Review: Sony a6400 (The Sony a9 with an APS-C Sensor)

The Sony A6400 packs near-A9 level AF tech into a compact Crop Sensor package.

Up until recently, Sony’s focus seemed to rest with their Full Frame mirrorless cameras, but the Japanese consumer electronics giant reaffirmed their commitment towards APS-C cameras when they announced the A6400 back in January of this year. Featuring the company’s latest advancements in autofocus technologies, the Sony A6400 is positioned interestingly between the existing A6300 and crop sensor flagship A6500. It’s not quite the halo product some were hoping for, but it is certainly no slouch by any measure.

While the Sony A6400 shares the same 24.2 megapixel sensor found in the now 2+ years old A6500, it eschews the in body image stabilization that made the A6500 popular but makes up for it in terms of overall performance (“world’s fastest autofocus” with just 0.02 seconds delay, 11 FPS continuous shooting with AF & AE tracking when using the mechanical shutter, enhanced Real-time Eye AF, as well as the newly introduced Real-time Tracking and Real-time Animal Eye AF) as well as a lower price point of just under US$900 (body only). Much to the delight of video shooters everywhere, the A6400 is capable of recording 4K HDR videos as well as time-lapse in camera. Vloggers and selfie addicts will be happy to learn that the tiltable, flip up touch screen is capable of facing forwards.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Compact & lightweight
  • Fast & accurate autofocus
  • Excellent image quality
  • 11 FPS continuous shooting with AF & AE tracking (mechanical shutter only)
  • Improved Real-time Eye AF
  • Real-time Tracking
  • Real-time Animal Eye AF
  • 4K video recording without 30 minute limit
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • Lacks in body image stabilization
  • External battery charger not included
  • Single SD card slot with support for only up to UHS-I speed cards
  • Rear screen flips up into where the hot shoe is located and becomes essentially useless if you’ve got any attachments mounted onto the camera

 

Gear Used

We tested the Sony a6400 with the Sony 18-105mm f4 G, Sony 18-135 f3.5-5.6Sony 135mm f1.8 G Master, and the Sigma 56mm f1.4 DC DN.

 

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Sony a6400 taken from Sony’s official product page.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

AC Adaptor:AC-UUD12
Accessory shoe cap
Body cap
Eyepiece cup
Micro USB cable
Rechargeable Battery NP-FW50
Shoulder strap

LENS

LENS COMPATIBILITY

Sony E-mount lenses

LENS MOUNT

E-mount

IMAGE SENSOR

ASPECT RATIO

3 : 2

NUMBER OF PIXELS (EFFECTIVE)

Approx. 24.2 megapixels

NUMBER OF PIXELS (TOTAL)

Approx. 25.0 megapixels

SENSOR TYPE

APS-C type (23.5 x 15.6 mm), Exmor® CMOS sensor

ANTI-DUST SYSTEM

Charge protection coating on optical filter and ultrasonic, vibration mechanism

RECORDING (STILL IMAGES)

RECORDING FORMAT

JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.31, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)

IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS) [3:2]

L: 6000 x 4000 (24M), M: 4240 x 2832 (12M), S: 3008 x 2000 (6.0M)

IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS) [16:9]

L: 6000 x 3376 (20 M), M: 4240 x 2400 (10 M), S: 3008 x 1688 (5.1 M)

IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS) [1:1] 

L: 4000 x 4000 (16 M), M: 2832 x 2832 (8.0 M), S: 2000 x 2000 (4.0 M)

IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS) [SWEEP PANORAMA]

Wide: horizontal 12,416 x 1,856 (23M), vertical 5,536 x 2,160 (12M), Standard: horizontal 8,192 x 1,856 (15M), vertical 3,872 x 2,160 (8.4M)

IMAGE QUALITY MODES

RAW, RAW & JPEG (Extra fine, Fine, Standard), JPEG (Extra fine, Fine, Standard)

PICTURE EFFECT

13 types: Posterization (Color), Posterization (B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera (Normal/Cool/Warm/Green/Magenta), Soft High-key, Soft Focus (High/Mid/Low), HDR Painting (High/Mid/Low), Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature (Auto/Top/Middle (H)/Bottom/Right/Middle (V)/Left), Watercolor, Illustration (High/Mid/Low)

