Sony’s latest APS-C mirrorless features some remarkable technology, says Andy Westlake, but is let down by its out-dated body design.
Sony Alpha 6400: Viewfinder and screen
Sony has fitted the A6400 with a pretty decent electronic viewfinder. It’s a 2.36m-dot panel that offers 0.7x equivalent magnification, a size and resolution that’s only really surpassed by more expensive cameras. Exposure information is displayed neatly above and below the image preview, and it’s possible to display a live histogram or a dual-axis electronic level (but annoyingly, not at the same time). By default, Sony aims to preview the final image in terms of brightness, colour, white balance and depth-of-field, which helps you get all your settings right before taking the shot.
The camera’s low body brings another drawback when you look at the rear LCD screen. It may declare itself to be of the 3in type, but because of its wide 16:9 aspect ratio, the active display area when shooting stills in the 3:2 aspect ratio is rather smaller, being closer to 2.6in. Compared to other similar-shaped cameras such as the Fujifilm X-E3 or Olympus PEN-F, this looks tiny.
The screen is touch-sensitive, but as with other recent Sony cameras, it doesn’t do much. You can set the focus point by touch, or zoom into images by double-tapping the screen in playback and then scroll around to check sharpness, but that’s the limit. You can’t use the touchscreen to interact with the useful onscreen Fn menu, change menu settings, or even flick through images in playback. It feels like a feature the firm has grudgingly added so it can be ticked-off in the marketing materials, which is particularly disappointing given how well some other manufacturers now completely integrate a touch interface into their cameras.