Sony Announces New a6600 & a6100 APS-C Mirrorless Cameras and New E-Mount Lenses

Sony has officially detailed the latest additions to its APS-C mirrorless camera lineup. The new collection includes the a6600 and the a6100. In addition, the company also revealed two new E-Mount lenses, including the 16-55mm F2.8 G and 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS.

"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."

Sony Alpha Press event

The new gear was unveiled during a special press event held earlier today at Sony's NYC headquarters. Speaking at the event, Sony execs expressed their commitment to strengthening the company's APS-C lineup in addition to its Full-Frame offerings, citing great potential and wide market appeal for APS-C models. At the same time, however, Sony feels that the space requires worthwhile innovation in order to draw consumers. With that in mind, the company is aiming to carry over the advanced tech found on its Full-Frame lineup to its upcoming APS-C cameras.

And that brings us to the new flagship a6600 geared toward more demanding photographers and the new entry-level a6100 geared toward starters. Both models share a lot of the same core specs, including the same 24.2MP sensor. Meanwhile, the a6600 adds in a few extra features and design perks, including a longer lasting Z battery (a first for a Sony APS-C model), Eye AF support for movies, HDR recording, a handy headphone jack, and more.

Sony a6100

Here's a rundown of key specs that both the a6100 and a6600 models share:

  • 24.2MP Exmor CMOS image sensor
  • The latest BIONZ X image processor
  • A front-end LSI
  • An autofocus acquisition time of 0.02 seconds
  • 425 focal-plane phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast-detection AF points
  • Sony's "Real-time Tracking" with Artificial Intelligence-based object recognition
  • "Real-time Eye AF"
  • 11fps continuous shooting with AF/AE tracking
  • Microphone jack
  • 4K movie recording with full-pixel readout
  • 180-degree tiltable touch screen
  • Integrated OLED viewfinder (2359k on a6600, 1440K on a6100)

Sony a6600

And here's a list of some additional features that can only be found on the flagship a6600 model:

  • 5-axis in-body stabilization
  • Eye AF support for movie recording
  • HDR video recording using HLG profile
  • Headphone jack
  • Z battery
  • Magnesium alloy design with dust and moisture resistance

Sony a6100 and a6600

Beyond the new camera models, Sony also showed off a pair of new E-mount lenses under its G series, bringing the company's total E-mount lineup to a robust collection of 54 models. The new lineup includes the 16-55mm F2.8 G and 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS.

Sony 16-55mm G Series E Mount Lens

The 16-55mm F2.8 G is the company's new flagship APS-C standard zoom. The unit is geared toward landscapes, portraits, and everyday pictures. The device's optical construction includes two AA (advanced aspherical), two aspherical elements, and three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements to reduce aberrations and color bleeding. Likewise, the lens features a 9-blade circular aperture for pleasing bokeh effect and support for close-up focusing at 1.09 feet. In addition, Nano AR coating has been employed to help minimize ghosting and flare, while a fluorine coated front element is resistant to dirt and fingerprints. And in a welcomed first for an APS-C lens, the unit also incorporates the same XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motor that Sony uses on its G Master series lenses, enabling fast, precise, and quiet AF and tracking.

Sony 70-350mm G Series E Mount Lens

The 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS is a super-telephoto zoom lens, and now serves as the longest Sony APS-C lens model in the lineup. The unit maintains a compact, lightweight design despite its long range, making it a great fit for sports and wildlife photography. Under the hood, the device's optical construction includes one aspherical lens and three ED glass elements to help minimize aberrations and color blur. Likewise, the lens features a 7-blade circular aperture. And like the 16-55mm model, the 70-350mm lens also includes Sony's XD Linear Motor. In addition, the lens offers built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization.

Impressions

After the initial reveal, Sony invited press to get a closer hands-on look at both cameras and lenses. But while the demo was a bit limited, I was able to come away with a general feel for the a6600 and a6100's design and basic operation.

Sony a6100

Offering a few ergonomic refinements over the previously released a6500, the a6600 felt great in hand, with a nice grip and a light yet still sturdy construction. Even with the 70-350mm lens attached, the camera and lens pair were able to maintain the compact advantage of a mirrorless model. Meanwhile, the a6100 offered a similar yet less solid feel in hand. Unlike the more expensive a6600, the entry-level model does not use a magnesium alloy design, and instead utilizes a composite construction. Don't get me wrong, the camera still came across as fairly sturdy, but the difference in material was a bit noticeable, giving the a6100 a lighter but slightly flimsy quality in comparison. Button access and menu navigation were pretty standard on both models, and I didn't run into any issues with either. Likewise, the 180-degree tilting screens operated well and should prove to be quite handy for vloggers.

Sony a6600

Whether using the 16-55mm or 70-350mm lens, snapping pictures on both cameras was a breeze. Unfortunately, the showroom didn't exactly offer a particularly interesting environment to take pictures in, but the cameras' impressive AF and tracking were able to correctly focus on various attendees in the crowded space. There were times when moving either camera during continuous burst shooting could cause the AF and eye tracking to lag behind my panning just a tad, but in general both models showed off Sony's tech well. And while there were no exotic animals or rushing running backs in the distance for me to capture, the 70-350mm lens' extensive range allowed me to easily snap shots of a glowing exit sign at the other end of the room. I know, not the most exciting test subject, but again, the focusing system worked very well.

sony a6100 and a6600

Sadly, we were not able to keep any of our shots for more critical review of image quality or edge-to-edge lens sharpness, but when it comes to general design, usability, and basic operation, Sony's new APS-C cameras and lenses offered a very solid first impression.

Pricing and Availability

The a6600 will start shipping in November. Available packages are set to include:

The a6100 will launch in October. Available packages are set to include:

The 16-55mm F2.8 G will be available in October for $1,400.

The 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS will be available in November for $1,000.

Source: Sony