- Focus speed and eye-tracking
- Battery duration
- No time limit on videos
- Minijack for microphone and headphones
- Location of some buttons and dials
- Without 4K at 60 fps
- Without USB-C connector
- Good stabilization for a photo, something short on video
Sony camera describes this sony a6600 as its flagship in APS-C format. It is undoubtedly the most ambitious bet of the already busy family of mirrorless cameras of the Sony 6000 range. That has in this A6600 as its most powerful model.
These types of cameras have traditionally aimed at advanced semi-professional photographers and content creators. Who, either by size or performance, did not need to pay the extra cost implied by Sony’s most professional range, with the A7 and A9 in front.
With a compact body and features close to those offered by Sony’s full-format mirrorless cameras. The Sony camera Alpha 6600 presents as an intermediate option more affordable than the Sony A7 III. Since the kit, we are testing. Consisting of a Sony A6600 and the Sony E 18-135mm f / 3.5-5.6 OSS lens can be purchased for about 1,652 euros on Amazon.
Sony Alpha 6600, analysis and opinion
Design: maintains a compact size and improves grip
Software: it is not easy to move through the menus of a Sony A6600
Focus system: professional quality in a lighter format
Autonomy: considerable improvement
Optical stabilization: well-stabilized body for a photo but the insufficient video
Sound quality: three audio and connectivity options for content creators
Image quality: Sony continues to take steps in the right direction
Conclusion: camera with the body of 6000 and soul of A7
Maintains a compact size and improves grip
While the leading manufacturers in the sector put all their efforts into taking over the market of full-format mirrorless cameras. Sony has attacked by the rear with a short proposal that matches some of the best professional mirrorless cameras of the moment.
With this Sony Alpha 6600, the Japanese brand points to an advanced or semi-professional user in both photography and video. Who does not want to make the jump to full-format cameras either for its price or for its larger size?
In terms of design, the new Sony Alpha 6600 that we have to analyze seems to contribute nothing different to what has already seen in the rest of the Sony A6000 range.
In essence, it remains the same compact camera (120.0 mm x 66.9 mm x 69.3 mm) and just over 500 grams. That we already had in the Alpha 6500. However, fine-tuning the eye, you start to see the subtle differences between the previous top model of the range and the Sony A6600 that we are analyzing.
The first thing that attracts attention is a slightly larger grip that facilitates its grip making it more stable in hand. Especially when larger lenses are mounted. That is being able to use it with one hand when lighter lenses are mounted.
With the Sony E 18-135mm f / 3.5-5.6 OSS lens that you mount in the Sony A6600 kit. That you can buy in most specialty stores. The balance is perfect since it is a lightweight lens that adds 325 grams to a set that completely stops the scale at 828 grams.
Its compact size and lightness are precisely one of the keys that differentiate the Sony Alpha 6600 from full-format cameras. The resistant and durable body that has responded so well in the previous models of the A6000 series maintained with a chassis made of magnesium alloy that offers a moisture and dust resistant construction.
With a compact body, all controls and buttons are within reach of the fingers, and it is not difficult to find them even with the eye attached to the viewfinder. However, that does not mean that the location of the buttons is the most intuitive in all cases. And even some controls which included in the brand’s full-format models are missing.
For example, when holding the camera by its grip, the thumb tends to be placed on the shooting mode dial located at the top. Which, on some occasions, and similarity of touch and size. Which has caused us to change the shooting mode instead of operating the adjustment dial with which the shutter speed and aperture of diaphragm located to the right are changed?
You also miss a second front adjustment wheel on the handle like the Sony A7 and A9 or a joystick to control the focus point. The brand could have taken advantage of the increase in grip size and changes of the new model to add these controls that significantly improve access to specific parameters during shooting.
Sony has also added new buttons on the back of the Alpha 6600, thus facilitating direct access to the adjustment to the parameters you use most, such as changing the type of focus, ISO values, exposure, or segregation of the focus function of the trigger.
Specifically, the Alpha 6600 has four of these customizable buttons, although you can customize up to nine different buttons by counting the shortcuts of the rear wheel. Here we also have the already characteristic lever that switches between the focus controls (AF / MF) and exposure lock (AEL).
After the initial customization of these controls and a short adaptation period, all buttons are perfectly accessible from the camera’s firing position. Highlight details very useful in its use, such as the small notch that separates the C1 and C2 buttons at the top, which allow them to be distinguished to the touch while looking through the viewfinder.
In the design of the Sony Alpha 6600 has maintained its 3-inch articulated touch screen with 921,000 points, which allows you to lean up and down to get better visibility by placing the camera at ground level or lifting it over your head to make a taking.
