The Sony A6700 packs a big punch for such a little body

Aug 22, 2023

Jay P. Morgan

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.

The Sony A6700 packs a big punch for such a little body

Aug 22, 2023

Jay P. Morgan

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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Hey everybody, it’s Jay P. here. I’m down in Pasadena. We’re doing a little walkabout with the new Sony a6700 (buy here). A lot of great features with this camera. Let’s explore them. Let’s see how it works. Let’s see some images. And let’s just see exactly what’s new on the new Sony a6700.

So let’s talk about some of the general specs of the a6700. It’s a 26-megapixel APS-C sensor. It’s got that new Bionz XR processor with a dedicated AI processing engine. It shoots 11 frames per second, which is pretty much the same as the a6600 (buy here).

But it does shoot 11 frames a second both in mechanical and electronic shutter, which means you can get a faster shutter speed with that electronic shutter.

For autofocus, it has 759 autofocus points, which means it covers about 93% of the sensor. That’s more than the a6600. So it gives you great coverage of the sensor with regard to autofocus. The autofocus we’re going to test and look at today. And my experience with this so far is that it is very good, as Sony has been for quite some time now. So let’s get out and shoot with this camera. And let’s see exactly what it’s got. Let’s take a look at what’s new. What does this camera have that the a6600 did not?

One of the most significant upgrades I think on the a6700 is the front dial, and being able to control different features of your camera with that front finger is extremely useful. And it’s been needed in this price range. It’s very common. So I think that’s a great step for this camera to have that front dial. Also, I love the new menu system. I love the fact that it looks more like the a7R V, which I shoot on. I love that. So the menu system is really easy to navigate and use. And I think that those two things are a huge upgrade with this camera. And probably two of the features that I think really are moving it up to the next level.

So the a6700 comes in at $1,399. It is very much… Even though it’s in the same category as something like a Canon EOS R7 (buy here), it is very much its own style of camera. It’s a very compact camera body, as you know from the whole a6000 series. So in that, there are some compromises.

Adding that wheel in the front has certainly helped you have a very small EVF off to the side. I got used to that pretty quickly after I used it for just a little bit here this morning. I’m very, it’s very comfortable to me. I miss a spot for my little finger right here. But pretty soon, I find myself supporting the camera underneath with that finger. And it becomes very natural to me after a few seconds, after a few minutes. So the camera really does work on keeping it that small streamlined body that you can carry with you to do street photography or travel photography. I think that makes this a unique camera.

I’m shooting the 16-55mm. It’s a f/2.8 lens on here from Sony. And that lens is made for the APS-C sensor. It’s actually a great lens with a great walk-around lens for this camera. I just love the compact, unique style of the a6000 series. But now the a6700 has got some features that just step it up and make it even more useful for me. So ergonomically, it’s unique, but it works.

So let’s talk about the video aspects of the a6700. It has a fully articulated screen, the first one of this series, of the a6000 series.

That opens up a lot of options. That becomes a kickoff point if you want to do any kind of vlogging or if you want to use it in the corner. I mean a lot of cinematic types of applications. I use that all the time. So that flip-out screen is really valuable. It’s built on the same sensor as the FX30. So there’s a lot of great video capabilities. So the a6700 shoots 4k up to 60P from 6k and is really in this category.

I think the R7 is sub-sampling. And so that this is a much higher picture quality, a much better image. It does this up to 4.2.2 color space. It’ll give you 120 frames a second at a 1.58 crop. So there is a significant crop, but it does give you the option to do 120 frames a second, which is really good. As we’ve seen other Sony models, we have an XAVC HS, which is a great high quality.

We’ve got an XAVC All-I which is going to require a fee after a V90 card in order to be able to record that. There’s a lot of information there. Most of these others will record on slower cards, but you’re going to need a V90 card. It does have an XAVC long GOP, which is H.264. You get S-Log and S-Log 3. And you get HlG profiles that come with this camera. So this camera has great video specs.

So the a6700, from the ZV-1, gets the auto framing function. So the auto-framing mode really works on a couple of principles. One, you have to be on a wide-angle lens so that there is room to crop in and move around. And I think it works better. If you’re moving up to the camera and away from the camera, you’re just walking side to side away from the camera. It will crop in on you and follow you side by side.

So that does work. You have the responsiveness to either make it very slow, so it feels very organic, or it can go very fast. So it pops in fast. If you want more of a, you know, just a little more of a look that’s a little more edgy. So there’s some different settings. You can go there from a small crop to a heavy crop.