CREATIVE STYLE

Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia, Style Box (1-6), (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps))

PICTURE PROFILE

Yes (Off/PP1-PP10) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3, HLG, HLG1-3), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset

DYNAMIC RANGE FUNCTIONS

Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level (1-5)), Auto High Dynamic Range (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure Difference Level (1-6 EV, 1.0 EV step))

COLOR SPACE

sRGB standard (with sYCC gamut) and Adobe RGB standard compatible with TRILUMINOS Color

14BIT RAW

Yes

UNCOMPRESSED RAW

RECORDING (MOVIE)

RECORDING FORMAT

XAVC S, AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant

VIDEO COMPRESSION

XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, AVCHD: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264

AUDIO RECORDING FORMAT

XAVC S: LPCM 2ch, AVCHD: Dolby® Digital (AC-3) 2ch, Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator

COLOR SPACE

xvYCC standard (x.v.Color when connected via HDMI cable) compatible with TRILUMINOS Color

PICTURE EFFECT

Posterization (Color), Posterization (B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera(Normal/Cool/Warm/Green/Magenta), Soft High-key

CREATIVE STYLE

Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia, Style Box (1-6), (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps))

PICTURE PROFILE

Yes (Off/PP1-PP10) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3, HLG, HLG1-3), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset

IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS), NTSC

XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (30p, 100 M), 3840 x 2160 (24p, 100 M), 3840 x 2160 (30p, 60 M), 3840 x 2160 (24p, 60 M), XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (120p, 100 M), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60 M), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (30p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (24p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 25 M), 1920 x 1080 (30p, 16 M), AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60i, 24M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (60i, 17M, FH)

IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS), PAL

XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (25p, 100 M), 3840 x 2160 (25p, 60 M), XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (100p, 100 M), 1920 x 1080 (100p, 60 M), 1920 x 1080 (50p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (50p, 25 M), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 16 M), AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (50i, 24 M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (50i, 17 M, FH)

IMAGE FRAME RATE

NTSC mode: 1fps, 2fps, 4fps, 8fps, 15fps, 30fps, 60fps, 120fps, PAL mode: 1fps, 2fps, 3fps, 6fps, 12fps, 25fps, 50fps, 100fps,

IMAGE SIZE (FRAME RATE/BITRATE)

NTSC mode: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p, 24p), PAL mode: 1920 x 1080 (50p, 25p)

MOVIE FUNCTIONS

Audio Level Display, Audio Rec Level, PAL/NTSC Selector, Proxy Recording (1280 x 720 (Approx. 9 Mbps)), TC/UB (TC Preset/UB Preset/TC Format/TC Run/TC Make/UB Time Rec), Auto Slow Shutter, REC Control, Clean HDMI Info. (ON/OFF selectable), Gamma Disp. Assist

HDMI OUTPUT

3840 x 2160 (30p), 3840 x 2160 (25p), 3840 x 2160 (24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p), 1920 x 1080 (60i), 1920 x 1080 (50p), 1920 x 1080 (50i), 1920 x 1080 (24p), YCbCr 4:2:2 8 bit / RGB 8 bit

RECORDING SYSTEM

LOCATION INFORMATION LINK FROM SMARTPHONE

Yes

MEDIA

Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro (M2), SD memory card, SDHC memory card (UHS-I compliant), SDXC memory card (UHS-I compliant), microSD memory card, microSDHC memory card, microSDXC memory card

MEMORY CARD SLOT

Multi-slot reader for Memory Stick Duo™/SD memory card

NOISE REDUCTION

NOISE REDUCTION

Long exposure NR: On/Off, available at shutter speeds longer than 1 sec., High ISO NR: Normal/Low/Off

MULTI FRAME NR

Auto/ ISO 100 to 102400

WHITE BALANCE

WHITE BALANCE MODES

Auto / Daylight / Shade / Cloudy / Incandescent / Fluorescent (Warm White / Cool White / Day White / Daylight) / Flash / Underwater / Color Temperature (2500 to 9900K) & color filter (G7 to M7 (57-step), A7 to B7 (29-step)) / Custom

