Today, I am finally reviewing the A6400 but it’s not in this box because it’s right here next to me. So very excited to share my impressions. An opinion on this camera with you before I jump into it, I do want to say a couple of things.
Number one is this camera has been received very differently by a wide variety of reviewer’s on the Internet. Some love it, others can’t seem to stop complaining about it. and I want to talk about that first and foremost because as you guys all. Might already know this thing has a flip up screen which is a first in a higher end. Sony APS C Mount camera.
The A5100 had it, but that camera is like 6 years old now. This has been a long time coming, something that Sony shooters have been asking for for a while. But even though Sony provided this to us, the complaints seem to keep rolling in because folks were complaining about mounting microphones here, blocking the view, even though. The solution is very simple. You buy a cage or there’s a culture to culture adapter.
Folks were complaining about it not having a headphone Jack on the side for recording audio or monitoring audio. I have never ever seen anyone vl vlogike this with a pair of headphones on their head in monitoring their audio while they are vlogging, so I don’t quite understand that rationale.
By far, the biggest complaint about it is lack of Ibis or in body image stabilization which is featured on the A6500 and I’m going to go through a lot of these things in this review by the end of it. Hopefully you guys will understand that if Sony had added Ibis to this camera they would have had to sell it as in A6600 or a A6700 because it is really that good. They have packed in so many advanced features into the small little camera they would have killed off all A6500 sales if they had dropped Ibis into this thing and priced it at. $1300 so anyway, let’s jump into this the way that I’d like to structure. This is just by giving you guys 13 reasons why I think the A6400 is better than the A6500.
Reason number one reason that this camera is better than the A6500 is the processor. This is a brand New World, not really brand new but essentially Sony took the processor out of the very expensive $4500 Sony A9 and crammed it into this $900 body and the result of which is you get a cooler running camera. You get more efficiency, it’s faster autofocus. It’s more accurate at autofocus. It can run more advanced algorithms and the color reproduction is much better. Now I’ll go into several of those points, but I wanted to point out the number one reason that is the newer processor. So this is a huge huge step forward.
Reason #2 is the color science, and in particular the skin tones on this A6400. I think that they have vastly improved over the A6500. Very, very noticeable without any sort of post processing or correction. You can see that using the same lenses side-by-side, the colors that you get out of the A6400 are definitely more vibrant and the skin tones are much more accurate, they’re a bit warmer. They remind me of Canon colors back in the day when Canon was at the top of its. prime. These are images taken straight out of the camera with no editing whatsoever and you could see that when you compare them to the A6500 images. The 6500 seems to produce some washed out colors. In fact, when I was doing this side by side comparison, it reminded me a lot of my comparison video between the A6500 and the then New A7 three the A6400 skin tones and color science are very similar to the A7 threes. Straight out of the camera, which is a very very good thing.
Reason #3: this camera is better than the A6500 IS auto focus. Now the autofocus points on this camera remain at 425 phase detection, but the contrast detection autofocus points have also been increased to 425, so that is a huge jump up and the autofocus is just super Duper snappy. Sony claims that it is now the fastest autofocusing camera in the world at .02 of a second, which is. Hard to really understand, but it’s very, very fast and the bigger gain with the autofocus is just the new algorithms with faster processors are able to use so you get real time autofocus now. I’ve never had that on a camera before and it is quite a game changer when it comes to taking portraits.
No longer do you have to use the shutter button to depress it. Hope that some things are in focus. Hope that your camera is not focusing on the tip of someone’s nose versus the eyes. It is always focusing on the eye no matter what you’re doing, no matter how your subject is moving. So that is amazing. Now if the eyes are blocked for whatever reason, then the camera will jump over and try to focus on the face. Now if the subject turns away in the face is no longer there, then the camera starts to focus on the object so it tracks the object moving forward and back and left to right on the frame. So it is a really smart autofocusing system and by far. This is the best one that I’ve ever tested on a camera. I don’t think any $1000 camera on the market right now comes even close to the autofocus performance of this A6400 now.
One of the reasons that the autofocus improvement on this camera is so important, at least to me, is that I don’t typically like shooting with Sony lenses very often. I have been finding myself using Sigmas quite a lot more frequently, so this is the Sigma 30F one point 4. You guys are probably familiar with this thing this lens has. Been great so from the beginning it’s very sharp. Great colors, very fast, great for low light. The one struggle area with this lens has always been the autofocus performance. It’s. Not terrible, but it’s good 85% of the time 15% of the time. It might be hunting. There might be a little bit of breathing. It’s not all that accurate. However, combining the newest firmware update on this lens and this A6400.
