Sony A6400 – Watch Before You Buy

what’s up guys siggy here and welcome to another tech here talk today we’re gonna check out the sony a 64 hundred now with this price point and feature set sony really shook things up so today i’m going to walk you through a review of this camera then my decision-making process about whether or not I’m going to keep it now the a 6400 looks super familiar to anyone who’s used the a 6300 or the a 6500 but Sony definitely added some features that make this a super attractive option for both photography and video there are two things that I want to mention right off the bat the first is the new processor which is based on the much more expensive a nine and it enables real-time tracking autofocus and then finally we have a flip screen I’ve also been using my a7 3 for the past few months so we can use that as another point of reference during this video I’m gonna cover what I liked and what I didn’t like about the a 6400 and then ultimately come to a conclusion about who this camera will work for I’m gonna very quickly go over some overall key features in case you’re just starting your research so the a 6400 has a really nice magnesium alloy body with sealed buttons and dials it has a

24 megapixel aps-c CMOS sensor and a BIONZ X image processor which helps with operating speed performance and overall image quality the a 6400 uses a hybrid autofocus system with 425 phase detection points and 425 contrast detection points it has a 3 inch 921 point 6,000 dot flip LCD screen it can internally record 4k 30 frames per second for 200 and externally at 42 there’s a good two point three six million dot OLED electronic viewfinder they can shoot continuously at up to 11 frames per second and has an expandable ISO of up to 100 2,400 all right now that we got that out of the way let’s dive in deeper and talk about the good and the bad the a 6400 is the official replacement of the older a 6300 and it uses the same 24 megapixel aps-c sensor and with the price point of $900 Sony put it in direct competition with things like the Canon 50 and the Fuji XT 30 going back to the a 6400 even though it’s first glance it looks like the a 6300 there are a number of significant improvements so even though this is still the older sensor it’s an excellent option if you’re shooting portraits landscape if you’re doing street

photography or if you’re looking for a great travel camera and honestly it’s even a good sports camera because the super impressive autofocus features which we’ll discuss later on in this video the image quality at least as far as JPEGs are concerned is noticeably better than what I got from the a 6300 overall I think it’s a very pleasing image I like the color processing and the improved low-light performance for Stills and we also have the ability to capture 10.6 stops of dynamic range at ISO 100 so when you’re shooting in situations where there is a significant discrepancy between the brightest and the darkest parts of your scene this is going to be able to handle that a lot better than a sensor with a more limited dynamic range the sony color is something that some people like and some people don’t to me it seems to have a little bit of a greenish tint and although it’s a little warmer in the a 6400 I normally adjust it in post when needed and again there’s no question that there’s an improvement over what I was getting from the a 6300 even when were just talking about colors ok so we said the sensor is the same as the a 6300 so let’s move on to the processor because this is where things start to get really impressive the a 6400 does not use an identical chip to the

professional and much more expensive a 9 but it does use a derivation of that chip in addition to the impressive improvement so we’ll talk about in the autofocus section the 6400 is a lot more responsive than the a 6300 so basic operations like start up going from shooting to preview mode or just in and out of the menu and changing settings just feels faster I featured that I wasn’t even really thinking about when I got this camera but it’s gonna make a ton of people happy is the fact that there is no longer a 30 minute recording limit for video so this allows for continuous shooting of longer clips and it removes the hassle of having to keep track of the length of the clip so that you don’t reach the 30 minute mark and have your camera automatically stopped recording so if you’re using this for YouTube or to shoot interviews or record an event you’re gonna love the fact that there is no longer that 30 minute limit now I mentioned in video and Sonia is definitely pushing this camera for creators and it performs really well as far as 4k in terms of image quality and details I’ll get to this later on but it’s gonna give you beautiful crisp 4k video with improved color signs I’m working on to follow up tutorials that will have