And you can play around with that. I think it’s a fun mode. And if you’re doing any kind of one-person shooting, any kind of vlogging, it’s just a fun thing to work with. I think this will really progress in the future. I see a time when it may change the focal length of the lens, which would really make it valuable rather than just an electronic crop. So auto framing, it’s a fun thing to play with.

In still mode on the a6700, you can do a soft skin effect. I’m seeing this more and more in so many different applications. News shows are using it. It’s being done all the time. But it will just soften the skin just slightly. It’s an algorithm that was made to soften the skin. Here’s an example of it as just the lowest level. Here’s without anything. Now here’s an example of the lowest mode. Here’s a medium mode. And there’s the highest mode.

Interestingly enough, if you look at these images, it softens the face but not the neck. Some of us need the neck. I want it to smooth out the neck.

Anyway, I think it’s just something interesting in the camera. You might use this in some applications. I would possibly use it on the lowest setting to just give us a little softer, just a little softer skin in some situations. So there you have it, soft skin effect.

For the stills autofocus test, we’re going to shoot at 1/1,000th of a second. So the person walking is not blurring. 1/1,000th of a second and f/2.8. So it has to stay right on. The focus has to be right on the eye. And let’s take a look at those images.

So that’s how we’re going to shoot our autofocus test for the still images. So we’re shooting 11 frames a second as I walk up to the camera. And it’s keeping me in focus, every single one, even with my glasses. Even as I go to really close. There used to be a time in that transition period on some cameras where you would lose focus.

Sony has become so good when it comes to the focus.

And the a6700 is no different, whether you’re in a, you know, eye mode on humans or animals. I was taking some pictures of my dog.

And that eye tracking for the animal was perfectly spot on. You got airplanes, you got cars, you got several different options there. I think this new camera, the a6700 has all of the advantages that you have with a lot of the other models with the Sony. And it really excels. I think in autofocus, it excels, no doubt about it.

For all the autofocus tests, we’re going to use an ND filter. We’re going to shoot at f/2.8 in video mode. So an f/2.8 at 1/50th of a second. And so, we just see that autofocus has to work at f/2.8. And that’s going to, with a variable ND, going to keep us at f/2.8.

And that’s going to make it so it really has to stay right on us. So that’s how we’re going to shoot the autofocus test for the video. So the a6700 combines all of the algorithms, everything that Sony has been working on for autofocus forever.

And in video mode, if I turn around, if I’m moving backwards, if I leave the frame, it’ll pick me up again and come back in. It really is incredible. I can’t say enough about the autofocus when it comes to the Sony cameras.

The a6700 has all those algorithms, and it’s working perfectly. So you can see it as I move back and forth. Pretty effective. So I think when it comes to autofocus, the a6700, this whole series of Sony cameras is pretty incredible.

So let’s look at some of the images.

Some beautiful images this morning. Not as wonderful, those blue skies, as I had wanted it to be. A little cloudy as we went out and shot this morning.

But some great images, you know, the color is wonderful. Sony has always in the past been a little bit on the greenish side.

I don’t see that anymore. I see the color is very clean. I think it’s really good. It’s very strong when it comes to blues and purples.

You don’t get as quite as strong when it comes to the reds or oranges. Certainly not compared to Canon you don’t. We’re going to compare that in a comparison we’re going to do tomorrow.

But still great images. Let’s look at those images and just see how beautiful that color is.

So let’s wrap this up. I think the a6700 is a major step forward in that 6000 series. And certainly makes it very competitive with the other cameras that fall in this, whether it’s from Fujifilm or from Canon.

I think the a6700 really competes in that area, especially in video. It is way above in a lot of the video aspects that it has, compared to those other cameras. It’s taken 4k from a 6k which is really wonderful. It’s not sub-sampling, which the R7 does. So it really makes a big difference.

I think this is a great video camera. It’s that small form factor. If you love that small form factor, then this camera is extremely useful. Adding that wheel in the front has made it way more useful and quick to use with regards to settings. I do miss that joystick in the back still.

But you can use the touch screen to be able to do a lot of that maneuvering. But it’s not near as easy. But overall I think this is an incredible camera. I think that if you’re in the Sony world, if you’re in the a6000 range, you got one of those like the a6600, this is worth the step up. There’s no doubt about it.

If you’re looking for something small and compact you want to travel with, this is a great option. So take a look at the a6700. It’s been fun shooting with it. It’s been really fun. I think you’ll enjoy the camera. So keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!

About the Author

Jay P. Morgan is a commercial photographer, educator, and YouTube creator. You will find more of his work on The Slanted Lens, and you can follow him on InstagramFacebookTwitterYouTube, and support his work through Patreon. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

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