Intro: Sony Alpha a6400
Sony recently announced the newest addition to its E-mount mirrorless camera lineup: the Sony Alpha a6400. We were initially confused by this release. Why, we asked, do we need another entry to mid-level Sony Alpha? Also, the a6500 came out way back in December 2016—aren’t we regressing with this new release?
Then, we saw the specs.
The a6400 is intended to be an upgrade to the Alpha a6300 (released in February 2016). Among the Alpha a6400’s many impressive updates, the three that stand out to us the most are the addition of 4K video, an external microphone jack, and a 180-degree fully tiltable LCD touch screen. These features in conjunction with the a6400’s AF speed and sensor make this camera a vloggers dream. Now, let’s take a closer look at specs.
Before we jump in, here’s an overview of the must-know specifications for the Sony a6400:
- 24.2MP APS-C Exmor sensor
- BIONZ X image processor
- Continuous shooting of up to 11 fps
- Ultra HD 4K video recording
- Tiltable 3.0-inch (921k dots) LCD display
- XGA OLED Tru-finder Electronic Viewfinder
- Instant sharing via smartphone with Wi-Fi and NFC
- 425-point AF
Upgraded Autofocus & Shutter Speed
According to Sony, this E-mount mirrorless camera boasts the world’s fastest autofocus acquisition at 0.02 seconds. It achieves this number by combining its tracking AF system with a BIONZ X image processing engine. The result is 425 phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast-detection AF points that instantaneously lock in on your subject. In laymen’s terms: holy crap this is a fast and effective autofocus.
The a6400 also introduces “Real-time Eye AF,” the latest version of Sony’s Eye AF technology. This feature uses artificial intelligence to detect and process eye data in real time, resulting in improved accuracy, speed and tracking performance. The goal here is to let photographers worry less about focusing on their subjects’ eyes and more on the overall composition of a shot. Be advised, this feature works with both stills and video.
For everyone out there with Instagram famous pets, Eye AF support for animals will be added in summer 2019 via a system software update.
As for shooting speeds, the Alpha a6400 can shoot at up to 11 fps with full AF/AE tracking. Similarly, it shoots up to 8 fps with full AF/AE tracking while utilizing silent shooting. It can shoot at both of these speeds for up to 116 frames JPEG Standard / 46 frames RAW compressed.
Better Image Quality
Sony’s new a6400 is equipped with a 24.2 MP APS-C sized image sensor that is paired with an upgraded BIONZ X processor to deliver incredible advancements in both image quality and color reproduction. It also boasts standard ranges up to ISO 32000 for both stills and movies; this is expandable up to ISO 102400 for still images. This camera also inherits many of the image processing algorithms from Sony’s newest full-frame cameras; it suppresses noise while preserving resolution and improving texture depiction.
Video Recording Quality
Like its predecessor (the a6300), the Sony a6400 has 4K video recording. However, the newer model’s focus during shoots is quicker and more stable thanks to its upgraded “Fast Hybrid AF technology.” This is one of those beautiful moments when marketing jargon actually translates to real-life features; this hybrid autofocus keeps subjects in constant, smooth focus no matter the scene, even if an object crosses in front of the camera.
Plus, this is the first time a Sony APS-C mirrorless camera includes an HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile; this addition supports an Instant HDR workflow, allowing HDR (HLG) compatible TV’s to playback beautiful, true-to-life 4K HDR imagery.
Filming a time-lapse is easy using the camera’s built-in interval recording. It adjusts anywhere between 1 and 60 seconds, with a total number of shots from 1 to 9999. AE tracking sensitivity adjusts to “High”, “Mid” or “Low” during interval shooting, allowing for reduced changes in exposure over the shooting interval.
Finally, we reach video sound quality. Sony added a built-in headphone jack that can be used for additional external recording equipment which is a huge asset; it has an XLR adapter (not included with the camera) to facilitate the use of pro-level microphones. Post-production sound edits do not have to be a total nightmare. Thank you, Sony.
The Selfie Screen
Sony is fully leaning into the age of selfies with the a6400. The camera has a 180-degree, tiltable, 3.0-type LCD flip screen with 921k-dots of resolution. With this addition, you can now take selfie-style shots for both stills and video. This adaptation allows vloggers to check and monitor composition throughout the entire creative process. It’s also a touch LCD with options for Touch Pad, Touch Focus, Touch Shutter and new Touch Tracking which quickly activates “Real-time Tracking” through the touch screen.
We’re incredibly excited to give this camera a try. If you are too, click here to preorder the camera. As always, if you have any questions or thoughts about the new release, feel free to leave them in the comments below.