Mid this year, Sony released its latest camera, the new Sony a6700 APS-C mirrorless digital camera. The a6700 offers some of the best features we see on Sony’s other mirrorless cameras, making the a6700 one of the best, if not the best, APS-C mirrorless cameras available on the market to date. I currently own and use the Sony a6400. It’s an excellent camera for its money, especially now that it’s discounted. While the Sony a6700 is the better camera overall, with many new features and capabilities, the a6400 is still a capable camera and is substantially cheaper than the a6700. If you are torn between these two cameras, or if you are upgrading from the a6400 to the new a6700, in this article, let’s compare and find out the difference between the two cameras.
Sony a6700 vs a6400 Mirrorless Camera – Which One To Pick?
Processor, Sensor, Lens Mount, AF System and Stabilization
A BIONZ XR processor powers the Sony a6700. It is the same CPU that full-frame cameras like the a7 IV and a7R V use. On the other hand, the a6400 uses the BIONZ X, which can only shoot continuously up to 11 fps at 24.2 MP for up to 46 Frames (Raw) / 116 Frames (JPEG). The BIONZ XR has the upper hand since it can do up to 59 Frames (Raw) / 1000 Frames (JPEG).
The Sony a6700 uses a 26-megapixel Exmor R back side illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor, with a maximum resolution of 6192×4128. Meanwhile, the a6400 uses a 24.2 megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor with no back-side illumination. Both cameras use the same Sony E-mount system, so when it comes to lens compatibility, there is no issue, and you can interchange lenses. You can even use a full-frame lens on these cameras, as long as it is Sony E-mount compatible. Although, note that if you plan to use a full frame lens on an APS-C camera, there is a crop factor, usually 1.5x. Meaning a 50mm full-frame lens will be about 75mm if you install it on an APS-C camera.
When it comes to the autofocus system, the Sony a6400 has a 425-point phase-detection and contrast-detection hybrid AF system. It also features real-time eye autofocus and real-time tracking with support for humans and animals. The a6700 further improves these features by offering 759 phase-detection points and more reliable tracking and focusing, especially in challenging scenarios.
Similar to the a6600, the Sony a6700 features a 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS). This feature allows for sharper handheld shots and benefits both native and adapted lenses. Unfortunately, the a6400 lacks IBIS, relying solely on lens-based stabilization for shake reduction. If your lens doesn’t have stabilization, you’ll need to use a tripod. Otherwise, a shaky hand can ruin your shot. My Sigma 15-50mm f/2.8 lens doesn’t have built-in stabilization, and I usually increase the shutter speed when shooting by hand. But in low-light situations, a tripod is a must.
Sony a6400 vs a6700 – Viewfinder and LCD Monitor
Both models sport a high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF), offering a clear and detailed view of the scene. The a6700 and a6400 features a 0.39″ electronic OLED viewfinder with 2.36 million dots. Although, if I am not mistaken, the viewfinder on the a6700 is better.
Thankfully, the LCD monitor on the a6700 is a fully articulating one. This means you can open and flip the monitor vlogging style. Unlike the a6400, its LCD monitor is limited to tilting up or down only. The touchscreen display on the a6700 is also sharper and better, with 1.036 million dots, unlike on the a6400, which has 921.6 thousand does only.
By the way, the Sony a6700 does not have a built-in flash, unlike the a6400. However, with a camera like the a6700 or even the a6400, an external and proper flash will result in a much better image than a built-in flash.
Photo and Video Capabilities
Both the a6700 and a6400 can deliver excellent photo quality. However, the a6700 has IBIS, which can be advantageous in low-light situations, allowing for slower shutter speeds without introducing blur. Both can shoot up to 11 fps continuously, but the a6700 can shoot more photos before it reaches its limit. This is thanks to its faster image processor.
While the a6400 can shoot good quality video, up to 4K 30p, the a6700 can do more. I was originally eyeing the Sony FX30 since it has better video capabilities. The good thing is Sony adopted some of those features and put them on the a6700 as well. The a6700 can do 4K up to 120p (yes, it can do slow motion), and 1080p up to 240p. It can also do 10-bit 4:2:2 via HDMI; meanwhile, the a6400 can only do 8-bit. The a6700 also supports S-Log3, S-Gamut3, S-Cinetone, and user-custom LUTs.
