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Cameras - Reviews - March 6, 2019

Sony Alpha a6500 Review

Sony Alpha a6500

The Alpha A6500 is Sony’s flagship APS-C mirrorless camera, and boy does it pack a lot of tech.

Sony left it just six months before updating the Alpha A6300 with the A6500, but while this might sound like a premature update, the Alpha 6500 gains a number of key features, including in-body image stabilization to further blur the line between Sony’s APS-C lineup and its Alpha 7 full-frame range of mirrorless cameras.

Sony has also equipped its new camera with a greatly enhanced buffer to make it a tempting proposition for shooting action, while there’s also the welcome addition of a touchscreen interface. The inclusion of these new features makes the A6500 one of the most fully featured crop-sensor cameras on the market right now.

While the Sony A6500 sticks with the Alpha 6300’s 24.2MP APS-C sensor and 4D focus system (with 425 phase detect AF points), there are welcome improvements elsewhere.

It’s notably the first Sony APS-C camera to come with 5-axis in-body image stabilization, just as we’ve seen with Sony’s second-generation Alpha 7 series of cameras like the Alpha A7R II. And the great news is that this not only works with Sony’s non-stabilized optics, but can be used in conjunction with Sony’s OSS stabilized lenses.

Sony has also overhauled the buffer of the A6500, delivering a considerable boost in performance that sees the camera capable of capturing 307 full-size JPEG files or 107 raws, all at a quick 11fps burst rate – quite an improvement from the A6300’s 44 JPEG and 22 raw limit.

Sony Alpha a6500 Specifications

Price
MSRP$1400 (body only)
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorBionz X
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-25600 (expandable to 51200)
Boosted ISO (maximum)51200
White balance presets8
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (14-bit Sony ARW)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points425
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots921,600
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.07× (0.71× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,359,296
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • iAuto
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashYes
Flash range6.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesFlash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear Sync., Slow Sync., Red-eye reduction (On/Off selectable), Hi-speed sync, Wireless
Flash X sync speed1/160 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous (Hi+/Hi/Mid/Lo)
  • Self-timer
  • Bracketing
Continuous drive11.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Highlight-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames, H/L selectable)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1280 x 720 @ 25p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC + Memory Stick Pro Duo
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FW50
Battery Life (CIPA)350
Weight (inc. batteries)453 g (1.00 lb / 15.98 oz)
Dimensions120 x 67 x 53 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 2.09)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

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