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Sony A6600 vs A9

The Sony Alpha A6600 and the Sony Alpha A9 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2019 and April 2017. Both the A6600 and the A9 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (A6600) and a full frame (A9) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Sony A6600 versus Sony A9
Sony A6600 Sony A9
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-32,000 (100 - 102,400) ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 204,800)
Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots) Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots)
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 1440k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
11 shutter flaps per second 20 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
810 shots per battery charge650 shots per battery charge
120 x 67 x 69 mm, 503 g 127 x 96 x 63 mm, 673 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A6600 and the Sony Alpha A9? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A6600 and the Sony A9 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Sony A6600 vs Sony A9
Compare A6600 versus A9 top
Comparison A6600 or A9 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A9 is considerably larger (52 percent) than the Sony A6600. Moreover, the A9 is markedly heavier (34 percent) than the A6600. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A6600) and the Sony FE Lens Catalog (A9). Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony A6600 120 mm 67 mm 69 mm 503 g 810 Y Aug 2019 1,399 i
 
Sony A9 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Fujifilm X-T4 135 mm 93 mm 64 mm 607 g 500 Y Feb 2020 1,699 i
 
Olympus E-M5 III 125 mm 85 mm 50 mm 414 g 310 Y Oct 2019 1,199 i
 
Panasonic GH5 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i
 
Panasonic GX8 133 mm 78 mm 63 mm 487 g 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199i
 
Sony A9 II 129 mm 96 mm 76 mm 678 g 690 Y Oct 2019 4,499 i
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i
 
Sony A7R III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199i
 
Sony A6500 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399i
 
Sony A7 II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999i
 
Sony A77 II 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 647 g 480 Y May 2014 1,199 i
 
Sony A7 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 474 g 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699i
 
Sony A77 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 732 g 470 Y Aug 2011 1,399i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The A6600 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 69 percent) than the A9, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A6600 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A9 is 131 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A6600 and Sony A9 sensor measures

Even though the A9 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A9 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 3.91μm for the A6600), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the A6600 is much more recent (by 2 years and 4 months) than the A9, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Sony Alpha A6600 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 32000, which can be extended to ISO 100-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A9 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800.

A6600 versus A9 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A9 has a markedly higher DXO score than the A6600 (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Sony A6600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p23.813.4149782
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
 
Fujifilm X-T4 APS-C 26.0 6240 41604K/60p........
 
Olympus E-M5 III Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884k/24p........
 
Panasonic GH5 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777
 
Panasonic GX8 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675
 
Sony A9 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.0343493
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
 
Sony A7R III Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
 
Sony A6500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585
 
Sony A7 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
 
Sony A77 II APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Sony A7 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890
 
Sony A77 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A9 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A6600 (3686k vs 2359k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony A6600 and Sony A9 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Sony A66002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
 
Sony A93686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
 
Fujifilm X-T43690 n 3.0 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 15.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-M5 III2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Panasonic GH53680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
 
Panasonic GX82360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A9 II3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A7 III2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A7R III3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A65002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Sony A7 II2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
 
Sony A77 II2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Sony A72400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Sony A772359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y
The A6600 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the A9 does not have a selfie-screen.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Sony A6600 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A6600 and the A9 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A9 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the A6600 only has one slot. The A9 supports UHS-II cards (on its first slot), while the A6600 can use UHS-I cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A6600 and Sony Alpha A9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Sony A6600YstereomonoYYYES2.0YYY
 
Sony A9YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
 
Fujifilm X-T4YstereomonoY-micro3.1Y-Y
 
Olympus E-M5 IIIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic GH5YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-Y
 
Panasonic GX8YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A9 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
 
Sony A7R IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
 
Sony A6500YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A7 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A77 IIYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Sony A7YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A77YstereomonoY-mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Sony A9 (unlike the A6600) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The A6600 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the A9 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A9 was succeeded by the Sony A9 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony A6600 and the Sony A9? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Sony Alpha A6600:

  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 127x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 170g or 25 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (810 versus 650) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (69 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the A9 launch.


Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A9:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.2 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3686k vs 2359k dots).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.70x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 922k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 11 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2017).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A9 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

A6600 07:12 A9

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A6600 and the Sony A9 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A6600 or the A9 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony A6600+83/1004.5/5..4/5 Aug 2019 1,399 i
 
Sony A9+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499i
 
Fujifilm X-T4+ +..5/5..5/5 Feb 2020 1,699 i
 
Olympus E-M5 III+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2019 1,199 i
 
Panasonic GH5+ +85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i
 
Panasonic GX8+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199i
 
Sony A9 II....5/5..5/5 Oct 2019 4,499 i
 
Sony A7 III+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i
 
Sony A7R III+ +90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199i
 
Sony A6500+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399i
 
Sony A7 II+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999i
 
Sony A77 II..80/1004.5/54/55/5 May 2014 1,199 i
 
Sony A7+ +80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699i
 
Sony A7791/10081/100..4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,399i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony A6600:
Check Amazon price
Sony A9:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Sony A6600 vs Sony A9

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Sony A6600 Sony A9
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2019 April 2017
    Launch Price USD 1,399 USD 4,499
    Sensor Specs Sony A6600 Sony A9
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 35.6 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 847.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 42.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 2.83 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 32,000 ISO 100 - 51,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 102,400 ISO 50 - 204,800 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 82 92
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.8 24.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.4 13.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1497 3517
    Screen Specs Sony A6600 Sony A9
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.78x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots 3686k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1440k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Sony A6600 Sony A9
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 20 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations500 000 actuations
    Electronic ShutterYESup to 1/32000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-I Single UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Sony A6600 Sony A9
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port YES HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Sony A6600 Sony A9
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FZ100 NP-FZ100
    Battery Life (CIPA)810 shots per charge650 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 120 x 67 x 69 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 2.7 in)
    127 x 96 x 63 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 503 g (17.7 oz) 673 g (23.7 oz)

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