Sony A6700 vs Sony A6400 - What are The Differences? Which One is Better?
|Specification||Sony A6400||Sony A6700|
|Sensor:||24.2 MP APS-C Exmor™ CMOS||26.0 MP APS-C Back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS|
|Processor:||BIONZ X||BIONZ XR|
|Electronic Viewfinder (EVF):||2,359,296 dots||2 359 296 dots|
|Display (LCD):||921,600 dots adjustable up and down||1 036 800 dots vari-angle|
|ISO Sensitivity Stills:||ISO 100-32000 (expandable ISO 50 to 102400)||ISO 100 – 32000 (expandable to ISO 50 – 102400)|
|ISO Sensitivity Movies:||ISO 100-32000||ISO 100 – 32000|
|Movie Resolution Max:||4K30p||4k60p / 4k120p|
|Picture Profiles:||Yes (Off/PP1-PP10) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3, HLG, HLG1-3), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset||S-Cinetone, S-Log3 and HLG|
|Autofocus Tracking:||Real-time tracking & eye AF for humans and animals||Humans, animals, birds, insects, cars/trains, and airplanes|
|Memory Cards:||Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro (M2), SD memory card, SDHC memory card (UHS-I compliant), SDXC memory card (UHS-I compliant), microSD memory card, microSDHC memory card, microSDXC memory card||UHS-I/II SD cards|
|Shutter Speed Still Images:||1/4000 to 30 sec, Bulb||1/4000 to 30 sec, Bulb (1/8000 electronic).|
|Max Frames Per Second:||11 (mechanical shutter), 8 (electronic shutter).||11|
|Image Buffer:||JPEG Fine L: 99, RAW: 46||JPEG Extra fine L: 143 frames,JPEG Fine L: over 1000 frames,JPEG Standard L: over 1000 frames,RAW: 59 frames,RAW & JPG: 44 frames,RAW (Lossless Compressed): 23 frames,RAW (Lossless Compressed) & JPEG: 18 frames|
|Wireless:||Wi-Fi 2.4GHz band||2.4 GHz band / 5 GHz band|
|Ports:||HDMI micro connector, 3.5 mm Stereo minijack for microphone||USB-C 3.2, HDMI micro connector, 3.5 mm Stereo minijack, headphone terminal|
|Battery Life Stills:||Approx. 360 shots (Viewfinder) / Approx. 410 shots (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard)||Approx. 550 shots (Viewfinder) / Approx. 570 shots (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard)|
|Battery Life Movies (actual):||Approx. 70 min (Viewfinder) / Approx. 75 min (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard)||Approx. 95 min (Viewfinder) / Approx. 100 min (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard)|
|Weight (inc battery & memory card):||Approx. 14.3 oz / Approx. 403 g||Approx. 493 g / Approx. 1 lb 1.4 oz|
|Dimensions (W X H X D):||Approx. 120.0 mm x 66.9 mm x 59.7 mm, Approx. 120.0 mm x 66.9 mm x 49.9 mm (from grip to monitor)/Approx. 4 3/4” x 2 3/4” x 2 3/8”, Approx. 4 3/4” x 2 3/4” x 2” (from grip to monitor)||Approx. 122.0 x 69.0 x 75.1 mm, Approx. 122.0 x 69.0 x 63.6 mm (from grip to monitor)/Approx. 4 7/8 x 2 3/4 x 3 inches, Approx. 4 7/8 x 2 3/4 x 2 5/8 inches (from grip to monitor)|
Now let’s take a much closer look at the key differences between these two APS-C cameras.
The new Sony A6700 features a 26.0-megapixel Exmor R back-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor, similar to the FX30 cinema camera, and includes the latest Bionz XR processor. On the other hand, the older Sony A6400 comes with a 24.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor with slightly lower resolution and the Bionz X processor.
The image sensor is one of the major differences between the A6700 and A6400, with the back-illuminated sensor performing better in light gathering, theoretically leading to improved image quality.
Both cameras offer the same native ISO range of 100-32,000, which can be extended two stops to ISO 204,800 and down to ISO 50 if needed.
The A6700 provides more advanced video recording specifications and capabilities compared to the A6400. It features a headphone jack, which the A6400 lacks, making it a clear hardware advantage. The A6700 also supports newer digital audio interface for the ECM-B1M digital shotgun microphone.
In terms of recording specifications, the A6400 can record 4K UHD videos in XAVC-S format, internally up to 4:2:0 8-bit at 30fps, or externally via HDMI at 4:2:2 8-bit. It supports HLG, S-Log3, and S-Log2 profiles, with a maximum slow motion of FHD 120fps, but lacks 4K 60p or 10-bit recording specifications.
On the other hand, the A6700 can capture oversampled 4K 60p video from 6K resolution, and 4K 120p video with a 1.62x crop. Video can be recorded in 10-bit 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 format in H.265 or H.264 AVC files. It offers frame rates from 1fps to 240fps for slow motion at 1080p resolution.
The A6700 also features the ZVE-1's Intelligent Auto Framing, using AI-based subject recognition technology, even when the camera is mounted on a tripod, to automatically crop the frame while filming, keeping the subject centered.
The new A6700 features the same hybrid autofocus system as the A6400, with phase-detection and contrast-detection points. However, it has more detection points, wider coverage, higher low-light sensitivity, and extended subject recognition capabilities.
The A6700 has 759 phase-detection points and 25 contrast points, covering 93% of the frame, and it continues to work in low-light environments down to -3EV.
The A6400, in comparison, has 425 phase-detection points and 425 contrast points, covering 84% of the frame, and it operates only down to -2EV in low light.