AWB MICRO ADJUSTMENT

Yes (G7 to M7, 57-step)(A7 to B7, 29-step)

PRIORITY SET IN AWB

Yes

SHUTTER AWB LOCK 

Yes (Shut. Halfway Down/ Cont. Shooting/ Off)

BRACKETING

3 frames, H/L selectable

FOCUS

FOCUS TYPE

Fast Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF) (Phase-detection AF may not work with certain lenses or may require lens software update. See the Sony support page for details.)

FOCUS SENSOR

Exmor® CMOS sensor

FOCUS POINT

425 points (phase-detection AF) / 425 points (contrast-detection AF)

FOCUS SENSITIVITY RANGE

EV-2 to EV 20 (ISO 100 equivalent with F2.0 lens attached)

FOCUS MODE

AF-A (Automatic AF), AF-S (Single-shot AF), AF-C (Continuous AF), DMF (Direct Manual Focus), Manual Focus

FOCUS AREA

Wide (425 points (phase-detection AF), 425 points (contrast-detection AF)) / Zone / Center / Flexible Spot (S/M/L) / Expanded Flexible Spot / Tracking ( Wide / Zone / Center / Flexible Spot (S/M/L) / Expanded Flexible Spot)

OTHER FEATURES

Eye-start AF (only with LA-EA2 or LA-EA4 attached (Sold separately)), Object Tracking, Eye AF (Right/Left Eye Select), AF micro adjustment with LA-EA2 or LA-EA4 (Sold separately), Predictive control, Focus lock, Swt. V/H AF Area, AF Area Regist., Circ. of Focus Point

AF ILLUMINATOR

Yes (with built-in LED type)

AF ILLUMINATOR RANGE

Approx. 0.3–approx. 3.0 m (with E PZ 16–50 mm F3.5–5.6 OSS lens attached)

FOCUS TYPE WITH LA-EA3 (SOLD SEPARATELY)

phase-detection

EXPOSURE

METERING TYPE

1200-zone evaluative metering

METERING SENSOR

Exmor® CMOS sensor

METERING SENSITIVITY

EV-2 to EV20 (at ISO100 equivalent with F2.0 lens attached)

METERING MODE

Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot, Spot Standard/Large, Entire Screen Avg., Highlight

EXPOSURE COMPENSATION

+/- 5.0 EV (1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps selectable)

EXPOSURE BRACKETING

Bracket: Cont., Bracket: Single, 3/5/9 frames selectable. With 3 or 5 frames, in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 EV increments, with 9 frames, in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1.0 EV increments.

AE LOCK

Locked when shutter button is pressed halfway. Available with AE lock button. (On/Off/Auto)

EXPOSURE MODES

AUTO (iAuto/Superior Auto), Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Movie (Programmed AE (P) / Aperture priority (A) / Shutter-speed priority (S) / Manual (M)), Slow & Quick Motion (Programmed AE (P) / Aperture priority (A) / Shutter-speed priority (S) / Manual (M)), Sweep Panorama, Scene Selection

ISO SENSITIVITY (RECOMMENDED EXPOSURE INDEX)

Still images: ISO 100-32000 (ISO numbers up to ISO 102400 can be set as expanded ISO range.), AUTO (ISO 100-6400, selectable lower limit and upper limit), Movies: ISO 100-32000 equivalent, AUTO (ISO 100-6400, selectable lower limit and upper limit)

SCENE SELECTION

Portrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, handheld Twilight, Night Portrait, Anti-Motion Blur

VIEWFINDER

VIEWFINDER TYPE

1.0 cm (0.39 type) electronic viewfinder (color)

NUMBER OF DOTS

2,359,296 dots

BRIGHTNESS CONTROL (VIEWFINDER)

Auto/Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2)

COLOR TEMPERATURE CONTROL

Manual (5 steps)

FIELD COVERAGE

1

MAGNIFICATION

Approx. 1.07x (35 mm camera equivalent: Approx. 0.70x) with 50 mm lens at infinity, -1m-1

