Just like the rest of the camera bodies in the Sony Alpha range, the Sony a6400 just keeps on going from strength to strength amongst the mirrorless camera using community. With the low price tag, excellent performance, and great versatility that the a6400 offers users we really aren’t surprised by this and only expect more of the same in the future and for the a6400 to just keep on growing its user base.
Although the Sony a6400 is a relatively new release to the market at the time of writing, it has managed to rapidly grow a huge core customer base for itself as well as a great reputation that just keeps on getting better and better. Due to so many people using the camera body, we constantly see a wide range of questions about it on how people are able to get the most out of their a6400 and ensure they get the best image quality possible.
Over the last few months, we have seen more and more people specifically reaching out for night photography tips and tricks for the a6400 so we have decided to dedicate this article to it. Our goal is that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible who use the a6400 for night photography so we have a list of things that you are able to use to get the best photographs possible.
Now, keep in mind, we are fully aware that our readers use the Sony a6400 for a large number of different photography niches and even within night photography, there are multiple sub-niches that you can specialise in. Due to this, some of these tips and tricks that we have below for you may not be applicable to you but we like to think that we have a little something for everyone.
Consider A Free Night Photography Course
Although we would class the Sony a6400 as an intermediate mirrorless camera body, a large number of entry level photographers, videographers, and vloggers also use it as their camera of choice due to its excellent performance. In addition to this, even if you are an intermediate photography, the principals of night photography are often different to what many people are use to due to the lack of available light for your camera sensor.
This is why we always recommend that our readers take advantage of our offer for any of our readers to be able to enroll on a no obligation trial of Skillshare premium without having to spend a cent. This allows you to enroll on the best online night photography course available without you having to spend anything too.
The course has managed to earn a great reputation for itself amongst photographers and the vast majority of students who have completed it have had to pay for the privilege too. The course covers everything that you could ever need to know about night photography and we have no doubt that it will offer you vast improvements in the image quality that you are able to capture with your Sony a6400 so it is well worth checking out.
Invest In A Suitable Tripod
Although a large number of our readers will already have a tripod amongst their camera accessories, we know that many of our readers are relatively new to photography so we would highly recommend that you get yourself a decent, cheap tripod as a minimum. This ensures that your Sony a6400 has a stable base with some great image stabilization without you having to break the bank to ensure the available light that you do have can get to your camera sensor.
With night photography, the lack of light can make hand held photography a total pain as even the slightest movement of your camera can blur your photo. We have lost count of the number of people we see reaching out about night photography who are trying to capture their photographs with their camera in their hands and are then surprised by the benefit and improvement to their image quality by using a tripod.
Although the Zomei 699c is a great, cheap, entry-level tripod that should be able to meet the needs of any of our entry-level photographer readers needs, the Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 is should be the main option for any intermediate photographers. We feel that the Manfrotto tripod is one of the best tripods ever made and that it can be an excellent investment in your camera accessories and that it can improve your night photography.
Consider Getting Some Steel Wool
With the rapid rise of social media, nighttime urban photography has seen an exponential increase in its popularity amongst the community. Capturing a popular landmark in your local area that has hundreds of people photographing it every day can get monotonous so capturing the landmark at night can help your photograph stand out on social media against the crowd.
You are able to take this one step further though and start to integrate the use of steel wool into your urban photography sessions too. This really does make your photograph pop and stand out against what other photographers are capturing as you are able to see in the photograph at the start of this section. Without the steel wool being used, it would just be a boring photograph of a bridge at night but the additional light and movement of the light helps to make the photograph stand out.
If you are looking to use some steel wool for your night photography sessions with your Sony a6400 then we would highly recommend that you check the local regulations where you live. Some areas do restrict the use, especially if your area has a dry season but the majority of areas will allow you to use steel wool without any problems.
Get Yourself A Remote Trigger
This next one is going to depend on the type of night photography that you are doing as well as the camera lens that you plan to use during your sessions too. If you are looking to do any type of super zoom lens work at night such as night photography then investing in a cheap remote trigger for your Sony a6400 can be a solid little camera accessory.
With the type of zoom ranges that are commonly used in astrophotography, even a slight knock to your camera body can have a huge effect of the image quality that you can capture. Even the slight vibration from you pressing your cameras capture button can be enough to spoil your photograph but a remote trigger totally removes this risk as there is no requirement to physically touch your a6400 to trigger your camera sensor.
Take Advantage Of The Landscape
Although you may think that this is usually a problem for entry-level photographers, we constantly see intermediate and professional level photographers making this same mistake. The photograph above offers an example of how you are able to use the local landscape to improve your night photography photographs. The mood adds something in the distance, the mountain adds something in the middle distance whereas the trees add something to the foreground.
This simple trick offers you a quick and easy way to add depth and scale to your photographs and if you think outside of the box, you are able come up with some excellent ideas for your night photography. If you are not in a rural location with easy access to mountains, you are able to use high rised buildings, bridges, and statues to similar effect in urban areas.
Experiment With Manual Focus
Although we say experiment with manual focus, realistically, we mean switch over to using manual focus for your night photography sessions. If you are an entry-level photographer, we can’t stress this enough as we see so many people get too used to using the autofocus on their lens, and developing this habit will likley cause you problems in the future.
Although there are a ton of great camera lenses available for the Sony a6400, just like all other modern camera lenses, they all have issues with night photography when it comes to their auto focus. This is almost always due to the lack of light forcing the auto focus system into constant tracking mode as it is unable to workout what the main subject of your photograph actually is.
Getting used to using your manual focus ring on your lens with your a6400 will remove this issue and almost instantly result in you being able to capture better image quality. Although it may take a little time to practice using your manual focus on your camera lens, it is well worth it as it is a skill that you will use throughout your photography career.
Capture Your Photographs In RAW Format
Thankfully, less and less people are using JPEG as their default file format on their cameras but if you have not switched over to RAW yet, we would highly recommend it. A large number of night photography sessions will probably need at least some post production work on the photographs and using the RAW file format ensures that you have the best base photograph for your editing.
Although JPEG is a great format if you are short on space, the compression of the JPEG format can lower image quality and cause issues for post production editing. Due to SD cards falling in price so much over the last five years or so, you should easily be able to use RAW format with its larger file size but much better image quality without risking running out of storage space.