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Sony Alpha A6400 Review

Sony Alpha A6400 Review - We review Sony's latest APS-C mirrorless camera, with a 24mp sensor, and unlimited 4K UHD video recording, it's offering ultra-fast autofocus, but does it deliver? Find out in our full review.


|  Sony Alpha A6400 in Mirrorless Cameras
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Sony Alpha A6400 Outside (2)

 

Quick Verdict

The Sony Alpha A6400 offers excellent image quality, with a 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor that delivers great noise performance. The camera is fast in use, and focus is rapid. 4K UHD video recording is unlimited, and it's also going to be a good choice for travel, due to the compact size of the system. However, the menu system and controls could be improved, and this can make it less enjoyable to use, when compared to other camera systems. 

+ Pros

  • Compact size
  • Excellent Image Quality 
  • Improved noise performance
  • Unlimited video recording
  • 11fps continuous shooting
  • Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
  • MyMenu

- Cons

  • 16:9 aspect ratio screen reduces size of 4:3 images
  • Menu system is overly long
  • No in-camera raw editing
  • Handling could be improved
 

 

 

Sony Alpha A6400 (8)

The Sony Alpha A6400, is Sony's latest 24mp APS-C E-Mount mirrorless camera, and updates the A6300. New additions include a tilting touch-screen that tilts all the way forward for selfies or vlogging, as well as an updated autofocus (AF) system, with improved focus speeds and tracking. Continuous shooting remains the same, at 11fps, and you can record 4K UHD video. 


Sony Alpha A6400 Features

Sony Alpha A6400 (2)

The Sony Alpha A6400 uses the same 24.2mp APS-C CMOS sensor as the Sony Alpha A6300, but with improved autofocus performance, the camera now offers 0.02 second AF speeds, compared to 0.05s for the A6300. In addition the ISO speed available has been increased to ISO32000 (Native), which can also be extended to ISO102400, thanks to the use of the latest Bionz X image processor. 

There's updated AF tracking: a new subject recognition algorithm holds onto moving subjects, and you can use the touch-screen to select your subject. Eye recognition is now "real-time Eye AF" meaning you don't have to press a button to activate it, with persistent eye tracking (when AF-C is set, and the shutter is half-pressed), you can also choose the left eye, right eye or Auto. (Like Olympus cameras have for years). 

In-camera timelapse is possible. Previously, and in the case of the A6300, you would have needed to use Sony PlayMemories apps to add this feature to the camera. The A6400, like other new Sony cameras, does not support Sony PlayMemories apps. 

Sony Alpha A6400 (4)

The 3inch touch-screen has a resolution of 921K dots, and a 16:9 aspect ratio, perfect for video recording, whilst keeping the size down. The screen will now tilt up so that you can face it forwards and use it for selfies, or group shots, as well as for vlogging - recording video to camera, whilst simultaneously being able to see yourself. 

The electronic viewfinder (EVF), features a resolution of 2.36m dots, and 0.7x magnification. There's an eye-detection sensor so that it will automatically switch between the rear screen and the EVF. There's also dioptre correction. 

There's also a 1:1 aspect ratio option, in addition to 3:2 and 16:9. Maybe in a couple of years, Sony will add another aspect ratio, perhaps 4:3. 

The camera body is weather-sealed and when used with weather-sealed lenses is said to give full weather-sealing. 

Video recording: The Sony Alpha A6400 supports 4K UHD HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma, aka HDR) video recording. There is no time limit to video recording, normally there is a 29min limit due to tax reasons, and you can power the camera using the MicroUSB connection to make sure you don't run out of power when recording. You also have the ability to record FullHD video, at speeds up to 120fps. 

There is no in-camera image stabilisation, for that you'll need to look at the A6500

 

Sony Alpha A6400 vs A6300:

  • Improved AF performance
  • Touch-screen, tilts forwards 180 degrees
  • Extended ISO range
  • Automatic Eye-detection
  • Unlimited video recording
  • HLG (HDR) video profile
  • 410 shot battery life
  • 1:1 aspect ratio possible
  • MyMenu lets you store details
  • Bluetooth


The Sony Alpha A6400 has P, A, S, M shooting modes, giving you manual controls, as well as raw shooting. There is no in-camera raw processing. You'll also find Auto, Scene modes, Panoramic shooting, and MR (Memory Recall). For video recording there is a dedicated video symbol on the mode dial, as well as S&Q (Slow and Quick) video recording. There are numerous creative options, including "Creative styles" letting you choose from different colour settings, as well as "Picture Effects" which let you choose different filters and effects. 

