Sony Alpha a6500
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Manufactured by Sony
- Larger grip allows the camera to be handled perfectly
- Front end LSI allows for longer burst shots with the extended buffer
- 5-axis image stabilization is a first for Sony APS-C cameras
- Being a flagship camera
- there are not a lot of drastic changes
- Battery life could’ve been slightly better
- Confusion to choose between the A6300 and the A6500
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Sony Alpha A6500 Review
Consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to cameras. Photography enthusiasts have a huge range of options from major players like Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Fuji, and Olympus. But today, it is all about Sony and their latest offering, the Alpha A6500. Sony recently dropped their NEX naming scheme and all of their cameras that use the proprietary E-Mount System will now be part of the Alpha series henceforth. Sony created quite a revolutionary camera when they launched the Alpha A7 which replaced the NEX-7. It is a full frame E-Mount camera which has been creating quite a buzz and giving other major players tough competition.
The A7 might sound like a luxury to a lot of people, and maybe that is why Sony decided to launch the A6000. The A6000 replaced the NEX-6 and since then has been the go-to choice for the enthusiast, becoming the best-selling interchangeable-lens camera over $600 in 2016. It was launched back in 2014, and an upgraded version was launched in February 2016 dubbed Alpha A6300. So, why did Sony launch the Alpha A6500 barely 8 months after the launch of the A6300? It is not a replacement of the A6000 and all the three cameras, A6000, A6300 and A6500 will be up for grabs. So, let’s find out the answers to this question and a lot more in this in-depth review.
The brand new Sony Alpha A6500 was launched recently as a successor to the A6300.
People who’ve not seen the A6300 will have a tough time in spotting the differences between the two. There are very few cosmetic changes and the only one that is visible straight up is the larger grip on the A6500. This is indeed a welcome change and the camera feels better in hand now. The larger grip is perfectly contoured to fit well in the hand.
Once you turn to the top portion of the camera, you can see an extra custom button that has been added to the A6500. Previously, there was only the C1 button, but now there is the C2 button as well. The exposure dial is more textured now and you will have a better response from it. The shutter release button is also slightly larger now.
Sony A6300 – Can you spot the differences between the A6500 and the A6300?
The sensor used in the A6500 is the same as the one in the A6300. It is the same 24.2 megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor along with the BIONZ X Image processor and a brand new LSI chip at the front. The processor and the LSI chip together helps the A6500 extend its ISO range and subsequently reduce noise at these high values of ISO. The front-end LSI allows continuous shooting at high speeds, thanks to the expanded buffer.
Another brand new hardware change is the addition of a touchscreen. This change has been long overdue and it was expected on the A6300. But since the A6300 didn’t have it, it was obvious that the next model would have it due to immense customer feedback. The touchscreen allows the user to focus on specific points and even use it while recording video. Now let’s take a look at what the Sony Alpha A6500 can do with the new hardware components inside it.
Like with the A6300, the A6500 also has the world’s fastest autofocus with their patented 4D FOCUS system. This allows the camera to focus on the subject in less than 0.05 seconds, which is by far the world’s fastest time. The camera also has a 5-axis image stabilization system built into it, which is also a first for Sony. This has been made possible by the redesigned shutter unit that is almost the same size as the A6300.
Other features like the 425 phase detection autofocus coverage points and the 169 contrast detection autofocus coverage points stay on the A6500. The autofocusing performance is largely very similar to that of the A6300 and there are no visible improvements.
The front-end LSI allows the A6500 to outperform the A6300 in terms of the number of shots that it can take in burst mode. The camera can capture at 11fps for 22 seconds when set to JPEG and at 11fps for 10 seconds while set to RAW. This can take some considerable time to write to the memory, during which you cannot use the camera.
There’s a new Auto Power Off Temperature feature that can be adjusted to turn off the camera when it is overheating. Usually, the camera will not have any trouble and can capture 229 minutes of video one after the other before showing any signs of heat. An additional feature is the ability to take 8MP snapshots from 4K video and 2MP snapshots from FullHD video.
The Menu has undergone change and it is a bit complicated. There are 6 sections in the Main Menu and each of them have a lot of pages which can be a bit frustrating to look through.
The A6500 has a larger grip, a new custom button and a larger shutter release button.
The NP-FW50 battery is provided along with the Alpha A6500 and it can take an average of 330 shots when charged completely. It is also rated to capture around 105 minutes of continuous video. The power consumption while capturing through the viewfinder is more than the consumption when done through the LCD screen.
The Sony Alpha A6500 is the best APS-C camera that Sony has ever produced, no doubts about that. But announced shortly after the A6300, it doesn’t bring a lot of drastic changes to the table. The front-end LSI and the brand new 5-axis image stabilization are great but we would’ve liked to see a lot more. Since the older A6300 and A6000 are not discontinued, we now have 3 models as part of the A6000 series. Consumers will be slightly confused when choosing between the A6300 and the A6500, but at the end of the day, both of these are highly capable cameras. If you want to take longer burst shots, use a touchscreen and experience some of the newer stuff that Sony has implemented, you can go for the Alpha A6500. If you’re not a huge fan of touch screen and the features that we’ve mentioned above, you can go for the Alpha A6300.
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- The Sony Alpha a6500 is manufactured by Sony and was added in October 2016 in the Digital Cameras section
- This product has a rating of 4.0 out of 5
- The best price of the Sony Alpha a6500 in Canada is $1,058.23 at B&H Photo
- In Canada this product is available in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau
- You can find this product at Best Buy, Henrys, Amazon Canada, B&H Photo