Sony A6300 Unboxing!

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I just picked up a brand, new Sony A6300, this is the new Sony 4K mirrorless camera that retails for $1000 USD.  This is probably the best 4K camera of the year for your money.

My first impressions on the Sony A6300 is that the body is super light.  Now, the build quality is very poor, made up mostly of plastic and feels like a toy.  Now, this is probably not a camera recommended for rugged professional use in the field, you will not want to ever drop it or use it in any kind of light rain.

The reason why this sticks out to me is that because I started with Canon DSLR cameras (7D, 60D, and 6D) and the build quality of Canons are amazing in comparison to the A6300.  They are also weather resistant and can handle light rains no problem.  Also recently my new $1000 Sony RX100M4 broke with a drop from my pockets, leading me to believe that Sony’s don’t have good build quality.

But other than that this is an awesome camera with an APS-C sensor along with support for UHD 4K.  None of the Canon DSLRs (except the newer $6000 Canon 1DX Mark II) support 4K, which is a huge downside for people like me who shoot in 4K mostly.

I will have a full test but based on my short time with the Sony A6300, the low light performance incredible in comparison to my daily driver Panasonic GH4.  I’ve always had trouble shooting in low-light or near complete darkness with the GH4 as it’s not the best on the market for that purpose and ISO maxes out at 6400.

The Sony A6300 has low-light performance very similar to their higher-priced $3000 Sony A7Rii, which I wanted to get but the price wasn’t right.  This is exciting for indie video/film makers/YouTubers as you will now be able to take advantage of low prices for professional-grade 4K videos.

Not only that, the Sony A6300 offers S-Log2 and S-Log3 for the highest dynamic range.  If you want to take advantage of the flatter profiles, you can also pick up Atmos Ninja Flame, which allows you to monitor your S-Log2/S-Log3 in real-time.  I have actually pre-ordered the Atmos Ninja Flame so I should have an unboxing/review of that also.

For lenses, the Sony A6300 uses Sony’s standard E-Mount, which allows you to mount any Sony E-Mount lenses.  If you own Canon or Nikon lenses, you can grab a E-Mount adapter or Metabones Speedbooster to use your existing lenses.  I am picking up a Metabones Speedbooster for Canon to E-Mount, which will make the Sony A6300 APS-C into a full-frame camera.

I love my Canon 6D, which is a full-frame camera and the low-light performance is amazing but only thing it doesn’t do is 4K video, which I need.  With the new Sony A6300, I am hoping to be able to achieve great low-light photos like my Canon 6D along with much better low-light videos than my Panasonic GH4.

Also, I recently broke the HDMI output port on my Panasonic GH4 and the Sony A6300 supports HDMI monitoring while recording in 4K (but the liveview will turn off).  This was a huge feature for me and for people who use external monitors since the A6300 does not have a flip-out screen (rather flip up and down).

Overall, I am very impressed at what Sony has to offer for the price of just $1000.  I don’t really like the cheap build quality but then again, I would rather pay less than pay hundreds more for better build quality.  Of course, you can just get some insurance like I did and not worry about dropping it.

I should have a full review after I play with it, you will find most of my future videos on my YouTube channel made with this new 4K camera so stay tuned!

Get the A6300 on Amazon – Link

Get the A6300 at B&H (New York) – Link

I recommend to get the body only and get a prime lens, do not get the crappy kit lens otherwise it’s like getting a great car with shi++y rims.

MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 4K Laptop Unboxing & Mini Review!

Editing 4K videos can take a ton of CPU power, RAM, and fast hard disks (preferably SSDs).  Ever since I switched to my Panasonic GH4 4K camera, rendering times for 4K videos take almost 4-5 times longer than 1080P videos on average.  Luckily, I’ve built my new i7 5960X equipped desktop computer couple months back with 3 R9 280X graphic cards in crossfire, which does a fairly decent job of editing/rendering 4K videos.

Now, the only problem I have with my new powerful desktop is portability and power.  Every time I render videos on it, it hogs a ton of energy, in fact my energy bill doubled since building my new PC (uses almost 1kW at full blast) .   Besides that, I am always tethered to the PC in my house, never having the freedom of editing videos on the go.

Since I am going on vacation next week, I figured I would need to a way to edit/render my 4K videos on the go.   I do have an old ASUS N56VZ laptop but that one simply cannot handle 4K footage as it will stutter/lag when editing with Premiere CC.

