Sony A6600: a perfect camera for the “prosumer”
The Sony A6600 is ideal for the discerning consumer and budget-conscious professional alike, says Matthew Partridge
From cancelled weddings and sporting events to closed theatres, the pandemic has drastically reduced the opportunities for photography. However, with the rollout of vaccines suggesting that normal life might be able to resume within the next few months, dedicated enthusiasts will already be making plans, as well as updating their kit. If you are thinking about picking up a new camera, then the Sony A6600 is worth considering. It is the high-end sibling of the A6400 and A6100, and was first released at the end of 2019, but it is still state-of-the-art when it comes to “prosumer” cameras (those aimed at both consumers and budget-conscious professionals).
Like the A6100 and A6400, the A6600 is an APS-C crop-sensor camera, a compromise that allows the camera body and lenses to be smaller than those with a “full frame” sensor, but still delivers low-light picture quality that is far better than you’d get on a smartphone. It also has Sony’s excellent autofocus system, which allows the user not only to track moving objects with a high degree of precision, but also automatically focus on the eyes of both people and animals – useful for sports photography and portraits. It also comes with an electronic shutter option (which allows you to take photos silently) and unlimited recording of high-quality 4K video footage.
An end to shutter shake
The standout feature of the A6600 is its in-built image-stabilisation feature. This means that you are able to take pictures at much lower shutter speeds without the picture being spoilt by shutter shake. This is especially useful given that many lenses don’t come with their own in-body stabilisation and hence there is a need to keep shutter speeds low to let in more light.
Another innovation is a vastly improved grip. This may seem like a minor development, but it makes it much easier (and more comfortable) to hold the camera for extended periods, even for huge lenses really intended for larger cameras, such as the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM. The battery life is also truly outstanding.
The Sony’s rangefinder style, where the viewfinder is to the side of the lens, may not be to everyone’s taste; the fast shooting speed only lasts for a few seconds before slowing down, due to the size of the camera’s buffer; and there is no flash. The flagship status is also reflected in the price, which is higher than that of the A6400 and A6100. Still, the photos I took in a theatre earlier this year came out well. I also enjoyed using it to take picture of birds and squirrels in a local park, especially when coupled with the 18-135mm lens.
The Sony A6600 is available from sony.co.uk for £1,450 for the body alone, or £1,800 with the 18-135mm lens