Sony Alpha A6400 (5)

Key Features

  • 24.2mp APS-C CMOS sensor, with copper wiring
  • Sony E-Mount
  • 3inch tilting touch-screen, 921K dot (16:9)
  • 2.36m dot EVF, 0.70x magnification with dioptre correction
  • 425 Focus points - PDAF, 84% coverage
  • 11fps continuous shooting, with AF/AE
  • Built-in Pop-up Flash
  • 4K UHD movie recording, stereo sound, 100mbps
  • FullHD video recording, up to 120fps
  • ISO100 to ISO32000, ISO102400 (Extended)
  • Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth built-in
  • USB power / charging

Sony Alpha A6400 Handling

Sony Alpha A6400 (9)

Handling - The Sony Alpha A6400 is one of the smaller APS-C mirrorless cameras available, and the rangefinder styling, with electronic viewfinder (EVF) on the left hand side helps keep the camera small. It's quite light, too, with a weight of 403g with battery and memory card. Another thing that keeps the camera small, is the use of a 3inch 16:9 aspect ratio screen. The camera measures 120 x 66.9 x 59.7mm, and there is a good size hand-grip considering the size of the camera. It features a textured rubber grip, that extends round the side of the camera and continues to the back, where there is a raised thumb grip. When holding the camera, the small size means that your little finger does end up hanging down, loose and free. 

The size and design means that you can use the camera with just one hand, although you may not want to do this when using a larger lens, and when using a lens like the 18-135mm, we would recommend the use of two hands. 

The camera feels well built, with a mixture of metal and plastic construction. There's a reassuringly solid metal hing holding the screen, giving confidence when adjusting the screen. 

Sony Alpha A6400 (12)

There's a top command wheel (top, back), and a rear scroll wheel. There's no front command wheel, unfortunately. The function / Fn button on the back of the camera gives quick access to some of the most commonly used settings, on the rear screen. You can customise this so that you can set the camera to your own personal preferences. However, you can't use the touch-screen to select these or change settings.

Whilst the controls could have a better layout, the camera still provides quick access to some of the most commonly used settings, such as ISO (after pressing the ISO button on the 4-way scroll wheel), and exposure compensation (using the top rear command dial). 

Sony Alpha A6400 (6)

On the side you'll find a MicroUSB connection, HDMI and a microphone socket. 

There are 425 phase detection auto-focus (AF) points, and the camera uses a hybrid focus system, using both phase-detection and contrast-detection AF points. You can use the touch-screen to set the focus point, and these cover a wide area of the screen. Focus is sensitive down to -2EV, and a built-in AF illuminator helps with low-light focus.  

There are plenty of AF options, with three pages of AF options, and you can customise the continuous shooting to prioritise shutter release or focus (or choose a "balanced emphasis"). The face and eye-detection focus is fast and reliable, with the camera able to find the subject even when not facing the camera directly. 

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) gives a good alternative to using the screen, when outdoors. The display is clear, and colour reproduction is good, although we noticed flickering at times, and the 2.36million dot resolution isn't up there with the best cameras. The screen is ideal for video recording, with a 16:9 aspect ratio, however, this means the view for photography (at the standard 3:2) aspect ratio isn't as large as other cameras. Colour reproduction is good, and despite the relatively small size, the view is clear and detailed. 

Sony Alpha A6400 (13)

Menus – The menus are updated compared to the A6300, but continue to be a long list of options, for example the first Photo menu has 14 pages of options. There's some organisation for example, the second set of Photo options (Photo icon, 2), starts with three pages of movie options, but then by the end of the 9 screens, you've got options to customise the command wheels. It would make more sense for the movie options to have their own dedicated menu section. There's a "MyMenu" section where you can add your favourite settings. 

Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth are built-in. NFC lets you quickly setup a connection with a compatible Android smartphone, whilst (low-power) Bluetooth means you can transfer images using less power than transfering over Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi connection is needed when remotely controlling the camera, and allows a live-view on your smartphone or tablet's screen. You can also record location information from your smartphone. 

Sony Alpha A6400 (10)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 410 shots according to Sony / CIPA test results, when using the LCD screen, or 360 shots when using the electronic viewfinder. This is reasonable, although a second battery is recommended if you plan on shooting more. The battery life is shown as a percentage, on-screen, so you know how much life you have left. The battery is charged in the camera, using the provided MicroUSB cable. 



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Comments


Luddha 3 Australia
17 Apr 2019 3:00AM
Continuous AF, Eye-AF on half press of shutter...not worth mentioning?

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18 Apr 2019 7:51PM
Fantastic camera. Have teamed it up with the sigma MC-2 Canon lens converter I have been using the EF100-400 mm f.4 without loss of features from the camera.

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