The double articulated hinge of the screen allows it to rotate at 180 degrees so that it faces the front so that it is especially interesting so that the user can see himself on the screen while recording. A function that the “vloggers” or Youtubers will find especially useful, as well as to take selfies.
The lateral viewfinder is also maintained so that the nose will not be continually staining the screen. As it happens with the visors located in a central position while leaving the free visual field for the left eye. Something especially useful to anticipate at the time of the shoot.
The Sony Alpha 6600 repeats with the OLED electronic viewfinder of 2,359,296 points with an increase of 0.70x. Already mounted by the Sony A6400 and Sony A6500. That leaves it at a particular disadvantage concerning its main competitors, such as the Fujifilm X-T3. Which exceeds this figure with 3.69 million points and an increased ratio of 0.75x. This figure shows the relationship between the image that the viewer shows and the captured image. The image displayed by these viewers is smaller than the one arrested.
In any case, the experience of using the viewfinder has been outstanding throughout the test. Showing good image quality to facilitate the correct approach.
One of the most staggering losses is that of the integrated flash, which loses this model. This decision has its logic given the advanced user profile that this mirrorless oriented camera. Since this type of semi-professional user tends to use more powerful flashes mounted on the shoe or directly opts for studio lighting.
With these small brushstrokes in its new design, the Sony Alpha 6600 slightly improves the user experience concerning its range sisters. However, it still has a way to go to achieve the ergonomics offered by Sony’s full-format mirrorless cameras.
It is not easy to move through the menus of an Alpha 6600
Using an advanced Sony camera like the Sony Alpha 6600. This includes so many different technologies, is not easy, and there are many parameters to consider. Despite this, manufacturers must make their use and configuration as simple as possible for the user.
That is one of the historical weaknesses of Sony Alpha 6600. That we are analyzing since the user must face a massive menu of options. That he will have to navigate every time he wants to change most of the settings.
Perhaps this arduous task would have been alleviated by enabling the complete functionality for the touch screen. So that, just by touching or sliding your finger on the screen, you could select the option or navigate through the camera menus as you do. For example, on your smartphone.
However, the touch functions of the Sony camera A6600 are limited to some specific assumptions. Such as the touch focus or review of the photo, which forces you to have to press the back crossbar passing one by one through the different menus until you reach the desired option or at least find her on the road.
Luckily for the user, press the help button to display an extended description of the cryptographic statements of the menu options to make them easier to understand and help you when choosing the correct settings.
That level of complexity requires advanced knowledge of the different camera functions. And a learning period to know where there are settings. And some trial and error to find out precisely what each of these functions does.
Professional autofocus in a lighter format
We found few novelties regarding the sensor, a 24.2 megapixel Exmor CMOS. That is already an old known in the Sony 6000 range. Since it is the same as mounted from the Sony Alpha 6300 to the Sony A6500. And now this Alpha 6600.
Sony has been working with this sensor for almost four years. So it has had time to refine its operation to achieve a very contained noise signal up to 6,400 ISO and a wide dynamic range. So this option in APS-C format offers a perfect quality image. Even when the light conditions are not favorable at all.
One of the main improvements that the Sony Alpha 6600 brings under the arm is the spectacular automatic approach. That the Japanese brand developed initially for the professional models A7 III and A9. Which consists of 425 points distributed throughout the sensor surface.
This feature allows you to handle bursts of up to 11 fps while maintaining focus. And automatic exposure and ensuring that continued focus accuracy throughout the entire series of photos or throughout the video with a high success rate.
It is not the highest burst speed on the market. But what is surprising is how practical the approach is during that burst. So as not to keep dozens of photos. Yes, but out of focus. The moving procedure accentuates the center with one of the star functions. That Sony has already implemented in its entire high-end mirrorless camera. They continuously focus on the eye for both humans and animals.
This focus mode integrated into the Sony Alpha 6600 manages to capture the position of one of the eyes. It sets the tracking with incredible precision even at a considerable distance. Achieving unprecedented results in a camera aimed at a non-professional user.
This system of focus to the eye and focus on movement makes the Sony A6600 a reliable tool. When it comes to capturing moving lenses or trusting the autofocus to the camera when recording yourself. Since the detection zone covers almost 84% of the sensor. Something that will undoubtedly thank the Youtubers, creators of vlogs, and even fans of sports photography.
We cannot talk about burst speed without commenting on the performance of the storage medium where photos were stored. And this could be considered a weak point in the Sony A6600.