The Sony A6700 Review & Walkthrough: Latest APS-C Camera Just Released

Making its grand debut after a four-year hiatus in the A6000 series, the Sony A6700 pairs an impressive 26mp back-illuminated APS-C size sensor, promising unparalleled detail in stills, lightning-fast readout speeds, and 4K cinematic quality video for just $1,399.

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Great news abounds — Sony has released its much-awaited A6700, an exciting addition to their famed A6000 line. Another astounding hybrid choice for photographers and filmmakers alike, its better-than-ever compact form and streamlined features are designed for higher-quality shots. But what makes this camera so special? What are its key features? How does it stand against the market’s competitors, especially its A6600 predecessor? Let’s dive in.

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1. The Sony A6700 At a Glance

Bearing the honor of being the first camera added to the A6000 line in four years, the Sony A6700 does not disappoint. Designed to captivate with its 26mp back-illuminated APS-C size sensor, the camera delivers stunning details in stills that will leave you confident. Its innovative AI processor ensures faster readout speeds and enhanced autofocus capabilities, and the ability to shoot in 4K 10-bit 422 at a glorious 120 fps will elevate your cinematic footage.

The camera also introduces a new flip-out screen, an indispensable tool for creative minds seeking flexibility in shooting angles. Uniquely shaped in a rangefinder-style body, its viewfinder is located on the left of the camera, a subtle shift from traditional DSLR-style builds.

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2. The A6600 vs. A6700

If you own the A6600 or are considering one over the other, you will notice a substantial number of improvements in the A6700. These include a higher resolution, a revamped body design, and a speedier autofocus facilitated by the new AI processor. In the A6600 model, the screen was designed to flip upwards, making vlogging challenging, especially when a microphone was attached. For those keen on video shooting, the A6700 has 10-bit video, a feature previously exclusive to professional shooters. The A6700 is a highly recommended upgrade for those seeking more advanced manual control and a significantly superior picture quality that is evident even to the pixel-peepers.

3. Power & Storage

First, you must understand its power and storage requirements. The camera operates on Sony’s NPFZ100 battery, making it interchangeable with the FX and A7 line-up models. So, for those already owning an A7III or above, this camera fits right into your existing kit.

The Sony A6700 includes a single SD card slot that accepts SDXC cards, both UHS-I and UHS-II. For the best experience, especially while shooting in 4K at 120fps or using the S&Q modes, Sony recommends a V60 or higher SD card. My personal choice? The OWC Atlas Ultra V90 card is known for its super speed and cost-effectiveness. Trust me; it delivers beautifully and records swiftly with ease.

And best of all — it’s packed with easy-to-use WiFi capabilities using 80.11ac 2x2 MIMO (or the Superspeed USB 10GBS) straight to your phone or Sony’s Creators’ Cloud.

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4. Getting Comfortable with the Body & Touch Screen

The first thing you'll notice about the A6700 is its minimalistic and streamlined design. Sporting a power switch, camera shutter, record button, rear command dial, and mode dial, the camera simplifies navigation and operation. Custom modes, manual, aperture, shutter priority, program, and auto modes are all at your fingertips. Don’t get it too wet or in extreme weather conditions, though, as the body heats quickly in warm weather and is only moisture-resistant against minimal residue.

Moreover, the standout feature is the unique mode switch, allowing you to seamlessly switch between Photo, Video, and S&Q modes. This means your button and on-screen menu functions will follow suit even when you switch modes. The A6700 also includes a handy swipe-on touch menu for easy access to essential settings.

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5. For Photographers

The camera's significantly enhanced 26.1MP sensor offers images of high resolution that are rich in detail and clarity. This makes for a quick and accurate focus on both human and animal subjects. Our pictures were notably clear, even under the challenging conditions of harsh sunlight and undesirable shadow casting. Skin tones were captured beautifully, remaining lifelike, a critical feature for me that is non-negotiable. An added advantage is the camera's compatibility with my full-frame Sony lenses. This greatly extends my lens options, as I'm not strictly limited to APS-C-specific lenses. This flexibility was a major plus point.

