Home News Sony announces a6600 with image stabilization and Real-time Tracking autofocus: Digital Photography...

Sony announces a6600 with image stabilization and Real-time Tracking autofocus: Digital Photography Review


Published Aug 28, 2019
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dpreview staff

Sony has just announced the a6600, a camera it’s calling the new ”flagship” of its APS-C lineup. In it, you’ll find a host of enhancements, including in-body image stabilization, the latest implementation of Sony’s Real-time Tracking autofocus, which seamlessly transitions from subject tracking to face and eye-detection, as well as a Z-type battery, which should have around 2.2x the stamina of the older, smaller W-series battery. Weight has gone up as a result of all this, with the camera weighing in at 503g (the a6400 is 100g lighter at 403g).

Sony has also tweaked the design of the grip on the a6600, partly for ergonomic reasons of course, but also partly to make room for the much-bigger battery. You can also shoot full 14-bit Raw files, and Real-time Tracking functionality – including eye detection – is possible while shooting 4K video. Speaking of video, the a6600 makes room for both microphone and headphone ports, and can shoot 4K footage in HLG to help make the most of the camera’s dynamic range.

Other core features remain unchanged from the existing a6400, including a 24MP APS-C sensor, 11fps burst shooting with autofocus and auto exposure, 4K/30p video recording and a 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder. The a6600 does have a touchscreen for touch focus, touch shutter and touch tracking functionality. We’re told the a6600 officially replaces the a6500.

The Sony a6600 will be available in November, 2019, at a price of $1400 US ($1900 CAN) body-only, and $1800 US ($2400 CAN) with an 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens.

Press release:

Sony Electronics Strengthens APS-C Mirrorless Line-up with Launch of Two New Cameras

Company Introduces Alpha 6600 with in-body Image Stabilization and Enhanced Battery Life, Also Boosts Product Portfolio with Introduction of Alpha 6100

SAN DIEGO — August 28, 2019 — Sony Electronics today announced two new additions to its α (Alpha) series of mirrorless cameras with the launch of the Alpha 6600 (model ILCE-6600) and Alpha 6100 (model ILCE-6100). These new models bring many of Sony’s most advanced imaging technologies into compact, lightweight APS-C bodies.

The new, extremely versatile Alpha 6600 camera has been designed to address the needs of the most demanding photographers and videographers, while the new Alpha 6100 is targeted at users who are looking to produce high-quality photos and videos with an interchangeable lens camera.

In addition to the new bodies, the Sony APS-C range has been further strengthened by the launch of two new lenses: E 16-55mm F2.8 G and E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS. Sony’s “One Mount” solution for both APS-C and Full-frame cameras provides creators an extreme amount of versatility for all of their photography and video needs.

“These new APS-C cameras provide excellent image quality in a compact package, with the ability to take full advantage of Sony’s growing lineup of 54 different E-mount lenses,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions at Sony Electronics. “We are proud to bring so many of our innovations into our APS-C lineup and to provide creators with several new tools to realize their vision.”

The new Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100 include a 24.2MP Exmor™ CMOS image sensor, the latest BIONZ X™ image processor, and a front-end LSI implemented in Sony’s full-frame cameras. This powerful trio combine to deliver all-around enhancements in image quality and performance across all areas of photo and video capture.

The Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100 offer a lightning-fast autofocus acquisition time of 0.02 seconds. With 425 focal-plane phase-detection autofocus (AF) points covering approximately 84 percent of the image area and 425 contrast-detection AF points, the high density and wide coverage of the AF system ensure reliable AF, even in the most challenging light conditions. Both new models benefit from Sony’s ‘Real-time Tracking’ which utilizes Sony’s latest algorithm with Artificial Intelligence-based object recognition to ensure that subjects can be captured with excellent accuracy, even via the touch panel on the rear screen. In addition, the new models offer ‘Real-time Eye AF’, the latest version of Sony’s acclaimed Eye AF technology. Real-time Eye AF employs AI-based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real time, resulting in improved accuracy, speed and tracking performance of Eye AF for both humans and animals, and it allows the photographer to concentrate exclusively on composition. The Alpha 6600 also offers Real Time Eye AF in video. When activated, the eye of a subject is automatically tracked with high precision and reliability, allowing the shooter to focus on the content itself as opposed to what is in focus or not.

