Sony A6700 Review

31 August 2023

Sony A6700 Review: A Mirrorless Marvel for the Modern Photographer

Sony's legacy in camera innovation continues to shine with the introduction of the Sony A6700. This APS-C format mirrorless camera is a testament to Sony's dedication to merging high-end features with user-centric designs. In this comprehensive camera review, we'll explore the nuances that make the brand-new Sony A6700 a top-tier choice for both budding and seasoned photographers.

Unparalleled Image Quality

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At the core of the Sony A6700 is the synergy between the 26 MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor and the BIONZ XR imaging processor. This combination guarantees that every image is captured with unmatched detail, vivid colours, and exceptional clarity. Whether photographing in the bright midday sun or in challenging low-light situations, the A6700 delivers consistently, making it a versatile tool for many photography scenarios.

Advanced Autofocus Capabilities

The Sony A6700 autofocus system is a marvel, with the BIONZ XR engine's immense processing power and refined algorithms. With up to 759 phase-detection points, it covers a staggering 93% of the image area for stills. Deep learning technology underpins the Real-time Recognition AF, ensuring more reliable Real-time Tracking. This is further complemented by the expansive Fast Hybrid AF performance.

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High-Speed Continuous Shooting

The Sony A6700 uses a robust BIONZ XR processing engine in tandem with a substantial buffer memory, significantly amplifying write speeds to memory cards. This allows for capturing over 1000 JPEG images, up to 59 compressed RAW images, or up to 23 lossless compressed RAW images in rapid succession. Moreover, the camera can silently shoot continuously using its electronic shutter at speeds of up to 11 fps, ensuring full resolution with AF/AE tracking.

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Precision in Low Light

The A6700's advanced AF algorithms ensure precise autofocus even in challenging lighting conditions, achieving accuracy down to light levels as low as EV -3.0 in AF-S mode. The Focus Priority mode further enhances AF reliability in dim lighting or when using smaller apertures.

Full-time DMF and Focus Bracketing

The Full-time DMF (Direct Manual Focus) feature allows photographers to seamlessly switch to manual focus mode by simply rotating the lens's focus ring. This provides the flexibility to shift focus to a different subject swiftly. Additionally, the Focus Bracketing feature enables the Sony A6700 to automatically capture up to 299 images with sequentially shifted focus points, allowing photographers to select the perfect shot or creatively post-process multiple shots for incredible depth of focus.

Time-Lapse and Creative Look

The new Sony A6700 comes equipped with an in-camera time-lapse function, enabling users to create mesmerising time-lapse videos directly within the camera. When paired with a compatible video light (sold separately), even low-light time-lapse sequences become a possibility. The Creative Look feature offers enhanced creative flexibility, providing 10 presets that can be adjusted to fit the scene or subject. This feature, reminiscent of Fujifilm's film-look presets, allows photographers to set the mood before shooting, ensuring images are instantly share-ready.

With these features and more, the A6700 stands out as a formidable contender in the mirrorless camera market, promising professionals and enthusiasts a tool that doesn't compromise quality or functionality.

AI-Powered Autofocus System

Sony's commitment to integrating cutting-edge technology into its cameras is evident with the A6700's autofocus system. The most significant enhancement is the incorporation of AI processing. This camera inherits the autofocus advancements from Sony’s premium and far more expensive A7R V model. 

So, what does this mean for users? The A6700 can detect subjects with an unprecedented level of detail. It won't just recognise that you're focusing on an animal; it can discern the specific type of animal, be it a bird or even a bug. This granularity also extends to vehicles, with the camera distinguishing between cars and planes.

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But the upgrades don't stop there. The A6700 boasts an additional 334 phase-detect autofocus points, ensuring faster and more accurate focusing across various scenes. One of the standout features is the AI-based auto-framing. This innovative feature allows the camera to track subjects seamlessly, eliminating the need for manual adjustments, especially when filming dynamic subjects that move unpredictably. 

Whether you're capturing a dancer's fluid movements or a child's spontaneous play, the Sony A6700 ensures that your subject remains in focus, making your photography and videography experience smoother and more intuitive.

4K120p Video Capabilities: 6K Oversampling Beyond the Ordinary

The Sony A6700 is a videographer's and vlogger's delight. With its ability to record in 4K120p, capturing cinematic-quality footage becomes second nature. Sony's proprietary 6K oversampling technology ensures that the 4K videos are of the highest quality, with minimal artefacts and unparalleled colour performance.

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Breathing Compensation: A Game-Changer

Introducing the Breathing Compensation feature, which, when paired with compatible lenses, uses Clear Image Zoom technology to maintain a consistent angle of view, effectively suppressing any changes that might occur due to shifts in focus position. This breathing metadata can also be harnessed in post-production.

Formats and Profiles for the Pros

The camera's prowess for 4K movie recording is evident as it captures 4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) at up to 60p (50p). The XAVC S-I (All-Intra) and XAVC HS formats with 10-bit 4:2:2 colour sampling further enhance the video quality. 

For those who crave a cinematic look, the Sony A6700 comes with the S-Cinetone picture profile, incorporating the same colour science as Sony's esteemed CineAlta and Cinema Line. This ensures images with authentic colour reproduction and lifelike skin tones. Additionally, the S-Log3 gamma curve offers up to 14+ stops of latitude, emphasising gradation characteristics and expanding creative colour grading possibilities.

Custom LUTs and High Frame Rate Recording

A unique feature of the Sony A6700 is importing and using custom LUT files. This lets videographers preview how their footage will appear in post-processing while shooting in S-Log. 