Quick Walkthrough of Photo Capture Settings

Having delved into the nifty menu and button functions, let's walk through setting up for photo capture with the Sony A6700. Begin by shifting the mode dial to the camera or photo icon. Now, you're in photography mode. The touchscreen interface of the A6700 is quite user-friendly, enabling you to effortlessly adjust primary settings such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

However, if you're an old-school photographer comfortable with physical buttons, Sony has you covered. You can use the front command dial to control the aperture and the rear command dial for shutter speed. Adjusting the ISO is a breeze, too – simply tap on the ISO tab and set it as per your preference.

One commendable feature Sony has incorporated into the A6700 is the swipe and touch menu. This element does more than just simplify navigation; it offers quick access to crucial functions. For instance, a quick tap on the top button can snap a photo for you instantly. The red dot is a direct route to the recording function.

The person icon lets you set a recognition target, allowing the camera to focus on humans, animals, birds, insects, cars, trains, airplanes – you name it. The touch function can be adjusted according to your liking: touch focus, touch tracking, touch shutter, or even touch automatic exposure. However, if you feel overwhelmed by the touchscreen, you can always switch it off.

A touch on the screen’s bottom-left corner lets you review your captures via the playback option. Adjusting shutter speed, aperture, and ISO is made effortless thanks to the touchscreen – a mere finger touch does the trick. The bottom-right corner is your creative haven – it lets you tweak the creative look, adjust the white balance and focus area, and even select the drive mode. Whether you want to capture burst mode photos, set a self-timer, or take bracketed photos, the touch menu is your one-stop solution. A quick press of the function button on the camera's back unveils a host of additional camera settings to play with.

And finally, while immersing yourself in photography, you can choose between using the fully articulating screen or the viewfinder for framing your shots. The Sony A6700 ensures every photographer feels at home, whether a touchscreen lover or a button enthusiast.

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6. For The Filmmaker

The Sony A6700 camera, equipped with an APS-C sensor, opens up an extensive range of more affordable lenses for users. However, it's worth noting that Sony's full-frame lenses are also compatible with this model.

This camera stands out with its 4K 120 10-bit 4:2:2 shooting capabilities and the addition of a new flip-out screen. Despite its advanced features, the A6700 adopts a more compact body reminiscent of a rangefinder style. Its size makes it slightly smaller than cameras like the A74 or FX3, increasing its portability.

The camera's stabilization feature is outstanding. The quality of footage in the active mode rivals that of a gimbal, achieved solely through in-camera stabilization. It's reassuring that we no longer need to rely on a cumbersome gimbal, as the camera modes can be swiftly adjusted to create a comparable effect.

Adding to its arsenal of novel features, Sony has introduced a new microphone, which is surprisingly handy. This microphone seamlessly slides onto the camera; no wires are necessary. It supports recording in eight modes: front, rear, simultaneous front and rear, and omnidirectional. Its user-friendliness and competitive pricing make it stand out among other microphones in the market.

Quick Walkthrough of Video Recording Settings

At the top of the menu, the record button, a soft skin effect feature for those desiring a softened skin texture in their footage, and the recognition target.

The touch function is a handy feature to keep on touch tracking. This lets you tap a subject to auto-focus on it. Simply tap the small ‘x’ on the screen to cancel this. Playback and options for adjusting your shutter, aperture, ISO, and white balance can be found at the bottom.

Moving to the top of the screen, you'll discover the self-timer mode, focus mode (allowing switches between manual and auto focus), picture profiles (for instance, PP 11 for S-Cinetone shooting), and finally, your creative looks. Not interested in shooting an S-Log3? Easily switch between different looks and refine them by adjusting contrast, highlights, and more.

Tapping the function button at the back of the camera reveals even more settings. One worthy mention is the new addition: active mode in image stabilization. Standard image stabilization suffices for handheld footage, but active mode comes into play when attempting a tracking shot without a gimbal, offering enhanced stabilization by slightly cropping the sensor.

