Over a week on from Sony announcing the a6400 I still cant help but think its a time buyer for the company. The consumers who enjoy Sony’s cameras have been crying out for an upgraded a6500 for almost a year and its needed.
Instead Sony give us a side boot to an old product.
Not needed to an extent that the a6500 is horrible, buggy and a poor performer… it is none of those but because Sony’s competitors have brought out 4k at 60fps, 10bit video and better sensors mid to late 2019.
Sony went backwards
Yet here Sony is in a sense going backwards in its product line, Sony’s mirrorless APS-C cameras went from the a5100, a6000, a6300 and finally the a6500. As per its name the a6400 actually drops back. Drops back in between two products that are a couple of years old now.
The a6400 differs in minimal ways, it has a flip-up screen and supposedly better auto focus (Autofocus already excellent throughout the range). The a6400 adds interval shooting with the focus on time-lapse and the marketing for the a6400 was all towards vloggers. Yet if you have an external microphone it blocks the flip-up screen, nice one Sony.
I am thinking along the lines that the a6400 is a test to which future Sony cameras will implement this flip-up screen depending on how it goes with the a6400.
The rolling stutter is also there, not a major issue but its a downer.
With pricing the a6400 (body) sits $300 cheaper than an a6500 (body), that difference is mute when you take into account the a6500 has IBIS (in body stabilization) making video smoother and helping with your shots.
a6400 vs a6500
If you had an a6000 or a6300 upgrading to the a6400 doesn’t even look pleasing, you can’t justifying it. Either pay a few hundred more for the a6500 and its crucial IBIS or wait it out a few more months to see if Sony will finally bring an a6500 successor to the table.
The a6500 which is Sony’s highest tier mirrorless APS-C camera was released late 2016, if you factor in that it was a fairly minimal upgrade to its predecessor (a6300) Sony hasn’t given consumers a high-end APS-C refresh for a few years now.
Given there are improvements to be made, those of which are seen in competitors ike 10bit video, 4k at 60fps and a screen that can do more than tilt on a vertical axis Sony better have something good cooking.
The compact mirrorless APS-C range has been overtaken by Full frame cameras, those of which perform better in low light, give better HDR ranges whilst being bigger and costing a lot more.
a6500 upgrade is due
If Sony can bring a 4k 60fps, 10 bit video with an upgrade on the battery to the APS-C lineup it will sell. Add in the IBIS and the full flip-up screen, maybe a headphone jack and you have a decent a6500 upgrade to whcih also looks a better vlogging camera than the a6400.