Sony A6400 Overview
Stable, fast, versatile, and compact, the Alpha a6400 from Sony is an APS-C-format mirrorless camera that adopts many of the features normally reserved for their full-frame lineup. This includes an autofocus acquisition of 0.02 seconds, Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking capabilities, high-speed shooting up to 11 fps and silent shooting up to 8 fps, both with AF/AE tracking, an upgraded BIONZ X image processing engine, an LCD touchscreen that tilts 180° up and 74° down, UHD 4K movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning, internal recording for time-lapse videos, and more.
The a6400 is well-suited for both photo and video creators, ranging from professionals to vloggers. Revolving around a 24.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor, clean image quality is provided with a wide expandable sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 102400, along with accelerated readout speeds for internal 4K24 and Full HD 1080p120 video recording with full pixel readout. The processor further benefits videographers with the inclusion of an S&Q (Slow & Quick) Motion setting that permits capturing Full HD video at a variety of frame rates ranging from 1-120 fps, plus HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), which supports HDR workflows, and both S-Log2 and S-Log3 for color grading flexibility. Stills shooters also benefit from the processing speed, which enables continuous shooting at 11 fps for up to 116 JPEGs, 46 raw images, or 44 raw and JPEG frames in a burst, as well as 14-bit raw file output. The sensor and processor combination also avail 4D FOCUS, with a wide-coverage 425-point phase-detection system that covers around 84% of the image area, and a 425-point contrast-detection system, both of which provide quick and precise focusing performance. This focusing system also enables Real-time Eye AF, which delivers improved accuracy, speed, and tracking performance of Eye AF, so the eyes of your subject are automatically detected. Furthermore, Real-time Tracking uses AI-based object recognition and processes color, subject distance (depth), and pattern (brightness) as spatial information to ensure that all subjects can be captured with accuracy. Increasingly versatile and fully featured in both photo and video realms, the a6400 is a fast and precise imaging tool for multimedia capture.
Complementing the imaging assets, the a6400 sports a robust magnesium-alloy body with sealed buttons and dials to help keep out dust and moisture, plus anti-dust functionality that protects the optical filter. The compact profile incorporates a high-resolution XGA Tru-Finder 2.36m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder for bright, clear, eye-level viewing, and this EVF features a 120 fps viewing mode for smooth tracking of fast-moving subjects. A rear 3.0″ 921.6k-dot touchscreen TFT LCD monitor is also available and tilts 180° up and 74° down to benefit shooting from high and low working angles. The touchscreen design also allows for intuitive touch-to-focus control. Additionally, for wireless remote control over the camera, or for just sharing imagery online, built-in Wi-Fi with NFC permits linking with a mobile device for intuitive wireless control.
Capture Decisive Moments
The autofocus system on the a6400 inherits many technologies from Sony’s line-up of full-frame cameras, including the a9, a7R III, and a7 III models. The a6400 features 425 phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast-detection AF points that are placed densely over the entire image area, covering approximately 84% of the image area. This high-speed, high-performance tracking AF system is paired with a BIONZ X image processing engine that together allow the camera to acquire focus in as little as 0.02 seconds and maintain subject lock effectively, ensuring even the fastest moving subjects can be tracked and captured with ease.
The a6400 introduces advanced “Real-time Eye AF,” the latest version of Sony’s Eye AF technology. This capability employs artificial intelligence-based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real time, resulting in improved accuracy, speed, and tracking performance of Eye AF. In all autofocus modes, the camera now automatically detects the eyes of the subject and activates Eye AF with a half press of the shutter button, and when in AF-C or AF-A mode, the preferred eye (left or right) of your subject can be selected as the focus point. Choices include Auto / Right Eye / Left Eye, and a Switch Right / Left Eye function is able to be assigned to a custom function as well. This technology frees the photographer to focus solely on composition with trust that focus will be tack sharp on the subject’s eye. Eye AF support for animals will be added in summer 2019 via a system software update.
Also debuting on the a6400 is Sony’s “Real-time Tracking.” This mode utilizes Sony’s algorithm that includes artificial intelligence (AI) based object recognition and processes color, subject distance (depth), and pattern (brightness) as spatial information to ensure that all subjects can be captured with accuracy. Additionally, when photographing or videographing humans or animals, face and eye position information is recognized by AI and the subject’s eye is monitored in real time with high tracking precision. This can be activated by a simple half press of the shutter button or can be assigned to a custom function
In terms of overall shooting speeds, the camera can shoot at up to 11 fps with full AF/AE tracking while utilizing the mechanical shutter, and up to 8 fps with full AF/AE tracking while silent shooting. It can shoot at each of these speeds for up to 116 frames JPEG Standard / 46 frames raw compressed, greatly increasing the chances of capturing the moment.
Advancements in Image Quality
Sony’s a6400 is equipped with a 24.2MP APS-C image sensor that is paired with an upgraded BIONZ X processor to deliver improved image quality and color reproduction in all types of shooting conditions. Standard ISO ranges up to ISO 32,000 for both stills and movies and is expandable up to ISO 102,400 for still images, with good noise reduction at medium and high sensitivities.
The camera also inherits many of the image processing algorithms from Sony’s full-frame cameras, suppressing noise while preserving resolution and improving texture depiction.
4K Movie Recording with Fast Hybrid Autofocus
The versatile a6400 is a solid video camera, offering internal 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning to collect about 2.4x the amount of data required for 4K movies, and then oversamples it to produce high quality 4K footage with detail and depth. Focusing during movie shooting is fast and stable thanks to upgraded Fast Hybrid AF technology, which keeps the subject in constant smooth focus, even if an object crosses in front of the camera. This advanced AF plus touch focus functionality makes it a suitable camera choice for many vloggers and video creators that are regularly creating and uploading content online.
For time-lapse movie creation, the camera features built-in interval recording that can be set anywhere between 1 and 60 seconds, with a total number of shots from 1 to 9999. AE tracking sensitivity can be adjusted to “High”, “Mid,” or “Low” during interval shooting, allowing for reduced changes in exposure over the shooting interval.
Additionally, for the first time in a Sony APS-C mirrorless camera, this model includes an HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile, which supports an Instant HDR workflow, allowing HDR (HLG) compatible TV’s to playback beautiful, true-to-life 4K HDR imagery. Further, both S-Log2 and S-Log3 are available for increased color grading flexibility, as well as Zebra functionality, Gamma Display assist, and proxy recording. The camera can also record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mb/s, allowing footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow-motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking.
Upgraded Build for Increased Versatility
This camera is designed to offer a high level of functionality and customization to maximize shooting freedom. The a6400 features a fully tiltable 180° 3.0″ LCD flip screen with 921,600 dots of resolution that allows for simple and effective framing of selfie-style shooting for both still and video capture. Utilizing this capability, vloggers will be able to check and monitor composition throughout their entire creative process. The LCD screen is also equipped with touch functionality, with options for Touch Pad, Touch Focus, Touch Shutter, and Touch Tracking, which quickly activates “Real-time Tracking” through the touch screen.
The camera features a high-quality XGA OLED Tru-finder viewfinder, extensive customization with 89 functions that are assignable to 8 custom keys, My Dial and My Menu functionality, enhanced overall menu usability, a help screen for menus, star rating for images, and many other features that allow for a seamless shooting experience. It is also built with a tough magnesium-alloy design and has a durable shutter that is rated for approximately 200,000 cycles. It also is capable of seamlessly transferring files to a smartphone or tablet when connected to the new Imaging Edge Mobile application.