One significant difference in autofocus performance between the two models is object recognition. Sony added an artificial intelligence deep learning processing unit in the A6700, enabling it to recognize more subjects than previous models, significantly improving detection for humans and animals/birds. (The A6400 can only recognize human eyes and faces, and animal eyes.)
The A6700 can identify people based on posture, eyes, and face. So even if a person's head is far from the camera, the A6700 can accurately detect them based on AI deep learning.
Detection of animals and birds has expanded from just recognizing eyes to recognizing eyes, heads, and bodies on the A6700.
In addition to humans and animals, the A6700 can also recognize airplanes, cars, trains, and insects.
Both cameras offer similar continuous shooting speeds, supporting 11fps continuous shooting with full AF/AE tracking. However, one notable difference that affects burst performance is buffer size.
The A6700 has a larger buffer, capable of shooting over 1000 high-quality JPEG images, 59 RAW images, or high-speed continuous shooting of 44 RAW+JPEG images at 11fps.
In comparison, the A6400 can only support 116 JPEG or 46 RAW files at full speed before the buffer is full, causing the burst rate to slow down.
Additionally, the A6700 can shoot at the fastest speed, whether with a mechanical or silent electronic shutter, while the A6400 cannot shoot silently at 11 frames per second, which may make a difference in capturing candid moments or avoiding distraction to the subject.
The A6700 and A6400 have very similar exteriors, but Sony has made some significant improvements to the new model.
The grip on the A6700 is larger and more prominent, providing better balance for heavy or long lenses.
There is now a second command dial on the top of the grip, making it easier to change key exposure settings, along with the rear dial for more convenient operations.
On the back, the A7 full-frame series' Still/Movie/S&Q dial has been added to the A6700, along with a larger, more prominent AF-ON button and a new C1 custom button that accesses white balance settings by default.
It also features the same menu system as the ZV-E1, including the operation menu system and the ability to open the function menu by swiping up.
The A6700 has an almost identical 2.36-million-dot XGA OLED electronic viewfinder to the A6400.
It has a 0.70x magnification, 100% scene coverage, and frame rate settings of 60fps or 120fps, the latter helping to track moving subjects more smoothly with minimal lag.
The only difference between the two cameras is that the A6700 has a brighter EVF, almost equivalent to the EVF in the full-frame Sony A7R V.
Compared to the A6400, the A6700 has a slightly higher resolution 3-inch 3:2 aspect ratio LCD screen—1.03 million dots versus 922.2 thousand dots.
However, there is a major change that is very popular.
The A6700's screen is a fully articulating screen, a significant improvement over the A6400's flip design, which can only tilt down 74 degrees and up 180 degrees, and cannot tilt outwards.
As a result, although the core specifications of the LCD screens of the two models are almost the same, the A6700's free-angle design means it is a more versatile screen, suitable for video recording, movie shooting, and general photography.
This is the most significant difference between the A6700 and A6400.
The A6700 has 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS), correcting pitch and yaw axis shake, with a stabilization compensation level of 5 stops, while the more affordable A6400 does not have IBIS at all.
Sony claims the A6700 also has an updated algorithm, providing more precise control and detecting down to the single-pixel level, but we're not sure what impact this has on image quality.
As a more consumer-oriented product, the Sony α6400 features a built-in pop-up flash, which is not very powerful but still convenient in certain situations.
On the other hand, the more expensive and targeted towards enthusiasts, the α6700, does not have a built-in flash. Instead, it relies on installing a more powerful and versatile external flash.
Considering their compact size, both cameras have only one memory card slot, which is not surprising. However, there are two significant differences.
The newer Sony α6700 has a faster SD UHS-II memory card slot, while the α6400 uses the slower UHS-I standard.
Moreover, the α6700 now has a dedicated memory card slot hidden on the left side of the camera. In contrast, the memory card slot on the α6400 is located in a shared compartment at the bottom of the camera, adjacent to the battery, which can be less convenient, especially when the camera is mounted on a tripod.
The Sony α6700 uses a larger capacity NP-FZ100 battery compared to the α6400, providing approximately 700 shots when using the LCD screen and 750 shots when using the viewfinder.
In comparison, the α6400's battery life is much shorter, providing about 410 shots when using the LCD screen and 360 shots when using the viewfinder.
Both cameras can be powered and charged via USB connection, which is useful for outdoor shooting when you have a compatible power bank to plug into the camera. However, there is a slight difference in the ports: the α6700 uses the newer USB-C, while the α6400 uses the older micro USB 2.0.
Compared to the α6400, the α6700 has a slightly higher resolution 3-inch, 3:2 aspect ratio LCD screen - 1.03 million dots compared to 0.922 million dots. Some might have expected a higher resolution for a 2023 camera (doge).
However, one major change is very well-received: the α6700's screen is a fully articulating screen, a significant improvement over the flip design of the α6400, which can only tilt downwards 74 degrees, upwards 180 degrees, and cannot tilt outwards.
As a result, while the core specifications of the LCD screens are almost the same for both models, the α6700's free-angle design means it is a more versatile screen, suitable for video recording, movie shooting, and general photography.
The launch price of the Sony A6700 is substantially higher than the A6400's back in 2019.
A price-tag of $1398 body only, $1498 with the Sony E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens or $1798 with the E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens does make the new Sony A6700 more expensive than when the A6400 was launched back in 2019.
In comparison, the A6400 was priced at $898 body only, $998 with the E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens or $1298 as a kit with the E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS.
In summary, the Sony A6700 offers significant upgrades and improvements in various aspects, catering to more professional users and photographers with higher demands for video features. Nevertheless, the Sony A6400 remains an excellent camera, providing outstanding performance and value for entry-level and intermediate users. The choice between the two cameras depends on individual needs and budget considerations.