I have been shooting so many videos with this combo right here and the autofocus performance is flawless. It is as good as the Sony CL35, which I’m using to record this video, and that’s the lens that I’ve been using for, like 3 years for years to record all of my YouTube video. I am switching now to this setup, so from now on this is what I’m going to be using to record my YouTube videos. That’s how good the autofocus is. It locks onto a subject, it tracks everything perfectly even with non Sony lenses. So that’s a huge plus.
Reason #4 is the flip up screen. Yes I was getting to that. The flip up screen is kind of a complicated mechanism and there has been a lot of controversy around this thing. Apparently everyone on the Internet thinks that this design is wrong and you should not have a flip up screen above the camera or above the lens. You need to have it flip out to the side. I personally like this flip of design more than the flip out design that might be controversial, but that’s just my personal opinion and the reason for that is you don’t lose any of the functionality as far as viewing angles. So if I wanted to take a picture like this, I can still flip the screen down. I can move it up like this. And still be able to see it and it keeps my set up nice and compact. I don’t have to worry about mounting it one way. On a gimbal and allowing it to flip out. I can Mount it on a gimbal against this side or this side and still use the flip up screen and then when you use this flip up screen for recording you find yourself looking essentially at the center of the lens versus off to the side, which isn’t great for vlogging anyway, so I do like this thing a lot. I think that this is the correct way to design it, but that might be a minority opinion. I know there may be. A lot of you that disagree with me on that, but again, that’s my opinion.
Reason #5 is interval shooting, or time lapses. Those are automatically supported now within the camera, so it’s really cool. It’s very easy to set up, very simple to figure out how to shoot timelapses. In fact I tried to shoot a time lapse of ice melting. I thought it would be much more interesting than this. It barely melted in like half an hour, so there’s my little bit of sample, but you could do a lot of cool things with the time lapse feature. Now you were able to do that with other cameras, including the A6500. But you had to pay $10 for an app where it comes free on the A6400 and I think the integration is quite a bit better and easier on this camera. So another selling point.
Reason #6 is the improved menu system. In fact, this menu system on the A6400 looks like it was pulled directly from the A7 three, but beyond that beyond the fact that it is simpler and easier to use and you have a my menu function on the end, the text seems to be more crisp. The colors are nice and vibrant, it just seems to be easier to use now. Sony’s menu system in general is not always the most intuitive, but after you use it for a while you get used to it. I will say that there are a whole lot of settings and a whole lot of tabs. And within each of the tabs, there’s like 14 pages of menus, and you can go in and get lossed. But the fact that you can organize your own favorite menu settings in your own tab is a huge plus, so that is awesome.
Reason #7 why the A6400 is better than the A6500 is no record limit. So yes, in fact you can record videos longer than 30 minutes. Now it used to have to stop every 30 minutes and restart with this camera. Now you can record for hours and hours as long as your memory card is not full to the brim and your battery doesn’t run out. So if you are using this professionally to record weddings, it’s nice to just leave the camera. On record and not have to worry about coming around every 30 minutes in hitting that record button again like you have to do with the A6500.
Reason #8 goes along with the no recording limit and that is overheating. Now the overheating issue has been something that has plagued Sony APS C cameras for years ever since they began production. Starting with the a 5100 which seems to overheat pretty regularly in quickly, a6000 got a little bit better. A 60 three got a little bit better. In fact I’m using an A6300 to record this video and it’s already stopped because it overheated at like 25 minutes. And here I am restarting it, so I got better with the A6500 but it is almost a non issue with the A6400 now going back to my first reason the processor on this camera is brand new. It’s more efficient because it runs cooler so there is a reason why this thing does not overheat as frequently as this thing.
Now I ran both of these cameras side by side and the A6500 showed up with a flashing. Temperature warning sensor. After about an hour and then it went solid a few minutes after that and then it just shut off. Well it shut off when the battery died at an hour and 15 or so, but it was very very hot to the touch. The A6400 on the other hand recorded a non stop. The battery didn’t die and it would have still kept going and it was relatively cool to the touch which was very impressive. This is something that I didn’t expect with A6400, but overheating is almost completely resolved with this camera, so it’s awesome. Very, very happy with that. Now obviously this test was done indoors outside in direct sunlight. Who knows it’s going to do better than the A6500, but I don’t know how long it’s going to last.
Reason #9 The A6400 is better than the A6500 is brand new video picture profiles, in particular HLG, which is kind of like an HD R color profile for your video. It is nicer than S log two and three. Now I don’t particularly use any color profiles when shooting video. I just like to take video straight out of the camera, but if you shoot a lot of cinematic video, HLG is a huge selling point, and I don’t think that’s something that. They will incorporate a firmware update on the 6500, so again A6400 wins in that category.
