24.20
Megapixels
Sony E APS-C
size sensor
image of Sony Alpha ILCE-A6500
Front side of Sony A6500 digital camera Front side of Sony A6500 digital camera Front side of Sony A6500 digital camera Front side of Sony A6500 digital camera Front side of Sony A6500 digital camera
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Sony Alpha ILCE-A6500
Resolution: 24.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: APS-C
(23.5mm x 15.6mm)
Kit Lens: n/a
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 25,600
Extended ISO: 100 - 51,200
Shutter: 1/4000 - 30 seconds
Dimensions: 4.7 x 2.6 x 2.1 in.
(120 x 67 x 53 mm)
Weight: 16.0 oz (453 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 11/2016
Manufacturer: Sony
Full specs: Sony A6500 specifications

A6500 Summary

What a camera! The Sony A6500 takes the best of the excellent A6300 which launched just eight months earlier, and adds several very important new features. Sports shooters in particular will love its much more generous buffer depth, and its new hybrid image stabilization system and touch-screen display functionality will be of benefit to all. But can they justify its significantly higher pricetag, or would you be better off with the A6300? Find out now in our in-depth Sony A6500 review!

Pros

Comfortable, premium body with good controls; Touch-screen for subject selection; Hybrid image stabilization system; Excellent image quality; Better high ISO JPEGs than the A6300; Extremely fast 11.1 fps burst capture; Very deep buffers for raw and JPEG alike; 4K video capture with no pixel binning

Cons

Pricey for an APS-C camera; JPEG colors aren't the most accurate; Very slow buffer clearing; Laggy touch-pad AF function; Poorly-placed movie button; No headphone jack; Mediocre battery life

Price and availability

The Sony A6500 started shipping in November 2016 with a suggested retail price of around US$1,400. As of June 2017, it currently lists for US$1,300 and is officially sold body-only, though some retailers are bundling it with various lenses and accessories.

Imaging Resource rating

5.0 out of 5.0

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Sony A6500 Review

by Mike Tomkins, Jeremy Gray, Zig Weidelich and Dave Pardue

Preview posted: 10/06/2016

Updates:
11/19/2016: Initial Gallery Images posted!
11/27/2016: Field Test Part I posted!
12/06/2016: First Shots posted!
12/20/2016: Performance page posted!
02/05/2017: Field Test Part II posted!
05/19/2017: Image Quality Comparison and Print Quality posted!
: Conclusion posted!

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

Sony's APS-C camera lineup has a new flagship model, the Sony A6500. While it shares the same 4D Focus autofocus system as the earlier A6300, the A6500 features vastly improved continuous shooting capabilities thanks to an expanded buffer and a new front-end LSI chip. The sensor inside may offer the same 24.2-megapixels of resolving power, but it is now accompanied by in-body 5-axis image stabilization, a first for a Sony APS-C camera.

Other updates in the Sony A6500 include a touch-screen display that allows for intuitive subject selection even when shooting through the viewfinder, a subtly restyled body for better handling, a revamped and more logical menu system and better high-sensitivity noise performance when shooting in JPEG mode.

For a full rundown of the Sony A6500's basic features and changes since its predecessor, click here to read our overview, or read on for the conclusion of our review!

 

Sony A6500 Conclusion

by | Posted:

Sony surprised us with its quick double-whammy of the A6300 and A6500

When Sony first told us of the A6500 late last year, we must admit we felt a mixture of surprise and bewilderment. Following very closely in the footsteps of the A6300, the Sony A6500 was in many respects extremely similar to that camera -- much more so than we'd have expected given that the duo launched just eight months apart. The A6500 is based around the same 24.2-megapixel, APS-C sized image sensor as previously featured in the A6300, and also retains its point-dense AF system, tilting LCD monitor, flash setup, storage, battery and wired / wireless connectivity options.

The Sony A6500's much larger buffer makes sports shooting far more satisfying

But our confusion quickly evaporated once we learned that the A6500 wasn't a replacement for the A6300, and that both cameras would sit side-by-side together at retail for the foreseeable future. So what differentiates the pair? Well there are several significant difference, but for my money, the really big deal here is an extremely worthwhile increase in buffer capacity. This helps to alleviate one of our main complaints with the A6300, as its much more limited buffer meant that it was pretty easy to run out of shots and have to wait for the buffer to clear. (And buffer clearing is traditionally a weak spot of Sony's otherwise-excellent cameras.)

