The Sony a6700 is a New Enthusiast-Level, 26-Megapixel APS-C Camera

Sony a6700

Sony has announced the a6700, a brand-new APS-C interchangeable lens mirrorless camera designed for enthusiast photographers and videographers. Promising high-end, professional-grade performance, the a6700 incorporates an improved image sensor and dedicated AI processor.

The Sony a6700 has been a long time coming. Its predecessor, the a6600, was announced way back in August 2019. Nearly four years is an eternity for Sony, a company known for regularly churning out new and upgraded camera models.

More Megapixels, Power, and AI

The lengthy wait has allowed Sony to include a lot of new features in the a6700, including a new sensor. The a6700’s 26-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor appears to be the same sensor that debuted in the FX30 cinema camera Sony released last September. For reference, the Sony a6600 includes a 24.2-megapixel sensor that is not backside-illuminated.

Sony a6700

Paired with the new sensor is a powerful Bionz XR image processing engine and a dedicated AI Processing Unit. When Sony announced the a7R V last October with a special AI processor, Sony promised that it would be a standard feature in many upcoming Alpha cameras. The AI Processing Unit enhances image processing and autofocus performance.

Concerning image quality, while hands-on testing is essential for the full story (make sure to read PetaPixel‘s review), the a6700’s specifications are impressive. The camera’s native ISO range goes from 100 to 102,400 for still photography and is capped at ISO 32,000 for video. Sony claims that the camera delivers 14+ stops of dynamic range during movie recording.

Sony a6700

Despite not being a stacked image sensor, Sony says the 26-megapixel APS-C Exmor R sensor delivers “extremely fast” sensor readout speed. The camera can shoot up to 11 frames per second using its mechanical or electronic shutter with full AF/AE tracking.

Improved Video Performance and Modes Underpinned by Better Sensor and new AI

As for video, users can record 4K video with full-pixel readout or 6K oversampled footage. Among other noteworthy video features, the camera offers 4:2:2 10-bit video, All-I, 4K/120p, FHD/240p, and S-Cinetone and S-Log3 profiles.

Sony a6700
Sony a6700 crop factors

The AI processor offers numerous benefits. Beyond the expected subject recognition and tracking features for autofocus, the AI also promises smoother focusing during movie recording and can be used for an Auto Framing feature.

Auto Framing automatically centers, repositions, and crops the frame to keep the subject in prominent positions within the scene. Sony says it should work well for interviews, music performances, cooking shows, and other similar video content. Auto Framing is also featured in Sony’s recent ZV-E1 compact camera, which sports similar AI-powered features as the new a6700.

Sony a6700

Autofocus System Promises Better Detection, Tracking, and Accuracy

Looking closer at autofocus, the a6700 has a 759-point phase-detection AF system, with points covering 93% of the total image area. Alongside new subject detection modes such as Insects, Cars, Trains, and Planes, the Human and Animals and Birds autofocus modes promise improvement. Sony says the a6700’s Eye AF is 60% better, while Animal and Birds AF performance is more than 40% improved.

Refined, Robust Design

From a design standpoint, the a6700 looks similar to its predecessor, meaning it is a compact and lightweight camera. The a6700 weighs just under 500 grams with its battery and memory card included. Its dimensions (width x height x depth) are 122 x 69 x 63.6 millimeters.

The a6700 offers an upgraded touchscreen compared to the a6600. While both cameras sport a 3.0-inch panel, the a6700’s touchscreen has 1.03 million dots, up from 921,600. The cameras have the same EVF, a 2.36-million dot OLED with 1.07x magnification (0.71x 35mm equivalent). While the EVF’s specs are identical to the a6600, Sony notes that the a6700’s EVF is “almost” as bright as the a7R V’s EVF, so the a6700 may have a revised panel compared to the a6600.

Sony a6700
The a6700 includes a new, larger Z battery

There are other improvements to design and operability. The a6700 has a vari-angle touchscreen, assignable front dial, refined front grip, and larger Z-battery, promising improved battery life for photography and video. The a6700 is constructed using a magnesium alloy chassis, providing resistance against dust and moisture.

Sony a6700
While the a6700 looks a lot like the a6600 at first glance, there are some differences, including the new dedicated AF-ON button on the back of the a6700.

Compared to the a6600, the a6700 uses a new menu system with an improved structure, which should offer significantly improved usability. Like other recent Sony cameras, the a6700 offers numerous accessibility features, including an adjustable screen reader function.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony a6700 will be available in body only and kit configurations sometime later this year (Sony did not specify). The body only is $1,399.99. A kit with the Sony PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens is $1,499. The a6700 is available in a kit with Sony’s 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens for $1,799.99.

Image credits: Jordan Drake for PetaPixel