Sony A6700 vs A6600: differences and similarities
The Sony A6600 has been succeeded by the Sony A6700 after years, and in this piece, we will compare their similarities and differences: Sony A6700 vs. A6600.
With a three-year gap, it’s expected that the Sony A6600, released in 2020, may contain less up-to-date technologies compared to the Sony A6700, released in 2023. And indeed, this is the case, and it’s not just about having a few more megapixels. Differences also lie in how Sony perceives its audience today, which desires a camera that can do it all; a hybrid camera.
This means that the Sony A6700 must excel in photography, with new autofocus technologies, and also hold its ground in the realm of filmmaking. Sony’s last APS-C sensor camera release was the Sony FX30, which was video-oriented. The Sony A6700 employs the same 26-megapixel sensor as the FX30.
Sony A6700 vs. A6600
- Sony A6700: 26MP APS-C BSI Exmor R CMOS sensor, Bionz XR processor
- Sony A6600: 24MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, Bionz X image processor
The Sony A6700 has gained 2 more megapixels, but that’s probably the least interesting of the improvements. The Back Side Illuminated (BSI) sensor is much more intriguing. A BSI sensor has a different structure, which allows it to capture and process light better, resulting in more information and better images.
The sensor itself has also been improved, and the A6700 now uses the Bionz XR processor instead of the Bionz X image processor. The sensor and image processor work together to handle higher speeds, greater resolutions, and higher bitrates.
So, the sensor and image processor of the A6700 have been significantly enhanced, marking a big step forward!
It might seem logical that the Sony A6600 is less expensive, which makes sense. However, before the Sony A6700, the A6600 used to be significantly pricier. The price difference is relatively small for a camera that is three years newer and incorporates the latest technologies.
Whether this price difference is worth it or not primarily depends on your budget and whether you require the latest camera technologies.
- Sony A6700: 100-32000, expandable to ISO 50-102400 for photography
- Sony A6600: 100-32000, expandable to ISO 50-102400 for photography
The ISO range of the two cameras is the same. Higher ISO values are generally not recommended due to the introduction of noise in the image. However, thanks to the new sensor and image processor, the A6700 will handle higher ISO values better, with less loss of quality and detail due to noise suppression.
- Phase-detection AF with 759 AF points for photography
- Phase-detection with 495 AF points for video
- Same AI processing unit as Sony A7R V with subject detection
- Phase-detection with 425 AF points for both video and photography
Whether the difference in AF points and AI processing makes a big difference depends on whether you’ll use it. The Sony A6700 is three years newer, and in that time, AI processing in autofocus has greatly advanced. The A6700 clearly excels in subject recognition.
The AI unit and phase detection of the A6700 recognize and track the heads and eyes of both humans and animals, as well as recognize cars, trains, and airplanes for video and photo modes.
it’s important to note that the autofocus of the A6600 was and still is fast and accurate. If you need simple autofocus, then the A6600 offers more than you probably need. However, if you want eyes and heads to be tracked, for example, during sports events, then the A6700 is the logical choice.
- Sony A6700: 4K 60fps oversampled from 6K footage | UHD 4K up to 120fps with 38% crop | 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording | 14+ stops dynamic range in S-log 3 | AI-driven autoframing
- Sony A6600: 4K 30fps oversampled from 6K footage | FHD 120fps | 4:2:0 8-bit internal | 4:2:2 10-bit via HDMI | 14+ stops dynamic range in S-Log3
The Sony A6600 delivered impressive video performance for a camera released in 2020, but it’s the A6700 that surpasses the A6600. The significant difference is the ability to record 4K 60fps footage oversampled from 6K material. Recording 4K 120fps footage is also impressive. However, a 38% crop is applied when shooting at this frame rate. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re using wide-angle lenses.
The image quality on the A6700 is also much higher. The A6600 stops at 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording, while the A6700 can record 4:2:2 10-bit internally. This means that more colors and greater color depth are processed. Especially when using S-cinetone color profiles, 10-bit recording is a significant advantage.
AI-driven autoframing is a new feature where the camera captures a static wide shot and automatically produces new framings as a subject moves through the frame. This way, you can create dynamic shots from a single static image.
- Sony A6700: 5-axis in-body stabilization, 5 stops, active mode for video
- Sony A6600: 5-axis in-body stabilization, 5 stops
Regarding stabilization for photography, nothing has changed, and you still have up to 5 stops of stabilization on 5 axes. However, for video, the active mode has been added. This is particularly useful when shooting handheld. A crop is applied when you enable the active mode, but it’s still much better than having shaky footage.
- Sony A6700: 11fps, JPEG Fine 1000+ images, raw 59 images
- Sony A6600: 11fps, JPEG Fine 115 images, raw 49 images
The first difference we see is that the A6700 has a significantly larger JPEG buffer. The jump from 115 to 1000+ images is enormous, of course. If you shoot in RAW, you can store 10 more images in the buffer compared to the A6700’s predecessor.