Sony RX100 V review -- Sample photo
127mm-equivalent, 1/4,000 sec. @ f/1.4, ISO 100

Even though the A6500 has the same limited write speed as does the A6300, since both conspicuously lack support for high-speed UHS-II SD cards, you notice it keeping you waiting much less often because it takes much longer to completely fill the buffer. And on those thankfully rarer occasions when you do run up against the buffer capacity, a new indication on the LCD at least gives you a sense of how much longer you'll have to wait for the buffer to clear.

Additional buffer memory might not be a sexy change, but it's unquestionably one which makes the Sony A6500 a more satisfying camera with which to shoot sports and other active subjects. And it comes accompanied by several other feature additions and refinements which are also very welcome.

Sony RX100 V review -- Sample photo
124mm-equivalent, 1/2,000 sec. @ f/4, ISO 250
The brand-new touch screen makes light work of subject selection

For one thing, the Sony A6500 finally sports a touch-screen overlay on its rear-panel, tilting LCD monitor, a feature we've been asking for at every opportunity. The new touch-screen makes AF point selection much more intuitive, for landscape-orientation shooting at least. (And although it can initially prove a little confusing for portrait shots, it works just great there too, once you realize Touch Pad Area function should be set to "whole screen" for best effect in this orientation.)

The A6500 can stabilize your old glass, and improve the stabilization of newer optics too!

And the Sony A6500 also debuts a brand new in-body image stabilization system, a first for a Sony APS-C camera. If the attached lens has its own built-in stabilization system, that's still used for for yaw and pitch correction, while the in-body system supplements the lens-based one for roll and horizontal / vertical translation correction. And if your lens lacks built-in stabilization at all, the new in-camera system does it all, giving the Sony A6500 another significant advantage over the A6300.

Sony RX100 V review -- Sample photo
127mm-equivalent, 1/200 sec. @ f/1.6, ISO 125
And plenty more worthwhile tweaks, as well!

Nor do the tweaks stop there. The Sony A6500 features a subtly restyled, more comfortable body with an extra customizable button, as well as a more comfortable viewfinder eyecup and a refined viewfinder. And Sony has also reworked the A6500's user interface, providing menus that, even if they're still a bit sprawling, are now rather easier to navigate menus

And on the image quality front, the Sony A6500 also brings a modest improvement in high ISO noise levels if you're a JPEG shooter. If you prefer raws, though, then the A6300 will keep up just fine as there's no noticeable difference there.

Sony RX100 V review -- Sample photo
162mm-equivalent, 1/200 sec. @ f/6.3, ISO 6400

The Sony A6500 keeps all the best features of its much-loved sibling

In other respects, the Sony A6500 is very similar to its sibling, the A6300 -- and for the most part that's great news. Everything we loved about that camera, we get to keep on loving here. The A6500 sports the same solid build and premium feel, the same great image quality and generous lashings of performance. It also uses the same top-notch autofocus system as in the A6300, which is extremely point-dense and yet still works even at the Sony A6500's highest burst capture rate of 11 frames per second.

And of course, the A6500 isn't just for stills, either. You can shoot really great 4K footage in-camera or via uncompressed HDMI output to your external recorder of choice. The Sony A6500 can also shoot good-quality Full HD video, although HD content does look decidedly low-res after you've gotten used to ultra high-def. And Sony has provided a range of fun and useful options for high speed or low-frame rate video, allowing you to speed up or slow down the world as your artistic needs dictate.

Sony RX100 V review -- Sample photo
360mm-equivalent, 1/400 sec. @ f/6.3, ISO 20,000
A couple of concerns for videographers, but otherwise this is a very polished product

The occasional weak points are relatively few and far between. As mentioned previously, it still takes a while to get to grips with the sprawling menu system even if it's now much better organized. The movie button is poorly located and tends to induce camera shake when pressed, and videographers will also mourn the absence of a headphone jack for audio levels monitoring. Sony's native lens selection is also still not as broad as those of some competing systems, although many rivals' lenses can be adapted for use with Sony's camera.

These few shortcomings are all shared with A6300 though; really the only cons specific to the A6500 are its significantly higher pricetag and an approximate 10% reduction in battery life to CIPA testing standards.

In a nutshell, the Sony A6500 takes an already-great camera and turns it into a really excellent one. It comes highly recommended by us, and is a clear Dave's Pick to boot!

