Updated: November 28, 2023
Mirrorless cameras are getting popular day by day among travelers and Sony A6500 is amongst the top selling mirrorless cameras around. Other than being compact, the Sony a6500 4k delivers a decent 24.2MP resolution images that are crisp. Let us find out what are the stand-out features that make the Sonly A6500 so appealing for the users.
Sony A6500 Specifications
– The A6500 is a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor with 425 phase detection auto focus points mirrorless camera
– Comes with the new Bionz X processor that improves the speed and performance as well as the overall image quality
– Improved buffer making it possible for photographers to continuously shoot 11fps up to 300 consecutive images if you are shooting JPEGs and 100 consecutive RAW images
– You can shoot 4K video at up to 30fps and Full HD or 1080p at up to 120fps
– The Sony A6500 in-built image stabilization is 5-axis offering a more stable video when shooting handheld
– Comes with a touchscreen that can be used for autofocus both in live view and as a touchpad using the electronic viewfinder
The a6500 has a 3.5mm Mic input which allows you to connect an external microphone for better audio
– Comes with Wi-Fi and NFC so moving images to your mobile device is easy and one can even use an app to control the camera
– Small and portable enough to carry around giving the small looking camera enough power
– Interchangeable lenses offers you additional flexibility as your needs change or grow. You can get compatible lenses from the market and use it for your professional needs to get top-notch results
In-Depth Features of Sony A6500
Sony has really taken the market by storm by introducing the A6500 that offers a neat 24.2MP camera that has world’s fastest autofocus and a great 4k video recording feature. For the price it is available, this Sony A6500 is the best in the market. Even though the a6500 looks quite similar to the A6300, but if you look into the features carefully, you will know that the A6500 comes with touchscreen capability and Sony A6500 image stabilization.
The key features of the A6500 review are 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor with 425 phase detection points, 2.36M-dot OLED EVF, a tilting rear touchscreen, 5-axis image stabilization, 11fps continuous shooting, and a 1/4000 second maximum shutter speed. Expert photographers will love the above features, but amateurs will find these features new and difficult to understand. But, the following A6500 review will explain all the features in detail making it easy for all types of users.
Innovative features and Metering Modes
The features may look complicated, but we have made efforts to make it simpler for an amateur photographer to understand these features so that the camera can be used efficiently. The A6500 has 24.2MP CMOS sensor, which gives you crisp and sharp images. The sensor and the wiring that goes into this system work in conjunction with the BIONZ X image processor and the new front-end LSI. This feature helps if you want a quiet camera when you are working or if you are outdoors or while taking wildlife pictures. The front-end of LSI and the conductive copper accelerates readout speed to support high-speed shooting with minimal lag. The Sony A6500 4K also allows you to record movies with full pixel readout and Full HD 120fps shooting and a 14 bit RAW output for still images.
There are two metering modes about A6500 that people have loved. The first metering mode is highlight, where the exposure metering focuses on the brightest area within the LCD frame. The second meter mode is entire screen average, which means your camera will maintain an average meter for the overall image.
Yes, the Sony A6500 Autofocus is the world’s fastest Autofocus. The 4D focus system boasts the world’s fastest autofocus time. To check how fast the autofocus system of this camera is, you need to capture something fast on screen and the best thing would be to stand on a bridge and capture the traffic tail lights at night or take a photograph of soccer teams practicing or any sport where there are fast movements. You can even capture your playtime with your pet to understand how good the autofocus of the a6500 is.
The autofocus of this camera can lock the focus on the subject in as little as 0.05 seconds. Did you know that this camera has the world’s highest number of focal plane phase detection AF point2? In fact, it has a huge 425 and 84 percent of them are placed over the image area. This compact camera can capture high resolution images up to 11fps with continuous autofocus and exposure tracking.
What stands out for this camera is that you can set off-center focus areas and then compose the images with the subject being off-center without the user having to get the focus and then again reframe it. The best thing is that you can make use of the touchscreen to tap an area to set it as a focus area or one can drag the focus point on the screen while looking through the viewfinder.
There is also a continuous autofocus feature that you can use for photography so that you can select a subject and the camera will follow it throughout the frame and keep it in focus. In case of the video you can select the point on the screen as the static point of focus if your subject is off-centered. This feature works for both the continuous and fixed autofocus. You can also select an object and allow the a6500 follow it and keep it in focus.
You can also frame a shot with multiple layers and then tap on the screen to focus while recording and the a6500 autofocus will switch the focus points automatically. This happens quite fast without having to hunt for focus. The autofocus system for video is quite good, but not as fast or good as the Canon dual pixel autofocus. It has been observed that the autofocus system in the a6500 hunts for focus especially at lowlight and low contrast situations.
