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Sony A6300: Oversampling for 4K Video Quality

Get Sony A6300 at B&H Photo.

I discussed the Sony A6300 a few days ago.

Over the years I have discussed the image quality gains to be had with oversampling, namely higher per pixel quality. For example, a 50-megapixel camera like the Canon 5DS R actually beats the leica M Monochrome when compared at 24 megapixels—an existence proof of the benefits of oversampling.

Now along comes the Sony A6300 and what caught my eye is the fact that there is no cropping of its APS-C sensor when shooting 4K video.

Rather, Sony employs oversampling in the A6300, utilizing the entire 6000 pixel width of the sensor to deliver 3840-pixel 4K UHD video [the 2.4X refers to area, since (6000/3840)^2 = 2.44].

Internal recording of UHD 4K movies is possible in multiple frame rates up to 30 fps and, based on the Super35mm recording area and effective 20MP (6000 x 3376) resolution, 2.4x oversampling renders greater detail and full pixel readout is possible, that is void of pixel binning, for higher quality imagery with reduced moiré and aliasing.

What this means (assuming excellent downsampling code) is very high quality video, with reduced digital artifacts and reduced noise. Possibly there could be moiré issues or similar in some cases, but never in my still photography have I seen this to be a problem, so I expect that the quality will be outrageously good. One limitation: it appears that the oversampling occurs only at 24 fps.

Contrast the $998 Sony A6300 to the approach of the far more expensive Canon 1D X Mark II and Nikon D5 and D500 in their flagship cameras: a heavily cropped sensor area for 4K video. Since the sensors are full frame to begin with, the area used for 4K video will be similar, but it should be interesting to see if the A6300 delivers superior video quality. I expect that it will be superior by dint of reducing digital artifacts by dint of the downsamping from 6000 to 3840 pixels width, a benefit that I show (in essence) in all my reviews in the images derived from full-res.

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