Additionally, both cameras can shoot high-quality 4K video, and include a microphone jack and flip screen that allows for easy framing and shooting of vlog-style content. The Alpha 6600 also features a headphone jack to monitor audio.

An Eye for Detail

Based upon feedback from users of existing Sony APS-C camera users, Sony has added features to the Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100 to fine tune the user experience. These include:

  • Improved color reproduction; algorithms inherited from full-frame models deliver natural color reproduction, particularly in skin tones
  • Hi-resolution internal 4K movie recording with full-pixel readout without pixel binning in Super 35mm format with easy smartphone transfers via the Imaging Edge™ Mobile application
  • Interval shooting for stunning time-lapse videos
  • 180-degree tiltable, 3.0-type 921k-dot (approx.) LCD touch screen
  • Integrated Microphone input for clear and crisp audio on video recordings

Alpha 6600

Across an ISO range of 100-32000 (expandable to ISO 50 – 102400), the new Alpha 6600 offers superb low-noise performance and delivers extremely high-quality images, even in low-light conditions. By applying noise reduction and sharpness processing optimally in each area, Area-specific Noise Reduction and Detail Reproduction Technology greatly reduce noise while preserving high resolution. This contributes to fine reproduction of subject textures and shadow details.

The Alpha 6600 features many of the technology breakthroughs that are attracting praise on Sony’s high-end full-frame cameras. These include:

  • Sony’s innovative 5-axis in-body image stabilization system that results in a 5.0-step shutter speed advantage
  • Implementation of the industry-leading long battery life with Sony Z Battery for the first time on an APS-C camera, enabling extended power performance; approx. 720 still images using viewfinder, approx. 810 images using LCD monitor
  • A tough magnesium alloy design that is dust and moisture resistant
  • Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting; when activated, the eye of a subject is automatically tracked with high precision and reliability, allowing the shooter to focus on the content itself as opposed to what is in focus or not in focus. Touch Tracking functionality will also automatically initiate Eye AF when a human subject is selected
  • Integrated headphone jack which allows the user to connect high-quality headphones for accurate monitoring of recorded sound

4K Recording

The Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100 boasts internal 4K movie recording in Super 35mm format with full pixel readout without pixel binning, to enable them to capture approximately 2.4x the amount of information required for 4K movies. This oversampling results in stunning footage, delivered in the XAVC S™ format with unparalleled resolution. The Alpha 6600 also equips an HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile that supports an instant HDR workflow. Recorded movies played back on an HDR (HLG) compatible TV will appear true-to-life, with no blocked shadows or blown highlights, and without the need for color grading. For users who want to color grade their footage in post-production, S-Log3 and S-Log2 Gamma profiles are provided.

Pricing and Availability

The new Alpha 6600 will be available in November and will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America at below prices:

Camera body – $1,400 US / $1,900 CA

Camera kit with Sony 18-135mm Lens – $1,800 US / $2,400 CA

Sony a6600 specifications

Price
MSRP$1400 (body only), $1800 (w/18-135mm lens)
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorBionz X
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-32000 (expandable to 102400)
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets8
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (14-bit Sony ARW)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points425
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots921,600
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.07× (0.71× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,359,296
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • iAuto
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesFlash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear Sync., Slow Sync., Red-eye reduction (On/Off selectable), Hi-speed sync, Wireless
Flash X sync speed1/160 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous (Hi /Hi/Mid/Lo)
  • Self-timer
  • Bracketing
Continuous drive11.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Highlight-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames, H/L selectable)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Stick Pro Duo
Connectivity
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FZ1000
Battery Life (CIPA)810
Weight (inc. batteries)503 g (1.11 lb / 17.74 oz)
Dimensions120 x 67 x 69 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 2.72)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

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