Sony a6400 vs Sony a6600
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Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
January 15, 2019
August 28, 2019
Sony a6400 vs a6600 Overview
The Sony a6400 vs a6600 is a tough head-to-head comparison. They’re two of Sony’s finest mid-range mirrorless cameras. And they’re both popular models with photographers of all kinds.
Body and Handling
Both cameras have a well-designed camera body. They fit well in your hand and are easy to hold for long periods. The Sony a6400 and Sony a6600 both have a magnesium alloy body that’s durable and robust. And we’re happy to see that both cameras have weather sealing for outdoor photography.
The Sony a6600 is bigger and heavier than the Sony a6400. They aren’t big differences. The Sony a6600 is only 0.22 lb (100 g) and 0.3 inches (8 mm) larger in one dimension. You’ll notice the difference when you hold both cameras. But both remain lightweight and compact mirrorless cameras.
Sony a6400 vs a6600 Optics
Sensor and Image Quality
There’s very little to separate the Sony a6400 and Sony a6600 when it comes to optics specs. They both perform very well. But the Sony a6600 has a couple of features that put it ahead compared to the Sony a6400.
We’ll start with a sensor comparison, but there’s nothing to separate them. In terms of sensor size, they both have an APS-C sensor. And the megapixel count is 24.2 MP on both APS-C CMOS sensors. They also have an image resolution of 6000 x 4000 px.
You can expect excellent image quality from the Sony a6400 and Sony a6600. And you won’t see much difference in terms of standard image quality from either APS-C camera.
The Sony a6600 does take the advantage in two key areas. The first is the ISO range. Both cameras have the same normal ISO range with a top ISO level of 104,200. That’s excellent low-light sensitivity.
But while the Sony a6400 gives you a low ISO of 100, the Sony a6600 gives you an expanded low of 50 ISO. That’ll give you stunning detail and definition with incredible dynamic range. And portrait and landscape photographers will love this feature.
The other spec that gives the Sony a6600 the edge is image stabilization. The Sony a6400 has no built-in image stabilization system. It’s something we’re seeing more and more in cameras at this level, so it holds the a6400 back in the scores.
The Sony a6600 has 5-axis in-body image stabilization. It’s a fantastic feature. And photographers and videographers of all types appreciate it. It gives you 5 stops of shake reduction for sharper images. It allows you to use slower shutter speeds with a reduced risk of camera shake or motion blur. It will also improve the dynamic range at higher ISO levels.
The optical quality of the lenses plays a large part in the final quality of your images. Thankfully, access to decent lenses isn’t a problem with the Sony a6400 and Sony a6600.
They both have a Sony E lens mount, giving you access to all the Sony E-mount lenses in their catalog. There are hundreds of lenses to choose from, with all-rounders and specialist lenses available. The standard of Sony E-mount lenses is of the highest order. But third-party lenses can vary in quality, so shop with caution.
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6000 x 4000 px
6000 x 4000 px
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
15.6 x 23.5 mm
15.6 x 23.5 mm
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 4000 s
1/ 4000 s
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Sony a6400 vs a6600 Video Performance
When judging the Sony a6400 vs a6600, we’re looking at two very similar cameras when we switch to video mode. They both have 4K video recording with 2160p quality and a 30 fps frame rate. Neither camera uses pixel binning, so you get a full pixel readout when you shoot video. You can expect fantastic video quality from both cameras.
Both cameras feature an external microphone port for professional audio recording. And there’s a headphone jack to monitor audio recording when shooting video. That gives you excellent options for professional sound recording videographers will appreciate.
While the video specs are the same, the Sony a6600 again takes the points in this round. The image stabilization works with videos as well as still photography. That allows you more options when filming by hand, reducing the need for a tripod or gimbal.
Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
3840 x 2160 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.
XAVC S, AVCHD Ver. 2.0, MP4
XAVC S, AVCHD
Features and Benefits Comparison
Now we’ll compare the features of the Sony a6400 and Sony a6600. We’ll see plenty of similarities between the two cameras. But there are some important differences we need to note.
