As expected, Sony just announced two new APS-C mirrorless cameras – the APS-C flagship model Sony a6600 and the more budget-friendly Sony a6100. The new Sony a6600 sits above the a6500 and the a6400, while the a6100 is more of a mass-appeal camera.
Despite heavy expectations of major innovation, what we get with these new models are the advanced AF features ported down from the full-frame cameras and Sony reusing a lot of the components from the older APS-C models. Makes sense from a business perspective, but if you were expecting a revolutionary camera, you’ll have to wait for the A7s III, because the a6600 ain’t it.
It’s not all lost though, even though the a6100 and Sony a6600 appear to be adopting the same body design as the rest of the a6xxx lineup, the a6600 especially comes with some cool features such as 5-axis IBIS, Real-Time Tracking, Real-time Eye AF for stills and video, and a much better NP-FZ100 battery ported from the top-end full-frame Sony mirrorless lineup, which is said to give you a more than 2x better battery life than the smaller W battery.
In addition to the two new APS-C cameras, Sony also launched two new APS-C lenses, the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G standard zoom lens and the E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS super-telephoto zoom lens.
Sony a6600 Features
- 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor
- Sony E-mount
- BIONZ X Image Processor
- 4K UHD at 30p // 1080/120fps
- HLG & S-Log3 Gammas included
- XGA Tru-Finder 2.36m-Dot OLED EVF
- 3.0″ 921.6k-Dot 180° Tilting Touchscreen
- 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
- Up to 11-fps Shooting, ISO 100-32000
- 4D FOCUS with 425 Phase-Detect Points
- Real Time Eye AF for Stills and Video
- Headphone & Mic Ports
- Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
- Sony NP-FZ100 battery rated for 810 shots
- Pre-order: $1,398 at B&H
Yes, there is a 180-degree flip-up screen that you can use your thumb to AF track objects with for video, but the a6600 and the a6100 still record in the XAVC-S 8bit 4:2:0 Long-GOP codec, which in 2019 is getting really old. Sure, the AF performance improvements and the substantially improved battery life, not to mention the headphone jack will be enjoyed by many, but if you are looking for 10bit internal recording or some other innovation in this department, the a6600 does not deliver.
Slog3 and HLG are present, and so is 4K/30p, but alas no 4K/60p recording of any kind. Yes, the Sony a6600 gets a 5-axis IBIS and the latest generation BIONZ X processor, but it appears Sony are reusing the 24.2 MP APS-S CMOS sensor, EVF and back LCD panel here.
The a6600 looks to be a suitable B-camera for those shooting A7 III or waiting for the A7s III. Vloggers should also take a look at the a6600, as it offers insane autofocus, IBIS, headphone jack and a flip up screen.
Sony a6600 4K HDR video sample:
The Sony E 16-55mm f2.8 G has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24-82.5mm and is said to offer “…excellent G Lens image quality with outstanding all-around performance.” This lens also features the XD linear motors from the G Master full-frame lenses to accomodate the faster autofocus performance in the new a6100 and a6600.
Sony E 16-55mm f2.8 G Key Features
- High corner-to-corner resolution throughout the zoom range even at f/2.8
- 2x AA (advanced aspherical) and 2x aspherical elements
- suppress aberration for outstanding corner-to-corner G Lens resolution
- 3x ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements reduce chromatic aberration
- Flare and ghosting suppression by adoption of Nano AR coating
- 9-blade circular aperture for organic, round bokeh
- Bright constant f2.8 optics
- XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motor
- from G Master lenses
- Professional control and reliability
- Customisable focus hold button for instantaneous operation
- Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus control
- Dust and moisture resistant design in order to deal with difficult outdoor conditions
- Fluorine coated front element to resist dirt and fingerprints
- Weight: 494 grams
- Pre-order: $1,398 at B&H
The other newly announced lens is the Sony E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS super-telephoto zoom with optimised optical and mechanical design provides maximum range for APS-C lenses in the E-mount format.
The lens design combines high optical performance with a compact, lightweight body that also includes built-in optical image stabilisation.
Sony E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS Features
- Excellent corner-to-corner G Lens image quality all the way to 350mm
- One aspherical lens suppresses optical aberration
- 3x ED glass elements
- Circular aperture contributes to soft, beautiful bokeh
- Compact, lightweight design weighing just 625 grams
- Sony’s advanced XD Linear Motors for fast, precise AF and tracking
- Excellent control and reliability
- Built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation
- A focus hold button can be assigned to a variety of functions via camera body
- An AF/MF focus mode switch
- Zoom lock switch to prevent the lens from extending
- Dust and moisture resistant design
- Pre-order: $998 at B&H
Lenses Pricing and Availability
The Sony E 16-55mm f2.8 G and Sony E 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 G OSS are expected to ship sometime in October 2019 priced at approximately $1400, £1200 and €1300 and $1000, £830 and €900 respectively.
The Sony a6600 is priced at $1400 and looks like B&H will open pre-orders soon with shipping estimated towards the end of November.
The more budget-friendly and mass-market Sony a6100 shoots 4K/30p, and does get the new advanced AF features that the a6600 also gets, but the low-end model loses important features such as In-Body Image Stabilization, HLG/Slog3, or Real-time Eye AF tracking.
Hence why the Sony a6100 is priced low at $750 with shipping estimated for end of October just in time for the holiday shopping season.
For full specifications and to learn more about the new APS-C cameras and Sony lenses head over to Sony here.
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