DIOPTER ADJUSTMENT

-4.0-+3.0 m-1

EYE POINT

Approx. 0.91 inches (23 mm) from the eyepiece lens, 0.84 inches (21.4 mm) from the eyepiece frame at -3.28 feet (-1 m)-1 (CIPA standard)

FINDER FRAME RATE SELECTION

NTSC mode: STD 60fps / HI 120fps, PAL mode: STD 50fps / HI 100fps

DISPLAY CONTENTS

Graphic Display, Display All Info, No Display Info, Digital Level Gauge, Histogram

LCD SCREEN

MONITOR TYPE

2.95 in (3.0-type) wide type TFT

NUMBER OF DOTS

921 600 dots

TOUCH PANEL

Yes

BRIGHTNESS CONTROL

Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2), Sunny Weather mode

ADJUSTABLE ANGLE

Up by approx. 180 degrees, Down by approx. 74 degrees

REAL-TIME IMAGE ADJUSTMENT DISPLAY (LCD)

On/Off

QUICK NAVI

Yes

FOCUS MAGNIFIER

Yes Focus Magnifier (5.9x, 11.7x)

ZEBRA

Yes (selectable level + range or lower limit as custom setting)

PEAKING MF

Yes (Level setting: High/Mid/Low/Off, Color: White/Red/Yellow/Blue)

OTHERS

WhiteMagic, Grid Line (Rule of 3rds Grid/Square Grid/Diag. + Square Grid/Off), Movie Marker (Center/Aspect/Safety Zone/Guideframe)

DISPLAY CONTENT

Graphic Display, Display All Info, No Disp. Info, Digital Level Gauge, Histogram, For viewfinder, Monitor Off

OTHER FEATURES

PLAYMEMORIES CAMERA APPS™

CLEAR IMAGE ZOOM

Still images: Approx. 2x, Movies: Approx. 1.5x (4K), Approx. 2x (HD)

DIGITAL ZOOM

Smart zoom (Still images): M: Approx. 1.4x, S: Approx. 2x, Digital zoom (Still images): L: Approx. 4x, M: Approx. 5.7x, S: Approx. 8x, Digital zoom (Movie): Approx. 4x

FACE DETECTION

Modes: Face Priority in AF (On/Off), Face Priority in Multi Metering (On/Off), Regist. Faces Priority (On/Off), Face registration, Max. number of detectable: 8

SELF-PORTRAIT SELF-TIMER

Yes

OTHERS

Interval Recording, Smile Shutter: Smile shutter (selectable from 3 steps), Touch Shutter, Touch Focus: Yes (Touch Focus/Touch Pad/Touch Tracking), ISO AUTO Min. SS, Bright Monitoring, Set File Name, Help guide, Area Setting, Shop Front Mode, Zoom Ring Rotate

EYE-FI READY

SHUTTER

TYPE

Electronically controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type

SHUTTER SPEED

Still images: 1/4000 to 30 sec, Bulb, Movies: 1/4000 to 1/4 (1/3 steps), up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto slow shutter mode)

FLASH SYNC. SPEED

1/160 sec. (With compatible Sony external flash)

ELECTRONIC FRONT CURTAIN SHUTTER

Yes (ON/OFF)

SILENT SHOOTING

Yes (ON/OFF)

IMAGE STABILIZATION

TYPE

Not supported (image stabilization supported on lens)

FLASH CONTROL

TYPE

Built-in flash

GUIDE NO.

6 (in meters at ISO 100)

FLASH COVERAGE

16 mm (focal-length printed on the lens body)

CONTROL

Pre-flash TTL

FLASH COMPENSATION

+/- 3.0 EV (switchable between 1/3 and 1/2 EV steps)

FLASH BRACKETING

3/5/9 frames selectable. With 3 or 5 frames, in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 EV increments, with 9 frames, in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1.0 EV increments.

