Sony a6700 vs ZV-E1

Sony ZV-E1 vs a6700 and why I use both

If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly camera setup, the choices might seem overwhelming. For my setup, I shoot with the ZV-E1 and the a6700 for both photo and video.

But the big question is: do you really need both?

Let’s break down the benefits of each and explore why having both might actually make sense.

The Sony Alpha a6700 is a versatile mirrorless camera featuring a 26 megapixel APS-C sensor, advanced autofocus system, 4K video recording, and in-body image stabilization.

Benefits of using both Full frame and Aps-c

Most people shoot with either full frame or aps-c, but the advantage of using both allows you to extend your focal range and compensate for wider situations.

For video, full frame is the most beneficial because of the wider focal length and the ability to gather more light. If you need a tighter focal length just zoom or use Sony’s clear image zoom.

For photo the story is a little different. Full frame is great in some situation, but sometimes you need the extra 1.5x reach of aps-c, but it’s not just that. Aps-c cameras and lenses are also much lighter, more compact, and more affordable.

Recently I made the switch to aps-c after using full frame for years. The only time I find myself needing full frame is when I need a wider focal length, but since I primarily shoot landscapes I can easily overcome this by shooting panoramas or merging multiple images together.

Pairing the a6700 with the ZV-E1

I use the a6700 for photography and the ZV-E1 for video, and I use aps-c and full frame lenses for both cameras.

I could use the a6700 for both photo and video, but I need the ZV-E1 for situations when I need a better low light sensor, more bokeh, and better stabilization. There’s even some instances when I’ve used the ZV-E1 for astrophotography. It’s a little better than the a6700 for astro work since it has the bright monitor function and a sensor with less noise.

I could not replace my a6700 with the ZV-E1. Even though it can be used for photography, 12 megapixels is not enough.

Do I need both of these cameras? No, but I prefer having the ability to use both for different situations. If I’m doing a low light scene at night or the early morning, the ZV-E1 is my camera choice for video. If I’m traveling or backpacking, I take the a6700 due to the smaller lens selection.

Why chose the a6700 over the ZV-E1

I’ll be honest. I’m tired of carrying heavy full frame telephoto lenses. Sony has made quite a few light full frame bodies like the A7C, A7Cii, A7CR, and ZV-E1, but most full frame lenses don’t pair well with them.

If you’re using an any zoom or telephoto lens, the camera becomes poorly balanced and uncomfortable to hold. Small cameras need more small lenses and this is only achieved if shooting with small primes or small aperture zooms like the 24-105 F4 (which isn’t that small).

That’s why I made the move to the a6700. The a6700 is the first camera that has the same features as the full frame equivalent cameras. It has the same autofocus and AI as the A7RV, it uses the same Z batteries, it has an a great ergonomic grip, and it’s affordable.

The lens selection for the a6700 is actually larger than any other camera system. The are countless third party lenses to choose from and most of them are small, lightweight, and perform great.

The last reason to go for the a6700 over the ZV-E1 is due to the EVF. The ZV-E1 does not have an EVF and that’s the primary reason why I use my a6700 the most. There are so many times when I’m outside in sunny conditions, and I need the EVF. It’s not all the time, but it’s just helpful to have it.

Keep in mind the the screen brightness on the ZV-E1 is much better than older Sony cameras. I used to use the a5100 which also doesn’t have an EVF, but it was impossible to see the screen in bright conditions. With the ZV-E1, the viewfinder is much brighter and easier to see, but I still wish it had an EVF.

Benefits of the ZV-E1 for video

The key benefits of the ZV-E1 over the a6700 are

  • Low light
  • Stabilization
  • Product showcases
  • Full Frame
  • Minimal rolling shutter

These are just a few of the reasons I prefer to use the ZV-E1. The low light performance and low noise is a huge benefit from any other camera I’ve found.

The stabilization is one of the best when using the dynamic active setting. The software has become good enough to not need a gimbal in most situations. It’s not perfect as there is a crop factor, and that’s why I use it with the Samyang 12mm f2.

The M2 Mac Studio is the best budget Mac for all your video exporting needs. It has the fastest exporting times at only 1:14 for a 5 min 4k HEVC file

m2 mac studio

Product showcase is another feature that I use. I don’t use it all the time, but it’s nice that it’s able to track whatever object I’m reviewing and have zero focus issues.

Another key benefit of the ZV-E1 is to have access to full frame lenses and minimal rolling shutter. I don’t really have issues with rolling shutter but I still have a lot of my full frame lenses, and that continues to be on of the reasons I keep a full frame camera. It’s just nice to have access to some of the sharpest lenses you can find, and that’s one reason why I don’t plan to shoot exclusively with the a6700.

Other minor Differences

A few other reasons to get the a6700 include the price, ergonomics, EVF, mechanical shutter, and the ability to shoot in bulb mode.

Other minor reasons to get the ZV-E1 include the audio, defocus, and bright monitor mode (for astrophotography).

ZV-E1 include bright monitor mode,

Low Light performanceSlightly worseGreat
AudioSlightly WorseGood but not great
DefocusN/AI don’t really use this feature
Shutter and EVFAverageAbsent
Bulb Mode Requires Manual modeN/A
Bright monitorN/ACan be difficult to setup initially


Similarities between the a6700 and ZV-E1 include:

  • auto framing in video
  • focus breathing correction
  • unlimited video recording
  • In-body image stabilization
  • Autofocus
  • Video features (4k, 10bit etc)
  • Webcam recording

If I Could Only Have One

Ultimately, the decision boils down to what you need. I prefer both, because both these cameras are useful for different hybrid situations. If forced to choose just one, I would definitely choose the a6700, but if you’re primarily shooting video, either one of these cameras are a great place to start.

If you’re on a budget go for the a6700. If you are video centric, the ZV-E1 has just about everything you need minus the EVF.

I hope this article was helpful. Subscribe below to learn more photography tips and tricks.