Physique and dealing with
A whole lot of followers had been hoping that Sony would possibly reboot the A6500’s moderately plain, ergonomically-deficient physique and go together with one thing that appears extra just like the A7R III. That did not occur. The A6600’s physique is fairly just like the earlier mannequin, aside from one essential element: a a lot larger grip.
That grip not solely makes it simpler to seize and maintain the digital camera, but in addition homes a a lot bigger Z-series battery. You now get 810 photographs on a cost, an unbelievable spec often reserved for DSLRs. In that division, it beats its primary rivals — the X-T3 (390 photographs), Canon’s M6 II (305 photographs), the Panasonic GH5 (410 photographs) and the Nikon Z 50 (300 photographs) — by miles.
Sadly, that is the place the ergonomic enhancements finish. The A6600 has the identical button and dial structure as earlier than, bar some minor nip-and-tuck work. Which means it nonetheless lacks a entrance shutter/aperture dial and a joystick management for focus. It is inexcusable for Sony to depart these issues out on a flagship, $1,400 digital camera, particularly when you could find them on all its competitors.
The A6600’s menu system is roughly the identical as earlier than, which is to say, not good. Many features are buried within the improper menus, and require limitless scrolling to search out. Provided that, and the dearth of guide controls, utilizing the A6600 was frankly a irritating expertise — particularly after I had such an excellent time with the well-designed A7R IV. Oh, and on prime of all that, the A6600 remains to be fairly ugly, too.
One other damaging is the two.36-million dot OLED digital (EVF) viewfinder, which can also be largely unchanged from the final mannequin. It really works okay, however feels out-of-date in comparison with the three.69-million dot, blackout-free EVF on Fujifilm’s X-T3.
The A6600 has only a single card slot, and worse, it solely makes use of the usI commonplace and never UHS-II with triple the velocity. As I am going to clarify later, that may decelerate capturing significantly. Whereas this might need been acceptable three years in the past, in 2019 the A6600 has to go up towards the X-T3 and Panasonic’s GH5, each of which have two quick UHS-II card slots.
On the constructive facet, the rear contact show now tilts up, making the A6600 extra helpful as a vlogging digital camera. It’s also possible to use it to decide on autofocus monitoring topics, however not like the contact shows on all its rivals, it may well’t be used to function the principle menu and even the short menu.
Like earlier than, the A6600 has a microphone enter, and Sony has additionally added a headphone port. That is a pleasant addition, as critical videographers can monitor sound whereas they’re doing interviews and different chores.
Whereas ergonomics are usually not the A6600’s sturdy level, it has wonderful capturing speeds and, notably, autofocus efficiency. It might deal with bursts as much as 11 fps with full autofocus and auto publicity, which is a bit slower than Canon’s M6 Mark II (14 fps) and equivalent to the Fujifilm X-T3. Nonetheless, in digital shutter mode, the X-T3 can hit 20 fps, practically doubling the A6600 burst speeds.
Sony’s uncanny autofocus system, with 425 section and distinction detect AF factors, nonetheless delivers extra in-focus photographs than these fashions. The most recent function is what Sony calls “real-time monitoring” and “real-time eye autofocus.” What meaning is that Sony has elevated AF speeds to the purpose that you may contact to pick a topic, and it will monitor them in actual time.
The face- and eye-detect programs are notably good, staying locked onto your topic’s face even when they quickly transfer out of view. Should you contact to pick your topic, it tenaciously tracks them regardless of the place they go. I discovered that the one time topic monitoring did not work nicely was in the event that they had been notably far-off.
General, Sony nonetheless has the most effective autofocus and face-tracking AI of any APS-C digital camera. It was capable of deal with all the pieces I attempted, from monitoring individuals taking part in at a pond, to a musical group in low mild, to canine operating round.
Nonetheless, it is hampered by a few issues. First off, if it’s essential be unobtrusive whereas capturing sports activities with the silent digital shutter, you would possibly find yourself with skewed photographs due to the sensor’s rolling shutter difficulty.
And whilst you can shoot fairly lengthy bursts of as much as 99 photographs at most decision, it takes ages and ages for the buffer to clear. That is probably due to the comparatively gradual write speeds from the usI slot that Sony inexplicably determined to make use of. When that occurs, you may’t shoot anymore and lots of the digital camera’s features are inoperable.
One other difficulty with the burst capturing is the dearth of a blackout-free EVF. That may make it arduous to observe motion in sports activities or wildlife — and that is the purpose of burst capturing and monitoring autofocus. The X-T3, alternatively, has no blackout within the viewfinder on the most 20 fps capturing speeds.
One of many Sony A6600’s greatest benefits over related cameras is the five-axis stabilization. The system allows you to shoot in a lot decrease mild than would in any other case be doable. With 5 stops of shake discount, I used to be capable of take pictures at shutter speeds all the way down to round 1/15th of a second, supplied my topic did not transfer round a lot. On different cameras, together with Nikon’s Z 50 and the X-T3, you will want to make use of lenses with built-in stabilization — and lots of the greatest primes do not have that possibility.