Sony just announced their newest APS-C camera with the Sony a6700 – an update to the a6600 from August 2019. The a6700 sits at the top of Sony’s APS-C lineup and is launching for $1400, body only. How much has changed in four years? Here’s what we know.
Most of Sony’s improvements to the a6700 come in two areas: autofocus and video features. On paper, the a6700 currently ranks among Sony’s most advanced cameras for autofocus capabilities, borrowing the Bionz XR processor and AI processing unit of the high-end Sony a7R V.
As for videography, the a6700 sports 4K 120p video (albeit with an added crop), minimal rolling shutter, and 10-bit S-log capabilities. It promises excellent video quality up to 60p, with full-width 4K video oversampled from 6K.
In terms of handling features, the Sony a6700 adds a deeper hand grip, an additional control dial on the front of the camera, and more buttons compared to the previous a6600 – all fitting for a higher-end camera. The fully articulating rear LCD is an unexpected but welcome addition, too.
However, it’s not all good news. The Sony a6700 has some of the same drawbacks as the previous a6600, which were already questionable choices four years ago – such as a single card slot, a low-resolution LCD, and a relatively basic IBIS system. There is also no joystick on the a6700, and the buffer capacity is middling, which undercuts some of the camera’s value for sports and wildlife photography. These factors leave the a6700 looking weaker in some areas than other APS-C cameras, such as the Canon EOS R7 and a variety of Fuji X bodies.
Ultimately, the value of the Sony a6700 will come down to your situation. If you’re planning to get an APS-C camera as a cheaper option for sports and wildlife photography, you’ll need to weigh the a6700’s autofocus improvements against its missing joystick and single card slot. But if you’re considering it as a hybrid stills/video camera, it’s hard to deny the camera’s versatility.
While I think that $1400 is slightly overpriced for a camera with these features in 2023, I give Sony props for following up on their goal to add the Bionz XR processor and AI autofocus algorithms throughout their camera lineup. That combination is close to the best autofocus performance we’ve seen in mirrorless cameras today, and it’s a welcome sight in an APS-C camera like the a6700. Combined with the a6700’s new video features, it makes for a competent update over the a6600 despite some lingering missing features.
If you need an APS-C camera with great video features and rapid-fire autofocus performance, the truth is that you have a variety of options today, including the Canon EOS R7, Fuji X-H2, Fuji X-H2S, and Fuji X-S20. Now you can add the Sony a6700 to that list. It doesn’t bring any groundbreaking features to the table, but it iterates over the a6600 in some useful ways – and perhaps most importantly, it shows that Sony is still working on their a6X00 series despite a four year gap since the last releases.
The Sony a6700 will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow morning, Thursday July 13 at 10AM Eastern. You can pre-order it here from B&H:
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Sony Electronics Releases Next-generation APS-C Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera “α6700” with Simultaneous Release of Versatile Compact Shotgun Microphone ECM-M1
High-precision subject recognition by AI and the latest still image and video performance are condensed into a compact APS-C body for the first time
SAN DIEGO, CA. July 12, 2023 – Today, Sony Electronics announces the release of its newest APS-C mirrorless camera, the α6700. This new offering combines the cutting-edge still image and video capabilities found in the latest full-frame Alpha™ and Cinema Line series with the compact and lightweight design of the α6000 series, resulting in Sony’s most advanced APS-C mirrorless camera to date.
Combining an APS-C back-illuminated Exmor R® CMOS image sensor boasting 26 effective megapixels with the speed and power of Sony’s advanced BIONZ XR® processing engine, the α6700 achieves exceptional imaging performance while maintaining a compact and lightweight design.
The camera supports high-resolution 4K video recording at up to 120fpsi, a wide latitude of 14+ stopsii for capturing details in harsh or under-lit conditions and features the S-Cinetone™ picture profile found in Sony’s professional Cinema Line for refined movie imagery that doesn’t require color grading, and it delivers stunning representation of human skin tones. For videographers and vloggers, Sony simultaneously releases the ECM-M1 shotgun microphone, capable of high-quality sound with eight sound pickup modes including stereo.
“With the release of the α6700, Sony continues its commitment to elevate the abilities of creators everywhere and at every level by empowering them with state-of-the-art tools that enable their creativity to relentlessly move forward. Sony will continue to expand its APS-C line-up to cater to and support image production activities of a diverse array of creators,” says Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc.
Highly accurate subject recognition with AI
The latest APS-C size, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor boasts approximately 26 effective megapixels, paired with our advanced BIONZ XR engine for exceptional imaging performance. Standard ISO sensitivity spans 100 to 32000 for both stills and movies, allowing high-sensitivity, low-noise shooting. Enhanced color reproduction ensures subjects like people and plants are captured with natural hues, while Creative Look features allow unique visual expressions.
The AI processing unit is inherited from the α7R V, enabling high accuracy “Real-Time Recognition AF (autofocus).” Beyond the α6000 series’ human and animal recognition, it now accurately identifies various subjects such as human, animal, bird, insect, car/train, and airplane, catering to diverse creative expressions. When paired with today’s newly launched FE 70-200MM F4 Macro G OSS IIiii, it offers 105 mm to 300 mm focal lengths in 35mm full-frame equivalent, leveraging the power of telephoto zoom for high-quality shooting. Additionally, it’s compatible with a broad array of E-mount lenses, and Sony’s E-mount lenses covering full-frame and Cinema Line cameras with a single mount.
