Since its introduction in January 2019, Sony A6400 has consistently been one of the most popular and best selling APS-C mirrorless cameras, at least among the Camera Decision readers. A6400 surely deserved this by offering a perfect combination of performance, image quality and features in a compact and affordable package. Even though with the introduction of Sony ZV-E10, we are feeling that potential buyers are torn apart between these two cameras often, yet we believe A6400 still has some tricks under his sleeve against ZV-E10 and other APS-C cameras despite its age, especially for photography-first shooters.
Top reasons to buy Sony A6400 in 2021
Here are the 7 reasons we believe make the Sony A6400 still a great buy in 2021.
1 - Flip up screen: 180 degree flip up screen of the A6400 makes it a selfie and video/vlogger friendly camera. Although the screen can get blocked in case of using a shotgun microphone, fortunately there is a relatively cheap solution for this problem: This cheap bracket moves the microphone out of the way so that it doesn't obstruct the screen anymore. If fully articulated screen is a must for your style of shooting and want to stay in Sony ecosystem, consider Sony ZV-E10 with a slightly cheaper price.
2 - Excellent AF system: We always appreciate Sony for implementing its latest and greatest AF system even in its entry and consumer level cameras and A6400 is no exception. AF is fast, reliable, intelligent and accurate both for stills and movies, probably only challenged by the more expensive Canon cameras. Hybrid autofocus with 425 phase and contrast detection points covers a large section of the frame and real time Eye AF functions make it very simple to lock on and track moving objects. Touch LCD screen (albeit no touch menus) also can be used to select a focus point.
3 - Compact weather sealed body with high level of customization options: We know many photographers are mesmerized by the smooth bokeh and low noise performance of full frame sensor cameras but there is always a trade-off and that is generally the size. We still believe APS-C sensor cameras represent the optimal point of size and image quality for majority of users and the A6400 is one of the best example for this. Combined with compact APS-C E-mount lenses, you can have a significantly smaller kit compared to full frame equivalents while achieving a similar image quality in most situations. Only full frame camera that comes close to Sony A6000 series cameras in size is Sony A7C, but wait until you mount those big full frame lenses and the size difference get bigger almost immediately. In order to have the most compact kit, attach a 16-50mm kit lens and you will have an almost pocketable (coat pocket?) mirrorless kit.
4 - Excellent Image quality for an APS-C sensor camera: Sony has been using this 24MP APS-C sensor since A6000 to be honest we haven't seen much improvement, but the good thing is that the sensor was already an excellent performer to start with. 24MP is plenty resolution for most cases and low-light performance is no slouch unless you start to compare with some recent full frame cameras.
5 - Good video quality and features: It is obvious that the Sony A6400 is not designed primarily for video despite its support for S-Log 2, S-Log 3, and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG), but still can easily satisfy lots of your video needs. It provides excellent 4K 24p/30p video quality that is oversampled from 6K, you can also shoot 120p at 1080p resolution recording and shoot slow motion clips directly under SQ mode. Flip up screen helps composing and checking your video and no recording limit is a very welcome feature. After all, it took Canon so many years before they release EOS R3 in September 2021 (which only costs $5999!), their first non-video camera that removes the 30min recording limit.
Another improvement is that overheating at 4K is not an issue for Sony A6400 unlike its predecessor, Sony A6300. Subject tracking in video is also now possible triggered by touching the subject to be tracked on the LCD screen.
6 - Widest selection of lenses in the mirrorless world: This is not an advantage specific to A6400 but Sony E-mount cameras in general, yet it still deserves to be mentioned since we believe that for most people, this is the most important selling point of Sony mirrorless cameras. E-mount lenses by Sony and third party manufacturers such as Sigma and Tamron cover almost all focal ranges possible with multiple choices. When you choose to go with APS-C specific lenses, you can create a compact and relatively low cost kit but if size and price is not an issue, it is good to know that you will have options to choose from the excellent set of full frame lenses such as Sony GM series or Sigma Art series lenses. Check all Sony A6400 lenses in Camera Decision database here.
7 - Expansive connectivity options: A6400 features Wi-fi, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity options to easily and wirelessly pair and transfer files between other compatible devices. You can easily control your camera functions via your smartphone app, and also thanks to its Webcam functionality, you can use your A6400 as a webcam to make your video conferences, or stream to Youtube.
What are the alternatives for Sony A6400?
Keeping in mind all the pro's we have listed, now let's look very briefly about the potential alternatives of Sony A6400:
Sony ZV-E10: Specifically designed for vloggers and video shooters. Fully articulated screen but no viewfinder. Features steady shot and active stabilization electronic in addition to unique Gyro stabilization. Also features one click Product showcase and Background Defocus modes. In addition, sports an external headphone port which A6400 lacks.
Sony ZV-E10 vs Sony A6400 Detailed Comparison
Sony A6100: No advantage over A6400 other than the slightly lower price, wouldn't go this route unless budget is very tight.
Sony A6100 vs Sony A6400 Detailed Comparison
Sony A6600: Has IBIS (in-body image stabilization), larger grip and better battery life but 500$ more expensive
Sony A6600 vs Sony A6400 Detailed Comparison
Canon M50 Mark II: Cheaper but lens selection is limited, image quality is not on par with A6400
Canon M50 Mark II vs Sony A6400 Detailed Comparison
Nikon Z50: Similar price level, Lens selection is very limited unless you want to use lens adapters, image quality similar or better than A6400, but AF system not as good.
Nikon Z50 vs Sony A6400 Detailed Comparison
Considering all the features and performance of Sony A6400 for the price point, we strongly believe that it is one of the best mirrorless APS-C sensor camera option in the market and most possibly stay this way in 2022 too.
Sony A6400 Key Specs
- Announcement Date: 2019-01-15
- 24MP - APS-C CMOS Sensor
- ISO 100 - 32000 ( expands to 102400)
- Sony E Mount
- 3.00" Tilting Screen
- 2359k dot Electronic viewfinder
- 11.0fps continuous shooting
- 4K (UHD) - 3840 x 2160 video resolution
- 120fps High-Speed Video
- Built-in Wireless
- 403g. 120 x 67 x 50 mm
- Weather-sealed Body
- Replaced Sony Alpha a6300 Compare
- Read the Review
- Check Price at: Amazon, B&H Photo