After laying low in the camera news department at CES 2019 (unlike other brands like Nikon), Sony hosted a media event in San Diego this afternoon to unveil their newest camera - the prosumer price-friendly Sony a6400 - and show off some of their improved AF and subject tracking tech.

Along with the a6400 (which filmmakers should definitely take note of with its 4K internal recording and competitive price tag), Sony also announced several firmware updates (mostly centered around their updated AF - which can now track eyes in animals) including the a9, a7 III and the a7R III.

Let’s take a look at this new Sony a6400 camera, its video capabilities, and the other news from the Sony event.

The Sony a6400 Camera

The newest addition to Sony’s popular E-mount full frame mirrorless lineup, the a6400 looks to be a prosumer-focused dual purpose camera that could be great for multipurpose filmmakers on a budget. With a 24.2 MPiii APS-C sized image sensor, the a6400 offers internal 4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) with full pixel readout and no pixel binning to collect about 2.4x the amount of data required for 4K movies.

“The α6400 represents another important step in the growth of Sony’s overall interchangeable lens camera lineup. By bringing so many of our latest and most advanced technologies from full-frame cameras to a brand new APS-C model, we are giving today’s creators more options than ever to realize their vision.” - Neal Manowitz, vice president of Imaging Solutions at Sony Electronics

The a6400 also includes a 180º rotatable screen and an HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma)picture profile (along with S-Log2 and S-log3 available as well). The a6400 can also record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps.

Here are the complete specs:

  • 24.2MP APS-C Exmor™ CMOS image sensor and latest-generation BIONZ X™ image processor

  • 180-degree fully tiltable LCD touch screen for self-recording

  • High-speed continuous shooting at up to 11 fps mechanical shutter / 8 fps silent shooting with continuous AF/AE tracking

  • High-resolution 4K movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning, plus advanced AF speed and stability

  • Interval recording for time-lapse videos

  • World’s Fastest 0.02 seconds AF acquisition speed plus 425 phase-detection and contrast-detection AF points covering approximately 84% of image area

  • Advanced Real-time Eye AF

  • New Real-time Tracking for object tracking

Reported Retail Price: $898.00

Improved Auto-Focus Functionality

Included with the a6400 and across all their firmware updates, Sony announced a major update to their in-camera auto-focus technology, specifically aimed at improving Eye-AF to pick individual subject eyes, and to switch focus between eyes on the fly.

While this is mostly designed for photography purposes, Sony does promise that the updated AF will help with real-time tracking capabilities and real-time Eye-AF which can now pick up both human subjects as well as animals.

Sony Firmware Updates

Firmware updates announced today by Sony include vers. 5.0 and 6.0 for the Sony a9 and ver. 3.0 for the a7R III and a7 III. Firmware updates are centered around Sony’s latest algorithm for the aforementioned Artificial Intelligence-based object recognition, as well as improved image quality and data management updates.

You can find the full Sony firmware updates here.