Sony a6400 vs a6500 – Which is the Best Fit For Your Photography Needs?

As one of the top camera manufacturers, Sony never fails to put up a fight against its competitors. Market research is the company’s strongest asset, which is why its products are backed by meticulous strategy and planning. This thorough planning is also what allows each release to outperform the preceding one.

If you’re looking for a new Sony camera, the variety of options available in the market is sure to leave you overwhelmed. And if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy, we’re sure you will find most of the specs to be almost the same.

However, the truth is that such minor details determine whether a camera is a good fit for you. In this article, we’ll go through two of Sony’s top cameras. Both of these cameras are part of Sony’s a6xxx series, labeled “Alpha.” But while Sony released the a6500 in October 2016, the a6400 was released in January 2019. This makes the Sony a6400 one of the most recent Sony cameras on the market.

Our Pick
Why Sony a6400 ?

Why Sony a6400 ?

When comparing the Sony Alpha a6400 and the Sony Alpha a6500, the former comes out on top. Released three years after its predecessor, the Sony a6400 incorporates Sony’s most advanced technology and specs.

As a result, the full-frame mirrorless camera has a number of advantages over its predecessor. The Sony a6500 lacks several features that the Sony a6400 has, such as real-time tracking and EVF screen display.

Because of these upgrades and enhancements, the Sony a6400 has won our hearts and has become a fan-favorite among its consumers.

The Sony a6400 in a Nutshell

 Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera

Features and Specifications

  • Reasonable price range
  • Live-action snaps
  • Precise eye recognition
  • Real-time and one-touch tracking
  • Crisp and clean image results
  • 4K pro-level features
  • Handy touch screen monitor
  • Allows smooth selection
  • Customizable area buttons
Pros
  • Latest features and upgrades
  • Relatively less expensive
  • Native ISO sensitivity of 32,000 and can be expanded further
Cons
  • Lacks in-camera image stabilization
  • The battery life could be better
  • Limited touch-screen capabilities

The Sony a6500 in a Nutshell

Sony Alpha a6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/ 2.95

Features and Specifications

  • 2MP1 CMOS image sensor
  • 425 phase-detection eye AF points
  • Fast hybrid eye AF tracking technology
  • Huge buffer for continuous shooting
  • Intuitive touch focus
  • 4K movie recording
  • Lock-on eye AF
  • High durability
  • Focus magnifier
  • Gamma display assist
  • S-log/S-gamut shooting
  • Priority set in AWB
  • BIONZ X™ image processing
Pros
  • Bigger raw buffer
  • In-camera image stabilization
  • Quick startup
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
Cons
  • More Expensive
  • No headphone sockets
  • Lacks front dial for exposure control

The Sony a6400 vs. a6500: What Makes Them Special?

Our comparison includes both versions of the Sony alpha series. Qualities like real-time tracking and sharing with image sensors for camera shake can often be the difference between buying or rejecting a camera.

Sony a6400 vs. a6500

Thus, we aimed to cover all the essential aspects and the significant differences between both models. Below is a list of features that hold great importance and distinguish the Alpha models from the rest of the cameras.

Mirrorless Cams

It is not the first time we have seen a new addition to Sony’s mirrorless cameras. The Sony Alpha a6400 has custom buttons and other features such as contrast detection and capturing moving objects. They also come with an adjustable lens for ease of use.

Mirrorless Camera

The two cameras also include a flip-up screen and contrast-detection points with an external microphone. It helps to lower the background noise and allows for clear voice recording. Moreover, remote control and video recording sensor width and Sony E mount add to the slow-motion videos.

Headphone jack and low light performance also make these models stand out from the rest. Moreover, the electronic viewfinder resolution and sensor comparison come in handy when talking about the a6500.

Since the Alpha a6500 has a dynamic range for shooting sharper images, it helps and enhances the sensors. Further, the shake feature adds to Sony’s mirrorless cameras and assists in continuous shooting using an interchangeable lens camera.

Image Quality

Eye AF and hot shoe cameras are pretty in demand these days. The AFC and DXO portrait integration is a real-time optical AF in Sony. They can get real-time tracking along with sensor-shift.

Sony’s mirrorless models have an electronic shutter and memory card as well as low light sensitivity. It enhances the images so that they seem as lively as if a human eye is viewing the scene directly. The image quality makes a big difference while choosing the Sony alpha a6400 version over the a6500 version.

For APS cameras, the Alpha a6400 and a6500 both give great performances. They combine the features of dimming and low light sensitivity. Also, they even provide camera sensors. This functionality adds up to the ISO ranges of the two cameras.

