You could be forgiven for thinking that the Alpha A6400 is a minor upgrade over the A6300, and in many ways it is. But it's the upgraded and highly advanced autofocus that really shines here, even more so given that it's on a camera costing under $1,000 / £1,000. If this camera can help you increase your hit rate, regardless of the subject you're shooting, that can only be a good thing.
Highly advanced autofocus
Decent burst shooting speed
Good video features
Good value for the spec
No built-in image stabilization
No headphone jack
16:9 aspect ratio screen
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However, with Sony equipping the Alpha A6400 with some of its latest tech, most notably the advanced AF system, this camera could actually prove a more tempting proposition than the top-of-the-range A6500, a camera that's now more than two years old.
- 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- 4K video recording
- Tilt-angle touchscreen and electric viewfinder
Like the A6300 and A6500, the Alpha A6400 features a 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, but thanks to a front-end LSI and the latest BIONZ X image processor, Sony reckons processing speeds are 1.8x faster than the A6300 can manage.
These enhancements have also allowed Sony to stretch the new camera's ISO ceiling to an expanded upper limit of 102,400, compared to the A6500's 51,200 (the A6400's native range is 100-32,000), while Sony also says color reproduction has been greatly improved.
One big omission from the A6400 is any form of in-body image stabilization, something the A6500 enjoys with its 5-axis system. A6400 users will have to rely on lens-based stabilization, and while a lot of Sony's APS-C-specific zoom lenses feature the company's Optical SteadyShot (OSS), many of its primes do not.
Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C CMOS
Lens mount: Sony E-mount
Screen: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921,000 dots
Burst shooting: 11fps
Autofocus: 425-point AF
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
Battery life: 360 shots
The Alpha A6400 features the sane electronic viewfinder (EVF) as the A6300 and A6500, with a 2.36 million-dot unit with 0.7x magnification. There's also a 3.0-inch display on the rear of the camera with a modest 921K-dot resolution. This screen is touch-enabled, unlike the one on the A6300, but a little annoyingly it still has the same 16:9 aspect ratio – that's great if you're going to be shooting video regularly, but it sees the display shrink for stills, with black bars at either side of the image. Something vloggers will welcome, meanwhile, is the fact that the display can be tilted upwards 180 degrees, enabling you to frame yourself easily.
It's not just the screen that's likely to appeal to vloggers though, with the A6400's solid video credentials certain to be a big draw. These include 4K video capture (using 6K oversampling) at 100Mbps, while there's also S-log3 and S-log2 support for post production, as well as 4K HDR (HLG) recording. The A6400 also has a microphone jack and is compatible with XLR adapters; however, as on previous A6000-series cameras, there's no headphone jack. You’ll be able to transfer 4K video directly to your smartphone via Sony’s new Imaging Edge Mobile app when it launches in March – this replaces the PlayMemories app, and will also offer remote camera control, as well as having an overhauled user interface.
Photographers will also welcome the arrival of built-in interval recording on the Alpha A6400. This can be set to anywhere between 1 and 60 seconds, with the total number of shots able to be captured ranging from 1 to 9,999. To avoid the risk of changes to exposure over the shooting period, the AE tracking sensitivity can be adjusted to High, Mid or Low during interval shooting.
The Alpha A6400 features a single SD card slot that's compatible with UHS-I cards (not the faster UHS-II variants), while there's also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity.
Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.