The Sony a6400 camera comes with a broad feature set. It has been introduced to address the needs of many photographers and especially those enthusiasts interested in getting a more sophisticated mirrorless camera with an affordable price tag.
Sony has equipped the a6400 with some of its state-of-the-art technology, most notably the incredibly advanced autofocusing (AF) system, which also meets the requirements of sports and wildlife photographers.
The a6400 has a 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor like the a6300 and a6500 but it comes with a great processing power, which is 1.8x faster than the a6300. The reason behind this is a front-end LSI and the new BIONZ X image processor.
Thanks to these upgrades, the ISO of this camera can be expanded up to 102,400 compared to 51,200 of the a6500 (the native range of the a6400 is 100-32,000). Sony also claims that the color reproduction accuracy has been significantly improved.
This midrange Alpha-series camera lacks an in-body image stabilization feature, and perhaps that’s the only department where a6500 edges ahead with its 5-axis image stabilization. You have to rely on lens-based stabilization of the a6400 if you plan on acquiring one.
The a6400 features an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 2,359k dots and 0.7x magnifications. It’s the same viewfinder that comes with the a6300 and a6500. On the rear, you will find a 3.0-inch touch-enabled display with sufficient 921K-dot resolution. The screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio which seems great if you are capturing video regularly but for stills, you will observe black bars at each side of the image. One thing that vloggers in particular will love is that the display can be tilted 180-degrees upwards, enabling you to easily keep yourself in frame.
The tilting screen is not the only thing that should attract vloggers, the a6400 also offers a list of solid video features including 4K video capture at 100Mbps. For post-production, you will get S-log3 and S-log2 support, and 4K HDR recording as well. A microphone jack has also been included which is compatible with XLR adapters. Moreover, Sony’s new Imaging Edge Mobile app enables you to transfer 4K video directly to your smartphone. This app also offers remote camera control.
Photographers will also be amazed to know that the a6400 has a built-in interval recording option. You can set it between 1 and 60 seconds and capture a total number of shots ranging from 1 to 9,999. While using interval shooting, you can adjust the AE tracking sensitivity to high, mid or low.
For connectivity options, the a6400 features Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth. It also has a single SD card slot which is compatible with UHS-I cards but not with the faster UHS-II versions.
The a6400 is capable of shooting up to 11fps with both AF and AE. With improved buffer performance over the a6300, the a6400 can capture a total of 116 JPEGs in a single burst. The a6300, on the other hand, can shoot 30 JPEGs. For RAW shooting the camera’s capacity has been increased to 46 shots compared to 21 shots of the a6300. However, the a6500 remains on top in this department as well. It can capture 200 JPEGs or 107 raw files in a single burst at a speed of 11fps.
When it comes to metering, the a6400 generally gives a reliable performance. Sony’s 1200-zone metering system manages the exposure well, with a choice of six modes. The auto white balance system of the camera does a good job of color reproduction in different conditions.
The EVF of the a6400 has a modest resolution and magnification at this price. In darker conditions, you may find some noise or lag as expected, but the image will still be quite useable.
Unlike the latest full-frame Alpha cameras the battery is not as upgraded. It will give you a modest 360 shots while using the viewfinder, however if you rely on the rear display, this number can be stretched to 410 shots. The camera is charged with a USB, but the charger is sold separately.
As aforementioned, the a6400 features the latest BIONZ X image processor which, Sony claims, gives a better image quality. When tested, the camera delivered impressive JPEG results. Sharpness was good and the contrast was fine too. Image noise remained well controlled throughout the sensitivity range on the camera. At higher sensitivity settings such as ISO6400, the results were also good, though it’s recommended to use the noise reduction setting when capturing JPEGs, as the normal setting may produce some awkward looking results.
The Alpha a6400 also has excellent video quality with nice smooth motion and a great amount of detail. Audio quality is fine and it can be further improved if you use a separate microphone.
How Does the Sony a6400 Compare?
|Sony a6300||Sony a6400|
|ISO Range||100 – 25600||100 – 32000|
|Burst Rate||11 fps||11 fps|
You’re not wrong if you say that the Sony a6400 has a very few upgrades over the a6300. You’re also not wrong if you say that the Sony a6400 still brings the same shortcomings of the a6300, most importantly the lack of the in-body image stabilization.
However, the most important thing about the Sony Alpha a6400 is its fast state-of-the-art autofocusing system. Although the number of the phase detection points may remain the same, it’s the smart work behind the scenes that really makes the difference. It’s truly one of the most incredibly advanced systems you can find and it comes with a camera that costs under $1000.