The latest Sony Alpha release – Sony A6400 review
Sony A6400 is a mirrorless camera which boasts a 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor, powerful autofocus tracking, 4k video, a built-in viewfinder and a flipping touchscreen which rotates 180 degrees in order to face the subject.
It was introduced in January 2019, and official succeeds the A6300. You will discover that it is more tempting than other pricier models in the market because it provides you all the features you need without bankrupting you.
The A6400 has the same built as the A6300. It features which include a viewfinder, shutter mechanism, battery, controls, single card slot etc. are quite similar to the rest of the A6000 series but what sets it apart is the new screen.
This screen has a mechanism which enables the panel to tilt out and angle 180 degrees to face forward. This is similar to what is found in the recent RX100 models. It also boasts a hot shoe which can be used to mount an external microphone which other camera body lacks. This is quite beneficial for Vloggers and bloggers.
Sony A6400 is not only stable and fast but it is also versatile and compact. It is a dream come true for photography lovers because this APS-C-format mirrorless camera by Sony employs so many features which are usually reserved for full-frame lineups.
The A6400 is great innovation from Sony as it includes an autofocus acquisition of .02 sec, Real-time Tracking capabilities, Real-time Eye AF, silent shooting up to 8 fps, an updated BIONZ X image processing engine, high-speed shooting up to 11 fps, the ever famous tilting LCD touchscreen, no pixel binning, UHD 4K movie recording, internal recording for time-lapse videos, and much more.
All of this within an affordable price provides great value for money and makes it worthwhile to invest in.
Let us go in detail about this beauty and provide you an in-depth analysis of the features it offers:
Sony A6400 Overview
The A6400 by Sony is designed for both photographers and videographers. It is well-suited for amateurs as well as professionals. It sports a BIONZ X image processor and a 24.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor which results in excellent and clear image quality.
It offers a wide sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 102,400 – together with accelerated readout speeds for internal 4K24. Additionally, it comes with a Full HD video recording together with a full pixel readout.
The processor also has other numerous advantaged for videographers as it includes a Slow and Quick Motion setting which allows users to capture Full HD video at frame rates ranging from 1-120 fps. Moreover, it has a plus Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), which supports both S-Log2 and S-Log3 and HDR workflows to allow color grading flexibility.
It also has benefits for Stills shooters due to the processing speed, which allows continuous shooting at 11 fps till 116 JPEGs, 44 JPEG and raw frames in a burst, 46 raw images, or 14-bit raw file output.
The combination of processor and sensor also avails 4D FOCUS, giving a wide-coverage of 425-point phase-detection system which covers about 84% of the photo area, and also providing a 425-point contrast-detection system, which leads to precise and quicker focusing performance.
The focusing system also allows Real-time Eye AF, thus delivering enhanced accuracy, tracking the performance of Eye AF, and speed, enabling the eyes of your subject to be automatically detected.
Moreover, the Real-time Tracking makes use of AI-based object recognition which processes subject distance, pattern, and color as spatial information which ensures that the subjects are captured with complete accuracy. Lastly, the body is amazing; it is compact, light and is weather sealed to protect it from dust and moisture.
Thus, all these features make the a6400 an imaging tool which is fast and precise for multimedia capture and makes it increasingly versatile and fully capable of working in both video and photo realms.
Here are some features that set it apart from other cameras:
The imaging assets above are complemented by a robust magnesium-alloy body. The buttons and dials in the body are sealed to protect it from dust and moisture. It also has anti-dust functionality which protects the optical filter.
It has a compact profile but it consists of a high-resolution XGA Tru-Finder. The viewfinder is a 2.36m-dot OLED electronic screen which is clear, bright, and eye-level viewing. This Electronic Viewfinder also includes a 120 fps viewing mode which enables smooth tracking of fast-paced subjects.
Now coming to the screen which is exceptional; it sports a rear TFT 3.0″ 921.6k-dot touchscreen LCD monitor which can tilt 74° down and 180° up so that users can benefit from high and low angles. The monitors are designed in such a manner that it allows for spontaneous touch-to-focus control.