 

Pros & Cons

Image Quality

  • Excellent image quality
  • Crisp, detailed JPEG images with few sharpening artifacts at low sensitivities
  • JPEG image quality is slightly improved at high sensitivities compared to the A6300 (except in the red channel)
  • RAW image quality appears identical to the A6300, which is to say excellent for an APS-C camera
  • Above average exposure accuracy
  • JPEG colors could be better

Performance

  • Extremely point-dense, hybrid autofocus system gives very fast autofocus; boasts eye AF, lock-on AF and very good tracking capabilities
  • Very low shutter lag
  • Very swift burst modes, up to 11.1 fps in Hi+ mode
  • Easy to track subject in VF at up to 8 fps due to live view updates between frames in continuous modes
  • Extremely generous buffer depths, far more so than its predecessor
  • Very slow buffer clearing, with no UHS-II card support (but the huge buffer helps ensure you don't miss shots regardless)
  • Touch Pad AF selection is rather laggy while moving the focus point

Video

  • In-camera 4K video capture with full sensor-width readout and no pixel skipping / binning
  • Regular, high-speed or slow-motion Full HD video from one to 120 fps
  • Supports frame extraction from video clips (eight megapixel for 4K, two megapixel for Full HD)
  • Uncompressed HDMI output is available
  • No headphone jack with which to monitor audio levels

User Experience

  • Subtly-restyled body is comfortable in the hand, with most controls easily reached and great button feel
  • All-magnesium alloy construction is lightweight yet solid
  • Dust and moisture resistant
  • In-body, five-axis stabilization
  • Handy tilting LCD monitor handles glare quite well outdoors (but not quite as versatile as a tilt/swivel one)
  • Finally (!), a touch-screen with which to select your subjects quickly and intuitively
  • Revamped menu system is more logical, but still has a lot of pages that take time to learn
  • Useful multi-shot modes
  • Handy new countdown shows how many frames remain in the buffer waiting to be written to storage
  • Built-in wireless networking; Sony's Wi-Fi and NFC implementation is among the best
  • Tethered shooting possible from Windows / Mac OS, too
  • Extensible via PlayMemories camera apps (but many come with an additional, modest pricetag)
  • Top shutter speed still tops out at only 1/4000s
  • X-sync is still limited to just 1/160s
  • Movie button is poorly-placed, making it difficult to start and stop movie capture without inducing rotation around the vertical axis if you're hand-holding the camera
  • Touch Pad Area function is unintuitive in portrait-orientation shooting
  • Mediocre battery life compared to the A6300, down by some ~11-12%
  • No official portrait / battery grip option
  • No uncompressed raw file format
  • A bit pricey for an APS-C mirrorless camera

Optics

  • Electronic viewfinder is still great, and now has a softer eyepiece cup for better comfort
  • Limited selection of native crop-sensor lenses

Flash

  • Built-in flash means you always have it with you as a last resort
  • Hot shoe means you hopefully won't have to use the built-in one often ;)
  • Fairly weak internal flash with narrow coverage

 

Sony A6500 Overview

by Jeremy Gray | Posted: 06/01/2017

Same great 24-megapixel APS-C sensor as the A6300

The Sony A6500 features a 24.2-megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor. The sensor, like the one found in the A6300, includes a variety of interesting technologies to help provide superior performance. The sensor combines a large photodiode substrate and a particularly thin wiring layer (compared to previous sensors from Sony) which allows the sensor to collect light more efficiently. Additionally, the sensor utilizes quick-transmission copper wiring that aids the A6500 in capturing ultra-high definition 4K and high-speed Full HD video.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

The 3:2 ratio sensor records 6,000 x 4,000 pixel images in JPEG and raw file formats, with the latter format being 14-bit raw (although not uncompressed). Files can be recorded in sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces, and the camera includes 13 types of Picture Effects (including Posterization, Pop Color, High Contrast Monochrome and more). Creative Styles such as Standard, Vivid and Sunset, all with contrast, saturation and sharpness adjustments are also available.

Not everything is the same as it was in the A6300, however, as Sony has made advancements to its BIONZ X image processing engine. A newly-developed front-end large scale integration (LSI) chip and an optimized image processing algorithm contributes to improved texture reproduction and image quality. In addition to better image quality, the A6500 is said to offer less noise, particularly in the mid-to-high ISO sensitivity range. The A6500's native ISO range is 100-25,600, but it can be expanded to up to ISO 51,200.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

