I shot with the Sony A6600 in a wide range of conditions and it delivered a really nice collection of images.
Aided by the electronic viewfinder, which displays an accurate preview of the image and guides exposure settings, the majority of my images are exposed correctly. But this does not detract from the capacity of the measurement system in its default “Multi” setting. This system is very time consuming and there aren’t many surprises or occasions where you have to use the exposure compensation control when you don’t expect it.
The autofocus systems of recent Sony cameras are very good and the A6600 does not disappoint in this regard. It focuses quickly and accurately and is able to keep fast subjects in focus.
Sony’s Eye AF system has set the bar very high for other manufacturers, and while Canon has taken the lead with the EOS R6 and EOS R5 in this regard, the Sony A6600 does a great job spotting the eyes. in the frame and keeping them neat.
When set to ‘Animal’ Eye AF spotted one of my dog’s eyes and focused on it most of the time. Switch to “Human” and the performance is just as good, if not better. It’s perfect for portraits, but it also means you can be sure your eyes are in focus if you flip the screen 180 ° and walk past the camera to vlog.
Sony A6600 image quality
Sony has given the A6600 a native sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 32,000. I wouldn’t go above this value as the images get very loud and there are false colors visible.
I would aim to keep the sensitivity setting at ISO 6400 or lower whenever possible. Going above this value makes the raw files look quite grainy and the Jpegs look smooth. You can get by with ISO 25,600 with some scenes, but be prepared to see some texture in the raw files and lose the finer textures in the Jpegs.
At the other end of the scale, low ISO images have a good level of detail.
In the low to medium sensitivity range, the Sony A6600 has a very good dynamic range, which means it can capture a wide range of tones in a single image. This means you don’t have to frequently underexpose to protect glare and shadows don’t turn black too quickly.
Wide dynamic range is very useful with high contrast scenes when you don’t want to lose detail in shadows and highlights. Thanks to its impressive dynamic range, the A6600’s low ISO images can withstand significant brightening without noise levels becoming excessive.
This is handy with landscape images when you might want to reduce the exposure a bit to capture every bit of detail, as you can lighten the shadows in image meditation software like DxO PhotoLab or Adobe Photoshop. In fact, I was able to brighten a very dark image by just over 4EV without noise becoming an issue – but keeping an eye out for even areas is beneficial.
When taking photos at the 55mm end of the Sony E 16-55mm f2.8G lens, I found that I was able to get around 60% of my portable images sharp at 1 / 5sec. This is a shutter speed compensation factor of 4EV. Lowering the shutter to 0.4 s, which would require a compensation factor of 5 EV, turned out to be a step too far. Several of my images were almost sharp, but they don’t quite do the job.
The video footage of the A6600 matches the still images, but you need to be careful of the roller shutter effect. If you walk along a post and rail fence, for example, you might notice that the posts bend.
The stabilization system works very well in video mode. It’s not good enough for smoothing out camera shake created when walking with the hand, but it’s good for stationary handheld, panning, and the like.