- - Fantastic image quality
- - Extended memory buffer
- - Powerful 5-axis in-body stabilisation
- - Highly customisable
- - No in-camera raw processing
- - Memory card access can be fiddly
- - Focus Area options could be more streamlined
Price as Reviewed:£1,500.00 (body only)
Audley Jarvis takes a closer look at Sony’s flagship APS-C mirrorless camera
Sony A6500 review – Our verdict
While professional Sony users who make a living from sports and wildlife photography are much more likely to opt for the full-frame A7 II or A99 II models, the APS-C equipped A6500 provides all the relevant tools required by enthusiasts looking to develop their action photography skills with. Despite the fact that longer telephoto lenses can feel a little unbalanced on the A6500’s diminutive body, Sony’s excellent 5-axis image stabilisation does a very good job of keeping images sharp when shooting handheld with longer telephoto lenses. Ultimately the A6500 is a very forgiving camera that encourages you to push your handheld telephoto abilities with. In this respect alone, it’s a great little camera that’s a lot of fun to use.
Of course it’s not all about action photography and in this respect the A6500 also proves to be an extremely competent performer at the more sedate end of the photography spectrum. Indeed we’d go as far as to say that the A6500 is very much the all-rounder Sony is keen to present it as. Given its size and speed, the A6500 is equally well suited to street photography as it is to action, while landscape photographers will find the A6500’s impressive dynamic range and 24.2MP sensor give it plenty of scope for shooting beautiful scenery with. It’s not quite perfect mind, with niggly issues such as fiddly card access, lossy Raw files and lack of in-camera Raw conversion taking the overall shine off things ever so slightly. Taken as a complete package though, the A6500 remains an excellent all-round APS-C mirrorless model that offers something for everyone.
In terms of lens choice, the A6500 is well served by Sony’s ever expanding range of dedicated E-mount lenses, however the lack of a fast (f/2.8) standard zoom does remain a bit of an issue for some users, even though there is a good range of fast wideangle primes available, along with full-frame E-mount lenses that can be used to gain a bit of additional telephoto reach when paired with the A6500’s APS-C sensor.
While the A6500 is undoubtedly an excellent camera unfortunately for Sony it’s positioned within a hugely competitive segment of the market where competing cameras include the highly desirable Fujifilm X-T2, Olympus OM-D E-M1 II and Nikon D500. All have their distinguishing features and all are serious competition for the A6500. Which one is right for you isn’t for us to say here, however if you are in the market for new camera and any of the aforementioned models interest you, then you certainly owe it to yourself to have a closer look at the A6500 too.
- Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS
- Output size: 6000 x 4000 pixels
- Lens mount: Sony E-mount
- Shutter speeds: 30sec to 1/4000sec (mechanical) 30sec to 1/4000sec (electronic)
- ISO sensitivity: 100-25,600 (expandable to ISO 51,200)
- Exposure modes: PASM, Auto, Scene, Panoramic, Movie, Scene
- Metering: Multi, Centre, Spot, Entire Screen Average, Highlight
- Exposure compensation: ±5EV in 1/3EV or 1/2EV steps
- Continuous shooting: Hi+ (11fps), Hi (8fps), Mid (6fps), Lo (3fps)
- Screen: 3-inch 921k-dots tiltable touchscreen
- Video: 4K (3840x2160), Full HD (1920x1080), HD (1080x720)
- Viewfinder: 2.36m-dot OLED, 0.70x magnification, 100% coverage
- External Mic: 3.5mm stereo
- AF points: 425 phase-detect, 169 contrast-detect
- Memory card: 1x Memory Stick, SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I)
- Power: Sony NP-FW50 li-ion, 1020mAh
- Battery life: 310-350 shots
- Dimensions: 120 x 66.9 x 53.3mm
- Weight: 453g (with battery and card)