Sony a6400 First Shots Review

First Shots with the Sony a6400

In Photography by Jerad HillLeave a Comment

The Sony a6400 is here and ready for some testing but first I have some settings I need to change to make the camera more fluid to use. Over the years I have found on just about every camera I use, there are settings I want to customize. That is why there are there, to customize. Each of us has a different workflow when taking photos and like our cameras to respond a certain way. Though each camera brings new features, it is best to find what works well for you and set your camera up accordingly. I produce videos like these to help you learn more about your camera and it’s functionality.

Check out the video or read and check out the images I captured below.

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Today we’re talking about my first shots with the Sony A6400. Now, I got my hands on the Sony A6400 the same time anybody else could that pre-ordered it. I didn’t get a copy from Sony. I didn’t get invited to anything. So I just bought the camera because I liked the specs, and I liked what I saw in some of the other videos that people were putting out.

So the A6400, for me, was going to be a nice camera for me to have here in the studio for shooting 4K video. But then also like a secondary camera that I can have out in the field when I’m shooting alternate angles in 4K video. Most of the stuff that I use out in the field as my main camera would be the Sony A73 or Sony A7R3. Right now, it’s mainly just the A73 cameras, as I wait in anticipation for an A7S3.

When Sony announced the 6400, I thought, “Okay, this is interesting. It doesn’t have the internal stabilization on the sensor, but it has a lot of really great features, and the price is just unbelievable. I mean, for under $900, you’re getting a camera that has unbelievable autofocus that can shoot 4K video, that has that new advanced eye detection. So the autofocus follows the eyes, and you can switch between which eye you want it to follow.

I mean, there’s lots of really great features. It has the touch screen on the back, which is a must for me on these smaller cameras. So, for me, I decided to go ahead and get one, and I wanted to take it out and shoot some photos and shoot some video with it to see how it compared to what I remember of my A6500s. So I took it out and immediately I usually shoot some photos of my kids just out running around and playing, but we had an opportunity here in California in February. Towards the end of February, the almond blossoms are blooming, and it’s really nice, so we went out and took some portraits of my kids.

So I took the A6500 with the 85mm Sony GM lens on it. Nothing else, just these two things here and got some amazing photos. I mean, this camera did a beautiful job at maintaining focus on my kids. Even as they started to run around and jump, it maintained great focus even when I was shooting at more of a rapid pace. It was continuing to follow them, and really it did a great job at holding focus. Especially once it picks someone to focus on, if there’s multiple people in the frame, it picks someone and holds focus onto that person really well.

Even people crossing paths. Sometimes, it can get confused, like anything, but it does a relatively great job, and I was pretty impressed. So, the family turned out really good. The photos are just unbelievable. Most people probably wouldn’t believe that I used a $900 camera to take those photos. Of course, I had a really nice lens on the front of it as well, which … There’s some things that those photos definitely look better because of the more expensive lens, the better glass.

But even if I had a more entry level piece of glass on the camera, it still would’ve produced fantastic photos. So, a little bit later, it’s raining outside. My kids wanted to go outside and run around in the rain, so we’re taking pictures of them playing outside in the rain, scootering on their little scooters and stuff like that, and that was a great opportunity with faster moving subjects for me to really test out the autofocus and see if it can keep up.

Sometimes, if I have my autofocus area set to wide, which really lets the camera use just about the entire sensor to choose what in the image is it going to focus on. Sometimes, it would get it wrong. It would choose the subject behind the one that I was really intending on focusing on, and these are typical things with most cameras. It’s not just the A6400. That’s why personally I use flexible spot focus, which doesn’t disable the eye focus. It just lets the camera know that there’s a specific area that I want focus to come from. I don’t want it to come from all over. I want the camera really to just look at this smaller area.

Now, in my video where I talk about seven camera settings that I change, I talk about that. I show you exactly why I do that. So if you’re interested in knowing a little bit more about that, definitely check out that video. I’ll link to it down below, just as I link to the camera, the lens, the SD cards, all of the little accessories that I use to get the most out of the cameras that I’m using. I linked to those down below so that you could check them out.

So video shooting was a little bit different. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time shooting video, but what you’re really going to need is a lens that does have some stabilization. Now, this 85 millimeter lens here on this camera has no internal stabilization. So, no stabilization on the lens paired with no stabilization in the camera, means that my footage is definitely going to be a little shaky, and I’m in a really have to be careful if I want some good usable footage.

Otherwise, if I had a lens on the camera that had some stabilization, which I did a little limited testing, really, the stabilization missing from the body is very … It’s not very noticeable. The stabilization that you get on the camera body, on the small sensor like this, is less noticeable than on the full-frame cameras. The full-frame cameras have a much bigger sensor. There’s a lot more there to stabilize, so you notice the stabilization a bit more. You don’t notice it so much on the smaller body here.

So when I pair this up with the kit lens that I have that has internal stabilization or a few of the other lenses that I have that has some internal stabilization, it feels a lot better on this camera. So the difference between the A6500, which does have stabilization on the sensor of the camera. You’re not really going to notice that much of a difference because the majority of the stabilization is happening in the lens. But if you don’t have any lenses with stabilization, you might consider spending a few extra hundred dollars more in going with the A6500. But I’m not here trying to do a full review. I’m just trying to give you my first shot results and talk a little bit about my experiences with the camera.

So my initial thoughts on this camera is that it is really a game changer in 2019 for the price point because it’s a $900 camera that shoots amazing 4K and beautiful photos with amazing autofocus. The low-light capability is pretty good on this camera as well. So, I think it’s an excellent buy. Of course, there’s also the flip-up screen for those of you that are into vlogging. I have a video on the topic of that because people are complaining about microphone mounting and stuff and wishing that this would pop out to the side. I have my own thoughts on that.

If you actually go over to our Instagram, so the Ditch Auto Instagram, which is ditch_auto, you can see some photos. I have some photos of my setup for if I was going to do any vlogging with this camera, and it’s a perfect little setup, and it’s super lightweight. So definitely check that out. Follow us there anyways because I post a lot of camera-related stuff, the setup that I have, and then some photos that I took with that setup and even some video as well. So, we’d love to have you over there on Instagram checking us out.

Another last minute thing here before this video is over. I am going to be launching a podcast pretty soon, the Ditch Auto Podcast, where we’re going to talk more in depth about photography, video, have some guests on and just maybe even talk about some news from time to time as it comes to new cameras. We have a lot of events coming up in the next several months where there’s going to be a lot of camera news and stuff like that coming out, and 2019 is going to be an interesting year. So, I ant to be able to have those discussions without making these videos super long. So, be on the lookout for that. You can head on over to to sign up for updates when we launch that podcast.

So that’s going to do it for this video. What did you think of the first shot series? This is something that I want to try where rather than talking in length about specs and comparing between previous versions, we just take the camera out and actually use it and show the results and talk about some of the initial findings. Full reviews are great, they’re informative, but sometimes you just want to see the proof as to whether or not the piece of equipment works and just hear about that.

So let me know what you think down in the comment section below. If you liked this post, share it with a friend, and Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get more videos from us in the future. Hope to see you back here soon on Ditch Auto.

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