Following Canon’s latest mirrorless camera announcement, Sony has also boosted its range of crop-sensor mirrorless cameras with new models. At a special event in New York, Sony launched two new APS-C mirrorless cameras — the flagship a6600 and the entry-level a6100 — which will hit the markets in October and November.
The Sony a6600 is a flagship model that features everything that is loved about the a6400 which was announced in January this year. The Sony a6100, on the other hand, is an entry-level APS-C model, which shares many features with the a6600. The a6600 has several high-end features that make it qualify as the successor to the a6500 which was launched in 2016.
According to Neal Manowitz, Deputy President of Imaging Products and Solutions at Sony Electronics, the two new APS-C mirrorless cameras are compact packages that promise to provide high-quality images and enable photographers to fully utilize the expanding lineup of E-mount lenses from Sony. The company is also launching two lightweight E-mount lenses later this year that are compatible with these cameras and its other APS-C cameras.
The Sony a6600 Flagship APS-C Mirrorless Camera
One of Sony’s new APS-C cameras is the a6600 mirrorless camera which is to replace the a6500 as the current flagship model. The new a6600 APS-C mirrorless camera borrows a lot of impressive specs from previous Sony models and adds its own new cool features.
Like the a6500, the new a6600 has a 24.2-megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS image sensor, 180-degree tiltable 3.0-type 921k-dot (approx.) LCD touch screen, and super-fast autofocus (AF) which can find a subject in 0.02 seconds.
Sony’s a6600 flagship camera has an ISO range of 100-32,000 that is expandable all the way up to 102400, and advanced picture profiles like HLG for HDR workflows, S-Log 3 and S-Log 2 gamma profiles. It’s also capable of burst shooting at speeds of up to 11fps and 3K 40p internal HDR recording.
The Sony a6600 has the same Real-Time AF tracking and Real-Time Eye AF tracking for humans and animals which can be used in shooting stills and videos (that originally debuted on Sony’s a6400). It also brings the very powerful 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) that is available on the a6500 — but was missing in the a6400 — which allows for more interesting capabilities with the camera.
Sony’s a6600 mirrorless camera is also bringing more exciting specs and cool features of its own. There’s a clutch feature for video creators which adds to Sony’s top-notch autofocus and high-quality 4K video capture. It features an EVF with a 2.3 million dot resolution.
The a6600 also borrows the new BIONZ X image processing system from its a9 and a7-series cameras which Sony says gives it a 1.8x gain in data processing speeds over the a6500.
Sony has also included a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is a first for its Alpha range of cameras. Furthermore, the a6600 promises to offer the longest battery life of any APS-C mirrorless camera, thanks to that bigger Z battery which originally debuted on the company’s range of full-frame mirrorless cameras. With this battery, the a6600 is expected to last twice as long as the a6400 and a6500 with a rated battery life of about 810 shots per charge.
The Sony a6100 Entry-Level APS-C Mirrorless Camera
Sony also launched the a6100, a new entry-level option in its Alpha series which shares many features with the a6600. It has a lot of specs available in more expensive cameras, including a 24.2-megapixel sensor, 425 phase detection, and 425 contrast-detection autofocus points, and 4K 30p internal recording. Interestingly, it offers the same super-fast AF and Real-Time Eye AF tracking with still shots like the a6600, even though Real-Time Eye AF is not supported for movie recording.
Like most of Sony’s other APS-C cameras, the new a6100 relies on in-lens stabilization. It uses the BIONZ X image processing as the flagship a6600 but has a lower resolution EVF with 1.44 million dot resolution. It uses the older battery, smaller maximum ISO sensitive expandable to only 51200, and lacks S-Log or HLG recording options, or HDR.
Availability & Pricing
Sony is expected to release the two new APS-C mirrorless cameras on the market later this year. The a6100 should be available in October at the price of $750 for the body alone in the US. There will also be a kit option with the company’s 16-50mm E-mount lens for $1,100.
The a6600 will be available in November, and the body on its own will cost $1,400 in the US. Sony plans to also make the a6600 available as a kit that includes an 18-135mm E-mount lens for $1,800.