Sony announced has announced to us an exciting new addition to its E-mount mirrorless camera lineup – the α6400 (model ILCE-6400).
The α6400 brings many of Sony’s most advanced technologies from their acclaimed full-frame lineup to a compact, lightweight APS-C camera. The speedy new camera boasts the world’s fastesti autofocus (AF) acquisition of 0.02 seconds, while also introducing the new advanced “Real-time Eye AF” and ”Real-time Tracking” capabilities. Also included are high-speed shooting at up to 11 fpsiv with AF/AE tracking, a new-generation BIONZ X image processing engine that produces excellent image quality, 4Kvi video recording, a fully 180-degree tiltable LCD touch screen and much more, making it the ultimate tool for all types of creators ranging from professionals to everyday vloggers.
“The α6400 represents another important step in the growth of Sony’s overall interchangeable lens camera lineup,” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of Imaging Solutions at Sony Electronics. “By bringing so many of our latest and most advanced technologies from full-frame cameras to a brand new APS-C model, we are giving today’s creators more options than ever to realise their vision.”
The impressive autofocus system on the new α6400 inherits many technologies from Sony’s newest line-up of full-frame cameras including the α9, α7R III and α7 III models. The new camera 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 new-generation BIONZ X image processing engine that together allow the camera to acquire focus in as little as 0.02 seconds and maintain subject lock extremely effectively, ensuring even the fastest moving subjects can be tracked and captured with ease.
The α6400 introduces advanced “Real-time Eye AF,” the latest version of Sony’s acclaimed Eye AF technology. This exciting new 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 exciting new technology completely frees the photographer to focus solely on composition with full 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, ideal for wildlife photographers.
Also debuting on the α6400 is Sony’s newly developed “Real-time Tracking.” This mode utilises Sony’s latest algorithm including artificial intelligence (AI) based object recognition and processes color, subject distance (depth), pattern (brightness) as spatial information to ensure that all subjects can be captured with excellent 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 extremely high tracking precision. This can be activated by a simple half press of the shutter button[viii], or can be assigned to a custom function as well.
In terms of overall shooting speeds, the new camera can shoot at up to 11 fps with full AF/AE tracking while utilizing the mechanical shutter, and up to 8 fpsv 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 perfect moment.
Sony’s new α6400 is equipped with a 24.2 MP APS-C sized image sensor with that is paired with an upgraded BIONZ X processor to deliver incredible advancements in image quality and colour reproduction in all types of shooting conditions. StandardISO ranges up to ISO 32000 for both still and movie, and is expandable up to ISO 102400 for still images, with excellent noise reduction at medium and high sensitivities.
The camera also inherits many of the image processing algorithms from Sony’s newest full-frame cameras, greatly suppressing noise while preserving resolution and improving texture depiction.
The versatile α6400 is an exceptional video camera, offering internal 4K (QFHD: 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 exceptional 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 no matter the scene, and even if an object crosses in front of the camera. This advanced AF plus touch focus functionality make it an ideal camera choice for many vloggers and video creators that are regularly creating and uploading content online.
For time-lapse movie creation, the new 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 Sony APS-C mirrorless camera, the new 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[x] 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 Mbps, allowing footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow-motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking.
The new camera is designed to offer a high level of functionality and customisation to maximise shooting freedom. New on the α6400 is a fully 180-degree tiltable, 3.0-type LCD flip screen with 921k-dots of resolution that allows for simple and effective framing of selfie-style shooting for both still and video capture. Utilising 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 new Touch Tracking which quickly activates “Real-time Tracking” through the touch screen.
The camera features a high quality XGA OLED Tru-finder viewfinder, extensive customisation with 89 functions that are assignable to 8 custom keys, the new 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, is dust and moisture resistant and has an extremely 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 brand new Imaging Edge Mobile application.
The α6400 will be available in New Zealand from February 2019 with pricing still to be confirmed.