/100 Mbps, 100p/60 Mbps), AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (50p/28 Mbps/PS, 50i/24 Mbps/FX, 50i/17 Mbps/FH, 25p/24 Mbps/FX, 25p/17 Mbps/FH), MP4: 1920 x 1080 (50p/28 Mbps, 25p/16 Mbps), 1280 x 720 (25p/6 Mbps)
  • HIGH FRAME RATE RECORDING – NTSC: 1920 x 1080 (24p/12 Mbps, 30p/16 Mbps), PAL: 1920 x 1080 (25p/16 Mbps)
  • PICTURE PROFILE – Yes (Off / PP1-PP9) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode (Movie, Still, Cinema, Pro, ITU709 Matrix, White&Black, S-Gamut, S-Gamut3.Cine, S-Gamut3), Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset
  • MOVIE FUNCTIONS – Audio Level Display, Audio Rec Level, AF Tracking Sensitivity, AF Drive Speed, Auto Slow Shutter, HDMI info. Display (On/Off selectable), Time Code/User Bit, Picture Profile, Creative Style, Picture Effect, Rec Control, Dual Video Rec, Marker Setting, PAL/NTSC Selector, Gamma Display Assist
  • COLOR SPACE – xvYCC standard (x.v.Color when connected via HDMI cable) compatible with TRILUMINOS Color
  • CLEAN HDMI OUTPUT – NTSC: 3840 x 2160 (30p/24p)/1920 x 1080 (60p/24p)/1920 x 1080 (60i), YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit/RGB 8bit, PAL: 3840 x 2160 (25p)/1920 x 1080 (50p)/1920 x 1080 (50i), YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit/RGB 8bit

Miami Beach Sunset from the 20th floor balcony of the Fountainbleau Hotel Resort.


SONY G Master Lenses

Two Sony G Master lenses the 85mm f/1.4 and the 24-70mm f/2.8 were supplied along with a Sony α7R Mark II for us to use during the shoot. Needless to say, full frame E-mount lenses fit both the α6300 and the α7R II.
The 85mm f/1.4 and the 24-70mm f/2.8 resolve 50 line pairs/mm according to their published specifications. Both lenses are very solid in the hand and are silent and fast in operation. They have a good balance between sharpness and  beautiful out of focus backgrounds.

24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. The rooftop at the Dream Hotel Miami Beach. G Master  (24-70mm) 70mm f/7.1, 1/1250th second ISO 200 on SONY Alpha 7R Mark II

Sony’s Press release is summarized here:

The new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM (model SEL2470GM) is  for those seeking the highest possible optical performance for portrait, travel and event photography or even simple everyday shooting.

The new lens is built with three aspherical elements including a newly developed, extremely precise XA (extreme aspherical) element that reduces aberration and delivers high resolution throughout the entire zoom  and aperture range, as well as from corner to corner. An ED (Extra-low-Dispersion) glass element and Super ED glass element keep chromatic aberration to a minimum while maximizing resolution and bokeh without any unnatural coloration.

The lens features a 9-bladed iris that maintains a near circular shape at all settings. The lens is coated with Sony’s original Nano AR coating to suppress reflections and ensure high contrast and clarity.

The new FE24-70mm F2.8 GM lens has a direct drive SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) focusing system that uses a new set of algorithms to position the lens elements quickly and accurately. The motor is smooth and quiet, making it a good choice for shooting both still images as well as movies.

The lens is dust and moisture resistant and features a compact, streamlined design that includes AF/MF switch as well as focus hold, zoom lock and hood release buttons.


85mm f/1.4 G Master at KYU Restaurant Miami. 85mm f/2.0, 1/100th second ISO 640 Sony Alpha 7R Mark II

Sony Press release summarized:

The  new FE 85mm F1.4 GM prime lens (model SEL85F14GM) is an excellent portrait lens and strikes a good balance between resolution and bokeh in a compact package.

The lens features a new XA (extreme aspherical) element as well as three ED glass elements that work together to ensure that the in-focus areas are captured in extremely high resolution while the surrounding out-of-focus areas dissolve smoothly into a beautiful soft backdrop. It has a circular aperture with 11 blades – the most ever used in an α lens – to ensure that the bokeh are  smooth and visually appealing. Externally, the new model has Sony’s original Nano AR Coating, which is of particular importance in a portrait lens as it reduces flare and ghosting, even with backlit subjects or similarly challenging lighting conditions.

For accurate autofocusing, the FE 85mm F1.4 GM lens includes a ring drive SSM motor system that provides ample power and speed to drive the lens’ large, heavy focus group. It’s also equipped with two position sensors to support excellent focus control of the large, heavy lens elements.

This new professional portrait lens is dust and moisture resistant and also has an aperture ring with on/off switchable click stops that can be adjusted based on whether a user is shooting still images or movies. It also has an AF / MF switch and a focus hold button.

The 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master Prototype is expected to deliver in June 2016. A model was shown but we did not test it.
Links to UHD Motion picture files shot with the α6300:

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