Sony Alpha a6500 Brief Review



  • Other Features : Magnesium alloy construction
  • Weight : 1 lb. (453g)
  • Battery : Li-ion battery rated at up to 350 shots
  • Weather Sealing : Yes (not submersible)
  • Screen : 2.95" tilting touchscreen
  • GPS : No
  • Wi-Fi : Wi-fi, Bluetooth and NFC
  • Flash : Built-in, hot shoe
  • Video : 4K (3840) at 30 fps, 1080p at up to 120 fps
  • RAW : Yes
  • Image Stabilization : Optical, 5-axis
  • Autofocus System : Phase detection and contrast detection hybrid
  • Autofocus Points : 425 in phase detection, 169 in contrast detection
  • Burst Speed : Up to 11 fps
  • Shutter Speed : 30 sec. to 1/4000, Bulb, 1/160 flash sync speed
  • ISO : 100 - 25600 (51200 expandable)
  • Processor : BIONZ X
  • Sensor : 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS
  • Release Date: 2016-12-06
  • Final Grade: 93 4.65 Star Rating: Recommended

The Sony a6500 aims for speedy performance
Sony's mirrorless cameras are known for their autofocus speed and the Sony a6500 looks like no exception
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 10/28/2016

The Sony a6500 aims to sway new users with a speedy .05 second autofocus speed paired with a snappy 11 fps burst speed. With Sony being known for their autofocus speed, the a6500 looks to continue the tradition.

The a6500 uses an APS-C sensor, the same size found in entry to mid-level DSLRs. While Sony's full frame mirrorless cameras are popular options, the Sony a6500 aims to reach higher speeds and a lower price point with a smaller (but still large) sensor than the a7 lineup. The a6500's sensor sits at 24.2 megapixels, with 4K video recording with full pixel readout. 

While speed is the biggest highlight, the Sony a6500 also uses in-body stabilization with a five axis system. That helps to keep handheld shots from blurring while making the lenses cheaper, since the stabilization is already inside the body.

The a6500 keeps the sleek and modern design of previous models, sporting a 3" tilting touchscreen at the back. While the body is pretty compact, weighing only a pound, the camera does had a significant grip to combat the awkward grip of slim camera bodies. 

The Sony a6500 looks like a sleek and quick competitor in the mirrorless arena. The camera is one of the fastest mirrorless options with an APS-C sensor and sits as a good choice for users who put speed as a priority. The closest competitors, the Panasonic G85 and Fujifilm X-E2S, sit at a lower price point but offer significantly less speed, though Fujifilm's flagship hits a similar speed, it's also a few hundred dollars more. The Olympus PEN-F comes close in speed, but uses a smaller micro four thirds sensor.

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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.