to do with my video settings and low-light shootings and just like with the a7 3 once you spend a few minutes setting everything up you’re good to go moving forward if you have anything else you want me to cover in those tutorials let me know in the comment section and I’ll try to include that as well now back to the processor for photography I can shoot it up to 11 frames per second burst or continuous shooting with continuous autofocus so I can just hold down the shutter and the camera will keep on firing and this is a nice feature if you’re photographing your kids running around if you’re at a basketball or soccer game or any other sporting event or any time where you’re shooting fast-moving subjects and again I know I keep referencing this but we’ll get to this more in the autofocus section but the tracking autofocus is ridiculous from a video standpoint the a 6400 can record internally up to 4k 30 frames per second for 208 bits video and 4k 30 frames per second for to to

externally I say this a lot but one of the most important things for me with any tool that I use is ergonomic s’ in terms of both handling and functionality and it’s one of the things that I think is overlooked by a lot of people when they’re shopping for a camera the a 6400 is definitely on the smaller size when it comes to Sony mirrorless cameras and that’s of course by design it weighs less than a pound and it’s a little bigger than the Canon M 50 but that might not be a bad thing as technology advances manufacturers are able to make certain components smaller but I think it’s important to strike a balance between performance organ –om ik’s and portability the grip for example is nice and deep and it’s comfortable to hold much more so then again something like the canon m50 from my hand i can fit two fingers on the side when my index fingers on the shutter and my pinky finger goes under the camera that’s not

something that bothers me but I definitely get questions in the comments about this so I wanted to mention it now the body has a magnesium alloy chassis and the buttons and the dials have weather sealing which makes the a 6400 dust and moisture resistant it uses the NP FW 50 battery and a 6400 is rated for 360 images which is not great but it’s not the worst I’ve seen I was really hoping that Sony would give us an upgrade here and improve the battery life just like it did on the a7 3 as usual Sony doesn’t include a charger which is kind of annoying and you have to either use a micro USB cable to charge the battery while it’s in the camera or you need to buy a charger I want always complain about this and even more so if the battery isn’t going to last forever like the a7 3 sorry come on just throw in a charger and let’s end this discussion what’s nice is that you can use the camera while it’s plugged in if your battery runs out but I’m not sure that the battery is actually charging if you’re

using it while it’s plugged in and when you couple this with the fact that there is no time recording limit it makes this camera an awesome option for long video sessions and then of course you can also use that while you’re streaming as far as buttons and dials I’m happy with what you get with the a 6400 for the price we’ve got two functional dials one for the aperture and the other one for shutter speed and we also have C 1 and C 2 buttons which you can customize I think that if you’re buying a camera like this one and you’re just using it with the default settings you were really missing out part of what you get when you’re buying a nice camera is the ability to customize it to work better for exactly how you shoot and I have a follow-up video that will show you exactly how I set up my a 6400 and I recommend that you check it out when it’s published and even if you don’t use it exactly how I do it’ll give you some great ideas and you can just pick and choose whatever settings work for you now on the left side we have a little barn door with a micro USB and HDMI out and a 3.5 millimeter put check I like the design of this door a lot better

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than the little flippy things you get on my a 7-3 which always seem to get in the way and moving on to the bottom of the camera we have the battery compartment and the SD card slot I like the placement of this compartment and because the quarter-twenty is offset to the left of the camera you can switch out batteries and remove the SD card without having to take the camera off the tripod the viewfinder is very nice for the price it’s a two point three six million dot OLED EVF which has an automatic brightness control so that it works well both in bright sunlight and in low-light situations so far I’ve given the a 6400 really high marks as far as organ a’m –ax so let’s get to the bad part the menu and the settings now I’m more familiar with the system because of my a 73 but for a beginner this menu system is less than ideal it’s not something that you can’t overcome but it’s definitely not a strength for Sony and it’s not the menu design that I find problematic because it actually is super easy to use it’s split into categories that make sense and you can clearly see what page you’re on and you can navigate up to the top level and move from one category to the next without having to scroll right through every single page so that part is actually well done by Sony the issue is that it seems disorganized which leads to confusion so features and settings