Now, let's explore the two critical menus for video shooting: Main Menu I and Main Menu II. Accessible via the menu button and the little house icon, these menus offer many customizable options.

In main menu one, tweak your frame rates — going up to 4K 120 if desired. Pay particular attention to the file format and record-setting. The file format determines your shooting resolution, with options like 4K HD or less compressed 4K formats — I recommend sticking with XAVC S 4K. The record-setting, by default, is at 8-bit, but consider switching it to 4:2:2 10-bit for maximized color depth in your footage.

Main menu two is the go-to if you wish to shoot in Slog3. Here, navigate to the log shooting setting and enable it. Shooting in SLog3 might initially startle you with its desaturated, gray-screen appearance. Still, it’s invaluable if you plan on color grading in post-production.

Finally, if you do not like the desaturated view when shooting in SLog3, there's a workaround. Return to main menu one and find the 'SLog3' option. Select 'LUT,' switch to 'S709,' and the footage on your monitor will now appear saturated. Importantly, this only affects the monitor view and won't alter your raw out-of-camera footage, serving as a preview of what your post-color graded footage could look like.

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7. Exploring S&Q and Timelapse

S&Q, or Slow and Quick, is a versatile feature in modern cameras, including this bad boy. It allows filmmakers to shoot slow-motion and time-lapse videos directly in the camera, providing immediate creative control. The slow-motion captures high-speed action for dramatic emphasis, while the time-lapse function compresses extended periods into short sequences, perfect for establishing scenes or transitions.

If you're interested in shooting in S&Q mode, short for Slow and Quick or Time-lapses, the first step is to switch the dial on your camera to the S&Q setting. This action will display two options on your screen: TimeLapse and S&Q, allowing you to select your preferred mode.

Suppose you choose the S&Q mode. In that case, you can further fine-tune your settings by accessing the menu, navigating to the 'Image Quality' section, and selecting the 'S&Q Settings.’ Under 'Frame Rate Settings,’ you can control your recording speed. For instance, if you wish to shoot at 120 frames per second and set the record frame rate to 24, that's entirely possible. After making this selection, don't forget to adjust the 'Record Setting' to shoot in 4:2:2, 10-bit mode to maximize color depth in your footage.

Once you're finished with the S&Q mode and want to transition to TimeLapse, it's as simple as swiping on the screen and selecting the 'M' icon at the top, which switches your camera to the TimeLapse mode. To adjust your TimeLapse settings, head back to the menu, where you'll find 'TimeLapse Settings' conveniently located right under the S&Q settings. Here, you can set your frame rate and interval time according to your needs. And, like before, I highly recommend shooting in 4:2:2, 10-bit mode to ensure the best color output.

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8. Enhancing Audio with the ECM-M1 Mic

The ECM-M1, an impressive compact microphone, accompanied Sony’s release of the A6700 camera. This device has four microphones and eight distinct recording modes to cater to your audio needs. The ultra-directional mode captures sound solely from the front, suppressing unwanted noise from other directions. The stereo mode reproduces realistic audio positioning from the left and right channels, which is ideal for recording car movements, music, or theater performances.

The super-directional front and rear separate mode captures front audio on channel one and rear audio on channel two, perfect for documentary-style interviews. There's also an option to record front and rear audio on the same channel, which is handy for interactive situations like a vlog where you might be engaging with people in front of and behind the camera.

Other modes include the super-directional rear for narration over the footage, omnidirectional for equal sound pickup from all directions, and unidirectional, excellent for recording conferences with multiple speakers. The super-directional mode is similar to ultra-directional but captures a slightly wider sound field.

Moreover, the ECM-M1 comes with a windscreen accessory, which is useful for outdoor shooting in windy conditions. With no wires or batteries, this microphone easily connects to your camera's cold shoe mount, simplifying your audio capture setup for a seamless shooting experience.

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This exceptional tech stands ready to enhance your creative journey, meeting the needs of photographers and videographers alike. As you explore the A6700, don't hesitate to reach out with questions. Stay tuned for more updates, and don't forget to like and subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be part of our creative community. Until next time!

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