Optical Image Stabilization

Optical image stabilization is the primary factor where Sony alpha a6500 takes the lead as image stabilization is missing in the a6400. The camera body and E mount feature help in the lens mount, and electronic viewfinder magnification and body image stabilization, AF tracking, and mechanical shutter for an electronic viewfinder.

Optical Image Stabilization

The Alpha a6400 lacks sensor shifts and camera shake, which is why the a6500 fares better than the former. The in-image stabilization function integrated into the a6500 model is also pretty impressive. It can be of great help, especially if you are into videography.

However, Sony does offer several different add-ins that help if you are more inclined towards the alpha a6400 model. Add-ins such as E mount capability and camera sensors can help stabilize and balance the effect.

Battery Life

The battery life of both models is relatively the same as both use the NP-FW50 Sony battery. However, a few variances in the processors of the two versions may affect the battery life. The processing power of the alpha a6400 model is a lot enhanced and improved compared to that of alpha a6500.

When the battery performance was tested by shooting a 4K video till the power ran out, we noticed only minor differences between the two models. The alpha a6500 stays active for about 1 hour and 7 minutes, and when it comes to the alpha a6400, the battery life is about 1 hour and 22 minutes.

Hence, it is safe to say that the Alpha a6400 takes the crown here. Although, it varies if you are shooting a still life image or plan on recording a movie. Similarly, how you shoot with the camera also extensively affects the battery life of both cameras.

Image Sensor

The most fundamental secret ingredient that Sony used in its Alpha series is the image sensor. This particular feature is what makes the company’s cameras stand out from the crowd. The integrated image sensor holds a direct relationship with the quality of the graphics produced.

Image Sensor

It means that if you want a better quality image, you can aim for a larger image sensor. This way, it will enhance the quality, add to the better low-light sensitivity, and focus better. It also helps in producing wider angles and sharper images.

Apart from that, Sony introduced AF points auto-focus along with the APS-C format. This helps in processing the dynamic range for better quality images, especially when capturing the moving objects.

Another advantage the mirrorless cameras have is that of the sensor size. The larger the size of your sensor, the better the quality, the beautiful the image you get, and the more detailed it will be. Hence, the image sensor holds great importance in this regard. Thus, one must never overlook it.

Auto Focus

The Alpha cameras by Sony can maintain a sharp focus even for longer spans. The AF points feature allows for more perceptive detailed capture even in dimmed lighting. In addition, the cameras automatically adjust to high-speed time tracking while recording videos or shooting multiple images of objects in live-action.

Auto Focus

Furthermore, the Alpha series can also detect the subject’s eyes using the AF points focus. The phase-detection checks the oriented angle and maintains the focus points accordingly. So, you can capture high-quality images with accuracy and a detailed natural look.

You can choose between different ranges and sets that suit your needs. The two models offer selective, high-speed, and auto-focus for eye detection and precision, thereby giving complete control to the photographer.

The features mentioned above are must-haves for capturing high-quality images, and Sony’s alpha series cameras possess these features with some variations across different models. We have discussed the significant features of both versions and also focused on their functionalities. Both the models come with advanced high-end features and great functions for better performance and ease of use; however, it is up to you to decide which model you want to choose for yourself.

About the Sony a6400

The Sony a6400 is a newly released camera by Sony in the year 2019. It comes with a 24.2-megapixel camera which offers incredible image quality to the users. Not only that, but it also provides smart operability and 4k pro-level features. It also has a high resolution, and you can use it for movie production as well.

About the Sony a6400

Highlights

Reasonable Price-Range:

Sony alpha a6400 is pretty economical and reliable, and it is the best option for capturing live-action shots. The a6400 swiftly captures the snap at an angle that detects the motion of the action perfectly. This innovative feature helps to keep it in sharp focus all the time.

Live-Action Shots:

Apart from that, if you are interested in capturing several instants in a single timeframe, this model provides an AF/AE at 11fps. So, whether you are skating or running, it will capture each of your moves at the perfect angle.

Accurate Eye Recognition:

Another excellent quality the a6400 offers is the real-time eye recognition feature. It builds a sharp focus on the person’s face in view. From left to right, the camera can sync with the motion accordingly. You can even set priorities in this regard.

Real-time Tracking:

For people on the go or someone adventurous, a6400 comes with a real-time tracking feature. In situations where a lot of movement is involved, the a6400 maintains a sharp and constant focus without blurring objects. Real-time tracking helps in maintaining focus for as long as you want.

One-Touch Tracking:

Furthermore, a6400 has a one-touch tracking option for its users. So, whenever you wish to take a quick snap, you can touch the display screen, and the camera will build its sharp focus and begin auto-tracking the subject.

