posted Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 5:02 PM EDT


For the last few days, I've been visiting the beautiful city of Austin, Texas with many of my colleagues from the imaging press. The reasons we've all been here together are threefold: The exciting Sony A6500 mirrorless camera, the Translucent Mirror-based Sony A99 II and the pocket-friendly Sony RX100 V compact.

As you may already have seen, I've previously uploaded photos from the A99 II and RX100 V, the latter shot with our review camera before leaving my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. And there is still plenty more to come from both cameras in the near future. My Sony A6500 gallery shots, though, have had to wait a little while as output from that camera was still under an embargo.


Now, the floodgates have finally been opened and my first batch of Sony A6500 photos are here for your viewing pleasure! In all, I've provided a total of 28 photos in both raw and JPEG file formats, and with some really cool subjects that gave the A6500's performance -- especially in the autofocus department -- a really tough test.


Although I've shot a fair bit of sports over the years, I wouldn't necessarily consider myself to be a pro sports shooter. Thankfully, we had one on hand to offer some very welcome advice, in the form of Sony Artisan and frequent Sports Illustrated contributor Patrick Murphy-Racey. With a background in photojournalism, sports photography, portraiture and more, as well as several SI cover photos under his belt, Patrick clearly knows his stuff -- and for bonus points, it turned out that he too is a Knoxvillian who lives just down the road from me!


But I digress. My in-depth field test of the Sony A6500 is on its way shortly, and in the meantime, I'm sure you're keen to hear my thoughts, so perhaps a few spoilers would be in order! Suffice it to say that I've come away from this initial shooting experience very much impressed with the A6500. Performance is in most respects superb, with only a couple of weak spots.


In particular, the Sony A6500 has impressed me with its burst shooting speed and buffer size, as well as with its continuous autofocus tracking performance. I shot with a good variety of subjects and autofocus modes and found continuous AF to be swift and accurate once I'd familiarized myself with the camera.


So where are the stumbles? I found the new focus pad functionality, which allows you to move the autofocus point intuitively by sliding the tip of your thumb across the touch-screen display while shooting through the electronic viewfinder, lagged perhaps a quarter of a second behind my gestures. I'm hopeful, though, that Sony will be able to improve this new aspect of the camera through firmware optimization. And like it's predecessors, flash card write speeds could certainly be improved, although I found this to be less of a concern thanks to the generous buffer size.


Of course, I'll have plenty more insight into this exciting camera soon, once I've put the finishing touches on my field test. In the meantime, I highly recommend perusing my gallery images to get a feel for what is capable with the Sony A6500!

Sony A6500 Gallery ImagesOverview