Sony a6700 vs ZV-E10

So you know you want a small Sony mirrorless camera, but do you go for the latest and greatest? Or do you save some money and get the lower end? The answer is more complicated than you might think. We're going to go in-depth in comparing two Sony crop-sensor camera options: the Sony a6700 vs ZV-E10. Now this might seem unfair, but there is one key area the ZV-E10 excels in. So let's get into it, starting with low-light performance.

Low Light Performance 

So with photos, they are pretty neck and neck with maybe a slight edge to the ZV-E10. In both cases you will get your best results staying at 6400 and below, after that, the quality decreases exponentially. It's a similar story in video though much more pronounced. On the ZV-E10 detail starts to be noticeably absent at 6400 ISO whereas the a6700 manages to be grainy but still detailed.

Video Capabilities 

Video is where we see the limitations of the ZV-E10. While it does offer S-log 3, I would not recommend using it. Either use S-log 2 or any non-log format. The main reason for this is the codec. The XAVC-S codec on the ZV-E10 is limited to 4:2:0 sampling and 8-bit color, so it doesn't quite have enough information to make shooting in S-log 3 viable.

Now you can still get good results with S-log 2, and have some decent latitude for color grading, but if you want the most room for creativity in video the 6700 is going to be your best bet. It is designed to hold its own in video production, borrowing a lot of features from Sony's Full Frame mirrorless, and cinema cameras like the FX-30. Having shot some things with this, I can say it is really hard to see a major difference between this and the FX30 or FX3. The color and sharpness are great, I can even get to some cool color grading looks and everything holds up great.

a6700 vs zv-e10

Vlogging Features 

So from a straight image quality standpoint, the A6700 is going to blow the ZV-E10 out of the water. You get more resolution, comparable low-light performance, and on top of all that better autofocus. When we get into vlogging, that's where things get less cut and dry. With the popularity of vlogging on the rise, companies like Sony have been opting to include more vlog-centric features, and the a6700 is no exception, but there is something in the ZV-E10 that makes it a compelling option for serious vloggers.

The A6700 is pretty well optimized for vlogging, with plenty of touch controls on the screen to record and track focus. Of course, the autofocus is both accurate and stable. Now walking around with the a6700 a grip began to get heavy, even for a small camera. The ZV-E10 however was noticeably lighter, making holding it outstretched for extended periods much easier, but that's not its secret weapon. The real secret is the ZV-E10 has a good in-camera mic.

WAIT! Before you start flooding the comments or our inbox with "iN cAmeRA miCs are TraSh!!!!!!!" I am not saying you don't need an external mic, or a lav, or anything but of all the cameras that I have used, this built-in mic is usable, for two reasons. First, it is designed to reject off-axis noise. What that means is, it's mostly picking up sound from a certain field of view, in this case right in front of the camera. It's like a mini shotgun mic built right in.

Now, I was skeptical at first, I mean, how good could it be right? But I would say it's pretty awesome, especially for vloggers. You can capture decent audio of all kinds right in the camera, or use a lav mic to get your voice and use the camera to capture more focused environmental sounds.

The second reason the audio is great is because of the included wind dampener. A lot of video or sound people will call this a dead cat, or dead kitten when they are this size. What this does is reduces the intensity of wind noise. These two things combined make for a pretty solid mic for vlogging applications, to the point that I kind of wish we could see this on some of the other Sony mirrorless cameras.

zv-e10 mic dead catNext, I wanted to highlight the a6700s auto-framing feature. This is a fairly new feature for Sony and is extremely handy for solo content creators looking to spice up their videos when they can't be near the camera. When activated the camera crops in on the sensor to approximately 1080p and tracks you like your own personal camera operator. It can get a little confusing so just be sure to keep an eye on it, but we didn't have too much trouble.

Last of all, for vlogging, the product showcase mode on the ZV-E10 seems to work well, no hunting or anything like that when you put a product close to the camera. It does disable eye detect autofocus when you use product showcase, but it seemed to track me okay even when it was engaged. The a6700 does not have a dedicated product showcase but it seems to get the idea when you put something in front of your face, it knows that's what you want to focus on.

Handling and Autofocus 

So this has been pretty video vlogging-centric so let's get back to the photo for just a minute. The biggest thing here is the a6700 has more advanced photo features and is an overall more comfortable shooting experience all around. The a6700 nearly fills my entire grip comfortably, so if you are shooting for a long time it's just going to feel better. The ergonomics of the ZV-E10 are more suited for vlogging, and infrequent photography.

AF seemed to be pretty similar between both cameras, though the A6700 does have more AI-developed algorithms for things like insects, planes, trains, and automobiles.

Battery Life

The last thing I want to bring up, might seem insignificant, but I can tell you from experience is something you will want to consider, and that is the battery. The A6700 uses Sony's modern Z-type batteries, while the ZV-E10 uses older W-type batteries. And while they have increased the efficiency of their cameras that use the W-type batteries, the Z-type batteries do offer twice the capacity. If you are doing a lot of video on the ZV-E10, you are going to need a lot of batteries or a power source. It's kind of a shame. I know why they did that, you know they want to keep it small and compact, but even if you are just keeping it on for a couple of hours, you are probably going to need extra power.

sony battery comparison

A6700 vs ZV-E10: Conclusions 

So why would you choose the ZV-E10 over the A6700? To me, the ZV-E10 is absolutely a vlogging camera, that's what it was built for, and that's what it's best at. So if you want to get into vlogging and you don't care about advanced photography or video features then this is going to be a great camera for you. It is a great entry into the Sony Alpha system, but if you have the money and you want something more professional, the A6700 packs a lot of bang for your buck. It's great for content creators of all kinds or anyone who knows they will want the larger Sony cameras down the line. Even if you already have a Sony camera, this can function as a great b-camera or backup camera.

But what do you think? Which one would you get? Whatever it is comment below, we'd love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to take your camera out today!

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