The autofocus system of the Sony a6600 looks very similar to that of the Sony a6400. They both have a hybrid AF system with 425 points of phase detection and contrast detection. It’s a sophisticated system with excellent AF tracking for moving subjects.
Both cameras have eye AF tracking. But the Sony a6600 has more AF modes, including human eye AF and animal eye AF. That’ll please portrait, street, and wildlife photographers. And the AF system is also good enough for sports photography, especially the advanced AF modes of the a6600.
The Sony a6400 and Sony a6600 both have hot shoe connectors for external flashes. That’s good news for studio and fashion photographers. But only the a6400 has a built-in flash. While this might not be a deciding factor for many, a built-in flash is a handy feature many photographers will appreciate. It’s a shame they removed it from the a6600.
These Sony Alpha cameras have an electronic shutter rather than a mechanical shutter. Electronic shutters often allow cameras a faster max continuous shooting speed. But while the burst modes aren’t slow, we are seeing faster speeds in modern cameras.
The Sony a6400 has a maximum continuous shooting speed of 11 fps. And we’re disappointed to see there’s no upgrade in the Sony a6600, which also has an 11 fps burst mode. That’s quick enough for a mid-range model like the a6400 or a6600. But professional action photographers will want something quicker.
Electronic Viewfinder and LCD Screen
Both Sony Alpha cameras have the same hardware for the electronic viewfinder and LCD screen. The electronic viewfinders have 2.36 M dots, giving you a bright and vibrant view of your shots. It’s not outstanding, but the image rendering is accurate.
The LCD screen has 921k dots on both cameras, which is a high resolution for a screen of this size. The screen is bright and responds well in live view. There’s excellent color depth and detail on the screen when viewing your shots back. The touch screen functionality is also handy. It’s a solid piece of hardware. But it’s disappointing not to see an upgrade on the newer a6600.
The LCD touch screen can tilt and rotate on both Sony Alpha cameras. That’s ideal for taking tricky shots, selfies, and creating vlogs.
The Sony a6400 and a6600 both have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. We’d be disappointed if they didn’t have both. A Wi-Fi direct connection allows for easy transfer and sharing of images with other devices.
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.
Storage and Battery Comparison
The storage capabilities are good for both Sony Alpha cameras. They both have dual SD card slots, allowing you to take more photos without needing to change the memory cards. That’s a handy feature for busy photographers.
They also have a wide SD card compatibility. You can use SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. The Sony a6400 is compatible with the Memory Stick Duo. And the Sony a6600 is compatible with the Memory Stick Pro Duo.
The Sony a6600 is the clear winner in the battle of battery life. The Sony a6400 gives you 410 shots from a fully charged battery. That’s a good battery life for an APS-C mirrorless camera.
The Sony a6600 has a larger battery that gives you a longer battery life. And it’s not an insignificant increase. You’re getting 810 shots from a full battery, nearly double that of the a6400. That’s an increase in battery life you can feel when shooting.
We’re happy to see both cameras also have USB charging. That’s a handy feature for photographers on the go. You don’t need to carry battery chargers and a pack full of spares when you’re traveling. It’s a quick and easy way to power up.
Storage and Battery
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo (UHS-I compatible)
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Dual Memory Card Slots
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
DXO Mark Scores
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'
Sony a6400 vs a6600 - Which is Better?
The battle of the Sony a6400 vs a6600 is a close one. They are two excellent cameras from Sony’s APS-C lineup. They were both released in 2019. And they have much of the same hardware and features. But some key differences mean the Sony a6600 comes out victorious.
There wasn’t much separating the two when comparing sensors. But the 50 ISO and image stabilization of the a6600 gives it the edge. You also have improved battery life and more AF modes. The camera is slightly bigger and heavier. But not so much it becomes a problem.
The Sony a6600 is today’s winner. But don’t disregard the Sony a6400 completely. It’s still a fantastic APS-C mirrorless camera. And as it’s an older model, it’s also cheaper. Unless you need the extra features of the a6600, the Sony a6400 offers better value for money.
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