just aren’t where I expect them to be and they aren’t sorted in an order that I would expect based on importance now like I said in my a 7-3 review from an actual usability standpoint it’s easy to navigate and move around if you know exactly where something is but do expect to do a lot of searching in the beginning and I’ll post a few tutorials that will show you how to customize the settings and if you watch my settings tutorial the good thing is that once you have the camera setup exactly how you want you very rarely have to interact with the menu next I want to talk about resolution frame rates and image quality so for stills the a 6400 has a maximum resolution of 6,000 by 4000 which I always think is plenty for what most people ever need unless you’re planning on printing something huge it can of course shoot both JPEG and RAW so you can decide just how much information you want to capture depending on what you plan to do with the images in post-production the image quality for stills is very good and I found that my images were sharp with pretty good dynamic range now JPEG noise reduction is excellent for a

camera under $1000 and the Sony colors are improving with time specifically for skin tones it still has that Sony look which again I happen to like but if you’re coming from Canon it’s gonna look slightly cool to you and you might find that the Blues or greens are a little boosted I always mentioned that there is definitely some personal preference there so I’m just sharing my impressions and of course any of these things that I mentioned it can easily be worked out in post and for video if you’re shooting an NTSC the a 6400 can record 4k video at 24 and 30 frames per second and Full HD or 1080p at 24 30 60 and 120 frames per second if you’re shooting in PAL it can shoot 4k at 25 frames per second and Full HD at 25 50 and 120 frames per second the a 6400 can internally record up to 4k 30 at 4200 8-bit and it can also do 4k 34 to 2 a bit via the HDMI out and both at a hundred megabits per second like with my a 73 depending on how much I graded the footage I didn’t always find recording externally to be a meaningful enough difference to justify the larger setup and a little nerd talk here if you’re shooting 4k 24 P then the footage is over sampled from 6 K which in renders beautiful detail 4k

footage from this camera is really nice we’re using the full width of the sensor here and there’s no pixel binning I did want to mention that if you’re shooting 4k xxx then there is a 1.2 X crop factor depending on how much of a pixel peeper you are I suppose you could notice a difference in quality between 4k 24 and 4k 30 but honestly it’s good to the point where I don’t think about it now going to 1080p we have a lot more options so you can shoot a 24 30 60 and 120 frames per second now 30 and 60 offered two different bit rates so always choose the highest one for the best quality the overall quality of the full HD or 1080p isn’t as good as the 4k quality of course and if you’re editing a 1080p and you want the absolute best footage you can still shoot in 4k and then down scale it to 1080p in post you will definitely see sharper footage with more detail if you choose to go that route of course you have to deal with 4k footage but it is what it is now let’s get to 120 frames per second which is one of my favorite things about using Sony cameras if you’ve watched some of my other reviews you know that I love slow motion and I love the footage that I get at 120 frames per second with a hundred megabits per second the autofocus works really well and I’m super happy with the quality and we’ll get to the autofocus next but I do want to mention that tracking does not work when you’re shooting at 120

frames per second there’s also a video option called snq which if you’re not familiar with this lets you select frame rates ranging between one frame per second to a hundred and twenty frames per second and the camera will then either slow down or speed it up to 24 or 30 frames per second depending on what you want so if you’re using snq 120 and you watch the clip in camera or on your computer it will already be slowed down versus shooting 1080p at 120 where you’ll need to slow it down and post you can also use this feature to shoot a fairly limited time-lapse meaning the slowest you could shoot is one frame per second if you want much more control Sony released the a 6400 with interval shooting built-in this is something that I complained about in my a 7-3 review but then Sony released it with the firmware 1.3 update now this lets you have full control over your time-lapse you can drag your shutter and you can get exactly the results that you want and if you want me to create a tutorial about it just let me know in the comment section below alright let’s talk about autofocus and one of the reasons why I’ve been hesitant in the past to use Sony cameras is that I haven’t always had the best

experience when it comes to continuous autofocus for video previously for stills the Sony autofocus has been good but for video continuous autofocus would just hunt every once in a while for no reason the a7 3 was the first Sony camera that I tried where I was super impressed with the autofocus system and I immediately bought it the a 6400 has arguably the best autofocus system that you can get for the price it uses 425 phase detection autofocus points and 425 contrast detection autofocus points which cover about 84 percent of the sensor this autofocus system is a game-changer and it could literally change the way that you shoot for photos that focus is super fast and that’s both when using Sony lenses and adapted lenses from Canon and Sigma using the Sigma MC 11 adapter the eye autofocus is insane with this camera it’s so good and we actually get real-time autofocus that means that you just turn this feature on you set the a 6400 to continuous to autofocus and start shooting when you’re shooting portraits you can just leave the camera on wide focus mode and it’ll just automatically detect the face and then lock on to the eye I’m telling you it just nails it and I was really surprised to see that it worked even when the person was wearing glasses I love that green marker that you get around the eye you