The High Frame Rate 4K 120P Recording is another standout feature, enabling in-camera capture of high-resolution movies. This emphasises subject motion and offers the flexibility of transforming it into smooth slow motion in post-production. The S&Q mode further enhances this by allowing in-camera recording of slow or quick motion sequences.

Stabilisation Perfected with Active Mode

Lastly, the Active Mode ensures enhanced movie image stabilisation, especially for handheld shooting. The Sony A6700 detects camera shake and compensates optically, providing highly effective stabilisation without compromising mobility, even in 4K.

Professional-Quality Audio

Oh, and for audio enthusiasts, the microphone input and the camera's MI hotshoe ensure that achieving professional-quality audio is straightforward and efficient.

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Ergonomics and Design: Tailored for Modern Needs

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The Sony A6700, with its lightweight design of just 493 grams, is crafted for photographers and videographers who are always on the go. Despite its compact stature, it doesn't compromise on delivering top-notch features.

Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD: A Game-Changer

One of the standout upgrades in the A6700 is its transition to a vari-angle-style touchscreen LCD. This change is a significant advantage for videographers, granting them the flexibility to capture dynamic shots from diverse angles. While this feature offers increased versatility, some traditional photographers might feel it introduces an additional step, especially if they're accustomed to quick, hip-level shots. 

However, the benefits are hard to ignore. The new screen offers a 33-degree wider viewing angle than its predecessor, the A6600, and its OLED display shines twice as bright, making it an invaluable companion for outdoor shoots.

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High-Performance Electronic Viewfinder

The Sony A6700 boasts a 2.36 million-dot XGA OLED electronic viewfinder, offering a detailed and vibrant view of your subject. With a brightness level that's twice that of the A6600 and the aforementioned 33-degree viewing angle, this viewfinder ensures clarity and ease of use during shoots. Its frame rate can also be ramped up to 120 fps, double the standard rate. This results in a smoother viewfinder experience, which is especially crucial when tracking and capturing fast-moving subjects.

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Versatile Viewing with the LCD Monitor

The A6700's expansive 3.0-type touch-panel LCD monitor, with approximately 1.03 million dots, offers extensive positioning freedom, ensuring you never miss that perfect shot. Whether you're capturing from ground level or navigating tight shooting environments, this feature amplifies your creative possibilities for both handheld and gimbal-mounted shooting of stills and videos.

With these enhancements, the Sony A6700 seamlessly blends ergonomic design with advanced technological features, promising an unparalleled shooting experience for professionals and enthusiasts.

Front Dial: A Welcome Addition

One of the most notable ergonomic enhancements in the Sony A6700 is the introduction of a second command dial located at the front. This pivotal change marks the A6700 as Sony's inaugural a6x00 series camera to facilitate control using both the forefinger and thumb, aligning it with the esteemed Sony a7 series and other high-end cameras. This addition streamlines the user experience and offers more intuitive control over the camera's settings.

Refined Controls and Robust Build

At first glance, the Sony A6700 resembles its predecessors in the series, albeit slightly larger. However, a closer examination reveals a series of thoughtful modifications. The camera now boasts a dedicated dial for seamless switching between Stills, Video, and Slow & Quick video modes, conveniently positioned below the exposure mode dial. 

Some previous controls, such as the switch that altered the function of the back-plate button and the C3 button, have been omitted, resulting in a more streamlined design. The rearrangement of the [Rec] and C1 buttons enhances the user experience, making the activation of video recording more intuitive.

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Constructed from durable magnesium alloy, the A6700's body is robust and boasts environmental sealing at all its joints. It has microphone and headphone ports, a micro HDMI socket, and a USB Type C port, which supports USB power delivery and the USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) data transfer standards.

With these updates, the Sony A6700 masterfully combines ergonomic design with state-of-the-art technological advancements, ensuring an unmatched shooting experience for professionals and hobbyists.

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Connectivity and Battery Life

In an era where connectivity is paramount, the Sony A6700 doesn't disappoint. Its integrated Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities make sharing your photographic masterpieces as effortless as capturing them. Whether uploading to social media or sharing with a client, the A6700 ensures a smooth, hassle-free experience.

Moreover, the camera's compatibility with Sony’s Creators’ App further simplifies the process, offering a streamlined approach to cloud uploads and content sharing. But the A6700's prowess isn't limited to just connectivity.

One of the standout features of the A6700 is its exceptional battery life. Equipped with the same NP-FZ100 battery as its predecessor, the A6600, the A6700 boasts one of the most impressive battery lifespans in its category. Users can expect an outstanding 570 shots per charge when using the rear LCD and a slightly reduced 550 when opting for the EVF. 

These figures translate to extended shooting sessions without the constant worry of battery depletion. In practical terms, this means more time capturing memories and less time tethered to a charger. Whether you're on a day-long shoot or travelling without easy access to power, the A6700 ensures you're always ready to capture the moment.

Sony A6700 Key Features at a Glance:

  • 759 Phase-detect AF points
  • 11 FPS Continuous Shooting
  • 1000JPEG Fine Buffer Depth
  • SD Card UHS-I/II Media Slot
  • Digital Audio Interface Supported
  • Sony E-Mount

Need the complete Sony A6700 specs? You’ll find it on the Sony A6700 page.

Elevate Your Photography: The Sony A6700 Awaits

The Sony A6700 is more than just a camera; it's a statement. It showcases Sony's commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible in photography. Whether you're a professional photographer or just starting out, the A6700 is a worthy addition to your kit. With its blend of high-end features and user-friendly design, it's set to become a favourite among photography enthusiasts.

For those eager to get their hands on this marvel, the Sony A6700 is now available for pre-order at Ted's Cameras. Don't miss out on the chance to own a piece of photography excellence.

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