The reason for this larger difference lies in the new Bionz XR image processor. It has more memory and speed, allowing for faster image processing and writing to the memory card. The Sony A6700 also supports UHS II SD cards, which are much faster than the UHS I cards used by the Sony A6600.
The number of frames per second is still capped at 11. While this is more than enough for most types of photography, it’s not very high in a time when 40 to 120fps is achieved. Therefore, it’s not the ideal camera for bird photography or sports photography.
Viewfinder and Screen
- Sony A6700: 0.39-inch, 2,359k dots, 1.07x magnification, 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,036k dots
- Sony A6600: 0.39-inch, 2,359k dots, 1.07x magnification, 3-inch tilt screen, 921k dots
While Sony’s flagship Sony A7R V has a viewfinder with 9,444k dots and 0.9x magnification, Sony doesn’t put in as much effort for their mid-range cameras. Both viewfinders have relatively low resolutions.
However, Sony continues the trend of replacing their tilt screens with vari-angle versions. While the tilt screen can only be rotated up and down, the vari-angle screen can be rotated in all directions. For vloggers, the most important aspect is that the screen can be fully flipped, allowing them to see themselves. The A6700’s screen has a slight resolution bump to 1,036k dots.
- Sony A6700: 1x SD, UHS II
- Sony A6600: 1x Memory Stick Pro Duo/SD UHS I
While some users might have hoped for dual card slots, Sony has stuck with a single slot. Dual card slots can be useful for creating immediate backups during shooting or for continuing to shoot when one card is full. If Sony had included dual card slots on the A6700, the camera would have also become larger and heavier.
However, the A6700 can handle faster UHS-II cards, while the A6600 uses UHS-I cards. The faster cards enable quicker processing, allowing for burst photography with large buffers and higher-resolution and heavier video recording.
- Sony A6700: NP-FZ100, up to 550 shots (Viewfinder) | Up to 570 shots (LCD screen) (CIPA standard), USB PD Type C PD
- Sony A6600: NP-FZ100, Up to 720 shots (Viewfinder) | Up to 810 shots (LCD screen) (CIPA standard)
A surprising win for the Sony A6600, as it, according to official CIPA tests, lasts longer than the Sony A6700. They use the exact same NP-FZ100 battery, but while the A6600 can go up to 810 shots, the A6700 only goes up to 570 shots. This suggests that the A6700 consumes more energy, likely due to the new image processor, without compensating for it with a higher-capacity battery.
Both cameras use the same NP-FZ100 battery, but the A6600 lasts longer on a full charge than the A6700. Photo: Sony.
- Sony A6700: Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe, USB Type C, HDMI micro connector (Type-D), 3.5mm mic, 3.5mm headphone, Remote, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Sony A6600: Micro USB, HDMI micro connector (Type-D), 3.5mm mic, 3.5mm headphone, Remote, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
While Sony has focused more on video with the A6700, they have still chosen to include a Type HDMI micro connector on the camera. These small connectors may not secure the cables as well, which can be inconvenient for filmmakers using external recorders.
The NFC function is absent in the A6700, but it seems it wasn’t widely used. The most significant difference is the new Multi-Interface accessory shoe, which allows you to use the ECM-M1 digital microphone.
None of the new or old features should make a significant difference in your choice between the two cameras.
Size and Weight
- Sony A6700: 122.0 x 69.0 x 75.1 mm, 409g
- Sony A6600: 120.0mm x 66.9mm x 69.3mm, 503g
Although a camera weighing 503 grams (A6600) is not very heavy, the A6700 is almost 100 grams lighter. This makes the camera even more suitable as a good travel camera.
While the A6700 has become lighter, it has also increased in length, width, and height. A positive note is that the A6700 is made from recycled plastic.
Sony A6700 vs A6600: Conclusion
Now, let’s conclude the Sony A6700 vs A6600 comparison. The A6600 is now cheaper thanks to the release of the A6700 but also has less advanced features. For most (aspiring) photographers looking for an advanced APS-C camera, the Sony A6600 is a good choice, especially now that it’s more affordable.
The Sony A6700 has made significant strides in both photography and video, making it more suitable for professional work. This is where the major difference lies between the two cameras. In our opinion, you buy the A6600 as an amateur and the A6700 as a semi-pro.
Key differences include a larger buffer, 4K 60fps (vs. 30fps), 4K 120fps (vs. FHD 120fps), 4:2:2 10-bit internal video, and a vari-angle screen (for vloggers) on the Sony A6700. If you read this and think you don’t need these specifications, then the A6600 is the right choice for you. If these are the specifications you’ve been waiting for, then we recommend choosing the Sony A6700.
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