Reason #10 is battery life. Now the battery on the A6400 is the exact same thing that you will find on the A 5100 eighty 6863 a 65. It is unchanged, which is good and bad. It’s good that you don’t have to go out and buy new batteries. It’s bad because the capacity is still not that great. The nice thing about the A6400, however, is because of that more efficient processor, you get slightly better battery life now in my side-by-side testing, I got about 15% longer battery life with this A6400 versus my A6500. You might say that 15% isn’t a whole lot, but considering it’s the exact same battery it is pretty impressive. And also when I was running the test, the screen on this thing is much much brighter than the screen on the A6500, which I’ll get to in another point. So this is definitely a lot more efficient using that battery, it gives you an extra, maybe twenty 2530 minutes of recording time, which is nice when you’re out and about.
Reason #11 is something that I just mentioned which is the non dimming screen on the back of the camera. Now with the A6500 as soon as you hit the record button the screen dims, probably for heat reasons would be my guess, but when you’re shooting outside, especially in direct sunlight, it’s a pain in the butt to try to make sure that everything is in focus. In your shot is where it needs to be. I find myself using the viewfinder, which isn’t ideal all the time, whereas with this camera you really don’t have to worry about it. The screen doesn’t dim. It’s nice and bright outside. It’s much easier to see your subject annuar shot set up so it’s a big plus.
Reason #12 that this camera is better than the A6500 is going to be 2 small things put together. Number one is auto white balance lock which is an added feature or menu setting in this camera. What it allows you to do is essentially lock your white balance so once the camera selects auto white balance and if you’re shooting continuous video like I am in this scenario right now. Instead of you seeing the colors change every single time that I’m splicing this video. It will stay nice and fluid and the same colors continuously throughout the other. Small thing is when it comes to using auto ISO on this camera instead of just showing you auto ISO in the corner of the camera, it shows you the actual value that the camera is using. When you have your ISO set to auto which is a small detail but it makes using the camera that much more easy and more enjoyable.
And last reason #13 is the price. Now the A6400 comes in at $900 for the body, only $1000 with the kit lens, whereas you’re going to have to pay $1200 for the A6500 body or 1300 with the kit lens. So $300 difference here and this thing has a whole lot of features that I just mentioned all throughout this video.
Now that is the end of my top 13 reasons or my 13 reasons why I think this camera is better than the A6500.
Let me talk about three of the things that are still a little bit better on the A6500 and three reasons why. Maybe you would choose this camera over the A6400 number one. This camera has Ibis so in body image stabilization the A6400 does not. That is the biggest difference between these two cameras. Now if you use Sony lenses on the A6400 effective stabilization that you get is virtually identical. If you’re using a lot of manual lenses. Vintage lenses lenses without any sort of stabilization and you need it for photography. Then definitely check out the A6500 if you’re shooting video. Neither one of these stabilization systems is going to really rescue you. I would recommend investing in a gimbal and using the $300 savings from this camera you can get yourself a nice gimbal and you’ll have much better video using this combo then this and no gimbal at all.
Number two reason that this is a little bit better is the body is slightly bigger, so in particular the grip on the A6500 is nicer. So if you have larger hands, I wish that Sony included this same exact grip on the A6400 but they cheaped out and didn’t along those same lines. There are two custom buttons on the top of the A6500 versus only one custom 1 button on top of the A 6400 which isn’t a huge deal but it is there as a difference.
And the last area in which the A6500 is better is if you’re shooting a lot of sports photography where you need to depress the shutter and shoot a whole bunch of action. This has a much larger buffer versus the smaller buffer on the A6400. Both cameras shoot at 11 frames per second, but you can shoot more continuously at 11 frames per second with the A6500, you have to decide for yourself whether those features are more important, and whether you’re willing to give up all of the other 13 improvements that I mentioned. In this video, just to get those three additional features, so my recommendation is if you’re just jumping into Sony APS C. Jump straight into the A6400, it’s going to be way more future proof. The colors are better, processing is better, no overheating issues, battery life is improved. There is a whole lot packed into this camera and you have that flip out screen which is ever so important. So that is my review of the A6400. Overall I am much more impressed with this camera than I thought I would be. And I would highly recommend it to all of you, at least to check out, and especially if you’re just getting into Sony APS-C jump straight into this, you’ll be much happier doing that then trying any one of the other cameras.
For example the A6300 that I’m using to record this video has overheated twice. Now this is the third new battery and I’m still recording this video, so I would have been able to do the entire thing nonstop with this thing, so that’s a big plus.