Opinion: What We Want to See in the Reported Sony A6700

Reports of a successor insiders are calling the Sony a6700 have us excited; the a6500, Sony’s APS-C flagship, came out almost two years ago.

When Sony announced that they would begin shipping the A6500 just 8 months after introducing the a6300, many felt the updates in the successor were incremental at best, while others felt that many of the features should’ve been included in the a6300 to begin with. While details on the reported Sony a6700 are slim at the moment, lots of information has begun surfacing around Sony’s upcoming flagship crop sensor camera. With a much longer development cycle this time around, we believe the Sony a6700 will feature a lot of significant improvements across the board.

In terms of ergonomics, we think the a6700 will look very similar to the rest of the cameras in the a6xxx lineup, with the most noticeable change being a more robust battery grip to accommodate the larger NP-FZ100 batteries. First introduced alongside the full frame Sony A9, the NP-FZ100 batteries are larger in size as well as capacity; they should keep the a6700 running for a full day’s worth of shooting even for the most demanding photographers out there. This will obviously result in a marginal weight increase for the a6700, but it’s a worthwhile trade off, and we’re confident that the a6700 will still remain below the 18oz threshold for just the camera body itself. The larger grip will also allow Sony to incorporate an additional mode dial near where your index finger naturally rests, giving photographers more immediate access to manual adjustments.

Moving towards the rear of the camera, we think the a6700 will finally see the inclusion of a joystick, like the A9 and the third generation of A7 cameras before it. We’re also hoping that a fully articulating LCD touch screen will finally be included, not only allowing for touch focusing (already available on the a6500’s rear screen), but also making touch screen navigation and interaction with on screen menus possible. On the connectivity front, we think the a6700 will at long last feature a dedicated headphone jack; a move that will surely please many videographers, and we will also see the USB ports upgraded to the new USB-C standard. Speaking of video, we’re confident the a6700 will support 4K 60p recording.

“…we think the a6700 will finally see the inclusion of a joystick, like the A9 and the third generation of A7 cameras before it.”

Even though the a6500 already had one of the fastest AF systems on the market, Sony has made a lot of advancements in the imaging market since launching the camera almost two years ago, and we think much of that tech will make its way into the Sony a6700. While Sony apparently released a new 31.5MP APS-C sensor recently featuring a global shutter design, we doubt that will be making its way into the new a6700 since this new sensor has an aspect ratio of 4:3. The sensors for cameras in the a6xxx series have historically all had an aspect ratio of 3:2. Realistically, we believe the sensor in the Sony a6700 will remain at 24MP like its predecessors. Image quality, dynamic range, and low light performance will all receive substantial improvements, thanks to what we hope is a back side illuminated (BSI) design derived from the A9 as well as the inclusion of updated image processors. We theorize that it will be inheriting much of the Hybrid AF (phase-detect & contrast-detect) improvements we’ve already seen in the A9, A7III, and A7RIII. We should also expect to see enhancements in terms in-body stabilization (IBIS), which was already excellent in the a6500. This also means that the a6700 will likely support continuous shooting of up to 20 frames per second.

Some of the other improvements we’d like to see Sony incorporate into the Sony a6700 include increasing the maximum shutter speed to 1/8000 – up from the current limit of 1/4000 using the mechanical shutter. We would also like to see the a6700 be the first APS-C camera from Sony to support uncompressed RAW files, along with a sizable increase in buffer size and UHS-III SD card support, so that it can offload images quickly without locking up the camera. The omission of PlayMemories in-camera apps support from the A9, A7III, and A7RIII was a baffling decision to say the least, and we sincerely hope Sony will finally bring back support for the much loved, in-camera app suite for the a6700.

Are there anything that you’d like Sony to include in the a6700? Let us know in the comments below!