Sony a6300 vs Nikon D7200 vs D7100 vs Canon 70D

February 4, 2016

Sony a6300 camera on purple background

Sony has announced the Alpha a6300 APS-C mirrorless camera. An amazing camera with new advanced technologies that makes it one of the most attractive enthusiast ILC on the market right now. In this article, I’ll compare the a6300 versus the Nikon D7200, Nikon D7100, and Canon EOS 70D. Although I didn’t give the article a Sony vs Canon vs Nikon title, it can certainly show us what path each company took to convince us to buy its cameras.

Sony continues to dazzle and comes up with wonderful cameras that have influenced many photographers that maybe it’s time to switch to a mirrorless camera. It’s not only because of the small size factor, in fact, one of the main reasons people love mirrorless cameras are because of their unique feature set, image quality and great overall performance. Sony screams innovation all over the place while it seems that the other companies are languishing. Canon and Nikon haven’t made a strong impression in the mirrorless market, and this market is still ruled by Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, and Olympus. That said, many people still ponder whether to purchase a DSLR from one of the two big names in the DSLR industry or pick the mirrorless camera path.

Will the Sony a6300 camera, can in any way convince you that it’s time to buy a mirrorless camera instead of a DSLR? I think it has a very high potential to do so, and you’ll soon understand exactly why. I’ll start with a short intro about the a6300 and move to the next part where I’ll analyze the four cameras’ key features and specs to find out their pros and cons.

Sony a6300

The Sony a6300, as small as it is, it’s one of the greatest threats to mid-range DSLRs. Don’t let its size mislead you, it’s a very advanced photographic device. The a6300 is aimed largely at the enthusiasts crowd, those who are ready to pay a good price for a camera that is not just small and lightweight, but one that can capture DSLR-quality image and has excellent overall performance. It’s also directed towards older NEX/Alpha camera owners, for those searching to upgrade their camera to a more advanced one. The a6300 fits many types of photography shooting styles, including sports photography due to its superb Hybrid autofocus system, which we’ll discuss in a bit.

Sony a6300

Sony a6300

On the outside, the a6300 is almost identical to the a6000, but the new model has full magnesium alloy body, weather sealing, reinforced mount structure to handle large and heavy lenses. It gets a new shutter release button and a mode dial with improved operability and grip. So a more durable build and resistance to water and dust – an amazing start, however, the big changes are waiting for us inside.

The a6300 utilizes a newly designed APS-C sensor, which was devised to improve the light acquisition efficiency and to enhance the camera’s low-light performance. It uses Copper wiring, a thinner wiring layer, and larger photodiode dimensions compared to a conventionally designed sensor. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why people buy Sony ILCs, because of the large sensor, which already proven to knock out some MFT cameras in image quality and high ISO performance tests. This is also a reason why Sony ILCs poses a real threat to rival cameras in the form of a DSLR.

Probably one of the biggest announcement that came from the a6300 press conference was the a6300 new Hybrid AF system. The new APS-C sensor features not less than 425 on-sensor phase detection AF points with complementary 169 contrast-detect AF points. The a6300 can utilize both of the technology’s benefits, which results in an incredibly fast tracking performance. This performance is crucial for fast-action photography and sports photography in particular. This camera already owns two ‘world’s best’ titles, including (according to Sony), the world’st fastest (0.05-sec.) autofocus with the world’s most phase-detection AF points.

The AF points spread almost the entire frame, making sure the camera can track subjects not just at the center, but also at the edges of the frame, and continue tracking it when it moves. Sony calls it 4D FOCUS, and it’s an enhanced version of the 4D FOCUS from the a6000. The AF points are also very dense and with the new High-density Tracking AF technology, you can rest assured that the camera will not miss the target, lock and it and continue to focus on the subject in every move. If you are shooting static subjects the AF tracking isn’t a big deal of course, but we are living in a breathing world with lots of subjects moving around us. It can happen many times that you miss a shot because of a poor AF performance. The a6300 makes sure you are covered, whether you shoot stills or record videos.

Speaking of which, the Sony Alpha 6300 can record 4K videos with full pixel readout in Super 35mm format (first in none full-frame Sony camera) and without pixel binning. The 4K recording utilizes 20MP region of the sensor (6000×3376 pixels, 6K equivalent and the entire width of the sensor, but cropped from the top and bottom) and produces an oversampled 4K video. The results is an exceptionally sharp, detailed and low noise video footage. This happens because almost the entire sensor is used for recording and more light photons are used to process the frame color data.

There obviously more to talk about, but I prefer writing all those features in the comparison section, so you get a good overview of the differences between the a6300 and the other cameras we put the a6300 up against. In my opinion, the a6300 is an astounding camera that not just can serve as a great DSLR-alternative, it competes very well and in many aspects can win against some of Olympus and Panasonic’s finest MFT cameras. The a6000 is, as of the time of writing, the most popular mirrorless camera on amazon.com, and it has been like for many moths. There is a reason why so many photographers have picked the a6000 up, because its pros easily outweigh its cons, and it has many of the features that enthusiasts are looking for, and with less difficult compromises to make.

a6300 vs D7200 vs D7100 vs 70D

The D7200, D7100 and 70D are very popular mid-range DSLR Photographers love them because they deliver what expected from them, fast performance and flawless image quality for the price. They offer added value and pose fewer limitations compared to entry-level models, so you can focus on being more creative instead of thinking what if you had a better camera in your hand.

Some people prefer a mirrorless camera for its size, and indeed, most mirrorless cameras are more portable and more comfortable to carry around. This is especially true if you intend to carry several lenses. That being said, if a camera has the features that I want or/and need, I wouldn’t mind carrying a bulkier and heavier camera and lenses. The lens selection is also something to think through. Some photographers choose Canon or Nikon because of the broad lens selection and complimentary accessories; just something that I want you to keep in mind if you are just starting out and it’s your first time peeking up an interchangeable lens camera.

OK, now let’s take a closer side by side view of the key features of each camera, so we can spot which camera has the features you are looking for and can best fit your specific needs.

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Conclusion

The a6300 considerably smaller than the other three cameras. It’s quite remarkable to comprehend that such a tiny camera holds so many advanced features. In some ways, its even surpass the D7200, D7100 and 70D with its super Hybrid AF system, great build quality, movie recording features, picture profiles and in-camera creative effects and faster burst speed in most part. It does lack a faster maximum shutter speed as the other cameras, the AF isn’t as sensitive as the D7200 for low-light photography, it doesn’t have a vari-angle display, there is no headphone jack (for audio monitoring) and the battery life isn’t on par compared to DSLRs.

I think that the Sony Alpha a6300 is an amazing camera that can satisfy the demands of many enthusiasts photographers unless they are very picky with specific features. Most people can live without those features that I’ve mentioned. If you are among those, the a6300 won’t disappoint you; on the contrary, it will help you become an even more creative photographer.



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