Last December, amidst the ongoing chip shortage, Sony Japan announced it was ceasing production of its a6400 APS-C mirrorless camera. While the chip shortage is still affecting consumer electronics production across the globe, it appears as though the supply chain is less constrained than it was at its peak, as Sony Japan has confirmed it will resume production of its a6400 camera system.

In an update posted to its announcement page yesterday, May 26, 2022, Sony Japan says it will ‘resume accepting orders from [its] distributors and customers’ orders at the Sony store' tomorrow, May 27, 2022. There’s no information on how long it will take for retailers and consumers to see a6400 camera bodies available to purchase, but it’s nice to see Sony Japan is able to procure the components required to get production back up and running after a tumultuous year for all consumer electronics manufacturers.

A screen capture of the update shared on Sony Japan’s website.

In addition to the global semiconductor shortage, a fire at AKM Semiconductor, an audio chip manufacturer in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, is believed to have severely impacted camera manufacturers, although it’s unclear if that particular incident had an impact on Sony’s camera production.

An overview of the aftermath at AKM Semiconductor factory following a three-day fire, captured by Nikogorio and used with permission.

According to Inside Imaging, AKM Semiconductor produced audio chip components for ‘most Japanese camera makers,’ with analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) being the component most likely to impact camera production. The fire burned uncontrolled for three days and effectively destroyed the entire factory. No one was reported as injured and all 400 employees were reported to have evacuated unharmed, but it was expected that repairs would take at least six months and it’s likely it’d take even longer to get back to full production capacity.

Whatever it was that caused Sony to cease production, it appears as though the issue has been sorted out enough to restart production of the a6400. Sony also stopped production of all a7 II series cameras at the time, but no mention has been made regarding restarting production of those models.