Sony A6400 Field Test Part I

Amazing achievement, abject failure or just a pretty good camera?

by by Jaron Schneider & Dave Etchells |

We had the opportunity to shoot with the new Sony A6400 at an event Sony put on in San Diego a couple of weeks ago. It's taken us until now, though, to digest our thoughts and experiences with it.

Sony's new subject-tracking technology is pretty incredible, particularly on the A9, based on a firmware update that will be coming in April 2019 (Read our article about Sony's amazing Real-Time Tracking AF). Our experience on the A6400 was quite a bit different though. On the one hand, it fell drastically short of what we'd been led to expect, and relative to the implementation on the A9. Does that mean the A6400 is a failure, though? That's the difficult question we had to answer, and that's taken us this long of inspecting literally thousands of shots we took with the camera to sort out. Read on to see where we stand on the camera currently. (As we write this, we're still waiting for a production sample to put through more rigorous tests in our lab and the real world; we're told one will be forthcoming soon.)

The Sony A6400 is definitely not "entry-level"
The Sony A6400 is the latest iteration in the A6xxx product line, and Sony says it will become their new "entry level" model, with the A5100 going away entirely. The A6000 will apparently continue to be sold for a while yet, but Sony was clear that going forward, the A6400 will represent the bottom end of their APS-C line.

The terminology puzzles us, though, because neither the price nor its features are remotely entry-level. Relative to their current lineup, the A6400 is listed for $900 body-only or $1,000 for the kit with a 16-50mm zoom lens. By comparison, the A6000 is currently selling for only $390 body-only, or $648 with a 16-50mm zoom. That's a huge gap between the two!! Comparing to other brands, $1,000 is way beyond an entry-level price, with cameras like the Nikon D3500 and Canon T6 both selling for just $400 for kit versions(!)

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