Sony is making sure its ‘APS-C’ E format mount system users don’t start feeling neglected, launching two new A6000 series bodies and a pair of interesting new G series zooms. The new cameras comprise a new flagship model called the A6600 and new more affordably-priced model – designated A6100 – which is essentially a stripped down version of the current A6400.

Sony A6600. Photo: Sony.

The A6600 (a.k.a. ILCE-6600) has the same compact and lightweight, RF-style magnesium alloy bodyshell as the rest of Sony’s ‘APS-C’ format line-up, but boasts quite a few significant upgrades, including in-body image stabilisation, the ‘Real Time Tracking’ autofocusing with eye-detection, and a higher-capacity FZ series lithium-ion battery pack (giving up to 810 shots per charge). It has the same 25.0 megapixels (total) ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor as the A6400 mated with Sony’s current generation ‘Bionz X’ image processor and a ‘front-end’ LSI similar to the latest A7 series cameras. The effective pixel count is 24.4 million, and the sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO 100 to 32,000 with expansions to ISO 50 and 102,400. The in-body stabilisation operates over five axes to give up to five stops of correction for camera shake.

The hybrid autofocusing system employs 425 phase-detection measuring points and 425 using contrast-detection, giving around 84 percent scene coverage. Sony claims an AF acquisition speed of just 0.02 seconds. The ‘Real Time Tracking’ uses AI-based subject recognition to detect human subjects or animal and enhance both reliability and speed, as does the ‘Real Time Eye AF’ which is available for both stills and video. Continuous shooting is possible at up to 11 fps with AF/AE adjustment, and at up to 8.0 fps without any viewfinder blackout between frames.

Sony A6100. Photo: Sony.

Both the A6600 and 6100 record 4K UHD video at 25 fps (PAL) using the sensor’s full-pixel readout (i.e. without any pixel binning) in the ‘Super 35mm’ format. The A6600 has both a stereo audio input and an output. It also supports the S-Log2 and S-Log3 colour profiles plus the HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) profile to enable a more convenient HDR workflow when displaying images on a 4K HDR-compatible monitor. OTHER video-orientated features include fast/slow speeds, zebra patterns, a set of ten adjustable ‘Picture Profiles’ (which include the log gamma settings), movie marker, focus peaking displays and time-lapse movie recording.

The A6600 has a 1.0 cm OLED-type EVF with a resolution of 2.539 megadots and a magnification of 0.71x (35mm equivalent). The 7.5 cm TFT LCD monitor screen has a resolution of 921,600 dots, tilt adjustments and touch controls.

Sony E 16-55mm f2.8 G. Photo: Sony.

Priced at over $1000 less, the A6100 still doesn’t require users to slum it as it has the same 25.0 MP sensor, fast hybrid AF system with ‘Real Time Tracking’, 11 fps continuous shooting and tilt-adjustable touchscreen monitor. However, it has a lower-res EVF, goes without the in-body stabilisation, has the previous FW series battery pack, and isn’t as well featured in the video department, notably lacking the ‘Picture Profiles’ (so no HLG or S-Log) and a stereo audio output (but it does have a standard input). However, it still records 4K UHD video at 25 fps (PAL) using the sensor’s full-width pixel readout, giving a bit rate of 100 Mbps, and arguably has everything the amateur video-maker will need.

Sony E 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 G OSS. Photo: Sony.

The new lenses are the E 16-55mm f2.8 G (equivalent to 24-82.5mm) and the E 70-350mm f4.5-6.3 G OSS (equivalent to 105-525mm). Both are G series models in terms of their build and optical qualities, and have weather-proofed external designs. Both also employ Sony's ‘XD’ (‘Extreme Dynamic’) linear motors which drive the lens’s focus group in conjunction with specially-developed motion algorithms to minimise both lag and instability.

The Sony A6600 will be available locally from mid-October is priced at $2399 body only or $2999 when packaged with the Sony E 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens. The A6100 goes on sale in early October and is priced at $1349 for the body only or $1549 with the Sony E PZ 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS power zoom lens. For more information visit www.sony.com.au