just can’t miss it and if it doesn’t detect the eye for some reason there is still a fallback to face detection so again it was good and fast with both Sony lenses and the adapted Canon and Sigma lenses like with my a 73 for video I noticed a significant improvement over previous Sony cameras that I’ve used now Sony is pretty confusing focus setting and there are a lot of them and at first glance there seemed to be some confusing overlap but once you dive deeper into each setting and you dial down to the one that you want for a particular scenario it works incredibly well I’ll do a follow-up video dedicated to autofocus because I think there’s so much to cover but coming from Canon which I still think has my favorite autofocus for video this is continuing a trend where Sony cameras have great video autofocus I really like the flexibility of being able to control how much of it changed the camera needs to detect before shifting focus and then on top of that having control about how fast or slow it will rack focus now in addition to human eye detection we also have animal eye detection autofocus which I love because I take a lot of pictures of my dogs and traditional zone autofocus modes usually focus on their

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nose which means that the eyes will be out of focus now moving to video the Sony auto focus is good and with subject tracking I just really enjoy using it so face detection for video is pretty good as long as there is decent light but there are some strange limitations for example just like on my a7 3 if you use an external monitor and you’re shooting in 4k you’ll find that face detection no longer works for some reason Sony disable this feature for both 4k 24 and 4k 30 which is super frustrating it’s a little better or maybe less worse because the a 6400 does have a flip screen which we’ll get to in a minute but if you want to use the larger monitor you’ll have to disable internal recording and record externally in order to get face detection to summarize this if you need a monitor and you need face detection you have to also record externally which to me doesn’t make any sense one other thing I wanted to tell you has to do with using adapted lenses and this was true for my a 73 as well I used a Sigma MC 11 adapter which worked beautifully for me with both my canon and canon mount Sigma lenses as long as I was using it for stills autofocus was extremely fast and the images were super sharp if you have Canon or Sigma lenses and you’re a photographer I definitely recommend using this Sigma MC 11 adapter it’s just it worked so well for me for video only the Sigma lenses were able to use the continuous autofocus mode of the camera none of my l-series Canon lenses would work for continuous

autofocus and I had to use manual focus now of course this doesn’t matter to you if you’re using Sony lenses but I thought it was important that people don’t buy this camera if they’re switching Brandon expected to do something that it won’t so to recap my opinion about the auto focus for both Stills and video it’s super fast and accurate what’s interesting is that if you look at the LCD while shooting stills and you’re in burst mode you’ll see that it’s switching from subject tracking to face detection to eye autofocus and sometimes you’ll think it’s missing focus but the actual focus on the images is better than what you see in Live View so it may appear that it’s lagging behind but the images are actually in focus it’s just what you see on the screen that’s lagging behind all right let’s move on to lens options for the a 6400 and I think that a lot of people forget to look at this part when they shop for a camera when I test cameras I like to use lenses that are appropriate for different budgets and that’s that I can give you the true feel of what you should expect when you use the camera so I use the Sony 16 250 3.

5 to 5.6 which comes with Sony’s optical image stabilization or steady

shot this is an inexpensive lens and it’s super small which makes this setup perfect for traveling it’s a good lens for vlogging and a good first lens in general I have a video dedicated to this topic and I’ll link to it up in the corner and in the description it can’t compete with my l-series glass or my Sigma art lenses but for the price it did quite well like most kit lenses it’s not a constant aperture and it’s not a very fast lens but again as a function of price I think it’s a good value the sony lenses are a bit of a touchy subject for some people and as always it’s not a matter of quality to matter of price if you’re looking at the GM lenses you’re looking at some incredible glass but expect to spend some serious cash on for a quick comparison the sony GM 70 to 200 2.8 is 2600 and if you compare that to the Canon L Series 70 to 200 2.8 mark 3 that costs twenty one hundred dollars so we’re looking at a five hundred dollar difference the sony 24 270 2.8 is twenty two hundred and the canon is usually nineteen hundred although if you look it up now it’s $200 off at seventeen hundred so you’re either looking at a five hundred dollar or

