Two of the most advanced APS-C cameras that Sony has made are the Sony a6600 and its successor, the Sony a6700. Both are what I’d call “prosumer,” although the Sony a6700 is clearly the more advanced camera of the two – largely because it’s about four years newer. Which one should you get for your photography? That’s what I’ll answer today!
Let’s start with a full comparison of the specifications of these two cameras:
Sony a6600 vs Sony a6700 Specifications Comparison
|Camera Feature||Sony a6600||Sony a6700|
|Announced||August 2019||July 2023|
|Sensor Type||CMOS||BSI CMOS|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ XR|
|Resolution||24.2 MP||26.0 MP|
|Pixel Dimensions||6000×4000||6192 x 4128|
|Sensor Dimensions||23.5 x 15.6 mm (APS-C)||23.3 x 15.5 mm (APS-C)|
|Sensor Pixel Size||3.92µ||3.76µ|
|Low Pass Filter||Yes||Yes|
|IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)||Yes||Yes|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 100|
|Max Native ISO||ISO 32,000||ISO 32,000|
|Extended ISOs||ISO 50-102,400||ISO 50-102,400|
|High-Resolution Sensor Shift||No||No|
|Focus Stack Bracketing||No||Yes|
|Pre-Shoot Burst Mode||No||No|
|Fastest Shutter Speed||1/4000||1/8000|
|Longest Shutter Speed||30 seconds||30 seconds|
|Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter)||11 FPS||11 FPS|
|Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter)||8 FPS||11 FPS|
|Notes for High FPS Shooting||None||None|
|Buffer Size (Raw)||46 frames (11 FPS)||59 frames (11 FPS)|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid PDAF||Hybrid PDAF with deep learning subject recognition|
|Maximum Low-Light AF Sensitivity (Standardized to f/2, ISO 100)||-2 EV||-3 EV|
|Standard Flash Sync Speed||1/160||1/160|
|Curtain to Protect Sensor at Shutdown||No||No|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (Internal)||8 bits||10 bits|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (External)||8 bits||10 bits|
|4K Maximum Framerate||30 FPS||120 FPS|
|1080P Maximum Framerate||120 FPS||240 FPS|
|Additional Video Crop Factor||Extra 1.23x crop in 4K 30p; extra 1.14x crop at 1080p 100 / 120 FPS||Extra 1.58x crop at 4K 120p (otherwise no additional crop)|
|Chroma Subsampling||4:2:0, 4:2:2 (External)||4:2:2|
|Video Recording Limit||780 min||780 min|
Physical and Other Features
|Slot 1 Type||SD (UHS-I)||SD (UHS-II)|
|Rear LCD Size (Diagonal)||3.0 in||3.0 in|
|Rear LCD Resolution||0.92 million dots||1.04 million dots|
|Articulating LCD||Single Axis||Fully Articulating|
|Viewfinder Magnification||1.07x (0.70x FF equiv.)||1.07x (0.70x FF equiv.)|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2.36 million dots||2.36 million dots|
|USB Type||Type B 2.0||Type C 3.2 Gen 2|
|Battery Life (Viewfinder)||720 frames||550 frames|
|Battery Life (Rear LCD)||810 frames||570 frames|
|Weight (Body Only w/ Battery + Card)||503 g (1.11 lbs.)||493 g (1.09 lbs.)|
|Dimensions (LxHxD)||120 x 67 x 59 mm (4.7 x 2.6 x 2.3″)1||122 x 69 x 64 mm (4.8 x 2.7 x 2.5″)1|
|MSRP, Body Only||$1400 (Check Current Price)||$1400 (Check Current Price)|
|Used Prices||Sony a6600 Used Prices||Sony a6700 Used Prices|
|1The depth measurements in this table exclude the optional rubber cap for the viewfinder|
Summary and Analysis
I expected the Sony a6700 to beat the Sony a6600, but this comparison is more lopsided than I thought it would be. Aside from battery life, the Sony a6600 doesn’t have any advantages over the Sony a6700.
Probably the biggest benefit to the a6700 is that it has a more advanced autofocus system borrowed from the high-end, $3900 Sony a7R V. It’s proven to be one of Sony’s best (heck, one of the world’s best) focusing systems for tracking moving subjects across the frame. It’s not that the Sony a6600 has a bad autofocus system, but by comparison, it’s a clear step down. The difference isn’t enough to matter for something like portrait photography, but for intense sports and wildlife photography, the a6700 is definitely ahead.
Then there’s the question of video features. Both cameras can shoot 4K video, which may be enough in and of itself for your work. But the Sony a6700 shoots higher-quality 4K that is oversampled from the 6K width of the sensor. It can also shoot internal 10-bit 4:2:2 video, while the Sony a6600 is limited to 8-bit 4:2:0 internally. Finally, the slow motion video features of the Sony a6700 are substantially better than the a6600, with up to 120 FPS at 4K resolution and 240 FPS at 1080p.
Some photographers were annoyed when the a6700 was announced, because it carries over some (arguably outdated) features of the a6600. Those include the same electronic viewfinder, the same 11 FPS shooting, and a similar resolution sensor. Making matters worse, there were some rumors that the a6700 would have dual memory card slots – a very useful feature – that ended up being false. So, on some websites, the sentiment turned into, “why did Sony bother with the a6700 when it’s basically the same as the a6600?”
I think that sentiment isn’t totally fair, as the comparison chart in this article shows. Yes, there are some areas where the a6700 should have been improved, and wasn’t. But it is a much better camera than the a6600, in all sorts of ways. Whether those improvements will matter to you is a different story :)
I’m generally a proponent of picking a cheaper camera + good lenses rather than an expensive camera + cheap lenses. In this case, even though the Sony a6600 and a6700 have the same MSRP, the reality is that you can find the a6600 for much cheaper prices. It’s often on sale for prices in the $1000 range, not to mention all the good deals on the used market. You can definitely get an a6600 with a good lens for the price that the a6700 costs on its own.
So, which one makes more sense? I think it depends upon the type of photography that you intend to do. Landscape, travel, and portrait photographers should probably go with the a6600. The a6700 just doesn’t offer very many new advantages for those particular types of photography. However, if you do sports/wildlife photography – and especially if you do a lot of videography – the a6700 is definitely the way to go. The autofocus improvements and new video features are definitely worth the price.
Here’s how I would sum things up:
What does the Sony a6600 offer over the Sony a6700?
- Better battery life according to CIPA measurements, both in the viewfinder and the rear LCD
- Lower used prices, and bigger sales if bought new, despite technically having the same MSRP
What does the Sony a6700 offer over the Sony a6600?
- Significantly better autofocus system with high-end tracking capabilities
- Better videography features, such as internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording and 4K 120p support
- A fully articulating LCD screen
- An additional command dial on the front of the camera
Questions? Go to our forum, where you can start a conversation and talk to photographers about these two cameras!