Sony A6500 First Shots: Sony’s souped-up, flagship APS-C mirrorless camera hits our lab


posted Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 11:27 AM EST


The Sony A6500 was a bit of a surprise, seeing as how the predecessor A6300 model arrived earlier this same year in February. But despite the short turnaround time, the new A6500 packs in a whole bunch of new technology and upgraded performance into that familiar shell. We've already had the opportunity to get some real-world shooting experience with the A6500, with Mike Tomkins' Texas-sized Field Test Part I. To get a sense for how this beefed-up mirrorless camera performs at a variety of action, sports and other fast-moving subjects, be sure to check out Mike's report.

On the flip side, we here at IRHQ just received our review sample and immediately sent it down to our testing lab, and we've now published our standard First Shots set of sample images. As always, our First Shots series offers a standardized assessment of image quality across as the camera's full ISO range. Here, we have both RAWs and straight-from-camera JPEGs, as well as images shot at default Noise Reduction and with NR processing disabled (at least to the extent that the camera allows).

Feel free to pixel peep to your heart's content or jump over to our Comparometer to judge the A6500's lab images against any other camera we've tested. For a bit of quick IQ testing, below are a couple of comparisons pitting the Sony A6500 against its predecessor and one of its major competitors, the Fuji X-T2.

Sony A6500 vs. Sony A6300

ISO 100: Sony A6500 (left) vs. Sony A6300 (right)
ISO 6400: Sony A6500 (left) vs. Sony A6300 (right)

Sony A6500 vs. Fuji X-T2

ISO 100: Sony A6500 (left) vs. Fuji X-T2 (right)
ISO 6400: Sony A6500 (left) vs. Fuji X-T2 (right)

Stay tuned as we continue our Sony A6500 review!

Sony A6500 First Shots