Excellent video performance compatible with 4K120pi
Harnessing data equivalent to 6K, the α6700 outputs superior 4K video, including support for high-frame-rate recording at 4K 120fps. It features S-Log3, offering a latitudes of 14+ stopsii, for stellar gradation. Also equipped with S-Cinetone, the α6700 offers impressive skin tone depiction and subject highlighting, technologies honed through our Cinema Line development, while its AI-driven Auto-Framingiv smoothly tracks subjects, eliminating the need for manual camera movement. The body houses a Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe compatible with digital audio interfaces. Used in conjunction with the new ECM-M1 shotgun microphone, it allows for direct digital audio transmission, capturing high-quality, undegraded sound.
Mobility, operability, and connectivity unique to a compact and lightweight device
With a compact design (approx. 4 7/8 × 2 3/4 × 3 in. and weighing about 1 lb 1.4 oz.v), the α6700 is highly portable. It has a user-friendly, touch-operable vari-angle LCD monitor, coupled with a modern touch menu for effortless operation. Customizable front dial and a switching dial for still images, movies, and S&Q modes are also featured. It is also equipped with optical 5-axis in-body image stabilization system with 5.0 stopsvi of shutter speed advantage for stills and an Active Modevii ensures stable footage.
In terms of connectivity, the camera now supports the Creators’ Appviii for seamless uploads of videos and still images to cloud services. Sony also plans to roll out a new version of the “Camera Remote SDK” in July 2023, allowing remote operation and setting adjustments.
Environmental conscious and accessibility
Recycled materials, including SORPLASTMx, are used throughout the camera body, reducing environmental impact without sacrificing functionality. Over the past 10 years, Sony has replaced approximately 379 tonsix of virgin plastic with recycled plastic in digital cameras and digital video cameras.
In addition, it is equipped with Sony’s Screen Reader functionxi that reads menus and video playback screens aloud to assist operations, supporting the creative activities of a wide variety of creators.
Main features of shotgun microphone ECM-M1
The ECM-M1 is the world’s first shotgun microphone with eight dial-selectable audio recording modelsxii. With 4 microphone capsules and unique beamforming and advanced digital processing technology, it offers varied modes including stereo. Its ultra-directional mode captures targeted sound from the front (within a 30-degree width) and at the same time effectively suppresses other sounds, dynamically adapting to ambient sound in the surroundings. This mode is ideal for interviews and selfie-oriented scenarios where the subject is always in front of the microphone.
A newly added mode dial with a locking mechanism ensures easy, secure switching of sound pickup modes. The ECM-M1 features noise reduction utilities like a noise cut filter for reducing background noise and a low-cut filter for minimizing vibration and low frequency noise. These filters are implemented through digital signal processing, maximizing audio quality at the recording stage and thereby reducing the need for complex post processing. It also supports 4-channel recording (compatible cameras only), allowing safety recording in omnidirectional mode on channels 3 and 4, while channels 1 and 2 focus on selected directivity.
Compact and lightweight, the ECM-M1 enhances mobility, empowering creators to capture high-quality audio in diverse situations. Simply clip the microphone into the Multi Interface Shoe on a compatible camera for direct power and audio connections without the need for extra cables or batteries. When connected via the Multi Interface Shoe of a compatible camera that features a built-in digital audio interface, the audio signal is directly transferred to the camera in digital form so that no degradation can occur. A simple switch also provides compatibility with a wide range of cameras using an analog interface.
Pricing and Availability
The new α6700 will be available in 2023 at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers:
- α6700 camera only: MSRP $1399.99 USD, $1899.99 CAN
- α6700 “L” kit w/PZ1650: MSRP $1499.99 USD, $1999.99 CAN
- α6700 “M” kit w/18135: MSRP $1799.99 USD, $2399.99 CAN
The new ECMM1 microphone will be available for MSRP $349.99 USD and $469.99 CAN.
For detailed product information of the new α6700, please visit:
Product videos of the new α6700 can be viewed here:
For detailed product information of the new ECM-M1, please visit: https://electronics.sony.com/imaging/imaging-accessories/all-accessories/p/ecmm1
Product videos of the new ECM-M1 can be viewed here:
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new α6700 and Sony’s other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony α – Alpha brand.
About Sony Electronics Inc.
Sony Electronics is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America and an affiliate of Sony Group Corporation, one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world, with a portfolio that encompasses electronics, music, motion pictures, mobile, gaming, robotics and financial services. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sony Electronics is a leader in electronics for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution and customer service. Sony Electronics creates products that innovate and inspire generations, such as the award-winning Alpha Interchangeable Lens Cameras and revolutionary high-resolution audio products. Sony is also a leading manufacturer of end-to-end solutions from 4K professional broadcast and A/V equipment to industry leading 4K and 8K Ultra HD TVs. Visit http://www.sony.com/news for more information.
i QFHD (3840×2160). About 38% of the angle of view is cropped.
ii When shooting S-Log3. Sony internal measurement.
iii For details on the FE 70-200MM F4 Macro G OSS II, please see the press release announced on July 12, 2023. URL: https://electronics.sony.com/imaging/lenses/all-e-mount/p/sel70200g2
iv Valid only in video mode. The angle of view is narrowed because it is cropped from a 4K resolution image.
v Weight includes battery and memory card.
vi CIPA standard compliant, Pitch/Yaw direction, with FE 50 mm F1.2 GM attached, long exposure noise reduction off.
vii In Active Mode, the shooting angle of view is slightly narrower.
viii Check regional availability of services and applications via the URL below: Creators’ App: https://www.sony.net/cca , Creators’ Cloud: https://www.sony.net/cc/ Download app at Google Play and the App Store. Network services, content, and operating system and software subject to terms and conditions and may be changed, interrupted or discontinued at any time and may require fees, registration and credit card information.
ix According to Sony research. Recycled materials used for product body and accessories from April 2012 to March 2022.
x SORPLAS™ may not be used for the parts used depending on the production period.
xi Supported languages differ depending on the sales region.
xii As of the July 2023 press release. Sony research. As a camera microphone.