Digital Cameras

Big AF improvements give Sony's new a6400 APS-C the fastest autofocus in town

Big AF improvements give Sony'...
The new a6400 upgrades the speed and processing power of the a6300 while coming in cheaper
The new a6400 upgrades the speed and processing power of the a6300 while coming in cheaper
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Sony a6400: will kill the a6300
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Sony a6400: will kill the a6300
Sony a6400: left side in/out ports
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Sony a6400: left side in/out ports
Sony a6400: right side
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Sony a6400: right side
Sony a6400: claims world's fastest autofocus performance
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Sony a6400: claims world's fastest autofocus performance
Sony a6400: underneath
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Sony a6400: underneath
Sony a6400: shoots 4K/30fps with real time autofocus
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Sony a6400: shoots 4K/30fps with real time autofocus
Sony a6400: cheaper than the a6300, while gaining some serious AF horsepower
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Sony a6400: cheaper than the a6300, while gaining some serious AF horsepower
Sony a6400: uses E-mount lenses
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Sony a6400: uses E-mount lenses
The new a6400 upgrades the speed and processing power of the a6300 while coming in cheaper
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The new a6400 upgrades the speed and processing power of the a6300 while coming in cheaper
Sony a6400: downward tilting screen
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Sony a6400: downward tilting screen
Sony a6400: screen does not fully articulate out to the side
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Sony a6400: screen does not fully articulate out to the side
Sony a6400: top view
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Sony a6400: top view
Sony a6400: compact, fast and friendly
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Sony a6400: compact, fast and friendly
Sony a6400: a flip-up screen gives the camera a proper selfie mode
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Sony a6400: a flip-up screen gives the camera a proper selfie mode
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Sony has introduced a new a6400 model to its mirrorless APS-C sensor range. Cheaper than the a6300, the new camera borrows a much faster processor and autofocus system from the barnstorming a9, and adds a selfie-friendly flip-up screen to the mix.

The a6xxx series has been hugely popular for Sony, as a friendly and fast introduction to photography and videography for newcomers, as well as a powerful, portable and affordable first step into the mirrorless realm for DSLR refugees.

When we last played with the a6300, we found it a "blisteringly fast" upgrade to the a6000, but two years is a long time in the mirrorless camera game, particularly at Sony where innovation seems to be happening at a brutally fast pace. So we're not surprised to hear that the a6400 is going to be significantly quicker again, as well as fuller-featured and a fair bit cheaper.

Sony a6400: compact, fast and friendly
Sony a6400: compact, fast and friendly

The a9 full frame's autofocus speed and acuity absolutely floored us when we tested it, and Sony is claiming world's fastest autofocus status now that a9 tech is being used with a smaller APS-C sensor and 425 phase-detect AF points. Real time tracking is enhanced both for stills and video shooting, and the a6400 gets eye and pattern-detect autofocus to go with the existing face detection. Eye AF can be set to track your subject's preferred eye, or switch between them, and it will soon be upgraded in a firmware update to work on animals as well as humans.

The a6400 will shoot 24.2-megapixel stills at up to 11 fps, or 8 fps in silent shooting mode with continuous autofocus tracking. It'll also do 4K video at 30 fps, or Full HD at 120p for slow motion. Timelapse shooting is back, having been dropped from the a6300.

Sony a6400: a flip-up screen gives the camera a proper selfie mode
Sony a6400: a flip-up screen gives the camera a proper selfie mode

One-man-show style video producers will be glad to see that the rear screen now flips fully upward. It's not a fully articulating screen – presumably to keep it as compact and light as possible – but it gives the a6400 a proper selfie mode to work with.

Pricing is exciting: US$900 for the body alone, $1,000 with a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and $1,300 with an 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Considering the a6300 launched at $1000, you're getting more on your burger for less. One thing the a6400 does lack, however, is in-body image stabilization. For that, you'll need to step up to the a6500, with its 5-axis sensor shift IBIS system.

Source: Sony

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1 comment
bwana4swahili
"One thing the a6400 does lack, however, is in-body image stabilization." Too bad, a REAL selling feature!!