Physical, Button Layout, Connectivity, and Storage
Both cameras have a different button layout and hand grip. The a6700 has a larger hand grip making it easier to hold. Meanwhile, the a6400 has a shallower hand grip, making it a bit difficult to hold, especially if you have large hands. The button layout is also somewhat different, with a few changes here and there, as you can see from the photos.
When it comes to connectivity options, both the a6700 and a6400 have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. But the a6700 supports dual-band Wi-Fi, both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, whereas the a6400 only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. The Bluetooth version on the a6700 is not the latest; instead, it uses ver. 4.2, while the a6400 uses 4.1.
Unfortunately, we still don’t get a dual storage slot for the a6700. It seems Sony only reserves dual slots for full-frame cameras. However, unlike the a6400’s storage slot, the a6700 supports UHS-II SD cards, which is faster than UHS-I cards.
While the Sony a6400 uses the (fragile) micro UBS-B port for connectivity and charging, the a6700 uses a much better USB-C connection. However, the a6700 is only using a 5Gbps USB 3.2 connection speed. It’s not USB4 or has Thunderbolt speed, not even USB 10Gbps. On the flip side, the USB-C on the a6700 supports fast in-camera battery charging, faster than the previous models.
Sony a6700 vs a6400 – Storage, Battery and Battery Life
Speaking of the battery, the Sony a6700 gets the NP-FZ100 battery that is also used by the a6600. It’s a larger capacity battery, providing extended life compared to the a6400’s NP-FW50. I feel that one NP-FW50 battery is insufficient, especially when shooting videos.
Do note that actual battery life can vary depending on factors such as shooting conditions, settings, usage of features like Wi-Fi and the LCD screen, and the type of lens used. But to give you an idea, here are approximate battery life numbers based on CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association) standards for both photo and video shooting:
For Sony Alpha a6700:
Approximate Battery Life for Photos: Around 570 shots (using the LCD monitor) or 550 shots (using the EVF) per full charge.
Approximate Battery Life for Video: Around 95-100 minutes or 190 minutes of continuous recording. Again, the actual time may vary depending on settings and conditions.
For Sony Alpha a6400:
Approximate Battery Life for Photos: Around 410 shots (using the LCD monitor) or 360 shots (using the EVF) per full charge.
Approximate Battery Life for Video: Around 70-75 minutes or 125 minutes of continuous recording.
The Sony a6700 offers significantly longer battery life compared to the a6400, especially when it comes to both photo and video shooting. This can be advantageous for extended shooting sessions or when capturing video content. Having two spare batteries for the a6400 is good. But for the a6700, one spare battery might be enough depending on how many shots or how long the video you plan to shoot is.
Dimension and Weight
The Sony a6400 is slightly smaller and lighter than the a6700, making it a more compact option for those prioritizing portability. But the difference is not that huge since both are APS-C cameras. To give you the exact measurements:
The Sony a6700 measures 122mm x 69mm x 75.1mm or 4.8″ x 2.7″ x 3″ and weighs around 409 grams without the battery and 493 grams with the battery.
Meanwhile, the Sony a6400 measures 120mm x 66.9mm x 59.7mm or 4.72″ x 2.64″ x 2.35″ and weighs around 359 grams without the battery and 403 grams with the battery.
Sony a6700 vs a6400 – Price and Conclusion
Obviously, the a6700 is a better camera overall than the a6400. It has more and newer features, a faster processor, better imaging and autofocus system, and many more. However, the a6700 is almost two times more expensive than the a6400. At the time this article was published, the a6700 (body only) retails for around $1,398, while the a6400 retails for only $748. The original MSRP of the a6400, when it was first released, was $899.
Should you upgrade from a6400 to a6700? Is it worth it?