Moreover, this camera also sports a wireless remote control and can share images online, as it comes with an in-built Wi-Fi and NFC which allows linking it to a mobile device for instinctive wireless control.
The a6400 inherits many features of its autofocus system from Sony’s line-up of on the many technologies in full-frame cameras such as the a9, a7 III, and the a7R III models. As discussed above it consists of a 425 contrast-detection AF points and 425 phase-detection AF points which are placed closely over the whole image area.
They cover approx. 84% of the area. The tracking AF system has a very high-speed and high performance and is paired with a BIONZ X image processing engine. These two together enable the camera to attain focus in less than 0.02 seconds and manage subject lock in an effective manner.
Please see this video review by Michael the Maven for an even better understanding of this jewel camera:
This ensures that even the fastest moving subjects can be easily tracked and captured and you never miss a single Decisive Moment.
Next amazing feature this a6400 has introduced us is the advanced Real-time Eye AF. This is Sony’s latest version of Eye AF technology and it employs artificial intelligence based object recognition. This leads to the detection and processing of eye data in real time, thus providing improved speed, accuracy, and tracking performance.
This is available in all autofocus modes, and the camera automatically detects the subject eyes and activates the Eye AF by just half pressing of the shutter button. With the in AF-A or AF-C mode, the preferred eye of the subject can be chosen as the focus point.
There are many choices which include Auto / Left Eye/ Right Eye, and even a Switch Right / Left Eye option which provides you a custom function as well. This innovation in technology has been very beneficial as it frees the photographer of worrying about the sharp focus and makes them work solely on composition as they trust that camera to focus tack sharp on the subject’s eye. Sony A6400 also includes animals Eye AF support which is useful for wildlife photographers.
Another debuting feature this a6400 by Sony beholds is Real-time Tracking. This feature makes use of Sony’s algorithm which also includes artificial intelligence based object recognition and enables processing of color, depth, and brightness ensuring that the subjects are captured with perfection.
Moreover, when video graphing and photographing or humans and animals eye position and face has become easy as AI recognizes the information and then monitors the subject’s eye in real time with high precision. This to only require only a half press of the shutter button to activate. It can also be assigned to a custom function.
The overall shooting speeds that this camera can shoot is up to 11 fps with full AF/AE tracking if making use of the mechanical shutter, and up to 8 fps with full AF/AE tracking if using the silent shooting mode.
At each of these speeds it can capture up to 46 frames raw compressed/116 frames JPEG Standard which greatly improves the chances of capturing the perfect moment.
Image Quality Advancements
The a6400 by Sony comes with a 24.2MP APS-C image sensor which is paired with an advanced BIONZ X processor to deliver enhanced color reproduction and image quality in all shooting conditions. Its Standard ISO range is up to ISO 32,000 in stills as well as movies, and this range is expandable up to ISO 102,400 for still photography.
It has amazing noise reduction at high and medium sensitivities. Even most of the Image Quality Advancements are inherited from Sony’s full-frame cameras algorithms. The additional things are noise suppression while preservation of resolution and improvement in texture depiction.
4K Movie Recording with Fast Hybrid Autofocus
The a6400 is versatile because not only is it good for images but it is also a solid video camera. It offers internal 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) movie recording which has a full pixel readout. There is no pixel binning in collecting about 2.4x the amount of data needed for 4K movies.
The 4K footage is of high quality with complete detail and perfect depth. Focus even while movie shooting is stable and fast due to the upgraded Fast Hybrid AF technology. Thanks to this technology, the camera keeps the subject in smooth and constant focus, even when the object crosses in front of the user.
Together this advanced AF and touch focus functionality makes this camera a suitable choice especially for video creators and vloggers who want both good quality videos and ease of updating and sharing videos online.
This camera supports in-built interval recording for time-lapse movie creation. This can be set anywhere in-between 1 and 60 sec, and the total number of shots can be set from 1 to 9999.
The AE tracking sensitivity can be tuned to “Low”, “Mid”, or “High” when interval shooting; thus resulting in reduced changes in exposure over during the shooting interval.
Additionally, it has a Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) picture profile, which is the first time for a Sony APS-C mirrorless camera model. This feature supports a spontaneous HDR workflow and allows HDR compatible TV’s to present true-to-life and beautiful 4K HDR imagery.