FLASH MODES

Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable), Wireless control (With compatible external flash), Hi-speed sync (With compatible external flash)

RECYCLING TIME

Approx. 4 sec

EXTERNAL FLASH COMPATIBILITY

Sony α System Flash compatible with Multi Interface Shoe, attach the shoe adapter for flash compatible with Auto-lock accessory shoe

FE LEVEL LOCK

Yes

WIRELESS CONTROL

Yes (Light signal: Available with Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Hi-speed sync. /Radio signal: Available with Fill-flash, Rear Sync., Slow Sync., Hi-speed sync.)

DRIVE

DRIVE MODES

Single Shooting, Continuous shooting (Hi+/Hi/Mid/Lo selectable), Self-timer, Self-timer (Cont.), Bracket: Single, Bracket: Cont., White Balance bracket, DRO bracket

CONTINUOUS DRIVE SPEED (APPROX. MAX.)

Continuous shooting: Hi+: 11 fps, Hi: 8 fps, Mid: 6 fps, Lo: 3 fps (Varies according to shooting conditions or memory card used)

NO. OF RECORDABLE FRAMES (APPROX.)

JPEG Extra fine L: 99 frames, JPEG Fine L: 115 frames, JPEG Standard L: 116 frames, RAW: 46 frames, RAW & JPEG: 44 frames (In the case of this model, when using Continuous Shooting (Hi+) in Drive mode) (Varies according to shooting conditions or memory card used)

SELF-TIMER

10 sec delay/5 sec delay/2 sec delay/Continuous self-timer (3 frames after 10 sec delay/5 frames after 10 sec delay/3 frames after 5 sec delay/5 frames after 5 sec delay/3 frames after 2 sec delay/5 frames after 2 sec delay)/Bracketing self-timer (Off/2 sec delay/5 sec delay/10sec delay)

PLAYBACK

PHOTO CAPTURE

Yes

MODES

Single (with or without shooting information Y RGB histogram & highlight/shadow warning), 12/30-frame index view, Enlarged display mode (L: 16.7x, M: 11.8x, S: 8.3x, Panorama [Standard]: 19.2x, Panorama [Wide]: 29.1x), Auto Review (10/5/2 sec, Off), Image orientation (Auto/Manual/Off selectable), Slideshow, Panorama scrolling, Folder selection (Date/ Still/ AVCHD/XAVC S HD/XAVC S 4K), Forward/Rewind

INTERFACE

PC INTERFACE

Mass-storage, MTP, PC remote

MULTI/MICRO USB TERMINAL

Yes (Supports Micro USB compatible device)

NFC™

Yes (NFC forum Type 3 Tag compatible),One-touch remote, One-touch sharing

WIRELESS LAN (BUILT-IN)

Wi-Fi Compatible, IEEE 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz band) ((Configuration method/Access method) WPS or manually/infrastructure mode. When connecting to smartphones, the camera can always work as a base without a wireless access point. (Security: WEP/WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK)), View on Smartphone, Remote control via Smartphone, Send to Computer, View on TV

BLUETOOTH®

Yes (Bluetooth Standard Ver. 4.1 (2.4 GHz band))

HD OUTPUT

HDMI micro connector (Type-D), BRAVIA Sync(Control for HDMI), PhotoTV HD, 4K movie output/4K still image PB

MULTI INTERFACE SHOE

Yes (Sony accessories for the Accessory Shoe can be attached)

MIC TERMINAL

Yes (3.5 mm Stereo minijack)

DC IN TERMINAL

SYNC TERMINAL

HEADPHONE TERMINAL

VERTICAL GRIP CONNECTOR

PC REMOTE

Yes

AUDIO

MICROPHONE

Built-in stereo microphone or XLR-K2M/XLR-K1M/ECM-XYST1M(sold separately)

SPEAKER

Built-in, monaural

PRINT

COMPATIBLE STANDARDS

Exif Print, Print Image Matching III, DPOF setting

CUSTOM FUNCTION

TYPE

Custom key settings, Programmable Setting (Body 3 sets / memory card 4 sets), My Menu, My Dial, Reg Cust Shoot Set

LENS COMPENSATION

SETTING

Peripheral Shading, Chromatic Aberration, Distortion

POWER

SUPPLIED BATTERY

One rechargeable battery pack NP-FW50

BATTERY LIFE (STILL IMAGES)

