We are here today at the Sony Event down in San Diego where they just released the new a6400. It’s a new mid-level vlogging style camera with an APS-C sensor.
It has auto eye tracking and animal eye tracking, which are also new firmware updates they are adding to the a9 and the a7s, and the a7R3. This camera has all those features built in and it also has a flip-up screen in the back, which makes it a very lightweight ideal camera for vlogging.
The thing I love about the a600 series is that it’s a lot of camera in a pretty tiny and affordable body. The a6400 as a 24 mp crop sensor that shoots at 11 frames per second and in 4k. I am pretty bummed about the fact that it doesn’t have image stabilization though.
When you throw a larger 24-70 lens it tends to defeat the purpose of the small compact body, but Tamron has a great 28-70 lens that is pretty lightweight and fast.
One thing I didn’t like about the camera is the amount of time it takes to buffer while it’s writing onto the memory card. After you take one photo, it takes a good amount of time (4-5 seconds) in order for you to be able to review it.
You can shoot at 11 frames per second, but you are going to have to wait around before you can review it. If you are a wedding photographer and you are shooting with a7III’s, this is a great second camera to set up.
We wanted to test how fast the autofocus tracking was since this was a feature that Sony just released. The one thing we learned when we went to the real-time autofocus is that you need to change it in the menu to responsive in order to get it to focus a lot quicker.
When we tested it with a model walking towards us, we felt like it held its ground but definitely wasn’t sharper than the a7r3 or the a73. It was pretty fast when we were shooting the seagulls and the basketball players.
It was really neat to see that when we were shooting the basketball player even when he was blocked, the tracking would still focus on his body. I liked that it was able to focus on the body to the eye in the same shot or consecutive shots.
It also has the real-time autofocus in movie mode as well. The camera works well sometimes, but when I tried playing around with it in the samurai scene, the snow falling messed up the tracking. If you are shooting video, I would still recommend using manual focus instead of autofocus though.
If you are into making time lapses, this camera has a built-in intervalometer that allows you to record it instead of using a separate piece of equipment for it. This is a great firmware update for all the Sony cameras, which I think is really neat and time efficient.
The pop-up screen is really great, but I really wish it got over the viewfinder a little bit. It’s kind of hard to see it over the camera especially with a large lens.
We were only shooting in Jpeg because you can’t process the RAWS yet because it’s not supported by Adobe. We used the standard picture profile to shoot these images and we had noise reduction turned off. To start off, we shot several portraits to look at the skin tone and color at ISO1600.
The girl in the Japanese makeup was really pretty with a nice roll-off on the skin. Sony does a good job of giving you an accurate color picture in your images and it then gives you the flexibility to push it in another direction.
Just looking at the portrait shots we took with the a6400 I’m really impressed. Even though you aren’t going to the same shallow depth of field because of the crop sensor, it still takes some really beautiful imagery.
We also took some photos using the 70-200 with the graffiti in the background, and those look really nice at f2.8 It doesn’t fall out of focus as quickly as a full-frame camera would, but it really depends on what kind of style you are going for as well.
We were shooting these images at 6400 ISO and some at 3200 ISO. In the muted shadows the image gets really sketchy with red tones popping up. When there is proper lighting, like this image from the guy in a bar, you can get away with 6400 ISO.
3200 ISO looks a great deal better, but personally, I would avoid anything over 2000 ISO unless I really had to.
Many of you are probably wondering, who is this camera for? The only difference between the a6400 and the a6500 is image stabilization. The Sony representative told me that if you don’t need image stabilization then the a6400 would be a better option because it just has better specs. However, many of Sony’s lenses have image stabilization, so I think I would go for the a6400 and save some money on the body.
The only real question is whether or not you would get a Canon 80D or a comparable Nikon. Then the question becomes do you want a mirrorless or a DLSR? However, for this price range, Sony beats out every other camera in its category with its autofocus capabilities and the edge to edge capabilities.
Check out our video review here.
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