We just started testing cameras, and our test bench v0.7 is rather simplistic, so we decided to launch without text in the test boxes. If you have any suggestions on what to improve, let us know here. As we gather your suggestions, we plan on making more frequent changes to our methodology and we'll be able to add text to the reviews in the near future.

Sony α6400 Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.7
Reviewed Feb 08, 2021 at 07:40 am
Sony α6400 Picture
8.0
Travel Photography
8.0
Landscape Photography
7.4
Sport & Wildlife Photography
7.6
Vlogging
8.2
Studio Video
5.9
Action Video
Body Type
DSLR
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
APS-C
Tested Lens
Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS

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.

Our Verdict

8.0 Travel Photography

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.

Pros
  • Excellent overall autofocus performance.
  • Great photo quality.
  • Sturdy, portable design.
  • Comfortable to use.
Cons
  • Occasionally confusing menu system.
8.0 Landscape Photography

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.

Pros
  • Great photo quality.
  • Sturdy, portable design.
  • Comfortable to use.
Cons
  • Occasionally confusing menu system.
7.4 Sport & Wildlife Photography

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.

Pros
  • Excellent overall autofocus performance.
  • Great photo quality.
  • Sturdy, portable design.
  • Comfortable to use.
Cons
  • Occasionally confusing menu system.
  • Long buffer clearing time.
7.6 Vlogging

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.

Pros
  • Excellent overall autofocus performance.
  • Sturdy, portable design.
  • Great recording quality in 4k and FHD.
  • Flip-out screen.
Cons
  • Poor video stabilization performance in 4k.
8.2 Studio Video

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.

Pros
  • Excellent overall autofocus performance.
  • Great recording quality in 4k and FHD.
Cons
  • Occasionally confusing menu system.
  • No headphone jack.
5.9 Action Video

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.

Pros
  • Sturdy, portable design.
Cons
  • Poor video stabilization performance in 4k.
  • Limited frame rate options for 4k recording.
  • 8.0 Travel Photography
  • 8.0 Landscape Photography
  • 7.4 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 7.6 Vlogging
  • 8.2 Studio Video
  • 5.9 Action Video
  1. Updated Jun 28, 2021: Retested object tracking performance for photography. Updated 'Autofocus' box accordingly.
  2. Updated Apr 29, 2021: Corrected input error in 'In The Box' section.
  3. Updated Apr 28, 2021: Retested for 'Tested Battery Life In Video' and updated score for 'Battery' section.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Portability
Height 2.8" (7.1 cm)
Width 5.2" (13.1 cm)
Depth 2.4" (6.0 cm)
Volume
34.1 in³ (558.0 cm³)
Weight
0.89 lbs (0.40 kg)
Weight With Lens
1.16 lbs (0.52 kg)
8.0
Design
Build Quality

  • Body made of magnesium alloy
  • Inputs are covered by hinged flaps
  • Aperture dial is imprecise, sometimes causing incorrect setting selection

Design
Body
Water Resistance
Weather-Sealed
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
2
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
E-Mount
Built-In Flash
Yes
Design
In The Box

Update 04/29/2021: Corrected input error in calling the 'Startup Guide' a 'User Guide'.

  • Sony a6400 mirrorless camera
  • Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS lens
  • Lens cap
  • 1x NP-FW50 battery
  • Shoulder strap
  • USB charger
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Startup guide

8.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
No

  • Weight is well-distributed
  • Easy to adjust ISO, aperture, and shutter speed with either eye pressed against viewfinder
  • Handgrip is well-textured and fairly deep
  • May not be enough room on thumb rest for people with large hands

7.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Imaging Edge Mobile

  • Can customize menus and remap camera controls
  • More complex settings can be tricky to find
  • Touch screen feature doesn't allow for menu navigation

Design
Viewfinder
Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
2.36 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.7
7.8
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Flip Out
Screen Max Brightness
798 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
0.92 million dots
Size
3.0" (7.5 cm)
Touchscreen
Limited
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
Exmor CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
24.2 MP
Processor
BIONZ X
Extended ISO Minimum
N/A
ISO Minimum
100
ISO Maximum
32,000
Tested Firmware
Version 2.0
7.8
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Sony NP-FW50
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
410 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
92 min

Update 04/28/2021: The camera's battery life in video was retested. The score for this box has been adjusted.

