The Sony α6400 is a compact APS-C mirrorless camera. Thanks to its impressive image quality, it takes detailed, sharp images that are mostly free of visible noise, and its effective autofocus system helps keep your shot in focus as your subjects move. It also delivers impressive video recording quality in both 4k and FHD. Unfortunately, it can struggle to smooth out camera shake if you're recording in 4k, so it's not ideal for filming while walking or running.
The Sony a6400 is great for travel photography. It has impressive image quality, so your pictures are sharp and free of visual noise. It's equipped with an excellent autofocus system that can track subjects without issue and its minimum shutter speed is suitable for long-exposure shots. This camera is relatively lightweight, very well-built, and comfortable to use, even for people with fairly large hands. It should also have enough battery life for long shooting sessions.
The Sony a6400 is great for landscape photography. It feels sturdy and is rated as being weather-sealed, though that this isn't something we currently test for. It's relatively lightweight, comfortable to use, and has a touchscreen that's bright enough to be read even under direct sunlight, though you can only use the screen to set timers or change focus points. While the image quality is impressive overall, its kit lens does exhibit noticeable light falloff, which can make the corners of your photo noticeably darker than its center.
The Sony a6400 is good for sports and wildlife photography. Image quality is impressive and it has a responsive and fairly reliable autofocus system that can help you maintain focus on fast-moving subjects. Its maximum shutter speed should help you take clear pictures of fast-moving subjects. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to clear its buffer, so you need to keep continuous shooting bursts short.
The Sony a6400 is good for vlogging. Its flip-out screen can be flipped up to be used as a selfie screen, which is nice. Whether you're recording in FHD or 4k, video recording quality is impressive, so your videos are clear and detailed. However, it does a poor job of smoothing out camera shake in 4k if you're walking or running while recording, though it performs decently in this regard while filming in FHD.
The Sony a6400 is a great option for studio video. Recording quality is impressive in both 4k and FHD, and its autofocus system does an excellent job of tracking faces and inanimate objects. It has a decently wide selection of inputs that let you use microphones and other recording accessories, though its lack of a headphone jack is a little disappointing. It doesn't have a recording time limit, which is good if you frequently record longer videos.
The Sony a6400 isn't designed for action video. When recording in 4k, it supports few frame rate options, and you can't film slow-motion videos. Also, it does a terrible job of smoothing out camera shake if you're running or walking while recording. That said, it's sturdy, relatively compact, and rated as being weather-sealed, though we don't currently test for that.
There's only one color variant of the Sony a6400: 'Black', and you can see its label here. We tested it with the Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS lens.
Other lenses are available for purchase with the Sony α6400, including the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens, but we haven't evaluated its performance when configured differently. It can also be purchased without a lens at all.
If you come across a different variant of this camera, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.
The Sony α6400 and the Sony α6600 are both APS-C cameras, and they perform similarly overall since they use the same sensor. The biggest difference between them is the inclusion of in-body image stabilization on the α6600, which can help stabilize the image at slower shutter speeds or longer focal lengths, even without an optically stabilized lens. The α6600 also has a larger battery that gives it nearly twice the rated battery life. However, the larger battery makes it bigger and heavier than the α6400. The α6600 also has a headphone jack and a couple more customizable buttons, though the α6400 has a built-in flash.
The Sony α6400 is better overall than the Sony α6000, especially if you're interested in video as well as photography. The biggest difference is that the a6400 can record video in 4k resolution. It also has a higher-resolution EVF, a newer sensor with better high-ISO performance, and an improved autofocus system. The a6000 is a bit more portable and offers similar photo performance at a fraction of the price since it's an older model.
The Sony α6400 and the Sony ZV-E10 are both great mirrorless cameras for beginners. The a6400 is a little better suited for photography since it has a viewfinder, and it's a little more comfortable to shoot with and better-built, with a weather-sealed magnesium alloy construction. The ZV-E10, on the other hand, is aimed specifically at vloggers and has a few advantages over the a6400 in that area, specifically a better built-in mic, an e-stabilization feature, and a fully articulated screen.
Update 04/29/2021: Corrected input error in calling the 'Startup Guide' a 'User Guide'.
If you'd prefer a camera with a fully articulated screen, check out the Sony ZV-E10.
Update 12/22/2021: We've adjusted this camera's menu system score to match other Sony cameras we've tested and to better reflect its ease of use relative to other menu systems.
Update 04/28/2021: The camera's battery life in video was retested. The score for this box has been adjusted.
Update 06/28/2021: We retested this camera's object tracking autofocus performance, reuploaded the object tracking slideshow for reference, and updated the score accordingly. Note that the score is an average of three test runs, and performance can vary across different runs.