We may have pushed past the point where image quality improvements introduced with each new generation of camera are actually noticeable in real-world use, but that won’t stop us from continuing to play the numbers game. In that regard, Sony continues to dominate the mirrorless camera scene with its latest flagship APS-C camera, the a6300. Although looking similar on paper, the 24MP sensor inside of it is newly designed, bringing image quality improvements across the board. In the recently published analysis by DXOMark, it’s clear that Sony has another winner on their hands.
With a DXO score of 85 points, the a6300 edges out its predecessor, the a6000, by a narrow margin. The most notable gains are in dynamic range, where the new sensor’s 13.7 stops of latitude equal roughly a 2/3-stop improvement. Interestingly, that score also beats the full frame Sony a7 II, albeit just barely, by 1/10 of a stop.
As expected, the a6300’s performance peters off at high ISOs, with dynamic range falling below that of the a7 II by ISO 800. High ISO noise performance, however, remains within 3/4 of a stop of the full-frame camera, an impressive feat considering the a7 II has roughly twice the imaging surface area to work with. Color reproduction is also very good with a bit depth of 24.4.
Oddly enough, the a6300 doesn’t quite reach the benchmark set by the Nikon D7200, a camera that’s now well over a year old, which posted a DXO score of 87. The Nikon’s high score, however, was largely a result of its stunning base ISO dynamic range: 14.6 stops, nearly a full stop above the a6300. A closer look at the analysis reveals that the Sony catches up and even surpasses the Nikon at higher ISOs. It also posted an overall better score for high ISO noise levels.
Without taking into account the obvious physical differences between a DSLR and mirrorless camera, what this means is that the D7200 maintains the advantage for landscape photography, or any time maximum dynamic range is needed. The a6300, however, will offer slightly better performance in low light. The Sony also offers 4K video, making it one of the most well-rounded cameras available.