Action-packed: Sony a6500 review

Written by Gina Stephens

The Sony a6500 is the attendance’s top-tier APS-C mirrorless model, a 24MP stills and video camera with image stabilization. It sits above the similar-looking a6300 in Sony’s lineup, supplementing touchscreen capability and stabilization for enthusiasts willing to dig a little deeper into their pockets.

Key Features:

  • 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor with 425 status detection points
  • 2.36M-dot OLED EVF
  • Tilting rear touchscreen
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • 11 fps continuous shooting for up to 300 JPEGs / 100 Raws
  • 1/4000 sec highest shutter speed

As should be apparent, many of its core specifications are shared with the a6300 – itself a DPReview Gold winning camera. The largest differences are the touchscreen, the image stabilization and a ‘Front End LSI’ (processing chip) to allow faster and more complex processing. There are also a few small jerks, such as the addition of a highlight spot metering mode.

The touch sensitivity of the rear screen can be used for your choice of two things: as an touchscreen for location the focus point or triggering focus and shutter, or as a touchpad, when the camera is held to your eye.

The added processing oomph promises a more sensitive camera: one that allows immediate image review even when shooting bursts of images. The a6500 also gains a much-needed update to Sony’s menu approach, adding color-coding to make it easier to recognize and remember different parts of the menu.

This change to the menu, and the addition of a quick way of setting AF theme immediately address two of our biggest frustrations with the a6300. However, Sony is making no claims about improvements in terms either of rolling shut up or of recording longevity. With the most recent firmware, the a6300 can often record 4K video for the full 29:59 duration that the camera concedes but this is not always possible in warm conditions or if you’ve just shot a long clip. Sony only claims ‘about 20 minutes’ of 4K information for both cameras camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or.

The a6500 uses the same form factor as both the mid-range a6300 and the entry-level a6000

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Despite being positioned significantly new up the market, the a6500 uses the same form factor (and dial arrangement) as both the mid-range a6300 and the entry-level a6000. Although all three cameras give birth to two control dials, they are arranged so that both must be controlled using the thumb and, for many people, requiring the hand to be repositioned when exchange from one to the other. Such a limitation is reasonable at the a6000 end of the market but seems an odd fit for a $1400 camera.

The other similarity with the 6300 that seems cool more odd at this level is Sony’s decision to only offer lossy compressed Raw, limiting their processing latitude.

This table bears how the a6500 compares with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel Fujifilm’s fairly similarly-priced X-T2 (probably the most capable rival in terms of stills and video shooting).

  Sony a6500Fujifilm X-T2Sony a6300
MSRP (Corps only)$1400$1600$1000
Pixel Count24MP24MP24MP
ISO Range100-25600 (51200 with multi-shot NR)200-51200100-25600 (51200 with multi-shot NR)
AF Point controlTouchscreen/touchpadJoystick4-way controller
Use strategy act openly slots1 x UHS I2 x UHS II1 x UHS I
USBUSB 2.0USB 3.0USB 2.0
Continuous Shooting rate11fps14fps (e-shutter)
8fps (mechanical)
Rear screenTilting up/down touchscreenDual tilt: Up/down/rightInclination up/down
FlashBuilt-inClip-on (supplied)Built-in
Image stabilizationIn-body (+In-lens where available)In-lensIn-lens
4K video facultyUHD 4K at 24/25/30pUHD 4K at 24/25/30pUHD 4K at 24/25/30p
4K video crop

24/25p Full Width
30p 1.23x crop

1.17x crop24/25p Full Width
30p 1.23x crop
4K video durationUp to 20 micros (temperature dependent)~10 minutes
(Up to 29:59 with optional grip)
Up to 29:59 (temperature dependent)
Video log profileS-Log2 & S-Log3 with sweeping video-focused Picture Profile settingsF-Log (over HDMI only) S-Log2 & S-Log3 with extensive video-focused Picture Draw settings
USB Charging (USB Power?)Yes/YesYes/NoYes/Yes
Battery life – CIPA (Rear screen/EVF)350/310340400/350
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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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