Sony A6500 adds in-body 5-axis image stabilization and more

The A6500 can compensate for five types of camera shake with its new in-body 5-axis image stabilization system, which is a first for an APS-C camera from Sony. The camera uses a high-accuracy gyro sensor to provide stabilization equivalent to five stops according to CIPA testing standards. By pressing the shutter release halfway, you can monitor the image stabilization effect through the viewfinder or on the rear LCD, which allows you to ensure accurate framing and focus. When using an E-mount lens that has built-in optical image stabilization, the camera body handles horizontal, vertical and roll axis compensation while the lens compensates for pitch and yaw.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

Despite this addition, thanks to reorganizing the camera's internal components, Sony was able to keep the A6500 body roughly the same size as the A6300. With a battery and Memory Stick Pro Duo card included, the A6500 weighs approximately a pound (453 grams) and has 4.75 x 2.75 x 2.13-inch dimensions (120 x 66.9 x 53.3 millimeters). That's only 1.7 ounces (49g) heavier and 0.18 inches (4.5mm) thicker than the A6300; the other dimensions are identical.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

Constructed from magnesium alloy, the body is designed to be durable and reliable. It isn't just the body that's been crafted for durability, however, as the shutter mechanism has also been tested up to 200,000 release cycles. Speaking of the shutter, Sony has added braking mechanisms and elastic material that are said to reduce vibration during shutter release. Unfortunately, top shutter speed is still 1/4000s, even with the electronic shutter.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

To help you shoot in adverse conditions, the A6500 also includes dust and moisture resistance, including sealing around buttons and dials and a double-layered structure that creates tight locks between various components and panels. Borrowing from the A7 II series, the A6500 also includes a more robust lens mount.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

Two of the Sony A6500's most notable body features relate to its displays. The 3-inch TFT LCD monitor on the rear of the camera now has a touch panel overlay. Sony shooters have been clamoring for better touchscreen integration in Sony's diverse camera lineup and the A6500 answers the call. The tilting display can angle up approximately 90 degrees and down roughly 45. When shooting through the camera's new electronic viewfinder (more on that in a moment), you can use the rear display to select a focus point using touch. The Touch Pad function allows the user to swipe a finger across the display and change the focus point.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

Speaking of the electronic viewfinder, the A6500 includes an XGA OLED Tru-Finder. The high-contrast, high-resolution XGA OLED viewfinder is said to better reproduce darkness, color and fine details. It can be used with either 120 or 60 frames per second NTSC frame rates (100 or 50 for the PAL standard) and has approximately 2.36-million dots. The 0.39"-type electronic viewfinder offers a 35mm equivalent magnification of 0.70x and 100% field coverage.

Besides the new internal features, addition of touchscreen functionality and an improved electronic viewfinder, you couldn't be faulted for not seeing much difference between the A6300 and A6500 bodies. On the back of the camera, the button layout is identical, save for a button becoming a C3 button instead of a C2 button. This change is due to Sony adding an additional C button on the top deck of the camera (which is otherwise unchanged in layout and functionality from the A6300). While the camera looks basically the same, the feel of it is stated to have been improved. The front grip is further recessed for improved comfort and the release button is larger. The feel of the mode and control dials and the rear face buttons has been enhanced and the viewfinder's eyepiece cup is now softer.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

The A6500 still includes a built-in pop-up flash which has a guide number of 6 meters at ISO 100 (19.7 feet) and offers a claimed flash coverage of 16mm. Up to +/-3 EVs of flash compensation is available and you can utilize flash bracketing. The flash recycles in approximately 4 seconds. The camera has the same 1/160s x-sync as its predecessor, which is somewhat disappointing.

Sony A6500 uses same AF system found in the A6300 (and that's not a bad thing)

When the A6300 was released last spring, we found its new 4D Focus autofocus system to be one of its strongest features, offering up a massive array of both phase detect and contrast detect autofocus points and great speed. The A6500 uses this same system which has 425 phase detection points and 169 contrast detect AF points. The hybrid AF system can acquire focus in as little as 0.05 second and has a sensitivity range of -1 to 20 EV.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

To assist with continuous autofocus, the high-density focus system includes sophisticated tracking technology (which worked very well in the A6300). Additional focus features include Eye AF (which is compatible with AF-C), Lock-on AF (in which the camera automatically tracks a selected subject through the frame) and autofocus capabilities when using Focus Magnifier.

