Despite recent competition from rivals like Canon and Nikon, Sony remains the leader in full-frame mirrorless cameras. Just last month, Sony looked to extend its lead with the introduction of the full-frame A7R IV, and now, Sony has come back to flesh out its APS-C camera lineup with the new a6600 and a6100.
In addition to their 24-MP sensors, both the a6600 and a6100 feature shooting speeds up to 11 fps with full autofocus and auto exposure tracking, 425 phase-detect AF points that cover 84 percent of their sensors, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization.
More importantly, both cameras also include Sony’s industry-leading face and eye-tracking systems that allow the camera to follow your subjects as they move throughout the frame. The cameras also include rear touchscreens that can flip up 180-degrees. In short, this is the trickle-down effect in action.
As the new flagship of Sony’s APS-C line, the a6600 also comes with a few bonus features including built-in jacks for both mic-in and headphone-out, which should be a big plus for aspiring videographers, a slightly beefier grip compared to the a6500, and the ability to use Sony’s Real Time Eye AF when recording videos.
Meanwhile, the A6100 offers an even more compact body, but minus the headphone out jack and some of the a6600's advanced video features like 6K oversampling down to 4K, and support for 4K HDR HLG movie recording.
As a bonus to longevity, Sony is upgrading the a6600 and a6100 with the ability to use the same NP-FZ100 battery as its full-frame siblings, which Sony claims gives its new cameras “the longest APS-C battery life in the industry.”
Finally, Sony is also introducing two new E-mount lenses in the APS-C E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Standard Zoom Lens and APS-C E 70-350mm Ff/.5-6.3 G OSS Super-Telephoto Zoom. Both lenses are surprisingly compact for their size, weighing 17 and 22.1 ounces, respectively.
The latter could be especially important to wildlife photogs, as its max 350mm zoom is 100mm longer than Sony’s previous longest lens designed for APS-C cameras, the f/3.5-6.5 18-250mm lens. Also, both lenses come with Sony’s XD linear motor to help ensure faster and more accurate AF tracking.
Unfortunately, while Sony showed off some nice looking sample pics at its launch event, touting things like strong edge-to-edge sharpness, we didn’t get to capture any sample pics of our own. But if you’re someone who has been intrigued by the features in Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras but wanted them in a more compact body, these new APS-C cams seem like a good balance between specs and size.
Right now, my concern is that Sony may be flooding its own portfolio with one too many cameras, because in addition to these new devices, there’s also the a6400 and a6500 to consider, and just by looking at their product names, it’s hard to tell which gadgets have the newest features or specs.
The a6600 will be available starting in November for $1,400 (body only), or as a kit with Sony’s 18-135mm lens for $1,800. The a6100 will be available starting in October for $750 (body only), or as part of one of two kits featuring a 16-50mm lens for $850, or the 16-50mm and a 55-210mm lens for $1,100.
As for Sony’s new APS-C lenses, the 16-55mm will be available for $1,400 in October, with the 70-350mm coming later in November for $1,000.