three hundred dollar difference now while I think this is super impressive it is directed and more of a beginner so these may not be the lenses that you’re looking for and there are some lower-cost variable aperture lenses that you might want to check out and I’ll put some links in the description to some of my favorite lenses it will cover different types of shooting let’s talk a little bit about this screen which is a big deal coming from Sony the a 6400 finally has a 3-inch flip touch screen ish LCD and show you boom that just happened so you can finally see yourself now when you’re in front of the camera I can still just tilt the screen up which is great when I’m shooting from the hip or any time where I’m above the camera I can also tilt it down and I get this angle which is helpful if the camera is either mounted high above my head or if I’m just shooting over a group of people for example and if you’re in front of the camera like I showed you it does this weird multi-joint strange thing but it does finally

face the front now while the functionality is there I’m gonna say this is a super clunky implementation it’s an overall very strange design choice by Sony other companies have figured this out so just use the same design other than the ergonomics of actually doing this you’re gonna run into an issue if you’re shooting video and you’re using an external microphone mounted on the hot shoe and you’ll see that the microphone completely blocks the screen now luckily there are some cages and out brackets that I use that offer additional mounting options both of these have worked great for me and I’ll put links in the description because I definitely recommend picking one of them up if you’re planning on using an external microphone ultimately the important thing is that the functionality is there now and there is a flip screen for those people who want it it’s still not as versatile for gimbal slider work or even for product photography but it’s a major improvement over what other Sony models have and I’m really happy to see progress in this area if you don’t plan on using those tools or if you’re fine just dealing with it with the way this is implemented then I totally get that I would happily pay an extra hundred

bucks if Sony just implemented a traditional fully articulating touchscreen that would just be great now let’s get to the touchscreen I said touchscreen ish in the beginning because it is technically a touchscreen you can use it to set focus points or to select the subject for auto focus tracking but that’s it you can’t control the menu or change any settings or select any option from the screen again I’m not sure why Sony would do this the screen is clearly capable of detecting touch and it seems like menu navigation and feature selection are just a natural next step as far as the quality of the image on the LCD it’s pretty good and it worked well for me in most situations and in super bright situations where I may have gotten some glare I could just always use the EVF I also want to talk about other features that this camera has that may help you make a buying decision first let’s talk about image stabilization so the a 6400 does not have in body image stabilization so you’ll have to rely on the lens based OSs my guess is the sony you decided to keep this for the a 6500 replacement which i’m sure is coming soon now some people

might be disappointed by that but it also means that they’re able to keep the price down so next I want to talk about time lapse or interval shooting the a7 3 was not released with embody time lapse or a built-in intervalometer and that was something that was added later on with a firmware update but with the a 6400 I was so excited to find that Sony released it with interval shooting built-in this means that you can have full control over your time lapse in terms of exposure interval a number of photos and then you simply process those images in post-production to get a time lapse video the next thing I want to talk about is the imaging edge app first of all it’s super easy to connect to it you just start the app go to network page one control with smartphone and make sure control with smartphone is to turn to on then click on connection which will bring up a QR code just click on the option on the app to scan a QR code scan it and it will ask you if you want to join the connection done it’s fairly basic you can control shooting mode shutter speed aperture ISO and white balance for both photography and video for Stills you can also control the timer continues shooting setting and there are some flash option for video you can adjust your framerate movie format and you can start and stop recording there is a bit of a lag and it does seem to


buffer here and there but if you’re using it for framing it will work for you as a remote control and monitor what’s disappointing is that you can’t set or even see the focus mode or zone so you have no idea what autofocus mode the camera is set to and you can’t change or select it for what I would want to do this makes the app pretty much useless the only thing that I can really see using the app for is framing myself for video or maybe if I was doing macro photography because I can trigger the camera using the apps I don’t have to touch the camera and introduce any shake and then of course I’m manually focusing those regardless if I disconnected the camera control and used the sent to phone feature I could preview and transfer images and video right to my phone which was really useful I’ve said it before and I’m gonna say it again in this video I think Sony needs to do better here we don’t need a ton of features but auto focus control is critical so develop that capability once

