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.
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
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.