Photography News 111 - Newsletter

Big test

SPECS ›  Prices £1449 body only,

£1549 with 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS, £1799 with 18-135mm f/3.5- 5.6 OSS ›  In the box A6700 body, NP-FZ100 li-ion battery, body cap, shoulder strap, eyepiece cup ›  Sensor APS-C Exmor R CMOS sensor, 26 megapixels ›  Processing engine Bionz XR ›  Sensor format APS-C format 23.5x15.5mm, 6192x4128 pixels with options of M 4384x2920 (13MP), S 3104x2064 (6.4MP) ›  File formats Raw, JPEG, HEIF ›  Lens mount Sony E ›  ISO range Stills range ISO 100-32,000, expansion to ISO 50- 102,400 equivalent. Movies range ISO 100-32,000 ›  Shutter Mechanical with electronic front curtain shutter/ electronic shutter ›  Shutter range Mechanical shutter: 30secs to 1/4000sec, flash sync 1/160sec, Bulb; Electronic shutter: 30secs to 1/8000sec, flash not an option ›  Drive modes Hi+: 11fps with AE/AF tracking; Raw burst: 59 frames, JPEG Extra Fine L: 143, JPEG Fine L: >1000 ›  Exposure system PASM modes, 1200-zone evaluative metering with multi, centre-weighted, highlight-weighted, average, spot ›  Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 0.3EV steps, exposure bracketing available ›  Monitor Vari-angle tilting 3.0in LCD, 1.036m-dot touchscreen ›  Viewfinder 1cm 2.359m-dot OLED EVF ›  Focusing system Fast hybrid phase detection/contrast AF, detection range -3 to +20EV ›  Focus points Centre, multi- area, single point, touch AF, face detection; Stills: 759 AF points; Movie: 495 AF points; Recognition targets: Human, animal, insect, car, train, airplane; focus bracketing available ›  Image stabiliser SteadyShot, five-axis in-body image stabiliser with 5EV benefit ›  Video 3840x2160 (4:2:0 10-bit and 4:2:2 10-bit); 24, 30, 60, 100, 120p (with 1.58x sensor crop) ›  Movie format XAVC S: MPEG-4, AVC/H.264; XAVC HS: MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 ›  Connectivity USB-C 5GB/s 3.2 compatible, wireless LAN, HDMI micro type D, 3.5mm audio in, 3.5mm audio out, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth ›  Other key features USB-C charging, three custom modes, S&Q setting, soft skin effect, USB streaming, Creative Look, time- lapse, video auto-framing for vlogging, My Image Style ›  Battery NP-FZ100 li-ion battery, 550 shots with EVF ›  Storage media One slot for SD/SDHC/SDXC, UHS-II ›  Dimensions (wxhxd) 122x69x75.1mm ›  Weight 493g with card and battery ›  Contact

CATCHING THE MOMENT The A6700 suits candid and street photography with its small body, silent shutter option, articulating finder and fast, accurate focusing, assisted by human and eye detection. Exposure was 1/80sec at f/4.5 and ISO 800 with the FE 24-70mm lens at 50mm


until you get to know them – plus the shallow body takes getting used to in terms of handling – but when it comes to output there wasn’t much to moan about. In fact, there was a great deal to like. For the test, I took around 2000 frames in a wide mix of lighting situations, and autoexposure and auto white-balance systems proved accurate and dependable. Most of the time I shot in aperture-priority mode with the evaluative metering pattern, and rarely did I have to dip into exposure compensation. I took a few straight-into-the-sun shots from Heathrow’s perimeter road of planes taking off and the planes were nicely silhouetted, yet the Raws had enough exposure latitude for good shadow recovery in the foreground. I tested the AF system on a variety of subject modes and zones. Human detection was excellent, and eye detection equally competent even when the person was quite small in the frame. I used these for some fast- grab candid stills in not great light and rarely did it let me down. For video, eye detection proved sticky, tracking the subject well, and latched onto the eye as soon as a subject entered the frame.

control and three dials, there’s ample opportunity to fine-tune the camera. Each of the three rear and two top buttons have a total of 134 individual assignable functions. You wouldn’t think there’d be much latitude for setting up functions on the three dials, but you’d be wrong – you get six pages and 16 features to choose from. The big news here is that there are three dials, as previous models in the series have lacked a front dial. Having it for quick adjustments – as well as it being customisable – helps handling a lot and brings the A6700 to the level of rival cameras. It’s worth pointing out that, for Sony full-frame owners considering the A6700 as a backup, their E-mount lenses might not balance so well. For this test, Sony sent the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II, a top-end lens that sells for £2099, and you won’t be surprised to hear that this optic on the A6700 made for a very front-heavy combo. A compact zoom or fast prime such as one from Sigma’s DC DN collection would be a considerably more user- friendly partner. The A6700 performed seriously competently in this test. It’s true that it takes a bit of setting up and the deep menus can slow you down

NO FRILLS The on/off switch on the right is always a good thing, and while there are no locks on the exposure mode or stills/video dials, I managed to avoid accidentally moving them while in use

Issue 111 | Photography News 23

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