Clean Images:

The Sony Alpha 6400 model provides dim lighting functionality too. Wherever a high sensitivity is required, it automatically switches to the high-resolution for cleaner images.

Natural Images:

Unlike other mirrorless cameras, the a6400 focuses on providing realistic image quality and resembles the human eye. It makes use of unique image-processing algorithms to enhance the quality of the snaps. So, no more worrying about filters and artificial looks in your images; the Sony a6400 has just what a nature lover wants.

About the Sony a6500

Sony a6500 is a mirrorless camera best for someone looking for easy navigation and image quality. It provides a 24.2MP camera with ISO 100-25600. The exclusive feature this model holds is in-camera image stabilization. It resembles the previous models of the alpha series, a6300 and a6000 in some parts. Despite that, the pixel count and the AF point control make it one of a kind.

About the Sony a6500

Highlights

In-body Image Stabilization:

The alpha 6500 comes with five kinds of in-body image stabilization. It enables you to focus and do a close-up with high accuracy, which offers several opportunities for wide-angle and positioning. You can also use it for continuous shooting with an interchangeable lens camera.

Phase Detection:

Additionally, the a6500 comes with focal-plane phase-detection AF points, which help to build the focus and capture images at a wide angle. This high-density AF points phase angle seamlessly tracks and covers everything with high accuracy.

Hybrid AF for Movies:

The AF speed of the a6500 is as fast as 0.05 seconds achieved by the Hybrid function to enhance autofocusing, thereby increasing the overall performance. It also allows for high-quality image capture and fast shooting for movies.

XGA OLED Tru-Finder:

The a6500 has a dynamic range and introduces a high resolution and high-quality True-Finder. It allows users to choose between the 100fps or 50fps frame rates which can be adjusted according to their preferences. This feature also helps to maintain focus in dim light and darkness.

Lock-on AF:

The lock-on function helps in maintaining the focus due to AF points. This motion can be tracked automatically with the subject. All that is required is to bring the camera to start tracking and detecting to capture the main parts.

Zebra Function:

This feature helps to keep the natural contrast and monitors the images during continuous shooting. Moreover, it simplifies the exposure and contrast. It even indicates the areas with higher disclosure levels which you can adjust within a set range.

Enhanced Auto-exposure:

The a6500 maintains stable AE points for a monitored performance rate. The camera prevents unnecessary highlighting spots and automatically determines the shooting angles. The locations range from areas, multi and center-metering modes for better functionality.

Similarities Between Sony a6400 and a6500

Similarities Between Sony a6400 and a6500

Headphone Jack:

Both the cameras, a6400 and the a6500, lack the functionality of a headphone jack. Although we can resolve this issue by using a USB-C, Sony’s a6xxx series does not allow that. It always comes in handy to use headphones whenever recording or shooting a film as it helps cut noise. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in either of the two cameras.

Dual Card Slots:

Even though every FF camera comes with a dual card slot, Sony has decided not to integrate the alpha a6xxx series with it. Both cameras offer a single card slot with integrated flash. Although it is necessary, especially for long-span shootings, the other features usually help to mask its absence.

Dual Card Slots

Screen Rotation:

Both cameras allow the screen rotation function precisely for images. The display screen adjusts according to the orientation of the camera. So, whenever you capture something horizontally or vertically, the screen automatically shifts according to the requirement. However, there are a few exceptions when it comes to shooting movies.

ViewFinder:

Both versions have the viewfinder function, which is integrated to be automatic. Hence, if you wish to change from the monitor to the viewfinder or vice versa, it can quickly turn it off. The eye sensor senses the motion and swiftly reacts whenever you look into the viewfinder.

Hot Shoe:

The hot shoe adapter is one of the main parts of the two models, and both have similar ones. This mount is specifically helpful when exploring or hiking and capturing different scenes in between. You can also attach several accessories to your camera with the help of the hot-shoe adapter.

Hot Shoe

Slow Motion Videos:

Sony Alpha a6400 and a6500 offer the slow-motion feature for shooting videos and movies. The features like manual exposure and shutter priority also enhance the movie quality.