and just make it available for all the models and you’re good to go now next I want to talk about another feature that people who shoot video are really gonna like and that’s the mic input and this lets you use an external microphone to get much better audio than you’re gonna get from the on-camera microphone now here’s a quick sample of me recording to the on-camera microphone alright so this is me recording directly into the a 6400 I’m using the cameras built-in microphone and I’m sitting about three feet away so this should give you a pretty good idea of what this microphone is going to sound like and now I went ahead and connected the dia TV mic d3 Pro I was able to bring the gain down in the camera and then I’m using the microphone to boost the signal so hopefully this gives you an idea of what using an external microphone can sound like I’ll put some links in the description to a few options that I think would pair up well with the a 6400 as well as a microphone comparison video

that I did to help you choose another thing that I see miss from other cameras is that the audio levels display is always available when you’re in movie mode and that just makes your life easier so on some cameras you have to go into the menu to set and see your levels but when you go back to recording the levels aren’t displayed and that’s that’s not great and not only can you see the levels you can actually change them while you’re recording so that’s another bonus so what I did is part of my custom setup included making this change more accessible without having to go into the menu and like I said I’ll link to another video where I outline my entire setup as soon as it’s published okay so I think the a 6400 is an excellent option if I’m looking for a small and portable camera that can do a great job for both photography and video to recap it’s Sony’s replacement for the a 6300 I’m super impressed by how powerful it is and really happy with the image quality for photography the 24 megapixel aps-c sensor gave me great image quality and the autofocus is insanely fast and accurate we have real-time eye autofocus for people and animals and we also have very advanced tracking autofocus for video

the autofocus is definitely improved and I’m starting a little like the extra level of control I’m getting with the latest line of Sony cameras for a lower tier camera I love the two dials and the various custom buttons and I really did some work to get this to function exactly how I want it to I get incredibly sharp and detailed 4k at up to 30 frames per second and full HD or 1080p at up to 120 frames per second which lets me do 4x slow motion when I edit my videos in 30 frames per second or 5x when I edit them in 24 frames per second even with a slightly awkward design I like that we finally have a flip screen and the option for an external microphone is another bonus for videographers we’ve got a very nice electronic viewfinder and the build quality seems pretty solid so far and of course the more I use it the more I’ll be able to give you feedback about long-term wear remote functionality using the app isn’t great but we do have built an intervalometer which I absolutely love the body alone sells for right under 900 bucks and I think it’s a very good value if you’re looking to get into the Sony ecosystem with a powerful and very capable entry-level model this is the first video in this series and I have several more coming to show you my favorite cinematic settings and a low-light tutorial so if you’re interested in learning more go ahead and hit the subscribe and notification buttons so that you’re notified when they’re published I’ll put links in the description to where you can get this body as well as some of the lenses and accessories which I really like and

there are always specials and discounts and my links are automatically updated with the lowest pricing I really hope I was able to give you a good overview of the sony a 64 hundred if I did please let me know by giving this video a thumbs up tweet it share it and if you haven’t yet join the community by hitting the subscribe and notification buttons you can always find me on Instagram Twitter and Facebook a tech your talk you know what I always say buy it nice or buy twice good luck and see you soon are hard to shoot when you don’t have the actual product with you that’s it’s gonna be challenging so I can just hold down the shutter and the camera will keep on firing or no no not if I don’t keep it in that mode and one of the reasons that I’ve been hesitant hesitant hesitant pattern I’ll just say it again just hunt and just would be consistent for focus for focus so again going back to video in order to use continuous autofocus so close I like to use a variety of lenses a different price prep prep Krita do I can’t even save difference different price points different price points that’s hard different price points that’s hard for me to say for some reason oh my god I can’t say that sentence I’m gonna link to it up that blah blah blah blah let’s get a drink hmm redbull need the energy

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