The only drawback seen is the indicator color, which is difficult to indentify in different lighting conditions. Hopefully, Sony decides to change the color or make it user friendly.
4K Video making and Professional Video features
With the A6500 you can capture your travel videos in 4k and upload it on various sites. It offers internal 4k recording in super 35mm format. If you look at the camera at a glance you would not find the camera very fancy, but the 5-axis stabilization system, touchscreen for focal point placement and an improved digital processor and instant image playback make this camera a serious player in the world of photography. It comes with an HDMI out, which means you can output whatever you can see on the LCD, but without the menu and features. This makes it possible to use the a6500 for streaming.
5-Axis Image stabilization
It is only the first time that an in-built 5-axis steady shot stabilization is being used in such a compact camera with a light body weight. The camera automatically compensates for any blur caused by the camera shakes. This will benefit when you use any lens for image stabilization, whether it has such an internal system or not.
The 5-axis image stabilization works great for making perfect videos. If you want to monitor the stabilization effects of the camera shake compensation in the viewfinder or the LCD screen, you can press the shutter button down half way or by magnifying the image. While shooting any movie you can monitor the camera shake by entering the movie mode.
Fast OLED with EVF Benefits
The A6500 allows you continuous live shooting at 8fps with AF/AE tracking. This makes it easy to track any fast moving objects because of the all new EVF algorithm. This offers photographers the immediacy of an optical viewfinder, benefits of an electronic viewfinder, live preview of exposure, white balance and several other settings of the camera.
A6500 Size, Build and Weight
The a6500 shares the same form factor of the entry level a6000 and the mid-range a6300. The feel is very similar to that of these above cameras. It comes in a magnesium alloy, rangefinder style body and since it is mirrorless, the camera is compact. There are good quality seals around the buttons for water resistance and dust. Sony has provided rubber on the entire right side for good grip so that you don’t have to worry about the camera slipping out of your hands. Sony has also included a high-resolution XGA Tru-Finder OLED electronic viewfinder.
The a6500 is not fragile, but has a rugged and durable shutter mechanism. It is designed to withstand the pressures of shooting in the field and this is possible because of the strong magnesium and alloy body. The durable shutter system has been tested heavily and can withstand roughly 200,000 shutter releases for a long-lasting performance.
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC
The Sony a6500 has a built-in Wi-Fi with NFC, which allows you to communicate with a mobile device and transfer images and movies along with controlling of the camera. The whole process of transferring files is pretty simple. For the remote control, the app allows you to take pictures and start and stop videos, but with limited ability.
One of the great features of the Sony A6500 is its audio. It comes with a 3.5mm Mic input. This is great if you are looking to improve your audio game and want a higher production value. With the 3.5mm Mic input you can add an external Mic instead of the camera Mic. You can use this for vlogging or for recording interviews instead of depending on the internal Mic of the camera that comes with limited functionalities.
Compatible with wide-range of mountable lenses
Since the Sony A6500 comes with the Hybrid AF and the 5-axis image stabilization system, the user can enjoy lot of flexibility with the lenses. Even if there is no in-built image stabilization system, it will still be compatible. For an amateur photographer, he will have to do some research about the lenses to suit his requirements. If you want fast lenses or telephoto lenses you can choose from a range of nice lenses from both Sony and other brands in the market. The choice is quite big, but not as extensive as Nikon or Canon especially if you are looking for high end lenses. At the low end there is a Sony 50 f/1.8, a 35mm 1.8 and if you want to go for wider option ,then a 55-210 is good if you want to take images of subjects that are far. Make sure the lenses are compatible with the A6500 and you are ready to achieve great results.
The Sony A6500 is a pretty good mirrorless camera with features that speak a lot of the brand. The image stabilization and photo clarity are some of the qualities that have ensured photographers stay loyal to the brand. It is one of the best travel cameras around. Even though the A6500 and a few previous models look and feel similar, there are a few subtle differences that make the Sony A6500 a worthy camera at the price point. It is a versatile APS-C camera that you can carry around for work, but is a good travel companion that is capable of taking perfect images and videos of your travelogue. The Sony A6500 definitely feels durable and the grip it provides for the user makes it a preferred camera for travelers.
The favorite aspect about the image quality is the dynamic range that is available in editing post process. One can do so much with the highlights and shadows of the RAW files that you would not lose the originality of the image. The Sony a6500 body sells for under $1300 without the lenses. The price will increase as you go on adding new lenses to the camera. There is a whole range of compatible lenses that goes with the a6500 that provides some stunning images and videos.