Cameras

Sony a6400 Review

The Alpha A6400 is equipped with a 24.2 megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, the same as the A6300 and the A6500. However, because it has a front-end LSI and the most recent version of the BIONZ X image processor, Sony claims its processing rates are 1.8 times quicker than those of the A6300.

These enhancements have also allowed Sony to stretch the new camera’s ISO ceiling to an expanded upper limit of 102,400, compared to the A6500’s 51,200 (the A6400’s native range is 100-32,000). Additionally, Sony claims that color reproduction has been dramatically improved due to these enhancements.

The absence of any in-body image stabilization, which the A6500 has thanks to its 5-axis system, is a notable omission from the A6400. Users of the A6400 will need to rely on lens-based stabilization. While many of Sony’s APS-C-specific zoom lenses come equipped with the company’s Optical SteadyShot (OSS) technology, many of the company’s prime lenses do not.

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Sony a6400 Build Quality

Although Sony claims that the build quality of the Alpha A6400 has improved compared to that of the Alpha A6300, it is not apparent exactly how or where these improvements were made. In any case, the body of the Alpha A6400 is made of magnesium alloy and is sealed to prevent dust and moisture from getting inside. Additionally, Sony has improved the shutter, which now has a lifespan of 200,000 cycles, which is twice as long as the A6300’s shutter.

The body of the A6400 follows a form factor that is essentially identical to that of other cameras in the A6000 series, including the fact that it has a rather decent-sized handgrip. The control arrangement of the A6400 is the same as that of the A6300. There are a fair number of controls that are clearly labeled on the back of the camera, and there is also a control wheel that is free to move around, which makes it easy to traverse menus and examine photographs.

You cannot navigate the A6400’s comprehensive menu system, even though this has been updated compared to the A6300’s interface, with six color-coded sub-menus making it that much easier to navigate. Touchscreen functionality is limited to tap focus, tap shutter, and defining subjects for tracking. This is the same as on all of Sony’s other cameras.

Sony a6400 Autofocus

To say that the focusing mechanism of the Sony Alpha A6400 is complex would be an understatement. Furthermore, Sony’s promise that the A6400 has the world’s quickest autofocus at just 0.02 seconds tells a portion of the tale.

The new camera boasts a hybrid autofocus system that provides 84% frame coverage. It contains 425 phase-detect points and 425 contrast-detect AF points, increasing over the Alpha A6300’s 25 contrast-detect AF points.

This is the first Sony camera to be equipped with Real-time EyeAF and Real-time Tracking technology, both of which were recently developed by Sony (both features are coming to the Alpha A9 via a big firmware update in March) to the Alpha A7R III and A7 III in April).

Sony a6400 Performance

The Alpha A6400 has sophisticated autofocus technology, and it can shoot up to 11 frames per second while still maintaining its AE and AF capabilities. The buffer performance of the A6400 has been enhanced compared to that of the A6300. The A6400 can now take a total of 116 JPEG photographs, whereas the A6300 can only take 30.

Additionally, the capacity for shooting raw has been raised from 21 to 46 shots (although interestingly, the A6500 has the upper hand here, capturing 200 JPEGs in a single burst at 11fps or 107 raw files). If you wish to shoot without making any noise, you may do it at eight frames per second.

When it comes to the metering, we discovered that the A6400 was, for the most part, a reliable performer, with just a slight tendency toward underexposure on occasion; however, this tendency is negligible, and it’s often by only around half or a third of a stop, so it can easily be remedied with a touch of exposure compensation, or in the raw processing that occurs after the image has been captured.

Sony a6400 Image Quality

The APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor with 24.2 megapixels is utilized by the Alpha A6400, as the Alpha A6300 and Alpha A6500 also use it. However, the A6400 features the most recent iteration of Sony’s BIONZ X image engine, which the company thinks results in even higher image quality.

We put the A6400 through its paces with several lenses, including the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, the FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, and the FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA, and the results showed that the photos produced by each combination were evident and detailed.

The JPEGs taken immediately after being taken by the camera have a remarkable appearance; the contrast and clarity are both high caliber.

Sony a6400 Specs

Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorBionz X
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-32000 (expands to 102800)
Boosted ISO (maximum)102800
White balance presets10
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Sony ARW)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points425
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots921,600
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.07× (0.71× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,359,296
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Scene modesPortrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, handheld Twilight, Night Portrait, Anti-Motion Blur
Built-in flashYes
Flash range6.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesOff, auto, on, slow sync, rear sync, redeye reduction, wireless, hi-speed sync
Flash X sync speed1/160 sec
Drive modesSingle shootingContinuousSelf-timerBracketing (AE, WB, DRO)
Continuous drive11.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedAverageSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 25 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 50i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 25 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 16 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick DUO (UHS-I compliant)
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + NFC + Bluetooth 4.1
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FW50
Battery Life (CIPA)410
Weight (inc. batteries)403 g (0.89 lb / 14.22 oz)
Dimensions120 x 67 x 60 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 2.36″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Sony a6400 Verdict

You would be excused if you thought that the Alpha A6400 was only a slight improvement over the A6300 since, in many respects, that is precisely what it is. But the updated and very sophisticated autofocus shines here, which is even more impressive considering it’s on a camera that costs less than $1,000 or £1,000 (whichever is applicable). It can only be positive if this camera can help you enhance your hit rate, no matter what you’re shooting. This applies to all subjects.

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