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NEW – Sony Alpha A6500 Mirrorless Camera

Sony A6500 Sensor Stabilization

Sony introduces the New A6500 Mirrorless Camera and it has 5-xis Steadyshot INSIDE Stabilization!! Oh yeah, this is a huge upgrade and the most requested feature by users in when polled by far. I was worried this technology might make the camera to large and/or heavy and possible negate the advantage of the low weight large APS-C sensor camera body.

There is always a sacrifice when it comes to having everything under one hood, and in this case the 5-Axis stabilization adds weight. The A6500 = 15.98 oz / 453 g, the A6300 = 14.25 oz / 404 g, and the A6000 = 12.13 oz / 344 g. You can clearly see the huge weight gain with the full magnesium body design upgrade in the A6300, then with the added 5-Axis Stabilization you get an additional ~2 oz. Overall not to bad considering the advantage this gives when using non stabilized glass, and in low light slower shutter speed conditions.

The sensor looks to be the same unit as the A6300 for the most part, but some better video frame rate controls are added and full pixel readout is now available for noticeable sharper video quality. Similar to the RX10 or RX100 series cameras in that regard.

Also notable is the much larger buffer 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 and color scale. On the previous models the bit rate would drop to 12-bit while in shooting in burst mode raw quality encase you were not aware. I honestly could not tell the difference in quality when testing this on the A6300, but pixel peepers may notice some color banding in extreme areas, especially when pushing up the contrast in post processing.

The A6500 also features a large 3″ 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. Sony answers both issues, but still leaves the door open for the next generation sensor to be unveiled in future models I’m thinking..

A Closer Look

Sony A6500 Key Features:

  • 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • XGA Tru-Finder 2.36m-Dot OLED EVF
  • 3.0″ 921.6k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • Touch to focus
  • Internal UHD 4K Video & S-Log3 Gamma
  • Bit Depth = 14-bit
  • S&Q Motion in Full HD from 1-120 fps
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
  • 4D FOCUS with 425 Phase-Detect Points
  • Up to 11 fps Shooting and ISO 51200
  • Much Larger Buffer for up to 107 raw frames in one burst! 
  • Price = $1398 US

Sony Alpha A6500 Camera Body and Promo Illustrations:

Promo Videos from Sony

The A6500 is capable of high-resolution 4K movies of wide dynamic range in the Super 35mm format favored among cinema camera users. Full pixel readout without pixel binning collects approx. 2.4 times* (6K equivalent) as much information as is required for 4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) movie output. This oversampling effect ultimately gives 4K images the realistic depth and dimension that you might experience when witnessing the actual scene. Plus, the camera is equipped with 5-axis image stabilization and touchscreen AF, offering videographers more control than ever before and a seemingly endless amount of creative possibilities.
* Approx. 1.6 times at 30p recording.

Sony A6500 Reviews

Here is an awesome quality Sony A6500 Review courtesy of TheCameraStoreTV:

And another from Max Yuryev

Closing Remarks

So finally with the NEW Sony A6500 we have the slightly more affordable and practical APS-C sensor sized camera body with 5-axis IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) and a Touchscreen! Nice work Sony and clearly they are listening to the customers demands, although it may take some time for the wishes to trickle down into the cameras. The no touchscreen has been an issue since the A6000, and the 5-axis IBIS was wanted by many forever as well. Olympus having the IBIS for so long is what really drove the demand most I think. If they can do it, why can’t Sony was the mindset. I totally understood this and really wanted the 5-axis IBIS feature as well. Shockingly, Sony decided to offer the IBIS on the full frame A7 series cameras first, and then I believe planed on including it into the A6300 with the new larger body, but then decided to wait till the A6500 for whatever reason.

Price wise the A6500 (body Only) is $1398 US which works out to~$400 more than the A6300. I’m not sure if that will justify the extra cost to you, but the features are wants for anybody comparing the two models I would think.

More to come on the Sony Alpha A6500 as reviews come out and we get more hard data on the performance in the real world. It’s a safe bet to assume it will perform just as good as the A6300 plus has the IBIS, the touchscreen advantage, better video quality, and recording features. Hard numbers wise, it appears identical to the A6300 on paper as far as photography image quality goes. The Sensor is the same from what I can tell, so no real change at all in basic image quality. Perhaps the image algorithms have been slightly altered, but I have no read anything of the sort.

I hope you guys got something out of this article, and please have a great day,

Check Pricing and Availability on the NEW Sony A6500 @ BHPhoto and Amazon