Approx. 360 shots (Viewfinder) / Approx. 410 shots (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard) (The LCD screen is turned on, shot once every 30 seconds, operate zoom alternately between W and T ends, flash strobe once every two times, turn power off and on once every ten times)

BATTERY LIFE (MOVIE, ACTUAL RECORDING)

Approx. 70 min (Viewfinder) / Approx. 75 min (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard) (Indication recording time, which is defined by repeating the cycle: Power on, start recording, zoom, stand-by and power off)

BATTERY LIFE (MOVIE, CONTINUOUS RECORDING)

Approx. 125 min (Viewfinder)/Approx. 125 min (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard)

INTERNAL BATTERY CHARGE

Yes

EXTERNAL POWER

AC Adapter AC-PW20 (sold separately)

POWER CONSUMPTION WITH VIEWFINDER

Still images: approx. 2.4 W (with E PZ 16-50 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens attached), Movies: approx. 3.5 W (with E PZ 16-50 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens attached)

POWER CONSUMPTION WITH LCD SCREEN

Still images: approx. 2.1 W (with E PZ 16-50 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens attached), Movies: approx. 3.5 W (with E PZ 16-50 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens attached)

USB POWER SUPPLY

Yes

OTHER

OPERATING TEMPERATURE

32 – 104 degrees F / 0 – 40 degrees C

SIZE & WEIGHT

WEIGHT (WITH BATTERY AND MEMORY CARD INCLUDED)

Approx. 14.3 oz / Approx. 403 g

DIMENSIONS (W X H X D)

Approx. 120.0 mm x 66.9 mm x 59.7 mm, Approx. 120.0 mm x 66.9 mm x 49.9 mm (from grip to monitor)/Approx. 4 3/4” x 2 3/4” x 2 3/8”, Approx. 4 3/4” x 2 3/4” x 2” (from grip to monitor)

 

Ergonomics

Ergonomics for the Sony a6400 taken from our First Impressions article.

For any photographer who has used one of the cameras in Sony’s Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens APS-C camera lineup, the A6400 will feel very familiar in terms of ergonomics. It will also look really similar to Sony’s previous products.

Here’s another look at the front of the A6400 from the grip side. You will find the on off toggle, the shutter release, and one of the customizable function buttons on top of the hand grip.

Looking at the top of the A6400, moving from left to right, you will find the A6400 logo, the hot shoe, the small pop up flash, and the mode dial and settings adjustment dial.

Moving towards the rear of the A6400, the first thing you will notice is the 2.95″ tiltable touch screen (more on that later). Along the top of the rear are the Electronic Viewfinder, pop up flash release button, Menu button, and the toggle switch for Autofocus/Manual Focus hold & AEL hold. To the right of the touch screen are the Function button, the multi-function settings adjustment wheel that is used to adjust Shutter Speed, ISO, as well as to change the display setting of the EVF and touch screen, Drive Mode, and Exposure Compensation. Below the wheel is a Playback button as well as the Delete button that double duties as another customizable function button.

Here’s what the A6400 looks like when from the left when the tiltable rear touch screen is fully extended and facing the front. The Micro USB port, Mini HDMI port, and microphone jack are also located on the left of the camera body.

Here’s what the touch screen looks like from the rear once it is in front facing mode. For those of you gawking at this as hard as we are, this is a feature from older Sony cameras. The company’s old Sony a5000 camera had this.

It’s pretty obvious that Sony created the A6400 with vloggers in mind. With how they’ve been coming up more and more in popularity, the company now has a great target market and Canon has also gone after them.

A 1/4″-20 screw mount is located on the bottom of the A6400 for attaching a tripod, L brackets, and other accessories to the camera. The battery compartment and single SD card slot are located within the hand grip, accessible via a door on the bottom of where the hand grip is. The A6400 uses the older NP-FW50 batteries, and that means the battery life theoretically won’t be as great.

Here’s a look at the A6400’s sensor, which sadly isn’t stabilized.