Moreover, it supports both S-Log2 and S-Log3 thus increasing Zebra functionality, color grading flexibility, proxy recording, and Gamma Display assist. The camera is also capable of recording Full HD at 120 fps for up to 100 Mb/s.
This allows reviewing and eventual editing of footage into 4x or 5x slow-motion video files by using Full HD resolution with AF tracking.
Upgraded Build for Increased Versatility
The camera has an upgraded outlook and builds which increases its versatility than its predecessors. It has a design of which offers a high level of customization and functionality which leads to maximization of shooting freedom.
One of the best things at this camera is its fully tiltable 180° LCD screen which has 921,600 dots of resolution which enables simple yet effective selfie-style shooting in both videos and still capture. This capability is what vloggers can utilize to monitor and check the composition throughout the entire process of creation.
The LCD screen employs touch functionality, which provides numerous options like TouchPad, Touch Shutter, Touch Focus, and Touch Tracking. All of them quickly activate thus providing “Real-time Tracking” via the touch screen.
Lastly, this camera boasts a top-quality XGA OLED Tru-finder viewfinder. This EVF has extensive customization as it comes with 89 functions which are assignable to 8 custom keys.
It has My Menu and My Dial functionality which enhances overall menu usability. It consists of a help screen for menus and also includes star rating for images and numerous other features which truly make it perfect for a seamless shooting experience.
Like the body, it is also built with a solid magnesium-alloy and is designed in such a way that it is stable. It consists of a durable shutter which is rated for approx. 200,000 cycles. Moreover, it holds the capability of seamlessly transferring of files to a tablet or smartphone when it is connected to the new application called Imaging Edge Mobile.
In case you are curious what’s inside the camera and where to find each setting, enjoy this video by Alin Popescu who recorded the full menu system with explanations of the new Sony A6400:
To conclude, I would say that the features of this camera are beyond ordinary. It is one of its kind and is worth having in your photography kit. Be it professional or beginners, this camera is perfect for all as it is simple to use yet it provides complete functionality.
You won’t need any other accessories to support it because it has everything in-built. So go for it if you need a camera that has it all!
Lens Mount: Sony E-Mount
Camera Format: APS-C
Actual Pixels: 25 Megapixel
Effective pixels: 24.2 Megapixel
Max Resolution: 6000 x 4000
Aspect Ratio: 3:2, 16:9
Sensor Type: CMOS
Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm
File Formats: JPEG, RAW
Movies: MP4, AVCHD 2.0, XAVC S
Audio: AC3, Linear PCM, Dolby Digital 2ch,
Bit Depth: 14-Bit
Dust Reduction System: Yes
Memory Card Type: SD, SDHC, SDXC
Image Stabilization: None
Video Recording: Yes, NTSC/PAL
Video Formats: 3840 x 2160p at 24/25/30 fps (100, 60 Mb/s XAVC S)
1920 x 1080p at 24/25/30/50/60 fps (50 Mb/s XAVC S)
1920 x 1080i at 50/60 fps (24, 17 Mb/s AVCHD)
1920 x 1080p at 100/120 fps (100, 60 Mb/s XAVC S)
1920 x 1080p at 50/60 fps (25 Mb/s XAVC S)
1920 x 1080p at 25/30 fps (16 Mb/s XAVC S)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Recording: Built-In Mic with Video (Stereo)
Focus Type: Auto and Manual Focus
Focus Mode: Automatic, Continuous-Servo AF, Direct Manual Focus, Manual Focus, Single-servo AF
Autofocus Points: Phase Detection: 425
Contrast Detection: 425
Viewfinder Type: Electronic
Viewfinder Size: 0.39″
Viewfinder Pixel Count: 2,359,296
Viewfinder Coverage: 100%
Viewfinder Magnification: Approximately 1.07x
Diopter Adjustment: -4.0 to +3.0 m
Display Screen: 3″ Touchscreen Rear Screen Tilting LCD
ISO Sensitivity: 100 to 32000
Extended Mode: 100 to 102400
Shutter Type: Electronic and Mechanical
Speed: 30 to 1/4000 Second
Metering Method: Average Metering, Multi-Zone Metering, Center-Weighted Average Metering, Spot Metering, Highlight Weighted
Exposure Modes: Aperture Priority, Auto, Shutter Priority, Sweep Panorama, Intelligent Auto, Movie, Manual, Program, Scene Selection, Superior Auto,
