Sony a6400 Review: An Excellent Performer With A Few Trade-offs

With its broad feature set, the Sony a6400 addresses the needs of many types of photographers, especially enthusiasts who want to step up to a more sophisticated camera or move from a DSLR to a more compact mirrorless camera. Semipros — or even full-time pros — looking for an affordable backup to their full-frame Alpha-series camera(s) will also find this camera appealing.

Given its speedy performance, the Sony a6400 meets the needs of sports and wildlife photographers — and parents who want to document their children at play. Some vloggers may be attracted by the ability to position the LCD at a 180-degree angle, but this new feature poses some issues.

Since the a6400 debuted, Sony has released a number of other compact mirrorless cameras. We’ve compiled this handy guide that compares the Sony a6400 vs the a6000, a6100, a6300, a6500, and a6600.

Sony A6400 Pricing and Availability

The a6400 costs $900 for the body alone, but you can also purchase it in a kit with a variety of lenses. When bundled with a 16-50mm lens, the a6400 costs $998; an 18-135mm lens kit is $1,338; and a 70-200mm kit is $3,498.

Sony A6400 vs. A6300 vs. A6500

The successor to the a6300, the a6400 ($900; body only) shares many of the same physical attributes and features as its older APS-C siblings, the a6300 ($748) and the slightly higher end a6500 ($1,198). While the a6400 lacks the in-body stabilization of the a6500, the newer model features more advanced AF and tracking capabilities than either of the two. But it pays to think about whether the a6400 updates are worth the extra dollars over the older a6300 or the in-body IS of the a6500.

  • Best mirrorless cameras
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I tested the camera with several lenses but found that the 18-135mm kit lens ($1299 for the kit) best fit most of my needs. A $999 bundle with the 16-50mm lens is also available.

For more details, here is our in-depth comparison of the Sony A6400 vs. the A6000, A6300, and A6500.

What I Liked About the A6400

Speedy performance

Thanks to Sony’s new “Real-Time Tracking” and “Real-Time Eye AF,” the a6400 performs admirably when tracking moving subjects. The former derives its fast and accurate tracking from a variety of factors (object recognition, color, pattern, etc.), while the latter uses a more sophisticated derivation of the company’s already excellent eye AF. With 425 phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast-detection points (more than double the contrast-detection point of the a6300) and a new BIONZ X processor, both new tracking features are fast and accurate.

But I was really impressed with the Eye AF. Once it’s set up, it’s easier to use (a half-press of the shutter or a custom button) and is an exceptional addition to the a6400. You can also elect to have the camera focus on the left or right eye if you choose, although I didn’t find it necessary. Better yet, the camera automatically switches to face or object recognition if or when the eye isn’t visible in the frame so your subject will remain in focus. Sony plans to add Eye AF support for animals later this summer, further enhancing this technology.

It’s easy to shoot a series of images in quick succession, with the eye sharply focused, as I did here using Real-Time Tracking and Eye AF.

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