To handle 4K editing/rendering, you would absolutely need to fastest laptop out there (as of today) with the best specs possible.   4K editing simply requires a ton of raw CPU/GPU power and without it, you will pull your hair out while your laptop stutters/lags on you.  (However, if you don’t need 4K, just need to 1080P videos, you can go with lower-spec laptops.)

Also I wanted a laptop that’s was as light as possible with a 15.6″ inch screen. (Anything lower than that would be hard to edit videos on, besides most laptops with Intel i7 start at 15.6″.)  After days of research, I finally ended up getting the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro laptop with 4K screen, i7 4710HQ processor, and Nvidia GTX 970M graphics card.  I almost ended up getting the Gigabyte P35X V3 with a slightly-faster GTX 980M graphics card but the MSI was only 4.2 pounds vs. 5.5 pounds for the Gigabyte.

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Overall, I am very satisfied with my new MSI GS60 Ghost Pro laptop as it’s the lightest 15.6″ laptop in the world (as of this writing) with the best specs possible. Now, if you don’t mind the larger weight, you may want to consider getting the ASUS ROG series, which gives you the best bang for your buck (much cheaper) but they do weigh a ton more.

Having the ability to edit 4K videos in such a small package was the selling point for me.   I wanted to have the ability to move around and edit 4K videos while I travel at the local coffee shops in Thailand and be able to walk all day without aching shoulders.

Before, I had to shoot my videos, then come home to edit on my PC.  Now, I can shoot my videos and edit right there altogether!  Even the video for this I edited all outside my home.

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The MSI GS60 Ghost Pro also comes with the coolest keyboard I have ever seen on a laptop.  It features a SteelSeries keyboard that has an RGB LED that lights up and you can customize the colors in 3 different zones.  And you can even customize every key on the keyboard.

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Performance on the MSI Ghost Pro is excellent due to its cooling system design.  There are two fans for your CPU, one pushing air to the left and the other pushing it to the back of your laptop.  This keeps the heat dissipating much more efficiently than one fan designs.   There’s even dedicated fans for the graphics card on the other side!  At full throttle, this laptop does get a bit loud but it’s cooler than any other laptop out there.

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4K gaming is actually not that bad either with its Nvidia GTX 970M but I probably recommend running games at 2K or 1080P, which runs super smooth and fast.

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Video editing in 4K on Adobe Premiere CC works really well and Premiere CC recognizes CUDA out of the box so you can fully utilize the power of Nvidia GTX 970M.  I also did consider getting a laptop with Nvidia Quadro graphics card but it seems that the GTX cards are actually slightly faster in rendering times in real life.

Rendering times are nowhere near my i7 5960X PC (obviously because it’s not a fair contest) but it is lightning years ahead of my old ASUS laptop.  An average 10 minute 4K video with lots of editing takes me around 20 minutes on my i7 5960X PC while the MSI GS60 does in an hour. (The 4K video I made for this laptop took me about an hour.)   In comparison, an average 10 minute 4K video with no editing takes around 6 minutes on my PC and 15 minutes on my new MSI laptop.

It’s still not fast as I would like but then again at 4.2 pounds of weight, I don’t think there’s any other laptop out there that can do faster pound per rendering time.  I should have a full review later this month after I use it more extensively during my travels in Asia but in the meanwhile, this is definitely one powerful laptop that’s super portable and highly recommended if you need 4K editing on the go.

Now, there’s literally at least a dozen variations of this MSI laptop so make sure to do your research before buying one.  You can buy one with a 1080P/3K screen, with faster/slower processor and graphics card.  Depending on your needs, you may be better off with 1080P screen or maybe faster processor.

The particular version I got also comes with 2 M.2 SSDs, which give you read/write speeds around 1000Mbps, great for Adobe Premiere CC and gaming.

FYI, you don’t need a 4K screen to edit 4K videos, I only got it since I don’t have a 4K device yet and wanted to play back my videos in 4K (finally).  You can edit 4K videos with a 1080P screen just fine.  But you do need a very powerful laptop such as this one.

The exact model I got is MSI Computer GS60 GHOST PRO 4K-079, you can get it on Amazon here.

You can also check out other variations of the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro here.