 

Build Quality

Although the Sony A6400 isn’t a weather sealed camera, it does feature a similar level of weather resistance that we’ve seen in the A6300 and A6500 bodies. While we’re not exactly advocating that you go shoot with it in the middle of a monsoon, the A6400 didn’t exhibit any issues during our time with the camera testing it in a variety of less than ideal scenarios such as arctic level wind chills, moderate rainfall, and even getting quite wet underneath a man-made waterfall at the Bronx Zoo.

Ease of Use

If you’ve used any of the other Sony APS-C cameras in the past, particularly others in the 6000 series, the A6400 will feel pretty familiar in your hands. The Sony A6400 utilizes the same menu system found in the rest of the company’s mirrorless cameras, which may take some getting used to for photographers not familiar with the Sony ecosystem. The handgrip feels a bit more robust when compared to Sony’s older APS-C cameras, which is certainly welcomed given the diminutive size of the A6400. If you’re used to Sony’s Full Frame cameras, however, we regret to inform you that there is no joystick to be found on the back of the camera. You’ll have to rely on the touchscreen or the d-pad to adjust the AF points, which can take some getting used to when you’re shooting through the EVF. Sadly, you still cannot interact with the menu system using the touchscreen. With all this said, the A6400 is far from a complicated camera to operate, and the advanced autofocus tech will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you if you’re a beginner.

 

Autofocus

The autofocus system that Sony has baked into the Sony A6400 is truly remarkable, provided that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the various autofocus modes included with the camera. If ever there was a time to RTFM, this would be it. While most users will find AF-S and AF-A to be more than capable, to take advantage of the newly introduced real-time tracking feature, you will want to set the A6400’s AF mode to AF-C and the AF area to Tracking. Sports and wildlife photographers will get the most out of the A.I./machine learning powered real-time autofocus and tracking technologies found within the A6400. Sony will be releasing a firmware update later this summer that will allow real-time Eye AF to work on animal subjects as well. While it’s certainly not nearly as fast as the flagship Sony A9, the A6400 definitely comes pretty damn close, and at a 1/5 of the price no less.

 

Image Quality

The Sony A6400’s image quality is on par with results we’ve seen out of the A6300 and A6500. Images are sharp, with lifelike colors that are rich and vibrant. For the audience that they’re catering to, the JPEGs at least will be very worthwhile.

Raw File Versatility

At press time, raw profiles for the Sony A6400 are not yet available in Capture One, so we were unable to evaluate the versatility of the raw files created with the camera. We will be updating this section as soon as the raw profiles become available.

High ISO Output

Things tend to get a bit grainy when shooting with the Sony A6400 as you ramp up the ISO, but images still look perfectly usable up to ISO 6400 during our tests. Obviously, shooting in raw will give you more leeway during post processing to bring out details.

Additional Image Samples

Here are some additional images that we shot with the Sony A6400. As a matter of ethics, none of the sample images seen within this review have been retouched so that you can judge the quality of the images produced by this lens for yourself.

 

Conclusion

Likes

  • Excellent autofocus & tracking capabilities
  • Image quality

Dislikes

  • Doesn’t have in body image stabilization

While it’s certainly not an entry-level camera, the Sony A6400 should still be within reach for anyone looking for a solid midrange interchangeable lens camera, mirrorless or otherwise. The segment-leading autofocus technology that Sony’s incorporated into the A6400 makes the camera an interesting value proposition, although the omission of the excellent in body image stabilization found within the older yet higher tiered A6500 will surely be a deal breaker for some. Not having in body image stabilization is not the end of the world, however, if you’ve got stabilized lenses. It’s worth noting that the kit lenses that Sony has chosen to bundle with the A6400 in separate SKUs, the Sony 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 and the 18-135mm f3.5-f5.6, are both stabilized. All in all, photographers looking for a compact, reliable, and easy to use camera will find lots to love in the Sony A6400, although if you really need in body image stabilization, we’d wait until Sony releases the eventual A6500 successor.

The Sony A6400 earns Five out of Five Stars. You can pick one up for yourself over at Amazon for US$898.