6.6
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Interchangeable
Maximum Aperture
3.5 - 5.6
Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)
f/5.4
Minimum Focal Length
16 mm
Maximum Focal Length
50 mm
Max Focal Length (Full Frame Equivalent)
77 mm
Luminance
76.3%
Light Falloff
51.9%
Photo
Photo
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
RAW File Format
ARW
Shutter
Electronic and Mechanical
Minimum Shutter Speed
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
1/4,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
Yes
Focus Peaking
Yes
Zebra Pattern
Yes
Histogram
Yes
Time Lapse
Yes
6.1
Photo
Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
4 fps
High Speed Continuous
11 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
8 fps
Raw Buffer Size
51 RAW Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
10,000 JPG Photos
Buffer Empty Time
34 s
8.5
Photo
Autofocus
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
425
Manual Focus Assistance
Yes
Face Detection Distance
158" (402 cm)
Eye Detection
Yes
Face Tracking Success Rate
78%
Object Tracking Success Rate
74.7%

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.

7.8
Photo
Image Stabilization
In Body Image Stabilization
No
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/13 s
8.3
Photo
Image Quality
Dynamic Range At ISO 100
9.21 f-stops
Color Accuracy (dE2000)
6.87
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 800
34.1 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 800
2.144 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 1600
34.7 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 1600
1.977 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 3200
32.33 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 3200
1.896 pixels

ISO Setting Sample Photo
ISO 100 Photo
ISO 200 Photo
ISO 400 Photo
ISO 800 Photo
ISO 1600 Photo
ISO 3200 Photo
ISO 6400 Photo
ISO 12800 Photo
ISO 25600 Photo
ISO 51200 Photo

7.7
Photo
Luminance Noise
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 100 40.15 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200 38.69 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400 36.32 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800 33.94 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600 31.16 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200 28.26 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400 25.67 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800 22.88 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600 19.51 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200 17.52 dB
Sample Gallery
Sample Gallery
The Skate Park

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Polish Church

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Studio

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Stairway

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

General Video
General Video
Video Feature
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
4:2:2
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
8 bits
Log Picture Profile
Yes
Recording Light
No
General Video
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
General Video
Video Exposure Assistant
Zebra Line
Yes
Histogram
Yes
Waveform
No
General Video
Recording Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
7.2
4k Video
4k Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
No
30 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
24 fps In 4k
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1.22 x
8.7
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In 4k
No
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Tracking In 4k
9.5
Object Tracking In 4k
9.3
3.3
4k Video
4k Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In 4k
No
Walking Test In 4k
18.09 pixels/frames
Running Test In 4k
71.18 pixels/frames
Crop
1.11 x
7.9
4k Video
4k Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
100 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
60 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 bits
Record Time Limit N/A
Overheat Recording Interruption
Yes
8.3
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
9.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
8.5
4k Rolling Shutter
3.92°
Full HD Video
9.2
Full HD Video
FHD Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
Yes, with a Crop
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1.14 x
9.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In FHD
No
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Tracking In FHD
9.5
Object Tracking In FHD
10
7.6
Full HD Video
FHD Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In FHD
No
Walking Test In FHD
6.92 pixels/frames
Running Test In FHD
18.94 pixels/frames
Crop
1
8.3
Full HD Video
FHD Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
100 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
16 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8
Record Time Limit N/A
8.2
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
9.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
8.1
FHD Rolling Shutter
2.78°
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
7.8
Storage And Connectivity
Input / Outputs
USB
Micro USB
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
No
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

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.

Discussions