Hello everybody and welcome to my Sony A6500 Written Review! In this extended long term review I will be covering the Sony A6500 from a real world perspective using many different lenses and scenarios. I included an absolute ton of sample photos, so be sure to scroll down for those and be sure to click on the images for a high resolution version. In addition to the review itself, I also included a How-To use the camera video tutorial for those new to the Camera or Sony camera systems in general.
I tested the A6500 autofocus abilities as it pertains to fast moving objects like drag racing snowmobiles, but I also took real world video and regular photos as well as lab testing. I published my youtube version of this review a while back, and due to laptop issues and wanting to test the camera with more lenses, this written review is a bit late to the party, but offers way more detail and sample photos. Sorry about that for those waiting patiently…
First lets go over some of the new features the Sony A6500 offers…
For starters the Sony A6500 goes for $1198 US for the camera body only at the time of this review. You can however, save some cash on optics and get the A6500 bundled with several different lens combinations at various price points. The E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens kit would offer the most lightweight compact solution and goes for $1496 US. However, I would recommend the E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens kit which goes for $1598 US. That kit is a much better all-in-one solution with significant focal range, but does weigh a bit more and take up larger footprint if compact size is a major factor for you.
The sensor is the same unit as the one found in the Sony A6300. So’ it a 24mp APS-C Exmor R CMOS Sensor with 425 Phase Detection AF points embedded… Yes the AF performance is awesome, but the 5-Axis Steadyshot sensor stabilization is the new stand out feature for the A6500 I would say!
The A6500 also has a much larger buffer than the more affordable Sony A6300, for up to 301 standard JPEG frames or 107 raw frames in a single burst with AF and AE, and permits 14-bit raw file output for a wider tonal range and color scale.
The A6500 also features a large 3 inch tilting LCD on the back which is a Touchscreen now! This feature was the second most requested by users in general I would say, next to the stabilization. The touchscreen has been a long time coming and I really enjoyed using it the more I got comfortable with it’s features and real world applications where it helps out. It does not full articulate however, and that was disappointing.
Sony answers the sensor stabilization and touchscreen requests, but still leaves the door open for the next generation sensor to be unveiled in future models I’m thinking.. If you are not aware, it would be know as the Exmor RS sensor architecture version like the one found in the smaller 1″ sensor equipped Sony RX10 IV which I reviewed here, and of course the Sony flagship Full Frame Sony A9 I recently reviewed here >>
On the left side of the camera Sony included a Microphone jack for those looking to incorporate better audio quality into their video footage, but they did not include a headphone jack which is really required for proper monitoring of the audio while recording. So, it’s a great addition, but video enthusiast and pros want the headphone jack as well. Also note the Micro HDMI Out and Micro USB charging/ data port and lamp which illuminates orange when charging. In addition to that we have the WiFi antenna and speaker below that indicated by the three holes.
For a way more detailed hands-on look of the camera body features and how to use it all, be sure to check out my videos below!
Sony A6500 How-To Use Camera Video – Focus Modes, Drive Modes, Touch Focus, and More…
My Sony A6500 Review – Long Term Real World Perspective and How To Use Camera
I had a blast using the Sony A6500 on several occasions over the last year or so. It has proven to be an awesome camera and a pleasure to use. The real world usability, features, build, and image quality is overall excellent in my opinion. I would highly recommend the Sony A6500 mirrorless camera for those in the market looking for the most features and quality in one package.
Bang For The Buck
Build Quality and Design
Menu System and User Interface
Auto Focus System
Low Light Performance
Reader Rating3 Votes
Best In Class Autofocus System
5-Axis Image Stabilization
Very Good Build Quality
Highly Versatile Camera System
Poor Battery Life Compared To Competition
No Fully Articulating LCD Screen
Menu System and User Interface is Still Lacking Compared To Competition
I included a ton of sample photos, because I have had the camera several times over the past year and had the opportunity to use it with a lot of different lenses. I really wanted to show you what the A6500 can do in the real world
High ISO Testing
Picture Effect Mode Sample Photos
Picture effects are a lot of fun and something you might not even consider if you did not know the camera had this feature. I really enjoy using them from time to time.
Real World Sample Photos using Various Lenses
I used several different lenses to test the Sony A6500, so be sure to note the image caption text for various lens info and settings.
First some high speed action shots of some drag racing snowmobiles at the local ski slope where I live with the top quality Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens. I also took a pretty good photo of Bones Jones and a few snapshots of Jase and my old TDI VW Jetta wagon that I have since traded in.
For the silky water shots below I was using the Hoya 55mm Variable ND Filter on the front of the lens which really helped slow the shutter speed way down. That slower shutter speed combined with the flowing water makes for some really cool motion blur effects.
Zeiss Touit E 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens – Sample Photos