New menu interface is improved but still not perfect

Here at Imaging Resource, we have consistently remarked when reviewing Sony cameras that the menu system needed work. The A6500's revamped menu system isn't perfect, but it's a definite improvement. The refined user interface has a new categorization scheme, which displays group names and colored tabs, however while menu items now appear to be grouped more logically, the colors don't seem to have any real meaning to them. And there can be a lot of pages -- literally dozens of them -- under each tab. Regarding file naming, the A6500 allows for customized file names so you don't have to use the standard DSC prefix.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

The A6500 utilizes a 1200-zone evaluative metering system and Exmor CMOS metering sensor. Its sensitivity is -2 to 20 EV and it offers evaluative, center-weighted and spot metering. You can link the metering spot location to the focus area when using flexible spot or expand flexible spot autofocus areas. There are two new metering modes: "highlight" and "entire screen average." The former meters exposure while focused on the brightest part of the frame and the latter maintains an average for the entire image.

Your standard assortment of shooting modes are all present (program, aperture priority, shutter speed priority and manual), but the A6500 also includes creative modes, such as sweep panorama and scene selection. The A6500 also has a silent shooting mode which allows for shooting at up to 3fps with full AF/AE tracking without the noise of faster continuous shooting modes, ideal for situations where silence is a necessity.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

Remote control shooting has been improved as well. The Sony A6500 includes both Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, so it is fully compatible with Sony's suite of PlayMemories Camera Apps, including Smart Remote Control, but you can also control the A6500 via a connected computer. You can control the camera's settings from the computer and even record images to both the camera and computer.

Demo of Sony A6500 JPEG buffer performance in 11fps Hi+ mode

Sony A6500 can shoot up to 307 consecutive frames at high speeds

The same improved LSI chip that contributes to improved high ISO image performance is also responsible for the A6500's vastly-expanded buffer depth. Naturally, how big the buffer depth is in the A6500 depends on image quality, but when you are shooting in the Hi Continuous drive mode and recording "Fine" JPEG images, Sony claims that the A6500 can record up to 307 images over a duration of 35 seconds.

The camera can shoot even faster than that, however, when recording in the Hi+ continuous shooting mode which provides 11fps shooting versus the 8fps shooting available in Hi. When shooting at 11fps, JPEG buffer depth decreases to 200 frames, which still eclipses the 47 Fine (44 Extra Fine) JPEG frames that the A6300 could consecutively capture. When recording RAW images, the A6500 is rated by Sony to capture up to 107 frames (100 when recording RAW + JPEG) when shooting in the Hi+ drive mode (11fps). And impressively, the A6500 managed slightly higher numbers in the lab, with an impressive 88-frame improvement in RAW file buffer depth.

Demo of Sony A6500 RAW buffer performance in 11fps Hi+ mode
Sony A6500 includes same impressive 4K capabilities, adds Slow and Quick Motion mode

Like the A6300, the A6500 offers internal 4K recording. Shooting 3840 x 2160 resolution video in Super 35mm format -- which utilizes the image sensor's entire width -- the A6500 has full pixel readout capabilities and doesn't bin pixels. This results in the camera collecting 6K of information, thus oversampling it to produce 4K footage. 4K footage can be recorded up to 30 frames per second and 4K video is recorded at a 100 Mbps bit rate in the XAV S codec. Full HD video can be recorded at up to 120fps.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

When recording 4K or Full HD video, users can select S-Log gamma recording which offers approximately 14 stops of exposure latitude in the S-Log3 setting. This is ideal for users who will be doing extensive post-production on video files as it provides expanded flexibility. The A6500's gamma display assist allows you to view video recording in S-Log gamma settings with more natural-looking contrast and exposure.

The new Slow and Quick mode supports both slow motion and quick motion. It does this by allowing selection of eight different frame rates ranging from 1 to 120fps. The end result is up to 60x quick motion and 5x slow motion video recording. The captured footage can be previewed right on your camera without the need to view it on a computer.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

If you want to take full advantage of the camera's 4K video recording for still images, you can do that now too. The A6500 allows you to extract eight-megapixel stills from 4K video and two-megapixel stills from Full HD video.

Sony A6500 battery life, ports and connections

The Sony A6500 uses the same rechargeable NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery pack as the A6300, which allows for up to 310 shots when using the electronic viewfinder and 350 shots when using the LCD monitor according to CIPA battery life figures. Unsurprisingly given the A6500's higher performance and built-in image stabilization, that's down from 350 and 400 shots per charge respectively for the A6300. Like the A6300, the Sony A6500 supports internal battery charging via USB.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

Wired connectivity includes a Multi Micro USB 2.0 terminal, a Micro HDMI (Type-D) connector, Multi Interface hot shoe and a 3.5mm external mic jack (the A6500 includes a built-in stereo microphone). The Multi USB terminal also supports an optional RM-VPR1 wired remote control and tethered remote shooting from a Windows or Mac computer running Sony's Remote Camera Control utility. The A6500 doesn't include a headphone jack nor a vertical grip connector.

