What does the Sony a6400 mean?

Sony released the a6400, basically a camera based on the a6300 with a flip-up screen, with the processor from the flagship a9 running on the new firmware that will make the AF one of the most sophisicated and advanced AF system on the market.

Similar (but to exactly the same) functions will be introduced to the a7III and a7R III via firmware updates.

How does the market react to the a6400?

Professional youtubers immediately point out that the flip up screen is useless if they mount a microphone in the hotshoe, which will then block the flip up screen. One can add a small bracket with a cold shoe and mount the mic on the side, but of course, that is an extra piece to the setup.

I am not the selfie type, but every now and then, I do not mind taking a selfie with my kids. Having a flip up screen can indeed be helpful. Youtubers prefer a fully-articulated screen, that allows the screen to flip out to the side. I have that on my Olympus E-M1 MKII. Personally that is my least favorite type of screen but that is given I am primarily a stills photographer and not a hybrid shooter. For stills, the fully articulated design is clumsy to use, and if you want to look ‘down’ to the screen, the screen will be on the side, so your line of vision is no longer align with the lens’ axis. No thanks. I am surprised no one has come up with a smarter solution. I personally prefer a flip up screen to a fully articulated screen for stills shooting.

So what does the a6400 mean?

Sensors are a big part of a digital camera. but what is often overlooked is the processor. The fact that Sony puts the a9 flagship processor (BIONZ X) into the a6400 means one thing. Before the Olympics, Sony will have a new generation of a9 with a new generation of processor. I cannot think of any other reason why Sony would put their flagship processor in a entry/mid level vlogging camera like the a6400. By 2020 Summer, we will see some serious innovation from Sony. The hardware cycle has slowed down already, Sony is now introducing innovations via software to take advantage of all that processing power. I am betting that Sony has something big before the Tokyo Olympics.


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