The Alpha 6000-series is not exactly the group of alpha males in Sony’s pride of cameras with the single-digit Full-Frame alphas firmly in command. However, for an enthusiast, these cameras offer the best of both worlds when it comes to still and video, at an affordable price point. The Alpha 6700 brings improvements in every department with an enhanced autofocus system that can recognise a wider range of targets, increased buffer memory, better image stabilisation and support for a wider range of image and video formats in line with the Cinema Line devices.
Sony Alpha 6700 review
The Alpha 6000-series has a completely evolved design and hence there are no major changes in the Alpha 6700 from the 6600 at least from the front. However, the 6700 now gets a fully articulated LCD, allowing you more flexibility in framing. The device also gets a customisable front control dial similar to the Alpha 7 series. A new dial has been added to the base of the mode dial to switch between Still, Movies, and S&Q modes. S&Q mode provides access to super-slow motion and time-lapse. The recording button has been moved to the top and is now easily accessible, while three custom buttons provide access to your preferred functions. The SD card slot has been shifted near the I/O ports from the battery chamber and hence it’s easier to change memory cards even with the camera mounted on a tripod.
The 6000-series has been one of the most compact APS-C cameras around, and with a lightweight 493-gram body, the Alpha 6700 is quite comfortable to carry around. The textured rubber grip is deep enough to offer a stable hold. The size is optimal for video shooting with a compact grip or a handheld gimbal.
Display and Menu
The Alpha 6700’s 3.0-inch 1.03 million-dot touch-panel LCD monitor offers a fully articulated design. The screen offers gesture control for access to a wide range of menu options. The camera comes with a new menu structure adopted from Alpha full-frame cameras. The new menu is more intuitive with a structured and logical layout. The screen and interface are responsive with all key functions accessible via touch or custom buttons.
The Sony Alpha 6700 uses the popular E-mount, which makes it compatible with both full-frame and APS-C Alpha lenses from Sony in general. The system uses a 26-megapixel APS-C type (23.3 x 15.5 mm), Exmor R CMOS sensor. The device uses a BIONZ XR imaging engine to deliver Fast Hybrid AF with a combination of phase and contrast detection, employing 759 AF points. The camera can now detect more subjects including humans, animals, birds, insects, cars, trains and aeroplanes. The device offers focus bracketing, capturing up to 299 images with sequentially shifting focus for you to stack with precision and create macro images with perfect depth of focus. The 16-50mm kit lens offers full-time direct manual focus (DMF), which lets you rotate the lens focus ring at any time to fine-tune focus.
The camera uses 1200-zone evaluative metering and offers sensitivity from ISO 100 to 32,000 without boost. The mechanical shutter offers shutter speeds from 30 to 1/4000 sec, and the camera offers image sensor-shift five-axis image stabilisation. Continuous drive offers up to 11 fps speed in Hi+ mode. You can shoot up to 143 frames continuously in JPEG Extra fine format in full size, and over 1000 frames in JPEG format with Fine compression. The device can shoot up to 44 continuous Raw and JPG frames simultaneously. The camera can record still images in HEIF format in addition to JPEG and Raw, while videos can be captured in XAVC S (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264), XAVC HS (MPEG-H HEVC/H.265) formats in up to 3840 x 2160, 119.88p (slow-motion).
The Alpha 6700 is optimised for both stills and videos, and adopts advanced colour rendition from Sony’s CineAlta and Cinema Line cameras. The S-Cinetone picture profile comes preset for faithful colour rendition while S-Log3 gamma curve allows more than 14 stops of latitude, aiding in better colour gradation. AI-based real-time subject tracking is available in movies as well, with the ability to recognise and focus on the eyes of a subject. You can import custom LUTs and preview the effect while shooting, providing further flexibility while shooting videos. Apart from touch tracking, you can use a custom button to keep tracking a subject temporarily track a subject in a video. The device also uses breathing compensation to compensate for focus breathing. In-camera time-lapse function allows you to create time-lapse videos within the camera itself.
Sony cameras have always featured advanced smartphone connectivity options and the 6700 enhances this with Sony Creators' App. It allows the transfer of photos and movies and also lets you control the camera remotely. You can stream high-quality content live from the camera and also use the Alpha 6700 as a 4K webcam with advanced AF capabilities.
The electronic viewfinder is a 0.39-inch type, 2.35 million-dot XGA OLED display. I/O ports include SuperSpeed USB (5 Gbps, USB 3.2), HDMI micro connector (Type-D), 3.5 mm stereo minijack, and 3.5mm microphone jack. Wireless connections include Wi-Fi dual band and Bluetooth 4.2 (2.4 GHz). The device has a single SD card (UHS-I/II compliant) slot. The camera is powered by an NP-FZ100 Li-ion battery pack. The camera supports USB PD charging, which lets you charge the battery in the camera using even a power bank that supports PD charging protocol.
The Alpha 6700 performed remarkably well with its 16-50mm power-zoom kit lens. Autofocus was fast and the system would latch on to target subjects with ease. Full-time manual focus and power zoom proved to be life savers while shooting high-action events like the Mumbai Air Show 2024. Airplane detection was a tremendous help, though, at times when the planes were far away, it would lock on to the shimmering sea waves. But these are situations that can confuse even the best AF systems in the world.
We used the Sony Alpha 6700 with a Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-I memory card, and the camera delivered 16 continuous Raw+JPEG (Xtra Fine) frames in 2.31 seconds (7 fps) with an additional writing time of 9.32 sec in Hi+ mode. In Raw mode, it returned 21 frames in 2.8 seconds (7.5 fps) with an extra writing time of 6.74 seconds. In the case of JPEG (Xtra Fine) images, it shot 50 frames in 6 seconds (8.3 fps) and took an additional 8 seconds to clear the buffer. Since the camera is compatible with UHS-II memory cards, the claimed 11 fps continuous shooting is certainly achievable.
Auto White Balance was perfect under daylight, but it retained various levels of casts under all other light sources including shade. While this may not be a deal-breaker for most photographers, make sure that you use a grey card in product shots where colour reproduction has to be precise.
Noise starts to show up from ISO 800, but at lower magnifications, you can practically use the images up to ISO 12,800. At full resolution, you could use up to ISO 3200 without significant noise. One good thing is that the 16-50mm kit lens retains sharpness even at f/11 without any softening due to diffraction, which we normally see at narrow apertures.
The Sony Alpha 6700 is a highly capable APS-C still and video camera that offers all advanced features in a compact and lightweight body. With a fast and precise autofocus system backed by AI subject detection features, the camera is ready for action shots. The compact size and power zoom lens combination allow fast reframing and let vloggers and content creators operate the camera with much flexibility. Having said that, the high levels of noise in still images necessitate an additional step in your post-processing workflow. The retail price takes it uncomfortably close to entry-level full-frame bodies from competitors.
A compact APS-C mirrorless camera that is optimised for both stills and videos.
|APS-C type (23.3 x 15.5 mm), Exmor R CMOS
|Approx. 26.0 million
|Fast Hybrid AF with up to 759 points
|Human, Animal, Bird, Insect, Car, Train, Aeroplane
|Still images: ISO 100–32000
|Mechanical shutter / Electronic shutter
|Image sensor-shift with five-axis compensation
|Up to 11 fps (Hi+)
|One rechargeable battery pack NP-FZ100
|Approx. 493 g
|Approx. 122.0 x 69.0 x 75.1 mm