A quick discussion about the Sony A6700 camera

Eine kurze Diskussion über die Sony A6700 Kamera

Sony a6700 gives me the impression of a machine that consolidates Sony's resources and maximizes the reuse of existing mature systems to create a highly satisfactory APS-C high-end model. A true master of supply chain management! This model can hardly be called a traditional APS-C flagship because it lacks features such as two card slots and a large buffer. It could herald the end of traditional APS-C flagships.

The emergence of each camera and the rise and fall of each product positioning have their own historical background. So under what circumstances did the introduction of the a6700 and the disappearance of the flagship APS-C cameras occur?

APS-C flagships in the DSLR era

Eine kurze Diskussion über die Sony A6700 Kamera

The APS-C flagship cameras of the DSLR era were epitomized by Nikon's D500 and Canon's 7D Mark II, often referred to as the "mini D5" and . “mini 1Dx”. They retained many features of the flagship models such as: b. powerful autofocus modules, two card slots, excellent body design and weather protection, and a wealth of control options. The only notable difference was the slightly smaller sensor size. These cameras and the entry-level full-frame cameras (D610, 6D series) formed the camera manufacturer's product range in the price range around 1.000 US dollars. People chose the full format if they wanted better image quality, usable autofocus and fast continuous shooting. If you didn't care about ultimate image quality, but needed fast continuous shooting and autofocus, then the APS-C flagship was the right choice.

In the DSLR era, the most expensive part of a camera was the high-speed mirror, which could precisely move up and down at a rate of 10 frames per second. This miniature mechanical wonder, coupled with the independent autofocus module carried over from the flagship models, created an APS-C flagship. Of course, there were also two card slots and weather sealing. However, in the mirrorless era, this approach is no longer possible.

Why are high-speed APS-C flagships so difficult to achieve in the mirrorless era?

In the mirrorless era, autofocus and burst performance are directly dependent on the speed of the CMOS sensor. In other words, if the CMOS sensor is fast, everything works well.

Eine kurze Diskussion über die Sony A6700 Kamera

This creates a difficult situation: If a very fast CMOS sensor is developed that has a usable APS-C resolution (e.g. b. 24 million pixels), then the full frame version of this CMOS sensor could reach 50 million pixels, just like the Sony a1. Therefore, developing an APS-C version with the IMX610 of the a1 for APS-C flagship purposes is simply impossible. Let's be honest and assume that the cost of this CMOS sensor is half that of the full-frame version. Should a camera that corresponds to this positioning have a price of 3.Have $899? That would be excessive.

But a 3.$899 APS-C flagship would not suit the entry-level full frame camera market, which is the mainstream and even mid-range full frame camera market. These full-frame cameras, like the Sony Alpha 7R V and Alpha 7 IV, offer higher image quality as well as decent continuous shooting and autofocus functions. At this point it's clear what most people would choose. So what if you had a 24 million pixel sensor like the IMX571, which is in the 4th generation?$499 full-frame Alpha 9 II is turned into an APS-C version? The result would be a camera with just 10 million pixels and a price of 1.$399. Would you buy them? In reality, there isn't enough demand in the consumer market for a low-resolution APS-C camera for 1.$399, which has high-speed autofocus and burst shooting capabilities. It would also be a challenge to set the price at 3.$899 to increase. Hence we have the CMOS sensor used in the a6700 - a 3.76 micron pixel pitch adopted from the a7R5's IMX455 (a similar sensor with a different name, IMX584). As a result we have the FX30 and the a6700. So why doesn't Sony release a 40MP APS-C camera? Sony is not Fujifilm, and there is no reason to stick to APS-C for image quality.

A6700 - Sony's integration of resources

Sony a6700 is positioned as a "better a6x00" rather than a traditional APS-C flagship. It also can't compete with the FX30 in the professional video market.

Eine kurze Diskussion über die Sony A6700 Kamera

A6700 is not a traditional high-speed APS-C flagship, and many of its decisions become clear from this perspective. It's not intended to be a high-speed mini camera, so it doesn't offer the massive buffer capacity or 1/8000s shutter speed and 1/250s sync speed typically found on APS-C flagships. Of course, since it's not intended to be perceived as a small, high-speed machine, it also lacks features like CFexpress for quick card release. To do this, it adopts the IBIS and the mechanical locking components from the a6600. It cannot compete with the FX30 in the professional video market and is therefore not designed for heavy-duty use with robust heat dissipation, dual card slots and full-size HDMI.

Eine kurze Diskussion über die Sony A6700 Kamera

The two card slots were also omitted. However, to make it significantly better than the a6600, it adopts modern features such as the a7R5's AI-based autofocus detection, the a7R5's handgrip design, and the a7M4's dual dial configuration. This helps to avoid internal competition.

Eine kurze Diskussion über die Sony A6700 Kamera

Is the Sony a6700 good or not?

If you expect it to be a high-speed APS-C flagship, it is not for you. However, if you want a camera that's fun to use, the Sony a6700 is a good choice. It has all the necessary features and its autofocus performance is probably comparable to the a7RV, although it may struggle in complex environments. It offers uncut 4K60p videos, and while 4K120p recording is also possible, these require some cropping. To sum up, this camera offers enough flexibility and meets the needs of enthusiasts who want to play with all the features.

Eine kurze Diskussion über die Sony A6700 Kamera

However, if you plan on taking photos professionally, you may need to consider other equipment. For photography, the best choice would be the Sony a7M4, which offers features like flash sync, control, and EVF. For video recording, the Sony FX30 would be an ideal choice, which has features such as heat dissipation, two card slots and mounting points.

With its excellent range of lenses, the a6700 remains one of the most recommended high-end APS-C models. It is particularly suitable for enthusiasts with a certain budget and ambitions who can move up from entry-level cameras. Purchasing a Sony a6700 with Sigma's APS-C zoom trio or Sony's G-series APS-C lenses would cost around $2.000 US dollars, which is still cheaper than the a7RV case.

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