Also like the A6300, the A6500 records to Memory Stick Duo and SD memory cards and supports UHS-I, but not UHS-II, which is a bit surprising given the A6500's emphasis on continuous shooting performance. As mentioned above, the Sony A6500 includes Wi-Fi and NFC compatibility as well as QR functionality.

Comparing the Sony A6500 to the A6300

With the A6300 released in March 2016, it might seem surprising that the A6500 was announced in early October of the same year, but the Sony A6300 will continue to be sold alongside the new model. While the two APS-C cameras look similar, there's no mistaking the A6500's place as the new flagship camera in Sony's mirrorless APS-C lineup. The sensor and autofocus systems are shared, but the vast increase in continuous shooting buffer makes the A6500 much more suited for high-speed shooting situations. Not only that, but the touchscreen functionality, enhanced electronic viewfinder, in-body image stabilization and redesigned menu system make the A6500 a much friendlier camera to use and all of these improvements address issues we had with the otherwise excellent A6300 camera.

Sony A6500 Review -- Product Image

 

Sony A6500 Field Test Part I

All the action from awesome Austin: The A6500 gets a real workout!

by Mike Tomkins |

Sony A6500 field test photo Earlier this year, my colleague Jeremy Gray published his review of the Sony A6300, a followup to 2014's amazingly popular A6000. Now in double-quick time that camera, too, has a successor in the form of the Sony A6500. Recently, I was fortunate to shoot with the A6500 on a press experiential in Austin, Texas.

In all, I had three cameras on hand to shoot with during the week: The aforementioned A6500, the Translucent Mirror-based Sony A99 II and the pocket-friendly Sony RX100 V compact. With the A99 II in short supply, though, and the RX100 V perhaps not the most ideally-suited to the subjects on hand thanks to a relatively short lens, it was the A6500 with which I did the most shooting.

As is typical on a press experiential, Sony had plenty of great shooting subjects lined up to give all three cameras a good workout. After my first week with the A6500, I have to say that it acquitted itself might well, turning out a whole bunch of shots that I'm absolutely thrilled with!

Sony A6500 Field Test Part II

The Sony A6500 takes on the night lights of Gatlinburg, Tennessee

by Mike Tomkins |

Sony A6500 field test photoLate last year, I started my review of the Sony A6500 mirrorless camera with my first Field Test, packed with great action shots from a press experiential in Austin, Texas. The second part of my report has been a little while coming thanks to the holiday season, flu bugs, tradeshows and more, but the good news is that it's here now!

In this Field Test, I'll be looking at two main areas for which I didn't have enough content from the press experiential: Low-light shooting, and video capture. First of all, a quick recap of my earlier Field Test would probably be helpful for those of you who've not already read it, or who read it at the time but don't remember all of the details. (If you've not read it yet, though, I highly recommend going back and starting from the start.)

Recapping my first Field Test

In my first real-world shoot with the Sony A6500 back in Austin, I came away pretty impressed by this camera and its capabilities. In terms of handling I had few complaints. I found the A6500's body to be pretty comfortable in-hand, even with my larger-than-average hands. Really, about all I'd change on the ergonomic front is the poorly-positioned movie button (something that we'll come back to in a bit), and the lack of a front control dial.

Sony A6500 Image Quality Comparison

See how the A6500's IQ stacks up to other premium crop-sensor ILCs

by Zig Weidelich |

Sony A6500 image qualityHere we present crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing the Sony A6500's image quality to that of its predecessor's, the A6500, as well as against several enthusiast or premium ILC models at similar price points and/or resolutions: the Canon M5, Fuji X-T2, Nikon D7200 and Olympus PEN-F.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page...

 

In the Box

The Sony A6500 retail kit package (as reviewed) contains the following items:

  • Sony Alpha ILCE-6500 camera body
  • NP-FW50 rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • Shoulder strap
  • Micro USB cable
  • Accessory Shoe cap
  • Body cap
  • Eyepiece cup

 

Recommended Accessories

  • Large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory card. 32GB Class 10 should be a minimum; UHS Speed Class U3 designation is required for recording video bitrates of 100Mbps or more.
  • Spare NP-FW50 battery pack (~US$50)
  • BC-TRW Dedicated Battery Charger (~US$35)
  • HVL-F60M External Flash/Video Light (~US$450)
  • Lenses

 



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