For me, upgrading to the new a6700 is worth it. I have been waiting for a successor, but I felt that the a6600 was lacking in features. So, I waited for the a6700 to be released and see what it offered. The good thing is that it has most of the (new) features I need, like IBIS, 4K recording up to 120p, better battery, better AF, faster processor, etc. The a6700 is a significant upgrade coming from the a6400.
Should you get the a6400 or a6700?
Now if you don’t have a Sony APS-C mirrorless camera yet and you are still deciding which camera to pick, the answer will really depend on your budget and need. While the a6400 is a bit old, it is still a competent camera. To this day, I am still using my a6400. It is excellent for newbies and hobbyists who want to spend less money on a camera body. The real investment is not in the camera’s body but in the lens.
However, if you have a larger budget and is willing to spend more than a thousand bucks for the camera body, then the a6700 will surely not disappoint. Most essential features, including the advanced ones, are already there. Even if you are starting your photography or videography journey, this camera can serve you for many years. If you’re already an advanced user, then the choice is pretty obvious, not unless you just want a second or a backup camera.
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Sony a6700 vs a6400 Specifications
|Specification||Sony Alpha a6700||Sony Alpha a6400|
|Lens Mount||Sony E||Sony E|
|Processor||BIONZ XR||BIONZ X|
|Image Sensor||26MP APS-C Exmor R BSI CMOS||24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS|
|Sensor Resolution||26 Megapixel (6192 x 4128)||24.2 Megapixel (6000 x 4000)|
|Sensor Size||23 x 15.5 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|ISO||100-32000 (expandable 50-102400)||100-32000 (expands to 102800)|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid AF, 759 phase detection points||Hybrid AF, 425 phase detection points|
|Eye Autofocus||Real-time Eye AF (Humans & Animals)||Real-time Eye AF (Humans & Animals)|
|In-Body Stabilization (IBIS)||Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis||None|
|Viewfinder||0.39″ Built-In Electronic (OLED), 2.36M dots||0.39″ Built-In Electronic, 2.36M dots|
|LCD Monitor||3-inch Fully articulated Touchscreen LCD (1.036M dots)||3-inch Tilting Touchscreen LCD (921.6K dots)|
|LCD Tilt Range||Fully articulating||Up 180°, Down 74°|
|Continuous Shooting||Up to 11 fps||Up to 11 fps|
|Shutter Speed||1/4000 to 30 Sec (mechanical)|
1/8000 to 30 Sec (electronic)
|1/4000 to 30 Sec
1/400 to 1/4 Sec (Movie Mode)
|Video Capabilities||up to 4K @ 120p, 1080p @ 240p / 10-Bit 4:2:2 via HDMI|
S-Log3, S-Gamut3, S-Cinetone, User LUTs
|up to 4K @ 30p, 1080p @ 120p / 4:2:2 8-Bit via HDMI
S-Log3, and HLG
|Image Format||HEIF, JPEG, Raw (14-Bit)||JPEG, Raw (14-Bit)|
|Video Format||XAVC S, XAVC HS, XAVC S-I, H.264, H.265||MPEG-4, H.264|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||Approx. 550 shots (Viewfinder) / approx. 570 shots (LCD monitor)||Approx. 360 shots (Viewfinder) / approx. 410 shots (LCD monitor)|
|Video Battery Life (CIPA)||95 min (Viewfinder) or approx. 100 min (LCD monitor), 190 min (continuous)||70 min (Viewfinder) or approx. 75 min (LCD monitor), 125 min (continuous)|
|Dimensions||122 x 69 x 75.1 mm|
4.8 x 2.7 x 3″
|120 x 66.9 x 59.7 mm
4.7 x 2.6 x 2.4″
|Weight (Body / w. Battery)||Approx. 409g / 493g||Approx. 359g / 403g|
|Chassis||Magnesium Alloy||Magnesium Alloy|
|Wi-Fi||Yes, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz)||Yes, 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz)|
|Bluetooth||Yes, 4.2||No (Wi-Fi Direct and NFC available)|
|USB Charging||Yes (USB Type-C)||Yes (USB Micro-B)|
|Storage Slot, Type||1x, SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)||1x, SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Duo Hybrid (UHS-I)|