Audley Jarvis takes a closer look at Sony’s flagship APS-C mirrorless camera
Sony A6500 review – Video
In recent years Sony has gained a reputation for displaying real innovation with regards to its digital camera video technology and it comes as no great surprise that the A6500 continues this trend. As with its predecessor the A6500 offers a wide range of 4K (3840×2160), 1080p Full HD and 720p HD video recording options using the XAVC S, AVCHD and MP4 formats. For regular video capture the A6500 is identical to the A6300, with the maximum quality on offer being 4K at 25p/100Mbps using Sony’s proprietary XAVC S codec. 4K video is shot at a crop of 1.23x, while Full HD movies shot at 120p and 100p employ a 1.14x crop. All other video modes use the entire width of the sensor. Audio is captured via dual microphones on the front of the camera just above the lens, although a dedicated microphone jack is located on the side panel for enhanced audio capture.
One way in which the A6500 does differ from the A6300 is with the addition of a Slow and Quick mode. As the name implies this allows you to choose frame rates between 1fps and 100fps to record Full HD video for playback at up to 5x slow motion or 60x quick motion. Also new for the A6500 is the ability to extract 8MP still images from 4K video directly from the camera, much like Panasonic’s 4K Photo Mode. The A6300, by way of comparison, requires you to use computer software to extract still images from 4K video.
In terms of capture aids the A6500 is well served with a range of Picture Profile presets, focus peaking and zebra warnings. You can select any of the PASM exposure modes and also use the touchscreen to select a focus point, although AF-C is the only focus mode available. If you choose to use one of the flatter Picture Profile presets (for example S-Log2 or S-Log3) with the intention of adding your own colour and contrast levels at the post-production stage then the handy Gamma Display Assist tool can also be employed so that the monitor displays a more colourful and contrasty image that’s easier to work with. As with the A6300, the A6500 dims monitor brightness levels when recording 4K video though.