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Sony Alpha A6500 Full Review - Verdict

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Sony Alpha A6500 With Lens Angle

Value For Money

The Sony Alpha A6500 is now available for £949 body only (Feb 2020), which makes it much more affordable compared to the RRP of £1499 body only. Here are some more alternatives to consider:

Sony Alpha A6600, 24mp, 4K, IBIS, 11fps, Z battery for extended battery life, £1249 body only
Sony Alpha A6400, 24mp, 4K, no IBIS, 11fps, £899 with 16-50mm lens
Sony Alpha A6300 - 24mp, 4K (no in-camera IS), 11fps stills, £849 body only 
Panasonic Lumix GH5 - 20mp, CINE-4K, 5-axis IS, 12fps stills, 30fps at 18mp, £1299 body only 
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II - 20mp, CINE-4K, 5-axis IS, up to 60fps stills at 20mp, £1199 body only 
Fujifilm X-T3 - 26mp BSI CMOS sensor, CINE-4K 30fps, 4K 60fps, no IBIS, up to 30fps continuous, £1199 body only

Have a look at more options in our Top 10 Best Premium Mirrorless Cameras article, or have a look at the Top 10 Best 4K Video Cameras. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

 

Sony Alpha A6500 Verdict

As an updated version of the A6300, the Sony Alpha A6500 adds a number of new features, including 5-axis sensor-based in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), as well as a much larger buffer so you can shoot hundreds more continuous shots at 11fps.

There is also the welcome addition of a touch-screen, which can be used for Touch-AF, as well as playback. Unfortunately, it can't be used to change settings or go through the menus. The menus have been updated, with colour coding, and a more organised layout, but this has resulted in numerous pages to scroll through, and it would be nice if all of the video options were in their own section. There are improved white balance options, as well as an improvement in noise performance, which makes the already great image quality even better. 

The A6500 is now available for £949 body only (Feb 2020), making it much more competitively priced, as well as good value for a camera with in-body image stabilisation. However, since the release of the A6500, Sony has introduced both the A6400 and A6600, both with improved image quality and noise performance, as well as updated focus systems. If you don't need in-body image stabilisation then the A6400 would save you some money, and if you want the better battery life, then the A6600 offers excels in this area.

The Sony Alpha A6500 offers a wide range of features, including excellent image quality, fast focusing and continuous shooting, all in a compact camera body, with good build quality. There's also a good range of lenses available. We're not really a fan of the menu system update, but saying that, there are worse menu systems out there, and it shouldn't take too long for users of this camera to get used to it. 

 

Sony Alpha A6500 Pros

  • 5-axis sensor image stabilisation
  • 11fps continuous shooting with AF
  • Excellent image quality possible
  • Excellent video quality 
  • Rapid focus and wide focus area
  • Great noise performance
  • Weather-sealed body (when used with FE lenses)
  • High-resolution electronic viewfinder
  • USB charging, plus USB power
  • Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth built-in
  • Auto white balance ambient and white options
  • Touch-screen

Sony Alpha A6500 Cons

  • Changing NTSC/PAL setting requires format of memory card
  • Image database creation is frustrating
  • Menus system "improvements" 
  • No in-camera raw processing

Features5/5
Handling4.5/5
Performance5/5
Value3.5/5
Overall Verdict


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Photographs taken using the Sony Alpha a6500

SaundersfootTenby, north beach at DawnReflections at DuskSky WatcherSnakeBatty!Autumn Pink

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Comments


1 Mar 2017 12:58PM
I am not an early adopter - I bought an A6000 used just a month ago, an A7 in 2014 and an A7II in 2016. I can see how many of the features of the A6500 make it much superior not only to other APS-C cameras in the Sony line, but - IMHO - superior to every other APS-C camera I've seen. It is priced high, but likely to be reduced - and at some point, I may purchase it. But for now, lack of it doesn't impede my ability to take the best photos I can.

One can admire a new product, and one can afford it without feeling compelled to purchase it immediately.
hannu108 10 1 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2017 1:05PM
There seem to be a typo: Pros: 1fps continuous shooting with AF. It sould be 11 fps.
joshwa Plus
11 927 1 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2017 2:52PM

Quote:There seem to be a typo: Pros: 1fps continuous shooting with AF. It sould be 11 fps.


Sorry this has been fixed, thanks
AlanWillis 12 67 England
6 Mar 2017 11:16AM
I own the A7R2 and spend half on still and half video I purchased the 6500 for the video enhancements, such as the Quick and slow motion.
My slow motion is on memory 2 and once set up can be used in an instant. I have had this camera since it was launched, and have only used the A7R2 since to compare image quality. 18 Months technology since the launch of the A7R2 shows such huge innovation and improvement.
I use the 6500 mainly with the 70-200GMaster and two converters. The image quality is unbeatable, the lens with converters give me up to 400mm on the A7R2 full frame up to 600mm with APSC and 1200 mm in clear image Zoom, with excellent quality.
The best camera I have ever owned. I have owned rather a lot.
is it better than Fujifilm ? Just curious and not intending to down sony or others. Just appears Fuji bring out cameras every 3 to 4 yrs as a way to improve, innovate on the classic design. Their Fuji lens appear to be slightly smaller, placed in-between 4 thirds and aps??, slightly cheaper but with high ratings for their glass quality. What I do like, is that sony have ibis and weather proofing and flippy screens....something Fuji seem to dislike doing except perhaps for the x100v just released and more expensive xt3.. Hmmm bean counters getting involved again, in engineering and innovation. Hate them counters types.
I have to say though, for looks size and simplicity, sony a6500 is a winner.

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