This morning, Sony announced a pair of impressive new products: the Sony a6700 camera with a new 26 megapixel BSI APS-C sensor capable of shooting 4K 120p video, and a compact 70-200mm f/4 lens with 1:2 Macro shooting capability and image stabilization.
The Sony a6700
The new Sony a6700 fits into the higher tier of APS-C Alpha bodies that have in-body image stabilization (IBIS); in this case that means 5-Axis IBIS boasting up to 5 stops worth of camera-shake reduction.
A new high-sensitivity back-illuminated CMOS sensor provides 26 megapixels of resolution, but just as importantly, more than fourteen stops of dynamic range, according to Sony, with a maximum native ISO of 32000.
The lightweight body of the camera (just 1.01 pounds) supports a new multi-touch, articulating LCD screen that is capable of swinging to the side and facing forward. The camera menu is designed to be touch-friendly, though the usual buttons and knobs are still available as well.
With the amount of tracking and subject recognition that is possible with mirrorless cameras, the new BIONZ XR processor is especially important. Sony’s pro-level cameras are well known for their tracking and subject detection, but now these capabilities are available in an APS-C model, including detection of humans (with face recognition, where legal), animals (with an emphasis on birds) insects, cars, trains, and airplanes.
Video features are also impressive in the new a6700. For standard 4K video, the Sony reads from the full 6K sensor to provide better detail and reduced moire at 4K. 14+ stops of dynamic range can be captured when shooting with S-log3, and S-Cinetone is also available. For those interested in shooting action and producing slow motion footage, the a6700 can shoot 4K at 120fps, though at a 38% field of view crop.
Sony’s original 70-200 f/4 G lens was a very highly regarded piece of equipment, but Sony has done some impressive work to make this one significantly better. The size of the lens has been dramatically reduced: it’s only 5.8 inches (145mm) long and weighs 1.7 pounds, yet is still sturdily built and weather sealed.
The autofocus system has been upgraded with Sony’s now-standard XD linear motor, with a claimed 20% improvement in AF speed over the old ultra-sonic motors.
But perhaps the most dramatic improvement in this lens comes with its close focusing ability, making the lens capable of shooting 1:2 magnification macro photography.
The lens is compatible is teleconverts to increase its range and bring macro performance up to 1:1, and if you’re shooting a Sony A1, the lens can support shooting at up to 30fps.
Again, release details are sketchy, but when the lens goes on sale in 2023, it will cost just under $1700, about half the price of the f/2.8 GM model. Like the a6700, pre-ordering opens up on July 13th at shops like Adorama and B&H Photo.
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