Metering Range: EV -2.0 to EV 20.0
Compensation: -5 EV to +5 EV)
Flash Modes: Auto, Fill-In, Hi-Speed Sync, Off, Rear Sync, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync, and Wireless
Built-in Flash: Yes
Guide No: 19.69’ / 6 m ISO100
Max Sync Speed: 1 / 160 Second
Flash Compensation: -3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)
Dedicated Flash System: TTL
External Flash Connection: Hot Shoe, Wireless
Self-Timer: 2, 5, 10 Seconds
Interval Recording: Yes
Wi-Fi Capable: Yes
Battery: 1 x NP-FW50 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
Operating Temperature: 0 to 40°C/32 to 104°F
Dimensions: 120.0 x 66.9 x 59.7 mm / 4.7 x 2.6 x 2.4” (W x H x D)
Weight (with battery and memory card): 403 g/14.22 oz.
What’s in the Box?
-Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only)
-NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery (1020mAh)
-Accessory Shoe Cap
-Limited 1-Year Warranty
– Latest autofocus technology
– Eye-detection for animals
– 4k video
– Numerous phase-detection autofocus points
– Wi-Fi and Bluetooth,
– Tilting LCD screen
– Silent shooting options
– XGA OLED Tru-finder viewfinder
– Weather sealed
– Solid magnesium alloy body
– Real-time Tracking capabilities
– Real-time Eye AF
– High-speed shooting up to 11 fps
– There is no headphone jack
– There are no dual card slots
– The screen gets blocked when mounting the microphone
– Can have better battery quality
– Lacks built-in stabilization
Summing it up, from the sensor inherited from Sony’s lineup which equips this A6400 with an array of inherent phase-detection autofocus points to 11fps burst shooting and continuous AF feedback, everything is just perfect.
With only a few drawbacks majorly the lack of the built-in stabilization which A6500 possess, it has every other thing. Especially the latest autofocus technology by Sony which enhances tracking and enables eye-detection for animals is worth the praise.
Completing the perfect combination and providing you with a perfect package is the XGA OLED viewfinder, support for S-Log 2 and 3, 4k video, silent shooting options, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, interval timer facility, and external software which allows assembling images into a time-lapse movie.
So, for me this A6400 is a mid-range mirrorless camera which is as solid as it can get. The APS-C sensor which delivers excellent quality 24 Megapixel images and 4k video is something worth to invest in. The improvements in the autofocus system is also commendable and means that tracking and focusing of subjects becomes enhanced.
It is a camera that gives more features than any other camera in similar price range. My verdict is that it whether you want a camera for shooting stills or filming video, this camera is the best up till date.
The fast burst speeds makes it better-suited for action than most competitors and the flipping screen makes it ideal for vlogging, while the rare ability of recording beyond half an hour makes it perfect for events photography and interviews.
Even though there is a disadvantage of blocking the screen if you mount your microphone on the hotshoe, but this problem can be resolved by using a cabled or bracket microphone instead. The ability to power the camera over USB is really beneficial for long videos and is another feature which make this camera a must-have for the lovers of photography.
It is the latest innovation which is greeted with open arms because the features justify the praise
I personally prefer Sony A6400 – see on eBay – over all the other cameras because of its improved focusing, selfie-screen and longer recordings. Even though it has a hotshoe limitations the upgrades are worth the price.
The 4k video and fast bursts make it better than its predecessors and competitors and make it the best option for every kind of photographer anywhere around the world. Personally speaking, this A6400 is fit for any type of filming and is very compatible with every style of photography.
It is a solid camera for its price range and I will happily recommend it to all. It fulfills my purpose perfectly and I hope it turns out to be the best choice for you as well.
So have a nice time clicking beautiful images with this top-notch camera!