Till last year those upgrading from smartphones, or even compact cameras, would look at entry-level DSLRs to hone their skills. Now, there are some great options available in the mirrorless cameras that are worth their money and in no ways inferior. And a lot of this shift in the segment has to be attributed to Sony which has made mirrorless cameras more acceptable across price points. Now the Sony Alpha 6400 would want to make a significant impact in the same space.
Sony Alpha 6400 price in India: Rs 75,990+
Sony Alpha 6400 specs: 24.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor APS-C type | Sony E-mount lenses | 2.95in (3.0-type) wide type TFT 180 tiltable LCD touchscreen | 425 points (phase-detection AF) | 1/4000 to 30 sec, Bulb shutter speed | ISO 32000 (expanded to ISO 102400 for stills) | Approx. 403 grams
Sony Alpha 6400
The Sony Alpha 6400 is the predecessor of the successful Alpha 6300 which became a popular camera across the world because of its super fast auto-focus. But if the a6300 had was fast at 0.05 second AF, the a6400 takes just 0.02 seconds to lock on to a subject. Along with this, the camera offers professional quality images with its APS-C sensor coupled with E-mount lenses.
In fact, the Sony Alpha 6400 offers all the ease of a point and shoot if that is your calling. I found this convenient when the idea was just to take a regular photo and not really showcase your photography skills. The Sony Alpha 6400 works perfectly well as a quick-draw camera if you put it in auto or in a select a preset scene.
But if you want to push the camera to show your skills as well as its capabilities, it is more than capable of doing so. I used the camera over a fortnight with the 18-135mm lens trying a range of shooting scenarios, both for stills and videos.
I have used Sony Alpha cameras before, so understanding the menu was not a big issue. In fact, even using the memories app to transfer images to the phone for quick uploads to meet stiff targets was easy. However, for first-time users, the menu can be intimidating as there is so much there. There is a spread or tabs and scrolls in the menu and it might be a good idea to favourite everything that you are likely to tweak.
I got the opportunity to shoot in low light for the first look of the Samsung Galaxy S10 range in San Francisco. This is where the low-light performance of the camera really impressed me. Even though the demo area was well lit, it was a cocktail of LED and halogen lights with a smattering of shadows. I shot the first look videos from here using the camera and the results were certainly impressive. Even the still from here came out good.
Then under the super bright California sun, the camera came up with some stunning results that showed how good it was at capturing the colour, the way they should look. Again under the Delhi sun, this performance shone through.
The camera also keeps in mind the requirements of the new, smartphone spoilt, users. The 2.95-inch TFT screen at the back can be tilted to face in the opposite direction too. Why you might ask? Well, the idea is for users to be able to take selfie photos with the Sony Alpha 6400 like they would with a phone, though with the added ability to view what they are shooting. In fact, this feature might make the camera popular among Vloggers who would be able to execute their videos better.
Actually, Sony Alpha 6400 is a great video camera and not because it can shoot in 4K. Every camera does that now. The fast hybrid-AF keeps your subject firmly in focus even if there is a lot of action happening. This takes away a lot of stress when you are shooting certain types of video. Also, the camera offers easy options to time-lapse, slow motion and fast motion though you might need some software help to get to a final result.
For those who want to get to the next level of photography, which could essentially be an upgrade from a camera or a phone, the Sony Alpha 6400 offers a viable option. It is a camera made for 2019 and offers every feature that you would want.
It might take some time to master all the features, but the beauty of this camera is that it can form into a point and shoot if that’s what the situation demands. However, the Sony Alpha 6400 is not all that cheap with a Rs 75,990 price tag for just the body — with the 18-135mm lens, the cost is around Rs 1,09,000. But I have to say you will not regret this investment.