Differences Between Sony a6400 and a6500

Sony a6400
Sony A6500
Product
Product
Sony a6400
Sony A6500
Brand
Brand
SONY
SONY
Announcement Date
Announcement Date
2019-01-15
2016-10-06
Sensor
Sensor
24MP – APS-C CMOS Sensor
24MP – APS-C CMOS Sensor
ISO
ISO
ISO 100 – 32000 ( expands to 102400)
ISO 100 – 25600 ( expands to 51200)
Screen
Screen
3 Tilting Screen
3 Tilting Screen
Viewfinder
Viewfinder
2359k dot Electronic viewfinder
2359k dot Electronic viewfinder
Continuous shooting
Continuous shooting
11.0fps continuous shooting
Video resolution
Video resolution
4K (UHD) – 3840 x 2160 video resolution
11.0fps continuous shooting
Max ISO
Max ISO
32.000
25.600
Battery Life
Battery Life
410 shots
350 shots
Weight
Weight
403 g
453 g
Timelapse Recording
Timelapse Recording
Yes
With optional app
Low Light ISO
Low Light ISO
1431
1405
Selfie & Vlogger Friendly LCD
Selfie & Vlogger Friendly LCD
Yes
No
UHS Card Support
UHS Card Support
UHS-I
none

Price/Value:

The prices are one of the main features that distinguish the two cameras. Although the price ranges may vary depending upon the vendors and can not be the judging factor, the a6400 is more economical than the a6500 model. The Alpha a6400 is around $900, while the alpha a6500 costs around $1200.

Start-Up:

Although both versions have several similar functions, using anything for the first time can be confusing. Thus, the Sony a6500 is a bit complicated and requires detailed manual reading before operating when it comes to complexity. Whereas the a6400 is pretty user-friendly, and anyone can adapt to it quickly.

In-Body Image Stabilization:

As discussed earlier, this is the main feature of the alpha a6500. The alpha a6400 model might give blurred results if you shoot in quick pans, which reduces the overall video quality even with the 4K camera sensors. The Alpha a6500 model covers all this up by using the in-body image stabilization functionality beautifully.

In-Body Image Stabilization

Release:

The release dates as mentioned above significantly differ for both the cameras. The Alpha a6400 is relatively new in the market compared to the a6500 version. Sony released the Alpha a6400 back in January 2019, while the a6500 in October 2016. Hence, there is almost a three years difference between the two models. It is because of this that the Alpha a6400 has several new technological features.

Low Light Performance (ISO Sensitivity):

The Sony a6400 is pretty popular in ISO sensitivity and is well-known as the ‘Low-light Beast.’ The ISO range of the a6400 Sony alpha can be expanded according to the level of darkness in the surrounding area. The highlighting capabilities and sharp focus add to the image quality and give a natural look to any picture, even in low light.

EVF and LCD Screen:

The EVF feature is in both of the Sony Alpha versions. However, the a6400 has an advanced touch screen. This display can help you adjust the orientation and allows real-time tracking functionality.

EVF and LCD Screen

Which One Should You Choose?

Here are a few take-away points that might help clear up any remaining confusion that you have.

The a6400 Sony Alpha has several plus points compared to its predecessors, from the 4k movie shooting to fast and quality images. However, it does lack a few essential features, such as in-body image stabilization and rolling shutter.

While the a6500 does contain body stabilization; however, it is comparatively more expensive when it comes to the price. The a6400 has several other incredible functionalities, such as the APS-C version, sensor-shift, and expandable ISO range. Apart from that, it has an autofocus functionality that is perfect for someone who is a vlogger.

But the question here is, what would be the most suitable match for you? So, if you are into still-motion, movie shooting and want to record videos, then the Alpha a6400 is the right choice for you.

The films are excellent since they come with a 4K video optimization ranging from 24 to 30fps. Moreover, it allows 1080p capture for almost 120fps. It even provides the APS-C auto-focus for sensitive and dim-light areas. Hence, if you want a camera to sync with your professional life, there is no better option than the a6400. In addition to all this, it is also pretty economical with a cost of approx—$ 1,000.

On the other hand, if shooting movies is not your thing, you are more of a still life photographer, the Alpha a6500 is the ideal choice for you. The smooth in-body image stabilization and the real-time tracking eye AF help produce high-quality images. Its high performance and auto functionality take its rank above most mirrorless cameras.

Additionally, it offers a back flash to maintain the focus and aligns perfectly with the angle-oriented. So, set your aperture and shutter speed automatically with the a6500 and get aboard.

Conclusion

It can be a bit puzzling when choosing between the two fantastic options you have on hand. Hence, we have tried to give you a better perspective of Sony Alpha mirrorless cameras for your comfort.

Along with that, we have also listed their features and specifications, focusing mainly on image quality. Finally, we compared the two models side by side and concentrated on the facts you should consider when choosing one for yourself.

So, whether you are into shooting continuous movies or capturing still-life, this comparison will help to fill the gaps. It can be said without any doubt that both versions have their pros and cons. But our focus has remained on the features that often go unnoticed.

From a videography enthusiast to a passionate photographer, both cameras can perfectly cater to every kind of user, depending on how you choose to use them. So, if you were previously overwhelmed by the choices, now you can easily pick a suitable match without wasting too much time browsing the plethora of cameras available on the market.

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