Sony A6700 vs Sony FX30 – Which should you buy?

Aug 2, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Sony A6700 vs Sony FX30 – Which should you buy?

Aug 2, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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You might think that for anybody looking at potentially purchasing these two cameras, the answer would be simple. If you want shoot stills, get the Sony A6700 (buy here). If you want to shoot video, get the Sony FX30 (buy here). But is that really all it boils down to?

In this video, photographer Mark Bennett takes a look at both cameras. He discusses the features of both cameras and where their strengths lie. You probably won’t be surprised by the result, though.

Sony A6700 vs Sony FX30

Most people have been seeing the pairing of the Sony A6700 and the Sony FX30 the same way we’ve been looking at the Sony A7S III (buy here) and the Sony FX3 (buy here). That is to say that they’re largely the same piece of kit in a different housing. Similar resolution, specs and capabilities, but with a few exceptions in photo or video-specific areas and ergonomic differences.

And, well, that’s not a bad way to look at things. Both of the APS-C cameras share a 26-megapixel resolution CMOS sensor, but there are a lot of little differences that separate the two. And, one or two big ones – like an electronic viewfinder.

The little differences between the two cameras all add up to a very big difference in intended usage and target market. And while you can look up the specs of both cameras and see for yourself, Mark’s video does a good job of summarizing the pair.

Sony FX30 Advantages

It’s clear that for video, certain things are kind of essential. A full-sized HDMI socket is a good place to start. One that puts out raw 4K video, too? Yeah, you bet. The Sony FX30 can do these because it’s designed for use by video professionals – or those hoping to break into a video profession.

Video shooters are also often more likely to pick up multiple bodies, with something like the FX30 as a B and/or C camera to something like an FX3. Such shooters typically want a matching set of ergonomics and features between bodies as a result. It also means video-focused cameras are potentially more likely to get desirable features.

And by desirable features, this pro is actually a bit of a gripe. The Sony FX30 has dual card slots. Absolutely, when you’re shooting important video, you want to be able to shoot your backups as you go while filming. But why wouldn’t a stills photographer want dual card slots? Even if they’re a hobbyist? Aren’t they entitled to that level of data security in an APS-C body? Sorry, rant over. The FX30 has a pair of dual format (SD/CFexpress Type A) memory card slots.

It has a lot more mounting options for things like monitors or microphones, as well as an optional top handle to provide XLR audio inputs. It’s essentially an FX3 with an APS-C sensor.

Sony A6700 Advantages

In the other corner, we’ve got the Sony A6700. Interestingly, it largely keeps up with the FX30’s video spec. It does fall down in a couple of areas, though. It doesn’t have a full-sized HDMI socket and it doesn’t output 16-bit raw video over HDMI. Other than that, though, for most shooting, the A6700 should give you results just as good as the FX3.

Where the Sony A6700 starts to shine, though, is in its stills photography features. It shoots 26-megapixel stills at up to 11 frames per second with a mechanical shutter. The FX30 does shoot a slightly slower 10fps. Sure, it’s still quick, but the FX30 does it with an electronic shutter, not a mechanical one.

It has new AI autofocus and AI auto-framing features, both of which are ideal for content creators, but especially the latter. Auto-framing allows you to crop in on a section of that oversampled image and have the camera pan and scan the shot while you’re recording to make sure you stay the centre of attention.

The A6700 has also seen an improved touch interface, although this may not be an advantage for long. Of course, it might always be an advantage over the FX30, we don’t know yet. It’s entirely possible that Sony may drop a firmware that brings this interface over to the FX30, or they might save it for the FX30 II.

It also houses more advanced timelapse features, as is typical for stills photography cameras.

One thing that’s quite interesting. Over the last three years, the world has become obsessed with webcams. Not surprisingly, the Sony A6700 can act as a webcam when plugged into your PC over USB. It does so quite well, too, offering 4K at up to 30fps. What I find quite interesting about it is that the FX30 can’t do it, despite being released less than a year ago.

Which should you get?

Well, if you’ve gone through all of the other competition on the market and these are your last two options… The question still really boils down to, do you want to shoot photos or video? If photos, get the Sony A6700 (buy here) and if video, get the Sony FX30 (buy here).

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Sony A6700 vs Sony FX30 – Which should you buy?”

  1. Rich Stlemen Avatar
    Rich Stlemen

    Neither